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  • Danab
    replied
    Luxlife I'm sorry. I don't know what changes were made with the latest little update. I just noticed the number had changed.

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  • Luxlife
    replied
    Danab We are on 9.16 with a core template. The breadcrumbs appear to be working, keeping the products in the categories. Do you know what changes were made going from 9.16 to 9.17?

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  • Danab
    replied
    Luxlife My breadcrumbs seem to be fixed on the product pages. Both at the top and the bottom as of today. I checked a bunch and I seem to be staying within the categories now instead of bouncing to a different one. My customers complained about that quite a bit so I am super happy that seems to be working. Looks like I am on 9.1.7 now so perhaps there was a little fix with it? I am not on a core template though. I'll check some more and will cross my fingers that it is working for you. I still don't have the schema breadcrumbs (just the old version that Google is totally ignoring) so I am guessing I can't have those unless I go to core. That part is poopie since it is going to take me awhile to get a new template finished and I can't risk it being broken during my (hopefully) busy holiday season.

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  • Luxlife
    replied
    Originally posted by Danab View Post
    Is the breadcrumbs issue supposed to be fixed with 9.1 if you aren't on a core template? I just checked my report in Google and I have zero breadcrumbs listed. I am on a HTML5 responsive template until I have the time to work on a new template (probably can't do it until next year with the holidays). My store is on 9.1.6
    There are several aspects to the breadcrumbs issue:
    The Google Search Console Breadcrumbs report is new. Its first release was the same day we posted about it in this thread. Howe er, there are errors with this report that Google needs to resolve.

    Regarding the breadcrumb issues specific to 3dCart, 9.1 fixes one of them but we do not know if it only applies to non-core templates. We are on 9.16 using a core template. Multiple breadcrumbs now show on the product pages. Look at the web page for any product assigned to more than one category. One breadcrumb will show near the top and the others will be found near the bottom under "Browse Similar Items". However, if you look at the product in each of those categories, the breadcrumb is always the same, the first one in the list product's admin page. Refer to our observations earlier in this thread for details.

    As it now stands, the SEO issue in terms of products linking to the category pages is resolved but the navigational issue is not optimally resolved. We do not know if 3dCart will fix the coding so that the breadcrumb at the top of the web page changes according to the category.This is the breadcrumb visitors are most likely to use for navigation. It would be best if they stayed in the category.

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  • JoeBTI
    replied
    Vote if interested in alt tag: https://3dcart.uservoice.com/forums/...image-alt-tags

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  • kelly
    replied
    Also there needs to be a default alt text for an image in file manager - so as you use an image that alt text gets place into the page. Example product pages merely place the image but there is no place to enter alt text. There maybe be alt="" in the code but it will be empty. This occurs if you use the carousal module as well. If as 3dcart states alt text is important then this is important!

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  • Danab
    replied
    Is the breadcrumbs issue supposed to be fixed with 9.1 if you aren't on a core template? I just checked my report in Google and I have zero breadcrumbs listed. I am on a HTML5 responsive template until I have the time to work on a new template (probably can't do it until next year with the holidays). My store is on 9.1.6

    Leave a comment:


  • Luxlife
    replied
    The timing of this article, published yesterday, could not be more appropriate. Google on How to Rank Category Pages https://www.searchenginejournal.com/.../328281/#close

    The comments about breadcrumbs and products in categories are similar to what we posted a few days earlier. Consider also, the comments about links.

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  • jimmy3dcart
    replied
    Originally posted by Luxlife View Post

    We would never argue against improving content, something we constantly do, researching and experimenting with both quantity and phrasing. But if you really took a look, you would have to admit we have structured our site well. And, there are very good reasons for nearly all the content on our site; our relevant, high quality content is one the reasons we used to rank high.

    All of our product pages use custom URLs. But even if we did not it should not be an issue because except those created from the "Page Links" found in the product page's WYSIWYG editor, the software produces search engine friendly URLs. Or are you saying there is something wrong with the software generated search engine friendly 3dCart URLs? What is the benefit of using custom vs the software generated URLs?


    We do not claim the breadcrumb issue is the only reason for our ranking drop. It is a contributing factor, one that should be fixed. We are aware of other reasons; Some are software errors; Others are related to content, but not quite in the way you have in mind. Still, it is not correct to say you are completely wrong. But this search term is a good example. We are not sure why you mention it, publicly, bringing it up out of the blue. You are guessing, not correctly, the intent for it.
    Hi Luxlife please notice that while I researched your site and keywords, none of the screenshots mention your website or domain name, but I just updated the post to remove both references and avoid any issues.

