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#1 04-05-2015 18:30:54

ThomasGiannou
Member
Registered: 02-10-2007
Posts: 184

Sitemap.xml submission problem

I have the system options for the cart set to send the site map to the three search engine groups listed.   When I look in google webmaster tools the site map from the shopping cart is not listed.
But, when I look in the Bing Webmaster tools, the site map from the shopping cart is listed.   It would appear the daily submission of the shopping cart sitemap.xml file is not getting into google for some reason.

Should I add the shopping cart's sitemap.xml to the robots.txt file?

I'm going to use google tools to submit the sitemap.xml file from the shopping cart and see if that happens.

Is there any way we can cause the shopping cart sitemap.xml file to be created on demand?   I added some products and I noticed they were not in the sitemap yet.

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#2 04-06-2015 01:23:26

ThomasGiannou
Member
Registered: 02-10-2007
Posts: 184

Re: Sitemap.xml submission problem

When I submitted my http://www.tandjenterprises.com/CCPRO/u … itemap.xml from my website to "fetch as bing" in Bing Webmaster Tools the sitemap.xml file had only <urlset> </urlset> present.   

I looked at that file earlier today and it had 104 different entries in it.   I added one product today and the sitemap ended up with nothing being present in it.   

I'll let you know what is present tomorrow evening about this time... 11:20 pm pst.

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#3 04-06-2015 06:49:52

webmaster
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From: York, PA
Registered: 04-20-2001
Posts: 19557
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Re: Sitemap.xml submission problem

Your sitemap is empty.  Check your settings to be sure that you have all of your products, categories, pages, etc. checked to export to the sitemap (System > Component > Settings > SiteMap).  I'm guessing you have all of them turned off.  Here's what I like to do for the sitemap:

(1) Set up Google Webmaster Tools to pick it up nightly using it's full URL.
(2) Set up CCP to send it to Google, Bing, Ask, etc. when it's generated.
(3) Add an entry for it in the robots.txt file for the site.

That formula seems to cover all bases.


Nick Hendler

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#4 04-06-2015 08:11:43

ThomasGiannou
Member
Registered: 02-10-2007
Posts: 184

Re: Sitemap.xml submission problem

All the system>component>settings>sitemap options were turned on.   I recently added a product to the catalogue by doing a clone process on another product.   I went out to http://www.tandjenterprises.com/CCPRO/u … itemap.xml  file and everything was present in the site map except the product I had just entered.  I figured the site map would be rebuilt when the daily cycle of doing that took place.   When that happened, the sitemap was empty.  It had only the <urlset> </urlset> present in the sitemap.   There is a bug in the shopping cart when it comes to generating the sitemap for the shopping cart. 

Right now, the sitemap at:   http://www.tandjenterprises.com/CCPRO/u … itemap.xml is empty.   It wasn't empty when I looked at it a day ago.   I figure I have to let it cycle through a daily cycle again to build the sitemap and submit it to the search engines again.

I have two webmaster tools set up, one for Bing, and one for Google.   I had never gone into the one for Bing before, but when I set it up I noticed three site maps had appeared after Bing had scanned my site.   One was for my word press location, one was for my web site, and the third was for the shopping cart.

Then, I went over to Google Webmaster Tools and noticed the only sitemap that was set up was the one for my website at http://www.tandjenterprises.com/sitemap.xml.   I thought it peculiar that no site map for the shopping cart was present in Google Webmaster Tools.   Then, it occurred to me that the shopping cart Google submission was not working.   If it were, I should be seeing the sitemap for the shopping cart in Google Webmaster Tools.   Then I realized the sitemap was not being submitted to Google from the shopping cart even though I had everything in the shopping cart turned on to do that.   

Then I decided to add the shopping cart sitemap to the Robots.txt file.   I'll go add it to google after another daily cycle rebuilds the sitemap.   

Now, I'm wondering if the sitemap is being cleared out on one daily cycle and rebuilt on the next daily cycle?    I'll have to observe the results as we pass through the daily cycles if one day the site map is generated and the next day the site map is cleared.   The clearing of the sitemap for the cart might be tied to some other event like adding a product to the shopping cart.   We'll see what the observations show.

