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Steven UK

SEO Rankings flying all over the place, and why is this..

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Sir, I just showed you my two websites. They don't have the issues you have. If YOU were the SEO experts, shouldn't my site be the one with all the issues and problems in the world?




That's OK. But I shown on here that certain threads were being indexed for duplicate strings, pages, etc. etc. The evidence was all there. It happened, and is fact. Nothing I did, or anyone else did. Google indexed strings and other variables over the original threads.

I then come to this forum, the originator's forum (of the software) to ask why this could be.

Your website does not do this? Ok, neither did ours before we upgraded proper, but you also said you had not upgraded since 3.1? And are working from a test site that probably does not get crawled that often.

Many variables could be coming into play, but overall, as I started the thread, the thread has proven, not just by me, to have served a purpose, and highlighted that a problem existed. It did, and does.

Thanks.

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The only place where you can get good advice is Google webmaster central. That said, no forum software in the world could help you rank better. Because ranking has nothing to do with the structure of the topic URL or the contents of the title tag. Genuine contents, good internal structure, and optimized user experience will turn to continuous increase in back-links and thereby ranking.




I honestly can still not get over what you put there. In my 10+ years of working online, I have never come across a statement that so contradicts the results I have, and our clients have achieved through SEO.

Almost like saying Humans, do not need oxygen, but not so dramatic.

Thanks.

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[color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]I can back up my claims with evidences. Can you? [/font][/color]






What are we trying to prove? or disprove? Because the platform is important. The structure is important. The inbound links are important. Lots of important stuff.

Also, you just mentioned your forum doesn't suffer this problem? But you'd earlier also said you'd not upgraded beyond 3.1? If you'd upgraded to 3.2+ it would have.

IPB have themselves acknowledged it's an issue and what they're going to do to fix it.

I don't even understand what you're trying to say or claim here.

"My forum isn't effected so it's all your own faults?"

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What are we trying to prove? or disprove? Because the platform is important. The structure is important. The inbound links are important. Lots of important stuff.



Also, you just mentioned your forum doesn't suffer this problem? But you'd earlier also said you'd not upgraded beyond 3.1? If you'd upgraded to 3.2+ it would have.



IPB have themselves acknowledged it's an issue and what they're going to do to fix it.



I don't even understand what you're trying to say or claim here.



"My forum isn't effected so it's all your own faults?"




my demo board is 3.2 http://enkidu.ipbhost.com/

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[u]Many[/u][color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif] variables could be coming into play, but overall, as I started the thread, the thread has proven, not just by me, to have served a purpose, and highlighted that a problem existed. It did, and does.[/font][/color]



fair enough. But will you admit that it is your fault once 3.3.3 or 3.4 is out and you got all what you've asked for but still have the very same issue you're reporting here?

In fact since I'm a developer here. I can implement them for you for free just to prove you wrong ;)

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Thank you Enkidu for digging that up. Thats important.

I would like to point out mistake number 5: site architecture. i.e. linking structure, link weight. I really hope that IPS has a map of this somewhere. Though I suspect this is not the case.

Introduce a static and unique page identifier in the URL: topic/123-test-topic/page-2/



Use a query string for all other variables so if we do need to find a post, we can do /topic/123-test-topic/?p=123


Matt, please hire a SEO expert. You will create a new problem by using inconsistent syntax.
Either use a query string for pages AND posts or do not.

How about this:
topic/123-test-topic/page=2#post123


The two seem contradictory? :smile:



The minuscule benefits gained by restructuring our entire FURL system, forcing Google to drop millions of indexed pages, the hassles of 301 redirecting old to new formats and the general hassle of breaking hundreds of templates are simply not worth it.



If XF has good SEO (and what constitutes good is entirely subjective), then it's almost certainly not solely based on having the topic ID at the end of the link.



After migrating a site from vb to XF, the Google traffic increases. People who move from vb to IPB see their traffic decrease. In that sense XFs SEO is superior to IPB.

One example from XF vs IPB
IPS has two forum directories. On this site it is community.invisionpower and /topics/
The topics directory makes little sense, because it does not always show topics. In XF there is a forums directory and a threads directory, which never occur in the same instance. Which is logical because you are either in a forum or in a thread. This is the kind of obvious SEO logic that I frequently see missing with IPS.

