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phpBB Search Engine Optimization - Sessions, static ( SEO )

 
 
Reply Sun 16 Nov, 2003 11:34 am
WARNING: You can get free help here but you can't post a link.

Links posted on these forums won't help your search engine optimization anyway, as we robot.txt exlude all external URLs.

Updated on: 4/10/04

Able2Know SEO 2.0.0

Session removal, static URLs (mod_rewrite), page optimization

INTRO

I get so many questions about phpBB search engine optimization that I am finally writing up the definitive mod for this. There are several solutions out there and webmasters are confused about what works and what doesn't. Some mods work with older versions of phpBB but do not work on 2.0.6+.

Version 2.0.0 of the Able2Know Search Engine Optimization MOD contains roughly 70% of the search engine optimization work that Able2Know features. The rest will be added after it is perfected and documented so this mod will change many times in the future. Suggestions for this MOD are welcome.

This MOD is not a typical one. It does not add bells and whistles to your forum. In fact, it removes some! This is a MOD for serious search engine optimization but because it removes as well as adds pay close attention to the following explanation about what this code will do.

GOALS

Due to the session IDs most forums are not spidered by search engines very well. Sometimes not at all. The primary goal of this MOD is to make the phpBB URLs spider friendly. Not just to Google but to ALL spiders.

Making the URL's search engine friendly is not all that is needed. Google has recently penalized phpBB pages. viewforum.php and viewtopic.php now have a much lower page rank than they had earlier so keyword frequency and pagerank drain are important to consider. This modification will greatly improve both of these things.

Directing search engines to the right pages is also important. The topic pages are what you ultimately want to have indexed. Other words, links and images are actually diluting this. This MOD will help focus search engines on the right pages and text.

UPDATE: Static HTML pages are search engine candy. The latest version of this MOD has the ability to generate static HTML urls for search engine spiders and guests.

Able2Know Search Engine Optimization 2.0.0

Read the following explanations for what this code will do. If you wish to skip a step you may. Ask for help if you get stuck, just remember not to post a link or Able2Know moderators will be all over you like hairs on a gorilla.

1) Remove the "View Latest Post" icon and link on index.php (Craven de Kere)

This is a page rank drain issue. The link is restored but the image is removed because it makes the page too "busy" and because the images are not as attractive as the text link we will subsequently create using the last post date.

2) Make the date of the last post link to the last post like the icon did on index.php (Craven de Kere)



3) Unlink the username of the last post on index.php (Craven de Kere)As explained above the latest post link is now accessed from thelatestt post date. There are a few reasons for this. First of all a text link is almost always better than an image link. Secondly the text link will change (as the dates change). This makes the link more attractive to search engines but most importantly it provides a slight chance at more keyword traffic by branding the link with a date and time as a keyword.

For example, if a post on 9/11 was indexed that day might have a slightly better chance of being found under long search engine queries that contain that date. It's a minimal improvement but ties into making the page less busy and small improvements add up when SEO is concerned.

You can see an example of this on the index page.

This is purely for page rank drain and to direct the search engine spiders to the content. Pages with too many links are penalized by some search engialgorithmsyms. The links to the profiles are also not the focus of the site. Most users are not searching the internet for information in your users' profiles. So this helps direct the search engines to the content on the topics instead of the many other links search engines could follow.

You can see an example of this on the index page.

4) Remove listing of moderators on index.php (AbelaJohnB)

This is a MOD by John Abela. It removes the listing of moderators on the index page. This helps make the page less "busy" and also helps direct the spiders toward the content and not the profiles. It reduces the index page's queries by 2, so it also helps improve forum speed a bit.

You can see an example of this on the index page.

5) Remove session IDs for all search engine spiders (Darlantan?)

This is a crucial part of this mod. It is based on code that was posted by a user named Darlantan but it is unclear who wrote the original snippet.

This code removsessionion IDs for all guests. This means ALL spiders can spider your forum without session IDs in the URLs.

