I don't think the fact that google hilites the search terms in the friendly url has any real meaning about how relevant those type urls are in their search results. they are there so they just get highlited.
nobody ever said that keywords were not relevant to SEO. they are very relevant. the only thing said around here is that the keyword meta tag in the head section of the html document is not used by google.
also , nobody has said that keywords in the file name/domain name are not relevant, only that they don't count for much. I believe that if everything else is equal, a "pretty url" might move you up one or two places higher in a search return for specific keywords versus an "ugly url". not hardly worth all the problems setting those "pretty urls" up can cause.
remember how search works; people type in search terms that they hope are relevant to what they want to know about.
google takes those search terms/keywords and looks at every page on the internet and based on its criteria, brings back links to the pages that have those search terms/keywords in them.
It gives weight to how those keywords are used in the code of the page ( remember, google does not every see your web page, it sees the code that creates your webpage ).
for instance, the words used in a title are weighted higher, the words used in H1 tags are weighted higher than those used in the normal text, the number of times a word is used in the text ( within limits that only google knows) weights it higher, etc, etc. etc.
what google does not do, is pay any attention to the meta keyword tag in the head section.
it will penalize you if you have keywords that are not relevant to the rest of the site ( like sex words scattered throughtout a site about widgets), it will penalize you is you have too many keywords that don't make sense with the content etc.
the best type of keywords are those that are relevant to the subject matter, that are the keywords that people more often search for about the subject matter etc.
so, the point is. if your site is about widgets then make your site about widgets. put all the best , most relevant and most up to date content you can find about widgets on your site.
do the research and find out what keywords people are using when searching for info about widgets. use those keywords in h1 tags, in forum/topic titles, in the posts themselves, in the content.
create your site to give the viewer what they want and google will naturally give you a higher ranking in the serps.
and by the way, the advantages of 3.1 are the same as they have always been for phpbb. there is nothing new in 3.1 in relation to SEO. the benefits of 3.1 are here on this site to read and learn about.
as far as SEO goes, it has always been just fine out of the box and needs no major help for SEO.
sure there are things you can tweak, but the "pretty urls" is not needed because the search engines don't care and most people don't pay any attention to a URL , they just click on links.
spend your efforts on content and keyword rich forum and topic titles etc.
I'm baaaaaccckkkk. still doing work on donation basis. PM your needs.
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