SEF/SEO URLs

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forumpojken
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SEF/SEO URLs

Post by forumpojken » Sat Aug 07, 2010 11:25 pm

Im trying phbb3 now for a forum Im gonna run.

And Im very surprised to see that it doesnt have SEF URLs as standard? I can only get this with some external weird hacks?

Imo SEF urls should be included as standard, and turned ON by default.. Why isnt it? I cant see any downside with having real readable urls

ie.

www.mysite.com/forum/why_does_my_dog_hate_me.html

instead of

www.mysite.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2

Is it harder to code to get readable urls?

I cant understand why anyone would wanna have it like this? Please enlighten me!

Do I have to pay for Vbulletin to get a proffesional looking forum?

Excuse me for any misspellings.. english isnt my native language.
Last edited by Pit$Bull on Sun Aug 08, 2010 7:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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KevC
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Re: SEF/SEO URLs

Post by KevC » Sat Aug 07, 2010 11:36 pm

What makes you think the URLs are not search engine friendly?

http://blog.phpbb.com/tag/seo/
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forumpojken
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Re: SEF/SEO URLs

Post by forumpojken » Sat Aug 07, 2010 11:42 pm

Kevin Clark wrote:What makes you think the URLs are not search engine friendly?

http://blog.phpbb.com/tag/seo/
What do you mean? Didnt you read my post? You cant get SEF urls in phpbb without special buggy hacks/mods..

Or am I wrong?

Why would one NOT wanna have SEF urls? Whats the downside?

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Re: SEF/SEO URLs

Post by KevC » Sat Aug 07, 2010 11:47 pm

forumpojken wrote:Didnt you read my post?
Yes
forumpojken wrote:Or am I wrong?
Yes

Google and other search engines don't care what the URL says. They care about the content of the page.
Did you read the blog article I linked to?

If you think the URLs we have are not SEO friendly, you might like to know that your post has been indexed already.

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forumpojken
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Re: SEF/SEO URLs

Post by forumpojken » Sat Aug 07, 2010 11:58 pm

Kevin Clark wrote:
forumpojken wrote:Didnt you read my post?
Yes
forumpojken wrote:Or am I wrong?
Yes

Google and other search engines don't care what the URL says. They care about the content of the page.
Did you read the blog article I linked to?

If you think the URLs we have are not SEO friendly, you might like to know that your post has been indexed already.

Image

Yes I read the article now. But again, what is the downside with "readable urls"? I dont want this only to get better search-results.. I want it also because it looks/feels better!

Apparently there are alot of ppl that want this feature.. Why are you against is?

I think this is a very important thing, If Im not gonna get this to work I have to pick another forum software :cry:

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Re: SEF/SEO URLs

Post by KevC » Sun Aug 08, 2010 12:06 am

forumpojken wrote:But again, what is the downside with "readable urls"?
There isn't really a downside, but there isn't an upside either.
forumpojken wrote:I want it also because it looks/feels better!
Fair enough. Install an SEO MOD. There are a couple out there. Just be aware that your updates will be more complicated. People don't actually type URLs in any more so they really make no difference though. I'm just letting you know it will not make your board more or less popular or more or less likely to score well on google, regardless of which board software you use.
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forumpojken
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Re: SEF/SEO URLs

Post by forumpojken » Sun Aug 08, 2010 7:24 am

Kevin Clark wrote:
forumpojken wrote:But again, what is the downside with "readable urls"?
There isn't really a downside, but there isn't an upside either.
forumpojken wrote:I want it also because it looks/feels better!
Fair enough. Install an SEO MOD. There are a couple out there. Just be aware that your updates will be more complicated. People don't actually type URLs in any more so they really make no difference though. I'm just letting you know it will not make your board more or less popular or more or less likely to score well on google, regardless of which board software you use.
Really.. how do you deside what features to add and what not? You only add stuff that you personally like to have? It doesnt matter if lots and lots of people want it? :roll:

Pros and cons with SEF url´s

+ Lots of people want this feature
+ It DOES make better search-results in searchengines (maby not ALOT but it doesnt hurt!)
+ Looks better, you see what the link is about even if you only see the url
+ You prevent duplicate indexing of pages http://techtitbits.com/2008/07/prevent- ... by-google/

- More difficult to code?
- One gets dead links if one changes now to SEF urls (if not you can make so both works.. like it is in joomla)
- Cant come up with anything else..

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Re: SEF/SEO URLs

Post by Pit$Bull » Sun Aug 08, 2010 7:40 am

Moving from support to discussion.

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Re: SEF/SEO URLs

Post by forumpojken » Sun Aug 08, 2010 8:25 am

I understand now why Vbulletin have the feature "SEO Friendly URLs" listed as an important thing directly on the startpage!

Before I started to check out different forum-software I thought this was standard-feature that all forumsoftware had nowdays! :(

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Re: SEF/SEO URLs

Post by Sam » Sun Aug 08, 2010 8:28 am

There is a potential downside to those types of urls, it could possibly leak private information in the referrer.

