Yahoo Merchant Solutions Clipboard – The tale of orphans, exiles, and Siberia

Does the clipboard in the Yahoo Aabaco Small Business Merchant Solutions store editor leave you frustrated and confused? You’re not alone. Without proper knowledge and guidance, using the clipboard feature can you leave with pages that are misplaced or missing altogether. Don’t let this discourage you. The clipboard is an extremely useful and necessary feature. The first step to mastering this important tool is to understand its purpose.

What’s the clipboard supposed to be used for anyway?

That’s a great question, Bob. I’m glad you asked. We believe that the original intent of the clipboard was to provide an easy way to move pages around in your store. However, many merchants also use the clipboard as a way to store pages they don’t want published on their live site. Let’s explore both uses.

Moving Pages Using the Clipboard
Using the clipboard to move pages starts with the Cut function. Clicking Cut removes the page you are on from every section and product page. The page then appears in the Clipboard. Clicking the page in the clipboard will insert that page as the last object on the page that you’re currently on. This can be a quick and easy way to move products around on your site.

Yahoo Merchant Store Editor

Storing “Removed” Pages in the Clipboard
Pages that are in the Yahoo Store Clipboard do not publish. If you publish while they are in the Clipboard, those pages won’t appear on your live site at all. This is handy if you want to temporarily remove a page from your site, but you don’t want to delete it from your editor.

That sounds easy enough. What’s the fuss?

You’re right. It is easy – but it comes with complications. For example, sometimes you end up with pages that were cut but don’t appear in your clipboard. How did that happen? Where did they go? The ‘how’ is a complicated web of unfortunate events, but the where is fairly simple. You see, when you use the Cut function to cut a page to your Clipboard, the page is exiled. Where do exiles go? Siberia, of course.

Where is Siberia?
You can access Siberia by clicking the ‘contents’ button in the editor to go to the Contents page. You should then see a button called ‘Siberia’ right next to the ‘New’ button.

Yahoo Merchant Store Editor

If you enter Siberia, you will see a list of all the pages that are exiled.

Yahoo Merchant Editor

Why would I need to go to Siberia?
Sometimes due to quirks you might end up with a page that has been exiled, but it’s not showing up in your clipboard. In this case, you could find the page in Siberia. To unexile the page, first click that page and then click the ‘Unexile’ button.

Things are getting a bit crowded in here…

So, you said that I can store all the pages I don’t want to publish in the clipboard. That’s great, but now it’s a crowded mess!

Yahoo Merchant Editor

This is where a container page comes in handy. If you are going to be frequently storing a bunch of pages in your clipboard that you don’t want published, you can simply create a new page to hold all of those pages and just cut that one.

Here are the steps:

  1. Create a new item page called ‘exiled-pages’.
  2. If you have already cut the pages you don’t want published to the clipboard, then can navigate to the ‘exiled-pages’ page and insert the pages into that page from the clipboard.
  3. If you haven’t already cut your pages, you can do that or you can enter all of the IDs of those pages in to the ‘contents’ property on the ‘exiled-pages’ page.
  4. Cut the ‘exiled-pages’ page.

You should now see only one page in your clipboard.

Yahoo Merchant  Store Editor

You can view all the individual pages that are exiled by going to Siberia.

Yahoo Merchant Store Editor

You mentioned something about orphans?

Ah, yes – orphans! Orphaned pages are not quite as tragic as a child without parents. However, if you should come across orphaned pages in your store, please try your best to give that poor page a parent!

How do I identify orphaned pages?
If you go to your ‘Contents’ page, you should see your pages in a nice hierarchical formation beginning with your home page (index) and branching out from there. This is like the family tree of your website. If you keep scrolling down, you’ll eventually come to a gap between the pages in your hierarchy and a list of other pages.

Yahoo Merchant Store Editor

This white space or ‘great divide’, as I like to call it, separates the nicely structured part of your site from the orphaned pages. Anything below the great divide is an orphaned page.

What’s the big deal about orphaned pages?
These pages are cut off from the main structure of your site. That means it’s harder for search engines to find these pages and to understand how they relate to the rest of your site. As a result, they become less valued – if they are found at all.

There are usually three types of orphaned pages. The first type is obsolete pages. Some examples are discontinued items, unnecessary empty categories, and pages you meant to delete but forgot about. If these pages are truly obsolete, delete them. The second type is accidental orphans. You have no idea how it got there but it is an important page on your website. Make sure you find these accidental orphans proper parents so that they can reconnect to the hierarchy of your site. The final type is technical orphans. These pages belong here. They aren’t relevant pages on your site, but they are necessary. For example, your CSS files and other technical files belong in this area.

How does this relate to the clipboard?
An important thing you should know is that if you use spreadsheet uploads to maintain your site, you can end up with orphans. Doing a spreadsheet upload can often unexile your pages. Therefore, prior to doing a spreadsheet upload, it’s a good idea to make a note of any pages in your clipboard. You may need to recut these pages after the upload. Using a container page (such as the ‘exiled-pages’ method) will make this process easier.

Have any tips about using the clipboard feature? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below or contact us.

Stephanie Rawson

Stephanie has 15 years of self-taught HTML and web design experience along with an associates degree in Information Technology from Colorado Tech. Her previous experience in eCommerce and customer service gives her a unique insight into what clients and their customers are looking for. Outside of work, Stephanie is active in Christian ministry and loves geeky hobbies.

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3 Comments

  1. Harry on May 19, 2017 at 6:53 pm

    Great article. Thanks for providing this great information.
    I have a legacy yahoo store (now Aabaco) since 2001. I have hundreds of dead products and a very flat hierarchy.
    I need to clean this up, but do not want to hurt my search engine rankings or generate 404 results by deleting products.
    Are there any tips you can share as to how to accomplish this?

    • Stephanie Rawson on May 22, 2017 at 11:17 am

      Hi Harry! Thanks for reading our blog! You’ll definitely want to make use of Yahoo’s 301 redirect manager. You can use it to direct your “dead” pages to the most relevant existing pages, which can be similar products, categories, or just the home page. 301’s help preserve the SEO history tied to an old page and pass it off to a new page. Hopefully the new pages will be well optimized and will hold your search engine rankings.

      If you don’t want to remove the “dead” page at all, there may be other options. If you don’t mind, I can email you directly with additional options. Thanks!

  2. Andrea on May 4, 2018 at 3:11 pm

    Many thanks for this article about exile and Siberia – who knew? Not me. Never knew how to “hide” a page on my Yahoo store. This was incredibly helpful!

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