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osCommerce Community Support Forums > osCommerce Online Merchant v2.x > Tips and Tricks
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toyicebear
One of the cornerstones of seo'ing a osc shop is to add individual tittles and meta tags for the different pages.

There are mainly two different ways this is being done, by manual incertion or automatic creation.

The manual versions are headed of by Header Tags Controller while the automatic ones are headed of by C-Dynamic Meta Tags.


1. Header Tags Controller

This contribution lets you incert individual meta tags for all your products and categories in the add product/categories part of your admin, it also contains a separate section which lets you incert meta tags for other singular pages on your site.

The system also comes with a basic fill tags system, where you can automatically fill all the products and categories with meta tags.

Install
The install is medium advanced and slightly time consuming , but most should still be able to install it by just following the included instructions.

Pros:
- It lets you incert meta tags manually for your products and categories.
- The contribs mods of your shops files also include other seo optimizing details for your shop side files.
- It lets you define meta tags for all the static pages on your site too.

Cons
- The install is to complicated and time consuming for some.
- If you have a shop with a large number of products and/or uses import of products feeds to fill your shop there is alot of work in adding the meta info manually for all the products.
- The autofill function is way to basic and ads only the product name as tittle tag, meta description and meta key words.

Conclusion

This is a very good seo tool for shops with a small amount of products or larger shops where products have not been entered yet.

Link to contrib....


2. C-Dynamic Meta Tags

This contribution incerts meta tags automatically for your shops products and categories (and new products, specials ++), in addition it lets you add meta tags for your index page and general tags manually.

The meta tags can also be cached for shortest possible execution time, lower server load and faster page load time.

Install

Install is very easy and straight forward.

Pros:
- Very easy install
- Easy on server resources due to caching
- Creates all your meta tags automatically for any amount of categories/products.

Cons
- You can not enter your product/category meta tags manually
- The category part of the automatic meta tags function is very basic.

Conclusion

This is a very good seo tool for those who have a pre-populated shop with many categories and products or for those who fill up their products using feed import as well as it is a very easy server load which is more and more important teh larger your product/category numbers get.

Also its a good tool for those who whant to have meta tags and tittles but who do not want to manually incert them.

Last but not least if the header tags install is to much for you, then the easy install of this one will probably appeal to you.

Link to contrib....


In the next post i will have a closer look at some of the other meta tags contributions too.
toyicebear
A small note in regards to cdynamic meta tags....

There are 2 optional versions , one without any db import and one which requires import of db values.

This is the last version without db import, cDynamic Meta Tags v1.4 , 11 May 2005 . (This one is also completely multi-lingual)
toyicebear
3. Meta Tag Controller Support

Automatic meta tags generator , has provisions for most of the standard osc pages as well as generates automatic met tags for products and categories. (Made to complement the Search Engine Friendly Urls contrib, but can be used with standrd urls and/or other seo url contribs)

Install

Very easy , just one file upload and changing of one line in the files where you want meta tags.

Pros:
- Very easy install , anyone should be able to make it work.
- It works straight out of the box together with the Search Engine Friendly Urls contrib.

Cons:
- No manual adjustments
- Slightly basic metas

Conclusion:

A very good alternative for those who just want to have the shops metas up and running fast and easy.
(Also the only meta tags contributions which work without modifications together with the Search Engine Friendly Urls contrib)


Link to contrib....
Vger
Meta Tags, whilst not being totally redundant (yet) as far as Search Engine placement is concerned, are not the 'must have' tool they once were. Of much more importance for Webmasters would be installing Ultimate SEO URL's, though this only works on Apache servers with Mod Rewrite available.

Vger
toyicebear
QUOTE (Vger @ Mar 20 2006, 12:30 PM) *
Meta Tags, whilst not being totally redundant (yet) as far as Search Engine placement is concerned, are not the 'must have' tool they once were. Of much more importance for Webmasters would be installing Ultimate SEO URL's, though this only works on Apache servers with Mod Rewrite available.

Vger



Meta Tags are still a factor in the placment of your pages, though its true that its not as esential as it used to be. (Though the relevance of choosen keywords in relation to the pages actual content still does mather)

The actual point which still is very esential is individual tittles for your pages, all the mentioned meta tags contribs above will give you just that too.

If you are interested in SEO URL's have a look at the contribs/formats available by clicking on the link named SEO/SEF urls in my signature under.....


Today the search engines aim to be more "smart" and to be able to filter the search more and more on content only , and also they try to filter out content based on more organic human criterias in such a way as also trying to recognice content which is human made content and not just machine made seo optimized content.......

The point being, the most important part of the seo mix is to write correct high quality content for your pages and product descriptions.
Jack_mcs
QUOTE (toyicebear @ Mar 20 2006, 12:41 AM) *
1. Header Tags Controller

//snipped

Cons
- If you have a shop with a large number of products and/or uses import of products feeds to fill your shop there is alot of work in adding the meta info manually for all the products.
- The autofill function is way to basic and ads only the product name as tittle tag, meta description and meta key words.

These are not correct.
- To fill the tags, you simply need to click on a few buttons in Fill Tags.
- That is exactly as it should be. The misconception is that since you can put a long list of words in your meta keywords tags, for example, that you should do so. That is the complete opposite from the truth. The best optimization for your products, in most cases, is to have one keyword and that keyword should be the name of the product.
QUOTE
Conclusion

This is a very good seo tool for shops with a small amount of products or larger shops where products have not been entered yet.
Again, not true. How many products there are or whether the products have previously been added have no effect at all on how well it operates.

