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I am having open cart eCommerce website. Here I need to add one product under multiple Categories. By default what opencart produces SITEMAP.xml, it includes URL for all the categroies for that product.

Example:-

  • mywebsite.com/category1/product1
  • mywebsite.com/category1/category2/product1
  • mywebsite.com/category1/category3/product1
  • mywebsite.com/product1

Apart from that I am including on All the webpages.

rel=canonical

And the canonical URL looks like below

mywebsite.com/product1

So My question is, will including so many LINKs help? Or any of the ONE from above will help? May it be shortest or longest. Kindly help

  • Include categories , That will help.. – Helping Hands Aug 17 '15 at 7:08
  • I have already added Categories in XML. But how about products? – Ashish Agarwal Aug 17 '15 at 7:12
  • Yes if you want your products to be index on search engine then you should include product URLs. – Helping Hands Aug 17 '15 at 7:15
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    @HelpingHands how does adding multiple URLs to the same product page in the sitemap help? The sitemap would ideally only include the canonical version of the URL. – Andrew Lott Aug 17 '15 at 10:01
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    @AndrewLott - I did not tell to add same URLs , I told to add URLs which are unique for each product.. – Helping Hands Aug 17 '15 at 11:23
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You do not want your XML sitemap to include duplicate content. In your case, it sounds like that one product exists at multiple URLs, which is the very definition of duplicate content. So, what I'd say is that you want to have the page mywebsite.com/product1 (the canonical version of the URL) in your XML sitemap, then keep the others out of your XML sitemap.

Including all the versions of the URL won't help. Likely, it will just confuse Google and may lead to Google ignoring certain URLs in your XML sitemap. To get the most out of your XML sitemap you don't want Google ignoring any pages from the XML sitemap. In my experience, keeping the XML sitemap clean makes it more useful. That means no error pages, no thin content pages, no redirect pages, and no duplicate content pages.

Also, keep in mind that there is no guarantee Google will follow your XML sitemap. Even if you put in the canonical version and have the rel canonical tag on your pages, Google may still choose to treat another version of the URL as canonical.

Ideally, then, I'd solve the real problem here and just have one version of the product URL on your site (have the versions with the category in the URL redirect to the version of the URL with no category in the URL). That way you don't even have to worry about all the issues duplicate content may cause.

  • Good answer, although the OP is already using canonical tags to fix the duplicate content that could be caused by having the product under multiple categories URLs, so should be no issue there. – Max Aug 25 '15 at 7:03
  • @Max Thanks, and I agree, to a point about the tags. Only catch is that a canonical tag by itself won't do much to resolve duplicate content. You need to support the canonical with an internal link structure that references that canonical URL (basically saying "yep, this is really what we meant for the canonical"). If the canonical link element says one thing but links on the site or the links in the XML sitemap reference the other URL versions, Google may ignore the canonical tag and deem some other URL the canonical version. – Matthew Edgar Aug 25 '15 at 15:00
  • Possibly, although I've never seen this happen. Many eCommerce platforms have products cross listed in different cats and use the canonical tag to pick the main one, always seems reflect in the SERPs with just the canonical indexed. That's what the tag was crated for and Google use it as an exmaple: support.google.com/webmasters/answer/139066?hl=en – Max Aug 26 '15 at 11:15
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You need to add the every unique URL to the XML Sitemaps.This helps in Google bots to crawl your websites in depth.

And also add different types of Sitemaps https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/156184?hl=en which is associated with every product.

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