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  • New V6 feature - Custom Meta Fields

    This is a powerful new feature of Zoom V6, and given the number of people asking us about this, we thought it would be nice to elaborate on it a bit more.

    The feature is documented in detail in the V6 Help file (under "Indexing your website" -> "Custom Meta Search Fields").

    The Custom Meta Fields feature in V6 allows you to create a database-like search criteria for your website or online shop. This means you can have additional search fields like "Price", "Author", etc. for each item. It effectively means you can use Zoom to build simple custom databases with a multi-criteria search without actually having a database.

    You will need to specify these fields and their values in the HTML of the pages being indexed. You do this with meta tags like the following:

    <meta name="NUMROOMS" content="1">
    <meta name="PRICE" content="300000">
    <meta name="SUBURB" content="Sydney">
    <meta name="AGENT" content="Bob McGuinn">
    And then you setup Zoom (on the "Custom Meta Fields" panel of the "Configure" tab) to correspond to these fields so that it knows how to pick these up.

    We have a demo site here that shows this feature in action.

    And there's a tutorial here which goes through in detail how this demo site was setup. We recommend looking at these two links in conjunction with the V6 Help file.
    --Ray
    Wrensoft Web Software
    Sydney, Australia
    Zoom Search Engine

  • #2
    Using the above example, if there were three agents selling the property...

    Bob McGuinn
    John Smith
    Jane Doe

    can the content in the head section be defined like this...

    <meta name="AGENT" content="Bob McGuinn, John Smith, Jane Doe">

    Comment


    • #3
      It needs to be defined one value per line.
      <meta name="AGENT" content="Bob McGuinn">
      <meta name="AGENT" content="John Smith">
      <meta name="AGENT" content="Jane Doe">

      And you need to select the Multi-select field type in the Zoom configuration window. See the help file for additional details.

      Comment


      • #4
        It depends on how you want the "Agents" to be searched. If you want a list of options on the search form, then you'd want the Multi-select method as explained above.

        If you want a text box that the user types into, then you could potentially do it as you mentioned here:

        Originally posted by Jimbot View Post
        can the content in the head section be defined like this...

        <meta name="AGENT" content="Bob McGuinn, John Smith, Jane Doe">
        But make sure to have "Partial (substring) text match" enabled for that meta field.
        --Ray
        Wrensoft Web Software
        Sydney, Australia
        Zoom Search Engine

        Comment


        • #5
          If you wanted to be able to use a drop down list of agents, instead of the multi-select method, but still have more than one agent per page, how would you do this using the multi select option?

          Comment


          • #6
            You would do that by specifying the meta field type as Multi-select in Zoom, and creating your own search form HTML so that the user interface to it is a dropdown rather than a multi-select box.

            The advanced search page for the fruit shop demo is an example of using a self-made search form rather than an automatically generated one.
            --Ray
            Wrensoft Web Software
            Sydney, Australia
            Zoom Search Engine

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks Ray, that works a treat!

              Andy

              Comment


              • #8
                separating values with a coma in custom meta name

                Originally posted by Ray View Post
                It depends on how you want the "Agents" to be searched. If you want a list of options on the search form, then you'd want the Multi-select method as explained above.

                If you want a text box that the user types into, then you could potentially do it as you mentioned here:



                But make sure to have "Partial (substring) text match" enabled for that meta field.
                I would like to use the feature described in the quote. But the reply states "you could potentially do it". Does that mean it may not be accurate? I want users to type their search term into a text box.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by renee View Post
                  I would like to use the feature described in the quote. But the reply states "you could potentially do it". Does that mean it may not be accurate? I want users to type their search term into a text box.
                  Well the reason I said that is because partial text matching does not ensure that each value is considered separately. This means "red" will match "fredrick" and "winfred". But if this is acceptable for you, then it may be a reasonable solution.
                  --Ray
                  Wrensoft Web Software
                  Sydney, Australia
                  Zoom Search Engine

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Ray View Post
                    Well the reason I said that is because partial text matching does not ensure that each value is considered separately. This means "red" will match "fredrick" and "winfred". But if this is acceptable for you, then it may be a reasonable solution.
                    Thank-you Ray for the quick response.

                    My main concern was listing too many meta tags in my html document. I didn't want to go over any limits as far as SEO is concerned. I'm not sure if there are any limits.
                    On the average my pages will have a "Zoomimage" and up to five "Zoomcategory" tags and up to three meta name tags for custom meta fields. Also, the usual title, description and keywords.

                    I thought using a comma to separate category names might seem a little less cluttered.

                    Does partial text matching consider each value separately when listed in a separate tag?

                    Also, are you aware of what number of tags is recommended for SEO?

                    Thank-you - Renee

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by renee View Post
                      Does partial text matching consider each value separately when listed in a separate tag?
                      Yes. This requires the "Multi-select" type to be selected for that meta field, which allows the user to select from each individual value.

                      Originally posted by renee View Post
                      Also, are you aware of what number of tags is recommended for SEO?
                      As far as I know, there are no search engines penalizing pages for having too many META tags. It would make most sense that they would ignore meta tags they do not recognize, as it would be the case here.
                      --Ray
                      Wrensoft Web Software
                      Sydney, Australia
                      Zoom Search Engine

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I am a new user of Zoom and inexperienced, but regarding my earlier post about separating values in the "Zoomcategory" meta tag I wanted to allow visitors to type search terms into a text box (no selections).

                        I briefly experimented with the tags. I could comma separate values in the meta name tag for a custom meta field and my search would work, but if I did the same for the "Zoomcategory" tag it would not work for me. I tried a comma and a semi-colon.

                        So, I guess just to be on the safe side I will list each category in its own tag as suggested in the Help examples.

                        Thank-you again - Renee

                        Comment

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