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

394 posts in this topic

Posted

@Shigure, he posted how to hide from guests. Not how to fix the issue. Which was resolved apparently in 3.3

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Posted


Steven.


Do yourself a huge favor


either use the template merge center, or revert all templates.


and for the love of god... dont customize the stock IP.Board skin


all of the bugs you are having are because you customized the stock templates instead of making a new skin from it like sane people.




I'd not say sane people, remember that average Joe wouldn't know this. IMO it shouldn't even be possible, it should force you to create a new template.

But yes, it's a good idea to create a custom skin.

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Posted


I'll be honest guys, all the fixes being recommended are fantastic, and appreciated as always, they really are; but surely it should be done at upgrade level, if these known problems are there? Because when you consider that many people using forum software will not have developing experience, then I think ideally it should be taken as granted, that it is done at upgrade/installation point.



Again, not moaning, but it is getting to a critical, almost terminal point now, where there is only so much effort you can put in, with it being ruined, before you have to question what is wrong. :sad:




It's quite tricky upgrading skins that have been edited - as anyone who has worked with version software (GIT, SVN, etc). That said, we do have some ideas on how to make upgrades easier for 3.4 and beyond.

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Posted

Matt, I'm not entirely sure how WP do it, but it would be incredible, if IPB was one day as easy to upgrade as Wordpress.

I love the one click upgrades, it's almost magic. But I'm guessing it's not easy to achieve.

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Posted

We can to a point. The issue is always templates.

Consider this as a default template:

<div id='wrapper'> <a href="test.html">My link</a> </div>







Now lets say you edited that a bit


<div id='wrapper'> Check out <a href="test.html"><strong>My link</strong></a> <p>It's great!</p> </div>








And lets say it's time to upgrade and the new template is this:


<p id='ips_main_wrap'> <a href="new.html">Click</a> <br />Please! </p>








In this case, there's no way you can cleanly merge this into a new template. You need a human to look at the differences and decide what to do.

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Posted

I bet Mark H v 3.9 could do it

Manual is always the best way to do it anyway.

Mikey B likes this

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Posted

Yeah it often is. What we want to do is to provide more information post upgrade so you know what was changed.

realmaverickuk likes this

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Posted



Manual is always the best way to do it anyway.



But look at Steven's upgrade as an example. Manual for an average user, leads to problems. If all webmasters were seasoned IPB devs, then sure. But we're not all as savvy with IPB code. I know I'm not.

I don't know how WP achieve it. Of course, even with WP, when you upgrade the core, there are chances that plugins could stop working, but it's rare. Then you can have the plugin upgraded.

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Posted


But look at Steven's upgrade as an example. Manual for an average user, leads to problems. If all webmasters were seasoned IPB devs, then sure. But we're not all as savvy with IPB code. I know I'm not.



I don't know how WP achieve it. Of course, even with WP, when you upgrade the core, there are chances that plugins could stop working, but it's rare. Then you can have the plugin upgraded.


Welllll this leads into a personal belief of mine that all webmasters should have a decent understanding of HTML (because really that's all that is required here), but I won't get into that.

In Steven's example this really isn't difficult at all. He customized a template right? And that template was changed in 3.3. In the template merge center all you do is generate a report and then you go and export the changes. This exported html file shows you all the templates that were changed and it highlights in red what was removed and in green what was added. You just mimic these changes onto the customized template in the right spots. You don't need to be a seasoned IPB dev to copy and paste. I'm not a seasoned IPB dev at all and I've been upgrading skins since 3.1.2.

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Posted

Just to clarify please, what do we need to do to stop the issues we are having? Because the current issues are forcing our hand at moving to another forum software, and we would prefer not to have to do that.

Thank you in advance.

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Posted

Welllll this leads into a personal belief of mine that all webmasters should have a decent understanding of HTML (because really that's all that is required here), but I won't get into that.



I can write html and css in my sleep.

Upgrading my highly customised website to V3 was one of the biggest tasks we've ever done. It took several months, for myself and 2 highly skilled IPB developers.

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Posted

Is there a way to lock the default skin (and fully updated/correct skin) to search engines such as Google?

As mentioned before. Make a copy of the default IPB skin and then make any changes to the copy. Other wise, updates to the skins will not take effect until you revert all the templates and CSS.

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Posted

Is there a way to lock the default skin (and fully updated/correct skin) to search engines such as Google?



CSEO allowed you to do this, but it's bad practice. It would basically be serving one lot of content to users and another to search engines. Which would be classed as cloaking.

Many users would also find that they'd add features to the main skin, forget to add them to the "Google skin" and Google would be served nothing but a ton of errors.

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Posted


Is there a way to lock the default skin (and fully updated/correct skin) to search engines such as Google?




IP.SEO allows that.

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Posted

Good points. Just a thought :smile:

It's a shame there is no better system for upgrading skins. I personally only make minor CSS and template changes to the default skin, but every time there is a new update I have to revert it all and manually change it all back to how i want it. Otherwise i risk missing features or bug fixes of the new release.