I also noticed yet another problem and that is url's are being formed that do not pick up the SEO definitions out of the shopping cart.    I have links from my web site that will go to the shopping cart store:   http://www.tandjenterprises.com/CCPRO/store .   I have found that I can execute that link and it will bring up a display of the shopping cart and that link will show in the URL, but when I click on a category in the shopping cart store display, this shows up in the url field:
http://www.tandjenterprises.com/CCPRO/i … 181jn37ey3

It's like I didn't have the SEO turned on in the cart, but the SEO is turned on in the cart.   The above only happens when I start the browser with the buffers empty in the browser.   Once I go back and forth from the shopping cart to the main website, the SEO names start working on the shopping cart.

I noticed a peculiar error that was happening on the Bing Webmaster Tools page.   It was saying I had multiple url's with the same meta titles.   When I looked at those errors I found two different url's pointing the to the same page in the shopping cart.   One URL had all the SEO names displayed correctly, the second URL was displaying
http://www.tandjenterprises.com/CCPRO/i … 181jn37ey3  like I showed above.

When I go back to the website and click on the store link again and then click on that category name, the following displays:
http://www.tandjenterprises.com/CCPRO/C … Garden-Kit

So, what is happening, one time the Bing crawler is picking up the SEO url when it crawls the site and another time it is picking up the non-seo url when it crawls the shopping cart.

It should be interesting to see if the shopping cart sitemap is switching from SEO names to non-seo names.   If not, then the crawler is sometimes picking up the non-seo names at times and the SEO names at other times as it crawls the shopping cart.   Right now, I have the SEO and Non-SEO link names indexed in Bing and that's giving me an error on multiple links to the same page having the same meta titles.  Both of those links resolve to the same shopping cart page.

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#5 04-07-2015 01:05:48

ThomasGiannou
Member
Registered: 02-10-2007
Posts: 184

Re: Sitemap.xml submission problem

Ok, the time here is 10:47 pm 4/6/2015 pst.   The shopping cart has cycled through generating a sitemap.xml for the cart.   All the entries in the site map are in SEO format and are present.   The first few entries in the site map look like what is below.   Everything is strung together after a copy paste operation.

<urlset><url><loc>http://www.tandjenterprises.com/CCPRO/tandjenterprises</loc><lastmod>2015-04-06</lastmod><changefreq>daily</changefreq></url><url><loc>http://www.tandjenterprises.com/CCPRO/Cookie-Information</loc><lastmod>2015-04-06</lastmod><changefreq>daily</changefreq></url><url><loc>http://www.tandjenterprises.com/CCPRO/Privacy-Information</loc><lastmod>2015-04-06</lastmod><changefreq>daily</changefreq></url><url><loc>http://www.tandjenterprises.com/CCPRO/Store-Policies</loc><lastmod>2015-04-06</lastmod><changefreq>daily</changefreq></url><url><loc>http://www.tandjenterprises.com/CCPRO/Affordable-Organic-Garden-Kit-Products</loc><lastmod>2015-04-06</lastmod><changefreq>daily</changefreq></url><url><loc>http://www.tandjenterprises.com/CCPRO/Terms-Of-Use</loc><lastmod>2015-04-06</lastmod><changefreq>daily</changefreq></url><url><loc>http://www.tandjenterprises.com/CCPRO/Category/A-and-D-Vitamins</loc><lastmod>2015-04-06</lastmod><changefreq>daily</changefreq></url><url><loc>http://www.tandjenterprises.com/CCPRO/Category/B-Vitamins</loc><lastmod>2015-04-06</lastmod><changefreq>daily</changefreq></url><url><loc>http://www.tandjenterprises.com/CCPRO/Category/BioVam-Products</loc><lastmod>2015-04-06</lastmod><changefreq>daily</changefreq></url>

The question I have now is will the sitemap go back to being empty on tomorrows generation cycle.   We know it went empty after I made a change to clone one product.   So, if tomorrow the sitemap is still present, then I'll do another clone of a product and see if it goes empty again.    Either way, we will have (hopefully) some kind of replical pattern and have discovered if there is some kind of triggering event present.   

I'm going to go out to Google Tools and put this sitemap definition into Google.  I think I can then submit it to the google index and get all the shopping cart pages indexed there.   

