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Vanilla 2 SEO

RonRon New
edited July 2010 in Questions
Are there any tutorials and/or plugins to make Vanilla 2 more search engine friendly. I am not looking for anything crazy in depth. But a simple tutorial on how-to SEO your Vanilla 2 forums would be great.
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Comments

  • Vanilla 2 is already pretty search engine friendly. It has friendly urls and such like. What other SEO features are you looking for?
  • Yea, from my experience Vanilla is already very SEO friendly. I used Vanilla 1 on an insurance forum and it ranks very well in Google with very little SEO effort on my part
  • ToddTodd Chief Product Officer Vanilla Staff
    edited July 2010
    @Ron, we actually just did a lot of work on SEO and will continue to make sure we aren't breaking any major rules. Here are a few of things we do:

    • We make sure our titles and urls are appropriately set.

    • We have canonical Urls as part of the core.

    • We put in default 301 redirects for imports from Vanilla 1 and vBulletin. If you are migrating from some other forum you may want to check the routes in your dashboard to make sure links to your old forum are redirected properly.

    • Our html validates.

    • Automatically generated site maps for search bots.

    Of course with all of these little tricks SEO also comes down to content which is somewhat out of our hands. One of things we are working on is Discussion/Comment voting so that the best content can be filtered to the first page of a discussion. You can see that voting is on this community forum right now, but it is very much in beta. I'm going to do a slew of debugging this week and once things are in order the voting plugin will be released to the public.
  • Thanks for the responses.

    @Todd ; I was not aware of all this, excellent work. Only thing I noticed as far as friendly urls were concerned. /#Item_1 can this be modified to look a little prettier? Or is this fine for seo.
  • ToddTodd Chief Product Officer Vanilla Staff
    The # part of links are just used to position the browser scroll position. I guess bots can see them when looking at an anchor, but I don't think the bots see this when they are on an actual page. In any case, this is an optional part of the url and should not affect SEO.

    Also, forgot an item on the list: automatic generation of site maps for search bots. I added it above.
  • Hi, how can we manually set HTML tags : page title, meta content and keywords tags for Vanilla pages?
  • brujahbrujah New
    edited November 2010
    It might also be good to add an H1 tag for the name of the topic, but that code is in /applications/vanilla/views/discussion/index.php, can that be changed?
    Idan
  • I want to know how to do it too

  • hey I also want to know how to do it actually..

  • lol this one's pretty old :D

  • HowardHoward New
    edited March 2013

    Hey!

    I've just installed the latest version of Vanilla but my url's are not SEO friendly at all.

    For example, when opening a new discussion the url I get is like this: DOMAIN/index.php?p=/discussion/1/DISCUSSIONSUBJECT#Item_1

    Is there a way to get: DOMAIN/DISCUSSIONSUBECT ?

    Thanks!

  • hgtonighthgtonight ∞ · New Moderator

    @Howard enabling url rewriting will get you to DOMAIN/discussion/ID#/DISCUSSIONSUBJECT which is the best you can ask for in an automated forum software. Hope this helps. :D

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  • HowardHoward New
    edited March 2013

    Thanks hgtonight, I don't know about "best you can ask", but it would certainly be an improvement. Where can I enable it? I do not see such an option in my panel. RewriteEngine is On in my .htaccess and I added the sub-folder as "RewriteBase /folder", but still no luck, any clues?

    Edit: I saw this on the installation instructions: Apache: Requires .htaccess to be working on your server. Edit your config.php file and set $Configuration['Garden']['RewriteUrls'] = TRUE;

    Which config.php file does it refers too? Thanks!

  • Thanks Shadowdare, it's working now.

    Anyone knows a way to remove "discussion" from the url? It looks ugly and it's also pretty bad for SEO!

  • ShadowdareShadowdare π Moderator
    edited March 2013

    "Discussion" is in the URL because it helps distinguish the page from a different type of page, such as a profile, and to avoid URL conflicts. It's not that bad for SEO. It can probably be removed or changed by editing the core files or creating new rewrite rules, but it would cause things to become more complicated to work with.

  • peregrineperegrine MVP
    edited March 2013

    @Howard said: Thanks Shadowdare, it's working now.

    Anyone knows a way to remove "discussion" from the url? It looks ugly and it's also pretty bad for SEO!

    asked repeatedly also - no it can't be done unless change the application name and change all of the core files everywhere.

    next unasked question "How do I change the core files to do this?" - spend an enormous amount of time debugging and changing the code in just about every file and test.

    Monetary Donations will be appreciated if you use my plugins. Thanks in Advance.
    As a waiter gets a tip for a good meal, tips for successful solutions appreciated as well. Peregrine

    UnderDog
  • hgtonighthgtonight ∞ · New Moderator

    To add to what @shadowdare said, discussion is actually required to tell vanilla what controller to use. It is possible to change it but you would have to assume th at controller is always used.

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    ShadowdareUnderDog
  • HowardHoward New
    edited March 2013

    @hgtonight said: It is possible to change it but you would have to assume th at controller is always used.

    Hi hgtonight, that would be a lot better, as we could use a related keyword as controller, where do you implement that? I changed it at Routes->DefaultController and also at conf.php as suggested here but I keep getting 404s.

    Also, does someone knows what plugin do they reffer to here: vanillaforums.com/discussion/821/is-vanilla-optimized-for-seo

    We have a plugin that can format URLs as: "domain/category-name/#ID-discussion-title.html"

    Thanks again!

  • hgtonighthgtonight ∞ · New Moderator
    edited March 2013

    In response to your second question: vanillaforums.com is for the hosted version of Vanilla Forums. There are many things provided for the hosted version that are not included in the open source releases on vanillaforums.org. The .com is the business that supports the devs to make vanilla.

    As far as routes go, this would require you to create a new route for each discussion page. This is a manual process. I wouldn't suggest doing this unless you have a finite number of discussions and people are encouraged to just comment. For more information on routes, check out the wiki.

    Theoretically, you could create a plugin that creates a controller that extends the discussion controller and has a name you want in your url. It would take some development effort on your part. If you need a place to get started, check out the example plugin as well as the pertinent wiki pages.

    If you want to assume the controller is discussion by default, you can hack it but it would require either a lot of modification, or throwing away the ability to use any other controller.

    Bottom line is that this is a project with broad implications across the entire vanilla application. As such, I would hesitate to even offer advice on how to accomplish this in this community's forum. We will be more than happy to help you with specific problems you encounter when developing this addon, however you may be better off looking for a freelancer to help you.

    Search first

    Check out the Community Wiki! We are always looking for new content.

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    HowardUnderDogShadowdare
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