Search Engine Friendly URLs

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svetomir
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Search Engine Friendly URLs

Post by svetomir » Tue Oct 02, 2007 10:05 am

Is there a Search Engine Friendly URLs extension that works with Joomla 1.5?
http://www.you2uk.com UK and London Attractions

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Re: Search Engine Friendly URLs

Post by VinylJunky » Tue Oct 02, 2007 1:07 pm

I need this too, I think it is essential these days  8)

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Re: Search Engine Friendly URLs

Post by x.enon » Tue Oct 02, 2007 9:21 pm

Me too. Neither SEF Advance nor JoomSEF work.
Hope we get a 1.5 SEF extension quickly.

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Re: Search Engine Friendly URLs

Post by trichnosis » Sun Oct 07, 2007 12:02 pm

another person who needs a sef component is here :)

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Re: Search Engine Friendly URLs

Post by spiderglobe » Mon Oct 08, 2007 12:12 pm

Good news!,

I'm currently developing a URL rewriting extensions from scratch for the 1.5 release (currently for RC3). I was one of the developers of opensef. Within 2 -3  weeks we will launch the BETA for the URL rewriting for 1.5. 

This extension will override and extend the J1.5 default router.

Main functionality for the first release:

- Clean URL's for HTML doctypes.
- Clean URLs for generated PDF files.
- Build URL cache mechanism, to give a high performance for the URL rewriting;
- Pluggin architecture: you can override the default routers of other extensions by implementing your own ( only not for the content related elements).
- And of course the standards settings for URL rewriting as you known before.

Notice that the URL rewriter's for the J1.0x releases will not work on the 1.5 release

The current status of the project is that the URL rewriting is working on all the content related elements and we are now building the configuration and installation parts.

Regards,

Richard

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Re: Search Engine Friendly URLs

Post by svetomir » Mon Oct 08, 2007 5:58 pm

Spiderglobe. I hope your extension will be duplicate URL proof
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Re: Search Engine Friendly URLs

Post by spiderglobe » Mon Oct 08, 2007 8:36 pm

Spiderglobe. I hope your extension will be duplicate URL proof
The SEF urls are unique (of course). Only the problem within Joomla is that serveral paths (e.q. queries) can lead to the same content. This is solved by creating the same SEF url although the paths are different to the content. This is meanly caused by the itemid which keep track of the path trail. You can decide within the configuration if you want to add the Itemid at the SEF url, although this is not encouraged for SEO purposes...

For example:
The SEF url /about-joomla/the-cms/whats-new-in-15.html in the default example of Joomla is related to 5 Joomla urls, which display the same content:
- index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=22:whats-new-in-15&catid=29:the-cms&Itemid=29
- index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=22&Itemid=34
- index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=22&Itemid=29
- index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=22:whats-new-in-15
- index.php?view=article&id=22:whats-new-in-15

In this case the article id is used to create the URL. The only problem with this is that when the URL request is made for about-joomla/the-cms/whats-new-in-15.html it can only be routed to one of the 5 urls. Therefore you can assign the order within the configuration of the SEF extension to the SEF urls. In other words if you have more routes to 1 sef URL you can decide which route is taken for the display by setting the default URL in the backend if more URL's are detected..

For SEO purposes only 1 URL should be created (as above is the case). In mine opinion you must never publish the same content within different URLs but of course this is what you mean (I presume).

The routing is based on the none SEF url. In other words: all the above 5 urls will be translated to the same unique URL.

regards,

Richard
Last edited by spiderglobe on Mon Oct 08, 2007 8:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Search Engine Friendly URLs

Post by trichnosis » Mon Oct 08, 2007 9:27 pm

wow, this is a great news for all of the joomla community.

i'm currently using J! 1.0.13 with opensef. I'm not able to use J! 1.5 r3 because of a good sef component.

using J! 1.5 means loosing current urls. loosing my current urls is not an option for me.

Thanks for your effort

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Re: Search Engine Friendly URLs

Post by svetomir » Mon Oct 08, 2007 9:36 pm

I hope this new component will do the trick. With Joomla 1.0.1  the only reliable extension for me was sh404sef.
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Re: Search Engine Friendly URLs

Post by aliens » Thu Oct 18, 2007 12:59 pm

spiderglobe wrote:
Spiderglobe. I hope your extension will be duplicate URL proof
The SEF urls are unique (of course). Only the problem within Joomla is that serveral paths (e.q. queries) can lead to the same content. This is solved by creating the same SEF url although the paths are different to the content. This is meanly caused by the itemid which keep track of the path trail. You can decide within the configuration if you want to add the Itemid at the SEF url, although this is not encouraged for SEO purposes...

For example:
The SEF url /about-joomla/the-cms/whats-new-in-15.html in the default example of Joomla is related to 5 Joomla urls, which display the same content:
- index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=22:whats-new-in-15&catid=29:the-cms&Itemid=29
- index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=22&Itemid=34
- index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=22&Itemid=29
- index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=22:whats-new-in-15
- index.php?view=article&id=22:whats-new-in-15

In this case the article id is used to create the URL. The only problem with this is that when the URL request is made for about-joomla/the-cms/whats-new-in-15.html it can only be routed to one of the 5 urls. Therefore you can assign the order within the configuration of the SEF extension to the SEF urls. In other words if you have more routes to 1 sef URL you can decide which route is taken for the display by setting the default URL in the backend if more URL's are detected..

For SEO purposes only 1 URL should be created (as above is the case). In mine opinion you must never publish the same content within different URLs but of course this is what you mean (I presume).

The routing is based on the none SEF url. In other words: all the above 5 urls will be translated to the same unique URL.

regards,

Richard
That's great news. This fix is what many webmasters are waiting for. The different routes created by joomla for a single article (that depend on where the article is linked from) can create severe problems for search engines.