Jack
toyicebear
QUOTE (Jack_mcs @ Mar 20 2006, 02:32 PM) *
These are not correct.
- To fill the tags, you simply need to click on a few buttons in Fill Tags.
- That is exactly as it should be. The misconception is that since you can put a long list of words in your meta keywords tags, for example, that you should do so. That is the complete opposite from the truth. The best optimization for your products, in most cases, is to have one keyword and that keyword should be the name of the product. Again, not true. How many products there are or whether the products have previously been added have no effect at all on how well it operates.

Jack


The fill tags function for the Header Tags contribution is not ideal...

1. It works well for the tittle tag...

2. It is not sufficent for the meta description.

The meta description should be a short condensed version directly reflecting the page content description

3. It is not sufficient for the Meta Keywords.

The meta keywords should be a short list of the relevant words/search strings . The choosen keywords/strings should also be in the visible part of in the page description.
Jack_mcs
QUOTE (toyicebear @ Mar 20 2006, 09:45 AM) *
The fill tags function for the Header Tags contribution is not ideal...

1. It works well for the tittle tag...

2. It is not sufficent for the meta description.

The meta description should be a short condensed version directly reflecting the page content description

3. It is not sufficient for the Meta Keywords.

The meta keywords should be a short list of the relevant words/search strings . The choosen keywords/strings should also be in the visible part of in the page description.

2 - The product name is a short condensed version directly reflecting the page content description.
3 - The products name is a short list and it is in the product description.

You're falling in to the trap that says "Because you can do it, it must be the correct way and I must do it that way." This is not how to optimize a page for best results. When the SE's visit a page and see the title, meta tags and page content all referring to the same thing, they realize immediately what that page is about. When you are start watering-down that mixture with other keywords or longer descriptions, you hurt that the ranking for that page, generally speaking, of course.

Jack
toyicebear
QUOTE (Jack_mcs @ Mar 20 2006, 02:56 PM) *
2 - The product name is a short condensed version directly reflecting the page content description.
3 - The products name is a short list and it is in the product description.

You're falling in to the trap that says "Because you can do it, it must be the correct way and I must do it that way." This is not how to optimize a page for best results. When the SE's visit a page and see the title, meta tags and page content all referring to the same thing, they realize immediately what that page is about. When you are start watering-down that mixture with other keywords or longer descriptions, you hurt that the ranking for that page, generally speaking, of course.

Jack



If you only aim for one keyword/string that might actually work out...... BUT anyone who have tried Adwords or Overture (Now Yahoo search) can tell you that you can not only count on that someone looking for your product will search for the exact tittle of the product. Usually they offer you a suggestion of quite a few related and relevant keywords/strings to add bids on, and after trying it out most can atest to the effectivnes of alternative keywords/strings.

By having a description tag and a slightly wider but ofcourse relvant key words selection your chances of catching some of the alternative search keywords/strings used is much higher.

ofcourse adding a keyword in the meta tags which is not present in your pages text will not help you and might actually hurt your ranking, so keep the keywords/strings to what is already present in your pages text.
Jellybelly
I wanted to say thank you for posting this thread. I have read it and I have to say it is very helpful. My site had no metatags and was nearly impossible to find in the search egine. I utilized the information you provided and it is working beautifully. Thank you so much.
Jack_mcs
QUOTE (toyicebear @ Mar 20 2006, 10:05 AM) *
If you only aim for one keyword/string that might actually work out...... BUT anyone who have tried Adwords or Overture (Now Yahoo search) can tell you that you can not only count on that someone looking for your product will search for the exact tittle of the product. Usually they offer you a suggestion of quite a few related and relevant keywords/strings to add bids on, and after trying it out most can atest to the effectivnes of alternative keywords/strings.

By having a description tag and a slightly wider but ofcourse relvant key words selection your chances of catching some of the alternative search keywords/strings used is much higher.

ofcourse adding a keyword in the meta tags which is not present in your pages text will not help you and might actually hurt your ranking, so keep the keywords/strings to what is already present in your pages text.
Yes, if you are targeting other keywords on the page, then you would need to add them. I guess it depends upon what you are aiming for. When I optimize a page, it is optimized so that that page gets the highest position possible. When you add another keyword, unless a lot of text is added to the page, which usually not the case with products, you lower the position you get for the first keyword. So, while you may reach another set of people, depending upon what they typed in, you will be reaching a smaller set of people for both keywords. I'm not saying it is perfect, or even the best method, but I know how well it works when left alone. If you monitor your logs and find that a lot of people are coming to your site looking for "Red Shoes" instead of the "Shoes" product you have listed (an example, of course), then you should either add a new product named "Red Shoes" or change the name from "Shoes" to "Red Shoes."

Jack
toyicebear
QUOTE (Jack_mcs @ Mar 20 2006, 06:08 PM) *
Yes, if you are targeting other keywords on the page, then you would need to add them. I guess it depends upon what you are aiming for. When I optimize a page, it is optimized so that that page gets the highest position possible. When you add another keyword, unless a lot of text is added to the page, which usually not the case with products, you lower the position you get for the first keyword. So, while you may reach another set of people, depending upon what they typed in, you will be reaching a smaller set of people for both keywords. I'm not saying it is perfect, or even the best method, but I know how well it works when left alone. If you monitor your logs and find that a lot of people are coming to your site looking for "Red Shoes" instead of the "Shoes" product you have listed (an example, of course), then you should either add a new product named "Red Shoes" or change the name from "Shoes" to "Red Shoes."

Jack


If you only want the product name to fill the metas like with the header tags auto fill function, you can actually achive that without installing any meta contrib.

It requires a very small modification of the file product_info.php

Here is how you do it....

