Post by samaraki » Wed Aug 27, 2014 9:23 am

Hi Everyone,

I'm wondering about how Google treats Multistores...
I've made 4 high class websites, all of which undercut my rivals and I've done very good SEO work for example, on GT Metrix I score 95% and 96% and on Webpagetest I get A on everything.
My prices are the best, my sites are the fastest, most easiest to use and most pleasing to the eyes, so if I had the traffic I'd be number 1.

I'm wondering if my multistores are holding me back, like a ball and chain.

Currently per month I'm getting about 6600 sessions, which is about 10-20x less than my rivals get.
That's over 4 stores.

My main store gets around 4800,
The Multis are 800, 600, 400

Now really they should be getting equal amounts, clearly the multi stores are being penalised, that's a fact.

But, I'm wondering is my main store being penalised too?

I'm wondering perhaps if I dropped my multistores, would my main store would get.
1. the same as it's getting now about 4800 sessions.
2. suck up the traffic from my other stores so about 6600 sessions.
3. Or perhaps go boom, and get like 100,000 sessions, like it should be.

Or is the multistores nothing to do with it, and google are simply just penalising me because my website is only 1 years old and not enough back links?

I get the feeling its the multistores, because all of my rivals even the lowest traffic one probably gets 5x my traffic.
My problem is I'm only getting a few keywords on the 1st page, for my main store any product linked to the store name, seems to get positions 3-7.

But for the multi stores, products linked to their names, get on page 100 or something ridiculous.

So, really I'm not sure what to do,

Just wait leave it as it is,
Drop the multistores and just have one.
Or perhaps keep all 4 stores, but not multi, have them on separate hosting packages, ran as 4 singular stores, that will be a bit of a hassle regarding stock.

Now how I've set the stores up is, 2 of the stores have all my products, and 1 has a specialist range, and same with the other, but both the specialist ranged shops products are on the general stores. (Which includes the default store).

(People say focus on the main store, that doesn't mean much, I have the ability to focus on many.)

If any SEO experts are around, would be awesome.

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Fri Jul 26, 2013 2:36 pm

Post by Dhaupin » Wed Aug 27, 2014 10:11 am

We run some multistores too, here is some random stuff that may help. Alot of it may seem like server setup, but that is what SEO is turning into.

-- Forward all temporary access urls and non-www urls to 1 www for all the multistores:

Code: Select all

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^multistore\.mainstore\.com$ [OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^www\.multistore\.mainstore\.com$ [OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^multistore\.com$
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ "http\:\/\/www\.multistore\.com\/$1" [R=301,L]

RewriteCond %{HTTPS_HOST} ^multistore\.mainstore\.com$ [OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTPS_HOST} ^www\.multistore\.mainstore\.com$ [OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTPS_HOST} ^multistore\.com$
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ "https\:\/\/www\.multistore\.com\/$1" [R=301,L]
-- Get SSL everywhere going on all the stores. This means all rendered links point SSL down to the feed. There is a vq for this if you need.

-- Get RDF everywhere going. Organization, author, publisher, products, reviews, cat lists, breadcrumbs, the whole shebang.

-- Verify each of your stores with google places for businesses (under the main store identity). Use each of their G+ places pages to auth the multistores.

-- Make reviews appear in source so they actually matter to bots :) If you need some reviews, make a couple from past testimonials ones on your prime sellers. Approve them, then go into phpmyadmin and change the posted date to match the real testimonial date.

-- Minimize shared categories. Make categories unique between stores and make sure cat RDF loops include product desc. Make categories keyworded out, spun descriptions, different images, slightly different product lists. Even though google says it doesnt support multi product RDF looping, well, it does. The many different cats across stores will keep them unique enough to compete alongside shared multistore products. The RDF lists will offer plenty of other keywords.

-- If you use complex products with options and need a bit of reach, you can split out the choices into some dummy items and then forward them back into the parent. This will give the effect of a net and diversify the SERPS for the single item. So if parent is "all diameters" some dummies are "1/2 inch diameter" and "3/4 Inch diameter".

-- Indeed multi descriptions for products can be a good mod. This will help your stock keeping...but unlike actual multi categories will not give unique titles, urls, metas, etc.

-- Define uri querystrings in google webmaster tools (like sort, page, etc). Tell google how to treat them. This will focalize the gbot and prevent it from thinking youre spammy.

