how to make seo friendly urls

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Pony99CA
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Re: how to make seo friendly urls

Post by Pony99CA » Sat Apr 19, 2014 2:39 am

I think that a Web crawler might look at words in the URL and see if they also appeared in the page content. If they did, the SERP would get a (slight bump); if not, SERP would take a hit.

But, yes, let's see some proof and, ideally, a quantification of how much benefit keywords in the URL actually have.

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Re: how to make seo friendly urls

Post by Marshalrusty » Sat Apr 19, 2014 2:43 am

Pony99CA wrote:I think that a Web crawler might look at words in the URL and see if they also appeared in the page content. If they did, the SERP would get a (slight bump); if not, SERP would take a hit.
But why would anyone in their right mind write such an algorithm? Google is trying to prevent people from gaming the system, not set up weird ways for them to do so.
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Re: how to make seo friendly urls

Post by Big Mac » Sat Apr 19, 2014 8:56 pm

Marshalrusty wrote:
Pony99CA wrote:I think that a Web crawler might look at words in the URL and see if they also appeared in the page content. If they did, the SERP would get a (slight bump); if not, SERP would take a hit.
But why would anyone in their right mind write such an algorithm? Google is trying to prevent people from gaming the system, not set up weird ways for them to do so.
I don't think what Pony 99CA described is someone "gaming the system". Take a look at the phpBB website. There is a page with the URL https://www.phpbb.com/downloads/ which contains a title "phpBB • Download phpBB3" and has the heading "Download phpBB". All that stuff gives a search engine bot context, so that when someone searches for "phpBB download" that page might come up high in the search engine results. So a human-readable URL would be something that would also help a search engine bot.

But having said that, I've got accounts on lots of forums (both phpBB and non-phpBB) and sometimes create lists of other threads. I personally find it a lot easier to deal with forum numbers, topic numbers and post numbers than "really_long_urls_generated_by_long_topic_titles.htm". (I've even created topics in hidden forums, that I intend to move out into public forums later, and am able to create post-specific URLs that match the destination forum, before the topic is in that forum. I'm not sure I could do that if the URLs did not follow a convention that was easy to learn.)

There are spammers out there and some of them are signature spammers or even profile spammers. I suspect that some spammers would love to get their spam keywords into topic titles, so that they went into the URL. So this sort of stuff might help spammers as much as it helps the search engine bots. :(

Plus, what happens if a forum user creates a topic with a typo or an unhelpful name and then they or a moderator decides to rename the topic? Would the human readable URL stay as it was? Do we get stuck with topics that have typos or weird text in the human readable part of the URL? I wouldn't want to have a forum where the URLs get stuck on "please_help.htm", "hi.htm" and that sort of nonsense. :shock:

Changing URLs breaks inbound links, so you shouldn't be fiddling with URLs unless you really have to, but if you have human_readable_URLs, you really are going to add some sort of URL moderation features into the MCP or the ACP.

You would also need some sort of checking subroutine to make sure some sort of joker can not insert special text into the title of a thread, so that the topic URL duplicates something like the URL of the search system (or whatever).
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Re: how to make seo friendly urls

Post by abcEzy » Fri Apr 25, 2014 4:45 pm

I'm not gonna go digging for you guys for hours, a few minutes i will ;) ...

Listen, I'm just trying to help you, I've been a Professional SEO Guy now for over a decade, I've worked along side some of the best, like Brad Callen from SEO Elite, Keyword Elite, Dan Thies, Andy Jenkins, etc

There's even Videos on YouTube that Matt Cutts has put out there, with a bit of research guys, you will find it.

some urls to read from his site and others:

Code: Select all

http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/canonical-link-tag/

Code: Select all

http://www.spottedpanda.com/2011/seo-news/confirmed-seo-facts-matt-cutts/

Code: Select all

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRzMhlFZz9I

Code: Select all

https://www.google.com/#q=matt+cutts+seo+friendly+urls&tbm=vid
That will get you started :)

Enjoy your research! :mrgreen:
Marshalrusty wrote:
Pony99CA wrote:I don't think that's what he's claiming Matt Cutts said. I think he's claiming the Matt said that

http://www.example.com/how-to-make-seo-friendly-urls

is better than

http://www.example.com/viewtopic_12345.html
Okay, where does he say that then?

I cannot think of any reason why a modern web crawler would treat those two URLs differently.

abcEzy, I'd appreciate some clarification of your above claim.

