SEF/SEO URLs

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OC2PS
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Re: SEF/SEO URLs

Post by OC2PS »

Folks who are interested in getting this done, please can you help determine the HOW here

If you are not convinced that SEO URLs are a good thing, please continue to post on right here on this thread - the new thread is only about HOW, not about WHETHER
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Re: SEF/SEO URLs

Post by callumacrae »

Navigation and good layout are very important. Backlinks is also very important (I've got over 10,000 from signatures on various websites).

Headings have a small effect, but the search engines are more intelligent than that these days.

Meta description may help, but I don't use it.

Nothing else will help from what you said.

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Re: SEF/SEO URLs

Post by Rotsblok »

sooskriszta wrote:Also, I am curious as to how you go about generating quality content on a NEW bulletin board, and how it helps you get to the top of Google SERP without:
  • Submitting an XML sitemap to Google
  • Getting back links
  • Having Pretty URLs (including having a domain name that contains keywords)
  • Utilizing meta tags like Description
  • Using HTML styles like H1, H2
  • Having logical structure
  • Having easy navigation
  • As I am curious how you want to add a Dynamic forum sitemap to google or any other search engine (not the others as I believe one would want to have SEO working for ALL search engines :D ) as the content is every time changing..
  • pretty urls is just cosmetic in my opinion with a low value for search engines.. They find you no matter how pretty or ugly your urls are.
  • html styles like H1 etc... are designed for that.. Search engines just uses the designed idea behind it.. and yet many many websites are already using H1 etc tags (see phpBB (yes they/we are also doing it))
  • logical structure is something up to the admin.. It seems logical to them (as I believe you are refering to categories/forums etc..) else I have no idea what you mean by it.. (directory structure is in my opinion of no importance to my site being indexed..)
  • easy navigation is also not a SEO thing, its just for your users to prevent them from getting lost on your site. The search bot is already lost on your site because he will just follow every damn link you have on it.

as for serp.. on the how it is generated... (not not by pretty urls etc..)
wikipedia wrote:Major search engines like Google, Yahoo! and Bing primarily use content contained within the Metadata tags of a web page to generate the content that makes up a search snippet.] The title tag will be used as the title of the snippet while the most relevant or useful contents of the web page (description tag or page copy) will be used for the description. If the web page is not available, information about the page from dmoz may be used instead.
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Re: SEF/SEO URLs

Post by Dog Cow »

Pony99CA wrote:I'm asking if there is documentation that states that Google's PageRank algorithm takes result clicks into account.
It doesn't, but don't take my word for it. Read the paper: http://ilpubs.stanford.edu:8090/422/1/1999-66.pdf
and patent: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Pars ... PN/6285999
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Re: SEF/SEO URLs

Post by OC2PS »

Dog Cow wrote:
Pony99CA wrote:I'm asking if there is documentation that states that Google's PageRank algorithm takes result clicks into account.
It doesn't, but don't take my word for it. Read the paper: http://ilpubs.stanford.edu:8090/422/1/1999-66.pdf
and patent: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Pars ... PN/6285999
Ok, repeating myself: I NEVER said clicks affect PageRank. I said clicks affect SERP rank.

Edit: PageRank is an "authority" system - it is a way to calculate how much weight to give a backlink from a particular website...so if Yahoo! has a high pagerank, it means a link from Yahoo! will be highly valued. Page Rank is not called so to mean it is a ranking of webpages...the Page in the name comes from Google founder Larry Page's name.

SERP rank on the other hand means actually on the search results page, where is a particular page located. There are many factors that contribute to SERP rank, including Page Ranks of backlinks, Page Rank of the link itself, relevance calculated based on clicks (Wisdom of Crowds) as well as content (including URL, title, description, and <body content>..)
Last edited by OC2PS on Sat Jan 15, 2011 1:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: SEF/SEO URLs

Post by OC2PS »

Rotsblok wrote:
  • As I am curious how you want to add a Dynamic forum sitemap to google or any other search engine (not the others as I believe one would want to have SEO working for ALL search engines :D ) as the content is every time changing..
BB's are not the only thing in the world with dynamic content.

There is absolutely no contradiction in terms of submitting sitemaps to Google etc. You need to understand how sitemaps work in order to understand this logic.