NOTE: This means you can't enable guest posting to your forums. It won't hamper guests in any way other than disallowing them to post. phpBB recently improved security with their session IDs so this code strikes a perfect balance between session ID integrity and search engine spidering.


6) Unlink the username of the last post on viewforum.php (Craven de Kere)

This is purely for page rank drain and to direct the search engine spiders to the content. Pages with too many links are penalized by some search engialgorithmsyms. The links to the profiles are also not the focus of the site. Most users are not searching the internet for information in your users' profiles. So this helps direct the search engines to the content on the topics instead of the many other links search engines could follow.

You can see an example of this on the forum pages.


7) Remove the "View Latest Post" icon and link on viewforum.php (Craven de Kere)

This is a page rank drain issue. The link is restored but the image is removed because it makes the page too "busy" and because the images are not as attractive as the text link we will subsequently create using the last post date.

8) Make the date of the last post link to the last post like the icon did on viewforum.php (Craven de Kere)

As explained above the latest post link is now accessed from thelatestt post date. There are a few reasons for this. First of all a text link is almost always better than an image link. Secondly the text link will change (as the dates change). This makes the link more attractive to search engines but most importantly it provides a slight chance at more keyword traffic by branding the link with a date and time as a keyword.

For example, if a post on 9/11 was indexed that day it might have a slightly better chance of being found under long search engine queries that contain that date. It's a minimal improvement but ties into making the page less busy and small improvements add up when SEO is concerned.

You can see an example of this on the forum pages.

9) Unlink the author username on viewforum.php (Craven de Kere)

This is purely for page rank drain and to direct the search engine spiders to the content. Pages with too many links are penalized by some search enginalgorithmsms. The links to the profiles are also not the focus of the site. Most users are not searching the internet for information in your users' profiles. So this helps direct the search engines to the content on the topics instead of the many other links search engines could follow.

You can see an example of this on the forum pages.

10) Remove signatures for guest views (Craven de Kere)

This modification removes repetitive text from the topic pages. As signatures are text that is not usually relevant to the topic they distract search engines dilutelute the key words. This makes the signatuinvisibleible for guests so that search engines (and guests!) focus on the content of the topic. it also helps if you allow users to put links in their signatures as you will not lose any page rank through these links anymore.

11) Remove avatars for guest views (Craven de Kere)

For a busy board this will greatly reduce bandwidth use. What it does is make avatars visible only if logged in. Search engines prefer small pages so this helps them focus on the topic content as well.

12) Remove personal info (Profile, IM, PM, AIM, etc) for guest views (darbyrob)

This removes all the personal info icons if the user is not logged in. This way the links and images do not distract search engines.

13) Unlink the username of the last post on search.php (Craven de Kere)

This is purely for page rank drain and to direct the search engine spiders to the content. Pages with too many links are penalized by some search enginalgorithmsms. The links to the profiles are also not the focus of the site. Most users are not searching the internet for information in your users' profiles. So this helps direct the search engines to the content on the topics instead of the many other links search engines could follow.

14) Remove the "View Latest Post" icon and link on search.php (Craven de Kere)

This is a page rank drain issue. The link is restored but the image is removed because it makes the page too "busy" and because the images are not as attractive as the text link we will subsequently create using the last post date.

15) Make the date of the last post link to the last post like the icon did on search.php (Craven de Kere)

As explained above the latest post link is now accessed from thelatestt post date. There are a few reasons for this. First of all a text link is almost always better than an image link. Secondly the text link will change (as the dates change). This makes the link more attractive to search engines but most importantly it provides a slight chance at more keyword traffic by branding the link with a date and time as a keyword.

16) Unlink the author username on search.php (Craven de Kere)

This is purely for page rank drain and to direct the search engine spiders to the content. Pages with too many links are penalized by some search enginealgorithmss. The links to the profiles are also not the focus of the site. Most users are not searching the internet for information in your users' profiles. So this helps direct the search engines to the content on the topics instead of the many other links search engines could follow.