1.

Locate this:

QUOTE
<title><?php echo TITLE; ?></title>


and replace it with this:

QUOTE
<title><?php echo $product_info['products_name']; ?></title>
<meta name="description" content="<?php echo $product_info['products_name']; ?>">
<meta name="keywords" content="<?php echo $product_info['products_name']; ?>">


2.

locate this code: (about line 72 )
QUOTE
$product_info_query = tep_db_query("select p.products_id, pd.products_name, pd.products_description, p.products_model, p.products_quantity, p.products_image, pd.products_url, p.products_price, p.products_tax_class_id, p.products_date_added, p.products_date_available, p.manufacturers_id from " . TABLE_PRODUCTS . " p, " . TABLE_PRODUCTS_DESCRIPTION . " pd where p.products_status = '1' and p.products_id = '" . (int)$HTTP_GET_VARS['products_id'] . "' and pd.products_id = p.products_id and pd.language_id = '" . (int)$languages_id . "'");
$product_info = tep_db_fetch_array($product_info_query);


now mark this code section in the file and right click and choose "cut"

then locate this pice of code at the top of the file:

QUOTE
$product_check_query = tep_db_query("select count(*) as total from " . TABLE_PRODUCTS . " p, " . TABLE_PRODUCTS_DESCRIPTION . " pd where p.products_status = '1' and p.products_id = '" . (int)$HTTP_GET_VARS['products_id'] . "' and pd.products_id = p.products_id and pd.language_id = '" . (int)$languages_id . "'");
$product_check = tep_db_fetch_array($product_check_query);


Right under this you then just past inn the section you marked previously.


after you have done so it will look like this:

QUOTE
$product_check_query = tep_db_query("select count(*) as total from " . TABLE_PRODUCTS . " p, " . TABLE_PRODUCTS_DESCRIPTION . " pd where p.products_status = '1' and p.products_id = '" . (int)$HTTP_GET_VARS['products_id'] . "' and pd.products_id = p.products_id and pd.language_id = '" . (int)$languages_id . "'");
$product_check = tep_db_fetch_array($product_check_query);
$product_info_query = tep_db_query("select p.products_id, pd.products_name, pd.products_description, p.products_model, p.products_quantity, p.products_image, pd.products_url, p.products_price, p.products_tax_class_id, p.products_date_added, p.products_date_available, p.manufacturers_id from " . TABLE_PRODUCTS . " p, " . TABLE_PRODUCTS_DESCRIPTION . " pd where p.products_status = '1' and p.products_id = '" . (int)$HTTP_GET_VARS['products_id'] . "' and pd.products_id = p.products_id and pd.language_id = '" . (int)$languages_id . "'");
$product_info = tep_db_fetch_array($product_info_query);



Thats it.....now all your products will have the products name as tittle, meta description and meta keyword. (Just like if you had been using header tags and the auto fill function)
warrenerjm
QUOTE (toyicebear @ Mar 21 2006, 08:13 AM) *
If you only want the product name to fill the metas like with the header tags auto fill function, you can actually achive that without installing any meta contrib.

It requires a very small modification of the file product_info.php

Here is how you do it....


Hi Jack & Nick

This makes very interesting reading. You are both very knowledgable about this subject. I have looked at quite a few of the contributions for header/meta tags. They all look very complicated & I was wondering if Nicks last post on the product_info.php would be as good. I pressume I would need to put meta tags for description & keywords etc on the non products page between<head> & </head>. I feel dissy trying to understand which one I should do, which is both good enough to help my ratings & be easy enough for me to install. I haven't touched the .sql database yet, so those contributions confuse me the most.

Thanks for a great thread & I will continue to follow until I am brave enough to try one.

Julie
toyicebear
QUOTE (warrenerjm @ Mar 21 2006, 09:38 AM) *
Hi Jack & Nick

This makes very interesting reading. You are both very knowledgable about this subject. I have looked at quite a few of the contributions for header/meta tags. They all look very complicated & I was wondering if Nicks last post on the product_info.php would be as good. I pressume I would need to put meta tags for description & keywords etc on the non products page between<head> & </head>. I feel dissy trying to understand which one I should do, which is both good enough to help my ratings & be easy enough for me to install. I haven't touched the .sql database yet, so those contributions confuse me the most.

Thanks for a great thread & I will continue to follow until I am brave enough to try one.

Julie


To follow up some more, folowing the same logic as descriped above about the simplest form of meta tags for other pages too....

This is for the non-dynamic pages like contact_us , privacy , conditions etc.

find this code:

QUOTE
<title><?php echo TITLE; ?></title>


and replace it with this code:

QUOTE
<title><?php echo HEADING_TITLE; ?></title>
<meta name="description" content="<?php echo HEADING_TITLE; ?>">
<meta name="keywords" content="<?php echo HEADING_TITLE; ?>">



Now the tags will be filled with the pages heading tittle......
toyicebear
To complete this little meta hack..here is how to do it in the index.php file....

find this code at the top of the index.php file:

QUOTE
require('includes/application_top.php');

// the following cPath references come from application_top.php
$category_depth = 'top';
if (isset($cPath) && tep_not_null($cPath)) {
$categories_products_query = tep_db_query("select count(*) as total from " . TABLE_PRODUCTS_TO_CATEGORIES . " where categories_id = '" . (int)$current_category_id . "'");
$cateqories_products = tep_db_fetch_array($categories_products_query);
if ($cateqories_products['total'] > 0) {
$category_depth = 'products'; // display products
} else {
$category_parent_query = tep_db_query("select count(*) as total from " . TABLE_CATEGORIES . " where parent_id = '" . (int)$current_category_id . "'");
$category_parent = tep_db_fetch_array($category_parent_query);
if ($category_parent['total'] > 0) {
$category_depth = 'nested'; // navigate through the categories
} else {
$category_depth = 'products'; // category has no products, but display the 'no products' message
}
}
}


