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1234
Ecommerce Template Expert

USA
835 Posts

Posted - 05/21/2020 :  04:51:14  
In the past few months Google has dropped a substantial number of my pages (thousands). After inspecting numerous individual pages, the only issues showing are Products issues. These are all listed as Crawled - currently not indexed.

e.g.
Missing field "brand"
Missing field "sku"
Missing field "review"
Missing field "aggregateRating"
No global identifier provided

Just within the past few days Google has dropped a few thousand pages, for what appears to just be products issues. I know that Google likes to have all product attributes in place for ecommerce sites, but I didn't expect t be kicked out of Google altogether for not having all of these in place. If this is the case, I can only imagine that all of my pages will disappear very fast, as I don't have control over these products issues.

Has Google implemented a new update recently? Has anyone else experienced this recently? It's not looking too good for my ECT site.

1818charlie
Ecommerce Template Expert

United Kingdom
616 Posts

Posted - 05/21/2020 :  08:45:54  
Hi Tim

Have you run your page through the Google Structured Data Testing Tool and has that advised the product is missing a global identifier? https://search.google.com/structured-data/testing-tool

Mike Beebe at DLSS has a addon that will help with Structured Data issues http://dlss.ca/proddetail.asp?prod=ProductSchema

Also from ECT version 7.1.1 there's this that can be added to your includes.php file
$skuschemaidentifier="mpn";


Steve
Manchester England

Remember - Any edits to the ectcart.css file will be overwritten by updater's. ALL edits to ectcart.css rules should be placed in your style.css file

Edited by - 1818charlie on 05/21/2020 09:07:36

1234
Ecommerce Template Expert

USA
835 Posts

Posted - 05/21/2020 :  09:11:54  
Steve,

Thanks for the reply. I submitted several pages to the Structured Testing Tool link that you provided. Every page produces at least 7 errors, and all seem to include the Global Identifier issue.

All of the dropped pages are pages that had previously been indexed but were very recently removed due to the Product issues. Google seems to be dropping previously indexed pages at a substantial pace.

I will check out the DLSS Structured Data addon, thanks for that recommendation.

As far as the $skuschemaidentifier="mpn"; I have the ASP version so I assume mine would be skuschemaidentifier="mpn"; ? Will this satisfy the Global identifier issue?

dbdave
ECT Moderator

USA
8797 Posts

Posted - 05/21/2020 :  10:13:21  
I have never heard of Google "removing" pages due to the reasons you mention.
Are you getting info from the Google search console (formerly webmaster tools)?

Pages may not rank as well by not having the schema markup, but I don't think they are being removed for that.

Thanks,
David

1818charlie
Ecommerce Template Expert

United Kingdom
616 Posts

Posted - 05/21/2020 :  10:41:35  
Having had a good look around I've not seen Google making reference to them actually removing pages for the reason you mention.

Even if your page is marked up correctly according to the Google Structured Data Testing Tool, Google does not guarantee that your structured data will show up in search results. Pages or sites that violate Googles content guidelines may be marked as ineligible for rich results in Google Search or receive less favourable ranking.

Steve
Manchester England

Remember - Any edits to the ectcart.css file will be overwritten by updater's. ALL edits to ectcart.css rules should be placed in your style.css file

1234
Ecommerce Template Expert

USA
835 Posts

Posted - 05/21/2020 :  12:32:07  
This is the first time Ive seen this as well, hence this post. Hopefully I'm looking at it wrong.?

In Google Search Console, for instance on Monday of last week (5/11) I had 14,036 valid pages with 1700+ "Crawled - currently not indexed". Monday this week I have 12,600+ valid pages with 3100+ "Crawled - currently not indexed".

I log in every morning to see less Valid pages indexed and more pages "Crawled - currently not indexed". I haven't made any changes to these pages, (although I've noticed my Mobile Usability slightly increase). Along with this I've seen an increase in coverage Errors (from 3 to 33 over the past few weeks). These errors show the Product errors as mentioned before. Checking each "Crawled - currently not indexed" page individually (alot of them anyway), each one shows the same Product errors.

It just seems to me that the previously Valid pages are being moved to Currently not indexed, and it looks like the reason is the Product attribute errors.? I wouldn't think Google would remove pages for Product errors, but it sure seems that way to me

dbdave
ECT Moderator

USA
8797 Posts

Posted - 05/21/2020 :  13:28:13  
Hi, how many products do you have?
I have seen these high numbers of pages like this before - 12,000+ pages indexed when I only have 8000 products.
I think it's going to be down to multiple URL's for the same page.
Perhaps you went from regular URL's to extension-less at some point for example.

Or there is this
www.yoursite.com/categories.asp?cat=25
www.yoursite.com/categories.asp?cat=blue-widget

Both pointing to the same page.

You might want to go into the google search console and make sure you have set URL parameters where you can.
For example, you might want to tell them to ignore "partner" - or parts of the URL that is not related to a unique page such as "prod", that identifies a unique product.

