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Better search listings using link and title tags

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Author Vishal
#1 | Posted: 8 Jun 2007 02:40 | Edited by: Vishal 
Topics in forums runs into multiple pages and hence it is essential to link and relate these pages to help search engines understand their relationship for better listing.

To put in simple words, search engines are always on the lookout for fresh content. When a topic exceeds it's page limit specified by the admin, fresh content is added to subsequent pages whereas the first page remains the same throughout. My suggestion is to include the tag <link rel="Start" title="Topic title" href="link to first page of the topic"> in the sub pages (meta) so search engines can very well identify these pages as sub pages of a specific topic and understand that the topic is being updated. Including "title" tags while linking to these pages in the navigation links is also highly recommended.

Author Paul
Lead Developer
#2 | Posted: 8 Jun 2007 03:38 | Edited by: Paul 
I think when the page exceeds certain amount of postings, it's title is changed from the regular to the one having page number at the end. That way it says to the crawler the page's content has been changed (and it will be updated).

The hum around the SEO past months seems for me more and more insolvent, people are so much fallen into details (I don't mean you personally, Vishal) they don't even deeply understand, instead of concentrating on the quality content instead, which will help them in rankings much much better.

I would mention the example of our minibb test server, which has no useful content at all, all pages are marked with "NOINDEX" tag (except for the starting), and there is no useful content at all. Despite of this the site already has a PR=5. This proves that recommended tags and all other stuff doesn't affect nothing in reality. That is simply so much hassle that as usual, somebody just is making money on it.

Most probably I would say this time "thank you for the suggestion, but we won't change nothing regarding this case" - or at least I would like to hear other opinions, a lot of other opinions preferrably.

Author Ivan
Advanced Member
#3 | Posted: 8 Jun 2007 07:47 | Edited by: Ivan 
Paul, you know my position for long time: the BB software is mainly for friends' and people with common interests' conversations. Its general purpose is not to highten the world power of the search engines, or Google to become a member to UN or UNESCO :)

They, the search engines, often produce absolutely unusable stuff of whatever you can imagine. This is because its indexing is formal, not by deep understanding of the content. They, of course, cannot undestand the content, they work with formal text. That's why the main care about the search by content is to be by the searcher.

As per the BBs in general, including miniBB, there can often be seen a bombastic title, followed by absolute rubbish, as well as a very short totle, nothing concrete, or almost nothing at all, to have a pure treasury after the 20th line of the post. What about a beautiful impression about the love or the sparrows in a topic of one post, called "mc2" or ""?

The most important in a forum is the good, fruitful talk and the pleasant atmosphere. The only thing search engines could give to it is some occasional people that will be not in hteir place there. Who wants and needs your forum, he'll surely find it.

Of course, if someone loves the search engines so much, he can customise its own miniBB with a couple of respective lines :)

Best regards, and also бест регардс :) to Team and Sergei! :)

P. S. I have a question about the SQL mechanism of the banning, but it will be by e-mail and with screen shots, because some social forums got my energy for writing :)

Author Prestige
#4 | Posted: 8 Jun 2007 09:42 
If you start to talk about rel="Start" why not to mention that rel="prev" and rel="next" tags may exist as well. rel="Index" too.

So the internal document content will be so rich finally that it will even increase a traffic a bit. However for the public content it means less.

These "rel" quides are mentioned and recommended by W3C, however I think if we talk about search engines, only Google may interpret them correctly (but even in hard SEO guides I never read that this increases your website's potential being listed in the first places of search results). Other search engines will not carry about this at all.

Author Vishal
#5 | Posted: 8 Jun 2007 23:02 
If you start to talk about rel="Start" why not to mention that rel="prev" and rel="next" tags may exist as well. rel="Index" too.

Yes you are right but my idea here was to give some indication to search engines that the sub pages belong to a parent discussion as they are only linked through numbers and not any anchor texts, thereby giving a notification that the parent thread is being updated. I don't say this will drastically improve your ranking but will definitely make your forum better in search engine's eyes.

Author tom322
Active Member
#6 | Posted: 10 Jun 2007 14:58 
As Paul mentioned, I think people over-focus on some search engine aspects. Even if the topic has 100 "paginated" pages, the first page is always linked (by link to page "1"). I think there's no better way to do it from SEO view than it's currently implemented.

Also, since the meta description is taken from the first post of each "subtopic pages", there are more chances that some complementary discussion will be indexed.

Author Paul
Lead Developer
#7 | Posted: 12 Jun 2007 03:08 
Ok, I've implemented the code for "rel" tags, so you are welcome to use it if you want :-) It won't be included in miniBB by default still.

This is a solution which doesn't destroy the core files.

Download the codes, clicking here. Paste the code provided in bb_plugins.php.code, into bb_plugins.php file. main_header.html.code contains 3 variables which need to be pasted into templates/main_header.html between <head></head> tags.

Report in this thread if you will find any problems or bugs...

Author Vishal
#8 | Posted: 13 Jun 2007 00:14 
Thank you so much Paul for working on it :) However, the code doesn't seem to work. It returns only empty variables (blank space) in between head tags.

Author Paul
Lead Developer
#9 | Posted: 13 Jun 2007 04:03 
Hmm, I am absolutely sure it works on my side. Please note that it works ONLY for "thread listing" page like the one you are now on; not for the topics listing pages (where it's not necessary at all). Also it works only if the page is splitten in more than 1 page.

Try to paste this code ABOVE all codes you might have in bb_plugins.php, i.e. right away after if (!defined('INCLUDED776')) die ('Fatal error.');

Author Vishal
#10 | Posted: 13 Jun 2007 05:52 
Also it works only if the page is splitten in more than 1 page

Silly me!! It works just fine!

Thanks a lot Paul :)

Author Paul
Lead Developer
#11 | Posted: 13 Jun 2007 07:12 

I've updated the code today, it contained a spare '/' before 'http' (actually this is what you could also remove from bb_plugins code yourself...)

Feel free also to add your own "title" tags to the links... Topic's title is stored in {$topicData[0]} variable.

Author Vishal
#12 | Posted: 14 Jun 2007 08:17 
Thanks again Paul!

Author tom322
Active Member
#13 | Posted: 14 Jun 2007 10:49 
Could you report here in a few weeks if that really helped in anything? Thanks,


Author Vishal
#14 | Posted: 16 Jun 2007 04:50 
Oh sure Tom!

Author tom322
Active Member
#15 | Posted: 16 Jun 2007 10:31 

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