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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Hi, I am new to this forum and know next to nothing about web design but I hope to find an answer to a problem I'm having with my website. If I do a general search with some of my basic keywords my website is fairly easily found but the search engines do not find the specific items I have listed. We sell goods for vintage interiors, all authentic vintage items so we generally would only have one of each item. If for example I list a "19th century roses watercolour painting" and I do an internet search for those specific words, the search engines will never find it. I beleive it is something to do with only the top level pages being seen by the search engines but how do I change that?
    Any advice appreciated. Thank you.

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  3. #2
    WDF Staff mlseim's Avatar
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    It will be almost impossible to get any top listing for specific items within your site.
    You're going to be stuck with basic keywords. Now if you decide to "pay" for rankings
    and listings, that's a different story. What you want will cost money, and I'm guessing
    quite a bit of money.

    .


  4. #3
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    Hi, thank you for trying to help but that is not what I mean. I'm not talking about search engines rankings. What I mean is that search engines are not able to find any specific items on our website. It is something to do with the design of the website that doesn't allow the search engines to delve into the site, only the homepage/contact page etc, not the items themselves. I asked our web designer about it a long time ago but I can't remember exactly what he said. He did say it was something he could do but he hasn't done it yet so I was wondering if it was somethng I could change myself.

  5. #4
    Senior Member Webzarus's Avatar
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    There are several things you can do here, but since I have no idea what your site is, they are going to be very general.

    1. Make sure the robots.txt file is NOT BLOCKING search engines from indexing the site, if you don't have one ( a robots.txt file ), make sure to use one.

    2. Make sure the robots meta tag on the pages you want indexed are not stopping the search engines from indexing.

    3. Make sure to have a search tool on the site that allows a user to search the entire site contents ( even if you only have 20 or 30 items on the site at any given time )

    4. Make sure each item is on it's own page ( assuming this is already the case )

    5. Make sure the content on each page is formatted properly... Ie. "19th century roses watercolour painting" should be in an <h1> tag, write a small snippet ( at least 200 characters ) about each piece and included the keywords you are trying to get indexed with. if you have a list of comments Ie. Artist, when painted, genere, etc... put them in a <li> list...

    Proper formatting of content and using the proper tags will help search engines determine the importance of the page and content.

    6. A site map is good for search engines, but if you don't maintain it, it can actually what you are trying to do.

    7.If you sell something and remove the page for it, make sure to put a 301 redirect to inform them that the page is not longer available for indexing, this is a courtesy to the search engines, but I have seem some pretty good results from using them. ( see log files for how often a page is requested )


    Search engines index "CONTENT" , not images, so if you have no or minimal content on the page for each specific item, it's doubtful that the search engine is even going to bother indexing the page

    now some questions ...


    1. Are the pages in question even being visited by search engines ? "if the pages are not being crawled, there is really nothing you can do at this point to increase your visibility " -- check your site log files to see if and how often the pages in question are being indexed.

    ----- stop here as nothing else really matters until you know that answer ------

    2. How long has the site been up and visible ? "This can have an impact on search engines"
    3. Do you know what kind of other sites are being hosted on the same server that your site is on ?
    4. Server Availability ? how often and for how long does the site go offline ( for maintenance, server issues, etc ? )... search engines don't like to index sites that are constantly having issues


    Google shopping allows users to submit their products for indexing, but I will tel you upfront, it is very time intensive unless you're very good with scripting to generate the materials you need to submit the information to them.

    again, this is something that can hurt you if you don't maintain it.

  6. #5
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    Hi, thanks so much for that info. WOW! Most of that is way beyond my knowledge I'm afraid. I did download a log file for yesterday to see what I could find. Unfortunately I can not understand it and I don't really know what to look for on it. Sorry... Would you be able to tell me what I should be looking for?

    I did ask our web designer again today about it and he said something about a "mod re-write" and that it might help. I dont know what that is but he seemed to think it was the best option for now.

    again, sorry for my lack of knowledge..ops:

  7. #6
    WDF Staff AlphaMare's Avatar
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    I am guessing your site is using PHP to some extent, as mod rewrite is typically used to modify the URL of a page, and the rewrite happens at the server level.

    If the URL looks like http://yoursite.com/item.php?item=12 or something like that, then it is using PHP.

    If you could post a link to your site, it may be possible to tell what the situation is more clearly.
    Good design should never say "Look at me!"
    It should say "Look at this." ~ David Craib


    http://digitalinsite.ca ~ my current site . . info@digitalinsite.ca ~ my email

    If you feel that someone's post helped you fix your problem, answered your question, or just made you feel better, feel free to "Like" their post. The "Like" link is at the bottom right of each post, along side the "reply" link. And if you are being helped here, try to help someone else - pass it on!

  8. #7
    Senior Member Webzarus's Avatar
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    A mod rewrite for the URL can help in certain situations, but content is key.

    I've seen so many sites in the past pay SEO experts ungodly amounts of money for them to write content a small blurb about what is on the page. Then had the nerve to tell the site owners that they owned that content so if they didn't want to pay a monthly service fee, they would have to take the content off the pages.

    Unless you are blocking search engines, if you have good content, they will index it. Where those pages land in the index is a different matter. The key is to get them to index you first, then look at what you are competing against, and do it better.

  9. #8
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    Hi, the site is : http://vintagelifestyle.co.uk/index.htm
    It is using php.

  10. #9
    WDF Staff AlphaMare's Avatar
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    OK - I've gone to your site and checked it out a bit. I figured that the individual items were being called into tjhe page with PHP in some way, and wanted to see the code for one or two of the items so i could see if the content was using the <h1> and <h2> tags properly.

    I came across something odd when I tried to view the source for one of your items for sale - this error message:
    "[COLOR=rgb(0, 0, 0)]This webpage requires data that you entered earlier in order to be properly displayed. You can send this data again, but by doing so you will repeat any action this page previously performed. Press Reload to resend that data and display this page."[/COLOR]

    From this I infer that your designer is probably using javascript for your menu, a database to store your items, and a PHP form (probably with a "post" method) to display the items as the menu links are clicked on. I'm not entirely sure, but this may mean that the search engines are not able to index the items since they are called by the form.

    I do wish I could help more - hopefully someone else here can.

    (By the way - I really like the stuff you have for sale - if I lived in the UK I'd be one of your best customers!)
    Good design should never say "Look at me!"
    It should say "Look at this." ~ David Craib


    http://digitalinsite.ca ~ my current site . . info@digitalinsite.ca ~ my email

    If you feel that someone's post helped you fix your problem, answered your question, or just made you feel better, feel free to "Like" their post. The "Like" link is at the bottom right of each post, along side the "reply" link. And if you are being helped here, try to help someone else - pass it on!

  11. #10
    Junior Member
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    Alpahmare, thank you and thanks for the kind comments about the stock! I expect that any advice I get here will be beyond me but I sure do appreciate hearing what some of the very knowledgeable people here think about the issue and the site in general. strange about that error message you had. I have never got that. I use Mozilla though and I wonder if what you got is an internet explorer thing? I have no idea what that message is about. It would be a bit off-putting if I were customer though...


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