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 Revised PHP Dynamic Title + Meta Description code
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ITZAP
Ecommerce Template Expert

Australia
757 Posts

Posted - 01/25/2017 :  03:28:54  
Hi Steve,
I would say straight out that the products.php page should contain the meta tag ...

<meta name="robots" content="noindex, follow">

As you are aware, products.php are just a brief summary listing of pages on your website that change regular. There is really no point, no benefit in having the search engines index those.

And as you say, Google Webmaster Tools (unintelligently) interprets << Previous 1 2 3 4 5... Next >> URL page links with query extensions like ?cat=1&pg=3 as Duplicate.

But you do definitely want the search engines to follow the URL links through to the proddetail.php pages.
Those are what you want indexed and listed in Search Engine Results as a priority.
So then potential customers will arrive on your proddetail.php website page, rather than a products.php page.

Gary

Steved
Ecommerce Template Expert

United Kingdom
731 Posts

Posted - 01/25/2017 :  15:31:47  
I completely agree Gary.
Unfortunately some of these product urls are ranking though, so I think my only course of action is to make the category urls static so at least I can control the meta and hence avoid duplication. However, I am about to make a new site live so at least I can start that with a no index tag for the products.php. I'm thinking of avoiding the seo friendly urls too - not a critisism of them as it's pobably me, but I regularly find myself in a corner with them.

Thanks for your thoughts, and all the meta instructions in this thread too of course, which I think everyone should seriously consider implementing.

Steve

Marshall
Ecommerce Template Guru

USA
1430 Posts

Posted - 01/25/2017 :  16:27:11  
"follow" is unnecessary in a meta tag as that is default for SE's.

Marshall
CENLYT Productions - ms designs
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Sinbad
Administrator

65730 Posts

Posted - 01/25/2017 :  18:34:11  
That maybe the case however using <meta name="robots" content="noindex" /> covers all se's even the smaller ones.
If you are targeting googlebot,its not required but as a general meta rule I do use follow.
https://developers.google.com/webmasters/control-crawl-index/docs/robots_meta_tag

quote:
"follow" is unnecessary in a meta tag as that is default for SE's.


For those that are just learning about robots meta here is the longest running resource on the subject http://www.robotstxt.org/meta.html
According to Yoast a WP favorite I would continue to use the full meta tag http://www.robotstxt.org/meta.html



Winners never quit, quitters never win
CSS and Responsive Designs
User Manual for Ecommerce Templates

ITZAP
Ecommerce Template Expert

Australia
757 Posts

Posted - 01/25/2017 :  19:23:47  
quote:
I'm thinking of avoiding the seo friendly urls too - not a criticism of them as it's probably me, but I regularly find myself in a corner with them.
Just on the SEO friendly URL rewrite feature, while very cool, it does come with strict rules about characters you cannot use in the Product Name / Page Title, especially a - dash, which results in "Sorry, this product is not currently available."

I have clients who would quite simply forget about that regularly.
And so we went back to the standard Ecommerce Templates proddetail.php URL's.
That way they can use any characters they like in the Product Name / Page Title; open slather, no restrictions.

But now, in the "Reference" field, they do enter a short string of keywords like led-hurricane-lantern
And the page URL is published as :
http:// yourwebsite.com/proddetail.php?prod=led-hurricane-lantern


So you can still get keywords into the page URL, without using the SEO friendly rewrite feature. Yes, those keywords are on the very end of the URL; that is the trade-off. But honestly, any negative SEO impact would be minute.

Note that there is a 2nd Reference field available where you can enter the Product Order Code.

Gary
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