Thanks,
David

Edited by - dbdave on 05/21/2020 13:29:39

1234
Ecommerce Template Expert

USA
835 Posts

Posted - 05/21/2020 :  14:44:05  
I currently have 15,395 products. I'm not sure if you remember, but you were the one who suggested I do add the URL parameters as you just described years ago. I added several parameters to ignore.

All pages being moved from Valid to Crawled - currently not indexed are pointing to the correct URL's.

I haven't had any www.yoursite.com/categories.asp?cat=25 indexed in several years, they are all pointing to the product names such as https://www.usafleetsupply.com/proddetail.asp?prod=Kinedyne+Retract-A-Bar, etc.

I'm not sure what else it could be besides the product errors. At this rate, I'm currently losing a couple thousand pages per week.

dbdave
ECT Moderator

USA
8797 Posts

Posted - 05/21/2020 :  15:04:47  
Hi, sorry I didn't recall that. I see what you are saying.
I guess I would start to worry if the indexed count was lower than my product count.

What about a sitemap. Is one being submitted to google there?
Personally I use Mike's (DLSS) and it gets dynamically updated so google knows about new products and old ones are removed.

Thanks,
David

1234
Ecommerce Template Expert

USA
835 Posts

Posted - 05/21/2020 :  15:29:35  
You've helped me with quite a few issues over the years .

I can't find anything online about Google removing pages for product errors. I remember receiving a message from Google some time ago, stating something about my website, that my indexing was going to begin to lean mostly toward mobile users. I can't find the message now, but it seemed like my website had qualified for some kind of new mobile indexing. My website had "qualified" for some kind of new indexing. That was at least 8-12 months ago.

I don't have any idea if this has anything to do with why my pages are dropping. As my overall pages are dropping at a very rapid pace, my mobile indexing is slowly going up.

Nonetheless, it has become extremely worrisome. I haven't made any changes to my products/proddetail/categories pages, parameters, meta info or anything. The pages are simply being "un-indexed" for products errors. If I knew how to fix all the errors I would. I will take a look at the DLSS addon later tonight. Maybe that will help.

dbdave
ECT Moderator

USA
8797 Posts

Posted - 05/21/2020 :  15:37:15  
I can say the structured data tool from Mike is really great and it cannot hurt giving it a try. It should help rankings. We can't be sure it will solve this immediate problem, but I recommend you start with that.

David

ITZAP
Ecommerce Template Expert

Australia
845 Posts

Posted - 05/21/2020 :  20:23:09  
This "Google Search Console" index status issue has been discussed here quite a few times.
quote:
The pages are simply being "un-indexed" for products errors.
I've seen an increase in coverage Errors (from 3 to 33 over the past few weeks)
Every page produces at least 7 errors
e.g.
Missing field "brand"
Missing field "sku"
Missing field "review"
Missing field "aggregateRating"
No global identifier provided
1234, take another look in your Google Search Console. It is important to note that none of those are "Errors". Notice that they are all merely "Valid with Warnings".



Google is at fault here for misusing the word "Warnings".
"Advice" is the more appropriate word to simply tell you that those additional fields are valid, but NOT compulsory. Rest assured 1234, none of those pages will have been "dropped by Google".

Solutions to reduce "Warnings"

Missing field "brand"
> Open vsadmin/includes.php and in $detailpagelayout you need to have the "manufacturer" element. And you need to select a Manufacturer in Product Admin.
> Because Google prefers the term "Brand", open vsadmin\inc\incproddetail.php and on LINE 515 and 1221, change <span itemprop="manufacturer"> to <span itemprop="brand"> and upload the modified file.
> Something for the Suggestion Forum.

Missing field "sku"
> Open vsadmin/includes.php and in $detailpagelayout you need to have the "sku" element.

No global identifier provided
> As Steve mentioned above, open vsadmin/includes.php and add the entry $skuschemaidentifier="mpn";

Ignore these "Warnings"

Missing field 'review'
Missing field 'aggregateRating'
> Because no Review has been entered for that Product as yet.

Missing field 'priceValidUntil'
> Would only ever be relevant if the Product was on special for a limited period of time.

Hope that helps.

Gary

ITZAP
Ecommerce Template Expert

Australia
845 Posts

Posted - 05/21/2020 :  20:56:47  
It is also worth mentioning that Google confirmed a Core Algorithm Update was rolled out on 4th May 2020. Read more about Who is Affected By the Google Update ?

"Thin Content Losing?
Another point is that there are multiple reports of thin content losing positions. Whether they are losing positions because of their thin content or for other reasons has not been determined.
"

What Is Thin Content?

Google likes "Unique Quality Content"; not brief, thin content that provides little to no value.

Gary

1818charlie
Ecommerce Template Expert

United Kingdom
616 Posts

Posted - 05/22/2020 :  01:20:37  
quote:
Because Google prefers the term "Brand", open vsadmin\inc\incproddetail.php and on LINE 515 and 1221, change <span itemprop="manufacturer"> to <span itemprop="brand"> and upload the modified file.

Just on a side note do bear in mind if the inproddetail.php file is edited then the edits will be overwritten by updaters.