Can't wait to see a release of your extension :D

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Re: Search Engine Friendly URLs

Post by AmyStephen » Thu Oct 18, 2007 1:57 pm

Richard -

First of all, you must USE Joomla!'s SEF URLs to get unduplicated content and permanent URLs. Those URLs are *not* SEF URLs, so, you will see duplication in content using them. Why? Because ItemID *is* a data model issue. It's amazing the advancements Johan has made for v 1.5, but you actually have to use the SEF URLs to see the benefit.  ;)

I posted this situation as a bug report in the Developer Q&T forums. I think there are a few bugs that need to be fixed.

Perhaps you would be willing to help debug and submit patches for core URL issues? In my thinking, there is no reason for add-on SEF URL tools that override the core. If you want to adjust the plug, that's one thing, but redoing URLs in an independent extension is not a good idea.

Please consider submitting patches for the core, instead. I strongly believe we do not need another set of confusing and difficult to use SEF URL products. We need Joomla! core to work.

No extension! Just core!  :P hehe!

Thanks,
Amy :)

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Re: Search Engine Friendly URLs

Post by AmyStephen » Thu Oct 18, 2007 2:00 pm

trichnosis wrote: wow, this is a great news for all of the joomla community.

i'm currently using J! 1.0.13 with opensef. I'm not able to use J! 1.5 r3 because of a good sef component.

using J! 1.5 means loosing current urls. loosing my current urls is not an option for me.

Thanks for your effort
There is also a system plugin to help with redirects.

Hope that helps,
Amy :)

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Re: Search Engine Friendly URLs

Post by spiderglobe » Thu Oct 18, 2007 3:07 pm

First of all, you must USE Joomla!'s SEF URLs to get unduplicated content and permanent URLs. Those URLs are *not* SEF URLs, so, you will see duplication in content using them. Why? Because ItemID *is* a data model issue. It's amazing the advancements Johan has made for v 1.5, but you actually have to use the SEF URLs to see the benefit.  Wink

I posted this situation as a bug report in the Developer Q&T forums. I think there are a few bugs that need to be fixed.

Perhaps you would be willing to help debug and submit patches for core URL issues? In my thinking, there is no reason for add-on SEF URL tools that override the core. If you want to adjust the plug, that's one thing, but redoing URLs in an independent extension is not a good idea.
Hi Amy,

I don't agree with you with the fact that I should use the SEF urls from the core. I do think that a custom extension is necessary for URL rewriting. Why? Because for SEO purpose you want to define clean path's and clean filenames in the URL and you want to have full control over the URL's. The only way to achieve this is to make an URL rewriting plugin. In fact it's almost finished and I'm building the backend admin for the extension to manage the SEF urls. So we will release it.  ;) under GPL but with a support model attached to it.

Also the itemid issues is solved in the SEF url plugin and it's working great. For example I can now define paths like: /menu-alias/section-alias/category-alias/article-alias or any combination what you like to configure, for example /menu-alias/title-alias and this can (is not necessary) depend on the itemid.

The reason why I'm building the SEF url plugin is that it is in my opinion necessary for good SEO, therefor the standard SEF system plugin (the default router) iis lacking some major functionalities.
In regards of performance it's also better to use the SEF extension we are building since once the URL's are created no more database lookups are necessary. The default router reads the MENU table's to fix the mentioned itemid issue. These are not cached but at each page request these queries are made. If you have a lot of menu elements this could be causing some performance / memory issues (I've seen some sites with a large number of menu items). The SEF extensions supports URL caching.

Another issue in regards of SEF urls  is the support for legacy URL rewriting for the legacy components. This is done with the 1.0x sef_ext.php file in the components. This should be supported within the URL rewritting and I working on this as well.

The extension is combined with a plugin which 'replace' the main router functionality. This is really great in 1.5!

Also notice that I've been working to patch the 1.5 for SEO on the HTML creating part. Therefor I've contact Wilco / Johan and made patches but this is still not in the current 1.5 release due to the time frames to release 1.5 final, It will be l be on the roadmap for 1.6 >> In my professional opinion 1.5 is a great CMS / application framework but still lacks good support for SEO which is necessary
- Good, meaningful URL's
- Good titles (which is not working well in 1.5)
- Good META titles support (full control over the html head section and to be able to define custom META fields)
- Good HTTP head support (full control over the http HEAD settings, but this is discussed before by Phil Taylor somewhere in the forums).

Regards,

Richard

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Re: Search Engine Friendly URLs

Post by AmyStephen » Thu Oct 18, 2007 4:15 pm

spiderglobe wrote: Hi Amy,

I don't agree with you with the fact that I should use the SEF urls from the core. I do think that a custom extension is necessary for URL rewriting.
I think it's obvious we don't agree.  I agree on that! ;)
spiderglobe wrote: Why? Because for SEO purpose you want to define clean path's and clean filenames in the URL and you want to have full control over the URL's. The only way to achieve this is to make an URL rewriting plugin. In fact it's almost finished and I'm building the backend admin for the extension to manage the SEF urls. So we will release it.  ;) under GPL but with a support model attached to it.
If you are only changing the plug, then I don't see an issue. You can make use of Johan's routing, then. Then, all extensions can be written to the core routing standard. Then, we don't create a situation like we have today where certain extensions work with certain SEF URL tools and not others. It's a mess and it's time it stops.

But, changing the plug is fine, in fact, the alias is how Johan allows that in articles and menu items. There's a bit more that can be done with some components, maybe? Fine, that could be a nice little plugin that doesn't impact third party extensions.