Directly under it past in this:


QUOTE
if (isset($_GET['cPath'])) {
$category_name_query = tep_db_query("select cd.categories_name from " . TABLE_CATEGORIES . " c, " . TABLE_CATEGORIES_DESCRIPTION . " cd where c.categories_id = '" . (int)$current_category_id . "' and cd.categories_id = '" . (int)$current_category_id . "' and cd.language_id = '" . (int)$languages_id . "'");
$category_name = tep_db_fetch_array($category_name_query);
}
if (isset($HTTP_GET_VARS['manufacturers_id'])) {
$manufacturers_name_query = tep_db_query("select m.manufacturers_name from " . TABLE_MANUFACTURERS . " m where m.manufacturers_id = '" . (int)$HTTP_GET_VARS['manufacturers_id'] . "'");
$manufacturers_name = tep_db_fetch_array($manufacturers_name_query);
}



Then find this:

QUOTE
<title><?php echo TITLE; ?></title>


and replace it with this:
QUOTE
<?php if (isset($HTTP_GET_VARS['manufacturers_id'])) { ?>
<title><?php echo $manufacturers_name['manufacturers_name']; ?></title>
<meta name="description" content="<?php echo $manufacturers_name['manufacturers_name']; ?>">
<meta name="keywords" content="<?php echo $manufacturers_name['manufacturers_name']; ?>">
<?php
}
if ((basename($PHP_SELF) == FILENAME_DEFAULT) and (!isset($_GET['cPath']))) {
?>
<title><?php echo INDEX_META_TITLE; ?></title>
<meta name="description" content="<?php echo INDEX_META_DESCRIPTION; ?>">
<meta name="keywords" content="<?php echo INDEX_META_KEYWORDS; ?>">
<?php
}
if (isset($_GET['cPath'])) {
?>
<title><?php echo $category_name['categories_name']; ?></title>
<meta name="description" content="<?php echo $category_name['categories_name']; ?>">
<meta name="keywords" content="<?php echo $category_name['categories_name']; ?>">

<?php
}
?>



Now for the last part , in includes/languages/english.php (and/or any other languages you use)

find this
QUOTE
// page title
define('TITLE', STORE_NAME);


and right under add this:
QUOTE
// index metas
define('INDEX_META_TITLE', 'Add your shops meta tittle here');
define('INDEX_META_DESCRIPTION', 'Add your shops meta description here');
define('INDEX_META_KEYWORDS', 'Add your shops meta keywords seprated by comma here');
toyicebear
Add the above mentioned mod as a contribution with pre-modded files included, it can be downloaded here - Basic Meta Tags
warrenerjm
QUOTE (toyicebear @ Mar 21 2006, 11:19 AM) *
Add the above mentioned mod as a contribution with pre-modded files included, it can be downloaded here - Basic Meta Tags

That's great Nick

As I have already modified my site, I just do the amendments in the instructions. I am going to get a cuppa & read these through thoroughly now.

Like you said, something is better than nothing for the time being.

Thanks
Julie thumbsup.gif
Jack_mcs
QUOTE (toyicebear @ Mar 21 2006, 03:13 AM) *
If you only want the product name to fill the metas like with the header tags auto fill function, you can actually achive that without installing any meta contrib.

It requires a very small modification of the file product_info.php

Here is how you do it....

1.

Locate this:
and replace it with this:
2.

locate this code: (about line 72 )
now mark this code section in the file and right click and choose "cut"

then locate this pice of code at the top of the file:
Right under this you then just past inn the section you marked previously.
after you have done so it will look like this:
Thats it.....now all your products will have the products name as tittle, meta description and meta keyword. (Just like if you had been using header tags and the auto fill function)
Yes, I've seen that change as well as a few others. The misconception is that doing so will optimize the page properly. Header Tags does more than just change the title and meta tags. Your code supports the point I have been making: You can do it right to get the best optimization or you can do it with the other changes, as you mention, and get some optimization. I guess it is a matter of preference.

Jack
Jack_mcs
QUOTE (warrenerjm @ Mar 21 2006, 04:38 AM) *
Hi Jack & Nick

This makes very interesting reading. You are both very knowledgable about this subject. I have looked at quite a few of the contributions for header/meta tags. They all look very complicated & I was wondering if Nicks last post on the product_info.php would be as good. I pressume I would need to put meta tags for description & keywords etc on the non products page between<head> & </head>. I feel dissy trying to understand which one I should do, which is both good enough to help my ratings & be easy enough for me to install. I haven't touched the .sql database yet, so those contributions confuse me the most.

Thanks for a great thread & I will continue to follow until I am brave enough to try one.

Julie
I advise against such "fixes." Yes, Header Tags can be difficult to install and even cDynamic Meta tags is compared to the above change, but you get what you pay for. There are many other changes required to properly optimize a page. Header Tags uses many of those techniques. Will they make a difference in the end? I think so but it depends somewhat on your keywords and product line. But, my point through all of this, is if you are serious about getting a good index position with the SE's, then you should optimize the pages the best that you can. If we had identical sites and you made the above change to yours and I made the above change to mine but with a few more tweaks to the pages, my site would rank better. That should be the goal when optimizing.

