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[Zen Cart] Multiple URLs to one product is not duplication?

Posted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 4:28 pm
by pixeltone
Since I am new to the SEO game, my concern is what search engines will think of a single product being listed under a variety of URLs. Will my client's site get penalized for having so many different links (see example in code) to what is one product?

Code: Select all

http://mystore.com/fruit-100/apples-120/macintosh-1501.html
http://mystore.com/grab-n-go-200/snacks-219/macintosh-1501.html
http://mystore.com/picnic-food-300/macintosh-1501.html


It was my thought that Magic SEO URL would solve this for me by eliminating "duplicates". I thought the only url for for the 'macintosh' product with an id of '1501' would be 'http://mystore.com/fruit-100/apples-120/macintosh-1501.html' since 'apples' is its master category. I guess I have misunderstood what a duplicate is. And maybe it isn't a concern. Now that I understand MSU does not do what I thought I am left to hope I have not needlessly cross-categorized nearly every product on my client's site.

Re: [Zen Cart] Multiple URLs to one product is not duplication?

Posted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 5:03 pm
by inveo
Duplicate content caused by Zen Cart "Linked products" feature is fixed with Magic SEO URL by determining and assigning only one unique category path to each product.

Re: [Zen Cart] Multiple URLs to one product is not duplication?

Posted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 9:02 pm
by pixeltone
Thanks for the quick response! I do not know what I was looking at earlier. Even doing a review of my browsing history, I cannot find where my eyes deceived me. Sorry about that.

Hopefully, I am not deceiving myself again. I believe I have run across a concern that I thought I'd be able to modify myself but now I see that the source code is hidden.

The issue is that there appears to be an inconsistency with the category chosen by MSU to include within the singular URL for a multiple linked product. Do I have any control over how MSU makes its category choice for the default URL? It doesn't appear to be based upon master category or product/category sort order. I'm unsure how MSU determines the category to use within the URL. If I can remove the category/subcategory path from the URL entirely and just go with an URL based upon the product name, that would be perfect. i.e. http://www.mystore.com/macintosh-1501.html.

Hopefully, I can get Magic SEO working well enough to the client's satisfaction. He'll dislike the inclusion of category and product ID numbers but will live with that. But I do not know if he will accept the inconsistency of what category is used in a product's URL. Besides, there is a method for us to include any of that info in the product name for SEO purposes (which I go into further below).

The reason I went with Magic SEO is because of the comparison claims of Magic vs. Ultimate, especially in the areas of: HTTP 301/Moved Permanently, Redirections from ALL original ZenCart URLs, Prevents home page duplicate content penalties, Does not add any SQL queries, and Does not break any installed Add-ons, Modules or Templates/Themes. I want to stick with Magic, but my client may override me and live with the short-term penalties of the above issues until product data stabilizes.

FWIW, I had thought there would be an interface allowing choices for whether or not to include manufacturer name, category, model, name, ID(s), etc. in the URL. Basically, I expected an improvement upon Ultimate SEO. Perhaps that requires some really sophisticated coding and commands a price point that would turn away so many as to not be worth the effort or creates SQL queries you are avoiding. But if not an interface then at least limited open source code which would allow for customization. After all, Zen Cart is open source. Magic could be licensed to allow modification.

Oh, wait, msu_tweak is open code and has some options... Nope, that didn't work as expected. I thought setting category depth to 0 would make the URL contain only the product name like Ultimate SEO. I prefer a slashless URL based upon the product name, anyway. Because I can easily adapt all product names to contain the info I want them to contain. The products table has been customised to include fields for mfr, sku, model, submodel, style, substyle, size, color, etc. and can be easily programmed to generate on-the-fly product names to display in the title, in emails, in invoices, in new product listings, search results, featured product listings, individual product info display, etc, leaving products_name in the products description table to exist for SEO mod purposes. Or vice versa.

Re: [Zen Cart] Multiple URLs to one product is not duplication?

Posted: Sat Mar 22, 2008 8:35 am
by inveo
pixeltone wrote:The issue is that there appears to be an inconsistency with the category chosen by MSU to include within the singular URL for a multiple linked product. Do I have any control over how MSU makes its category choice for the default URL? It doesn't appear to be based upon master category or product/category sort order. I'm unsure how MSU determines the category to use within the URL. If I can remove the category/subcategory path from the URL entirely and just go with an URL based upon the product name, that would be perfect. i.e. http://www.mystore.com/macintosh-1501.html.


Unfortunately, there is no way how to detect master category due to Zen Cart design, please see this post.

pixeltone wrote:Oh, wait, msu_tweak is open code and has some options... Nope, that didn't work as expected. I thought setting category depth to 0 would make the URL contain only the product name like Ultimate SEO.


It does not work this way (it affects how deep depth is using nice-urls) and also Category Depth can be 1 - 5 (0 is not supported since it has no sense). Please see attached help in msu_tweak.php for more details.

Re: [Zen Cart] Multiple URLs to one product is not duplication?

Posted: Sat Mar 22, 2008 10:34 am
by pixeltone
The Magic SEO URL vs Ultimate SEO URL vs SEO_G link really helps. Thank you!

I misunderstood how the category depth setting worked. I thought a setting of 1 would truncate level 5 paths to level 1 paths within the URL, which is why I thought a setting of 0 would mean all of the category path would be truncated with only the product-name-product-ID.html portion remaining in the URL. Obviously, the setting is more static than dynamic in the sense of how deep Magic SEO URL will function.

Re: [Zen Cart] Multiple URLs to one product is not duplication?

Posted: Wed May 14, 2008 1:12 pm
by BlessIsaacola
Revisiting this old issue, is it possible to make the final url that MSU uses to be the master category which is actually a known value (even though) Zen Cart doesn't consistent use it for building the breadcrumb?

It's rather annoying to link a product to Father's Day category and now all of a sudden that product's url is changed permanent to include a season category in its url.

Here is an example: http://www.clevershoppers.com/gift-and- ... 50801.html

this product will normally be in: http://www.clevershoppers.com/music-9/pop-32/

Thanks!

Re: [Zen Cart] Multiple URLs to one product is not duplication?

Posted: Wed May 14, 2008 2:49 pm
by inveo
I am sad to say, but until Zen Cart doesn't change database table structure suitably, it is impossible to improve this behavior.

Re: [Zen Cart] Multiple URLs to one product is not duplication?

Posted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 10:52 am
by inveo
Magic SEO URL for ZenCart 1.1.03 is comming with use_master_category option which allows to use master_categories_id field when assigning unique path to product. See Announcement for more details.

Re: [Zen Cart] Multiple URLs to one product is not duplicati

Posted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 2:54 pm
by inveo
I just want to let you know that there is a free update available for 4.x and 5.x branches which comes with improved navigation support and breadcrumb as well as category tree menu now follow the user navigation for linked categories:

http://www.inveostore.com/magic-seo-url ... #changelog
http://www.inveostore.com/magic-seo-url ... #changelog

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