But, that's not what OpenSEF does today.
spiderglobe wrote: Also the itemid issues is solved in the SEF url plugin and it's working great. For example I can now define paths like: /menu-alias/section-alias/category-alias/article-alias or any combination what you like to configure, for example /menu-alias/title-alias and this can (is not necessary) depend on the itemid.
This is what I would encourage discussion on. Your examples did NOT USE the SEF URLs. So, I want to hear what problem you are trying to solve with the core SEF URLs in place. I have found *one* problem with system-generated duplicate content and I reported it to see if it can be resolved. Instead of building another code base to solve the problems, why not work as a community? Johan's got this thing in good shape. I'd like to see the examples of duplicate content you are trying to solve WITH SEF URLs on.

RSS feeds - are great; Search results - great; Frontpage "read more" and title links - great; module links - great! I've been paying very close attention to this and I am not seeing a problem - with the exception of the one I reported.

I could be - and have been - and will be wrong -  ;) - but, I sure would like to see some examples! And, if I'd like to see us work together to solve those in the core.  8)
spiderglobe wrote: The reason why I'm building the SEF url plugin is that it is in my opinion necessary for good SEO, therefor the standard SEF system plugin (the default router) iis lacking some major functionalities.
I get the need for "good SEO" - but, I do not understand what you see as specifically missing from the core SEF URLs. Let's not talk in generalities - let's use reproducible examples.

Again, your examples above were *not* SEF URLs - those were the parameter URLs. Frankly, I'd recommend the core install default SEF URLs on so that people don't have to think about it at all. There is no reason to use the parameter URLs that I can think of. Johan has this working with Apache rewrite - with Apache rewrite you have added benefit of no /index.php/ - and now, drop dead sexy file extensions for .html and .pdf and yadda, yadda, yadda. You can use article and menu alias for your plug. What more would we want?
spiderglobe wrote: In regards of performance it's also better to use the SEF extension we are building since once the URL's are created no more database lookups are necessary. The default router reads the MENU table's to fix the mentioned itemid issue. These are not cached but at each page request these queries are made. If you have a lot of menu elements this could be causing some performance / memory issues (I've seen some sites with a large number of menu items). The SEF extensions supports URL caching.
Richard - anyone who tries to work around the menu table is asking for trouble. Like it or not, the ItemID *is* the driving force inside of Joomla!. Having said that, if there are performance issues, let's see examples - get those reported - work on patches - get it into core. I am *not* seeing these performance issues nor am I seeing any reports of these problems on the forums and I am here A LOT!

Furthermore, I've seen a great deal of work done in the performance caching area, so there are core options available - with lots of options - for performance gains.
spiderglobe wrote: Another issue in regards of SEF urls  is the support for legacy URL rewriting for the legacy components. This is done with the 1.0x sef_ext.php file in the components. This should be supported within the URL rewritting and I working on this as well.
URL re-writing for legacy URLs is a different issue than SEF URLs for Joomla! v 1.5. It should not even be the same extension. There is a system plugin for redirects for v 1.0.x system SEF URLs right now. Some building on that concept as extensions are migrated will be important, certainly. I hope that is part of the migration plan extension providers consider as they get their extensions ready for v 1.5.
spiderglobe wrote: The extension is combined with a plugin which 'replace' the main router functionality. This is really great in 1.5!
Wow. I would not do that. And, I cannot imagine recommending anyone use a tool that would override Joomla! v 1.5's router, either. Why in the world would we want to do that to end users? That's the mess we are in today with these SEF URL tools. If you buy an extension for third party developer X, you are REQUIRED to purchase the SEF URL tool for third party developer Y.

Sticking to the core router means ALL extensions use the same approach and end users benefit.
spiderglobe wrote: Also notice that I've been working to patch the 1.5 for SEO on the HTML creating part. Therefor I've contact Wilco / Johan and made patches but this is still not in the current 1.5 release due to the time frames to release 1.5 final, It will be l be on the roadmap for 1.6 >>
Charl is working on semantic xHTML with the beginnings of improved microformats that can be used with some "fixing" now and will be available very soon after v 1.5 ships. I hope we see that in core for v 1.6. I'd be shocked if we didn't. That's what will help tons in SEO and I am rolling it into my v 1.5 sites now, many are.
spiderglobe wrote: In my professional opinion 1.5 is a great CMS / application framework but still lacks good support for SEO which is necessary
- Good, meaningful URL's
- Good titles (which is not working well in 1.5)
- Good META titles support (full control over the html head section and to be able to define custom META fields)
- Good HTTP head support (full control over the http HEAD settings, but this is discussed before by Phil Taylor somewhere in the forums).

Regards,

Richard
I urge you to share *examples* of those things that you see as issues. It's time to work together as a community and build up the core functionality where we see it lacking. I am seeing very good things in this area. I am certainly willing to work with you to document the problems if you can show them to me. Walk my posts and you'll see - this is an area I've been focusing on with people. To this point, Richard, I have found ONE error and I reported it and linked to the report for you.

You will rarely see me this emphatic about not building an extension. URLs are core issues. It's time to think of the end user. Building SEF URL "correction" tools outside of core means not all extensions will be built that way. That hurts end users. FURTHERMORE and MOST IMPORTANTLY, reasons for SEF URLs in the past are gone. Johan has solved this problem in the core. If there are issues, we should get those issues reported, documented, and submit patches to get it in core.

With respect,
Amy :)

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Re: Search Engine Friendly URLs

Post by spiderglobe » Thu Oct 18, 2007 5:38 pm

Amy,

To be honest I don't think that you understand the issue over here. Problem with the standard router in 1.5 is that you have Joomla specific elements in the URLS and that you cann't configure this.