Jack
Jack_mcs
I waited to long to edit the above but I had one more thought. For those considering making the above code change, you should instead install Header Tags, but only do the first part (Install_Catalog.txt in the instructions) and then manually run the fill tags script included in the archive. It is a quicker install than the above change and allows you to still take advantage of some of the tweaks of Header Tags. The difficult in the Header Tags install is with the admin section but that is not required for proper operation. It just makes it easier.

Jack
toyicebear
QUOTE (Jack_mcs @ Mar 21 2006, 01:15 PM) *
Yes, I've seen that change as well as a few others. The misconception is that doing so will optimize the page properly. Header Tags does more than just change the title and meta tags. Your code supports the point I have been making: You can do it right to get the best optimization or you can do it with the other changes, as you mention, and get some optimization. I guess it is a matter of preference.

Jack



Well compared to the header tags automatic fill tags function it does exacetly the same.....the other "optimizations" are basically h1 tags.... which i can easily add to the above too....

My point in this excercise was to point out that if you only use the fill tags function of the header tags is redundant to install such an contribution. (And as mentioned shops with already large inventory added will probably just use the automatic fill tags version anyway)

For shops with large imported and/or pre-populated products in the db , the cdynamic metas would be my prefered choice among the metioned meta contribs.......

And one last point , manually adding metas should only be done by people who knowes the principles of of meta tags optimization, since wrongly added metas can actually hurt your sites ranking.
warrenerjm
QUOTE (Jack_mcs @ Mar 21 2006, 01:22 PM) *
I advise against such "fixes." Yes, Header Tags can be difficult to install and even cDynamic Meta tags is compared to the above change, but you get what you pay for. There are many other changes required to properly optimize a page. Header Tags uses many of those techniques. Will they make a difference in the end? I think so but it depends somewhat on your keywords and product line. But, my point through all of this, is if you are serious about getting a good index position with the SE's, then you should optimize the pages the best that you can. If we had identical sites and you made the above change to yours and I made the above change to mine but with a few more tweaks to the pages, my site would rank better. That should be the goal when optimizing.

Jack

Hi Jack

I know you contributed to the Header tag contribution, & I am sure this is the one I should choose. Any chance of explaining the whole process for us novices, in an easy to follow way? biggrin.gif

I have only done contributions that involved the files & not database, sql,etc so the 16+ pages of instructions I have already downloaded are scaring me! I have gone into my hosts control panel & looked at the databases but it might aswell be in greek.

Thanks
Julie

This contribution should be done first, but I didn't know that then
Jack_mcs
QUOTE (toyicebear @ Mar 21 2006, 08:37 AM) *
Well compared to the header tags automatic fill tags function it does exacetly the same.....the other "optimizations" are basically h1 tags.... which i can easily add to the above too....
Yes, you can reinvent the wheel if you want. I'm not sure why you would want to do that though.

QUOTE
My point in this excercise was to point out that if you only use the fill tags function of the header tags is redundant to install such an contribution. (And as mentioned shops with already large inventory added will probably just use the automatic fill tags version anyway)
Fill tags can be handled in a different way but to what purpose? One of the ideas of all of these contributions is to make life easier for us. Fill tags is one of the tools that does that. By adding seaprate code to do it, you take away some of that functionality. That is the way it worked three years ago. Why go backward?

QUOTE
For shops with large imported and/or pre-populated products in the db , the cdynamic metas would be my prefered choice among the metioned meta contribs.......
I still fail to see what the size of the database has to do with anything.
QUOTE
And one last point , manually adding metas should only be done by people who knowes the principles of of meta tags optimization, since wrongly added metas can actually hurt your sites ranking.
That's true. That's why Header Tags adds them for you but has the option to allow you to override the basic settings.

Jack
Jack_mcs
QUOTE (warrenerjm @ Mar 21 2006, 08:38 AM) *
Hi Jack

I know you contributed to the Header tag contribution, & I am sure this is the one I should choose. Any chance of explaining the whole process for us novices, in an easy to follow way? biggrin.gif

I have only done contributions that involved the files & not database, sql,etc so the 16+ pages of instructions I have already downloaded are scaring me! I have gone into my hosts control panel & looked at the databases but it might aswell be in greek.

Thanks
Julie

This contribution should be done first, but I didn't know that then
To be clear, I only made changes to an already existing contribution. Header Tags wasn't my idea.

For the database, you should see
this thread. But Header Tags comes with a file that bypasses all of that. Just upload the database_setup.php file to your root directory, then go to http://www.yoursite.com/database_setup.php and the database will be updated. Very easy.

After that, perform the Install_Catalog.txt instructions. There are only a few changes in it. When it says to add the title code to all of the pages, just add it to the index.php and product_info.php files. You can do others later if you want. Once that is done, you should see the title on your home page change to Home Page. If it does, you have successfully completed the installation so far. If you want to stop, you can then run the manual fill tags script and all of your categories/products will be set up. You home page text can be edited in english/header_tags.php.

But you should install the admin section since it makes changing things so much easier. This is where people get into trouble. Not because it is difficult, I think, but just because it is long. As long as you take your time, you will be OK.

Jack
warrenerjm
QUOTE (Jack_mcs @ Mar 21 2006, 02:16 PM) *
This is where people get into trouble. Not because it is difficult, I think, but just because it is long. As long as you take your time, you will be OK.

Jack

Easy for you to say!
blink.gif
I'm looking at your "Dynamic sitemap V 1.5 too! If I get stuck, do you mind if I PM you? biggrin.gif

Thanks
Julie
toyicebear
QUOTE
Yes, you can reinvent the wheel if you want. I'm not sure why you would want to do that though.


No..its not about reinventing the wheel..its about making it easy for newbees..... There are countless posts from people who have tried to install, the header tags but not suceeded.....

