|Spiderability of clickcartpro, miva merchant, and actinic|
I am think of using one of the above carts for a new site using Worldpay. However, I am very worried about spiderability with regards to Google, which provides over 90% of our new visitors.
I wonder if anybody has any experience with these carts. My personal impression is that carts using php do very well with Google, perhaps because of a faster speed.
Couple of related threads:
Welcome to Webmasterworld!
Good question derkebot.
Please, does anyone have any recent (c 2003) insight on Miva vs other Shopping Carts in regards to their SE friendliness?
I have heard that Miva is working OK in Google but all am "hearing" is anecdotal.
Ralp Wilson has a nice report about shopping carts, but it, to my taste, seems a bit out of date.
Hello Derek. I've had recent experience with both Miva and ClickCartPro... Here's what I've seen:
these links are short and get spidered... but many of the dynamically generated links include some session info - so those pages are not as likely to get spidered. Been looking at including links without those elements in a footer to more of the store's content - they'd still be dynamically generated, but stripped of the session junk... will be trying that out soon. ClickCart is very configurable, especially if you know HTML and Perl. This cart runs from text based data files or integrates easily with MySQL - quick...
Some pages get spidered, but the links are higher level - those with less variables... so the bulk never get spidered... links like this: www.widgets.com/store/merchant.mv?Screen=SFNT&Store_Code=widgetstore as opposed to those with category or product info included, only a handful of those appear to be liked by Google.
However, with Miva there is a third party add on that allows you to create a static mirror of the store-based content that IS spiderable. It creates urls like this:
The pages are populated with products in that category along with the description, and link into the storefront for purchase.
Overall it helps to have solid static content on the site in addition to the store generated content. Hope this helps with your decision. Sticky-mail me if you have any more specific questions, I'll try to help.
[edited by: TallTroll at 12:46 pm (utc) on June 19, 2003]
Thanks Lisa, we are currently using Mals' e and it is getting unwieldy because we have many products whose prices change frequently. However, I am sure that the reason why most of our target search terms are ranked so highly by Google is because our pages are static.
It is important to achieve good rankings for all the pages in the site. Each page should be as near the root directory and with as short a path to the homepage as possible. There should be a lot of interlinking as well as having the title metatag containng the target keywords. I am really not sure which commercial cart that uses dynamically generated pages can do this.
I found that many MV and ClikCartPro sites are not spidered properly. Actinic seems to be the best because it uses static pages but may not be as easy to use as the others. The only dynamically generated cart that I have found which is spidered properly is squirrelcart but that involves the use of mysql which could be quite expensive. Therefore I will probably have to stick with Mal's for the time being and wait and see.
Nexternal Solutions has an interesting way of dealing with this issue. Their merchants can use its software to create static html pages that are search engine friendly based on the merchants product catalog. The merchant just needs to make sure that the static pages are found by the spiders. Each product can have its own static page which is hosted on the merchant's web server. The static product pages link directly to the dynamic product pages in the catalog where customers can then add items to the cart.
[edited by: TallTroll at 9:01 am (utc) on May 29, 2003]
[edit reason] removed URLs [/edit]
php may seem cleaner, maybe you've seen implementations that just spider better. Maybe php users have "rolled their own" more often than users of languages with other extensions. I roll my own, and it's nice, I have real clean URLs that spiders love. My catalogs, carts, and checkouts are all separately handled. Catalog is very spiderable; no need to spider the latter two. Cart vendors often combine them, sometimes into one all-encompassing cgi script or binary. Complicated url parameters are needed etc.
I've seen Miva users lose out cause of some complicated URLs. The third party solution above would be good to look at. I've looked at Miva but that whole VB-ish culture of paying for third party addons turns me off, now I've been completely infected by php.
I would suggest doing "site:" searches in SEs and check out how well sites are doing with the cart solutions you're looking at.
I don't know if it help you any, but I created an inhouse shopping cart system that the spiders can easily follow and index.
I have used the third party module for Miva that LisaB is likely referring to. It creates nearly perfectly optimized static pages. I say nearly perfect because I did have to make some minor changes which took about an hour for about 350 products. I created links to just the static category pages rather than each product page and they were spidered. The pages do very well in the serps.
Just do a search for google and miva merchant at google.com to find out how miva does with google, etc. Miva pages do great in the search engines.
Thanks for your advice. I think the situation is highly variable and is very clearly cut. The pages of some sites are indexed whereas those of other sites using the same cart may be not. I think it is essential to have some doorway/landing pages whatever system is used.
One reason I am holding back at the moment is that I am worried that landing pages may deter customers as they will have to make an extra click in order to buy.
I am wondering whether the third party module for Miva Merchant actually makes a doorway page or a fully functioning page where the customer can actually buy a product by clicking on an add to cart button?
Everything about the third party miva product is designed to 1) rank high for the keyword and 2) immediately get the customer into the actual store. It doesn't even include the price, but rather there is an anchor text link of "check latest price" that gets them to the product page in the Miva shopping cart. Yes it is one extra click.
However, keep in mind two things. First the module creates flawless static pages from a SEO standpoint, i.e., the html validates, very clean, great keyword distribution, title, ALT text, etc. Secondly, the pages will rank much better than any dynamic content regardless of the programming language. So yes, the surfer has to click one extra time, but you likely wouldn't have them at your site in the first place without the module. I stickied you a product info page.
We are official partners of this third-party module, and the static pages can look just like your store, include the price, add to basket buttons, and much more. It is basically like your store. Also, these static pages out of the box are not close to perfect. There is so much misinformation about miva merchant and search engines. It mostly comes from people who don't even let search engines into their stores or their client's stores, but then they pretend like they know how it does in the search engines.
[edited by: Marcia at 6:20 am (utc) on June 15, 2003]
"it is basically like your store"
Are you referring to SEK2? I haven't noticed anything in basic or advanced configuration to make THAT much customization. For example, how would you add a category tree to category or product pages or add buy now buttons? Sure you can add a header but that alone won't make it look just like the store.
And again, from a SEO standpoint after getting to know configuration setting very well, the created pages didn't seem to need any help (emphasis on from a SEO standpoint). Your thoughts?
I considered stickying this to you but you've clearly got some users here...enlighten us.
["it is basically like your store"
Are you referring to SEK2?]
[I haven't noticed anything in basic or advanced configuration to make THAT much customization.]
It isn't there. A sek2 partner can customize the module.
[For example, how would you add a category tree to category or product pages or add buy now buttons? Sure you can add a header but that alone won't make it look just like the store.]
See above. :) Could show you examples, but it is not allowed.
[And again, from a SEO standpoint after getting to know configuration setting very well, the created pages didn't seem to need any help (emphasis on from a SEO standpoint). Your thoughts?]
They can be improved upon a TON! From alt tags to text formatting, placement, title tags, etc.
[I considered stickying this to you but you've clearly got some users here...enlighten us.
[edited by: TallTroll at 10:25 am (utc) on June 16, 2003]
[edit reason] specific search [/edit]
Hi, after more research, I think I have found the ideal cart for this: it is OS Commerce.
Besides being spidered, it is important that each inner page retains a high PR for Google. In the case of static pages, it should be as near the root directory as possible and preferably with a direct link to it from the homepage.
I have been noticing for a while that the inner pages of some of our competitors maintained a high PR rank relative to their homepage and I have confirmation now that they use OS commerce. The problem is that integration with Worldpay may be quite difficult.