how to make seo friendly urls

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antonjw2
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Re: how to make seo friendly urls

Post by antonjw2 » Thu May 01, 2014 2:07 am

I had a very strong feeling reading the article that it was not written by someone experienced in the SEO field, pony ;)

In fact it is preachy and reads very poorly as a justification for not doing what has become a standard practice for pre-packaged systems. It doesn't affect the site I help with; we decided to stop bots indexing our forum threads as our other site content is stronger material.

So the feature is not my top priority, but reading haughty justifications for inaction like that blog article, is pretty exasperating coming here as a forum admin and wanting to see the project moving forward.

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Re: how to make seo friendly urls

Post by Big-Jim » Thu May 01, 2014 9:42 pm

I guess if you firmly believe SEO is really important then you should do whatever it takes in order to make your site as SEO friendly as possible because in the final analysis it is your site to do with as you see fit. You may have noticed that not everyone here agrees with you, but that should be of little consequence since in your mind you are right and anyone who feels otherwise is wrong.

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Re: how to make seo friendly urls

Post by antonjw2 » Thu May 01, 2014 10:26 pm

I've said for the purpose of the forum I help operate, Jim, that SEO is not the most important factor as we have stronger content than what is in our forums. It would be useful for a new forum we have coming up, but it's not the top of my list right now.

At the end of the day, this subject could use some empirical evidence. The original 2008 phpBB article is an opinion piece; I guess that was my point.

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Re: how to make seo friendly urls

Post by Sajaki » Thu May 01, 2014 10:51 pm

Chrome is burying the url altogether, http://www.allenpike.com/2014/burying-the-url/, so the importance of architecting the url is lost. it's the content that counts.

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Re: how to make seo friendly urls

Post by Marshalrusty » Fri May 02, 2014 6:56 am

antonjw2 wrote:I had a very strong feeling reading the article that it was not written by someone experienced in the SEO field, pony ;)
Frankly, I don't think that's a bad thing. When I read "SEO professional", I am jolted into remembering the thousands of emails I receive suggesting that "with just a few small changes" I could be getting tons more hits on my website.

"SEO" is a fully nebulous term, typically meaning whatever the speaker has convinced themselves falls under "best practices", and those are all derived from conjecture.

As I've said before, however, I am not interested in convincing anyone one way or the other. The entire point of open source software is that you get to do whatever you want. Our primary goal, with 3.1 and beyond, is to make customization simpler. If you can drop-in your desired "SEO features" with a click of a button, then it really doesn't matter whether they're included in core or not.
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Re: how to make seo friendly urls

Post by stevemaury » Sun May 04, 2014 3:18 pm

If everyone were to employ "standard SEO practices", then would they all be on page one? Sort of like Lake Wobegon, where all the children are above average?
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Re: how to make seo friendly urls

Post by Big Mac » Sun May 04, 2014 3:58 pm

Marshalrusty wrote:"SEO" is a fully nebulous term, typically meaning whatever the speaker has convinced themselves falls under "best practices", and those are all derived from conjecture.
I think the big problem with SEO is that there is "black hat SEO" and "white hat SEO" and while "white hat SEO" is generally a way to make a website better for the users (with a knock-on effect of getting a better page rank) "black hat SEO" is *all* about tricking search engines to list pages higher and tricking search engine users into clicking links.

The white hat techniques are about making your content itself better, so they are not likely to change. They will not pull in 300,000 visitors, because they are all about making your website the best it can be. They will bring in whatever is the right amount of visitors for your unique subject.

The black hat techniques are deception. They might bring in 300,000 visitors, but they are primarily going to be visitors who leave and never come back. Not only is this sort of thing unethical, it is also a waste of the bandwidth on your server. 300,000 pings on your server is going to cause your server to be doing more work and slowing down. And if you have a fixed amount of bandwidth it could actually cost you money to have 300,000 visits by strangers who are not members of your forum.

"SEO experts" may tell you that you want "as many visitors as possible", but what you actually need if you run a forum is to attract experts in your chosen field who will sign up to your forum, become a valued member of your community and come back and post on a regular basis. You need to also attract people who wish to learn about your chosen field and who enjoy talking to the experts you have attracted. Together those people need to form a community that values each other.

The size of an online community is not 300,000 or any other number that SEO salesmen might throw at you. It is totally dependent on how obscure or common your chosen field is.

I use a few SEO techniques on the forum I help out on. These include:
  • Editing posts and thread titles that have mistyped keywords in them and fixing the typos,
  • Keeping an eye out for poor thread titles (like "please help") and changing those into something that matches the actual topic and
  • Looking for high quality resources elsewhere, writing my own threads about them and linking to them.
All three of those things are not just aimed at search engine bots, they also have a direct impact on the users of my forum.

