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It should be disabled. As to why, please read my posts i have already made, i don't want to repeat myself. You can use the module if are you able to modify it, so that it produces correct, and desired results.

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10 minutes ago, rulegacy said:

@Jack_mcs Could you possibly provide insight into this SEO stuff?

Or @Hotclutch if he/she has time - I'd like to try to make the core canonical correct if proto-code can be provided...


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1 hour ago, burt said:

he/she

Really ??

1 hour ago, burt said:

I'd like to try to make the core canonical correct if proto-code can be provided...

I think the best would be to remove this module from the core package. It's not really possible to code something that tries to take into account all possible permutations. Every shop is different, and needs to be configured accordingly. Amateur webmasters would be better served to not have this module enabled, until they learn about the canonical tag.

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This may be over simplfying things but, if you are a single language site and do not have duplicate content, and have your redirects set up properly in your .htaccess then I would say you have got most things covered. The Canonical Header Links module is producing unique URL links for each page as required.

<link rel="canonical" href="https://chilleddisplays.co.uk/product_info.php/products_id/2" />

Moz.com

What is a canonical tag?

A canonical tag (aka "rel canonical") is a way of telling search engines that a specific URL represents the master copy of a page. Using the canonical tag prevents problems caused by identical or "duplicate" content appearing on multiple URLs. Practically speaking, the canonical tag tells search engines which version of a URL you want to appear in search results.

So tick we are doing that!

Google!

If you don't explicitly tell Google which URL is canonical, Google will make the choice for you.

So tick we tell Google what our preferd link is.

Intresting that Moz, in it's inspection tool still look for keyword! I was under the impresion these were now dead?

On checking I see that osC with SEO URL5 installed produces unique URL's for each language also

<link rel="canonical" href="http://www.********/en/deltaco-adapter-ps2-till-usb-mss-tangentbord-usb-p-11713.html" />

 

So I'm sure this can be improved, but I would say it's worth keeping as is also. Just my opinion for what it's worth.


 

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^^ It's not that simple.

Using your site, of these 3 URLs

https://chilleddisplays.co.uk/product_info.php/products_id/2

https://chilleddisplays.co.uk/product_info.php/cPath/1_23/products_id/2

https://chilleddisplays.co.uk/product_info.php/manufacturers_id/1/products_id/2

What makes the 1st URL the best choice as canonical ?

There are many issues with the canonical tag module besides this.

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😂 Good catch! I don't have redirects setup on that test site. If you use any of the 3 links on the other test site which has the SEO redirects installed then they all redirect to the same link.

https://www.justfastfood.com/matrox-g400-32mb-mg400-32mb-p-2.html

I'm sure there will be more improvments that can be made hence me covering my behind with " This may be over simplfying things" 😁


 

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The 1st URL type occurs when the product is on the homepage.

The 2nd URL type occurs when the product links off a category page.

The 3rd URL type occurs when the product links off a manufacturer page.

So consider a shop that does not link to any products on the homepage. That means that URLs of type 1 do not occur anywhere in the shop. Would it therefore be wise to specify that as the canonical?

Likewise you can consider a shop that may not have categories. Also one that may not have manufacturers.

 

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3 minutes ago, JcMagpie said:

With correct redirect and SEO installed you get same link no matter how you go to product. Unless I'm still missing somthing? Same link to product from index, cat , maufac or product info.

https://www.justfastfood.com/hewlett-packard-laserjet-1100xi-hplj1100xi-p-27.html

This particular problem is fixed when using the SEO URLs addon, because now you are linking consistently throughout the site.

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6 hours ago, burt said:

Could you possibly provide insight into this SEO stuff?

I don't think this is an SEO-related change. The hreflang tag is meant to provide a way for google to provide a way to show the visitor a page in their language. I suppose if it wasn't used and a Spanish visitor ended up on an English page they might click off. That could reduce traffic to the site, which is SEO-related so, in a round-about way, it might be useful.