-- In addition to those querystrings above, set a correct robots.txt for modern OC, in this example we deny pretty much everything besides the good querystrings you defined above in webmaster tools.

Code: Select all

user-agent: *
Disallow: /*&limit
Disallow: /*?limit
Disallow: /*&sort
Disallow: /*?sort
Disallow: /*&order
Disallow: /*?order
Disallow: /*checkout/
Disallow: /*account/
# Disallow: /*product/search/
Disallow: /*affiliate/
Disallow: /*download/
Disallow: /*admin/
-- Pagespeed matters too. Optimize the heck outta your stores and themes. Then run DB optimizations, key out fields using various guides.

-- Caching matters too. You can turn it on right in htaccess, or define it in index.php as a header...or both. Here is the htaccess:

Code: Select all

### Caching - Turn on Expires and Set Default to 0
ExpiresActive On
ExpiresDefault A0

### Caching Media Files - 1 Month
<FilesMatch "\.(flv|ico|pdf|avi|mov|ppt|doc|mp3|wmv|wav)$">
 ExpiresDefault A2592000
 Header append Cache-Control "public"

### Caching Image Files - 1 Month
<FilesMatch "\.(gif|jpg|jpeg|png|swf)$">
 ExpiresDefault A2592000
 Header append Cache-Control "public"

### Caching Build Files - 1 day is A86400
<FilesMatch "\.(xml|txt|html|js|css)$">
 ExpiresDefault A3600
 Header append Cache-Control "proxy-revalidate"

### No-Cache Dynamic Files
<FilesMatch "\.(php|cgi|pl|htm)$">
 ExpiresActive Off
 Header set Cache-Control "private, no-cache, no-store, proxy-revalidate, no-transform"
 Header set Pragma "no-cache"

-- Make sure there is proper multistore references to media in feeds, from ckeditor, from filemanager etc. Unsure how this is in your OC version, but check over them to make sure. If all the media points to main store, youre losing out on google images.

I dunno, im sure i missed some but overall, there is no gold at the end of the rainbow...instead its little things all over. I hope that helps, lemme know if you need fixes/clarifies | - Opencart Extensions, Integrations, & Development. Made in the USA.

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Tue May 13, 2014 3:45 am
Location - PA

Post by labeshops » Wed Aug 27, 2014 8:56 pm

An interesting list Dhaupin, though I have to admit, I have no clue how to do some of the things you suggest.

@samaraki I do not think multistores are being penalized, though would not suggest making 2 stores identical. I have 30 multistores - my host domain (that hosts the opencart files) isn't my top traffic domain, one of my multistores is (gothicplus actually), so getting ranking for each of your stores is possible.

I do use the multi product text mod so I can define different descriptions per store and discussed a lot of other things I did in the seo and opencart thread

I do wish there were such a mod for categories so I could have unique category descriptions and titles per store but so far, no one has written it. I hard coded a few things into my category pages (like adding "Gothic" in front of each category title and link for gothicplus) as a work around, but a proper mod for categories is definitely needed. I do share my categories among my stores.

Until recently, I only had ssl on my host store (not gothicplus) though just updated my ssl to include 8 others as well. Up until now, I don't think it affected my rankings though I know google is now giving slightly more rank to ssl sites.

I do have rich markup, etc, on all my stores.

Building traffic takes time and more than just seo - being active in social media, etc. helps a great deal. But I really don't think multistores causes penalties.

Running Opencart v2.2 with multi-stores from which has links to all my stores.


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Thu Aug 04, 2011 4:41 am
Location - Florida, USA

Post by psxgamer » Tue May 05, 2015 3:34 am

I'm in the same situation. I have one main domain + 3 multistores. For my main domain quite some traffic and sales. The complete opposite for the multistores: 10% of the traffic compared with my main domain + very high bounce rate.

My site is in mutliple languages. Each subdomain has it's own language. I read google doesn't consider it as duplicate content if it's for another country. I seriously doubt it. My main site is in Dutch (I'm from Belgium). One of my multistores if for Holland.

Most of my traffic and sales come through google. The multistore uses the same descriptions,... Seems to work perfect for my BE domain, but my NL domain is by far the worst performing multistore.

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Tue Apr 13, 2010 4:14 am
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