What do you think about your thread preview and how it hides important text/keywords from search engines?

When you link from a forum to a thread, the link has a weight or value. This value is defined by various attributes. One of these attributes is the keywords in the alt tags. having the thread preview in the alt tag has a very positive effect on the weight. Mind that this is not just SEO, but that its also being friendly to blind readers and users who use text2speech.

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Yes, those are very good. I have been keeping an eye on that since the rise of google. Problem with GWB is that they do not always tell the truth. Google has long realized that webmasters chase the google algorithm, and need to be dissuaded from that in some areas. The video you posted mentions 2005, which is around the time that I began to notice sporadic statements that were meant to influence webmaster behavior, rather than correctly inform.

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fair enough. But will you admit that it is your fault once 3.3.3 or 3.4 is out and you got all what you've asked for but still have the very same issue you're reporting here?



In fact since I'm a developer here. I can implement them for you for free just to prove you wrong ;)




My fault??

What, when pages like this are indexing instead of the thread that was there a week before it:

makemoneyforum.com/index.php?app=core&module=search&do=search&andor_type=&sid=288ad9b1d1a8606dd6f809070c872fc1&search_tags=www.spinacoin.com&search_app_filters%5Bblog%5D%5BsearchInKey%5D=entries&search_app_filters%5Bblog%5D%5Bentries%5D%5BsortKey%5D=date&search_term=&search_app=ccs

Or when page 2 strings have been indexed and the first page has vanished?

Or when Google are indexing page entries instead of original threads?

How can any of that be my fault?

Serious question, how can any of that be my fault?

Or are these things normal with IPB? If so, just let me know, and I will be on my way to another provider. Then maybe you can close all future SEO threads, ban people who mention it, and focus on people who just want their forums to 'look nice', instead of being a cutting edge vehicle in the world of online commerce.

I think you are taking this thread down a road it does not need to go down. Trying to bait it? I don't advise it.

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How can any of that be my fault?



Serious question, how can any of that be my fault?



That particular issue is related to what we said at the start of this topic, because your customised templates were not updated when you upgraded IP.Board, the fix (hiding search fields from bots) wasn't in place on your site.

I'm not saying it's your fault, it's an oversight when you upgraded. It's certainly not an issue in IP.Board anymore.

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That particular issue is related to what we said at the start of this topic, because your customised templates were not updated when you upgraded IP.Board, the fix (hiding search fields from bots) wasn't in place on your site.



I'm not saying it's your fault, it's an oversight when you upgraded. It's certainly not an issue in IP.Board anymore.




When we upgraded, the automation failed, nothing was overwritten, and in fact core files were being created inside core files, and all kinds of irregularities, so we had to do it all manually, and even so, our template has now been checked by IPB, and deemed correct, but come on, you cannot call it customised to do what we did. All we did was add a few links to the nav bar, and hide the 'search' in an attempt to stop the situation that was already happening, we were trying to react to a problem. In fact, we only hidden that because of information we read on here, and only a few days before it was pointed out.

Edit: I just realised what you said, THE FIX of hiding the search box, is what we did, then it was pointed out on this very thread, by Maverick, that we should not be doing that, so we reversed it. You are probably as confused as we are now. So do we hide the search box from Bots/guests? Or do we keep it there?

But even now, Google is on our forum 24 hours a day, crawling away with their virtual fingers, these issues are still there now.

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When we upgraded, the automation failed, nothing was overwritten, and in fact core files were being created inside core files, and all kinds of irregularities, so we had to do it all manually, and even so, our template has now been checked by IPB, and deemed correct, but come on, you cannot call it customised to do what we did. All we did was add a few links to the nav bar, and hide the 'search' in an attempt to stop the situation that was already happening, we were trying to react to a problem. In fact, we only hidden that because of information we read on here, and only a few days before it was pointed out.



Edit: I just realised what you said, THE FIX of hiding the search box, is what we did, then it was pointed out on this very thread, by Maverick, that we should not be doing that, so we reversed it. You are probably as confused as we are now. So do we hide the search box from Bots/guests? Or do we keep it there?



But even now, Google is on our forum 24 hours a day, crawling away with their virtual fingers, these issues are still there now.




