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PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2008 12:21 pm 
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Hello,

I have two questions regarding SEF url's. Maybe the first one should go to the development section but I'll post it here.

1. What are the developers future plans for SEF urls?
I want to keep my Joomla site as lightweight as possible without many 3rd party extensions. So I want to use Joomla!'s own SEF url system (it's also much faster than any 3rd party SEF component!!). Joomla! 1.5 now has SEF urls that have id included in them. Will this stay so in the future? I am migrating my old Joomla 1.0.x site to 1.5 and I will have to make .htaccess redirects from old url's to new ones. What are the chances that I will have to this again in the future? With my site growing in size this will become unmanageable :( .

Is it recommended to use Joomla native SEF or go with 3rd party SEF component to be future-proof?


2. What is the logic behind Joomla SEF url's and why is it not the same all the time (possible bug?)?

As I understand the basic SEF url, without any menus, looks like this: http://www.site.com/id-category/id-article-title.html ?

I have the following menu structure:
MAIN MENU
ALFA (points to Section 1)
- About Alfa (points to Category 1/1)
- Alfa News (points to Category 1/2)
- ...
BETA (points to Section 2)
- About Beta (points to Category 2/1)
- Beta News (points to Category 2/2)
etc...

Now, most of the time my SEF urls look like this: http://www.site.com/ALFA/About Alfa/id-category/id-article-title.html

This means that menu structure is always included into the URL? I am assuming that this is true (and I only have one menu to avoid any duplication here).

But in links that follow the intro articles (leading, intro, column, links) my SEF urls are without About Alfa:
http://www.site.com/ALFA/id-category/id-article-title.html

This leads to the same page with two different URL's and search engines will consider this duplicate content.

I have the same problem with Xmap sitemap component that generates article URL's from one category as:

http://www.site.com/ALFA/About Alfa/id-category/id-article-title.html

and articles from the same section but different category as

http://www.site.com/ALFA/id-category/id-article-title.html.

Is this a bug? Can this be a result of migration and if yes - where to fix it?

Any help or info is very much appreciated!

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 12:16 pm 
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It's even worse I think. You can also have

http://www.site.com/ALFA/article-id.html

Rooney


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 8:14 am 
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The underlying SEF functions must have some way to distinguish unique content URLs.
If you have only one route to an internal URL, then the there is no need to include IDs.
In Joomla core SEF there an attempt to only include IDs if required.
How this works is dependent on how you have structured your site.

If you have more than one route to a URL, then the underlying code logic must make some decisions.
Which internal URL is the "correct" URL to match with this SEF URL?
Joomla 1.5 core SEF handles this issue in a particular way.
3rd-party SEF components handle this in different ways.

Be aware of the differences.

.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 4:46 pm 
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Well, I am aware of the difference, but first duplicate contents is bad or at least not nice, second third party developers have found solutions. sh404SEF for example (still beta, I know) is working perfectly on this issue. I also know that this component is not using the menus to create the SEF urls

I'm not a programmer. The different urls with numbers are all connected to the same menu entry or a parent section/category/list/blog so there must be a way to just get read of the ID numbers just before the link is finally created.

By the way, is smartSEF still an active development?

Rooney


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 9:48 pm 
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Hi Rooney,

The difficult part is not displaying the links on the page (in the HTML).
The hard part is when a user clicks on the FURL link - which internal URL is the right one?
That is when the fun happens.

J 1.5.x still has the same "duplicate content" issues because it still uses ItemID.
The content is not duplicated, there are just multiple links to it.
I do not remember now where changing this is in the J 1.5+ roadmap.

There are some discussions in this forum on how to avoid this issue with a simple site structure.
And by eliminating modules which also cause duplicate internal URLs.
This method works with the J 1.5 core SEF.

