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

Steven UK

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Put the page numbering before the title when paging.

Is occurring from what i can see because google IS having a hard time figuring out page x of x, and because the title tag is only being read to a specific length, therefore page 2 amounts to the same page with the same title, which is producing these quantifiable duplicative content results in searches.

Yep, page number first, on all pages >2 will help for a number of reasons. It also helps esentially un-optmising the second pages page titles.

For now, those suffering from this issue, should really just noindex, follow pages 2+.
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In this specific case I'm with the side that says users before search engines. I use those title tags to navigate between tabs and if they're polluted with just page numbers then it'll be a pain.

I doubt you're a minority. Users are the whole reason you have a website. But "page 2" takes up 5 characters, so unless you've got 20 tabs open, you'll be fine. And even then, you've got favicons etc to help aid you. I really don't see it ever being an issue for users.
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so unless you've got 20 tabs open

..something like that yeah. And they're all from the same site. For example, this is my routine when I log on to IPS in the morning.

1) Log in
2) Log in again because I typed my password in wrong -_-;
3) Click on View New Content
4) Click on Items I Participated In
5) Hold down ctrl and click on everything and watch as new tabs open

Also I was thinking you guys meant something like "Page 2 of 20" which is what would be more annoying. But anyway, yeah. You get my point. We agree to disagree.
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As a note... I have a consistent 100+ tabs open at any given moment(client work, local dev, here, various other tabs). I was and am quite aware of the implications there... but honestly, when one has this many tabs open, the text is useless anyway.... this topic for example only lists 'SEO'... minor for the user, but larger in search engine eyes..... when the crawlers will only take x chars from a title tag to use for the listing, it is REALLY important with how long a "content" title can be to have that page number when paging first IMHO.

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close... are titles truncated when they are pushed into the title tag Mikey? if not... 250 character topic title.... what then?
Google is in fact truncating... we get to the words IP.Board(forum), the board name? not even on the radar(which is fine to me frankly.. shrug), that doesn't get pulled in except by the micro-data on this very topic.... which is nowhere near that large title.

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Rand Fishkin from SEOMoz recommends Page 2 first, to un-optimise the second page and I definitely agree.

I've also read various users modifying their VB install to do the same with good results.

AND it makes sense.

There are pro's and con's to everything and of course, they should always be weighed up.

In this case, Page 2 first, pro's far outweigh the cons.

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search for "seo rankings flying"

Seo seems to work well.... ;)

Dunno if that was tongue in cheek.

1. IPB has masses of inbound links, more than 99% of websites in existence, it will rank much easier than most.
2. SEO rankings flying, isn't being targeted by anybody. In fact in the first few pages, nobody even has the term in the title.

Of course it's going to rank. I won't go too hard on you, just incase your comment was tongue in cheek ;)
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+ It has 3 pages from the same thread indexed as separate entities.

It has to be tongue in cheek ;)

Without the issue with the pages being fixed first, it's not worth it. The two combined will be a great solution.

Chances are the pages fix is months down the line, and testing this page number suggestion alone would be interesting, it certainly cannot do any harm as a little lighthearted viewing.
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Steven, seriously, for now, use the noindex on page 2+, that Brandon posted a few pages back.

Nothing bad can come of it. Worst would be that it didn't help.

Ensure you use noindex, follow. This means those pages wont get indexed BUT link juice will flow to the links on those pages and Google will continue to visit them.

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Problem with that Paul, is the weight of the content will be discounted, as we have proven weight and content, comments with 'do follow' to be proven to be good factors in ranking, as otherwise the fresh content from the page 2 posts, and benefit goes out the window.

Saying that, I was tempted just to lock certain threads to avoid the page 2 situation, which is probably too dramatic but would achieve the same.

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Steven, don't confuse dofollow, nofollow with noindex. (assuming you are, as I couldn't figure out why you mentioned do follow comments).

But beyond that, you need to backtrack a little, the entire point of this thread, is that page 2+ is seen as a different thread. So adding noindex to pages 2+, won't effect weight in any way, shape or form.

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the entire point of this thread, is that page 2+ is seen as a different thread.

Not the entire point. I know that because I started it. There were other issues.

It is worth testing, although not just the page 2+, even though our template has now been proven to be fixed, the strings are still indexed, so just waiting for Google to get it's ass into gear and crawl through the whole site again.

I'll tell you what we could do with (IE:, me and my techs, without knowing this software that well), is what to block the bots from. I'll give an example, Google bot is always on our forum, never known it not to be, and when I check where it is, 99 times out of 100, it is crawling users/members, or something stupid, which has no benefit whatsoever. I do not see any point in indexing members profiles personally, and then they get indexed as core links associated with the forum.

This search issue too, has still not been resolved, do we block bots from searching, the search box, etc, and how?
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  • Management


I feel the need to summarise my action plan for 3.4 again - and that is:

- Add Page X near the topic title in the <title> tag. (This change has been made in 3.3.3 already)
- Add "Page X of Y - " in the meta description field before any other text. (This change has been made in 3.3.3 already)
- Remove completely the /page__ extension
- Add in /page-2/ for paginated data. This provides a unique identifier for pages on the forum that is easy to understand
- Use ?foo=bar variables for all other data to signal to Google that it is not a unique page.

Some example URLs as of 3.4:


There's some good discussion about changing URL structures but this isn't something we can do for 3.4 as it is very invasive and I'd like to do more research before I commit to a major change.

We continue to improve SEO and we're always striving to do better, so thank you all for your input.

I'm going to go ahead and close this topic as it's getting embittered and a little personal.

Thanks again for sharing your views and expertise.

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