I refrained from saying this because you might get annoyed or think its off topic but I have been watching this topic since it was created and some very interesting points have been made. I think your forum is quite unique and has some decent content but if it was on the first page of google, first result and I clicked into it looking for a money making forum I would close the tab immediately. I think its cramped and quite unprofessional looking. I know that doesn't have anything to do with SEO but a nice skin or at the very least a properly re-sized banner would improve the UI of the site greatly

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I refrained from saying this because you might get annoyed or think its off topic but I have been watching this topic since it was created and some very interesting points have been made. I think your forum is quite unique and has some decent content but if it was on the first page of google, first result and I clicked into it looking for a money making forum I would close the tab immediately. I think its cramped and quite unprofessional looking. I know that doesn't have anything to do with SEO but a nice skin or at the very least a properly re-sized banner would improve the UI of the site greatly




You are correct, it has nothing to do with SEO. We have only had the site a few months, and done nothing with it other than content. How can it be unprofessional looking when the /forums/ part is almost standard IPB out of the box? :smile:

Hey, we all think our house is nicer than the next one, don't we :thumbsup:

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When we upgraded, the automation failed, nothing was overwritten, and in fact core files were being created inside core files, and all kinds of irregularities, so we had to do it all manually, and even so, our template has now been checked by IPB, and deemed correct, but come on, you cannot call it customised to do what we did. All we did was add a few links to the nav bar, and hide the 'search' in an attempt to stop the situation that was already happening, we were trying to react to a problem. In fact, we only hidden that because of information we read on here, and only a few days before it was pointed out.



Edit: I just realised what you said, THE FIX of hiding the search box, is what we did, then it was pointed out on this very thread, by Maverick, that we should not be doing that, so we reversed it. You are probably as confused as we are now. So do we hide the search box from Bots/guests? Or do we keep it there?



But even now, Google is on our forum 24 hours a day, crawling away with their virtual fingers, these issues are still there now.


This is the oversight, there is no automation in upgrading template bits that you have previously customised, you need to use the template merge center, or put the changes into your customised templates manually. It doesn't work the way you think it works.

Once you customise a template bit in your skin, it will not inherit any changes from the default skin.

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Coming back to SEO does anyone knows why both different links have same title tags?

Example:


http://fearless-assassins.com/files/category/1-enemy-territory/page__sort_by__DESC__sort_key__file_submitted__num__10__filter_key__all__st__420


http://fearless-assassins.com/files/category/1-enemy-territory/page__sort_by__DESC__sort_key__file_downloads__num__10__filter_key__all__st__420

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This is the oversight, there is no automation in upgrading template bits that you have previously customised, you need to use the template merge center, or put the changes into your customised templates manually. It doesn't work the way you think it works.



Once you customise a template bit in your skin, it will not inherit any changes from the default skin.




Thanks.

Here's two questions for you:

Do you think we should have known this?

Do you honestly think all these problems, entries being indexed, page 2's being overwritten of page 1's, searches being indexed instead of pages, etc. etc. is a result of something I don't think we should have expected to have known in the first place, should your answer to question 1 be 'no'?

Genuine questions, no ulterior motive. Just wondering as this is a whole new world to me AND my developers who have never seen anything like this software before. And we have even been a provider of website software to more customers than probably IPB has, and we never come up against such issues in all our years trading.

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You are correct, it has nothing to do with SEO. We have only had the site a few months, and done nothing with it other than content. How can it be unprofessional looking when the /forums/ part is almost standard IPB out of the box? :smile:



Hey, we all think our house is nicer than the next one, don't we :thumbsup:


I think that if a webmaster stciks to default templates then it means they're not putting in enough time for their project. My personal opinion is that those with custom skins are more serious about their work. Just an opinion, you don't need to argue it.

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Thanks.



Here's two questions for you:



Do you think we should have known this?



Do you honestly think all these problems, entries being indexed, page 2's being overwritten of page 1's, searches being indexed instead of pages, etc. etc. is a result of something I don't think we should have expected to have known in the first place, should you answer to question 1 be 'no'?



Genuine questions, no ulterior motive. Just wondering as this is a whole new world to me AND my developers who have never seen anything like this software before. And we have even been a provider of website software to more customers than probably IPB has, and we never come up against such issues in all our years trading.


