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I am not extremely familiar with Miva Merchant, but if you are just using the cart, it would not effect a spiders ability to enter and cache your site.
If you are using the full platform, and it is generating dynamic pages with long session variables, that might be cause for concern.
[edited by: Marcia at 4:50 am (utc) on Oct. 24, 2003]
[edit reason] No URLs, please. [/edit]
There are several modules, one that shortens variables in the links, one that creates a html sitemap with friendly links, one that creates a whole mirror of your store in html, and others. Just be sure to get the module version that fits your store version. Once you get them installed, you'll need to make sure the search engines find the new pages, sitemap, etc.
Seems like you have to make a lot of clicks to get down to the individual product descriptions... that might hurt, since when you enter the store, you can't really tell what all is available aside from the listing of makes.
I am not an expert but I have learned that there are somw simple things you can do to help improve your rankings in places like google. When I used to design sites for small businesses, I had no clue on how to optimize sites for better rankings. But now that I do some ecommerce type stuff, I have learned how to optimize by reading "how to" in forums like this one.
One thing I have found out that "pretty" sites look good but I know a few folks with plain looking sites that are getting great traffic.
I bet if you ask your site designer to "optimize your site" you'd be paying even more out of your pocket. You might be between a rock and a hard place because you mentioned your low on funds.
Just my opinion of course :)