Since 2001

Merchant Moogle: Tips and How To's

There is not much do to with Merchant Moogle since it takes care of almost everything for you, but here are some general search indexing how-to's and tips, some directly related to Moogle, others just general search engine indexing.

How Do I Know My Site Map Was Received by Search Engines?Added 01-22-2014

When Moogle submits its site map to Google, Bing and Ask!, it's sending a request to a special service for these search engines. That service responds to Moogle with an "OK, I Got It!" message. If the submit fails for some reason, Moogle will tell you when you Create (or Update) and Submit.

Why Isn't My Moogle Site Map Listed in Google Web Master Tools?Added 11-22-2013

Google's Web Master Tools is a resource provided by Google to allow you to look "into" Google's treatment of your site(s). As such, its not "part" of the Google search engine. While Moogle can directly submit your site map to Google (and other) search engines, being able to view the effects of said site map is completely independent.

When you ADD your Moogle created site map to Web Master Tools, you are doing just that: adding it to Web Master Tools. Its already been added to Google's Search engine. We do strongly encourage you add to your existing Web Master Tools or to create a Tools account and then add the site map. But it is not necessary in order to benefit from the use of Moogle and the site map it creates.

Why Does Web Master Tools Says only X of the X Links Are Indexed?Added 11-22-2013

Google's (and all other) search engines have various (and sometimes contradictory) reasons for indexing or not indexing a web page. Moogle's job is to tell search engines that a page exists to be indexed. Whether the search engine decides to index them or not is entirely separate. (And would take a site they size of Wikipedia to adequately explain.)

Fixing Bad Links in Google Web Master ToolsAdded 7-12-2013

Do you know what Google is looking for on your site? While Merchant Moogle is great at telling search engines what links you DO HAVE to index, stray links can come from other sources such as out-dated crawl indexes, old site maps, links on other sites, etc. While you can rest assured (if you have Merchant Moogle) that all your page listings are indexed, there is still a good chance that you have these bad links in Google's search indexes. And nothing makes a potential customer flee your site faster than a 404 Not Found error. (Google may also down grade the page ranking of your entire site if you have too many of these bad links.)

Cleaning up crawl errors is actually quite easy. All you need is a Google Account and add your site to your Web Master Tools application.

Note: Google occasionally changes its user interface. If these instructions don't match up, you might need to, well Google the changes.

To create a Google Web Master Account:

  1. Go to www.google.com/webmasters/tools/.
  2. If you have any type of Google account, you can use that to sign in. Otherwise, click Sign Up and create one. (Note: don't be turned off by the information they ask, you can get away with just a single email address).
  3. Once signed in:
    If you already have your site listed, click the listing to open that web site's control panel.
    If you don't have any web sites listed, you can add your site.
  4. To add a site:
    1. Click Add a Site
    2. Enter the URL (web site address) for that site.
      You'll be asked to Verify Ownership of the Site. If you have FTP access to your site, follow the directions for using the HTML File Upload, if not, click Alternate methods, then choose HTML tag. Copy the tag and through your Merchant Admin, paste the code into the HEAD Tag Content/CSS template. It can go anywhere between the and tags.
    3. Click Verify. Google should be able to find the HTML file upload or tag immediately. Once it does, click Continue and you will be taken back to the web master control panel.
      It will probably take between 12 and 48 hours for Google to generate the information we are looking for, so now would be a good time to take care of some of those other tasks you've been putting off.
  5. In your sites's Dashboard view, you should see if there are any Crawl Errors. If there are any listed, click the Crawl folder on the left side of the Dashboard.
  6. At the bottom of the Crawl Errors screen, you should see a listing of all the errors Google found.
  7. For each error, copy the URL listed and add them as a redirect at the end of your .htaccess file as follows: Redirect 301 /a-broken-link.html https://www.yourdomain/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=WorkingLink Where 'a-broken-link.html' is the link you copied from the Crawl Errors and 'https://www.yourdomain/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=WorkingLink' is an actual web page you want visitors to end up on.
  8. When done, upload the changed .htaccess file and then, either click the checkbox next to "Priority and URL" to select all listed errors, or select them individually.
  9. Click MARKED AS FIXED.
  10. Note: this method should not be used if you have hundreds of broken links unless you can determine an .htaccess ReWrite rule to programmatically redirect the links. This works if the broken links have a distinct pattern. Your best source of assistance with this is your Web Host.
Getting Other Search Engines to NoticeAdded 02-09-2014

Moogle can automatically submit its site map to Google, Bing and Ask search engines. However, there are many other search engines that can and will use the Moogle site map. They just don't offer automatic submission. However, you can use a 'robots.txt' file to help steer these other search engines to the correct place.

To add your site map to a robots.txt.

  1. Using an FTP client, access the root directory of your site. Typically, this is the /htdocs or /httpdocs directory though some sites have different name. (Check with your hosting provider if unsure).
  2. Check to see if there is already a file with the name robots.txt there, and if so download it to your PC in a handy location.
  3. If you downloaded the file, open it in a text editor. NOTE: DO NOT USE A WORD PROCESSING PROGRAM LIKE MS WORD, MS WRITE, etc. Use something like Notepad.exe. If not, open a basic text editor like Notepad.exe.
  4. If editing an existing file, go to the bottom of the file and add the following: (If new, just add it anywhere.) Sitemap: https://www.insert-your-site-domain-here.com/MoggleIndex.xml
  5. Save the file as robots.txt and upload it to the root directory of your site.
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