But the Cliff's Notes version is:
sitemaps are generated dynamically just like pages are (so new topics created, or topics deleted are accounted for...sitemaps do not contain page content),
and within the sitemap, it is noted how often the search engine should check back to see if the page has changed (so changes on the pages themselves are accounted for).
Rotsblok wrote:as for serp.. on the how it is generated... (not not by pretty urls etc..)
wikipedia wrote:Major search engines like Google, Yahoo! and Bing primarily use content contained within the Metadata tags of a web page to generate the content that makes up a search snippet.] The title tag will be used as the title of the snippet while the most relevant or useful contents of the web page (description tag or page copy) will be used for the description. If the web page is not available, information about the page from dmoz may be used instead.
That says absolutely nothing about SERP ranking.
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Re: SEF/SEO URLs

Post by GoBieN »

Dynamic sitemaps are implemented by the guys at phpBB-Seo. As is avoiding duplicate URL's, postURLS and such.
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Clean URLs

Post by dandv »

It's been half a year since the previous post here, and I feel we could use some fresh thought on CleanURLs.

First of all, I agree that to search engines, clean (human-friendly) URLs may not matter at all. But I think they matter a lot to humans, and here are the reasons I believe so:

1. To selectively quote from http://en.wikipedia.org?article=25725 (just kidding, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clean_URL):
Wikipedia wrote:clean URLs can also greatly improve usability and accessibility. Removing unnecessary parts, simplifies URLs and makes them easier to type and remember. [...] when planning the structure of clean URLs, webmasters often take this opportunity to include relevant keywords in the URL and remove irrelevant words from it. So common words like "the", "and", "an", "a", etc. are often stripped out to further trim down the URL while descriptive keywords are added to increase user-friendliness and improve search engine ranking.[1] This includes replacing hard-to-remember numerical IDs with the name of the resource it refers to. And, because not all resources have URL-friendly names due to the character set restrictions on web URLs or length, it is common practice to generate a slug that is truncated to a certain length and has any invalid characters replaced with human-readable characters. This also eliminates ugly and hard to remember URL-encoded strings (e.g. Peanut%20M%26Ms becomes Peanut_MMs).

Similarly, it is common practice to replace cryptic variable names and parameters with friendly names or to simply do away with them altogether. Shorter URLs that don't contain any esoteric abbreviations or complex syntax that is alien to the average user are less intimidating and contribute to overall usability.

Another aspect of clean URLs is that they do not contain implementation details of the underlying web application.[4] For example, many URLs include the filename of a server-side script, such as "example.php", "example.asp" or "cgi-bin". Such details are irrelevant to the user and do not serve to identify the content, and make it harder to change the implementation of the server at a later date. For example, if a script at "example.php" is rewritten in Python, the URL will have to change, or rewrite rules will need to be used to allow the old URL to redirect to the new one.
2. Let's think of URLs outside the realm of a web page, and URLs to our forum being used in places we have no control over, in any non-clickable medium:
  • I've had to work in support, and often I had to ask people to read out to me over the phone what the URL of an error page was. Or they told me "I'm at http://blablabla ID = a63ab7f5ee0540698fcc51e5274bf0e2 and I see this problem".
  • Paper books that reference online resources have to print their URL, and the reader has to type it in. (For the love of god, please don't say that the book author should use tinyurl.com and pick a pronounceable URL)
  • At conferences or presentations, you may want to write a URL on the whiteboard (or in a slide) and have attendees type it in.
  • If you're troubleshooting a problem on a computer that doesn't have a connection to another computer, and you want to "paste" a URL to it, you'd have to type that URL in. Often, this URL would point to a forum that explains how to troubleshoot that problem.
  • Printouts can have a stylesheet for printing that outputs the URL next to the link title. If a reader later wants to follow the URL, they'll have to type it in.
  • On various devices (i.e. phones), entering characters like the '=' from query strings is way more cumbersome than just pressing Shift and + on a full keyboard.
Even online, a human-friendly URL can be used directly, without cumbersome markup. If someone asks "How do I configure X to work with Y", I can quickly reply with "See http://example.com/thread-12345/configu ... ork-with-y", and the URL will look friendly and legit.

In short, there are well-established accessibility reasons why clean URLs are a clear winner over cryptic URLs for humans, and these reasons have been studied extensively by professional user experience designers.

3. The only rational argument I've seen against the idea of clean URLs is that clean URLs would leak information for private boards. However, this can easily be solved with referer hiding. It's a trivial solution to this problem, can be implemented even without a redirection page.

4. Of course, there are arguments against implementing clean URLs, which is a different topic:
  • "Clean URLs may require more database lookups" - perhaps not, if we keep one ID in the URL (as most dynamic content sites do): http://example.com/forum-name/thread-12 ... s-and-dogs
  • "What if a topic gets renames?" - there are two solutions. If we keep an ID in the URL, then anything following the ID is there just for the convenience of humans. This is the easiest solution. If we remove the ID, then when a topic gets renamed (I've seen estimates of that happening rarely, maybe in 5% of the cases), the old URL could be setup to redirect to the new URL, in a table of redirects.
What I want to say is that human-friendly URLs may be somewhat difficult to implement, but it's the right thing to do.

