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Discuss features as they are added to the new version. Give us your feedback. Don't post bug reports, feature requests, support questions or suggestions here. Feature requests are closed.
Kail
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Re: seo

Post by Kail » Fri Mar 03, 2006 9:26 pm

Google follows nofollow links but a referal by a nofollow anchor element will not count towards the site's Page Rank which in effect has a direct influence on its position on SERPs.
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markus_petrux
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Re: seo

Post by markus_petrux » Fri Mar 03, 2006 10:07 pm

Kail wrote: Regardless, the sort of URLs Drupal produces are much SE friendlier than the URLs phpBB has...
AFAIK, search engines are able to index phpBB very well, so... could you please define "SE friendly" ? ...or do you mean "human friendly" ?
Kail wrote: ...they're easier to type too.
That depends. What's easier to type?
1) http://www.example.com/insert_user_frie ... topic_here" target="_blank
2) http://www.example.com/viewtopic.php?t=1234" target="_blank

Even if 1) was shorter, you could mispell the URL, so... probably you would use copy/paste, that equals both methods, in regards to human friendlyness, I think.


This conversion will take us nowhere, what really matters for humans (hence for search engines, this is what helps them sell better) is the "content" (I wrote this before, in this thread).
Kail wrote: Google follows nofollow links but a referal by a nofollow anchor element will not count towards the site's Page Rank which in effect has a direct influence on its position on SERPs.
Interesting. Do you have a reference about that?

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Re: seo

Post by Kail » Fri Mar 03, 2006 10:30 pm

Yes, some search engines, far from all.

And no, that makes absolutely no sense. I said FORUMS and CATEGORIES, as it's where it actually makes sense. Would you rather have a URL like forums/index.php?c=5 or forums/science_and_philosophy as a URL? Well, 99% of the population would say the latter is both easier to remember and type!

And yes, I got a plethora of references to cognitive psychology and usability not to mention accessibility to back it up not to mention common sense. :)

Regarding "nofollow", interpret this as you like ;)
http://www.google.com/webmasters/bot.html#www" target="_blank

"...When Google sees the attribute rel="nofollow" on hyperlinks, those links won't get any credit when we rank websites in our search results..."
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markus_petrux
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Re: seo

Post by markus_petrux » Sat Mar 04, 2006 12:53 am

Thanks. Have you typed that URL? ...or have you just copy/pasted it? :mrgreen:
Kail wrote: Would you rather have a URL like forums/index.php?c=5 or forums/science_and_philosophy as a URL? Well, 99% of the population would say the latter is both easier to remember and type!
does that have anything to do with search engine friendlyness?
Kail wrote: And yes, I got a plethora of references to cognitive psychology and usability not to mention accessibility to back it up not to mention common sense. :)
Doesn't make sense for you what matters is content? When you use a search engine... do you discard results because of the URL isn't "friendly" enough?

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Re: seo

Post by code reader » Sat Mar 04, 2006 3:39 am

kulinar wrote:
code reader wrote: unfortunately, adding rel=nofollow to the quote button will not solve the issue, because (according to google), the "rel='nofollow'" to an anchor does not really mean no-follow, it means no-increase-rating.
That is not true. I applied rel="nofollow" to posting and quote buttons and from 3830 indexed pages I have only 33 with posting in URL (all of them indexed before adding nofollow attribute).
this is not what google documentation claims.
and in your case, what made the difference is not the "rel=nofollow", it is the fact that you do not allow, in your forum, guest posting, hence you dont get google to follow the "quote" link.
in my site, i do allow guest posting, and i had to resort to more drastic measures than "rel=nofollow" for the quote button. (ie, "robots='noindex,nofollow" at the head of the posting page. one can also use the robots.txt file).

in any event, my original point was, and still is, that if phpbb will not add a "rel=nofollow" to ALL the user-supplied urls, including the signature and the user personal site IN THE CORE PRODUCT, all phpbb boards will remain prime target for spammers.
the reason why there is little point in doing it in a mod is that spammers will not stop to check whether or not a specific board have installed the mod or not. only including it in the core product will have any chance of deterring spammers.

