Magento themes and extensions

Demystifying the Demystifying of the Duplicate Content Penalty in Magento

Posted on May 31st, 2011 | Posted by admin

Almost a year ago, I wrote about duplicate content issues with Magento. Since then, people have often been referring to Roy’s thread at Magento forums that quotes Google’s official blog.

This is what the quote says:

Having duplicate content can affect your site in a variety of ways; but unless you’ve been duplicating deliberately, it’s unlikely that one of those ways will be a penalty. This means that:

* You typically don’t need to submit a reconsideration request when you’re cleaning up innocently duplicated content.
* If you’re a webmaster of beginner-to-intermediate savviness, you probably don’t need to put too much energy into worrying about duplicate content, since most search engines have ways of handling it.
* You can help your fellow webmasters by not perpetuating the myth of duplicate content penalties! The remedies for duplicate content are entirely within your control. Here are some good places to start.

We (SEO professionals) do understand that in this case there is no penalty for having duplicate content.

The problem is: Google doesn’t have to enforce any penalty, duplicate content is bad for you by default.

It’s actually pretty logical, let me explain:

You have a product page that can be reached via two different categories, which would create two different URLs with identical content:


Your store is sending the link juice (the PageRank value) to two of these URLs. If you only had one instead, it would receive double the amount of link juice.

Now imagine what happens if you have multiple products in multiple categories all over your store. How much link juice are you actually throwing away? A lot.

Different URLs when product is listed in multiple categories is just one of the cases in which Magento serves almost identical content on two different URLs. This is why Magento is not really on-site SEO perfect out of the box and you need someone to “make it right”.

In the recent release of Magento, there have been some on-site SEO improvements with the default theme, so I can see Magento team is working hard on getting Magento on-site SEO perfect.

Please note that Magento is not “bad” or “terrible” in on-site SEO, as the matter of fact, most of the other open source e-commerce solutions have much bigger SEO problems out of the box. We’re just trying to reach perfection here, and that’s why we advise you to solve the duplicate content problems at your Magento store.


How popular is Magento?

Posted on May 31st, 2011 | Posted by admin

We’ve been with Magento since it’s very beginning and we watched it grow and we grew with it. Somewhere in the second half of 2007, Magento started growing attention of ecommerce community.

Today, according to Google trends, Magento is more popular than ecommerce itself. Somewhere in March of 2009 – less then a year ago – terms “magento” and “ecommerce” became equal and from there on, Magento took the leading position.

Magento: Displaying Categories and Current Subcategories

Posted on May 31st, 2011 | Posted by admin

I started “skinning” Magento today with a design that I was given. The functionality called for was a left category navigation (on every page but customer pages and cart/checkout pages) that always displayed the main categories – but when you click on a category, Magento should take you to that category’s listing, but also display the current subcategories.

So – since we all know that the Magento documentation is pretty crappy at this time, I had to do a lot of digging through core files, and a lot of time just with trial and error. But, I finally did come up with something that works. I’m willing to bet that there is a better, more proper way to do it, but regardless, this seems to be working perfectly.

What I did was create a new PHTML file, created the proper block call in page.xml, and now I’ve got a great working (and looking!) left-navigation. Here’s the home page (left), and a category page (right):

Magento: Add Instructions to Form Field in Admin Product Add/Edit

Posted on May 30th, 2011 | Posted by admin

I made some custom functionality that can happen with a product’s Short Description. Depending on what is put in that textarea, icons and special product-specific links can be displayed on that product’s view page. It requires a specific format though for it to work – and instead of emailing the client and having them forget how to do it correctly, it would make more sense to put instructions next to the Short Description field in the Admin product add/edit page.

For this example, we’ll be adding instructions to the Short Description. If you take a look at the source code, you’ll see that the short description is displayed with this code:

    <td><label for="short_description">Short Description <span>*</span></label></td>
    <td><textarea id="short_description" name="product[short_description]" type="textarea" ></textarea></td>

Magento: Add Custom Module For Custom Admin Config Options

Posted on May 30th, 2011 | Posted by admin

In my previous post, I showed you how to add instructions to the Short Description on the product add/edit form. While this is useful, if you ever wanted to change the instructions, you would have to open the template file and edit it manually. Wouldn’t it be nice to edit those instructions right in the admin configuration options? Yes, it would!

It’s quite simple to do – and it should only take you a few minutes to implement this. But, the options are endless. You can add all sorts of custom configurable options that you can edit in the admin panel very easily.

To get started, you’ll want to create a new module XML file similar to this: /app/etc/modules/MyMods_All.xml. Put the following code in that file:

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