Extra Variable in Topics URL = Poor SEO?

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Re: Extra Variable in Topics URL = Poor SEO?

Post by SamG »

romans1423 wrote: Unless I am mistaken, there are multiple possible ways to use clean(er) URLs in MediaWiki…

Thanks. I'll have to have a look-see.
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Re: Extra Variable in Topics URL = Poor SEO?

Post by romans1423 »

DK wrote: I think what people are saying is the bot's come in and spider it differently than you see it, part of which is cleaning up the URLs. I remember reading this on the area51 site in relation to the GoogleBot you'll see logged in sometimes. :D


I'm confused and I certainly don't mean to be disrespectful in any way, but what does that have to do with my answer to SamG?
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Re: Extra Variable in Topics URL = Poor SEO?

Post by Sam-B »

cheater512 wrote:IIS supports absolutely nothing for making urls prettier.
Well actually there is, but they are either way too expensive for what they do or too unstable for real-world usage.
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Re: Extra Variable in Topics URL = Poor SEO?

Post by ascensions »

romans1423 wrote:Just curious, but I'm wondering what the advantage of having the forum ID in a topics' URL is (i.e., viewtopic.php?f=64&t=527269)?

Were Google to index it or others link to it, wouldn't the links break if the topic was moved into another forum, changing the URL to, say, viewtopic.php?f=23&t=527269?
Worse is the sort parameter in the pagination, and the post links. PHPBB conforms to absolutely no accepted for of proper url architecture.
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Re: Extra Variable in Topics URL = Poor SEO?

Post by romans1423 »

I'm not for sure there is an "accepted form of proper URL architecture" beyond "good URLs don't change."

Beyond that, URLs can really be in whatever form you want; each with various advantages & disadvantages (such as ease of memorization, SEO, and so on).
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Re: Extra Variable in Topics URL = Poor SEO?

Post by pentapenguin »

ascensions wrote:Worse is the sort parameter in the pagination, and the post links. PHPBB conforms to absolutely no accepted for of proper url architecture.
There is no standard for URIs. phpBB has a simple format of viewtopic.php?t=[topic ID][/optional forum id][/other query information] The main reason for this is not to break links if the board was upgraded from 2 to 3.
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Re: Extra Variable in Topics URL = Poor SEO?

Post by ascensions »

Proper architecture is "one link" for "one content".

With PHPBB, the architecture is "multiple links (different structure)" for "one content"
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Re: Extra Variable in Topics URL = Poor SEO?

Post by Acyd Burn »

ascensions wrote:Proper architecture is "one link" for "one content".
Really? We are in the age of dynamic content - i do not think google (for example) missed this step. ;) It is able to differate between added "parameters" and "static pages". What you want is all data processed on one page being only submitted through the POST action? No GET actions anymore?

If you want to sort a topic for example, from up/down to down/up... it is the same content, sure. But the user is just viewing the page in a different order, differently sorted... even if there is no change in sorting, users may prefer watching a page with different styles - again, same content, but different layout.

I really can't imagine any search engine being that "blind" to tag such "parameters" as duplicate content. They have very complicated algorythms to detect and weight such things. I never ever heard of a forum being set on the blacklist due to different GET parameters on one page. If this would be the case, nearly every website nowadays has to be blacklisted.

Even if Urls are made human readable (through url rewriting for example), you need to pass on additional GET parameters - is this generating duplicate content too? Of course there is advantage gained by using readable urls, a tiny bit of better rankings, but the main advantage being human readable urls... after all it is for the user and not any machine. If you do not have good content and try to get ranked higher because you are unable to provide such content you should be blacklisted anyway.
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Re: Extra Variable in Topics URL = Poor SEO?

Post by cheater512 »

Acyd Burn wrote:Really? We are in the age of dynamic content - i do not think google (for example) missed this step. ;)
I agree. My personal theory is Google can detect exactly what software a particular site is using (or guess accurately) and it will actually understand the parameters.