A useful continuation of this discussion is to figure out HOW exactly to implement clean URLs.
Last edited by dandv on Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: SEF/SEO URLs

Post by Lumpy Burgertushie »

simply not gonna happen I bet.

none of that is really a big deal.
people are moving away from typing in urls way more than they are moving towards it.

even though many of your examples are true, technology will advance to the point where is won't be necessary to do any of that. I don't know exactly how, but I know it will happen.

I would also say, "it's 2011" let's get over this and realize that "pretty urls" is a thing of the past.


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Re: SEF/SEO URLs

Post by /a3 »

It isn’t quite as easy as you say. phpBB would have to store all of the posts and topics differently to support what you’re looking for. Currently posts and topics are stored and fetched as numbers. From what I understand, the proposition here was to have both the topic name and ID in the URL, simply because having the topic name would make it more search-engine friendly (even if the URL is longer and still contains the topic ID).

I do understand your point. However, major changes would have to be made to phpBB to support this. Additionally, some sort of system would have to be put into place for topics which have the same title.


Regarding referrers, I could see such redirects being used as a way of hiding URLs. It would also be equivilant to URL shortening (which has many shortcomings).
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Re: SEF/SEO URLs

Post by Pony99CA »

Lumpy Burgertushie wrote: even though many of your examples are true, technology will advance to the point where is won't be necessary to do any of that. I don't know exactly how, but I know it will happen.
I believe that it already has; the solutions just aren't ubiquitous yet. Check out QR Code, Microsoft Tag or even the old CueCat. The first two have smart phone apps to bring up the information in a Web browser.

Theoretically, I could even envision scanner software that performed OCR on a page and offered to open any URLs in a browser. It wouldn't surprise me if popular OCR packages already convert URLs in documents to live links in output Word or PDF files.

However, all of these methods are still probably slower than typing in all but the most complex URLs.

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Replies to lame counter-arguments

Post by dandv »

Lumpy Burgertushie wrote:simply not gonna happen I bet.

none of that is really a big deal.
people are moving away from typing in urls way more than they are moving towards it.

even though many of your examples are true, technology will advance to the point where is won't be necessary to do any of that. I don't know exactly how, but I know it will happen.
You haven't addressed any of my arguments for clean URLs. Your reply, in essence, says "let's be lazy, because the current problem will be solved by others in some way, some time in the future." It also lacks realism and vision. Steve explained in some details why.

Similarly, /a3 brings the problem of implementation details.

Call me an idealist, but I'm advocating "doing the right thing". Yes, that takes work. The fact that it takes a (reasonable amount of) work to do the right thing, isn't a sound argument for NOT doing the right thing. Others have done it, and phpBB has been left behind in a lot of aspects.
Last edited by dandv on Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:41 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: SEF/SEO URLs

Post by Lumpy Burgertushie »

phpbb has not been left behind at all. it is on the cutting edge of what is going on in bulletin board software.
it is the most popular and most used software of it's kind in the world.

no, I am not just following you around. you just joined here and have been steadily posting negative things about this software and those of us that support it. I have to say, if you dislike it and us so much I wonder why you stick around unless you enjoy creating problems.

NOW, ( see I do know where the caps key is )I have been typing and communicating with people before you were a gleam in your daddy's eyes so I don't think I need you to tell me how to type. I do this for a living.

I choose to type in a hurry here on this board so that I can help as many people as quickly as I can.
I haven't seen you offering much help to anyone since you have been here.

so, you have the right to post whatever you want and I have the right to offer my opinion about it.


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Re: SEF/SEO URLs

Post by dandv »

Lumpy Burgertushie wrote:phpbb has not been left behind at all. it is on the cutting edge of what is going on in bulletin board software.
It would be nice to support your assertions with evidence and arguments, as I did.
Lumpy Burgertushie wrote:it is the most popular and most used software of it's kind in the world.
If you've been posted online for more than 30 years, you should be aware of ad populum arguments.
Lumpy Burgertushie wrote:you just joined here and have been steadily posting negative things about this software and those of us that support it. I have to say, if you dislike it and us so much I wonder why you stick around unless you enjoy creating problems.
As a software QA engineer, I enjoy providing constructive criticism. As a debater, I post "negative things" when I respond to personal attacks or patent ignorance. As an OSS contributor, I enjoy contributing (that's why I've been sticking around). Perhaps I could improve on the latter two.
Last edited by dandv on Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: SEF/SEO URLs

Post by /a3 »

dandv wrote:As a software QA engineer, I enjoy providing constructive criticism.
dandv wrote:If you want to type even faster, you could avoid adding a space after an open parenthesis, and before a closed one.
Congratulations for being on-topic. :roll:
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