The SEF extensions provide this functionality to have more control over the URL's. Examples? See overhere:
/home should be the standard / No double suffixes for the same pages;
/more-about-joomla/29-the-cms/24-content-layouts ==> /more_about_joomla/cms/content_layouts.html
or
/more-about-joomla/29-the-cms/24-content-layouts ==> /joomla/more_about_joomla/cms/content_layouts.html

/more-about-joomla/29-the-cms/24-content-layouts?format=pdf should be /more_about_joomla/cms/content_layout.pdf

/extensions/26-extensions?start=3 should be /extensions/how_they_work/page3.html

Notice word filter, character filtering, space character replacement (this should be a _ instead of the -)
etc. etc. etc.
Also I dont like to show the visitors that my CMS system is used by Joomla, although I like Joomla I want to prevent as much as possible to show this for known hacks. That is also why I want to have full control over the generate HTML, special the HEAD sections. No META tag generator Joomla, no custom HTTP head settings for the cache etc... FULL CONTROL is necessary for the SEO campaigns. No ? and & or any numbers in the URL  that has no purposes are allowed over here....

This can only be achieved by a custom extension where the URL are stored within a database table with an URL cache. 

Custom URL's should be created and redirect to some article / pages for example if you have a specific marketing campaign.

Also notice that "opensource matters": The choice should be to the site owner to choice which extension he wants to use for the SEO / URL purposes. If you think that the default SEF rewritter is good enough you obviously  don't need the extension but several of my clients are requesting for it because the standard SEF rewriter in 1.5 is not good enough and they want full control over the URL's and they want to migrate to 1.5. I do listen to my customers since they pay my bread for my childeren  ;)
of core means not all extensions will be built that way
This is not true. The extension will overrule the default router  but will still use the router functionality if available in the separated extensions as they do under the default 1.5 router. In the SEF extensions you will have the ability to use / write your own pluggins  to overrule these standard router files present at the current extensions: this will give you more flexibility with the standard router files currently present, again give the site owner full control over the URL's.

About the HTML part I've contact with Wilco and before with Johan. Problem is the deadline with the 1.5 and thereby the issue is moved to the 1.6 release. For my customers is this not acceptable. So we will release a patch for our customers which gives them full control over the HTML head section and HTTP header. Custom META tags, control over the Google META tags, the robot tag,, etc.. This is really necessary for SEO and this is not included within the current 1.5 RC3!

Also I don't want to discus the license issue over here but in your suggestions in the past GPL discussion you said that we should look to other business models. Well this is another business model for us. We will release the SEF extension under the GPL license but with a support business model under it. So the code is free, the service not.

Regards,

Richard

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Re: Search Engine Friendly URLs

Post by aliens » Thu Oct 18, 2007 5:56 pm

I have to agree with Richard. Releasing a SEO extension right now is extremely useful for many webmasters.

Also, while the core SEF module of Joomla! 1.5 is gonna improve, it will never include all the features that people will want (therefor the purpose of having extensions), not to mention not all people would really need focused SEO for their website/marketing campaign, so those ones can enable the SEF core options for just having nice urls.

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Re: Search Engine Friendly URLs

Post by AmyStephen » Thu Oct 18, 2007 6:01 pm

Richard -

I might be misunderstanding your plans.

In this post, I understood you to say you planned to replace the core router functionality?
spiderglobe wrote: The extension is combined with a plugin which 'replace' the main router functionality.
But these examples you provide in your last post are just changing the plugs - using the core router:
spiderglobe wrote: Examples? See overhere:
/home should be the standard / No double suffixes for the same pages;
/more-about-joomla/29-the-cms/24-content-layouts ==> /more_about_joomla/cms/content_layouts.html
or
/more-about-joomla/29-the-cms/24-content-layouts ==> /joomla/more_about_joomla/cms/content_layouts.html

/more-about-joomla/29-the-cms/24-content-layouts?format=pdf should be /more_about_joomla/cms/content_layout.pdf

/extensions/26-extensions?start=3 should be /extensions/how_they_work/page3.html
That's not overriding the core router. That's changing the plug.

As long as extensions are still using Johan's router API, I've got no problem with your plans.

But, your xHTML issues will be solved in core in v 1.6 with Charl's semantic web project. SOON after v 1.5 goes live, he'll release that work as an extension. No one's customers will have to wait for that. Like I said before, I'm using it *now*.

Thanks for explaining this - again, Johan solved the system-generated duplicate content issues - there are no ItemID issues in v 1.5. Your examples are for changing the plug for some components and introducing the semantic improvements that Charl will also be offering and will soon be in core.

++++

@aliens - Please give me an example of something you can't do in v 1.5 related to SEO? That's what I am trying to understand. We have Charl's Semantic xHTML with Microformats, for crying out loud! And, we have SEF URLs and NO duplicate system content. NO ItemID issues. All I see is plug changes. Do you know how easy it would be to create a plug that changed the "-" to "_"?

Before everyone gives up on v 1.5 and goes back to layers of SEF URL software, let's really articulate a problem and demonstrate how it cannot be solved with the core functionality (or SOON to be core functionality) we have now! That's what is best for end users.

Keep the discussion going - let's get specifics documented!
Amy :)

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Re: Search Engine Friendly URLs

Post by spiderglobe » Thu Oct 18, 2007 6:25 pm

@aliens - Please give me an example of something you can't do in v 1.5 related to SEO? That's what I am trying to understand. We have Charl's Semantic xHTML with Microformats, for crying out loud! And, we have SEF URLs and NO duplicate system content. NO ItemID issues. All I see is plug changes. Do you know how easy it would be to create a plug that changed the "-" to "_"?
ehhh can we skype about this issue? Its not the generated HTML but what you can place inside of the HTML, special the HEAD section.

