SEF Urls problem

Discuss Search Engine Optimization in relation to Joomla! 3.x. This forum will also have discussions on SEF/SEO Joomla! 3.x extensions.

Moderator: General Support Moderators

Forum rules
Forum Rules
Absolute Beginner's Guide to Joomla! <-- please read before posting, this means YOU.
Forum Post Assistant - If you are serious about wanting help, you will use this tool to help you post.
Post Reply
tm4yweb
Joomla! Apprentice
Joomla! Apprentice
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2018 6:11 am

SEF Urls problem

Post by tm4yweb » Fri Aug 31, 2018 6:27 am

Ok, so I'm stumped.

I recently found my Google rankings has gone down the drain. When I logged into Google Search Console I found that Google has indexed multiple URLs to the same pages, some of them very weird.

Here's an example:

Website: https://www.kiddiesthemeparties.co.za/

Page Sample:

Beach Party and Tiki Bar
/hiring-equipment/beach-party-and-tiki-bar.html
/hiring-equipment/beach-party-and-tiki-bar/47-birthday-party-themes.html
/hiring-equipment/beach-party-and-tiki-bar/52-party-services.html
/hiring-equipment/beach-party-and-tiki-bar/8-frontpage.html

Only the first URL is in my Sitemap and on a menu item on my website.
The next 3 URLs do not exist. Google are adding random pages to the menu structure for some reason.
These are not even pages on my website. It is pages being "put together" with random content, but the same URL, Page Title and Meta Description as the original page.

I then did some testing and found the following:

Any URL on my website can be "duplicated" by doing the following:

Example:

Valid URL in my sitemap:
https://www.kiddiesthemeparties.co.za/t ... hairs.html
If I type the URL as follows, it also shows the same page:
https://www.kiddiesthemeparties.co.za/tiffany-chairs/

And for some reason Google is indexing these pages and adding non-related pages to this.

Example:

/hiring-equipment/beach-party-and-tiki-bar/8-frontpage.html

8-frontpage.html is nowhere to be found in my menu structures or Sitemap.

My SEO settings in Google are as follows:

SEO Settings
Search Engine Friendly URLs - Yes
Use URL Rewriting - Yes
Adds Suffix to URL - Yes
Unicode Aliases - No
Include Site Name in Page Titles - No

I'm now sitting with an extremely irate SEO client and I don't know how to fix this, other than do rebuild the website in another platform.

Any help would be appreciated.

tm4yweb
Joomla! Apprentice
Joomla! Apprentice
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2018 6:11 am

Re: SEF Urls problem

Post by tm4yweb » Fri Aug 31, 2018 9:36 am

Just a quick update on this.

I've found that you can place any URL on a Joomla site that is not a menu item link to the back of these SEF URLs and it would "create a page".

I have tested this on random Joomla websites I found, irrespective of the Joomla versions.

Thus, let's say you have a SEF url (menu link):

www.mysite.com/sefurl.html
and you have another url, not linked to a menu:
e.g.
www.mysite.com/252-nonmenulink.html

If you type this URL:
www.mysite.com/sefurl/252-nonmenulink.html

a page would come up with the Title, Meta etc. of the first page and the content of the second page.

And in my case Google is "crawling/creating" these pages, even though they don't really exist.

Again, as mentioned, I've randomly Google other Joomla websites on the internet and this happened on all of them, irrespective of the Joomla version.

tm4yweb
Joomla! Apprentice
Joomla! Apprentice
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2018 6:11 am

Re: SEF Urls problem

Post by tm4yweb » Tue Sep 04, 2018 3:31 pm

Yet another update.

I've been reading about this issue the entire day and it seems that thishas been a Joomla bug for years now with no real fix. I have found similar posts online dating back to 2012 and no-one seems to have an answer.

Today I have noticed URLs being indexed by Google that makes absolutely no sense. It has now inexed pages that cannot possibly exist (I think)

I have tested this and basically you can type just about any url into a Joomla site that has no direct menu link and it will show the page e.g.

