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Duplicate title & meta tag issue in Webmaster Tools - Could it be a sitemap issue?

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  • Duplicate title & meta tag issue in Webmaster Tools - Could it be a sitemap issue?

    This is driving me CRAZY!!! My traffic is down and so are sales and every time I look at Google Webmaster Tools, I have more and more duplicate titles (294), duplicate meta tags (337), Not founds ‎(341)‎ Restricted by robots.txt ‎(3,807)‎ Soft 404s ‎(1)‎ Unreachable ‎(7)‎, etc...

    I have almost 1000 products on my site. I have had a 3dcart store for maybe 4 years now. My traffic was always very low because I never did any marketing, SEO or link building until last year. My traffic and sales starting growing back in August 2011. My traffic started creeping up and up. Not much but for me, it was better. First I was averaging about 50-100 unique visitors a day for a few years, just probably from submitting my shopping feeds to Google, The Find and Bing. Then when I started actively working on the marketing of the site, I went up to 100, then 150, then 200, then 250, then 300... all in the matter of about 5 months. Christmas was amazing for me, I did more in sales in one month (Dec 2011) then I did in all of 2010. First two weeks of January, awesome!

    Then, something happened. Two weeks into Jan someone had advised me to change my SSL certificate to a dedicated one and not the 3dcart store one. I listened and now I regret it. I have had nothing but issues ever since. First, I had tons of (and probably still have) a lot of hard coded images in my site and my blog within 3dcart that had the old secure address. When 3dcart sold me the new SSL, they didn't advise me that I needed to change all of this stuff. I started hearing of security issues. I changed as much as I could and I am still having a security issue. Google Webmaster Tools says that my SSL host name doesn't match my website name. Well, 3dcart checked and it does. I just found out that some old images with the 3dcartstore address are still hard coded deep in my blog so I am working on fixing those. Not sure if that is the security issue that is happening. Have had many, many tickets, and NO answers.

    Then, a few days ago, someone at 3dcart discovered a sitemap issue in certain browsers that has now been escalated to a level 3, programmer I think. It's been a few days and they still don't know the issue or how to fix it. Could this could be causing my site traffic issue? My Google SSL issue? Who knows?

    Here are my questions... looking at all the above Google Webmaster Tool stats, do you see an issue here and could those issues ultimately be causing my drop in traffic? Can the broken sitemap issue be causing the duplicate content issue or any other issues to cause a drop in traffic.

    Please someone, anyone, any advice...critique....seo company...consultant...anything! I will take anything I can get at this point, all of this is making me want to reconsider my business and/or using 3dcart at this point. Oh, one more thing... Recently I was advised to get a Word Press blog as opposed to the one within 3dcart. I did just that and launched a few weeks ago. Have posted some blogs and already the Word Press blog is surpassing my 3dcart store, WHY would that happen? To me it would seem logical that there is an issue with my store if that is happening?

    One last thing to add... due to all my researching of the duplicate content issues, I changed all my category pages and sub category landing pages to show all products on one page without the user having to click through a few pages of results. I did this thinking it would prevent those pages at least from being considered duplicate content but after I did that, my duplicate content numbers grew even [email protected]!
    Last edited by rcheltrvel; 02-14-2012, 03:43 PM.

  • #2
    Welcome to my world! That is pretty much what I am experiencing too. I have filed support ticket and just got that last answer from support telling me that they only advise and that I probably need a SEO consultant to fix it. Am I upset? YES!

    My redirect worked fine for about 5 months, then in mid December I got more and more 404 errors. As of yesterday I am up to 8679 on a 510 product store!

    I have followed ALL the instructions that I was given and NOTHING is working, so don't feel bad. You are keeping good company.

    When I visited the Google forums regarding the 404 issue, somebody there told me that the error is in the htaccess file (whatever that is) and that that file does not like being on an ISS server (my server). While support has told me how to access that file, they omitted to tell me what I am looking for or how to fix it if indeed something is wrong.

    So, I guess I have 2 choices: leaving the situation as is or find a SEO person who can fix this. I think elightbox had to do this and I will pm him to see who he worked with. I will be happy to pass that info on to you. Just let me know.



    • #3
      Did you ever find out anything on duplicate content?


      Just curious if you ever found anything out further on this duplicate content issue?

      I am still having the issues and of course 3dcart is no help on the matter. Personally I believe it is an issues with the 3dacrt system and no one at 3dcart wants to address it. I was just reading this...

      Preventing Search Engine Indexing of Secure Pages - SEO Workers


      • #4
        This is a major indepth research issue. To many variables going on. It is allover the map. im going with metadata not unique from page to page and descriptions/sales copy may all be the same as well. As for duplicate content fix you need to have each page, from my testing 30% different from the next to lose that issue. as far as .htaccess and redirects you have no direction here for me to answer you. I site scan old url's then create and use a 301 when I move clients to 3dcart. it is all built into 3dcart. just create an excel file and upload it.

        Wordpress, Great move to use it, you will get allot of traffic on each blog post if done correctly. you should still use the blog in 3dcart as a article marketing tool.

        ssl, deal with 3dcart for that.
        Want 1000 Facebook Likes or Shares? G+1? Tweets? 3Dcart Design and Tweaking - Product Data Solutions - Custom Excel Upload Sheets - SEO Services - FREE Blog Hosting.


        • #5
          I was able to correct a lot of my duplicate content issues

          I just wanted to share this with people having duplicate content issues on 3dcart. I was able to correct a lot of it and it has helped me in the search engines. The fact that 3dcart isn't able to help us with this issue and I had to do everything on my own to get to the point I am at now is discraceful!

          Two issues I had. 1st issue was years ago, I had 3dcart make me a custom, fly out left navigation menu. The menu was causing some of my duplicate issues, it would show one URL when you rolled over it, a different URL then I sometimes had set up for that category. It took me a SERIOUSLY long time to get 3dcart to respond to me and acknowledge the issue. I had the menu finally reverted back to the out of the box menu and that helped with some.

          The 2nd thing and the biggest thing I did to get rid of duplicate content was that I changed all my landing pages (categories, sub categories, etc...) to show all the products and not just 10 or 12 per page with a next & back button. At first I didn't see that this made much difference, but then over time, Google started to slowly drop those old pages and I hardly have any more duplicate content pages. I had hundreds of them before and they were like a weed. I would get rid of 5 from Google and 10 more would grow back. Users now suffer a little because if they go to one of my sub category pages and there are 50 products, all 50 products show up on that one page as opposed to maybe 10-12 on a page with a next button. But no one seems to mind, in fact I would probably prefer to see everything on one page if I was shopping, it saves time and I can just quickly scan the page for what I need.

          My advise, anywhere you have a next/back button on your site, besides individual product pages that have their own unique meta data, get rid of!


          • #6
            hmmm I'm currently working on this same issue with my webmastertools I might have to consider putting all products on one page as well. I'm seeing the same problems with our site. Thanks for the updated info!

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            • #7
              I've heard this may be a problem. There has to be a better way than putting all products on the same page. It's bad usability, unless asked for, and you page load will slow down which is a negative factor for SEO.