There are only a few ways to deal with the duplicate internal URLs:
- 1. Select the first matching internal URL found in the core menu/content database
- 2. Create priority of link types and select the most desired type
- 3. Save a database of URLs and then make selections based on rules and configuration
- 4. Save a database of URLs and allow manual selections of the "right" internal link

I do not know exactly which methods are at work in Joomla 1.5.x core SEF.
There is no URL database in J 1.5.x.
It also appears there is no link-type priority as the IDs appear whenever there are multiple links to the same content.
I have done not the extensive testing needed to reverse engineer the undocumented program logic for all the various core components.
Seems like there are some issues in the various core components router files (e.g contacts, etc.)
A link-type priority settings file could possibly deal with a some of the issues (and eliminate the IDs).
If you need support for SEF with 3rd-party components, you still need to use a 3rd-party SEF component.
So not much incentive to spend a lot of time figuring out the core SEF.
The good news - I saw somewhere some discussion that the Core Team is going to push-up the development priority to address the existing core SEF issues, and the recent SVN seems bear this out. Hope the trend continues. ;)

OpenSEF has a URL database, fixed link-type priority, the ability to manually select the "right" internal URL to pair with a FURL, and URL structure settings.
SmartSEF has a URL database, configurable link-type priority (often requested feature for OpenSEF), the ability to manually select the right internal URL to pair with a FURL, and even more extensive URL structure settings.
Out of necessity I am now learning sh404SEF - not sure of exactly what it all it does or does not do at this point.
Has some nice unique new features, but I am already missing some of the OpenSEF and SmartSEF features.

What I wish I had is a J1.5 Native component with a combination of the features in all three components.
My FURL fantasy.
:D

Regarding the SmartSEF project . . . it appears to be dead.
Have not heard from Richard in 3-4 months.
He got a new job at a smaller company so I think he is very, very busy. (buried actually)
He has not been in the SmartSEF forum for months, and only seems to answer questions in the JoomlAtWork forum to support their commercial extensions.
SmartSEF has a number of known issues, so using it on anything but a small simple site just will not work.
So unless Richard can manage a 36-hours-a-day workday, or another developer picks it up - looks dead.

Regards,

Ken
.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 2:49 am 
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Hi Ken,

I'm currently using SmartSEF and it seems to be working pretty good. The only two problems that I've had are:

1) Duplicate URLs when using the same article title.

2) 404 errors after clearing the URL repository. The ony solution that I have found is to manually go through the pages of the site. It sure would be nice if SmartSEF had a feature to rebuild every single SEF record.

Initially I had tried sh404SEF but at the time, I did not work with Joomla 1.5x, so that is why I installed SmartSEF. Anyway, how is sh404SEF working out for you? Are you using Joomla 1.5x with it?

Thanks


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 7:00 pm 
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Ken,

I began to evaluate sh404SEF for Joomla 1.5 and ran into various problems. I have an existing installation using SmartSEF and I have come to the conclusion that SmartSEF is much less problematic for me even though there is no forum user support and it is not being developed further.

I was hoping to use sh404SEF but as of this release com_sh404SEF-15_1.0.11_Beta_build_147.joomla1.5.x.zip, it has too many problems for me to use right now. I love all of the options but too many are buggy.

Please let me know your experience with it if you are using it with Joomla 1.5.x, maybe it's just me doing something wrong (although I really think I'm using it the way it should be used).

Thanks,

Jason


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 10:17 pm 
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I created an article as a link to several articles and later
modified the article and title. The odd thing, which is a
problem, is that the URL stayed the same, going from
mydomain.com/article-on-john-brown and
stayed the "article on john brown" even though
I changed the Article and Title to something new.

I went and recreated the links to this article on the
menu and on several other articles, but the old
URL keeps coming back. Even though I want it to
be mydomain.com/article-on-sue-smith. Since the
article and title are changed, shouldn't the name of
the url change?

I'm thinking of turning SEF OFF, emptying cache, and
then turning SEF ON again. I'm afraid I might mess up
some of the link associations in my site. I have hundreds
of articles and links and don't want the aggravation.
So, I'm hoping someone can give me the definitive
solution to fixing this. Any ideas?


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 9:06 am 
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muddauber wrote:
I created an article as a link to several articles and later
modified the article and title. The odd thing, which is a
problem, is that the URL stayed the same, going from
mydomain.com/article-on-john-brown and
stayed the "article on john brown" even though
I changed the Article and Title to something new.

I went and recreated the links to this article on the
menu and on several other articles, but the old
URL keeps coming back. Even though I want it to
be mydomain.com/article-on-sue-smith. Since the
article and title are changed, shouldn't the name of
the url change?

