Out of the box phpBB 3 is awful for SEO

Do not post support requests, bug reports or feature requests. Discuss phpBB here. Non-phpBB related discussion goes in General Discussion!
Ideas Centre
User avatar
Techie-Micheal
Security Consultant
Posts: 19511
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2001 12:11 am
Location: In your servers

Re: Out of the box phpBB 3 is awful for SEO

Post by Techie-Micheal » Tue Jun 19, 2007 11:00 pm

Frank Rizzo wrote:Sure. Give me a day or two to check sites are indexing properly.

But for now I seriously recommend that if you haven't already done so you limit the permission of the bot group.....
Why?
Proven Offensive Security Expertise. OSCP - GXPN

Frank Rizzo
Registered User
Posts: 135
Joined: Sun Jan 05, 2003 11:10 pm
Contact:

Re: Out of the box phpBB 3 is awful for SEO

Post by Frank Rizzo » Tue Jun 19, 2007 11:01 pm

Check the security tracker :!:

User avatar
Techie-Micheal
Security Consultant
Posts: 19511
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2001 12:11 am
Location: In your servers

Re: Out of the box phpBB 3 is awful for SEO

Post by Techie-Micheal » Wed Jun 20, 2007 12:02 am

Frank Rizzo wrote:Check the security tracker :!:
That answer works for me. :)
Proven Offensive Security Expertise. OSCP - GXPN

dcz
Registered User
Posts: 787
Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2005 5:37 am
Contact:

Re: Out of the box phpBB 3 is awful for SEO

Post by dcz » Wed Jun 20, 2007 11:14 am

Xabi wrote:Could you share those mods with us, please?
phpBB3 SEO mods are demonstrated here : http://phpbb3.phpbb-seo.net/ ;)

phpBB SEO || phpBB3 SEO Premod || SEO phpBB3
GYM Sitemaps & RSS for phpBB3: GYM Sitemaps & RSS

User avatar
thecoalman
Community Team Member
Community Team Member
Posts: 3405
Joined: Wed Dec 22, 2004 3:52 am
Location: Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
Contact:

Re: Out of the box phpBB 3 is awful for SEO

Post by thecoalman » Wed Jun 20, 2007 2:18 pm

Marshalrusty wrote:The bottom line is that search engine bots are far "smarter" than some people will have you believe. Do not forget that it is in the companies' best interest to index as many sites as possible.
The trouble is they aren't smart enough to know what is relevant and not. Don't forget that SEO is more than just trying to improve search engine rankings but also providing a clear path to relevant pages. One of the biggest issues with phpbb 2 and 3 is the enormous amount of links on the pages that go to content that is going to be duplicate or otherwise. Instead of the time being devoted by the bot indexing these pages it would be better suited finding new content or reindexing old content. This benefits the site, the bot and the public.
“Results! Why, man, I have gotten a lot of results! I have found several thousand things that won’t work.”

Attributed - Thomas Edison

User avatar
Kellanved
Former Team Member
Posts: 2635
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2005 2:48 pm
Location: Meta-level

Re: Out of the box phpBB 3 is awful for SEO

Post by Kellanved » Wed Jun 20, 2007 2:30 pm

phpBB3 hides most links from bots.
Nocando is in Idontwanna county. No support via PM

dcz
Registered User
Posts: 787
Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2005 5:37 am
Contact:

Re: Out of the box phpBB 3 is awful for SEO

Post by dcz » Wed Jun 20, 2007 3:01 pm

And its possible to run a 100% duplicate free phpBB3 ;)

phpBB SEO || phpBB3 SEO Premod || SEO phpBB3
GYM Sitemaps & RSS for phpBB3: GYM Sitemaps & RSS

User avatar
thecoalman
Community Team Member
Community Team Member
Posts: 3405
Joined: Wed Dec 22, 2004 3:52 am
Location: Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
Contact:

Re: Out of the box phpBB 3 is awful for SEO

Post by thecoalman » Wed Jun 20, 2007 3:15 pm

Let me provide an example, from the thread "Congrats on RC1 Release" stickied at the top of this forum. There's 5 URL's in Google's cache that I've listed below for the first page in that thread. These are the ones I found with a quick search, there may or may not be others. Also note it includes the print page.

http://72.14.209.104/search?sourceid=na ... t%3D543023

http://72.14.209.104/search?sourceid=na ... t%26sd%3Da

http://72.14.209.104/search?sourceid=na ... t%26sd%3Da

http://72.14.209.104/search?sourceid=na ... 6start%3D0


-----Print page--------

http://72.14.209.104/search?sourceid=na ... ew%3Dprint

-----This link is the previous link going from page 2 to page 1 that has not been cached yet but will eventually, that will bring the total to 6----------

http://www.phpbb.com/community/viewtopi ... =a&start=0


Edit: Original post for clarification

Edit: Just add this isn't good for either the site owner or the bot. Your pages are being diluted by content that doesn't need indexing. Other pages might not get indexed because the bot is going around in circles and lastly you and the bot are using unneccesary resources to serve and index all those extra pages.
Last edited by thecoalman on Wed Jun 20, 2007 9:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.
“Results! Why, man, I have gotten a lot of results! I have found several thousand things that won’t work.”

