Trying to boost SEO and came across an article that suggests tweaking the Meta Title, Keywords and Description for all products and categories.

The amount of products I have would just be impossible to do this.

Can I just not use the meta tag in my view.phtml and list.phtml to achieve the same result for the Title and Description?


<title><?php echo $_helper->productAttribute($_product, $_product->getName(), 'name') ?></title> 

<meta name="description"="<?php echo $this->__(' ') ?><?php echo $_helper->productAttribute($_product, nl2br($_product->getShortDescription()), 'short_description') ?>" />

The above would save on space in the database, is there any reason why one couldn't just use the above code instead of entering it in for each product?

Also, I seem to remember reading that adding keywords and descriptions are viewed negatively by search engines as they determine what is valid. Please correct me if I'm wrong?

If I am wrong, is there a simple way to generate keywords based on the database contents?

  • Meta Keywords SEO = Non-starter. Only SEO snake-oil salesmen are true believers trying to tell you breathlessly that there's some search engine out there on a distant star that still use them. They were so abused early in the life of e-commerce that no major search engine even looks at them. Title which is already pulled from a slot you can fill with a valid page title is very important to search engine results, Meta Description is nice for snippets, but no search engine uses the contents to determine SERP Position, only optionally if they decide to use it. Commented Apr 10, 2014 at 2:54
  • So is it recommended that all fields be left blank? The reason I'm asking is because there isn't a lot of information out there. This is the second post I make regarding SEO and no one seems to have any concrete answers. This is something that affects everyone with a Magento installation. The only information available is all the same regurgitated information about settings in the back-end and nothing beyond that. If you have any insight or can answer my questions in a manner that would benefit the community, please do so and I will mark the answer as accepted.
    – SR_Magento
    Commented Apr 10, 2014 at 11:08
  • How Can I Import Category META Tags(Titles, Descriptions, Keywords) into DB Using MySQL Query?
    – user51361
    Commented Jun 23, 2017 at 4:45

4 Answers 4


This is a business question, probably not the best forum to place it, although we don't have an alternative for you. There two approaches to SEO, the business (qualitative - artistic) and the technical (quantitative - technology). SEO services and most sites will use majority business and minority technology, the technical approach is the opposite.

This is where it becomes important, the top 5% of retailers generate 50% of all online revenue, the top 1% generate 80% of that. Now, either business -or- technical can, with a lot of experience, time, and determination achieve 80-95% exposure, however you are still fighting for 50% of the revenue.

The top enterprise companies combine both technical and business together to get in to the top 5%, the top 1% improve with higher efficiency, trust, product count, (we use scaled tier 1/2 technology for the top 5% & top 1%).

Bringing it all together the meta description is good to have - be it automated from the description in code (140chars max) or manually entered, the other two are basically irrelevant. The problem is that it is just a drop in the ocean. On the business side you need high product counts, not using canonicals (it confuses everything), actual changing written content, social media, etc. On the technical side you need hosting, tier 1/2 is 2x less effort to rank that tier 3/4 (Nexcess) and 2x less effort than tier 5/6 (optimised Magento hosts) and 2x less effort that tier 7 (mass hosts) - you still need 1-2s dynamic page loads (no fpc).

To point you in the right direction, remove the categories in the product urls and add a 1-2 keyword prefix to the product. The other factor is that 70% of Google's revenue is generated by Adwords, they are not going to make it easy.

You will find everyone is now starting to jump on this as Google are making it harder to rank (revenue), there is more competition in Adwords therefore they are becoming less effective by the month, and everything is moving towards trust (enterprise sites) - so unless you are either very very niche or look like a large enterprise (hence why we use scaled hosting from Large Enterprise consultants) - you will end spending 8% of revenue on marketing compared to Amazon.com's 4%.

Based on the technical side most sites will take months to reindex, so what happens is people make a change, wait a few weeks, see no difference and make another change. By the time their change has been indexed there are multiple other factors in play and they never know what works and what doesn't. At around 30,000 products on top tier hosting is the breakeven where you can let the site just run and it will generate revenue, below that you need to increase your business methods to offset the lack of content (the wonders of onboarding tools).

Now, why can't everyone use tier 1/2 hosting or tier 3/4 (Nexcess clusters), well it is much slower than the lower tier hosts, so you need to pay more for the same result. So you are then balancing the cost of the hosting and architecture against the cost of your time to rank via business methods. Again, we bypass this as some consultants found a way to combine the two so we use their hosting.

It not what you want to hear, but as they say, knowledge is power.

  • My question is relevant to anyone who is running the magento platform. SEO is an extremely important part in having a successful eCommerce website. I have read a lot of your posts, while they are informative they lack the references to backup your statistics and thus they become less factual and more of an opinion. While yes I have seen a trend towards Adwords, I have also seen websites in my space that rank extremely high for part numbers – if Google was going to nix this then they wouldn’t be appearing, hence I am focusing on SEO. I have a dedicated server.+1 for the tips you have provided
    – SR_Magento
    Commented Jun 10, 2014 at 12:43
  • 1
    What on earth are you talking about, there is no such Tier rating for a hosting provider. The closest you have in the industry is data centre tiering and transit provider tiering, both of which have become more marketing than fact. You've quite literally just invented facts to base your vague answer on. Happy to be proved wrong if you can link to an official testing body that shows hosting provider tiering rating methods and specifications.
    – choco-loo
    Commented Jul 16, 2014 at 9:19

To answer the above question, you can do that using the following mysql queries -:

The following query is to copy product name to meta title

INSERT INTO catalog_product_entity_varchar SELECT Null,a.entity_type_id,(select attribute_id from eav_attribute where attribute_code ='meta_title' and entity_type_id IN(SELECT entity_type_id FROM eav_entity_type WHERE entity_type_code='catalog_product')) as attribute_id,store_id,entity_id,value FROM catalog_product_entity_varchar n INNER JOIN eav_attribute a ON n.attribute_id=a.attribute_id AND attribute_code='name' AND a.entity_type_id IN(SELECT entity_type_id FROM eav_entity_type WHERE entity_type_code='catalog_product')

and this query is to copy product description to meta description

INSERT INTO catalog_product_entity_text SELECT Null,a.entity_type_id,(select attribute_id from eav_attribute where attribute_code ='meta_description' and entity_type_id IN(SELECT entity_type_id FROM eav_entity_type WHERE entity_type_code='catalog_product')) as attribute_id,store_id,entity_id,value FROM catalog_product_entity_text d INNER JOIN eav_attribute a ON d.attribute_id=a.attribute_id AND attribute_code='description' AND a.entity_type_id IN(SELECT entity_type_id FROM eav_entity_type WHERE entity_type_code='catalog_product')

Once the data is there then you can optimised your meta information over the period of time.

Hope it helps!


Meta description isn't used in terms of ranking/Serp performance, but it can have a impact on click through. its the bit that your users will see under your search result and is your first change to encourage them to click your link instead of the others.

Doing what you suggest works, there are also various extensions around that let you build it using standard text and attributes. i use the amasty one on my site

  • Meta Description is the bit that Google, Bing, et.al. will optionally display, if they so choose. It sometimes is a crapshoot as to whether the customer sees it. Commented Jun 11, 2014 at 4:26

Doing what you say would work, but it will result in you having very little variety in your product descriptions. If you also have "thin content" in your product descriptions then it's possible that Google will not list multiple listings of similar products with only small variance.

You stated early on in your post,

"The amount of products I have would just be impossible to do this."

Nothing is impossible, I'd advise looking at your best sellers and start writing unique titles and meta descriptions for your Ten best selling products and then build out.

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