I'm thinking of turning SEF OFF, emptying cache, and
then turning SEF ON again. I'm afraid I might mess up
some of the link associations in my site. I have hundreds
of articles and links and don't want the aggravation.
So, I'm hoping someone can give me the definitive
solution to fixing this. Any ideas?


Below where you write article title there is a field called "alias". This is the url for the content. (if you erease this it will automatically fill in your new article title, or you may write your own)
It seems now you have to use no seo friendly web adresses at all to get it working without duplicate articles, and thereby all links to your pages will go to the same page and not spread link juice around to 3 identical pages with just different urls. The funny thing is that this may be more search engine friendly at time being!

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2011 10:43 am 
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Hi,

I read the whole discussion but didn't find any solution to sort out the duplicate URLs issue. I am also facing the same problem but unable to find any solution. There is no function where I can set the preferred URL.

Please provide any solution.

Thanks
Kam


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2011 12:18 am 
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One major source of Duplicate Content is where an article is in multiple categories and the URL includes category detail. With multi-faceted navigation, category in URL is not a good idea.

Using the ID number within a URL makes for a faster loading system, as the system should be quickly able to deduce that the requested ID in the URL is a valid ID, check the title in URL is the right title for that ID and then pull the content from the database. At the same time it should also pull details of what template to use, details of what other stuff needs to go on the page, as well as a list categories the page is listed in so that it can link back to ALL of them.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 7:18 am 
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My understanding of the URL issue is that each time I reference an item it creates new url.

Let's say I have /wildanimals/lion.html and /domesticanimals/cat.html and then I make a link from lion to cat (lion is part of cat family) I will end up with a new url /wildanimals/domesticanimals/cat.html or perhaps wildanimals/cat.html - both of which are plain wrong!

Is this a correct understanding? (And then internal Joomla may have some other self generated URL for my cat.html) - so I could end up with several url all pointing to cat.html - this would result in a bad Google ranking as it looks an awful lot like duplicate content.

Is this the basic story?

The core Joomla SEF component has no impact on this issue - correct?

Anyway to stop it? - or we just assume that Joomla sites don't want to be highly ranked by the various Search Engines?


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:06 am 
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If that is how it actually works then it would be a huge error in the design.
Truth is, I'm still trying to figure out how it works.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 2:18 pm 
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golden10 wrote:
My understanding of the URL issue is that each time I reference an item it creates new url.

Let's say I have /wildanimals/lion.html and /domesticanimals/cat.html and then I make a link from lion to cat (lion is part of cat family) I will end up with a new url /wildanimals/domesticanimals/cat.html or perhaps wildanimals/cat.html - both of which are plain wrong!



This sounds like my experience. Doesn't make sense, does it?
Would be great if someone could shed some light on this


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:24 pm 
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This is what happens when the URL structure is derived from the database structure rather than the URL structure being part of the initial design and then the internal scripting and the database records designed to validate that agreed URL structure. It's a common failing of database and script [drive] sites.

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PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2011 7:10 pm 
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Joomla is plagued by duplicate URL problems
While trying to solve this problem in SEO terms, SH404 makes it worse in user terms, for the simple reason that when you have duplicate URLs for one menu item, SH404 "selects" which one should be the dominant one.
And it does not select wisely : when you want to peg a module to a menu item, it may not display because SH404 unifies these duplicates in favor of the "wrong" one, that is, not the page you want your module to appear on.
Simple workaround is to look up for those duplicates in the SEF Urls list in SH404 and kill off any duplicate of the page you want your module to appear on that has 0 hit.
Haven't tried Joomla 1.6 yet, the showcased SEO features might nullify the need for SH404 and solve the problem.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:15 am 
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g1smd wrote:
This is what happens when the URL structure is derived from the database structure rather than the URL structure being part of the initial design and then the internal scripting and the database records designed to validate that agreed URL structure. It's a common failing of database and script [drive] sites.


Guru: are you saying that the URL structure should be laid down before the actual building starts? Doesn't that make the use of Joomla very rigid? And how should this structure then be build? Can the standard Joomla menu's be used? Can the search module be used etc.