    There is a lot of value on those SEO tools, but these are just 2 of many I use when working on the SEO of 3dcart.com or any of our clients. You're correct, many information is based on estimates but is very useful in helping you improve your website and tracking changes over time.

    There are 3 areas of concern when it comes to SEO:
    1) Discovery, here is where technical SEO helps, running a site-audit, having breadcrumbs, good navigation, alt tags, broken links, etc. To make it as easy as possible for the search engines to crawl & index your website.
    2) Relevance, this is all about content, and not just any content but content based on keyword research and a content gap analysis. You need a lot of content that can prove to the search engines that your website is relevant to the keywords you're trying to rank.
    3) Authority, which is based on how many blogs, websites and social messages link to your website. You need to an outreach and link building strategy, without links back to your content it'll be impossible to outrank your competitors.

    If you're interested in getting suggestions (free of charge) on the things you should be working on to fix your SEO, please email me directly and I'll be glad to provide feedback.

    Regarding the breadcrumbs, 9.1 was launched in August and included the multiple breadcrumbs. But the "breadcrumbs report" from Google that was launched last week included every content page and not just category/product pages, they even acknowledged having errors on this report (https://www.seroundtable.com/google-...ors-28289.html), so the fix we're applying is specific to this last set of pages and will be applied as an update after 9.1 to all our stores.

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  • Luxlife
    replied
    Real issues are affecting your site (https://www.screencast.com/t/FpTu1QIEHP),
    We could be wrong, but it looks like the information from a 3dCart SEO audit. Almost all of these were warnings from 3dCart generated page that the merchant cannot control such as meta tag issues from Products by Price. Merchants don't have access to these.

    Even considering the changes Google has made, this breadcrumb error has obvious negative SEO consequences because of the way it affects internal navigation and linking. Here is why:

    Google stopped ranking product pages in the organic search results because they wanted to push searchers to Google Shopping and other types of advertising. A search has a better chance of showing an organic product page result if it is very specific (the actual name of a product) or niche (not many competitors). This means high placement in organic search is mostly a battle for trying to rank category pages. It should be trivial to check this with your own examples. But because category pages benefit from external links and links from internal pages, including product pages, there are consequences.

    The product's breadcrumb is often the only link pointing away from a product page. It undermines the search engine ranking for its category if it does not point towards it and passes ranking support to the category it does point towards. The categories receiving the breadcrumb links, if optimized properly for different keywords, are not likely to rank for the keywords and intent of the categories without breadcrumbs pointing towards them. So a category without any or only a few breadcrumbs pointing back to it has a harder time ranking high.

    Those breadcrumbs can produce chaos in the navigation structure. Consider each product in these "additional categories" with breadcrumbs leading to outside categories. A customer looks at a product, clicks on a breadcrumb and is taken to different category. They navigate back to the original category and after clicking on another product, click on its breadcrumb that may lead to a completely different category. And so it goes with the degree of navigational chaos depending on how many products there are, how many different categories the breadcrumbs point towards, and the sorting order of products, especially if a customer is using prev/next buttons to navigate.

    you need content on your site, improve the internal linking, use 3dcart's built-in tools like Custom URLs and Blog,
    Internal linking is what the discussion of his error is about.

    We would never argue against improving content, something we constantly do, researching and experimenting with both quantity and phrasing. But if you really took a look, you would have to admit we have structured our site well. And, there are very good reasons for nearly all the content on our site; our relevant, high quality content is one the reasons we used to rank high.

    All of our product pages use custom URLs. But even if we did not it should not be an issue because except those created from the "Page Links" found in the product page's WYSIWYG editor, the software produces search engine friendly URLs. Or are you saying there is something wrong with the software generated search engine friendly 3dCart URLs? What is the benefit of using custom vs the software generated URLs?

    I see you're not on 9.1 yet, this will address your concern with the multiple breadcrumbs, but believe me, that won't get you to page 1 for "expensive pens", but fixing the real issue, adding content and links would get you there within a month.
    We do not claim the breadcrumb issue is the only reason for our ranking drop. It is a contributing factor, one that should be fixed. We are aware of other reasons; Some are software errors; Others are related to content, but not quite in the way you have in mind. Still, it is not correct to say you are completely wrong. But this search term is a good example. We are not sure why you mention it, publicly, bringing it up out of the blue. You are guessing, not correctly, the intent for it.
    Last edited by Luxlife; 09-26-2019, 06:27 PM.

