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phpBB Users - How's Your WMT?

 10:17 am on Aug 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

I have posted many times that out of the box phpBB is pretty much useless for SEO. To fix this I have tried a few things over the years but even now it is still not right.

The problems mostly happened when phpBB changed from 2 to 3 and I think it is mostly due to duplicate content, and url string variables ...

WMT is great in that it can indicate where problems are but I am yet to find solutions for this.

My WMT report lists a few errors (but not all - they seem to come and go), errors such as double slashes, sids, different url vars. Here are some examples:

HTML suggestions
Duplicate title tags

Tote Placepot dividends : General Racing Stats

This example shows two entries but only one shows the forum f var.

First Time Headgear Stats : General Racing Stats

This example shows two problems. The first is that the sid is included in the string, the second is the mix of p and t

Trainer Entries as a measure of Form : Horse Racing Chat

This is an example where a search was used and the hilit var is included.

* * * Going Changes Friday 30-Jul-10 * * * : Horse Racing Chat

This one has a double slash //

punters paymaster : New System Ideas

This is an example of the changeover from phpBB2 to 3. 2 used to use p for posting var, 3 uses t for topic var.

So there are different issues here and all, I believe, are causing the site to not have decent saturation.

What are your HTML suggestions like? What have you done to correct these errors?



 2:31 pm on Aug 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

phpBB has at least one "Canonical URL" mod available that inserts a canonical meta tag. That might solove some of your problem.

There are also some SEO mods.

I haven't used any of these, though, and can't speak to their quality.


 3:00 pm on Aug 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

The only one I have not tried is the rewrite to-topic-heading. I'm sure that works well but I think it would be too much of a hit for 7 year old message board.

Canonical url sounds good. Will try this next.


 3:28 am on Sep 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

The URL issues were the same in 2, 3 exacerbated the problem with the introduction of the f parameter.

To the best of my knowledge you can safely remove the f parameter. AFAIK it's only used for the "who's online" for individual forums. You'll have to search phpbb's site for the specific edits, there's probably a few topics concerning that.

A bit of advice, if you're considering one of the major SEO mods that rewrite URL's and the whole deal be aware of the ramifications for the future. If support for that mod is dropped by the author and you don't have decent grasp of PHP you may find yourself hung out to dry for future releases of phpBB. Plan ahead and step wisely. :)

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