Is it possible to change filenames in PHPBB?

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aeitos
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Is it possible to change filenames in PHPBB?

Post by aeitos » Tue Aug 04, 2009 7:18 am

I am working on SEO stuff, and I was wondering about Filenames in PHPBB.

Right now, filenames generally show 'viewtopic.php?f=9&t=4', but according to some SEO stuff i've been reading, it's beneficial to have filenames that are relative to your website or page.

Is there anyone out there that can help me with this and/or clarify with me whether it's possible or not to do? Maybe some sort of mod?

Roberdin
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Re: Is it possible to change filenames in PHPBB?

Post by Roberdin » Tue Aug 04, 2009 2:44 pm

aeitos wrote:Right now, filenames generally show 'viewtopic.php?f=9&t=4', but according to some SEO stuff i've been reading, it's beneficial to have filenames that are relative to your website or page.
Really? Do you have a (reliable) source for this? ;)

For example, this topic has already been indexed by Google. Less than six hours ago. At the top.

If you really want to do this, what you are looking for is URL re-writing.

aeitos
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Re: Is it possible to change filenames in PHPBB?

Post by aeitos » Tue Aug 04, 2009 6:11 pm

Googled: SEO Starter
and it was the first link: http://www.google.com/webmasters/docs/s ... -guide.pdf

It looks official :P but pretty much it's saying not to use filenames like page1.html page2.html etc.

and for example, having the filename "search-engine-optimization-starter-guide.pdf" would work better as keywords right in it.

WOW that's awesome that this post has already been indexed.. SEO is one of the things i have the most time understanding.

So this URL re-writing, is it something that's easy to do? I'm assuming it has to do with .htaccess or some sort of mod, would you be able to point me in the right direction? :)

THANKS

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KevC
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Re: Is it possible to change filenames in PHPBB?

Post by KevC » Tue Aug 04, 2009 6:15 pm

aeitos wrote: WOW that's awesome that this post has already been indexed.. SEO is one of the things i have the most time understanding.
What you're missing is that this site has no additional SEO other than what phpBB comes with.

A lot of useful info here
http://www.phpbb.com/blog/tag/seo/
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Roberdin
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Re: Is it possible to change filenames in PHPBB?

Post by Roberdin » Tue Aug 04, 2009 6:34 pm

The Google SEO guide wrote:Some webmasters try to achieve this by rewriting their dynamic URLs to static ones; while Google is fine with this, we'd like to note that this is an advanced procedure and if done incorrectly, could cause crawling issues with your site. To learn even more about good URL structure, we recommend this Webmaster Help Center page on creating Google-friendly URLs.
=)

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Re: Is it possible to change filenames in PHPBB?

Post by Pony99CA » Tue Aug 04, 2009 11:15 pm

aeitos wrote:Right now, filenames generally show 'viewtopic.php?f=9&t=4', but according to some SEO stuff i've been reading, it's beneficial to have filenames that are relative to your website or page.
Technically, that's not a "filename"; it's a filename and parameters. Changing the filenames will likely break phpBB; I think what you want is to change the parameters.
aeitos wrote:Googled: SEO Starter
and it was the first link: http://www.google.com/webmasters/docs/s ... -guide.pdf

It looks official :P but pretty much it's saying not to use filenames like page1.html page2.html etc.
Yes, but that's more for human navigation than for search engines. I suspect search engines pay much more attention to the title and META description (which is why Google listed those first) than to the URL. I also suspect they pay more attention to the content of the page than anything.

If you read that SEO guide in detail, it sounds like the only time human-friendly URLs will matter to Google (and maybe other search engines) is if somebody uses the URL as the anchor text itself (like using the simple URL tags, not the URL= tags). I find people who do that lazy (moderators and support staff who probably post tons of links excepted ;)). To wit, I really hate seeing "viewtopic" links here; I almost always use the long form of the URL tag with the Topic title as the anchor text -- it's more readable, it improves that page's searchability and it makes it obvious to readers if the link is wrong (like accidentally leaving off the last digit; the topic title not matching the link text is a dead giveaway).

Finally, with the number of "Help" and "Please help" topics, a lot of URLs would end up as "please_help_1", "please_help_2", "please_help3", etc. ;) URL rewriting is dependent on people choosing good Subject titles. That's easy for bloggers, but I've found many forum posters don't bother. Yours was one of the better ones, but still not great; "Is it possible to use human-friendly URLs in phpBB?" or even "Is it possible to use SEO-friendly URLs in phpBB?" would be better and more accurate. (I'm not picking on you; I'm just illustrating the problem.... ;))

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