Saturday, April 12, 2008

Prostores Bad for Business

You have searched around for a shopping cart and have narrowed it down to Prostores, an eBay company.

For the eager webstore owner just starting out there are several important factors that will help you achieve your success that Prostores lacks or fails to offer.

1st is the use of the meta refresh tag in your Prostores webstore index.upsu file. This is the file which basically displays your homepage. From the Prostores sales pitch you will see that you can use your own domain name. Well you do, but this meta refresh tag redirects your domain name to yourdomain/servlet/storefront. In our opinion using my domain of mystore.com means my homepage should read mystore.com and NOT mystore.com/servlet/storefront.

Basically according to the search engines yoursite.com doesn't exist. Why? Because yoursite.com is redirected to yoursite.com/servlet/storefront.

Why is this not good? It can be argued both ways, but this type of redirect can be harmful to your sites search ranking and as using meta refresh is often used by scammers your site could easily be penalized.

Read the following about the use of meta refresh tag; Google Penalties: Automated page redirects - Meta Refresh and JavaScript automated re-directs often result in penalties as the pages using them are perceived to be doorway pages. This practice of doorway pages is often used by the website scam artist to redirect you from the safe red maple site you think your going to, to their malicious scam site. And since search engine spiders don't know the difference your honest safe family friendly site often gets penalized just the same. This technique is especially dangerous if the refresh time is less than 5 seconds.

As Prostores redirects your domain name to yourdomain/servlet/storefront using a meta refresh of 0, this could very easily be why several store owners report no sales after 6,8,9 months or more. The only safe way to redirect is by using a 301 permanently moved via htaccess file. Unfortunately from what we read Prostores doesn't permit store owners to use htaccess file thus highly restricting the store owner from implementing a 100% accepted by all search spiders friendly and approved redirect.

This is only one factor out of many that leads to your success that Prostores restricts you from changing or correcting. Yes, Prostores may suggest you create a static homepage, but this can be just as harmful to your search results.

This among other things, which we will address in future posts, make Prostores a very bad choice for the store owner who wants to succeed. Before you decide on Prostores as your shopping cart it is advised you thoroughly research what they offer and what they don't. You'll find what they don't support or offer are key factors in determining the success of your online store.


2 Comments:

At 4:12 PM, Anonymous Glen said...

Hello,

I would like to clarify that ProStores does not expose a meta refresh to requesters whether they be search engine crawlers or real people. Examining the headers returned from a request on ProStores based storefront you will see a 301 redirect is received. This is easily shown by using the “Live HTTP headers” add-on for Firefox.
If you have tested this functionality and have seen responses indicating otherwise please let us know and we will investigate.

Regards,
Glen Franke
ProStores Development Team

 
At 11:09 AM, Anonymous Jocelyn said...

This is comment for the one made by Glen.

Then what is this?

This is the copy from any prostores index.upsu file which redirects your domain to a shared url.

<!doctype html public "-//w3c//dtd html 4.0 transitional//en">
<html>
<head>
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">
<meta http-equiv="REFRESH" content="0; URL=http://store.prostores.com/servlet/Your Domain Name/StoreFront">
</head>
</html>

For all those unfamiliar with web hosting, the .index.upsu is your sites index file. Now one can replace the Prostores .index.upsu with their own index.html file thus overriding the Prostores file.

Also, the above http://store.prostores.com/servlet/My Domain/StoreFront surely does not look like My Domain.com. If one can use their own domain as stated by Prostores, then why the redirect to the shared url?

I wouldn't buy nothing from someone who can't even have their own url matching domain name. The shared url above makes your Prostore site look like a wanna-be webstore that can't be taken seriously.

 

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