QUOTE
Fill tags can be handled in a different way but to what purpose? One of the ideas of all of these contributions is to make life easier for us. Fill tags is one of the tools that does that. By adding seaprate code to do it, you take away some of that functionality. That is the way it worked three years ago. Why go backward?


Easy and fast install , no need to rember to go and fill in tags upon importing new products/categories....

QUOTE
I still fail to see what the size of the database has to do with anything.


If the size is big , well most if not will use the fill tags functions..and then what is the point of installing an elaborate system which you do not actually use?

What does surprise me is that you have not mentioned on of the key strenghts of the Header Tags contrib, the abilety to add category description which is visible on the category/sub category pages......

And also it might be worth mentioning that Header Tags seems to have forgotten about manefacturer metas.....

Last but not leased the metas is getting more and more redundant , while content is getting more and more important....the point being its more important to foccus on your pages actual content than spending time agonizing over metas.

Its very important to remeber that installing a meta tags contrib and/or seo url contrib is not going to make your site traffic soar by itself....they are only part of a larger startegy to gain search engine ranking and traffic.
toyicebear
The most flexibel meta tags contribution for oscommerce is the Header Tags Controller contribution , but it is not for all.

- It requires some level of competence to install.
- It also requires competence in regards to meta tags optimization to make use of it fully.
- If you have a large inventory it will take you/your employes quite a lot of time to optimize all the products and categories fully.

But if you have/have access to all of the above it is a very good tool.

The best compromize meta tags contribution for oscommerce is the cdynamic meta tags.

It generates all the meta tags automatically, can be set to cache the result for less use of server resources, its also a very easy one to install.

If you want to have good and functional metas but do not want to spend time optimizing every single product and/or category this might be the one for you. (Also if you want good meta tags and do not know much about meta tags optimization , this one will create them automatically for you)


I did also whip up a small easy drop over met tags contribution, Basic Meta Tags

This one is mainly for those who have an unmodified oscommerce and do not want to do file edits themselves..... With Basic Meta Tags , you just upload and overwrite the existing files and you are finished.

This is the latest version:

Basic Meta Tags 1.1

This version differs from version 1.0 by extending the meta tags aswell as adding visible on page elements.

NEW:

- The product info page will also show the products manefacturer.
- The product meta keywords now include: product name, product model, manefacturer/brand
- The product meta description is now an extract of the products visible description.
- The category or manefacturer name will show instead of "What's new here" in the category/sub-category and manefacturer pages.
Jack_mcs
QUOTE (toyicebear @ Mar 21 2006, 09:23 AM) *
No..its not about reinventing the wheel..its about making it easy for newbees..... There are countless posts from people who have tried to install, the header tags but not suceeded.....
I agree, but there is nothing to be done about this that I can see. There's always a cost to pay for extra features.
QUOTE
Easy and fast install , no need to rember to go and fill in tags upon importing new products/categories....
If the size is big , well most if not will use the fill tags functions..and then what is the point of installing an elaborate system which you do not actually use?
The next version, due out in a week or two, will automatically fill in the tags as the category or product is added.
QUOTE
What does surprise me is that you have not mentioned on of the key strenghts of the Header Tags contrib, the abilety to add category description which is visible on the category/sub category pages......
My intention wasn't to post a "mine is better than yours" reply. I was simply replying to a few points. cDynamic Meta Tags has its strengths and should be looked at when setting up a shop.
QUOTE
And also it might be worth mentioning that Header Tags seems to have forgotten about manefacturer metas.....
Already in the next version.
QUOTE
Last but not leased the metas is getting more and more redundant , while content is getting more and more important....the point being its more important to foccus on your pages actual content than spending time agonizing over metas.

Its very important to remeber that installing a meta tags contrib and/or seo url contrib is not going to make your site traffic soar by itself....they are only part of a larger startegy to gain search engine ranking and traffic.
I couldn't agree more and anyone reading my posts on the subject of SEO will find I mention that almost everytime. Header Tags, or cDynamic Tags, will make a big improvment as far as getting your products listed well. But that is only the first step.

Jack
FWR Media
I did this for myself, if it helps

Adds dynamic page titles and meta info to osCommerce based on the existing breadcrumb so no extra queries.

Replace <title></title> with ..

CODE
<?php include(DIR_WS_INCLUDES . 'meta_info.php'); ?>



create a file called meta_info.php and place in catalog>includes.

File contains the following: -

CODE
<?php
/*
  $Id: meta_info.php,v 1.280 2003/07/12 09:38:07 hpdl Exp $

  osCommerce, Open Source E-Commerce Solutions
  http://www.oscommerce.com

  Copyright (c) 2003 osCommerce

  Released under the GNU General Public License
*/
/**********************************************
Modifications by ...
Robert Fisher aka Thunderace
**********************************************/