All that is required for a basic tag is the following, for each language:

<link rel="alternate" href="https://example.com/fr" hreflang="fr" />

The code could get the country code by loading in the code field of the languages table. Every page has to have all of the languages so it would be something like

$lang_query = tep_db_query( "select code from languages");
$lang = tep_db_fetch_array($lang_query);
foreach ($lang as $code) {
  echo '<link rel="alternate" href="' . HTTPS_SERVER . DIR_WS_CATALOG . '" hreflang="' . $code .'" />';
}

But for some languages, like German, there are variations. So you would need de-de and/or de-at, depending upon if the site targets German or Austria visitors. English may be worse  since it can be en, en-ca, en-gb, en-au and probably others.  If all variations are wanted, then an entry for each would be needed. Or a default version can be used to cover those not listed, though that may be the same as not having the tag in the first place.  If the various versions were to be used, there would have to be some way to enter that in. Maybe a setting but that could get quite involved if more than a few languages are present. Note that the url has to be to the location for that language. So in a stock oscommerce shop,  the url will have to the language parameter in the url. If the site is using a sub-directory, then that should be used. The code will have to take that into account.

Maybe a better approach for a module would be to allow a comma-separated string of all of the possibilities, like en-us, en-ca, en-au, etc. And when the module is used, it just reads in that string, parses it and adds the needed tags.

Also, this tag is only used by google and yandex, as far as I know. Bing still uses the language meta tag, though that is outdated for HTML5 so that should be coded in.

But given that this tag is only for google and that the code added to the page could be large and has to be calculated on each page load, I don't think a module is the best way to go since it could affect page load times. Google will accept the tag in a sitemap so I think adding it there would be a better choice. Though if we are only talking about two languages with no variations, the module wouldn't probably not slow things down much. 

Regarding the canonical and hreflang tags together, it is fine to have them both. In fact, it would be a mistake not to include the canonical tag. However, that tag has to reference the language location in the hreflang tag. So if the url used for the hreflang tag is http://example.com/fr/, then the canonical tag must use that url. I don't work on non-English sites much so I can't verify if it does that already or not. I think it does but that should be checked before implementing the hreflang tag.

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Posted (edited)

I'm just going to jump in and share my limited experience trying to set up some international SEO....

I've been trying to target my SEO for Canada and USA for currency.... (its a long story - short version I'm showing my site in USD by IP address to the USA and CAD to all other IP address and googles bots are located in the USA so I'm crawled in USD)

First Google doesn't like URL parameters (source) for international crawling... and would much prefer domain or directories (ie usa.mysite.com or www.mysite.com/usa... same for language versions fr-ca.mysite.com or www.mysite.com/fr-ca etc etc... as mentioned above... for me I was trying to get en-us and en-ca) so, out of the box OsC is not in a good place (I believe there is an updated version of SEO urls 5 that has some hreflang features to re-write this.... although I haven't tried it)

I used a hreflang tester (link below) to mock up a headertag module to try and replace the included canonical module - I was successful in getting a pass with the example code below however was not successful in combining the hreflang tags WITH canonical tags...

https://technicalseo.com/seo-tools/hreflang/

Example code

      if (basename($PHP_SELF) == 'product_info.php') {
        $oscTemplate->addBlock('
		<link rel="alternate" hreflang="en-ca" href="' . tep_href_link('product_info.php', 'products_id=' . (int)$_GET['products_id'], 'NONSSL', false) . '?currency=CAD'.'" /> 
		<link rel="alternate" hreflang="en-us" href="' . tep_href_link('product_info.php', 'products_id=' . (int)$_GET['products_id'], 'NONSSL', false) . '?currency=USD'.'" /> 
		<link rel="alternate" hreflang="en" href="' . tep_href_link('product_info.php', 'products_id=' . (int)$_GET['products_id'], 'NONSSL', false) . '" /> 
		<link rel="alternate" hreflang="x-default" href="' . tep_href_link('product_info.php', 'products_id=' . (int)$_GET['products_id'], 'NONSSL', false) . '" />
		' . PHP_EOL, $this->group);
      } 	  
    }

Conclusion - as I understand it.... if this is going to be fixed properly there needs to be a way of re-writing the urls.... to a language directory as an example...