SEF Url with no direct menu link:

https://www.kiddiesthemeparties.co.za/2 ... plies.html

I can go to Google and submit this page to be indexed, and it will as Joomla shows an actual page on this url:

https://www.kiddiesthemeparties.co.za/i ... plies.html

gws
Joomla! Virtuoso
Joomla! Virtuoso
Posts: 3453
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2005 1:56 pm
Location: South coast, UK
Contact:

Re: SEF Urls problem

Post by gws » Tue Sep 04, 2018 3:55 pm

Are you using the modern routing or default?

User avatar
leolam
Joomla! Master
Joomla! Master
Posts: 19122
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2005 10:17 am
Location: Netherlands/ UK/ S'pore/Jakarta/ North America
Contact:

Re: SEF Urls problem

Post by leolam » Tue Sep 04, 2018 4:31 pm

Check possible "hidden menu's" and delete trashed menu's

Joomla does not create non-existing URL's and Google only reports URL's it finds from your site

Leo 8)
Joomla's #1 Professional Support Provider:
-> Joomla Professional Support: https://gws-desk.com -
-> Joomla Specialized Hosting Solutions: https://gws-host.com -
Member Joomla Bug Squad & Joomla CMS Release Team

tm4yweb
Joomla! Apprentice
Joomla! Apprentice
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2018 6:11 am

Re: SEF Urls problem

Post by tm4yweb » Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:42 am

leolam wrote:
Tue Sep 04, 2018 4:31 pm
Check possible "hidden menu's" and delete trashed menu's

Joomla does not create non-existing URL's and Google only reports URL's it finds from your site

Leo 8)
Hi Leo,

Thanks for the reply. I have deleted all unused/weird menu links already.
As mentioned, I have also tested this on multiple Joomla websites - with the same results. Not just mine.
The pages do "exist", but it is not part of my website or menu structure.

Let me give you an example of Joomla "creating urls that don't really exist".
I'll use the Joomla extension website as a sample.

Take this url:
https://extensions.joomla.org/category/ ... slideshow/
Valid URL.

Now type this:
https://extensions.joomla.org/can-you-s ... slideshow/

Joomla just created a "valid url and page."

And for some weird reason Google has started indexing/crawling pages like this on my websites. I don't know where it is coming from, but it is happening.

Now, my issue is, wherever this is coming from or whoever are submitting/listing these URLs should not matter. It shouldn't happen - period.

Another example of one of my other websites that is not built in Joomla:

https://kaross.co.za/collections/cloths ... bush-cloth
Valid URL.

Now, I cannot type something similar like this on this website and get a valid page:
https://kaross.co.za/wont-happen/collec ... bush-cloth
I now get a 404 error, like I should.

But as you will see from my other previous posts this is only part of my problem.

Regards,
Theo

tm4yweb
Joomla! Apprentice
Joomla! Apprentice
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2018 6:11 am

Re: SEF Urls problem

Post by tm4yweb » Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:01 am

gws wrote:
Tue Sep 04, 2018 3:55 pm
Are you using the modern routing or default?
Hi, I am using the default as this affects all my Joomla websites, old and new.

Thanks.

tm4yweb
Joomla! Apprentice
Joomla! Apprentice
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2018 6:11 am

Re: SEF Urls problem

Post by tm4yweb » Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:25 am

leolam wrote:
Tue Sep 04, 2018 4:31 pm
Check possible "hidden menu's" and delete trashed menu's

Joomla does not create non-existing URL's and Google only reports URL's it finds from your site

Leo 8)
Also, how would you explain these indexed pages?

/hiring-equipment/beach-party-and-tiki-bar.html
/hiring-equipment/beach-party-and-tiki-bar/47-birthday-party-themes.html
/hiring-equipment/beach-party-and-tiki-bar/52-party-services.html
/hiring-equipment/beach-party-and-tiki-bar/8-frontpage.html

The articles above don't even match the categories in the above url. (e.g. 8-frontpage.html belongs to a totally different category. So does 47-birthday-party-themes.html )
Yet, they are being "created" by Joomla and crawled and indexed by Google.

PS: These urls might not work anymore as I am now forced to do manual 301 redirects via .htaccess as these pages are being indexed)


Post Reply

Return to “Search Engine Optimization (Joomla! SEO) in Joomla! 3.x”