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Re: how to make seo friendly urls

Post by tbackoff » Fri Apr 25, 2014 6:11 pm

From your URLs:
February 15, 2009
13 November 2012
Uploaded on Mar 5, 2009
Using outdated information doesn't prove anything. Web crawlers have changed over the years, so something that was true 2 or 5 years ago isn't necessarily true now. ;)
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Re: how to make seo friendly urls

Post by abcEzy » Fri Apr 25, 2014 6:38 pm

I guess you're not an avid SEO'er then?

Trust me, Titles, keywords in urls URLs, non-www domains, no .htm's / .htmls / .php's receive better page rank, more links in your posts like wikipedia structures their posts, all work to this very day! They base their algo on it, plus hundreds of other factors, but what i mentioned are the basics and they've been that way for years.

All one needs to do is get off their bottom, send Matt Cutts an email or post to one of his blogs as a reply, and he will tell you what ive been trying to say to you lot all this time

but hey, if you all want to remain skeptical, or think im full of it... no problems, im just trying to help you all, but if you dont want my help and remain naive about it all, good luck in getting more traffic if one is not going to budge...

My sites get over 300,000 hits a month just from SEO alone and I rank for 10's of thousands of keywords on page one and a LOT of the keywords for many of my sites all rank on the first page and knocked previous first page rankers back down way into the 2nd thru 4th page of google, and I hold 80-90% of the rankings for a nice selection of keywords.

Good luck! :mrgreen:

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Re: how to make seo friendly urls

Post by Marshalrusty » Fri Apr 25, 2014 6:54 pm

But none of that is actually helpful. Reasonable people do not make decisions based on "trust me" or "my site has xxxx kabillion hits, so I know what I'm talking about".

You original said,
abcEzy wrote:Try going to Matt Cutts page and learn a thing or two ;)
So I did, and didn't find anything of what you said. So now it's
abcEzy wrote:All one needs to do is get off their bottom, send Matt Cutts an email or post to one of his blogs as a reply, and he will tell you what ive been trying to say to you lot all this time
Frankly, between this topic, and the other one where you argued with 2 phpBB Team Members about whether phpBB caches some styles data in the database (it does), I'm not really too keen on the whole "trust me" thing.

The vast majority of "SEO"-related information comes from a small group of organizations that also sell SEO services :). First they sold spammy backlinks to "increase pagerank and raise your site in Google", and now the same organizations are selling services to spam administrators with link removal requests. I don't have a whole lot of trust for the whole "industry".


(TL;DR) So to recap, I'm not saying that keywords in URLs don't have any affect whatsoever. I'm not saying that nobody should ever use "friendly URLs". phpBB SEO provides these features to phpBB administrators who want them, and I applaud their efforts. In phpBB 3.1, we have hopefully made this easier for both them and administrators alike.

But if you're advocating massive changes, you have to back them up with data and/or credible citations, not "trust me because my site is huge". That is all.
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Re: how to make seo friendly urls

Post by Pony99CA » Sat Apr 26, 2014 2:21 am

abcEzy wrote:some urls to read from his site and others:

Code: Select all

http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/canonical-link-tag/
That doesn't say that URLs need keywords embedded in them at all. It says that pages that may have multiple URLs associated with them should help search engines by using a new header tag to help page rank accrue to the canonical link instead of the various URL forms.

In other words, the following links all point to the same page, so that page content should have a canonical element so that they're all treated the same.

viewtopic.php?f=74&t=2239561
viewtopic.php?t=2239561
viewtopic.php?f=1234567890&t=2239561
viewtopic.php?f=74&t=2239561&sid=whatever

I don't know whether the first or second form should be used for phpBB. I would guess the second unless that cause problems linking to Global Announcements.

Regardless, the article doesn't say that keywords in the URL are necessary or even desirable.
abcEzy wrote:

Code: Select all

http://www.spottedpanda.com/2011/seo-news/confirmed-seo-facts-matt-cutts/
That link did say that keywords in URLs are useful -- with a caveat.
It is better to have keywords in the URL as it is taken as a factor in the ranking results, albeit only one of over 200. Matt Cutts on Keywords in URL’s - See more at: http://www.spottedpanda.com/2011/seo-ne ... 8MpHp.dpuf
If it's only one factor out of over 200, the question is the same as before -- among all of those factors, where do keywords in URLs fall. If they're in the top 5 or 10, that might be important. If they're down at 195 or 200, they're probably not so important.

