Bing & Google SEO Issues

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ChinaGal
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Bing & Google SEO Issues

Post by ChinaGal »

We just ran the Bing SEO Analyzer tool on our site from this link: https://www.bing.com/webmaster/diagnostics/seo/analyzer (you have to be signed in to use it) - and the result says:
"The description is too long or too short. (Issue marker for this rule is not visible in the current view)"
In the readout of the current view from Bing it also shows our meta name as follows, which I know is pulled from the /styles/your style/template/overall_header.htm file:

Code: Select all

<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1">
I then installed the Seo Meta Description extension (https://www.phpbb.com/customise/db/exte ... scription/), which I read is supposed to help with this issue, but it doesn't seem to be resolving the Bing SEO Analyzer issue. So I then disabled it again.

I then went to another SEO testing site - https://seositecheckup.com and ran a test on our site from there. It said we failed the Meta Description Test there too and it provided this explanation:
The meta description tag is missing from your page. You should include this tag in order to provide a brief description of your page which can be used by search engines. Well-written and inviting meta descriptions may also help click-through rates to your site in search engine results.
But if I enable the Seo Meta Description extension then I don't get that error from https://seositecheckup.com anymore about missing Meta Description, but the meta description the extension adds seems pretty useless (as it is just a list of the forum names on our site), so I don't want to use it and rather keep the extension disabled if that is what it does.

I have also read various old threads relating to this subject which said that the overall_header.htm file needs to have <meta name="description" content="your site description"> to resolve this issue, but that it is purposely missing in order to prevent the site from having the same Meta Description show for each page. So I understand this, but I am wondering how else I can resolve these SEO issues I am having so that my site doesn’t have the problems mentioned above on Bing and SEO-Site-Checkup?

Also, if I pull up our site in a Google search then the description for the main page of the site shows a confusing description using a bunch of different elements from a standard phpBB Board Index page, but yet, all the descriptions in Google search results for the individual forums on our site show the correct Site Description from our Board Settings in ACP. So I wish this Site Description from ACP would show for the main page of our site too. Not sure though if this is related to the above issue or not and/or if there is perhaps a different way to fix this as well?

Thank you.

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AbaddonOrmuz
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Re: Bing & Google SEO Issues

Post by AbaddonOrmuz »

You could try my extension:

Stable: https://www.phpbb.com/customise/db/exte ... _metadata/
Release candidate: https://www.phpbb.com/customise/db/exte ... pic/208496

It will generate descriptions depending of page content you're viewing.
Some of my phpBB extensions:
Image Imgur | :chart_with_upwards_trend: SEO Metadata | Image Markdown | :lock: Auto-lock Topics
:trophy: Check out all my validated extensions :trophy:

:penguin: Arch Linux user :penguin:

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ChinaGal
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Re: Bing & Google SEO Issues

Post by ChinaGal »

Thank you. The extension looks interesting.

I have some questions please:

1 - Will it fix the Meta errors occurring with Bing and other search engines?

2 - Can you run the extension without using any of the social media parts of it?

3 - Would you run it together with Seo Meta Description extension of should Seo Meta Description extension be disabled when using your extension?

4 - Is there any way you can set your own custom meta description using your extension for the main Board Index page of a phpBB site?

Sorry for all the questions, but just want to make sure I understand how it will work.

Thank you.

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AbaddonOrmuz
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Re: Bing & Google SEO Issues

Post by AbaddonOrmuz »

ChinaGal wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 8:30 am
1 - Will it fix the Meta errors occurring with Bing and other search engines?
I'm pretty sure it will.

You can change its length.
ChinaGal wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 8:30 am
2 - Can you run the extension without using any of the social media parts of it?
Yes, you can disable Open Graph, Twitter Cards and JSON-LD.
ChinaGal wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 8:30 am
3 - Would you run it together with Seo Meta Description extension of should Seo Meta Description extension be disabled when using your extension?
No, you would need to chose one or another, otherwise you would end up with a duplicated description meta tag, and with different values which is really bad.
ChinaGal wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 8:30 am
4 - Is there any way you can set your own custom meta description using your extension for the main Board Index page of a phpBB site?
It shows the description that has been set in the ACP, so you could change it, but I'm not sure if that's what you're referring to.
Some of my phpBB extensions:
Image Imgur | :chart_with_upwards_trend: SEO Metadata | Image Markdown | :lock: Auto-lock Topics
:trophy: Check out all my validated extensions :trophy:

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ChinaGal
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Re: Bing & Google SEO Issues

Post by ChinaGal »

Thank you. Sounds good. I just installed it.

I didn't change any settings except I disabled Open Graph, Twitter Cards and JSON-LD. I don't really even know what they are actually, but I guess I don't need them?

What were you suggesting I could change the length on Please? The description? I just left it at the default 160 setting that you have. I think our description in the ACP is only 75-80 characters anyway.

Understood on the Seo Meta Description extension. I have disabled it.

Yes, the the description that has been set in the ACP is exactly what I want to show. I don't want anything different. So I will leave everything the way it is and go back into Bing in a few days and see what it says when I run their SEO tool again. I will give it a few days to settle in. :D

By the way, have you ever run that after installing your own extension on a site just to see what comes up?

Thanks again. I am sure it was a lot of work to create that extension.