If duplicate content and different URL's for one page cannot be easily avoided Joomla is going to turn out to be a nightmare for me; I have a small website with only 12 pages, but Google webmaster tools finds for each page a least 5 different URL's. Probably even more.

If Joomla has no built in feature te prevent this duplicate content, it seems (in the light of SEO) useless and even a complete waste of time. Is this issue in the new release solved?


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 3:16 pm 
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No it can't be resolved without a complete rethink as to how URL requests are handled by the Joomla system.

Joomla isn't alone in this issue. I'm currently looking at something similar within MediaWiki but on a much smaller scale.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 3:19 pm 
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g1smd wrote:
No it can't be resolved without a complete rethink as to how URL requests are handled by the Joomla system.

Joomla isn't alone in this issue. I'm currently looking at something similar within MediaWiki but on a much smaller scale.


no improvements on 1.6 ?

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 6:04 pm 
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Did anyone find any solution to this problem? I have a site with 3K articles and Google shows I have 6K duplicate titles. Its a nightmare for me.. How can I fix this issue?


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 5:37 am 
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Hello all,

Is there not a way to correct this issue with a 301 redirect rule or rules in the htaccess file. I am just learning code so I don't know how to do this. Does anyone know how to write a rewrite code to have anything with /902-blog/ in the URL 301 redirect to http://www.profitworks.ca/blog/ and then the rest of the URL that /902-blog/ had after it?


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 6:29 am 
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Doing that is one line of code. This code must go in the section of the .htaccess file marked as "redirects go here".

Code:
RewriteRule ^902-blog/(.*) http://www.example.com/blog/$1 [R=301,L]


The problem is that clicking navigation links within a site should not lead to a redirect. Searchengines will flag such a site as being of "low technical quality".

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 2:01 pm 
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thanks for the advice g1smd

you said "The problem is that clicking navigation links within a site should not lead to a redirect. Searchengines will flag such a site as being of "low technical quality"."

I don't think this is a problem with the 301 redirects I want. Did you say this just as a general statement or did you see this as a problem for my site?

Chris R. Keller
www.profitworks.ca


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 2:11 pm 
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Also, I tried the line you gave me and it did not work. I must be doing something wrong. Here is where I put it.

########## Begin - Custom redirects
#
# If you need to redirect some pages, or set a canonical non-www to
# www redirect (or vice versa), place that code here. Ensure those
# redirects use the correct RewriteRule syntax and the [R=301,L] flags.
RewriteRule ^902-blog/(.*) http://www.example.com/blog/$1 [R=301,L]
#
########## End - Custom redirects

What did I do wrong?


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 2:57 pm 
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If this code is in the root .htaccess file at example.com/.htaccess, when you request example.com/902-blog/<anything> or www.example.com/902-blog/<anything> the code will redirect you to www.example.com/blog/<anything>.

If the code is instead located in a folder, then you'll also need to include that folder name in the initial URL request.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:41 pm 
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It is in the root.

Is the problem that I am trying to get
example.com/blog/902-blog/<anything>
and
example.com/component/content/article/902-blog/<anything>

to go to example.com/blog/<anything>

Does this require different code?


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 11:55 pm 
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Yes you require either two different rules or one rule with a slightly different pattern.
Code:
RewriteRule ^blog/902-blog/(.*) http://www.example.com/blog/$1 [R=301,L]
RewriteRule ^component/content/article/902-blog/(.*) http://www.example.com/blog/$1 [R=301,L]

OR
Code:
RewriteRule ^(blog|component/content/article)/902-blog/(.*) http://www.example.com/blog/$1 [R=301,L]

OR
Code:
RewriteRule ^([^/]+/)*902-blog/(.*) http://www.example.com/blog/$2 [R=301,L]

OR
Code:
RewriteRule (^|/)902-blog/(.*) http://www.example.com/blog/$2 [R=301,L]

Know the limitations of each method. Pick one.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 9:29 pm 
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I am sorry I am not great with code.

Can you explain the limitations of each option?


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 2:37 pm 
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Does the Joomla 1.6 have this same duplicate content problem? Then I wouldn't even bother to upgrade.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 9:18 pm 
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I believe it does based on what I have read but I am not 100% sure as I don't have 1.6.

Can anyone comment on what the limitations are of each of the options proposed by g1smd?


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