There is a lot to explain in this field.  And about the "-" into "_" yes this is easy: see our extension  ;)

About the change: We made a system plugin that the user can activate. This replace the standard routing functionality, see the code below of the system plugin. What it does it the replacement of the default router. This is one of the great things what you can do in 1.5! So no we dont use the default router functionality, we extended the default router class and replaced a lot of the functions in the class with our own functions.

Code: Select all

<?php
/*
* @version		$Id: xxxxxxxx.php 30 2007-10-11 21:24:24Z richard $
* @package		xxxxxxxx
* @subpackage	Plugin - System 
* @copyright	Copyright (C) 2005 - 2007 xxxxxxxx.org 
* @license		GNU/GPL, see LICENSE.php
* 
*/
// Check to ensure this file is within the rest of the framework
defined('JPATH_BASE') or die();


class  plgSystemxxxxxxxx extends JPlugin {
	
	function plgSystemxxxxxxxx(& $subject, $config) {
		parent::__construct($subject, $config);
	}
	
	/*
	 * Assign the new router for the SEF URL rewritting;
	 */
	
	function onAfterInitialise() {
		global $mainframe;
		if($mainframe->isAdmin()) {
		 	return;
		 }
		// check if xxxxxxxx is enabled
		require_once (JPATH_ADMINISTRATOR.DS.'components'.DS.'com_xxxxxxxx'.DS.'config'.DS.'configuration.php' );
		$sef_config =  new xxxxxxxx_configuration();
		 
		if ( $sef_config->mode == 1) {
			$router =& $mainframe->getRouter();		
			require_once (JPATH_ADMINISTRATOR.DS.'components'.DS.'com_xxxxxxxx'.DS.'includes'.DS.'mainrouter.php' );
			$router = new xxxxxxxxRouter();
		}
					
	}?>
We need to register the domain name that why the xxxxx apear....
Last edited by spiderglobe on Thu Oct 18, 2007 6:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Search Engine Friendly URLs

Post by AmyStephen » Thu Oct 18, 2007 7:12 pm

Richard -

I think I am down to a few basic questions:

1. Do you agree Joomla! v 1.5 does not create system generated duplicate content with SEF URLs on? (If you don't agree, how does it do so?)

2. I understand you prefer an "_" to a "-". But, Google's SEO expert Matt Cutt says he prefers dashes for SEO. But, we both agree, a simple plugin could allow you to change it to an underscore, if you like. (I plan to follow Matt's lead.  ;) )

3. Aside from the previous point, would you please share the specific menu item choices that create URLs you do not like *and* that cannot be "fixed" by using the alias functionality built into core? That would be helpful.

4. What specific HEAD section improvements do you propose be made? And, do you agree that these are not "OpenSEF" issues? But rather SEO improvements?

5. Also, have you reviewed Charl's work? And do you see his template overrides with more pure, semantic form and Microformats as helpful and absolutely *hugely* important for SEO optimization?

While I don't have Skype available where I am right now, feel free to add me - AmyStephen - and we can certainly Skype some other time. I look forward to it!

Thanks much!
Amy :)

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Re: Search Engine Friendly URLs

Post by spiderglobe » Thu Oct 18, 2007 7:27 pm

1. Do you agree Joomla! v 1.5 does not create system generated duplicate content with SEF URLs on? (If you don't agree, how does it do so?)
Not agreed. Just copy a menu item (for example in the default 1.5RC3 more about Joomla) and you will see the same SEF URL. This because the URL is based on the menu alias.
2. I understand you prefer an "_" to a "-". But, Google's SEO expert Matt Cutt says he prefers dashes for SEO. But, we both agree, a simple plugin could allow you to change it to an underscore, if you like.
Actual this is a discussion item. Some preferrer _ and others prefer -. Eitherway it should be configurable because ranking algorithms of the search engines change frequently.
3. Aside from the previous point, would you please share the specific menu item choices that create URLs you do not like *and* that cannot be "fixed" by using the alias functionality built into core? That would be helpful.
It is not only the menu items (these are the starting points. And yes, the basic alias is a good improvement but it should be part of the whole URL path for example if you have a blog section attached to a menu element it should be for an article: /menu-alias/section-alias/cat-alias/article-alias (of course depending on the configuration part)
What specific HEAD section improvements do you propose be made? And, do you agree that these are not "OpenSEF" issues? But rather SEO improvements?
Lol, I was part of the opensef team. No these are not opensef related. Opensef was an URL rewritting tool. I just want to have full control over my title tag (currently not supported good enough), want to add custom META tag fields, for example to prevent Google to include some pages in the cache, to prevent Google to display a summary, full control over the robots tag, etc.. See the improvement that I've made a few months ago:  http://www.alledia.com/blog/joomla-1.5/ ... oomla-1.5/
5. Also, have you reviewed Charl's work? And do you see his template overrides with more pure, semantic form and Microformats as helpful and absolutely *hugely* important for SEO optimization?
That is not the case. HTML is great, special the override, but it's meanly the HEAD section and the HTTP HEAD settings (for example the cache settings and other added values in the http head).

Will sure add you to my skype and discuss this sometime with you.

Had a discussion with Wilco a few weeks ago. What it lacks in the core team is a focus on good SEO implementation of Joomla. There should be a workgroup or somekind of team that handle these issues. Note: also the internal search engine can use some improvements...

Regards,

Richard

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Re: Search Engine Friendly URLs

Post by alledia » Thu Oct 18, 2007 9:02 pm

Hey All

1.5 is a step forward but a SEF URL component will still be a necessity for many sites. A sample of reasons:

1) Migrations where its important to maintain the old URLs, especially if they use an extension (.html, .asp etc) rather than a trailing slash or if they use _ rather than - etc.