My theory that the sitemap.xml for the shopping cart was responsible for picking up the non-SEO url's that are duplicates over on Bing, doesn't appear to be connected to the sitemap.xml picking up non-SEO url's.    That may have happend just by a bot following a link from any one of my website pages over to the cart and then following the link into categories and products on the cart and coming up with all those non-SEO url's.   I have been able to replicate that error at will.   Start any browser with the buffers cleared and go from the website page to the cart and click on a category link and the url that is formed for that category will be a non-SEO formasted url.   I suspect, that's how bots are picking up those non-SEO formated url's and indexing them into the Bing Index.   I need to see if Bing webmaster tools has a way to remove a url that is on my domain.   That way I can remove those duplicate links to each of the pages on the Bing Index.   

Google webmaster tools has a way to remove url's from their index, but I haven't found that yet for the Bing index.

Anyway, I'll keep monitoring the shopping cart sitemap.xml to see if it gets cleared again.  Sorry to be so wordy, but I'm trying to pass along information that will give you a hint of what to look at in your shopping cart code so this can be fixed and we all can get back on track.

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#6 04-07-2015 01:53:35

ThomasGiannou
Member
Registered: 02-10-2007
Posts: 184

Re: Sitemap.xml submission problem

Ok, I examined the submission history on the shopping cart sitemap.xml in Google Webmaster tools.   It shows the number of pages in the index by day for the past 30 days.   Whenever I did maintenance on the shopping cart catalog (categories or products) the very next sitemap.xml cycle results in a sitemap with nothing in it and the pages submitted go to zero in the Google sitemap.xml submission history log.   This should be something you can replicate and trace and see where the shopping cart logic stops working as originally planned.     

Next, I need to figure out why these non-SEO url's are ending up in the Bing and Google index.  I have already identified one bug possibility in that situation.

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#7 04-07-2015 06:55:13

webmaster
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From: York, PA
Registered: 04-20-2001
Posts: 19557
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Re: Sitemap.xml submission problem

The sitemap is overwritten once each day by system cron.  It is never wiped or blanked out.  At the time a new file is generated, the old file is replaced.  It is never blanked out.  Google picks up on it's own schedule.  Your sitemap is populated and it appears you have SEO running as the URLs in it are SEO URLs and /sitemap.xml references the /utilities/sitemap.xml file.

Whatever you did, you solved it.


Nick Hendler

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#8 04-07-2015 12:26:33

ThomasGiannou
Member
Registered: 02-10-2007
Posts: 184

Re: Sitemap.xml submission problem

No.  I didn't solve it.  I just discovered when the sitemap.xml is replaced with a blank sitemap.xml.   Google Webmaster tools shows each day the sitemap.xml is submitted.  Every time I make a change to a product in the catalogue, the very next day google shows zero pages submitted from the sitemap.xml.   That's when the sitemap.xml file entries are wiped out by the shopping cart program.  It's an empty sitemap.xml file.   The Google Webmaster tools then shows the history of the number of pages being indexed and when the sitemap.xml file goes empty, zero pages are being submitted.  Every time I make a change to the product catalogue, the next time the shopping cart cycle's through the sitemap.xml submission, a display of Google Webmaster tools shows that zero pages were submitted from the shopping cart sitemap because the sitemap is empty.   If I make a change 2 or 3 days in a row to products in the catalogue, the sitemap.xml file is submitted and no pages are indexed from that sitemap.xml because there are no entries in the sitemap.xml to submit.   Right now, the sitemap.xml for the cart is propagated with SEO entries of pages from the cart.   I'll now make a change to the catalogue, and tonight when the sitemap.xml is replaced and submitted to the google search engine, it will have no entries in the sitemap.xml.   Tomorrow, when we look at the shopping cart sitemap.xml file it will be empty.   That is how this bug is triggered to create an empty sitemap.xml file for the shopping cart.   