// This file uses the breadcrumb class to create SEO friendly page titles
$title = '';
$meta_description = '';
$meta_keywords = '';
$count = count($breadcrumb->_trail);
for ($i=0; $i<($count); $i++)
{
  if ($breadcrumb->_trail[$i]['title'] != HEADER_TITLE_TOP && $breadcrumb->_trail[$i]['title'] != HEADER_TITLE_CATALOG)
  {
  $title .= $breadcrumb->_trail[$i]['title'] . ' | ';
  $meta_description .= $breadcrumb->_trail[$i]['title'] . ' | ';
  $meta_keywords .= $breadcrumb->_trail[$i]['title'] . ', ';
  if ($i == ($count-1))
  {
  //$shop_name is hardcoded if you wish to add your shop name to the end of <title> and meta info
  $shop_name = 'My Shop';
  $title .= $shop_name;
  $meta_description .= $shop_name;
  $meta_keywords .= $shop_name;
  }
  }
  }
  if ($title == '') {
    //below are hardcoded to show meta info when no breadcrumb exists
    $title = 'My standard shop title';
    $meta_description = 'My standard shop description';
    $meta_keywords = 'My standard shop keywords';
  }
  //Display <title> and meta info
  echo '<title>' . $title . '</title>' . "\n";
  echo '<meta name="description" content="' . $meta_description . '" />' . "\n";
  echo '<meta name="keywords" content="' . $meta_keywords . '" />' . "\n";
  ?>
toyicebear
QUOTE (thunderace @ Mar 25 2006, 09:13 PM) *
I did this for myself, if it helps

Adds dynamic page titles and meta info to osCommerce based on the existing breadcrumb so no extra queries.

Replace <title></title> with ..

CODE
<?php include(DIR_WS_INCLUDES . 'meta_info.php'); ?>

create a file called meta_info.php and place in catalog>includes.

File contains the following: -

CODE
<?php
/*
  $Id: meta_info.php,v 1.280 2003/07/12 09:38:07 hpdl Exp $

  osCommerce, Open Source E-Commerce Solutions
  http://www.oscommerce.com

  Copyright (c) 2003 osCommerce

  Released under the GNU General Public License
*/
/**********************************************
Modifications by ...
Robert Fisher aka Thunderace
**********************************************/

// This file uses the breadcrumb class to create SEO friendly page titles
$title = '';
$meta_description = '';
$meta_keywords = '';
$count = count($breadcrumb->_trail);
for ($i=0; $i<($count); $i++)
{
  if ($breadcrumb->_trail[$i]['title'] != HEADER_TITLE_TOP && $breadcrumb->_trail[$i]['title'] != HEADER_TITLE_CATALOG)
  {
  $title .= $breadcrumb->_trail[$i]['title'] . ' | ';
  $meta_description .= $breadcrumb->_trail[$i]['title'] . ' | ';
  $meta_keywords .= $breadcrumb->_trail[$i]['title'] . ', ';
  if ($i == ($count-1))
  {
  //$shop_name is hardcoded if you wish to add your shop name to the end of <title> and meta info
  $shop_name = 'My Shop';
  $title .= $shop_name;
  $meta_description .= $shop_name;
  $meta_keywords .= $shop_name;
  }
  }
  }
  if ($title == '') {
    //below are hardcoded to show meta info when no breadcrumb exists
    $title = 'My standard shop title';
    $meta_description = 'My standard shop description';
    $meta_keywords = 'My standard shop keywords';
  }
  //Display <title> and meta info
  echo '<title>' . $title . '</title>' . "\n";
  echo '<meta name="description" content="' . $meta_description . '" />' . "\n";
  echo '<meta name="keywords" content="' . $meta_keywords . '" />' . "\n";
  ?>


A greate TIP...and it works on all osc pages, bothe the dynamic and the static ones.
toyicebear
QUOTE (Jack_mcs @ Mar 22 2006, 02:47 PM) *
I agree, but there is nothing to be done about this that I can see. There's always a cost to pay for extra features.The next version, due out in a week or two, will automatically fill in the tags as the category or product is added.My intention wasn't to post a "mine is better than yours" reply. I was simply replying to a few points. cDynamic Meta Tags has its strengths and should be looked at when setting up a shop.Already in the next version. I couldn't agree more and anyone reading my posts on the subject of SEO will find I mention that almost everytime. Header Tags, or cDynamic Tags, will make a big improvment as far as getting your products listed well. But that is only the first step.

Jack


Give me a nudge when the next version is out and i will give it a test run... cool.gif
saman
Hi,

I have made a big mistake...

i first began with installing it true the database_setup, and i made a mistake (Install_Catalog) by uploading the header.sql in phpmyadmin in importing file in database. now i am getting this error on this page:

http://coolpersia.com/coolshop/catalog/database_setup.php

Looks like Header Tags is already installed. Aborting...

how can i remove it and start all over again? i want to install it with database_setup.php

i really hope someone can help me out,

thanks in advance,

saman
FWR Media
Well the DB code that header tags needs is already installed in your DB.

Either use it and just upload the files or have a look at the install.sql and remove the tables it adds and start again.
saman
Thank you very much for the fast reply,

I am really not so familiar with this, i can't find anything where it says how to remove it or start again (sorry if i am being blind).

can't find install.sql either.

Would you please explain to me step by step what to do? (i am really not good at this)

I do appreciate your help, thanks

saman
FWR Media
install.sql was a generic comment, the mods that you install will often have a file called "something".sql or an sql command in the instructions which needs to be installed to your database.

Recheck the mods you have installed and apply any DB mods that they require (I'm assuming that you will check your DB first to see if they are there).
saman
I have searched evertything but i couldn't find a file which is called header.sql, but it's weird i am getting this : Looks like Header Tags is already installed. Aborting...
FWR Media
In the Header Tag Control package there is a folder called Database_Files the SQL files are in there.
saman
Thanks for the reply again.

i know that there is an folder called Database_Files the SQL .

i have done the next (don't know if i have done the right thing):

1. i went to phpmyadmin
2. after i logged in, i clicked on import (MySQL)
3. i browsed the file (header.sql) and uploaded it.

but before that i have uploaded database_setup.php to the right directory and everything went well. my mistake was that after that i also uploaded header.sql

after that when i went to http://coolpersia.com/coolshop/catalog/database_setup.php

and i saw this: Looks like Header Tags is already installed. Aborting...

and after that it all began...
i have searched but couldn't find the file to delete it and start all over.

now, is there any chance to continue like this (and follow the steps in the Install_Catalog) or should i begin over again?
Jack_mcs
Installing the database changes only needs to be done once. You are trying to do it twice. Move on to the next instruction ans you should be OK.

