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osCommerce is one of the most popular and fastest growing ecommerce packages available today. There are many, many clones of it but none can match the simplicity and ease of use of the original. To learn more about using the wonderful osCommerce package as an eCommerce Solution, just click here!
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Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization

One of the most important things that can be done for a site is to optimize it for the search engines. This is commonly called Search Engine Optimization (or SEO). This is actually a number of steps that, when followed properly, can take your site right to the top of the search engine listings.

First, here are our suggestions for your site as far as the contributions you will need to have installed to accomplish proper Search Engine Optimization

  • Header Tags SEO - this is the most important of all of the SEO type contributions since it sets up the title to each page and that is one of the most important parts when optimizing a page for the search engines. It also adds the code for meta tags, which do not exist in a stock osCommerce shop.
  • Ultimate SEO - this one will replace the numbers used in the url with a name for your categories and products and make the page appear as html. For example, if you visit one of your products now, assuming the code has not been changed, it appears as something like After installing this contribution, it would appear as It has been shown that having a name in the url, as opposed to random characters, will cause the page to list better with the search engines.
  • Google SiteMap - This is a behind-the-scenes sitemap intended only for the search engines. It provides a map of your whole site. When the search engines visit your site and sees this file, they read it. This provides a much quicker method for them to update your pages, allowing them to be indexed faster. By ordering the optional Cron install, the updates can be scheduled to happen on a regular basis so your listings are always accurate. This has an additional advantage with google since they generate reports based on their tracking that can prove very useful to the shop owner.
  • SiteMap SEO - This is a site map contribution that provides quick access for the search engines but also for your customers, since it is viewable on your site. What's unique about this package though is that it adds new pages as they are added to your site, automatically, so your site map is always up-to-date.
  • All Products SEO - Similar to the SiteMap SEO contribution but it adds pages for your products. This is very convenient for your visitors but, more importantly, allows the search engines a quick path to all of your products for quicker indexing.
  • Spiders and Robots Update - The search engines use these two files to determine how to navigate your site. If they are not kept up-to-date, you may not get the full benefit of the search engines and may even get some invalid links in the search engine listings since the code uses the Spiders file to identify the search engines as they visit your shop.
  • Links Manager II - There is a search engine term called Page Rank (PR). It is a measure of how many sites link to you. You can only have a PR ranking if you have links to your site. Some links can be generated from your shop itself. But most have to come from what are called link exchanges. This is where you contact someone and ask if they will post a link to your site on their site in exchange for you doing the same. Generally speaking, about 50-100 such links are needed before a PR reaches 2-3 (out of a maximum of 10). Closer to 400 links are needed before it gets above a PR of 4. These numbers are not exact and will vary with the quality of the links. That is a measure made by the search engines in which they judge how relevant the link is to your site. With this many links, handling them can be a nightmare. That's where this contribution becomes invaluable. It allows you to easily manage them from your admin side and gives a way for others to add links automatically.
  • Googlebase Data Feeder - Formally called Froogle, googlebase is an online service that displays products by images. It is a very good way to drive traffic to your site, thus increasing your index position. This code change will add the code necessary to create a data feed and, if the Cron option is ordered, to upload it automatically. This is important since google requires that the data feed be updated at least once a month. A googlebase account is required for this to work but they are free and easy to set up.
  • Besides the above, there are also many, legitimate, tricks that can be done to a page that are not in any contribution when it comes to Search Engine Optimization. These include things like moving css and javascript to external files, changing the code to allow links to your home page without the index.php appended (the search engines may see this as a different link which can diminish your PR), using the alt tags to increase your keyword usage and adding links to the footer (these count as links to your site). Our Search Engine Optimization services are explained in more detail on this page

This article is always being updated. Please check back from time to time for additional information regarding Search Engine Optimization.

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One of the best ways to improve your sites Page Rank is by having nonreciprocal links from another site. By going to the following site, you can create such a link - and it is all FREE! Link My Site
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