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Real tags? Is it possible, these are useless.


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#1 Steven UK

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 06:41 AM

Hi everyone.

The tags on this IPBoard software are about as much use as a chocolate fireguard. Is there any way the system can generate search-engine-friendly tags, instead of a jumbled up mush of coding?

This is one of the tags on my forum:

http://www.makemoney...arch_app=forums

Totally useless for search engine purposes. It really needs to be similar to how word-press create tags, which also have the tag as the title.

Surely somebody has brought this subject up before? Is it possible to get REAL usable tags?
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#2 Matt

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 07:15 AM

I guess it depends if your chocolate fireguard is designed to appeal to humans who can use tags as secondary categorisation and discovery or to appeal to bots to mindlessly spider more pages.

I'm not disregarding your suggestion (it's come up before and I don't disagree) but the trouble with looking through the eyes of a search engine bot is that you get tunnel vision and start to lose perspective on what's truly important to humans.
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#3 Marcher Technologies

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 07:30 AM

I guess it depends if your chocolate fireguard is designed to appeal to humans who can use tags as secondary categorisation and discovery or to appeal to bots to mindlessly spider more pages.

I'm not disregarding your suggestion (it's come up before and I don't disagree) but the trouble with looking through the eyes of a search engine bot is that you get tunnel vision and start to lose perspective on what's truly important to humans.

Can it feasibly be furled out to the individual apps is the question, by you or by us(.... it slays me to my core how that url looks, and I'm someone that's had to make a pseudo tags field in content run off $this->request... mine were shorter, and more usable even with that fact.).

#4 Matt

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 09:01 AM

Ah, I went ahead and FURLed up the tags because it was easy enough to do.

board/tags/{app}/{tag}
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#5 Marcher Technologies

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 09:06 AM

Ah, I went ahead and FURLed up the tags because it was easy enough to do.

board/tags/{app}/{tag}

:wub: :blink: Works for me... has been my only grief on the subject :)

#6 bfarber

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 09:35 AM

I would hardly say a tags system is 'useless' because it doesn't have a friendly URL...
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#7 Marcher Technologies

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 09:49 AM

I would hardly say a tags system is 'useless' because it doesn't have a friendly URL...

Never agreed with the 'useless' sentiment :smile:
Just seeking(and glad to know will be core) some better URL structure in one of the foremost public extensions used throughout IPB :smile:
unlike search results requiring human input and other core actions, this one is directly seeded with submitted information hot with keywords, specifically, the tag itself and relevant results.
It's only natural one would want a cleaner URL to said information.

#8 Steven UK

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 06:24 PM

I guess it depends if your chocolate fireguard is designed to appeal to humans who can use tags as secondary categorisation and discovery or to appeal to bots to mindlessly spider more pages.


Are you for real? "Mindlessly spider more pages"?? Let's hope your employers never put you in charge of SEO..

I would hardly say a tags system is 'useless' because it doesn't have a friendly URL...


I would say it is useless, and the first suggestion by 'Matt' that it should be looked at 'through the eyes of a human not a search engine' where businesses are created is, well... frankly no more than an excuse for a poor aspect of the software.

Looking at the rest of the responses on this thread, I can only come to one conclusion - contempt for paying customers. You need to understand that this forum is for YOUR customers, not a general forum, but for people who have paid you revenue, and taken the trust to give you their custom.

You would do well not to forget that, although I realise that it is no coincidence that this section of the forum is not available to potential customers. Very telling indeed, ......and ironically, it is being blocked from 'mindless spidering from search engines'.

Hmmm.....

#9 Matt

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 04:01 AM

Actually, this forum is visible to everyone, log out and see for yourself :smile:

No one has contempt for customers at IPS. I did respond unprofessionally to the phrasing of your topic. You are right that I didn't need to block it so quickly. I decided to go ahead and tweak the tag system to appear more desirable to search engines shortly after I read your post.

We all want more search engine traffic and if you take a cursory glance through our recent blogs on 3.3, you'll see most are improvements to SEO - many of which originated as requests or questions from customers.

I apologise if you felt my tone was inappropriate. I'm the co-owner of this company and very passionate about the software we produce. We've been writing forum software for over 10 years and have learned a lot over this time. I tend to be quite relaxed and informal when I speak to customers. Most appreciate the candid nature of our interaction but I realise its not for everyone. I will be more mindful in the future.
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#10 Steven UK

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 06:12 AM

Thanks for your response, Matt.

I too, apologise, as maybe I could have been more diplomatic in the first post. I am pretty sure that if I had spent 10 years designing software, I also would not want somebody not familiar with the software to come along and run it down, albeit I still believe the tag situation could be improved.

Thanks again.
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#11 Matt

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 07:53 AM

Thanks Steven. I'd love to hear your thoughts on how it could be improved. I promise to listen with an open mind. :)

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#12 Gerry 5039

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 09:01 AM

Steven UK you are one hell of a lucky man mate, especially for someone who has just joined these forums.
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#13 realmaverickuk

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 05:32 PM

How can the tags system be improved?

