SEO Improvements

Posted March 28, 2012 by Purefan in phpFox v3

Hello Phpfoxers.

After consulting with several SEO experts we have identified some changes in the script that can strengthen the visibility of your sites.
We must also mention that many of the advises that we received have already implemented and the default script as of version 3.0.1 received a decent score among the reviewers.

Existing AdminCP Settings To Consider:

    • Meta Description Limit“. Limits how long the description can be. Its default value is 500 but the recommended maximum is 160.
      Even if we change the default value existing sites need to update this.
    • Meta Keyword Limit“. While most of the feedback we received agreed that this is a gray
      area they also admitted having seen an improvement when setting this to 160 characters. Again existing sites need to
      change this setting manually.
    • Meta Description Time Stamp” is a setting that sparked some confusion among our reviewers.
      This is a date format (www.php.net/date) used when viewing one photo (http://bit.ly/Hh9KOQ), one poll (http://bit.ly/GZAa1L) or one quiz (http://bit.ly/HdnNpy). It is of course part of the description.
      If you do not want to show the time when the item was added you can edit the phrase:
      photo.full_name_s_photo_from_time_stamp
      poll.full_name_s_poll_from_time_stamp_question
      quiz.full_name_s_quiz_from_time_stamp_title
    • Keyword String Removal“. A lot of words in the Keywords section is not a good thing, this setting is a list of words to remove from the Keywords. Our consultants suggested the
      following list of words:
      a an and are as at be by for from in is it of on or that the this to was which with
    • External Links Warning“. When users post a link to another site in your site this setting shows them a warning that they are about to leave your site. This setting
      also ads a “nofollow” property to the link.
    • Force user names. It seems that when you have the urls to your profiles like: http://site.com/profile-#### crawlers dont like that. The easiest way to force this is by disabling the setting
      “Disable Username on Registration”.
    • Remove the gender and replace the hyphen in profile titles. This is controlled in the setting “Profile Title”, the suggested value for this is: {full_name}|{location}

All of these above are existing settings that you can change to improve your site’s SEO.

Things we will implement in the future:

    • Use of rel=”canonical” for search results, like in blogs when sorting.
    • Use of rel=”prev” and rel=”next” in pagination items. This indicates the relationship between component URLs in a paginated series.
    • New setting to add nofollow to all external links (regardless of “External Links Warning”).
    • Add list of controllers to include NOINDEX, NOFOLLOW. Sections like the user registration page and the user log in page may not need to be indexed.
    • Add a setting to limit the length of the title, similar to “Meta Description Limit”
    • Add a setting to crop urls up to the next word, if the setting “Crop URLs” is set to a low value urls may not make much sense: http://domain.com/the-red-lo The purpose of this setting is
      to try to find the full word and sacrifice length for clarity: http://domain.com/the-red-lobster
      A special case is if users try to abuse the system adding a title like this “superlongandtrickytitle”. At the moment we have thought of simply cropping it where the limit applies.
    • Rename photo files. Currently the name of the file is an md5 hash, this handles name collisions nicely but it seems that using a meaningful name for the file weighs on SEO scores.
      The idea is to add a setting so the admin can decide if after uploading a photo the user is taken to edit that photo where they can provide a more useful title/name that renames the file.
      This and editing the title of the image would cause the site to use extra resources.

As always your feedback is much appreciated and will help us mold the script into a better one.