The code to create the hreflang and canonical tags is probably not that hard for a coder (I am NOT a coder).

Thoughts?

Edited by greasemonkey
typo

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1 hour ago, Dj-Viper said:

Hi, 

Getting confused saw this one popping up in apps - https://apps.oscommerce.com/AAr28&amp;canonical-header-tags-bug-fix

I have Ultimate SEO Urls, every page has a different url. Use also XML Sitemaps uploaded to google and bing.

So i'm good ?

Greetings, DjViper

I had a quick look at the code, and my advice is not to use that. My opinion is that it will generate extra duplicate content, also i question if the correct canonical is being generated. Apart from some deprecated php ($HTTP_GET_VARS)

 

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Posted (edited)

@Dj-Viper if you are referring to the code I posted above - please read the post (this was a mock up... a test... I’m in now way suggesting this as any sort of live code). 

Edited by greasemonkey

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Posted (edited)

Some web developers believe that a special URL structure is overkill. Search engines are able to understand the data in the URL (uniform resource locatorof any type and length, therefore, the information portal or online store will be normally indexed and ranked by search engines. The degree of influence of URLs on SEO also depends on the competition and frequency of requests. So, if we are talking about the promotion of high-frequency keys leading to the main pages of the site, the role of the web address will not be too significant. But for low-frequency queries that lead to pages with different levels of nesting, this is in fact a significant factor contributing to high positions.

Edited by Davids24

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Every time SEO Urls has been metioned I've heard "there's no point on using it nowadays". Well this is a true example of why these are still useful and why oscommerce has a poor localization. If you have a multilingual shop and you want it to be correctly indexed you really, really need a SEO addon that rewrites urls for each language.

BTW I've been tweaking the latest versions of SEO urls 5 and there's a glitch with hreflang tags not being correctly shown until session is set - so spiders can¡t see it. I'll fix it and upload again in case someone wants to use it.

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4 hours ago, piernas said:

BTW I've been tweaking the latest versions of SEO urls 5 and there's a glitch with hreflang tags not being correctly shown until session is set - so spiders can¡t see it. I'll fix it and upload again in case someone wants to use it.

@DAVID3733


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5 hours ago, piernas said:

Every time SEO Urls has been metioned I've heard "there's no point on using it nowadays".

If you are a small fish in a big pond then SEO is very important I would say second to good content. If your just selling widgets say penny washers!! then good content is not easy to produce! after all what can you say about a washer!!  it's round has a hole!  everyones content is going to be similar. So good SEO is going to be even more important to you.

Problem is geting good SEO advice! how do you seperate the sharks from the professionals who actualy know what  they are doing? ask around and you will soon find the good ones. Another thing I'm seeing a lot of is people using stock copywrite provided by suppliers? Not sure how wise that is as google has become quite strict regarding this and it looks for what it turms as scraping , text which is identical to that on other site and this can result in poor ranking! It's best to make your content unique to your site when ever posiable.

image.png.18b0dfa95d1d8bd027937998d5027560.png


 

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9 minutes ago, JcMagpie said:

Another thing I'm seeing a lot of is people using stock copywrite provided by suppliers? Not sure how wise that is as google has become quite strict regarding this and it looks for what it turms as scraping , text which is identical to that on other site and this can result in poor ranking! It's best to make your content unique to your site when ever posiable.

 

Unique content is best, but supplier text is common amongst ecommerce sites. I don't see Google penalising sites for it. Even if you have this kind of product description you can still compete by exploiting the many other ranking factors.

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5 hours ago, piernas said:

Every time SEO Urls has been metioned I've heard "there's no point on using it nowadays". Well this is a true example of why these are still useful and why oscommerce has a poor localization. If you have a multilingual shop and you want it to be correctly indexed you really, really need a SEO addon that rewrites urls for each language.

SEO URLs is a complex piece of code, and support for it and osCommerce may be dwindling in general. This is the only reason i can think of not to use it, otherwise its still a must have for osCommerce.

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