Call this an eye opener and perhaps myth buster for how you think about sitemaps. First and foremost we are not talking about your human/visitor HTML sitemap… But rather a sitemap specifically formatted for search engines to read.
Google has known searchers do this for sometime…and they have preached the use of great and unique descriptions along the same line. Remember, your Meta description does not help you rank… but is rather a unique opportunity to elicit a click from searchers. This element however, if not appropriate for the query will be replaced by a snippet to better serve the searcher…. All good, no arguments here.
Duplication for sorted and alternate view urls continues to be a problem for shop owners. The new rel=”canonical” attribute is excellent, but in our dynamic shopping carts implementation is a nightmare for most. So, Google to the rescue (at least for their results) as now in your Google Webmaster Tools you can adjust your parameter handling for Google.
We would like to offer up a free Zen Cart report to a brave shop owner willing to share his/her site’s issues, url, images and other non-personal data with our readers. This means that your report findings, suggestions and related materials will be posted here for others to read, learn and even contribute to your audit.