17) Link the user post count to a search of the user's posts (Craven de Kere)

The user search page is a good way to capture more search engine traffic. This provides a link for the spiders.

18) Make Auth list on viewtopic.php invisible to search engines (Craven de Kere)

The "You can post new topics" etc text is removes as it's usually confusing to guests anyway and it's repetitive and diluting text. This makes it only visible if logged in.

19) Make the previous and next topic links invisible to search engines (Craven de Kere)

This is an important change. The previous topic and next topic links are horrible for search engines as they change depending on what topic has last been posted to. In short, if a search engine indexes one of the links it will later be a link that goes to different content (as the next topic may change depending on what's posted). This modification makes the previous/next links visible only of logged in.


20) Removes the site name from page titles, improving keyword weight (Craven de Kere)

This is by far the most important keyword modification. The page title is the most important real estate for search engine optimization. This reduces the dilution by removing the site name from the title and the topics will now have pages with more relevant titles (at the cost of some site branding).

21) Change the page title of the index page to a hardcoded site name because of the site name removal (Craven de Kere)

This is a change to allow you to hardcode in a title for the index page. It could be anything you want or can even be skipped.

22) Hide forum stats from guests and spiders (Craven de Kere)

This change eliminates all those useless (to search engines) links in the forum stats portion of the index page and displays it only for logged-in users.

23) Static URLs with mod_rewrite (Craven de Kere)

This is a very very important change. Many search engines prefer static pages like HTML pages over PHP pages. When the PHP pages have variables they like them even less.

Some search engines don't index pages with variables at all. So this part of the MOD allows you to have static URLs for guests and spiders.

For example:

http://www.able2know.com/forums/about22586.html

The reason it's only for guests is to prevent logged in users who don't use cookies from loosing their sessions.

There will be more work done on the static URLs later.

Note: You must have Apache and mod_rewrite for the static URLs.
 
Craven de Kere
 
  3  
Reply Sun 16 Nov, 2003 11:37 am
Able2Know Search Engine Optimization 2.0.0

DOWNLOAD the latest version of the phpBB SEO Mod
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Nov, 2003 11:41 am
FUTURE ADDITIONS

1) Complete elimination of offsite page rank drain.
2) More keyword work
3) Creative use of 404 traffic
4) CMS pages
5) Meta tags
6) Language overhaul
7) All topics page
8) More work on keyword dilution
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Nov, 2003 11:42 am
Space reserved for FAQ.
0 Replies
 
B-truE
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2003 12:12 am
What works with 2.06?
0 Replies
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2003 01:34 am
The above code works with 2.0.6
0 Replies
 
RickyJaff
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2003 03:11 am
Hey!! i m alredy using this mod for SID removal..
Code:
#-----[ OPEN ]------------------------------------------
#
includes/sessions.php

#
#-----[ FIND ]------------------------------------------
#
//
// Does a session exist?
//

#
#-----[ BEFORE, ADD ]------------------------------------------
#
$user_id = ( isset($sessiondata['userid']) ) ? intval($sessiondata['userid']) : ANONYMOUS;

if($user_id != ANONYMOUS)
{

#
#-----[ FIND ]------------------------------------------
#
return $userdata;

#
#-----[ BEFORE, ADD ]------------------------------------------
#

}
else
{
$userdata['session_id'] = '';
$userdata['session_ip'] = '';
$userdata['session_user_id'] = $user_id;
$userdata['session_logged_in'] = 0;
$userdata['session_page'] = '';
$userdata['session_start'] = '';
$userdata['session_time'] = '';

}

#
#-----[ FIND AND DELETE ]------------------------------------------
#

// If we reach here then no (valid) session exists. So we'll create a new one,
// using the cookie user_id if available to pull basic user prefs.
//
$user_id = ( isset($sessiondata['userid']) ) ? intval($sessiondata['userid']) : ANONYMOUS;