2) Automapping. I'm always grateful to you Amy, when you link to one of our blog posts, but the RSS feed provides the non-SEF URL. With automapping I can get a 301 redirect to the SEF URL. That solves a lot of duplicate content problems created non-SEF extensions.

3) HTML titles separate from page titles. The #1 factor in on-page SEO.

In short, I'll continue building sites for clients in 1.5, but not if SEO is important to them. In that case I'll wait until something like sh404SEF or Artio comes out for 1.5.
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Re: Search Engine Friendly URLs

Post by spiderglobe » Thu Oct 18, 2007 9:07 pm

In short, I'll continue building sites for clients in 1.5, but not if SEO is important to them. In that case I'll wait until something like sh404SEF or Artio comes out for 1.5.
Or the mentioned  extension of course!

Regards,

Richard

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Re: Search Engine Friendly URLs

Post by AmyStephen » Thu Oct 18, 2007 9:42 pm

spiderglobe wrote:
1. Do you agree Joomla! v 1.5 does not create system generated duplicate content with SEF URLs on? (If you don't agree, how does it do so?)
Not agreed. Just copy a menu item (for example in the default 1.5RC3 more about Joomla) and you will see the same SEF URL. This because the URL is based on the menu alias.
You did not understand my question. "System generated duplicate content" is a condition where Joomla! creates more than one URL for an article *instead of* using a URL the article already has defined. The "most famous" example of this was the frontpage "read more" in v 1.0.12. The ItemID for articles on the frontpage was always 1. That is *not* the URL for the menu item. Now, frontpage "read more" URLs link to an existing menu item URL. The same was true of v 1.5 search results - not any longer. RSS Feeds also were ItemID = 1, no longer true. Joomla! v 1.5 does not create a new URL, it uses one available.

We have also had modules - most popular - latest news - etc. - that created used the ItemID for the menu item they appeared on. That creates duplicate content. No longer does that happen. In Joomla! v 1.5, those links get you to an existing menu item URL. They don't create their own.

One of the functions of the SEF URL tools was not really a SEF function but it compensated for duplicate content in the system by taking all of those URLs - like you listed above for the parameterized URLs and routing them to one URL so that Google did not penalize the site for duplicate content. That problem has been resolved *when* you use SEF URLs in v 1.5

Does that make sense? And, do you now agree with my point?
2. I understand you prefer an "_" to a "-". But, Google's SEO expert Matt Cutt says he prefers dashes for SEO. But, we both agree, a simple plugin could allow you to change it to an underscore, if you like.
Actual this is a discussion item. Some preferrer _ and others prefer -. Eitherway it should be configurable because ranking algorithms of the search engines change frequently.
Richard - I agree some prefer one way or the other. I was responding to your use of the word "SHOULD" in the quote, below. To counter your claim, I pointed out that the Google SEO expert thinks it SHOULD be the way Johan has it. :P
spiderglobe wrote: Notice word filter, character filtering, space character replacement (this should be a _ instead of the -)
3. Aside from the previous point, would you please share the specific menu item choices that create URLs you do not like *and* that cannot be "fixed" by using the alias functionality built into core? That would be helpful.


It is not only the menu items (these are the starting points. And yes, the basic alias is a good improvement but it should be part of the whole URL path for example if you have a blog section attached to a menu element it should be for an article: /menu-alias/section-alias/cat-alias/article-alias (of course depending on the configuration part)
I *completely* disagree with forcing the section and category into the URL. The way it is where I get to choose by providing the alias is better. But, still, it would be good to see examples of the specifics of where you see the URL not good enough.

The truth is, for the most part, the URLs *are* completely configurable. There are examples where you lose control of the naming - for example the link manager - after you drill down into a specific category page. But, by and large, this is already customizable, given the work that has been accomplished.
What specific HEAD section improvements do you propose be made? And, do you agree that these are not "OpenSEF" issues? But rather SEO improvements?
Lol, I was part of the opensef team. No these are not opensef related. Opensef was an URL rewritting tool.
BINGO! That's what I wanted to reach an agreement with you on. It is really important to be clear on language so that end users understand. It's time to recognize the AMAZING advancements that have been made with SEF URLs in Joomla! v 1.5. Let's be careful NOT to lump all SEO topics into SEF URLs. It's not the same thing!

The truth is external SEF URL tools are not needed for creating decent SEF URLs. Johan has done that for us. If you want to change a dash to an underscore, fine. A quick plugin will do that. If you simply have to get rid of a handful of URLs with a number in it, fine, again, that's an easy plugin.

But, let us recognized that Joomla! v 1.5 no longer has system-generated duplicate content. (Although I have reported and linked to one error that I know of.)

There are beautiful URLs we can largely control using the alias.

In a minor minor minor handful of cases, we do not have complete control over the URL. But, it's MINOR.
  • You can use without .htaccess.;
  • With .htaccess, you can get rid of /index.php/;
  • You can also choose to have extensions that are appropriate for the type of page (.html, .pdf., .whatever...)
I just want to have full control over my title tag (currently not supported good enough), want to add custom META tag fields, for example to prevent Google to include some pages in the cache, to prevent Google to display a summary, full control over the robots tag, etc.. See the improvement that I've made a few months ago:  http://www.alledia.com/blog/joomla-1.5/ ... oomla-1.5/
Excellent! But, that is not an SEF URL tool function, like you just agree to. That is an SEO Extension. Given the work accomplished with SEF URLs by Johan - thank you very much! - we can now focus on SEO improvements and separate that discussion from the SEF URL.
5. Also, have you reviewed Charl's work? And do you see his template overrides with more pure, semantic form and Microformats as helpful and absolutely *hugely* important for SEO optimization?
That is not the case. HTML is great, special the override, but it's meanly the HEAD section and the HTTP HEAD settings (for example the cache settings and other added values in the http head).
It's great work and if you are talking about SEO advancements, take a look at Charl's work as one such tool for your toolbelt. Especially with the Microformat work in there. If you say your customers "won't wait" then make certain you consider giving them that great stuff, too! 8)