Not ideal with the current rate of updates....

Sorry to take this off topic. This was about SEO. :)

Mikey B likes this

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Posted


IP.SEO allows that.




How? I haven't seen such an option.

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Posted


How? I haven't seen such an option.


It lets you select a guest skin I believe..not a search engine skin though.

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Posted


How? I haven't seen such an option.




It lets you select a guest skin I believe..not a search engine skin though.



Sorry, yes, it allows you to select a Guest Skin

%7Boption%7D

As search engines are treated as a member of the Guest group, it's essentially the same.

As has been mentioned before, this could be seen as "cloaking".

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Posted


Good points. Just a thought :smile:



It's a shame there is no better system for upgrading skins. I personally only make minor CSS and template changes to the default skin, but every time there is a new update I have to revert it all and manually change it all back to how i want it. Otherwise i risk missing features or bug fixes of the new release.



Not ideal with the current rate of updates....



Sorry to take this off topic. This was about SEO. :smile:


Use a merge program, like WinMerge, default template in the left, customised in the right, then you can see what you've changed and what changes you need to move over from the default template.

The Merge Center does have the same functionality, but I've never got on with it.

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Posted

I used the compare differences feature in a new tab last time around. Worked ok but still time consuming.

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Posted

Just use the difference exports located in Lewis P's signature.

Lewis P likes this

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Posted


Just to clarify please, what do we need to do to stop the issues we are having? Because the current issues are forcing our hand at moving to another forum software, and we would prefer not to have to do that.



Thank you in advance.




Which issues, Steven? If it's tags being ranked higher and Google being a bit vague as to placement, I'm not sure anyone knows the exact answer. All I can do, without intimate knowledge of how Google uses its algorithms is continue to use best practises and look at ways of making URLs cleaner and reducing crawler issues.

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Posted

Hi Matt, It is really the extra strings that have been advised on this thread that should not be there (template issue, skins, etc), and could be prevented from the search engines indexing, them, and thus stop making the threads compete.

The extra strings are damaging rankings for sure, and this needs to be remedied.

I think this whole thread has now confused the hell out of everyone, but the reality is, that most users will be having these issues, whether they know it, or not.

<<< confused, and nice ticket submitted. Thanks.

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Posted

The problem with SEO is that everyone's an expert, and it's never good enough.

Michael likes this

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Posted


Hi Everyone,



I am quite frustrated at the moment, because unlike any software I have used before, the rankings for any threads being created are just not static.



I'll give you an example. If you have a WP Blog, created a thread, then it gets indexed, and search engines will position the page in the SERPS. Ok great, you think, are although you know the Google dance will affect things now and again, you pretty much know that the thread will be almost static.



Now, with the IPBoard software, forget the Google dance, it has almost become the IPB dance. :cry:



For example, a thread will be created, it will get indexed, and stay there for a few days, and if there is a tag associated, then a few days later the tag will leapfrog the actual thread, a week later the thread will vanish to page 3, and the tag will stay on page one, then a few weeks later when Google spiders have crawled the site again, you get pages like the following being indexed INSTEAD of the page that is going to drive visitors to your forum:



http://www.makemoney...&search_app=ccs

The above is an actual page being indexed. Why would page above be getting indexed, and also I have found 'search pages' being indexed too, above normal threads, and the search pages have zero content, and should not be getting indexed at all, really they should not.



One of the other issues, is Google are STILL indexing strings of code onto the end of threads, and because these are not front end threads, Google push them down to page 3 - duplicate content I think the problem is here, which the last update was supposed to fix.



Here is an example of the string: /page__st__20 Now, how can Google even see this? But it does, and it indexes it ABOVE the actual thread, but definitely demotes the importance of the thread due to this issue.



It is a gripe I suppose, and the gripe is there, because this IS fantastic software for ranking, but it is not static. There seems to be so many loose ends that search engines do not know what to do with it, and it seems worse since the last update. Ideally, the ONLY pages that should be getting indexed, are the categories, threads, tags, and that is it. All these other loose ends (quite a few of them) need closing on the IPB software, and this would then be a frightening piece of kit for real marketers, but for now, it is literally a lottery on what gets indexed and ranks, because the software is giving search engines just too many reference points to gather the information, usually the wrong reference points.



If Matt could also take a look, as this is really an SEO issue, that would be great. :sorcerer:




while the best place to get answers to these questions would be google webmaster forum. I suspect that the internal number of links pointing to that page in question is higher than the number of links to the thread itself.

think about it for a moment. How do you get to a thread in IPB? the answer is through the forum index page where the thread is posted. that is 1 link to the topic only. But in each page of the thread in question there is going to be link to the tags associated with the thread. If the thread has 5 pages then that is 5 links to the tags. Hence google would think that the tag page is more important because it has 5 links :smile:


cheers
realmaverickuk likes this

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