Jack
dumb_question
I have dynamic header tags controller installed. if I installed the manual header tags contribution http://www.oscommerce.com/community/contributions,207

would I have to disable dynamic header tags controller...in general which one is better? Ofcourse dynamic is easy to work with.

Also, does "seo metatags" mod offer any additional benefits?

Thank you
Jack_mcs
You can only use one of the contributions at a time. Some people prefer cDynamic and others Header Tags. Of those two, Header Tags is the most optimized for the search engines (last time I looked) and that really is the whole point. I haven't looked at the others in a while but the last time I did, they were just cut down versions of Header Tags. There is a reson Header Tags is so large and that it gives such strong results. It is really the only choice, in my opinion, of course.

Jack
dumb_question
QUOTE (Jack_mcs @ Oct 12 2006, 11:27 PM) *
You can only use one of the contributions at a time. Some people prefer cDynamic and others Header Tags. Of those two, Header Tags is the most optimized for the search engines (last time I looked) and that really is the whole point. I haven't looked at the others in a while but the last time I did, they were just cut down versions of Header Tags. There is a reson Header Tags is so large and that it gives such strong results. It is really the only choice, in my opinion, of course.

Jack


Jack,
Thanks for quick response.Do I need to uninstall dynamic header tags mode before I install manual header tags contribution.
tasx
I installed the header tag controller and it seems to be working fine. I manually updated the files since I had made changes, most were your basics for design posts, and a few others from contributions.

After header tag contoller install, when I try to open "catalog" within the admin section I get this error:

Parse error: syntax error, unexpected T_CASE in /data/6/0/146/133/472948/user/481882/htdocs/misfit/admin/categories.php on line 1000


line 1000 case 'edit_category':
line 1001 $heading[] = array('text' => '<b>' . TEXT_INFO_HEADING_EDIT_CATEGORY . '</b>');


Everything else seems to be working fine. I looked around and not sure what the problem is. Could not locate any info in forum on this.

By the way your Basics for design posts are wonderful, Great job, Great results, thank you!
Jack_mcs
The error means there is a mistake in the admin/categories.php file. You can compare the included one to find the error. You can look in the Header Tags support thread for how to do that.

Jack
Moonlight
I have had Header Tags installed for a few months now ... was the 3rd contrib I installed. Yes, it was a long one ... being still very novice at the time, it took me over 2 hours, but I believe I had no errors after the install.

I already had over 300 products loaded, so it was a tad daunting going back through each of those products and filling in the header page title, description, and keywords as I desired. But it was worth it.

I'm not sure if there is a correlation or not, but after doing this, the bots came to my site for indexing faster and more often.

The Header Tags should be standard to the core Osc cart ... just my opinion.
Jack_mcs
If you install Header Tags, you will have to remove cDynamic Meta Tags (and vice versa) since they both change the same code and only one can be active. As for which is better, if you read through this thread, you will see arguments for both. I personally think Header Tags provides more SEO benefits than the others but there are others who disagree. By the way, if you are looking for "easy," then try one of the other meta tags contributions. They install very easy but are just scaled down versions of Header Tags, which should tell you something in itself.

Jack
theantiquestore
I started another topic (ended up answering my own questions) about the breadcrumb trail and meta tags. here

This works very well for me and I had over 400 pages index with the new meta tags in just a couple days. My sales and hits on this site have increased tremendously!

I also used this info: here to put a 301 header in to signal the search engines to remove the old entry in the index and replace it with the new one.

I've added the Google xml sitemap feed and setup google sitemaps for my site and it is doing its job well.

I've also updated my robots.txt file to exclude the popup image pages and some other osc pages which I didnt want shown in the search index.

Seems to be working very well for my vintage media site and all it took were some code changes.

I just thought anyone searching for all of these soultions could use a place to find them all in one post. blush.gif
FWR Media
QUOTE (theantiquestore @ Nov 14 2006, 05:38 PM) *
I started another topic (ended up answering my own questions) about the breadcrumb trail and meta tags. here

This works very well for me and I had over 400 pages index with the new meta tags in just a couple days. My sales and hits on this site have increased tremendously!

I also used this info: here to put a 301 header in to signal the search engines to remove the old entry in the index and replace it with the new one.

I've added the Google xml sitemap feed and setup google sitemaps for my site and it is doing its job well.

I've also updated my robots.txt file to exclude the popup image pages and some other osc pages which I didnt want shown in the search index.

Seems to be working very well for my vintage media site and all it took were some code changes.

I just thought anyone searching for all of these soultions could use a place to find them all in one post. blush.gif


Glad someone appreciates and is using it wink.gif
theantiquestore
Sorry I didnt thank all those who put these contribs and code changes out there! I appreciate all your hard work very much! Without this, those who are newbies like me would be lost!

thumbsup.gif thunderace!
Flotec
I have tried the Basic Meta Tags contribution as I thought this should be perfect for me. Worked fine on the product_info page but when I tried the modifications on the index page everything went wrong. The problem I think is that I have already modified the index page and the header is not more the usual "Lets see what we have here".
I have tried to figure out how to modify the contribution to my site but not succeeded. I have also tried both variants of the contribution but the result was the same.
So my question is really, is there an even more simple solution to get header tags on the index pages? Something that take advantage of the already modified header maybe.
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