#
#-----[ FIND ]------------------------------------------
#
//
// Delete existing session
//

#
#-----[ BEFORE, ADD ]------------------------------------------
#
if(isset($session_id))
{


#
#-----[ FIND ]------------------------------------------
#
setcookie($cookiename . '_data', '', $current_time - 31536000, $cookiepath, $cookiedomain, $cookiesecure);
setcookie($cookiename . '_sid', '', $current_time - 31536000, $cookiepath, $cookiedomain, $cookiesecure);
#
#-----[ AFTER, ADD ]------------------------------------------
#

}
#
#-----[ SAVE/CLOSE ALL FILES ]------------------------------------------
#
# EoM


This is working fine... well if i want to use ur other mods.. then can i skip the part of sessions.php.. is there any problem doing this??
0 Replies
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2003 03:24 am
There is no problem with skipping the part of my code that alters includes/sessions.php as long as your existing code is doing what you need it to do with session IDs.
0 Replies
 
RickyJaff
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2003 07:39 am
Well .. according to me its working fine..
But i want u to give a look to my site and tell me that my mode is working fine... if not then i will use ur mod.
0 Replies
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2003 07:59 am
It's not working. I am getting SIDs.
RickyJaff
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2003 08:46 am
Well u must hv seen id just after login.. but it is not showing id for guest and not even for member when it shows only when u get signed in..

I have also find on ur site.. just after logging in .. see below.. that from ur site but it don't show when u r already logged in.
Simply it shows id when get logged from second mouse click there is no SID. Well same for ur forums here.. Check it and tell me..
http://www.able2know.com/forums/index.php?sid=2a831404bad8e10c3890ae8900c9f823

And don't even think that these are created by.. Remeber u see SID just after giving username and password .. i hv checked this by loggin from www.able2know.com/forums
Not yet checked with ur main page.. but going to check..
0 Replies
 
RickyJaff
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2003 08:58 am
well i did checked .. login from anywhere whether it is ur main page or forum's index i did get SIDs only before second click.. here the newer one.. http://www.able2know.com/index.php?sid=a46dc2197d8d625b0cc3b943e965a257
0 Replies
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2003 10:16 am
I did not log in. It's showing SIDs for guests.

If you want to fix it you can use my code or ask the author of the code you are using for a fix (as I will not support that code).
0 Replies
 
B-truE
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2003 10:23 am
Craven de Kere wrote:
The above code works with 2.0.6


I thought 2.06 (sessions.php) was already optimized to remove SIDs for Google. Is that true?
0 Replies
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2003 10:30 am
No it's not true. I don't know why that member of the phpBB support team keeps saying so. It's simply not true.
0 Replies
 
RickyJaff
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2003 10:36 am
Well i have seen that 2.0.6 don't shows SIDs for guest.. so it must be already optimised..
0 Replies
 
RickyJaff
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2003 10:37 am
Craven wht about .. SID on ur forum??
0 Replies
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2003 10:38 am
Ricky, 2.0.6 does use SIDs for guests. I believe it is "Jelly Donut" that is saying that it doesn't, but it does.

On this forum SIDs are not used for guests. To achieve this on yours use the code I provided.
0 Replies
 
RickyJaff
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2003 10:42 am
Sorry i got checked and came to a conlustion that .. wht ever mod u use it shows SID for first time and just after ur mouse second click it is gone..

am i cleared now.. !! just check it.. well ur forum is not showing SID for guests at all but showing for the uesr for first time.. so i think i have change the search mode also..
0 Replies
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2003 10:44 am
Ricky, it only does that when logging in. Certain log in forms force the SID. Now since search engine spiders aren't going to log in it's not relevant to search engine optimization.

These modifications are not supposed to eradicate SIDs for members, only for guests. So checking what happens after you log in is not related to search engine optimization.
0 Replies
 
 

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