Author Topic: SEO and SMF advice?  (Read 788 times)

Offline drewactual

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SEO and SMF advice?
« on: February 07, 2019, 08:53:59 AM »
My site, fortunately, doesn't need to worry a lot about search engines as the traffic is primarily a group of people who've been together a long, long time (since the late nineties as an online community).  However, i still track such things. 

Google's 'search console' has had the site ranked as high as #8 before.  During the 'season' this usually drops due to some pretty heavy hitters firing back up, but it usually climbs back in after the season... this year, however, i'm dropping like a stone.  I've gone from low to mid 20's to 51 in about a month and a half.

I grasp that the metrics change, but...

at any rate, I've gone through the pages in the last few days tagging items of value with things that better describe what the site is about- for instance:

- index.template: the title tag using SMF out of the box is good, but it lacks a good description meta according to metrics used- so... i hard coded it.  Also introduced an H1 with verbiage akin to the title tag and meta:description, immediately followed by both an h2 and an h3 both expounding on the h1, and then titles of the boards are now H2's.  The 'last post' of each h2 is now h3. .... i have some validation to do, but it's pretty close right now.

- boardindex: the cascade from^ and the message title's are h3's

message.index:  the cascade from index.template, and at first i made the title's an additional h1 and the message itself h2's, but decided to NOT do this at all and removed them. 

today my intent is to delve into ETags and see if i can manage cache's and headers better. 

it will take some time to see if my little adjustments will make any impact whatsoever, i'll report back if they do. 

What are some tricks any of you guy's know of that makes a page's content (specifically SMF driven sites) report more relevant information to the search engines?  If you have some I'd surely appreciate the sharing, along with 'how to'. 

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Re: SEO and SMF advice?
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2019, 09:08:30 AM »
What I've gathered from my own forum, Google likes consistency, mobile friendliness, SSL, and varied content that stays and grows. It all comes down to time really. I run a forum that's been public for more than a decade, and still Google is picky on what topics it includes in the results - but we do have good coverage, and we are easy to find with the right keywords these days.
And SEO wise, I'm pretty much running SMF as it is out of the box. Just some links and mods that add relevant content, but do nothing to alter the behaviour of SMF. We don't even do "friendly URLs".
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Offline drewactual

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Re: SEO and SMF advice?
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2019, 09:15:54 AM »
pretty urls were a nightmare for me- i dropped them.  i don't know if it was because of existing threads or what- but it was a nightmare to get it to work right, and then another to get rid of it altogether. 

i read that google is placing emphasis on canonical url's and that if one isn't specified this will harm you terribly, and though they've already started they aren't supposed to be fully in that 'mode?' until March of this year... this isn't a problem with SMF.  Glory be. 

i've used the header tags in the past, and primarily for structure purposes- not because search engines liked them- but that is the why's of the route i'm taking now.  it's the only thing i can think of at the present.  the site is fast enough (right at a second), uses SSL, and is responsive (now)... one of the things i find curious about their 'responsive' metric is their computer is the grading device, not a set of eyes.  I'm good either way, don't get me wrong, but there are absolutely ways to make the indexes 'think' your theme is responsive.  understand, i didn't make mine responsive for the index, but for the people instead.