Take a look at http://www.tandjenterprises.com/CCPRO/u … itemap.xml and you will see it is propagated with entries from the shopping cart pages.   I'm going to make another change to a product in the shopping cart shortly, and the sitemap.xml file won't have any entries in it tomorrow.   And google webmaster tools will show zero pages for that sitemap.xml file being submitted tonight because it will be empty.  Every day I make a change to the product catalogue, the sitemap.xml file that is submitted to the search engines is empty.   If I made a change to a product in the catalogue each day for five days in a row the sitemap.xml file submitted to the search engines would be empty for five days in a row.   Google webmaster tools sitemap.xml submission history would show zero pages submitted to the index form the empty sitemap.xml file for five days in a row.   On the sixth day, the Google webmaster tools sitemap.xml submission history will show all the pages from the sitemap.xml file being submitted again.   There is a bug in the program code that creates that sitemap.   The program works as long as no change is made to the shopping cart catalogue that day.   The sitemap.xml file that is submitted to search engines is an empty sitemap only if I make a change to the product catalogue that day.

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#9 04-08-2015 08:05:39

webmaster
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From: York, PA
Registered: 04-20-2001
Posts: 19557
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Re: Sitemap.xml submission problem

Do you have another program running out there that's generating a SiteMap file?  Perhaps an old broken install?  Or some one-off downloaded sitemap generator?


Nick Hendler

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#10 04-08-2015 09:08:36

ThomasGiannou
Member
Registered: 02-10-2007
Posts: 184

Re: Sitemap.xml submission problem

No.  Not for the shopping cart.   I don't have any other installs of the shopping cart and I have never used an external utility to generate the sitemap for the shopping cart.  This time, I just changed the description of a product in the catalogue, but the sitemap.xml was generated properly.   Before, when I cloned a product, the sitemap.xml got cleared by the shopping cart software.   It looks like I need to clone a product again and see if that is all it takes to get the shopping cart program to put out an empty sitemap.xml file.   There is obviously a bug present, I just want to find the trigger that causes the shopping cart sitemap.xml file to be put out as an empty sitemap.   So, I'll clone another product and let's see what goes on with the sitemap.xml file.

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#11 04-09-2015 06:57:01

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From: York, PA
Registered: 04-20-2001
Posts: 19557
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Re: Sitemap.xml submission problem

Please keep up on this.  I can assure you there is nothing in the software which will create a blank sitemap or erase the existing sitemap.


Nick Hendler

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#12 04-09-2015 07:32:50

ThomasGiannou
Member
Registered: 02-10-2007
Posts: 184

Re: Sitemap.xml submission problem

Nick,  I noticed that my cloning a product in the catalogue didn't trigger the clearing of the sitemap.   The only thing I know of that does anything to that sitemap in the online shopping cart files is the Shopping cart programs.   Nothing else has access to that sitemap. 

The next thing to try is to update category descriptions and see if that is the trigger. 

I'll email you a screen print of the google webmaster tools sitemap details.  That screen print shows that on 3/19/2015, 3/26/2015, 3/27/2015, and 3/28/2015 that the shopping cart sitemap.xml had no entries in it.  It was empty.  On 3/20/2015 and on 3/29/2015, the sitemap was back to normal.

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#13 04-09-2015 08:32:48

ThomasGiannou
Member
Registered: 02-10-2007
Posts: 184

Re: Sitemap.xml submission problem

Here's the url to the sitemapdetails.jpg :   http://www.tandjenterprises.com/images/ … etails.jpg .    I didn't notice this before, but notice the red line in that image file.   According to google, nothing was being indexed from the shopping cart sitemap.xml until 4/8/2015.    According to what that image is depicting, the sitemap was being submitted to google, but the pages were not being indexed.   I didn't notice any red line before when looking at the sitemap details display.   I thought it was something new being added by google.   The only thing I've done is make sure the sitemap for the shopping cart was in the robots.txt file on the website and it was in the google webmaster tools.   

This image is showing when the sitemap was submitted to google and when it had no entries in the sitemap, but the disturbing thing is the image also indicates the sitemap entries were not even being indexed until 4/8/2015 into the google index.   The sitemap detail display in webmaster tools just gives what went on in the last 30 days with the sitemap.   It shows a lot of sitemap submissions and some of those were empty sitemaps, but actual entries added to the google index are shown as starting on 4/8/2015.   That's the first time in that 30 day window that entries from the sitemap were actually indexed.   The robots.txt file was updated on 4/5/2015 with the shopping cart sitemap.xml.     The indexing request was noted by google on the 4/6/2015 submission of the sitemap which is the day after I updated the robots.txt file with the shopping cart sitemap.   Prior to that point in time, nothing was being added into the google index from the shopping cart submissions. 