I just made a bug report, that outlines quite a few areas that need improvement. It goes way beyond friendly URL's. http://community.inv...ing-module-bug/

We need to start thinking in terms of value. What value do these pages have and what can we do to add more value to them.

If they're indexed in their present state, due to the lack of context, they're not going to be ranked and even if they were, they're not achieve a good CTR from the search engine.

We need to give the pages more context, add in ways to make them unique, ensure duplicate content issues are taken care of.

Tags could be an asset, but as it stands, I believe they're a hazard due to the amount of duplicate content they pump out.

I bet without too much effort, an SEO like myself, could work alongside a dev, and make these pages rock.

#14 Steven UK

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 07:54 PM

Tags could be an asset, but as it stands, I believe they're a hazard due to the amount of duplicate content they pump out.

I bet without too much effort, an SEO like myself, could work alongside a dev, and make these pages rock.


Duplicate content on the tags? How do you come to that conclusion, and how do you see the way IPB does the tags compared to WordPress. It is very similar, and no way does Google penalise WP tags, for duplicate content.

No offense intended, but I for one would not want an individual working alongside a DEV on something that I will be installing in an update, which could affect my rankings, and positioning.

SEO is very much an individual's perception of what a person 'THINKS' search engines are looking for. Nobody knows for sure what is right, or wrong, and it is all based on one's personal opinions.

I have spoken to Matt about a few things regarding SEO, tags, etc. and what has been implemented have DEFINITELY helped rankings, so if you wish to drop me a line, maybe we could put our heads together, because I would also class myself as an 'SEO', and maybe we could help to throw a few ideas on the table..... and maybe even disagree a little, too :smile:

Seriously though, I have tested a few things on these new updates, regarding SEO, and it is positive so far, so I would be interested in your perceptions on what testing you have done, and the results on this duplicate content you mention, etc.

Thanks.

#15 realmaverickuk

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 08:36 PM

Duplicate content on the tags? How do you come to that conclusion, and how do you see the way IPB does the tags compared to WordPress. It is very similar, and no way does Google penalise WP tags, for duplicate content.

No offense intended, but I for one would not want an individual working alongside a DEV on something that I will be installing in an update, which could affect my rankings, and positioning.

SEO is very much an individual's perception of what a person 'THINKS' search engines are looking for. Nobody knows for sure what is right, or wrong, and it is all based on one's personal opinions.

I have spoken to Matt about a few things regarding SEO, tags, etc. and what has been implemented have DEFINITELY helped rankings, so if you wish to drop me a line, maybe we could put our heads together, because I would also class myself as an 'SEO', and maybe we could help to throw a few ideas on the table..... and maybe even disagree a little, too :smile:

Seriously though, I have tested a few things on these new updates, regarding SEO, and it is positive so far, so I would be interested in your perceptions on what testing you have done, and the results on this duplicate content you mention, etc.

Thanks.


No offense taken. Did you read the post I made in the bug tracker? It explains the issues in more detail. It isn't a "guess", it's an absolute proven fact, that Google doesn't appreciate duplicate content.

As this forum doesn't support tags, it's difficult to give you an exact example, but here goes.
  • Click on any tag in your forum or related app. Look at the title, <h1> tag and content on the page.
  • Now click one of the sorting options, again look at the title, <h1> tag.
  • Now click in the sidebar, on the application i.e forums, ANOTHER new set of URLS, again look a the title, <h1> etc.
  • Now click the sorting options again for even more fun n games.
Every single one of those, is an indexable page. I've not counted how many possible URL's there are, for every given tag, but it's a lot.

A simple Canonical tag, on the horrible URLs produced from the sorting options, would go a long way towards fixing this particular issue.

Wordpress tagging, definitely doesn't suffer from this issue.

The above is only brushing on the issues that these pages have. They could be improved 10 fold.

I do agree that SEO isn't a science, it's more of an art. But there are certain things, that are tried and tested.

#16 realmaverickuk

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 08:39 PM

And FWIW, your original issue with IPB tags, wasn't even a fraction of a problem, compared to this.

#17 Alfa1

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 09:14 PM

It makes no sense to give a tag a searchid, simply because the tag is sorted by order. urls should be kept tidy, so that these are friendly to humans. If the syntax has changed to /tag/ then ordered tags should also have this syntax.

#18 realmaverickuk

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 09:21 PM

Yes, much the same as the forum sorting options work. The forum sorting options also have the canonical tag. They're rather well done. I still feel on top of that, the tag pages do need further improvement, to make them appear less like search results.

#19 Matt

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 10:50 AM

I've added a canonical link to the tag result page. This will prevent any duplicate content issues when using the sort options.

Ultimately it *is* a search result page so I don't think it's something we can quickly change. Perhaps at some point in the future we can consider it.

SteveUK has proved, though, that it is actually quite good for SEO and Google seems to index the tag result highly.

Matt Mecham
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