Imagine this scenario: Someone on your staff links to a website and your staff click on it. The HTTP referrer (readable by the server responding to your request) is now "http://yourdomain.com/forum/private-sec ... name.html/"

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Re: SEF/SEO URLs

Post by KevC » Sun Aug 08, 2010 9:39 am

forumpojken wrote:+ Lots of people want this feature
That doesn't necessarily make it right for the board though.
forumpojken wrote:+ It DOES make better search-results in searchengine
No it doesn't.
forumpojken wrote:+ Looks better, you see what the link is about even if you only see the url
I'd be interested to know how many people look at that much of a URL to know if that makes a difference.
forumpojken wrote:+ You prevent duplicate indexing of pages
That article is 2 years old. Google's algorithms change all the time. Your original post has only been indexed once but according to that article it should have been indexed with 8 different addresses. Would 8 addresses mean 8 'hits'. Isn't that better?
forumpojken wrote:- More difficult to code?
Yep
forumpojken wrote:- One gets dead links if one changes now to SEF urls
Yes although google will reindex them within a few weeks. What happens if you change a topic title. You would then have one dead link and one live one. That's not good.
forumpojken wrote:You only add stuff that you personally like to have?
Of course.
I didn't tell you not to do it. I just told you it wouldn't help as much as you seem to think it will. You seem to think your board would be a dead duck on google if you didn't have SEF URLs. That's not true. The URLs that phpBB3 produces are perfectly SEO friendly.

SEO is very overrated in my opinion.
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Re: SEF/SEO URLs

Post by forumpojken » Sun Aug 08, 2010 12:35 pm

Ok.. I'll give it a try, even though I think it lacks some important features :(

I have some other problems/questions, but I'll make a new thread about that in the correct forum.

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Re: SEF/SEO URLs

Post by SamG » Sun Aug 08, 2010 5:19 pm

I personally think a downside is the the fact that bulletin boards are places where content is dynamic, not static, and that's by design. "Pretty" URIs may require confirmation or updating each time a topic is split, merged, or renamed.

I understand the benefits of "pretty" URIs in the context of relatively static content, like a blog or a CMS. Unless I could actually see how well it works in the real world of an active bulletin board (not just how well it works, but what the overhead is), I remain cautious about the whole idea. Just personally speaking. Regrettably, not one board I'm a member of uses "pretty" URIs, so I can't check it out in the real world. :(
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Re: SEF/SEO URLs

Post by Pony99CA » Mon Aug 09, 2010 6:32 am

Kevin Clark wrote:
forumpojken wrote:+ Lots of people want this feature
That doesn't necessarily make it right for the board though.
Of course, it doesn't make it wrong, either. ;) Listening to your customers is generally a good idea, and lots of people have asked for this feature.
Kevin Clark wrote:
forumpojken wrote:+ It DOES make better search-results in searchengine
No it doesn't.
Do we have proof of that one way or the other? I would expect that, all other things being even, a "friendly" URL would get placed above a "non-friendly" URL.
Kevin Clark wrote:
forumpojken wrote:+ Looks better, you see what the link is about even if you only see the url
I'd be interested to know how many people look at that much of a URL to know if that makes a difference.
If you want to copy/paste a URL, you look at the URL. That doesn't much matter, of course.
Kevin Clark wrote:
forumpojken wrote:- More difficult to code?
Yep
Just in case the OP doesn't believe you, you'd have to guarantee URLs are unique for each topic. That's easy in phpBB currently because the topic ID used in the URL is unique.

However, consider what would happen here when 2,397 lamers created topics called "Help". You'd have the original "help" URL, then "help-1" through "help-2396" (or 2 through 2397; it doesn't matter) URLs. How are those more helpful than topic-numbered URLs?

Furthermore, to provide fast access to topics, I presume the topics table is indexed by the topic ID. Indexing by a string would result in bigger (and probably slightly slower) indexes.
Kevin Clark wrote:
forumpojken wrote:- One gets dead links if one changes now to SEF urls
Yes although google will reindex them within a few weeks. What happens if you change a topic title. You would then have one dead link and one live one. That's not good.
The answer to that is fairly simple -- the URL wouldn't change. That would prevent broken links. Alternatively, the old link could generate a redirect to the new link (which would get ugly).

All in all, I think human-readable URLs do look nicer, but the URLs are also longer (which causes some E-mail and forum clients to truncate them using an ellipsis in the middle). If there aren't proven significant search engine benefits, I wouldn't put this on the top of my priority list. For example, a "better" MOD system would probably provide much more benefit to admins.

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Re: SEF/SEO URLs

Post by KevC » Mon Aug 09, 2010 8:52 am

Pony99CA wrote:
Kevin Clark wrote:
forumpojken wrote:+ Lots of people want this feature
That doesn't necessarily make it right for the board though.
Of course, it doesn't make it wrong, either. ;) Listening to your customers is generally a good idea, and lots of people have asked for this feature.
I didn't say that it was.
You could equally say lots of people haven't asked for it ;)
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