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  • Luxlife
    replied
    What you experienced is consistent with Google's RankBrian algorithm update, it affected all types of websites a few years ago. And if you didn't take action to improve your site then you wouldn't be able to recover from this.


    While it may have had some effect, RankBrain was not the main cause of our drop in the results. RankBrain addresses Google page rankings for long tail key word searches. In fact, it was one of the few algorithm additions Google explicitly provided information about. Without mentioning the details, this is not where we hurt. We stopped ranking high for "top of the funnel" keywords, short ones that are broad, popular, that easily come to mind when customers begin to shop. It is difficult to rank high for these but we did for quite a while, for a number of them related to our markets, until our pages dropped.



    Just checked your site (https://www.screencast.com/t/o9egUtMsX) and I can assure you the breadcrumbs or your AMP pages have nothing to do with this.


    These two screenshots are results from tools purport to provide useful SEO analysis but are really used to sell SEO services. So we are unsure why you posted this publicly in response to our attempt to explain coding issue and how it affects us. It should have been kept privates. We can discuss it a bit:



    People without an understanding of statistics and without the acumen to analyze and interpret the data may be easily persuaded (or fooled) to buy those services. Fortunately, we know something about this. The problems with these tools are easy for us to see: In other words, they have questionable value.



    The Ahrefs tool is known for prowess as a backlinks indexer/checker. They developed their own bot for this. We could show why for many ecommerce merchants, it is not that useful. But more importantly, the Ahrefs tool, because it is not a search engine, does not have the data to give accurate results for organic search--it is neither the equivalent of google analytics or a web file analyzer. They do not have enough primary data. Knowing this it is one of the reasons Ahrefs announced this past March they will launch a search engine to compete with Google. An Ahrefs ranking doesn't mean much because other than backlinks, its primary data is limited to the access they get on web sites by way of SEO companies using their services.



    Even considering backlinks, Ahrefs strong point, there are critical conditions that must be met before its information is useful. It would take too long a post to give the details.

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  • Luxlife
    replied
    I see your concerns with the breadcrumbs are specific to the design of the website and not related to SEO.


    The concerns are we note are about to functionality, SEO and navigation structure.



    That's not accurate, the website tracks the categories used by the visitor to get to the product and will use that category for the breadcrumb.


    The observations are accurate. Anyone can see the breadcrumbs them by adding more than one category to some products and observing the breadcrumbs when they visit the product pages in those categories. These observations were reported to Gonzalo and he says they will be fixed. He acknowledged the errors and even sent an image showing where the multiple breadcrumbs should appear.



    We responded to your post for two reasons. First is because you mentioned adding breadcrumbs which is something merchants cannot do. This functionality depends on the software. Second is that the 9.1 release notes do not mention correcting the error. Because we understand the error, and it was unclear when this would be fixed, we were planning another post with suggestions to mitigate this. However, if this is fixed in 9.1 it is because we reported it.



    While the breadcrumb is hidden to accommodate the mobile layout, it's still present in the page and is just hidden with a style, you can easily bring this back but it would take space from the product page and push more important information lower on the page.


    We mentioned the possibility of a problem with mobile because Google just added a new Breadcrumb report in the Search Console and a few of our mobile pages show errors. Particularly of interest are several product pages. We are trying to understand why and waiting to see if the number of errors increase. Now that we know the breadcrumb is hidden, it will be interesting to see how the Search Engines handle hidden mobile breadcrumbs--they usually penalize pages/sites with hidden elements. Perhaps, a better solution would be to make them visible but move all of them to the bottom of the page, similar to the example from Gonzalo.

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  • jimmy3dcart
    replied
    Hi @Luxlife

    I see your concerns with the breadcrumbs are specific to the design of the website and not related to SEO.

    Originally posted by Luxlife View Post
    On desktop: If a product has more than one category, the breadcrumb only shows for the 1st category showing in the product's admin page. The breadcrumbs for all of the other categories do not show.
    That's not accurate, the website tracks the categories used by the visitor to get to the product and will use that category for the breadcrumb.