Steve
Manchester England

Remember - Any edits to the ectcart.css file will be overwritten by updater's. ALL edits to ectcart.css rules should be placed in your style.css file

1234
Ecommerce Template Expert

USA
835 Posts

Posted - 05/22/2020 :  07:45:38  
Gary, thanks for the info! I will definitely add those suggestions.

I should be referring to them as "Issues" as opposed to "errors". In my Google Search Console, the previously indexed pages were moved from "Valid" to "Excluded" (under the Sitemaps tab). The pages were placed in my "Crawled -currently not indexed" folder, under the Excluded tab. When clicking on each page to see why it was moved from valid to excluded, each page shows 7 Warnings and goes on to list the Product issues. Other than the product issues, there is nothing else wrong with the pages. Therefore I can only assume that Google moved the Valid pages to Excluded solely for the product issues.

I have purchased the ProductSchema from DLSS and have placed skuschemaidentifier="mpn" in my vsadmin/includes file (I am using ASP). I am going to implelent the productSchema addon today so hopefully that will help.

I have a question about the SKU's however. When I purchased my very first ECT template way back in 2002 and began creating products, I don't think there was not a field in product admin for the SKU. I don't think anyone anticipated it would become as important as it is nowadays. Therefore I don't have SKU's for my products, just the Product ID's.

Does the skuschemaidentifier="mpn" change the SKU to the product ID, or is that something else altogether? If it doesn't, is there a way to make the Product ID the SKU?

ITZAP
Ecommerce Template Expert

Australia
845 Posts

Posted - 05/22/2020 :  19:39:07  
1234, to answer your questions.
quote:
In my Google Search Console, the previously indexed pages were moved from "Valid" to "Excluded".
If you do not understand what is happening there and why, then you could browse through existing questions and answers on the Google Search Console Community Forum, or post your own question. Google has confused the world with their "Warnings".
quote:
I have purchased the ProductSchema from DLSS ... I am going to implelent the productSchema addon today so hopefully that will help.
In which case you will need to add this parameter to includes.php

$noschemamarkup=TRUE; // Remove Ecommerce Templates Schema.org microdata markup

Because you cannot have 2 sets of Structured Data on a webpage; microdata and JSON-LD. It's either one or the other. Note that you will also be disabling microdata in Ecommerce Templates for Articles.
quote:
Does the skuschemaidentifier="mpn" change the SKU to the product ID, or is that something else altogether? If it doesn't, is there a way to make the Product ID the SKU?
No and I don't know. If it is too much trouble to duplicate your Product ID's into the SKU field, then don't worry about it. We are only talking about non-critical "Warnings" and you are also installing the ProductSchema from DLSS anyway. I presume that comes with instructions.

Gary

1234
Ecommerce Template Expert

USA
835 Posts

Posted - 05/23/2020 :  05:18:46  
Thanks Gary!

Thank you to all that pitched in, this is a strange one. I'm adding all the suggestions and the addon now and will post back if I see any major changes in either direction.

1234
Ecommerce Template Expert

USA
835 Posts

Posted - 05/24/2020 :  07:43:41  
I added the ProductSchema from DLSS and the skuschemaidentifier="mpn" to my site, waited a day and tested with the Google Structured Data testing Tool.

My issues/warnings on most of the pages tested now show a steady 3 Warnings, as opposed to the 7 Warnings prior to my update, which I am happy with.

"aggregateRating" and "review" make up 2 of these warnings. From what I've read within the ECT forums is that these 2 warnings are much the same, and only really show when there are no reviews or ratings posted for that specific product (correct?).

However the 3rd issue, and the one I would like to repair is the missing "sku". The sku is missing on all of my products beceause I never started adding them . I've searched around but can't seem to find a remedy for replacing the SKU with the Product ID via Google. I've posted the question in the Google Search Help Community and am still waiting for a response.

I am wondering if there is a way to somehow populate the SKU field with the Product ID in ECT itself? Perhaps a developer project request?

insight
ECT Moderator

USA
4216 Posts

Posted - 05/24/2020 :  08:34:23  
It's simple enough to replace the pSKU with pID in the mod and that will shut Google up.

Peter


Professional ecommerce web hosting services
Shared hosting Windows & Linux | Dedicated servers | Domains | SSL
Ecommerce Templates specialists since 2003
https://servelink.com

midvalleydrifter001
Ecommerce Template Expert

USA
603 Posts

Posted - 05/24/2020 :  10:08:48  
I use this Addon and it works great. I have no errors or warnings.

I never used SKU's before, nor had a need for them, so what I did was download all the products in a CSV file and then input some random numbers in the pSKU fields, uploaded and as simple as that.... those errors went away. This literally took 1 minute to do.

Maybe it will work for you.

Patrick

insight
ECT Moderator

USA
4216 Posts

Posted - 05/24/2020 :  11:51:38  
Yes, you can do that too, but this guy has 15,000 products and it'll take him a while to enter random numbers for each. Changing two instances of pSKU to pID down near the end of the mod's code gets it done several days faster

Peter


Professional ecommerce web hosting services
Shared hosting Windows & Linux | Dedicated servers | Domains | SSL
Ecommerce Templates specialists since 2003
https://servelink.com
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