Kail
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Re: seo

Post by Kail » Sat Mar 04, 2006 9:51 am

Markus: My point is, when printing URLs or providing them by means of a non-hypertext medium, URLs that contain plain words are easier to type and to remember. This isn't news for anyone. The fact that we use table keys to address data is a result of the old-time habit of computer systems design affecting usability design, a compromise we do not need to make any more.
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Re: seo

Post by markus_petrux » Sat Mar 04, 2006 1:48 pm

Still, this is relative, it depends. If you know Drupal's pathauto module (for other readers: it may automatically create friendly URLs for several types of objects such as content, users, catagories, etc.), well, if you have enabled pathauto for content and you have thousands of nodes... you probably end up with conflicts that are not so easy to resolve, that may create similar URLs, confussions, hence sites such as drupal.org do not use friendly URLs for everything.

Even if you have the option to use "friendly" URLs, there might be situations where using numbers (table keys) is better. Some sites with lots of content use the date of publication to minimize these conflicts, but then IMHO they end up again with URLs that are difficult to type and remember.

In the end, any type of URL is difficult to type and/or remember, people use copy/paste, bookmarks, search engines... which is why I think, in the queue of potential features for future phpBB versions, providing such a feature ought to have a very low priority. There are lots of things more important than that. Still, I'm sure there will be MODs for phpBB3, the same way there are MODs today for phpBB2. However, some relate that feature to SEO, which is wrong. Today, search engines know how to deal with almost any type of URL. To get better ranks, what matters is content. People link to you because of your content, not because you provide nice URLs.

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Re: seo

Post by Kail » Sat Mar 04, 2006 8:30 pm

Clean URLs are nice if used to a certain extent, on that I agree. For topics and posts, index keys are preferred. I am not saying every single topic needs to be aliased but announcements, stickies, forums and categories should allow it as it will allowed more usable URLs. Easier to remember and easier to type in.

According to some SEO sites, paths are important. I am not a SEO expert myself so maybe you're right, Markus. However I'd rather use clean URLs and paths that make sense to as a great extent as possible.
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thetorpedodog
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Re: seo

Post by thetorpedodog » Sun Mar 05, 2006 3:50 am

I'm actually rather surprised that nobody's mentioned Wordpress by now. It has a system where the "post slug" is generated ONCE from the post title when it is first posted. Alternately, you can type in a shorter post slug to use. Even if you edit the title of the post, the slug doesn't change. That would be a GREAT feature for phpBB: it could have URLs like /phpbb/topic/the-topic-slug/[page/], and that wouldn't change (certainly easier to remember than a TID).

An additional issue is the fact that there are only about fifty ways to link to a post. Ideally, these would all redirect to the canonical URL, so linking to ?p=49820 would HTTP 301 to ?topic=2329&page=2#p49820 (or to a friendly URL like I mentioned earlier). This would be better for all involved: your browser wouldn't be caching 30 different versions of the same page with a different URL, old links are unbroken, and, most importantly, all links point to the same place, which is good for search engine spiders and better for search engine users: they don't see duplicate content.

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BioALIEN
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Re: seo

Post by BioALIEN » Sun Mar 05, 2006 12:48 pm

Having read this discussion and posted previously, I can add a little insight from my experience working with SEO in the past 3 years.

Having "human readable" urls allows you to include valuable keywords for search engines to swallow. This combined with your site's content will add to the page's "title" and "headline" tags to boost your Google's page rank as it adds to the relevancy of your site.

However, by far the most important reason to include these keywords as part of the URL is to increase the inbound traffic from search engines. You see, when you search for a term in Google, it makes the term appear in bold. Therefore, you stand a better chance to obtain a high CTR (click-through rate) if your page title, description and URL all include the search term in bold.

This is partly related to human psychology, and the breakdown of Google's Page Rank technology reflect this fact. The higher the CTR, the more relevant your site is to the user thus the higher your site's PR is. This same principle is deployed in Google Adwords. The site at the top sponsored list isnt always assumed to have paid the big bucks to reach there, it could have paid the lowest amount but received a high CTR.

I hope this discussion is clearer now and a new direction can be taken to where the argument is going. Its not just about short/long links ;) Ultimately, the decision is in the hands of the DEV team, and I am pretty sure they will stick to their current URL structure. vBulletin ships with the "archive" function that enables search engines to feed on the keywords of your forum's category/topic title but I am unsure if phpBB 3 will employ such tactics.
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