Fixing typos helps the people in my community to use phpBBs search system. Fixing poor-quality thread titles means that people can find topics more easily and writing about cool things means that the other people in my community find out about cool stuff and are happy.

In contrast with stuff like this, changing the format of a URL does not seem to me to have any actual positive impact on the user experience of an actual forum user.

And with my direct experience of how many typos and poor quality names I've seen and fixed in thread titles, I honestly hope that phpBB will stick with the "&f=xx&t=yyy" system that I know and love. Right now, I have the ability to fix less-than-optimal things posted by forum members. But if poor titles or typos get hard coded into URLs, that would actually make my SEO efforts harder not easier.
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Re: how to make seo friendly urls

Post by Volksdevil » Sun May 04, 2014 6:26 pm

I've always been sceptical...But if you search google and this type of url is shown in the serps...the keywords you searched are bolded in the url...Got to say something has it not?

I just don't like the way they look (Sometimes very long, sometimes incorrect spelling etc)

Example: Google search for 'seo friendly url' Every result on the first page there for me has an seo friendly url, and one of/more than one of the words "seo, friendly, url" bolded in the actual url.

So does this mean anything significant? Personally, I'm still not convinced. I think as long as you have those keywords in your title and description/quality content then it doesn't matter so much. Just as phpbb itself shows.
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Re: how to make seo friendly urls

Post by antonjw2 » Sun May 04, 2014 10:22 pm

Big Mac wrote:changing the format of a URL does not seem to me to have any actual positive impact on the user experience of an actual forum user.
But a Human Readable URL when posted as a link elsewhere, aside from having an impact on search engine rankings on those pages, also gives the user a readable cue as to whether they are interested in the topic or not.

This doesn't give me those cues: viewtopic.php?f=64&t=2157181

How do we think this reads to non-techies? Never mind that even as techies we don't know what's behind it? We have users on our forum who don't even know how to copy and paste, never mind having any interest in what this string of mumbo-jumbo might mean. I would ask are we thinking of them or ourselves?

So whilst some might well 'know and love' them, they don't impart anything useful to the reader. That is important when promoting your content elsewhere (but actually also for internal forum links).

Now this might be aided a little if viewtopic.php had Open Graph metatags baked in, so at least on Facebook & Twitter you'd get a good 'preview' or 'card'; however this is not the case.

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Re: how to make seo friendly urls

Post by DarkBeing » Mon May 05, 2014 12:38 am

Well, I would not rely on what a link says. It could lead me nevertheless simply anywhere. Personally I go for the topic and the discussion around it and would expect that the arguments are backed up by the posted links. Granted the human readable link looks nicer, but I go for contend not the looks. In that sense I do not care how the link looks like. I have to trust the poster that it actually leads me to the expected information being it a human readable link or not.

Edit: Just corrected some things

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Re: how to make seo friendly urls

Post by loadingjkr » Sat Jan 07, 2017 1:22 am

I feel like hitting whoever said friendly url do not serve.
It's 50% of the current SEO 2017

Wordpress has implementation Yoast SEO https://wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-seo/ marks it as important, I am furious with those said that it is not.

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Re: how to make seo friendly urls

Post by Lumpy Burgertushie » Sat Jan 07, 2017 5:12 am

sorry but you have no idea what you are talking about.

google has said for a long time that friendly/SEO urls make very little difference to the SERPS.

some people may like them better but it makes little if any difference to the search engines.
the fact that wordpress gives you the option means nothing.

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Re: how to make seo friendly urls

Post by stevemaury » Sat Jan 07, 2017 8:31 pm

Those with whom you disagree make you "furious" and you want to hit them? Interesting persuasive technique.

I note that this is a three-year necro.
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Re: how to make seo friendly urls

Post by loadingjkr » Sun Jan 08, 2017 6:15 am

Lumpy Burgertushie wrote:
Sat Jan 07, 2017 5:12 am
sorry but you have no idea what you are talking about.

google has said for a long time that friendly/SEO urls make very little difference to the SERPS.

some people may like them better but it makes little if any difference to the search engines.
the fact that wordpress gives you the option means nothing.

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You do not know anything about SEO and hope that google will give you secrets of your algorithm.

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Re: how to make seo friendly urls

Post by loadingjkr » Sun Jan 08, 2017 6:31 am

stevemaury wrote:
Sat Jan 07, 2017 8:31 pm
Those with whom you disagree make you "furious" and you want to hit them? Interesting persuasive technique.

I note that this is a three-year necro.
I have my own theme, my own phpbb3.10 modules, I do not know how to add Url Friendly this in the core.

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