I never claimed that it's causing all of the issues you are talking about, I was more than anything just trying to make you aware that it is something you have to do on upgrades, or you will miss out on Skin changes that IPS make to fix bugs, or improve SEO.

It's quite possible you didn't know this, but you do now :thumbsup:

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Thanks.



Here's two questions for you:



Do you think we should have known this?



Do you honestly think all these problems, entries being indexed, page 2's being overwritten of page 1's, searches being indexed instead of pages, etc. etc. is a result of something I don't think we should have expected to have known in the first place, should your answer to question 1 be 'no'?



Genuine questions, no ulterior motive. Just wondering as this is a whole new world to me AND my developers who have never seen anything like this software before. And we have even been a provider of website software to more customers than probably IPB has, and we never come up against such issues in all our years trading.


For question one I think any competent administrator should know that template changes will have to be manually upgraded. I realize I just used an offensive term but I have a lot to say on the topic of a competent administrator and upgrading templates is, IMO, a part of it.

Anyway I think the topic has served its purpose and a lot has been gained by it. It was a great topic in the beginning but its degrading into just another topic about SEO on IPS and we all know what happens to these topics eventually.

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I think that if a webmaster stciks to default templates then it means they're not putting in enough time for their project. My personal opinion is that those with custom skins are more serious about their work. Just an opinion, you don't need to argue it.




Like I say, we have not had it long, and actually thought the default blue IPB looked quite nice, having never come across the software before.

Although, with a custom template wouldn't upgrading to the next version of IPB be a complete nightmare? Or am I thinking along the wrong lines. I just really don't get why adding a few links to a navigation bar, then upgrading would virtually kill our forum, and domain?

WordPress for example, would not do that.

We own other forums too, that we have tinkered with a few obvious things on the template, and the forum just ran as normal.

Do we need a Harvard degree in IPB to be able to run an IPB forum? I am starting to think we do :smile:

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Like I say, we have not had it long, and actually thought the default blue IPB looked quite nice, having never come across the software before.



Although, with a custom template wouldn't upgrading to the next version of IPB be a complete nightmare? Or am I thinking along the wrong lines. I just really don't get why adding a few links to a navigation bar, then upgrading would virtually kill our forum, and domain?



WordPress for example, would not do that.



We own other forums too, that we have tinkered with a few obvious things on the template, and the forum just ran as normal.



Do we need a Harvard degree in IPB to be able to run an IPB forum? I am starting to think we do :smile:


That's the purpose of the built in Template Merge Center, it lets you know what's new that needs merging into your skin, it will even merge most changes into your custom template bit, unless it comes across an area that you have customised, and the new template bit has changed.

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It's quite possible you didn't know this, but you do now :thumbsup:




Thanks. It would be great if somebody just came to me and said "Steven, £50 and we will just fix everything that needs fixing". That is usually what we do, as inbetween reading these posts and trying to guess, we have about 15 other tabs open doing other things in other businesses.

Ah well.

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Genuine questions, no ulterior motive. Just wondering as this is a whole new world to me AND my developers who have never seen anything like this software before. And we have even been a provider of website software to more customers than probably IPB has, and we never come up against such issues in all our years trading.




To my knowledge, all forum software systems that have a full-blown template system work the same way (e.g. vBulletin as far as I know works the same way during upgrades). There is no way to simply "inject" new or changed code into a template that you have customized. We could undo your changes (so you get the new template), but then we'd be undoing your customizations which isn't desirable either. The merge center is a solution, but of course it requires you to use it.

We are working on improving the upgrade experience in 3.4 to make this clearer to administrators and try to make the software generally more helpful with regards to post-upgrade action items.


Coming back to SEO does anyone knows why both different links have same title tags?



Example:



http://fearless-assassins.com/files/category/1-enemy-territory/page__sort_by__DESC__sort_key__file_submitted__num__10__filter_key__all__st__420





http://fearless-assassins.com/files/category/1-enemy-territory/page__sort_by__DESC__sort_key__file_downloads__num__10__filter_key__all__st__420






They are the same page, just with different sorting options. Unless you put all sorting options into the page title ("Enemy Territory, sorted by number of file downloads in descending order, not filtering, page 21") there's no way they would have unique page titles. This goes back to what Matt mentioned earlier about changes he is planning for 3.2 - turning those variables back into properly query-string variables rather than the pseudo-directory it is now.

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