By the way, that link also contradicted something that you said.
If possible use a file extension (.html) or at least have mime type to help Google and also users. Matt Cutts on File Extensions - See more at: http://www.spottedpanda.com/2011/seo-ne ... 8MpHp.dpuf
abcEzy wrote:Trust me, Titles, keywords in urls URLs, non-www domains, no .htm's / .htmls / .php's receive better page rank
(Emphasis added)
abcEzy wrote:I guess you're not an avid SEO'er then?
Why would anybody be unless they're trying to make money off their site (or sell services as an SEO "professional")?
abcEzy wrote:but hey, if you all want to remain skeptical, or think im full of it... no problems, im just trying to help you all, but if you dont want my help and remain naive about it all, good luck in getting more traffic if one is not going to budge...
Based on the next paragraph, would it really matter? If you're hogging all of the keywords and do this for a living, what hope would a part-time admin have?
abcEzy wrote:My sites get over 300,000 hits a month just from SEO alone and I rank for 10's of thousands of keywords on page one and a LOT of the keywords for many of my sites all rank on the first page and knocked previous first page rankers back down way into the 2nd thru 4th page of google, and I hold 80-90% of the rankings for a nice selection of keywords.
What does "My sites get over 300,000 hits a month just from SEO alone" even mean? Does it mean that your content is garbage but thanks to SEO you get lots of hits? If your content is good, how do you know that those hits are coming from SEO alone?

And what does "SEO" mean there? If it means more than keywords in URLs, that doesn't really help your point here at all. If it includes getting lots of backlinks, that's not even something a Web master has control over (unless he links from his own sites to other sites of his in some incestuous network).

Is it any wonder why many of us here regard SEO people as the modern day snake oil salesmen? ;)

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Re: how to make seo friendly urls

Post by antonjw2 » Sat Apr 26, 2014 7:45 am

I think a skepticism of the SEO industry is probably a healthy thing :) But also, a skepticism of our own pre-conceived notions is probably a healthy thing, too.

I'm not an SEO expert but it didn't take long to find this page on Google.com: https://support.google.com/webmasters/a ... 6329?hl=en

Which clearly says it is better to use human-readable URLs.


I wonder how many popular CMS' (for example) do not have SEO-friendly URLs in their core, in 2014? According to this result, at least 3 years ago all of the major and seemingly many of the lesser CMS' had implemented descriptive URLs: http://www.cubrid.org/blog/dev-platform ... t-systems/

I think it is quite reasonable for the original poster to wonder why phpBB does not have this in its core feature-set.

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Re: how to make seo friendly urls

Post by PayBas » Sat Apr 26, 2014 8:05 am

I'm just wondering how this would work if the page-title gets changed. When using IDs, this won't matter, but with slugs each topic would need a record of all the slugs that it previously had.
Pony99CA wrote:Is it any wonder why many of us here regard SEO people as the modern day snake oil salesmen? ;)
Harsh, but true ;). (true in the sense that many people think that, not necessarily that it's true)
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Re: how to make seo friendly urls

Post by Ger » Mon Apr 28, 2014 7:45 am

antonjw2 wrote:https://support.google.com/webmasters/a ... 6329?hl=en

Which clearly says it is better to use human-readable URLs.
However, that's not a human-readable URL. :mrgreen:
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Re: how to make seo friendly urls

Post by antonjw2 » Mon Apr 28, 2014 7:54 am

Yes, I did notice that irony myself :)

However, the shoemaker's son always walks around barefoot ;)


But here's another delicious irony... of one with a friendly URL.. :mrgreen:

https://blog.phpbb.com/2008/08/23/seo-p ... in-phpbb3/

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Re: how to make seo friendly urls

Post by antonjw2 » Mon Apr 28, 2014 7:06 pm

mods, feel free to delete. i was looking for the requisite ideas thread relating to this topic, only kept finding locked ones. now found the live one.

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Re: how to make seo friendly urls

Post by stevemaury » Wed Apr 30, 2014 2:53 am

Our site (phpbb.com/community) gets more than 300,000 hits a month from no SEO at all, so that means we win?
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Re: how to make seo friendly urls

Post by Pony99CA » Thu May 01, 2014 1:42 am

antonjw2 wrote:But here's another delicious irony... of one with a friendly URL.. :mrgreen:

https://blog.phpbb.com/2008/08/23/seo-p ... in-phpbb3/
That's not really that ironic. They use WordPress to handle the blog.

And you'll notice the following there:
These changes [eliminating duplicate content URLs] will be far more beneficial for Search Engines than any Human Readable URLs change will have.
So if you want Human Friendly URLs, it's ironic that you'd cite that article. ;)

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