Attributed - Thomas Edison

Xabi
Registered User
Posts: 460
Joined: Wed May 23, 2007 9:04 am

Re: Out of the box phpBB 3 is awful for SEO

Post by Xabi » Wed Jun 20, 2007 3:25 pm

Check the dcz modules, seem promising :)

User avatar
ascensions
Registered User
Posts: 121
Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2005 5:54 pm
Location: Cardiff, Wales
Contact:

Re: Out of the box phpBB 3 is awful for SEO

Post by ascensions » Mon Jun 25, 2007 2:43 am

I'm glad I ran into this thread, my same sentiments are expressed. It's amazing that PHPBB 3.0 actually worstened SEO by adding the forum indicator on all topics. Still horrible titles, and poor h1 usage.

Frank Rizzo
Registered User
Posts: 135
Joined: Sun Jan 05, 2003 11:10 pm
Contact:

Re: Out of the box phpBB 3 is awful for SEO

Post by Frank Rizzo » Mon Jun 25, 2007 9:10 am

I have to say that the identification of bots feature is a really useful feature. Top marks to phpbb for that. Just a pity the rest was not thought out!

I believe I have configured the board as best as I can get it as bot food now. I had to modify many of the template files to get rid of all the fluff such as:

Last Post
Back to Top
Who is Online
Top Pagination
Bottom Pagination (just keep the Next link)
Jump box
View latest posts
View last post
The team
Profile info

but it was pretty easy just to wrap sections of code which I don't want bots to see in <if not is bot .... <endif ..

In order to test your changes and see how your board looks like to a search engine bot you can change your user agent to something like Googlebot. If using Firefox this is really easy to do in the Firefox about:config section.

----

And let me re-iterate: Ensure you have locked down the Bot Group Permissions! I don't know if it was a bug or not but selecting No in the permissions didn't seem to work - I had to set all permissions (apart from read forum) to Never

dcz
Registered User
Posts: 787
Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2005 5:37 am
Contact:

Re: Out of the box phpBB 3 is awful for SEO

Post by dcz » Mon Jun 25, 2007 10:29 am

Again, I think that filtering content should be done for all guest, not bots only. Otherwise you fell under the cloaking definition, and there is nothing sure about how will bots will appreciate it.

++

phpBB SEO || phpBB3 SEO Premod || SEO phpBB3
GYM Sitemaps & RSS for phpBB3: GYM Sitemaps & RSS

Frank Rizzo
Registered User
Posts: 135
Joined: Sun Jan 05, 2003 11:10 pm
Contact:

Re: Out of the box phpBB 3 is awful for SEO

Post by Frank Rizzo » Mon Jun 25, 2007 10:38 am

That is debatable.

Cloaking is serving one thing to a user, and another to a bot in a deceptive way.

e.g.

Feed bot 'Gold and Diamond widgets available here'
Serve guest 'Iron Pyrite and Diamonique widgets available here'

Changing the look and feel of a message to an SE is, IMO, no problem at all. In fact SE's should encourage this as it cuts out all the bloat and fluff.

Why would an SE want to be stuffed full of thousands of pages of superfluous text and graphics such as:

Poster: Frank Rizzo
Posts: 100000
Location: UK
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2003 4:23pm

If there are 25 messages per thread a search engine will record that information 25 times! How many guests out there are interested in searching for:

Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2003 4:23pm

:D

dcz
Registered User
Posts: 787
Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2005 5:37 am
Contact:

Re: Out of the box phpBB 3 is awful for SEO

Post by dcz » Mon Jun 25, 2007 11:00 am

I fully agree with you, but try to come up with some answer by Google on this, and I'll start advising something else.

Cloaking is serving different content to bots and guest, this is the strict definition. Google adds the fact that the goal is to distort SERPS, and here, you're not doing it for any other reasons, so if I where you, and especially if I was running a competitive board, where challengers would be most likely to spam report, then, I'd filter content for guest only (which by the way will have the same SEO effects without loosing too much for guests in most cases).

The risk may be very little to end up blacklisted, even though I'm pretty sure it becomes greater for forums with commercial challengers, where spam reports are more likely to occur, but it's not 0.
So in all cases, it's a risk I won't be taking. Blacklisting really is something you do not want to go through.

++

phpBB SEO || phpBB3 SEO Premod || SEO phpBB3
GYM Sitemaps & RSS for phpBB3: GYM Sitemaps & RSS

Xabi
Registered User
Posts: 460
Joined: Wed May 23, 2007 9:04 am

Re: Out of the box phpBB 3 is awful for SEO

Post by Xabi » Mon Jun 25, 2007 11:09 am

It seems smart and prudent to show the same content to bots & guests. How could this be done? I mean, hiding a content for guests would hide it also for bots? Or we need two "IF" statements, one for bots and another one for guests?

Locked

Return to “phpBB Discussion”