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AbaddonOrmuz
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Re: Bing & Google SEO Issues

Post by AbaddonOrmuz »

ChinaGal wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 9:02 pm
I didn't change any settings except I disabled Open Graph, Twitter Cards and JSON-LD. I don't really even know what they are actually, but I guess I don't need them?
Open Graph and Twitter Cards are used to display additional or correct information when you share a link. It would display the image from the content (or a default one), the title and description.

Without those options enabled, it might not display any image or one that doesn't belong to the content (like the user avatar), and the description might not be the one from content either.

JSON-LD is mostly used to organize the information, it's used by some search engines like Google.
ChinaGal wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 9:02 pm
By the way, have you ever run that after installing your own extension on a site just to see what comes up?
I haven't used the one you share, I use these to test the extension:
  1. https://search.google.com/structured-data/testing-tool
  2. https://developers.facebook.com/tools/debug/og/object/
  3. https://webmaster.yandex.com/tools/microtest/
  4. https://json-ld.org/playground/
I didn't know https://seositecheckup.com/ but I will use it from now on :sunglasses:
Some of my phpBB extensions:
Image Imgur | :chart_with_upwards_trend: SEO Metadata | Image Markdown | :lock: Auto-lock Topics
:trophy: Check out all my validated extensions :trophy:

:penguin: Arch Linux user :penguin:

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ChinaGal
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Re: Bing & Google SEO Issues

Post by ChinaGal »

Thank you for the explanation on Open Graph, Twitter Cards and JSON-LD. I don't think we need them for now.

I just did a quick check using https://search.google.com/structured-data/testing-tool and it shows the same data as Bing. I also ran the Bing SEO analyzer tool again after installing your plugin and it says "No SEO violations were found for this page." - So that is great. Thanks to your plugin!

https://seositecheckup.com/ is really good, but the free version only lets you run one site per day. You can register for a free account, but not sure if that allows you more than one search per day or not. You can also run it from a Tor browser to avoid the daily limit if you like.

I also just ran SeoSiteCheckup again on our site after installing your plugin and we now passed the Meta Description Test, which is great. It also shows a Google Search Results Preview Test which shows our site description exactly as per what we have in ACP, which is also great. Everything looks perfect!

I also did a search on Google again for our site's index page and it still comes up with a terrible description, but I assume after 4-5 days Google will probably fix this to be as per the above?

KYPREO
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Re: Bing & Google SEO Issues

Post by KYPREO »

Google could take several weeks to update. It depends on how often Google crawls your board.
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ChinaGal
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Re: Bing & Google SEO Issues

Post by ChinaGal »

Thanks. When we see the Google Bot on the site, does that mean they are fully crawling it? Or are they just crawling for new posts at that point?

KYPREO
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Re: Bing & Google SEO Issues

Post by KYPREO »

If you see bot in the user list, it is reading something - it could be crawling existing posts or old posts. Some sites are crawled more regularly than others. I have popular topics that are crawled every few days, whereas others might be crawled every few months.

The only way to track this is to sign up for the Google Search Console web page. This allows you to track what Google has indexed, clicks from Google searches, crawl errors etc.

Some goes for Bing, you need to sign up for Bing Webmaster Tools. Bing crawls much more aggressively than Google but in my experience delivers very little if any search traffic by comparison. If anything i had to slow down Bingbot as it is happy to crawl 30,000 pages every day if left to its own devices (even pages that are not updated regularly).
phpBB user since 2002
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CGI1984
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Re: Bing & Google SEO Issues

Post by CGI1984 »

Frequency of crawling by Google seems to vary on my site at different times. Sometimes slow and sometimes fast.
Last edited by CGI1984 on Wed Mar 11, 2020 7:21 am, edited 2 times in total.

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ChinaGal
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Re: Bing & Google SEO Issues

Post by ChinaGal »

KYPREO wrote:
Tue Mar 10, 2020 11:06 am
If you see bot in the user list, it is reading something - it could be crawling existing posts or old posts. Some sites are crawled more regularly than others. I have popular topics that are crawled every few days, whereas others might be crawled every few months.

The only way to track this is to sign up for the Google Search Console web page. This allows you to track what Google has indexed, clicks from Google searches, crawl errors etc.

Some goes for Bing, you need to sign up for Bing Webmaster Tools. Bing crawls much more aggressively than Google but in my experience delivers very little if any search traffic by comparison. If anything i had to slow down Bingbot as it is happy to crawl 30,000 pages every day if left to its own devices (even pages that are not updated regularly).
Thank you for all that additional info. We have Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster accounts. We will check more on what they have indexed so far. We see Bing, Google, MSN, and Moz bots on our site rather often. But they don't seem to be slowing anything down so far.

So the extension is working correctly now for Google. I saw that our correct site description from ACP is now showing for the Board Index page on our site in Google search results, which is great. But I noticed that this same description also shows for every page of our site that is indexed by Google. The page titles are different for every page of course, but the description is the same. Is that normal/correct?

Also, I saw that Google has indexed many of our site member's avatars in Google images, which isn't something that we really want. Not sure how to get Google to remove them now?

We did though create a robots.txt file to try and prevent search engines from indexing images from our site in the future. We didn't have a robots.txt file before. We didn't really need it we felt since we are happy to let all bots crawl our site and didn't have any restrictions. But following is what we have in the robots.txt file now that we created. I hope this will not hurt our search engine rankings in any way as a result of this code to block image indexing?

Code: Select all

User-agent: *
Disallow: /*.gif$
Disallow: /*.jpg$
Disallow: /*.png$
Thanks.

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