Out of the box phpBB 3 is awful for SEO

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

Post by MrShlee »

Wordpress has a great function that allows you to customize the url

post id.. post title. dates. times. blah blah blah

Would it be so hard to support this kind of modification out of the box?

http://mytechpedia.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=2#p2 --> http://mytechpedia.com/forumname/titlename or something?

I'm sure a htaccess rewrite could handle that without issue?
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Re: Out of the box phpBB 3 is awful for SEO

Post by Rotsblok »

MrShlee wrote:Wordpress has a great function that allows you to customize the url

post id.. post title. dates. times. blah blah blah

Would it be so hard to support this kind of modification out of the box?

http://mytechpedia.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=2#p2 --> http://mytechpedia.com/forumname/titlename or something?

I'm sure a htaccess rewrite could handle that without issue?
Sorry but i have no desire to have that out of the box. Its not necessary as forum feature. Only what it does is making your url's look nice.I doubt that it will have effect on how your site is searched by google or any other searchengine
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ascensions
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Re: Out of the box phpBB 3 is awful for SEO

Post by ascensions »

Well I've stepped away from this post for a while, and thought I'd toss my two cents back in the ring now that I've had several months with 3.0

A) major problems with cannacolization in the pagination of forums and topic pages with the sort parameter. I'm not even sure why it's there. It lists the first page in multiple forms. Removed the sort parameter.

B) The upgrade problem with F=... solved with a redirect

C) Proper web authoring calls for posts to be #5463 not &p=5463... another form of cannocolization

D) If 3.0 is going to keep the f= tags on posts, viewtopic needs to identify if it's in the right forum, and if not 301 redirect. Otherwise you have yet, another cannocolization

E) Somebody needs to add Google Bot: Mozilla/5.0 to the general release, or let people know there boards aren't getting indexed right.

F) SIDs still aren't right for bots. Not sure exactly what, but Adsense bot was still getting SIDS till I shut them off for anonymous. May be because it's a client side activated script that establishes it's URL to crawl from the browser, rather then the board.

E) For Gods Sake, someone put a <Meta noindex> tag in the print pages since it's yet "another" cannocolization.

And this is just off the top of my head.... I know there's more... There is atleast 5-10 cannocolizations for the same page in many instances.

This isn't fluffy bunny stuff, this is insanely poor programming. No offense to "the team" because you have a "great product" but the unwillingness to address these issues in the first 5 releases indicate a severe problem with the software that is going to hit hard when the hordes of 2.0 board owners get the green light and upgrade.
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Re: Out of the box phpBB 3 is awful for SEO

Post by IPB_Refugee »

@MrShlee:

http://www.phpbb.com/community/viewtopi ... 0&t=543997
http://www.phpbb-seo.com/boards/phpbb3- ... rite-vf53/
http://www.seo-phpbb.org/phpbb3/saubere-url.html (sorry - only in German)

If you already know these MODs, please forgive me.

@ascensions:

Could you please provide more infos about your item A)? Thank you. :) And it's true: They are not really interested in SEO. :(

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

Post by ascensions »

Could you please provide more infos about your item A)? Thank you. :) And it's true: They are not really interested in SEO. :(
Take a look at the pagination on the bottom right hand page. Hover over the "1", notice how the URL contains a sort parameter? Meaning subsequent pages aren't linking back to the first page, it's linking back to an alternate URL with the same content.

Code: Select all

http://www.phpbb.com/community/viewtopic.php?f=64&t=552307&st=0&sk=t&sd=a
&st=0&sk=t&sd=a
Pagination on viewforum.php shows the same. The problem is worsened there though because it is in direct competition with the original URL. You can remove the sort parameter out of the viewtopic.php and viewforum.php, but it still leaves the &start=0 on the viewforum. Rather than hunt down the code, I simply disabled pagination on viewforum.php by removing it out of the TPL.

At the same time remove the &p=5672 out of the "last topic" on viewforum (probably index too, but I don't use that.) so that it leaves only the #5672, or else that's a duplicate too.
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Re: Out of the box phpBB 3 is awful for SEO

Post by frechdaxx »

http://www.phpbb-seo.com/

Very nice and customizable Seo MOD ;)

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

Post by ascensions »

It's actually pretty simple, just a little search & replace.

Search and replace this string in the viewtopic:

Code: Select all

&$u_sort_param
and remove it out of the pagination variable.

Then find this is viewforum.php to fix the last post thing. Delete the pagination in your template.

Code: Select all

'&p=' . $row['topic_last_post_id'] . 
JohnS0N
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Re: Out of the box phpBB 3 is awful for SEO

Post by JohnS0N »

I too am interested as of from the start of phpbb3 until now, no developer has shown any interest in SEO... My board is big and I get something like 50 uniques from google. POOR! SEO is an absolute necessity! Websites exist because of their visitors, to provide them with something usefull. If the script is not optimized for it we get no traffic and why would we then even need a web site?

For those who have private forums I could understand they are not interested SEO, but for the rest of us this is ONLY A POSITIVE thing.
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Re: Out of the box phpBB 3 is awful for SEO

Post by HB »

Some may consider URL rewriting "semantic sugar", but duplicates have a real impact on your site's performance. Frenzied search engine bots constantly crawling your site can hurt response times, especially for sites hosted on shared servers. Yahoo! is a particularly egregious offender, traversing pages over and over again despite a sitemap clearly indicating the page content has not changed from the other 50 times it asked. But I digress...