What this is showing is the sitemap.xml file from the shopping cart was being submitted and sometimes it was empty, but it wasn't until I put the sitemap.xml of the shopping cart into the robots.txt file that entries in the sitemap.xml file were actually added to the google index.    Evidently, the only shopping cart entries into the google index were from links on the main website pointing over to the shopping cart.   Bots were following those links.   The google bot won't crawl the sitemap.xml file unless it is ok'd in the robots.txt file.   Evidently, none of the shopping cart submissions were actually being indexed in google until I put the shopping cart sitemap.xml into the robots.txt file.   

I should look at the Bing Webmaster tools and see if they are tracking this also.

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#14 04-10-2015 07:28:05

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From: York, PA
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Re: Sitemap.xml submission problem

Very interesting.  I'm going to do a little research on this myself.  It seems you've found that having the sitemap.xml file in your robots.txt file is imperative to getting submissions indexed, even though submissions are accepted by Google.


Nick Hendler

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#15 04-10-2015 07:28:30

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Re: Sitemap.xml submission problem

This does not explain your blank sitemap issue.


Nick Hendler

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#16 04-10-2015 11:30:12

ThomasGiannou
Member
Registered: 02-10-2007
Posts: 184

Re: Sitemap.xml submission problem

At first, I thought my maintenance in the shopping cart catalogue is what triggered the blank sitemap issue.   As you can see in that screen print link above, there were sitemap submissions that had zero entries present.   When that blue line went down to zero, there were no entries in the sitemap submission.   I've run out of ideas about how to recreate this situation of a blanked out sitemap.   I can see that it happened, but I haven't been able to figure out what is triggering it to happen.

At least, there's one consolation to this... eventually the shopping cart software will replace that sitemap.xml file with a valid SEO sitemap with all the entries present.

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#17 04-11-2015 01:19:42

ThomasGiannou
Member
Registered: 02-10-2007
Posts: 184

Re: Sitemap.xml submission problem

Here we go again!!!

The sitemap that is present on the shopping cart is shown below.  That is all that's in the sitemap.  The last maintenance to the catalogue was to change some category descriptions and that was done two days ago.   

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
  <urlset xmlns="http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9" />

I'll let the cart sit for a day with no change and the sitemap will be back to normal.   I'll have to weight until 11 pm or so on 4/11/2015.   The next day I'll change a description in a category and then see if the sitemap gets clobbered again.   The next day or the day after that.

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#18 04-13-2015 07:24:02

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From: York, PA
Registered: 04-20-2001
Posts: 19557
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Re: Sitemap.xml submission problem

Two questions:

(1) Are you at or near your disk space quota?

(2) Do any/all of your items in your sitemap require special permissions to be viewed?  Ie, are all your products, html pages, categories, etc. limited to certain user groups only?


Nick Hendler

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#19 04-13-2015 08:33:37

ThomasGiannou
Member
Registered: 02-10-2007
Posts: 184

Re: Sitemap.xml submission problem

Nick, no, I'm not at any disk space quota boundary and I don't have any limitations as to who can view any pages.  I have no disk space quota.   Also, when the shopping cart program rebuilds the shopping cart sitemap.xml file, it's between 11 pm and 12 pm pst.   There's very little load on the system at that time.

I think I see what may be happening and why it doesn't show up in the code of your programs.   The sitemap.xml file is basically a text file.   When your program starts writing to that text file, it may have written out two lines and then something happens and a timeout occurs.  The program building the sitemap never gains control again to write out the rest of the sitemap.xml file and then the program that submits the sitemap.xml does its thing and we end up with a two line sitemap.xml file from the shopping cart submission.   

This seems to happen after I make a change to a category record in the shopping cart catalog.    I'll do another description change in a category record and see if that triggers another failure.   It wasn't until I changed a category description that this last failure occurred.

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#20 04-14-2015 07:09:14

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From: York, PA
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Re: Sitemap.xml submission problem

Ok.  Please continue to try to hunt this down.  There's something going on for sure.


Nick Hendler

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#21 04-15-2015 02:23:30

ThomasGiannou
Member
Registered: 02-10-2007
Posts: 184

Re: Sitemap.xml submission problem

Nick.  The current sitemap.xml for the shopping cart now contains two lines again. 