But, I understand you are talking about the HEAD section and the HTTP HEAD settings. Fine. That's good, too. But, it's not SEF URLs; it's SEO work.
Will sure add you to my skype and discuss this sometime with you.
Look forward to it!  8)
Had a discussion with Wilco a few weeks ago. What it lacks in the core team is a focus on good SEO implementation of Joomla. There should be a workgroup or somekind of team that handle these issues. Note: also the internal search engine can use some improvements...

Regards,

Richard
What the core team lacks, Richard, is time and resources. We can help with that as a community by helping.  8)

+++

OK - I'm completely satisfied that you want an SEO extension and services and those are needed and should be good for the end user community to provide. But, let's focus on helping the core team nail these URLs in the Joomla! core.

Do we agree on that?

I *know* you have expert knowledge. Thanks VERY MUCH for your patience and clarification and working this out. You are to be commended for your willingness to discuss this until we had understanding. Way cool!
Amy :)

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Re: Search Engine Friendly URLs

Post by Jinx » Thu Oct 18, 2007 9:56 pm

Oke, kids, relax.  8). I almost got hit by a flying forum post while entering the room ;)  Let me shed some light on this one. First of all Amy thanks for trying to defend my work you did great and I'm honoured but I'm afraid that Richard is correct in his statements and his effort is exactly what I had hoped would happen.

Out of the box Joomla! 1.5 solves a lot of problems Joomla! 1.0 has, we didn't solve all of them however. Partly because we didn't have the time to do so, partly because we don't think that all those issues should be solved in the core and partly because we are intending to rework the menu manager for 1.6/1.7 to become a full blow page manager.

What we did in 1.5 we did with developers like Richard in mind. Our goal has always been to offer a robust and flexible framework that allows people to override and extend the core. This is exactly what Richard is trying to do and it's great to hear he's capable of doing so. To me it means we have succesfully achieved our goals for 1.5.

Richard is correct by pointing out that 1.5 has made huge leaps forward in the area of SEF and SEO. I personaly believe that out of the box our core SEF solution will suit 75% of users. There are offcourse always people that need/want more control. Those people will need a true URL manager, a component that offers them a UI to manage and fine-tune their URL's. This is not included in 1.5 and it's great that he has taken up the effort to built one. The fact that he has decided to license it GPL and built a service business model around it I can only applaud.

No Joomla! version can be everything to everyone, we can only try to create the needed flexibility to allow people like Richard and Steve to built advanced SEF and SEO solutions. If people like Richard use a GPL license for their work we will be able to integrate parts of their code in future versions. In the end this is exactly what Joomla! is all about, step by step, together we are building a great CMS for all of us.
Last edited by Jinx on Thu Oct 18, 2007 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Search Engine Friendly URLs

Post by AmyStephen » Thu Oct 18, 2007 10:35 pm

Agree with most of what you said Johan, certainly the spirit of your post. But, given where we have come from, though, I just urge we be articulate with our word choice so that we don't confuse end users. Saying everything is an SEF URL problem is confusing to non-geeky people.

So that everyone understands, I was pointed to this thread from a long running thread where we were sorting out RC 3 problems.
  • Many are having problems with PHP 4.3.x. It appears something happened in the URLs that cause that release to fail. So, when they upgrade, it works.
  • Others are having problems with an Article-section-blog link. I can reproduce that problem and submitted it to the Q&T forum to be fixed.
  • One person pointed out system generated duplicate content. I've linked to this a number of times in this thread and have reported it to the Q&T forum to be fixed.
I've logged on to many people's websites to try to understand what's going on.

Do you know how many end users want to throw in the towel and say - we will just wait until an SEF URL extension is available? Why if it's not an SEF URL problem? I have found *one.*

I'm also proud of your willingness, Richard to use the GPL and to find an appropriate business model. And, given your reputation as a smart person, very knowledgeable and hard working, I will recommend your work to others who need that work.

Johan, I am very proud of your work and surprised, frankly, with what you have been able to overcome with the SEF URLs because I *do* understand ItemIDs in Joomla! and for a couple of years now, I have worked many long running threads and worked with many frustrated end users to overcome problems we have had in our system.

But, my feelings about the two of you are not what drives my questions in this thread to build a common understanding. It's the hundreds of end users who I have tried to help and will continue to help that I am advocating for.

Please, let us be articulate and clear with our language:
  • URL Migration tools are needed - but can *still* use Joomla! core SEF URLs with those tools. I am migrating several sites to Joomla! and will use redirects to accommodate these issues.
  • Joomla! v 1.5 has gotten rid of system generated duplicate content. So, many of the old problems people might be afraid of are now gone. Let's be clear about that. Steve - I will look at RSS feeds again. Awhile back, it looked good to me. If it's creating a new URL, then, yes, that's a problem, IMO.
  • Changing the plug is fine. I've said that each time I've posted in this thread. But, that doesn't have to change the router function and it won't lock out developers. And, it's not needed for ALL.
  • We do not need a dozen SEF URL tools where end users get forced into buying specific solutions. That's a real problem with our 1.0.x series and we all know it. Let's keep things open and work together for end users.
  • SEO Optimization is great! But, it's not an SEF URL tool. In other words, you don't have to give up core URLs to use an SEO Optimization tool.
Clarity, guys. That's what I am hoping for. And, I'd like to see us work together on behalf of end users. It was a good discussion and I hope we have more of these. We can hammer technical issues out and be the better for it.
Amy :)