With Google's resources its really not that far fetched.
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Re: Extra Variable in Topics URL = Poor SEO?

Post by thecoalman »

The duplicate URL's are a problem, a quick estimation by my accounts puts each page at about 20 possible URL's for each page if you upgrade from 2 due to the pagination, next, previous etc. That is just the pages themselves and doesn't include memberlist, search etc. The search page itself is minefield for any search engine but that can be taken care of with robots.txt. Essentially phpbb is a giant bot trap as far as the URL's go. Google follows everything, after applying multiple seo mods that specifically dealt with duplicate URL's my index count dropped from 10,000 plus to just under 1,500 where it should be.

Since then my visits have gone up, pages indexed per day have gone up dramatically, I've gotten more relevant search results in the index and many of my pages that could not be found anywhere in the index have magically appeared. Google is not going to index your pages or index them well if it's going around in circles or can't find them at all. One of the major issues with all the duplicate URL's is not only are you using up your own resources for unnecessary indexing but you're using up Googles as well. Stands to reason that Google is going to want to index a site better if they aren't constantly finding duplicates. From my experience that's the case.
Last edited by thecoalman on Fri Oct 19, 2007 12:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Extra Variable in Topics URL = Poor SEO?

Post by thecoalman »

Highway of Life wrote:By the same token, it could be argued that what message boards contain shouldn't be indexed on google, because it’s mostly meaningless chatter (generalization) instead of useful content, with a few exceptions.
I strongly disagree with that, some of the best information you can find on the internet can be found in forums or message boards. The exception of couse is if it's a social board.
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Re: Extra Variable in Topics URL = Poor SEO?

Post by Highway of Life »

thecoalman wrote:The duplicate URL's are a problem, a quick estimation by my accounts puts each page at about 20 possible URL's for each page if you upgrade from 2 due to the pagination, next, previous etc. That is just the pages themselves and doesn't include memberlist, search etc.
Did you read anything AcydBurn posted?? He just addressed this issue directly. They are GET parameters and Google recognizes these parameters and so will not penalize a site due to having 20+ extra URLs per page.
The only way to achieve what you want is by all pages being brought up through POST parameters, a difficult, if not impossible task with a forum software. A Forum is not a blog or News site, it is a location of discussion content.
thecoalman wrote:The search page itself is minefield for any search engine but that can be taken care of with robots.txt. Essentially phpbb is a giant bot trap as far as the URL's go. Google follows everything, after applying multiple seo mods that specifically dealt with duplicate URL's my index count dropped from 10,000 plus to just under 1,500 where it should be.
FYI, the Search page is, by default, off limits to bots and spiders in phpBB3, so that is a null issue.
thecoalman wrote:Since then my visits have gone up, pages indexed per day have gone up dramatically, I've gotten more relevant search results in the index and many of my pages that could not be found anywhere in the index have magically appeared. Google is not going to index your pages or index them well if it's going around in circles or can't find them at all.
What does this have to do with anything? phpBB3 displays categories and forums on the index page. Go to one of those, and you have all the topics and their pagination. Thats all a SE sees, thats all a SE needs to see. There is no "hidden" or "inacessable" content unless you don’t list your forums on the parent forum listings. -- but you would be hiding your content in this case.
thecoalman wrote:One of the major issues with all the duplicate URL's is not only are you using up your own resources for unnecessary indexing but you're using up Googles as well.
Using up resources for indexing??!? What are you talking about?! You don’t index multiple URLs. The board indexes posts, thats all. It has nothing to do with indexing, and certainly does not effect your resources to have multiple URLs.