Bottom line: Eliminating different URLs that point to the same content will save your server resources. Eliminating URLs that are for users only (like the print pages) with a rel=nofollow will save your server resources. It may or may not help SEO, but who cares if it saves you the cost of upgrading to faster hardware?

As a case in point, I installed phpBB-seo's "zero duplicate" mod earlier this year. The number of my site's pages indexed by Google dropped by 70% in less than a month without affecting the overall incoming search engine traffic. That's 70% less duplicate pages for Google and its ilk to waste time updating.
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Re: Out of the box phpBB 3 is awful for SEO

Post by Kellanved »

JohnS0N wrote:
For those who have private forums I could understand they are not interested SEO, but for the rest of us this is ONLY A POSITIVE thing.
Sorry, but that's just incorrect. phpBB3 does a lot for SEO, but we are not sacrificing usability for some ill-defined (and incorrect) notion of SEO. Fact is, the major bots index phpBB3 just fine. Fact is, we do live in the age of dynamic content and engines are able to cope with it. Fact is, these very SEO topics are among the most prominent hits google has for SEO. You are free to change the software in any way you like; we won't change the 3.0 in any way short of fixing major bugs in the current stage. In fact, changing styles is enough for 90% of the proposed changes (I won't comment on their validity).

I also will add no further comments to this topic. The views were expressed, I personally do believe the discussion to be moot at the present stage.

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

Post by pentapenguin »

Kellanved wrote:Fact is, we do live in the age of dynamic content and engines are able to cope with it.
Yes exactly. Funny, if dynamic content was so bad why does Google do it?
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Re: Out of the box phpBB 3 is awful for SEO

Post by HB »

Kellanved wrote:Fact is, the major bots index phpBB3 just fine. Fact is, we do live in the age of dynamic content and engines are able to cope with it. Fact is, these very SEO topics are among the most prominent hits google has for SEO.
I agree, the form of the URLs isn't my concern. As an example, consider this thread indexed by Google:

http://www.google.com/search?q=+%22Out+ ... m&filter=0

I had not looked closely at 3.0, but it's actually much better than 2.0! There are only 25 entries for this thread with 11 pages. In the prior release, there would be one URL for each page, each post, each pagination... literally a URL explosion. Still, 3.0 could be better, and the server resource savings is real and measurable. Don't take my word for it; basic stats in viewtopic counting the number of requests from bots will show the potential savings. Perhaps it doesn't matter to site owners with dedicated hardware, but for popular sites on shared servers, it can mean paying more hosting fees to (needlessly) feed bots.

Below is a sample of Google's indexing of this thread. The first four look fine to me. The next two are not interesting to bots and should have rel=nofollow elements on the <a> tag, the rest appear to be related to pagination. Adding the rel=nofollow element to "redundant" URLs is a cheap and easy way to eliminate duplicates (not the best, but let's save that discussion for another day).

http://www.phpbb.com/community/viewtopi ... 07&start=0
http://www.phpbb.com/community/viewtopi ... &start=105
http://www.phpbb.com/community/viewtopi ... &start=120
http://www.phpbb.com/community/viewtopi ... &start=150
http://www.phpbb.com/community/viewtopi ... view=print
http://www.phpbb.com/community/viewtopi ... view=print
http://www.phpbb.com/community/viewtopi ... a&start=15
http://www.phpbb.com/community/viewtopi ... &sk=t&sd=a
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Re: Out of the box phpBB 3 is awful for SEO

Post by thecoalman »

Kellanved wrote:... but we are not sacrificing usability for some ill-defined (and incorrect) notion of SEO.
I haven't see anyone suggest saccrificing usability, good SEO increases usability. I'll give you a real world example, just today I was searching phpbb.com. One result look promising which took me to a print version page. There is no link highlighted on the print page to get back to the original but that's really irrelevant for this discussion, if that page had NOINDEX in the meta tags the real page most likely would have been in it's place. Again simple solution.

As far as other duplication goes removing the sort parameters from pagination unless a user is sorting as I suggested in this post in another thread would remove a vast majority of the duplicates.

http://www.phpbb.com/community/viewtopi ... 0#p3229622

Fact is, the major bots index phpBB3 just fine.
Indexing and good indexing are two seperate things, if a SE is indexing 400 pages on your site and 300 of them are duplicate pages that's not good indexing. It's waste of your server resources and the SE's resources among other things.
Fact is, we do live in the age of dynamic content and engines are able to cope with it.


They attempt to cope with it and after they have crawled the page. If you can provide dynamic content that a SE can easily not get lost in why shouldn't you?
Fact is, these very SEO topics are among the most prominent hits google has for SEO.


I cannot find this topic in the first 20 results for SEO (which stands to reason) or phpbb SEO. phpbb.com has the second and third result for the latter search term, the first result is for a mod on another site that removes duplicates among aother things. ;)
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ascensions
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Re: Out of the box phpBB 3 is awful for SEO

Post by ascensions »

Ironically for an opensource software the "Me is better then We" is rampant on this site. People running the software say it's a problem, but PHPBB programmers continue to say "you don't know what you're talking about."

Something says on Gold, alot of people will be going to alternatives.
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Re: Out of the box phpBB 3 is awful for SEO

Post by ElbertF »

I only see a handful of people complaining, the silent majority might be agreeing with the devs here. Search engines should adapt to and change with the internet, not the other way around. The developers chose a structure that works best for the software, as they should.
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