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Re: Search Engine Friendly URLs

Post by Jinx » Thu Oct 18, 2007 10:54 pm

AmyStephen wrote: Please, let us be articulate and clear with our language:
  • URL Migration tools are needed - but can *still* use Joomla! core SEF URLs with those tools. I am migrating several sites to Joomla! and will use redirects to accommodate these issues.
  • Joomla! v 1.5 has gotten rid of system generated duplicate content. So, many of the old problems people might be afraid of are now gone. Let's be clear about that. Steve - I will look at RSS feeds again. Awhile back, it looked good to me. If it's creating a new URL, then, yes, that's a problem, IMO.
  • Changing the plug is fine. I've said that each time I've posted in this thread. But, that doesn't have to change the router function and it won't lock out developers. And, it's not needed for ALL.
  • We do not need a dozen SEF URL tools where end users get forced into buying specific solutions. That's a real problem with our 1.0.x series and we all know it. Let's keep things open and work together for end users.
  • SEO Optimization is great! But, it's not an SEF URL tool. In other words, you don't have to give up core URLs to use an SEO Optimization tool.
I fully agree on that. Clear language is needed and your  list nails down pretty good what 1.5 strives too and what other tools still need to solve.

I can understand that from a user perception SEF in 1.5 is still a bit buggy, we  have traveled a long way to make it happen. Any help to fix the last remaining bugs is very welcome.  I haven't been able to do much bug fixing after RC3, other community matters needed my full attention.

Johan
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Re: Search Engine Friendly URLs

Post by alledia » Thu Oct 18, 2007 11:43 pm

Jinx

Initially I was disappointed at the fact that Richard's metadata improvements weren't included in 1.5, but you dropped a really interesting nugget of information in your post that enables me to see the decision in a much more positive light:
we are intending to rework the menu manager for 1.6/1.7 to become a full blow page manager.
:)
Installing an SEO plugin or metadata patch only takes 5 minutes anyway.
Within 2 -3  weeks we will launch the BETA for the URL rewriting for 1.5.
 

:)
Last edited by alledia on Thu Oct 18, 2007 11:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Search Engine Friendly URLs

Post by spiderglobe » Fri Oct 19, 2007 6:09 am

I think we have a status quo over here.  :-\

@Jinx: I must say that the router is really improved and gives default nice URL's. But for our SEO business the default is not good enough. I hope that you understand this.

I don't believe you want to include full blown URL rewriting in the core looking at the needed functionalities and configuration aspects. Please let the team focus on the core code self: the application framework and the CMS and the road to 2.0(!) Let the community take care of the add-on functionality and let the community develop extensions and plugins to fill the gap between offered out of the box functionality and needed functionality. The current 1.5 release offers a great plugin architecture. In this way you can let the community develop the extensions they needed and fill in the gaps between offered functionality and needed functionality.

For example we have made a 'roadmap' for the URL rewriting tools based on SEO needed aspects. Examples of the functionalities we want to develop are:
- Generating a Google sitemap, therefor you will need an admin tool to manage your urls and the URLs need to be stored within a table.
- Fetching incoming traffic that is from search engines: fetching the keywords how the pages is found and related this to the URL repository and generated reports about this and based on these statistic adjust 'bad' ranking URL's based on the incoming traffic statistics.
- Enabling custom redirects or modules based on the incoming traffic of search engines. Example some one seek for red roses for which he has an hi ranking in Google, but when the visitors comes on his site he also wants to show alternative pages links (for example in a module).
- Reporting modules for the google Adwords (tracking the incoming traffic)
- Enabling 301 redirects in stead of showing a 404 page which removes the pages from the search engine indexes.

And some more functionality. This functionality can not be maintained within the core code. I hope you agree on that.

So final words on this topic (I must finish the URL rewriting extension  ;) for my customers).

@Jinx. About the SEO / META fields. As soon as the final release is released I will look at the code and I will make a patch against the SVN of how custom meta fields can be added (I need to do this anyway for my customers). I will try as much as possible to avoid hacking the core code but I think I cann't avoid this. If then someone of the core team can make some time available we can walk through the code and see how it fits within the core code self and if it can be included into the core on a short time notice.

Richard

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Re: Search Engine Friendly URLs

Post by markos » Fri Oct 19, 2007 6:33 am

Some good comments in here guys  :D

Just to throw my 2c in, my SEF needs aren't really that great but the one reason I would possibly move to an extension to manage my URL's is that I can't stand the current format which includes the ID numbers of the sections/category's.

/more-about-joomla/29-the-cms/24-content-layouts.html  for example....

I would much prefer to see:  /more-about-joomla/the-cms/content-layouts.html

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Re: Search Engine Friendly URLs

Post by alledia » Fri Oct 19, 2007 12:56 pm

I would much prefer to see:  /more-about-joomla/the-cms/content-layouts.html
I guess you'll need Richards tool then.

Adwords integrations, related page modules, google sitemaps ... shaping up to be a very interesting extension indeed.

Hi Amy

Just to explain the automapping problem a bit more clearly  ... its not creating a new URL, its just outputting it in index.php format. Even with SEF URLs turned on in 1.0, lots of modules, mambots and components still produce non-SEF URLs.

I haven't tested enough with 1.5 to confirm that the problem still exists. I doubt it does in the core, but I'm pretty sure it will exist with third party add-ons. Automapping is a great solution. Because we have automapping turned on, it doesn't matter at all which URL you use to link to our site, we're just grateful when you do :)
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