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
  <urlset xmlns="http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9" />

I've been able to replicate this twice now.   What I did was to change the description of text in a category description field.  Two days later, the sitemap.xml comes out with two lines in it.   So that seems to be the trigger of this sitemap.xml going blank on us.  Wait one more day and the entries are back to normal in the shopping cart sitemap.xml file.   

What is the name of the program that builds the sitemap.xml file?   Is there a separate program that submits the sitemap.xml file to the search engines?   If there was a fatal error of some sort in the programs involved, would that show up somewhere in an activity log on website? or on the unix server logs?

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#22 04-15-2015 07:30:07

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From: York, PA
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Re: Sitemap.xml submission problem

A blank sitemap would result only if you had NO products, categories, pages or news articles available for submission.  That's the only way a file like that would be written.  The sitemap is written by a single file in {private}/core/CORE_SiteMap/CORE_SiteMap.php.


Nick Hendler

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#23 04-15-2015 19:00:56

ThomasGiannou
Member
Registered: 02-10-2007
Posts: 184

Re: Sitemap.xml submission problem

What you are saying is obviously not the case because we are seeing a sitemap.xml file with just two lines in it and the database certainly contains products, categories, etc.   It may not make any sense by looking at the logic in your program, but there is a way this can happen.   After the CORE_SiteMap.php writes two lines to the sitemap.xml file it is probably trying to read the database.   What would that program do if at that point if it was given a return code it didn't recognize from the database?

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#24 04-16-2015 08:31:37

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Re: Sitemap.xml submission problem

The way it works is the program loops through all categories, products, pages and news articles and builds onto an XML output variable for each.  Then that XML is appended to the two lines you're referring to making a single in-memory variable containing the complete XML output.  At that point the sitemap.xml file is either created or overwritten with the data in the in-memory variable containing the complete XML output.


Nick Hendler

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#25 04-16-2015 12:27:36

ThomasGiannou
Member
Registered: 02-10-2007
Posts: 184

Re: Sitemap.xml submission problem

I see that for the second day in a row only two lines were put into the sitemap.xml.   I can see the logic that you described in the program.  What has to be happening in the code of that program is it is not retrieving any data from the database and the array that would be appended to the two lines is empty.   Thus, the complete XML output contains just the two lines that are created in the program. 

What is the first database record that is being read?  Perhaps we could do a database query and see if there is something amiss with that first table that would cause the program to time out in the process of reading through the database?   What would the program do if nothing ever came back from the database?   There has to be some kind of end of file indicator to tell that program that it has gone through the database and has reached the end.   If the program was going through the database and all that was ever returned is the end of file has been reached and the internal array has been built (but is empty) then the program goes on and appends everything together and writes it out to the sitemap.xml file.   And then we see just the first two lines that we are seeing in the sitemap.xml file.   Those two lines are "hard coded" in the program.   

We see the first two lines come out of the program and are written to the sitemap.xml file, but we don't see the data below that closes off the sitemap.xml come out of what is built by the php program.   
$mapdata .= '</urlset>' . $eol;

I don't know php code that well and I can't figure out how the first two lines can be sent out and how the /urlset doesn't show up in the sitemap.xml.   I see the code for the three search engines being pinged, but I have no idea what to look at to see if the search engines actually initiated a scan of the sitemap.xml file except that google webmaster tools is reporting an error on that sitemap.xml on 4/16/2015 which is the date the ping would have been sent to google.   Who knows?   Once the sitemap.xml has been defined in google webmaster tools, I think google is going over on its own to read the sitemap once a day.  The history log of activity shows that to be the case.   I have two sitemap.xml files... one for my main website and the one that is being built by the shopping cart.  I'm not pinging each day on behalf of the one for my website.   So, once the sitemap is known to google webmaster tools, it gets crawled on a daily basis.

So it appears that only the first two lines are somehow coming out.   It goes into the routine of reading the database but never writes out those entries and never writes out that hard coded closing entry.  It looks like the program just times out and never has control again and leaves that sitemap.xml with just two lines in it.

I guess I'm going to have to download the website server log or look at it through cpanel and see if there's anything coming out early in that log because the sitemap.xml file is time stamped 12:03 am on 4/16/2015.

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