Zencart SEO Problem – Is your site indexed?

Has your store been open for months and still not get listed in search engines? Do you see a sudden drop in search traffic after updating your cart or changing your store template? Perhaps Google is not indexing your Zencart store?

Problem 1: incorrect robots meta tag

You may be a victim of “noindex” misuse!

Here is how to check:

  1. First, go to your store, right click and choose “view source” or “view page source”
  2. See if you can find this string: . The string is usually located just above the tag
  3. See if the string above appears on the main page on your store

The string above is telling search engines to avoid indexing and thus listing your site on the search results.


  1. There’s a bug which only shows when you have Admin->Configuration->Layout Settings->Categories – Always Show on Main Page = 1 ( fix = http://www.zen-cart.com/forum/showthread.php?t=87093 )
  2. There might be an error in html_header.php of the template (fix response #66 = http://www.zen-cart.com/forum/showth…ate#post713752 )

Problem 2: session id

There is another possible issue with your store links: every time a human visitor visits the store, at the very first load of the store within that session a unique session id is appended at the end of the links to identify the visitor:

  1. A session starts at the very first time the visitor visits the link
  2. The session ends when the browser window is closed or when the visitor is inactive for over 20 minutes.
  3. Zen session id is appended to the links that are on the VERY FIRST page the visitor loads on your site. Links with appended session id look like this: http://yoursite.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=12&zenid=123qdsad32rwqedasd32e
  4. When the visitor clicks on such links, then on the VERY NEXT page all links displayed on that page should NOT have zenid appended
  5. Links with zenid should not be presented to search engines.

Pay attention to point 5, the problem arises when links with zenid are presented to search engines. Because each time the search bots visit the site they are given a set of different links (because of different zenids appended to the links each time) -> spider/bot would never see the same page twice


  1. Go to into the admin sections, session set session path correctely ( http://www.zen-cart.com/forum/showthread.php?t=78554 )
  2. Check Cache folder has correct permissions, either 755 or 777 (which ever is correct for you server)

Repairing the Damage:
To get rid of those unwanted links in search engines add the following to your robots.txt which should be located in the root folder of your store

Disallow: *zenid=*
Disallow: /*zenid=*

The information and solution in this article are taken from several trusted sources. I would like to thanks shoulders for posting a very comprehensive “troubleshooting” guide and for letting me use the info he posted.

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