I have a B2B spare parts website with around:
- 25 main categories (organized hierarchically)
- 150 leaf categories (models)
- 250 products (unique items, each with quantity = 1)
Addressed visitors are looking for a specific spare part.
Typically, they will not hesitate between several brands and products as in the consumer segment.
The website is aimed at specialists (niche market).
Despite several optimizations, the website is still badly referenced In the search results, compared to those of competitors.
I must admit that I am not a fan of social networks, so there are only some links to the site, which come from specialized forums.
The publication of many products on the home page can help make reference to the site, but it would also create duplicate content with the dedicated product pages.
In this thread, the general consensus is that there is no disadvantage in using a txt site map instead of an xml one. However, I am not sure of this in the context where the pages to index are buried deep in the hierarchy and the search engines ignore the intermediate levels.
How pages are currently indexed
Google was able to index the pages for the categories of sheets and products, which were provided through two text site maps (URL lists):
Sitemap with leaf categories:
Sitemap with products:
Most of the products are accessed through search field, where the visitor enters the model that he wishes to acquire for the spare part (s). The name of the model is used as Friendly URL Y
.htaccess The file redirects directly to the page category page.
# Currently there are no friendly URLs for intermediate categories (branch).
# Friendly URL for leaf categories (Models)
RewriteRule ^ A_model $ /index.php?cmd=category&cat_id=123 [L]
RewriteRule ^ Other_modelo $ /index.php?cmd=category&cat_id=124 [L]
On the category pages there are links to the unique spare parts.
Friendly URLs are also used and redirection is done with
.htaccess case file.
# Friendly URL for unique products
RewriteRule ^ A_product $ /index.php?cmd=products&prod_id=456
RewriteRule ^ Other_product $ /index.php?cmd=products&prod_id=789
For the user's convenience, if there is only one spare part available for a given model, there is an automatic redirect from the page category page to the single product page, so the category address acts as a small URL (or a gateway if you prefer) to the product page.
If the visitor wants Browse the categories, he can do it though ajaxified tree whose expanded nodes are loading the subcategories on the fly. (For this, the website uses dynatree.js with lazy loading).
So, The robots are aware of the relevant landing pages. for sale (leaf categories and product pages) but, because they do not have a map of the XML site, The site may seem unstructured. (They do not know hierarchical structure).
Why I used .txt sitemaps instead of .xml so far:
- Easier maintenance: I simply have to add a new link when a new product or category is published
- Targeted visitors are experts in their field,
that from the beginning they know what model / piece they are looking for.
- The intermediate categories (tree branches) are almost irrelevant, apart from
See the various families of available products, and therefore it is not necessary to refer to them.
- Should I create friendly URLs for intermediate categories and add
them to the site map in order to make the site more structured, given
that these pages would create some duplicate content with the sheet
categories and product pages?
- In this particular case, should change from .txt sitemaps to xml? (Although maintenance would be much more difficult).
- I plan to replace the ajaxified tree with ajaxified navigation based on tags (filters). Would this make the reference even worse?
- As the home page is more or less similar to a search engine (ie, with little content), would you recommend adding a little "blah blah blah" (even if it's useless for the visitor) to attract more traffic?