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Need Advice - Prevent Google from crawling ?ZENID= on Zen Cart
BaseballGuy




msg:4395011
 2:17 am on Dec 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

Hi, I have done quite a bit of outside research, prior to making this post, so please don't flame me.

I have a Zen Cart eCommerce site. Just got redesigned and it went live today.

I noticed GoogleBot crawling around from a logged in session (?ZenId=).

I have done the following:


1. Admin > Configuration > Sessions > Prevent Spider Sessions > True

2. Went into Google Webmaster tools and told it to crawl One representative URL for anything with ZENID.

3. Prior to the new website redesign going live.....I had my old coder block out Google access to ZENID=. That didn't seem to work either.


Just wondering if you guys could give me a tip on how to prevent Google from crawling logged in sessions. I would have thought that Webmaster Tools would have worked....but I just Googled a random product on my site and it was indexed with a ZENID= session ID as the URL.


thanks!

 

Planet13




msg:4395055
 6:01 am on Dec 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

Can you use the canonical tag as well?

In webmaster tools, you should also be able to tell googlebot to ignore parameters. I am not sure if you have done that or not for the ZENID parameter.

enigma1




msg:4395132
 11:07 am on Dec 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

If you're store has a dedicated IP (or if you don't use an SSL or you do not use a shared SSL from the host), just force cookies from your admin->configuration->sessions. Set it to true.

Can you use the canonical tag as well?

Unfortunately it's not only a single search engine that can expose links with sessions. Just one session id exposed with the urls somewhere is enough to ruin the store. Forcing cookies on should fix this because the code ignores the session id from the /GET parameters.

BaseballGuy




msg:4395220
 3:57 pm on Dec 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

@Planet

Yes, I have told GWMT to ignore the zenid parameter, Googlebot has ignored this request repeatedly. I'm starting to think that GWMT is just lip service from Google to us.

I had the coder employ the canonical tags, along with a robots.txt file that blocks all ?zenid=* parameters.

No dice.

@enigma

Yes, SSL for checkout and dedicated ip.

pageoneresults




msg:4395233
 4:23 pm on Dec 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

I had the coder employ the canonical tags, along with a robots.txt file that blocks all ?zenid=* parameters.


Since you've blocked the bot via robots.txt it won't see the canonical association with the ZenID parameters.

BaseballGuy




msg:4395237
 4:29 pm on Dec 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

@pageoneresults

I blocked it back in September....(via robots.txt).

I just Googled a random product on my site and found that Google had indeed indexed that product (with zenid parameter) way back in September. It's still ranking right now.

This can't be good for duplicate content....

pageoneresults




msg:4395245
 4:42 pm on Dec 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

Have you validated your robots.txt file? I know, that seems like a very basic question but is it possible that something is incorrect and causing Google to ignore the Disallow for the ?zenid parameter?

I typically Disallow all ? parameters.

Disallow: /*?
enigma1




msg:4395249
 4:50 pm on Dec 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

Yes, SSL for checkout and dedicated ip.

Ok then force cookies. The only thing to watch out for are the payment methods. There is an issue if you use callback handlers for the payment processors as they need to record an order verification and they don't sent cookies but they do /POST. But for the most it's not a problem. Also double check your cookie domains and cookie paths in your configure.php so they're setup correctly. You can easily verify this if the cart is still functional once you switch it to true. Just try to place an order.

Another thing you should verify is to follow the link google has in its index and check if you see the session to reappear anywhere with the links of your store as you browse few pages. With the stock code you won't see it I believe, but customizations is a different matter.

BaseballGuy




msg:4395251
 4:53 pm on Dec 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

Ok, I will get with my coder today and send him these recommendations.

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