    Originally posted by Luxlife View Post
    On mobile: Breadcrumbs do not show at all, not even for the 1st category, at least this is true on our core template.
    While the breadcrumb is hidden to accommodate the mobile layout, it's still present in the page and is just hidden with a style, you can easily bring this back but it would take space from the product page and push more important information lower on the page.

    Originally posted by Luxlife View Post
    A few years ago, our pages started dropping in the organic search results from the 1st page, from often the number one ranking or top five. For some search terms, our pages fell more than 200 positions down Google's organic search results despite never incurring a penalty;
    What you experienced is consistent with Google's RankBrian algorithm update, it affected all types of websites a few years ago. And if you didn't take action to improve your site then you wouldn't be able to recover from this.

    Just checked your site and I can assure you the breadcrumbs or your AMP pages have nothing to do with this. Real issues are affecting your site, you need content on your site, improve the internal linking, use 3dcart's built-in tools like Custom URLs and Blog,

    I see you're not on 9.1 yet, this will address your concern with the multiple breadcrumbs, but believe me, that won't get you to page 1 for "expensive pens", but fixing the real issue, adding content and links would get you there within a month.
    Last edited by jimmy3dcart; 09-27-2019, 05:05 PM.

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  • Luxlife
    replied
    Originally posted by jimmy3dcart View Post

    That's actually not accurate. If you're using the latest version of 3dcart and your website's template is on CORE, then structured date works as needed....Now, adding your reviews, breadcrumb, price, FAQs, etc. to the SERP does improve its appearance and helps to increase the CTR of that result.

    There is a serious breadcrumb problem.

    On desktop: If a product has more than one category, the breadcrumb only shows for the 1st category showing in the product's admin page. The breadcrumbs for all of the other categories do not show. Furthermore, the order of those categories will change depending on how the you add the category to the product. Add from inside the product's admin, the new category becomes the first. Add from the category page, the new category is last.

    On mobile: Breadcrumbs do not show at all, not even for the 1st category, at least this is true on our core template.

    This can result in categories never showing in any product's breadcrumb or categories in which some products list them in the breadcrumbs and others do not. This undermines the SEO for those categories because the navigational structure is chaotic. It has been going on for years and core templates do not resolve it.

    A few years ago, our pages started dropping in the organic search results from the 1st page, from often the number one ranking or top five. For some search terms, our pages fell more than 200 positions down the Google's organic search results despite never incurring a penalty; We never used black hat SEO. We could not find reasons why competitors started ranking higher than us. In fact, many of their pages had little SEO to boost them up the rankings. Still, we dropped below them.

    When 3dCart introduced multiple breadcrumb trails for the product pages they promoted them as a competitive feature. So, a few years ago, we noticed the pages had only one breadcrumb but thought this was an intentional, but unannounced design change. However, we did not notice, until a few months ago, that one product page breadcrumb is always the same, even when you navigate using its other categories. When we did notice, we thought the previous and next navigation buttons served to take the place of the missing breadcrumbs because by using them, the site visitor remains in the category. This is wrong.

    Last month, in an email exchange with Gonzalo asking about the breadcrumbs, we learned that previous and next navigation buttons are not html links, they are set by cookies--search engines are not able to read and follow them. It then became clear that the missing breadcrumbs are a coding error. Gonzalo said it would be fixed for everyone. It's still not fixed for us so we hope he meant as a part of the 9.1 upgrade.

    Unfortunately, the issue may be worse. Today, Google introduced a Breadcrumb report in Search Engine Console. It has already started flagging mobile amp pages for missing breadcrumbs. With each passing day, mobile search becomes more dominant.

    This breadcrumb issue is the third major coding error resulting in negative consequences for SEO. Because Google's algorithm uses many ranking factors (hundred's we've read), some websites may be lucky, especially if they have little competition. We are not one of the lucky ones.
    Last edited by Luxlife; 09-22-2019, 05:02 PM.

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  • bzeltzer
    replied
    jimmy3dcart I'm glad that you've updated the CORE templates. When that post was created, the CORE templates had structured data problems and I hadn't noticed that you'd fixed them. I've been a customer for a lot of years and troubleshooting structured data has been par for the course ever since it came onto the scene. I agree that CORE is the way to go but when I looked at it a few months back, there were still some issues and honestly, I thought that 3dcart would move to bootstrap 4 and work out some of the initial bugs so I was being patient before I did the work.

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