What should SEO URLs/ Pretty URLs look like?

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OC2PS
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What should SEO URLs/ Pretty URLs look like?

Post by OC2PS »

This topic is about HOW the implementation of SEO/Pretty URLs should be done. If you have concerns regarding WHETHER SEO/Pretty URLs are a good thing, there's a separate thread for that: http://www.phpbb.com/community/viewtopi ... &t=2100309

Just trying to gather ideas on what a good implementation of Pretty URLs could look like. Please comment on the following questions:
1. What should Pretty URL structure be like? There can be several options. e.g.

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domain.com/board-title/sub-board-title/thread-title/post-title

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domain.com/thread-title/thread-id
etc.

2. <spaces>, underscores or hyphens? i.e.

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domain.com/thread title/thread id

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domain.com/thread_title/thread_id

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domain.com/thread-title/thread-id
3. Keep common words (conjunctions, auxiliary verbs etc) or remove them? i.e.

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domain.com/this-is-a-thread/thread-id

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domain.com/this-thread/thread-id
4. What to do with non ASCII characters (keep as is/ reformat/ strip)? i.e.

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domain.com/Hírek/thread-id

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domain.com/Hirek/thread-id

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domain.com/Hrek/thread-id
5. What happens when a title is changed? i.e.
- change the URL and base it on new title
- don't change the URL once created

6. What happens when topics are split or merged? i.e.
- When topics are split, one topic may retain original title and URL, the other that takes a new title may get a new URL
- When topics are merged, URL of the topic into which others are being merged may be retained
- When topics are merged, admin may be asked which topic's URL to keep

Also, please feel free to provide additional implementation suggestions.
Last edited by OC2PS on Thu Jan 13, 2011 4:05 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: What should SEO URLs/ Pretty URLs look like?

Post by Brf »

There is no Mod support in this forum.
If you have questions about a mod, you need to ask in that mod's support area.

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Re: What should SEO URLs/ Pretty URLs look like?

Post by OC2PS »

This is not a mod support topic. It's an idea generation/ opinion gathering topic.

When I say "what happens", I am asking for opinions on "what should happen"
Last edited by OC2PS on Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What should SEO URLs/ Pretty URLs look like?

Post by Brf »

sooskriszta wrote:This topic is about HOW the implementation of SEO/Pretty URLs should be done.
phpBB does not come with "SEO" or "Pretty URLs". Therefore, it would have to be mod that you are asking about.

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Re: What should SEO URLs/ Pretty URLs look like?

Post by Oleg »

The idea of this topic is to determine whether the phpbb community can agree on a single format of "pretty"/SEO URLs for potential inclusion into phpbb core. It is a result of discussion on area51 here.
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Re: What should SEO URLs/ Pretty URLs look like?

Post by AdamR »

To be clear, discussion has already started about this over at Area51. In-depth discussion concerning actual implementation of these features should occur only on Area51 so we can keep things organized and so we don't have duplicate posts all over the place. :mrgreen:

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Re: What should SEO URLs/ Pretty URLs look like?

Post by OC2PS »

I'll start :lol:
sooskriszta wrote: 1. What should Pretty URL structure be like?
My vote is for domain.com/thread-title/thread-id
It is simple, relevant and easy to remember (also probably has high keyword density for search engines)
sooskriszta wrote:2. <spaces>, underscores or hyphens?
Hyphens domain.com/thread-title/thread-id
Google say they are better, and I don't want to argue with them.
sooskriszta wrote:3. Keep common words (conjunctions, auxiliary verbs etc) or remove them?
This is a tough one. For long titles it may be prudent to strip off the common words that don't help SEO, but on the balance I feel that recognizable sentences would work better on humans.
Keep.
sooskriszta wrote:4. What to do with non ASCII characters ?
Keep as is. Modern browsers are fine with UTF characters, and these can be important for SEO
domain.com/Hírek/thread-id
sooskriszta wrote:5. What happens when a title is changed?
SMF doesn't let you change the URL once created. Wordpress does.
If titles are changed then the URL could lose ranks in Google and break links posted elsewhere.
However, my opinion is that a post title would typically be changed fairly soon after creation and thus harm would be minimal. If an admin changes a title, then the title would probably become friendlier after the change. Hence, my vote goes for changing the URL based on the title - maybe slap a warning on the title edit page...
sooskriszta wrote:6. What happens when topics are split or merged?
This problem is eased a bit if the URL is allowed to change on title edits.
When topics are split, if both continue to have the same title (unlikely) they should have the similar URLs with only difference being ID in the domain.com/thread-title/thread-id schema. If the title is edited for either, then as per 5, they'll have brand spanking new URLs
When topics are merged, let the admin specify which URL to keep

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Re: What should SEO URLs/ Pretty URLs look like?

Post by OC2PS »

AdamR wrote:In-depth discussion concerning actual implementation of these features should occur only on Area51
Sorry, I beg to differ. Area 51 is best suited for developer discussion on the merits and demerits of ways of doing things or even whether things should be done.

However, all your "customers" are on this board, and when customer input is required, this is the appropriate place to ask.

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Re: What should SEO URLs/ Pretty URLs look like?

Post by Brf »

nn- wrote:The idea of this topic is to determine whether the phpbb community can agree on a single format of "pretty"/SEO URLs for potential inclusion into phpbb core. It is a result of discussion on area51 here.
I see, though I am not sure why it matters what the format is. When I am on a search engine, I hardly look at the URLs anyway. I am sure that argument belongs in the other topic though.

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Re: What should SEO URLs/ Pretty URLs look like?

Post by OC2PS »

Brf wrote:When I am on a search engine, I hardly look at the URLs anyway. I am sure that argument belongs in the other topic though.
Correct ;)

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Re: What should SEO URLs/ Pretty URLs look like?

Post by AdamR »

The purpose of Area51 is for discussion of future versions of phpBB, including new features. It by no means is just for developers. Discussion about the actual format of human-readable URLs should take place over on Area51.

Thanks. :)

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Re: What should SEO URLs/ Pretty URLs look like?

Post by callumacrae »

example.com/forum/News_Annoucements
example.com/topic/News_Annoucements/20101231_Update

I thought you knew about SEO? Space in urls are impossible. (%50 doesn't count as a space)

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Re: What should SEO URLs/ Pretty URLs look like?

Post by OC2PS »

AdamR wrote:The purpose of Area51 is for discussion of future versions of phpBB, including new features. It by no means is just for developers.
Understood. But the reality is that most people don't realize that and never register in Area 51.

Not to say that it means we shouldn't try to keep order in the proceedings, But perhaps you could let it slide this once?

In the meantime, better communication that Area 51 is open to everyone should help..e.g. on board index slapping the note "Feature requests at Area 51", adding an Area 51 board link under the communities link above..etc

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Re: What should SEO URLs/ Pretty URLs look like?

Post by OC2PS »

Callum95 wrote:I thought you knew about SEO?
False assumptions ;)

Seriously though, that's why I recommend hyphens ("-") not spaces or underscores.

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Re: What should SEO URLs/ Pretty URLs look like?

Post by AdamR »

For what it's worthy, I completely agree that Area51 doesn't get as much traffic as it should, and I personally would love for everything to be in one place. There's been discussion about how we can solve that problem effectively, but in reality, other duties have priority right now. :)

So for now, in order to keep things organized, the separation is in place.

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