Improve Your osCommerce Home Page Rank

How to go about increasing page rank is an often requested oscommerce SEO task. A simple but often overlooked method to increase the page rank of osCommerce’s “home” page is eliminating the splitting of page rank.

What is page rank splitting? Page rank splitting happens whenever the “home” page can be accessed from more than one way. For example, the default methods that the osCommerce “home” page can be accessed are:

  • www.yourdomain.com/
  • www.yourdomain.com/index.php
  • yourdomain.com/
  • yourdomain.com/index.php

Because the osCommerce “home” page rank is split among the four methods above, the “home” page rank won’t be as high as it would be if only one page was getting the total page rank value. Forcing the way the “home” page is accessed will eliminate page rank splitting and should increase the “home” page’s rank.

While whether you use “www.yourdomain.com” or “yourdomain.com” is just a matter of preference, you should choose one or the other and stick to using the one that is chosen. Here’s how to make the changes.

1. Assuming your site is hosted on a ,htaccess enabled *ix server, DOWNLOAD THE .HTACCESS FILE USING ASCII MODE. MAKE A COPY AND SAVE IT AS A BACKUP.

2. Check to see if there are any entries that look like the following and add it if not:

RewriteEngine On
Options +FollowSymLinks
RewriteBase /

The above code should be used if your osCommerce shop resides in the root directory (directly inside public_html or httpdocs etc).

If your osCommerce shop resides in a directory inside of the root then the code should look something like the following where “catalog” should be changed to the name of the directory in which your osCommerce shop resides:

RewriteEngine On
Options +FollowSymLinks
RewriteBase /catalog/

3. To redirect “yourdomain.com” requests to “www.yourdomain.com” place the following code beneath the code that you inserted in step 2. Only insert this code if it’s not already in the .htaccess file. Make sure you replace the “yourdomain.com” with what’s appropriate for your domain.

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

If you prefer to have your site accessed without the “www” then
you could use the code below. Only insert this code if
it’s not already in the .htaccess file. Make sure you replace the
“yourdomain.com” with what’s appropriate for your domain.

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

4. Next we will redirect requests for “index.php.” To do this, place the following code beneath the code you inserted in step 3.

rewriteCond %{THE_REQUEST} ^[A-Z]{3,9}\ /index\.php\ HTTP/
RewriteRule ^index\.php$ http://www.yourdomain.com/ [R=301,L]

If you are redirecting traffic to yourdomain.com (without the “www”) then the above code should look like:

5. Save the .htaccess file and UPLOAD THE .HTACCESS FILE IN ASCII MODE!!!!!!!!!

Check your site to make sure you aren’t getting any configuration errors and that the redirects work.

Here’s what the code should look like if you are redirecting traffic to www.yourdomain.com:

RewriteEngine On
Options +FollowSymLinks
RewriteBase /
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^yourdomain\.com [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.yourdomain.com/$1 [R=301,L]
rewriteCond %{THE_REQUEST} ^[A-Z]{3,9}\ /index\.php\ HTTP/
RewriteRule ^index\.php$ http://www.yourdomain.com/ [R=301,L]

Here’s what the code should look like if you are redirecting traffic to yourdomain.com (without the “www”):

RewriteEngine On
Options +FollowSymLinks
RewriteBase /
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^www\.yourdomain\.com [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://yourdomain.com/$1 [R=301,L]
rewriteCond %{THE_REQUEST} ^[A-Z]{3,9}\ /index\.php\ HTTP/
RewriteRule ^index\.php$ http://yourdomain.com/ [R=301,L]

The last thing you should do to complete the process is to make sure that all links pointing to your site use the redirect method that you’ve chosen. If you are redirecting traffic to “www.yourdomain.com” make sure that all site links point to “www.yourdomain.com/.”

If you prefer that your site is accessed without the “www” then all links should exclude the “www.”

Don’t forget to also make the necessary changes for “www” or non “www” in your admin/includes/configure.php and includes/configure.php files.

Need help? Contact osCommerce-Seo-Studio.com today and let our SEO for osCommerce solutions improve the relevancy, ranking and popularity of your osCommerce website pages for your targeted keywords or keyword phrases and drive traffic targeted for your product or service to your website.