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would this be an effective use of nofollow?

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  • would this be an effective use of nofollow?

    I'll explain what and why our site devs did in detail in a minute. but, I want to get to the question rapidly:

    see our site: Welcome to Atlas International -
    or specifically a product showcasing my issue:
    Lightweight Cork

    We have our 3DCart site set up so that our end products (something you can add to a cart) actually exist at a category template (the link above, for example)...NOT at the product template.

    The actual products or individual SKUs do exist. But, they are not navigable. In fact, clicking on a product link anywhere on the site should simply re-direct back to this "final category" (if you find an example of it not, it is in error)

    It works exactly as desired/designed from a user standpoint. However, it is throwing google for a loop (literally).

    So, my question is how best to prevent google from entering the loop, which has the potential to cause harm to SERPs/ranking.

    I have a few thoughts in mind, i'm just not a dedicated SEO type, and not sure if this is the best/optimal resolution:

    1. For the self-redirecting links on the final category pages, i'm thinking i'd just add rel="nofollow". This should prevent google from entering the loop as it crawls down the nested category hierarchy.

    2. because the individual SKUs are directly accessible, i should modify our robots.txt to exclude every SKU in the store.

    3. manually create/upload/submit to google a custom sitemap.xml file that excludes the final product links.

    Question 1: Will the above work to achieve proper search engine crawling and results?
    Question 2: Is there a better (more effective or quicker) alternative?

    Now, if you've gotten this far and are asking why did we break 3DCart? Here's the brief explanation:

    Our site has the requirement of supporting sales at two pricing structures. That is: wholesale distributors and retail sales. As we began populating the site with product as designed off the shelf, parent products began filling the product level (example: White Athletic Shoe). Children of these products began populating the options of the product (example: Size 6, Size 7, Size 8, etc.).

    Almost immediately the issue arose that the site software did NOT support dual pricing at the child/option level. That is, we could have a wholesale and retail price for the product (the shoe, in the example), but the pricing for the options did NOT support the dual pricing. So, perhaps we could set a retail price of $19.99 and a $12.48 price for the wholesale user. But, adding a surcharge to sizes > 12 were fixed. We could not add a wholesale markup different from a retail markup.

    That's just one example of a break. There are several reasons the built-in parent/child scheme breaks down. After consulting with 3DCart support, we were advised that our current setup is as good as can be achieved. That is to use a category as the parent (with no pricing associated), and assign a total price for the children of the parent---each of which honors the customer pricing schedule AND honors both wholesale and retail markups, since each 'child' is really a standalone product.

  • #2
    All of the things you mentioned will help. In addition, I would recommend using the canonical tag on the individual product pages to reroute them back to your "category" page. We ran into a similar problem and had to set up our child products as individual products. In our case we marked them as non-searchable, because we don't want people going to the individual product page, and we set up the custom file name to redirect back to the correct parent item. The canonical tag is then set on the children to have the parent as the correct URL. That tell Google that yes, we know there is duplicate content, please index the correct URL.

    We had to set up a custom site map and we also have them removed in the robots.txt file.

    Our rankings are pretty good, most of those items rank very well, and I've yet to see the child items in the index at all.

    Hope that helps!

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