I encourage you to read AcydBurn’s post again, as he already addressed nearly all of the points you brought up in your post.
thecoalman wrote:
Highway of Life wrote:By the same token, it could be argued that what message boards contain shouldn't be indexed on google, because it’s mostly meaningless chatter (generalization) instead of useful content, with a few exceptions.
I strongly disagree with that, some of the best information you can find on the internet can be found in forums or message boards. The exception of couse is if it's a social board.
Of course there is a lot of useful information on Bulletin boards out there, I’m not saying there is not, but the majority of boards out there are social, chat boards, with 75% of the content is not real useful SE friendly content. Like indexing a chat room. I’m not saying that is the case with all boards, but it is certainly true for a majority. So the point still stands, you could make the arguement that most message boards shouldn’t be indexed on Google because its mostly meaningless chatter. But as I mentioned before, it’s a generalization, not a rule.
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Re: Extra Variable in Topics URL = Poor SEO?

Post by Kellanved »

Well, google for "poor seo". For me, this very topic is #3. Doesn't look like google is having any problems at all to me.
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Re: Extra Variable in Topics URL = Poor SEO?

Post by thecoalman »

Highway of Life wrote:They are GET parameters and Google recognizes these parameters and so will not penalize a site due to having 20+ extra URLs per page.
That is simply not my experience, I have two forums that I monitor. One has a URL mod applied and the other does not. The first gets about 50 pages indexed per day and other gets 800 indexed per day. the only difference between the two is the URL's. In fact the first one is on more prominent site so should most likely be doing better if the URL's were not an issue.


FYI, the Search page is, by default, off limits to bots and spiders in phpBB3, so that is a null issue.
Technically the search page, memberlist etc can still be indexed and is. You only need to supply a link to it somewhere in which case the bot gets a "you are not authorized...." Ironically this can viewed as cloaking and get your site penalised, chances are slim but still possible. To avoid that use robots.txt .
What does this have to do with anything? phpBB3 displays categories and forums on the index page. Go to one of those, and you have all the topics and their pagination. Thats all a SE sees, thats all a SE needs to see. There is no "hidden" or "inacessable" content unless you don’t list your forums on the parent forum listings. -- but you would be hiding your content in this case.
What doesn't it have to do with anything? As I explained my pages are better indexed and I have seen large increase in traffic from SE's. If your content is buried in duplicate URL's you are in essence hiding it from search engine. By providing a clear and open path to each page the bot doesn't have to waste time indexing the same page over and over. Instead it can be indexing new or reindexing old content or content it has never indexed. I had pages that were never indexed, nearly every page in the forum is indexed now. Maybe even all of them, I haven't come across one that doesn't have a Google cache.
Using up resources for indexing??!? What are you talking about?! You don’t index multiple URLs. The board indexes posts, thats all. It has nothing to do with indexing, and certainly does not effect your resources to have multiple URLs.
Perhaps there is bit of confusion here but I'm referring to the bot unnecessarily indexing pages. If you have 20 URL's that all go to the same page and Google indexes all of them that's 19 unnecessary pages you have to serve and 19 pages Google doesn't need nor does it want.
I encourage you to read AcydBurn’s post again, as he already addressed nearly all of the points you brought up in your post.
And I encourage you to reread my post, the information I have posted is from experience. I'm in a fairly good position to make judgements because I have the performance of two forums to compare. The simple fact is the one without all the duplicate URL's outperforms the one with and not just by a little but by a lot.
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Re: Extra Variable in Topics URL = Poor SEO?

Post by ToonArmy »

thecoalman wrote:That is simply not my experience, I have two forums that I monitor. One has a URL mod applied and the other does not. The first gets about 50 pages indexed per day and other gets 800 indexed per day. the only difference between the two is the URL's. In fact the first one is on more prominent site so should most likely be doing better if the URL's were not an issue.
I think it is safe to assume that the URL mod is not the only difference, I imagine both have different content, different styles, different domains, different people linking to them. In fact hundreds of variables, applying a URL mod is unlikely to be the only variable.
Kellanved wrote:Well, google for "poor seo". For me, this very topic is #3. Doesn't look like google is having any problems at all to me.
Same here, nice find :)
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