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Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
What is Search Engine Friendly URL

Search Engine Friendly URL is a URL location that can be easily understood by the search engine bots.

Take for example the following two URLs:

  1. http://example.com/index.php?topic=1
  2. http://example.com/topic_1.html

Example 1 has a query string in its url. A query string is defined by the section of the URL that exist after the ? , in this case it is ?topic=1.  Based on the existence of this query string we know that this page (http://example.com/index.php?topic=1) is a dynamic page. Most search engines do not index the  dynamic pages.

Example 2 has not query string in its url. Search engine will recognize this as a static web page. Also the file name of the html page gives search engine context by which to index it.

All content management systems generate their pages dynamically. Hence by defaut they will look like example 1. However some of them has this feature that can turn all URLs to look like the format of example 2.

The Following Open Source Content Management Systems has that ability.

  1.  Joomla
  2. WordPress
  3. EzPublish
 
PHPbb Search Engine Optimization

PHPbb is the most popular forum system on the internet. It is an open source and also free of licensing charges. Having a forum on your website allows users to communicate amongst each other. It is a tool that allows you to grow a large community around your website.

 While install a PHPbb forum on your website is easy, its default configuration is not Search Engine Friendly. To configure PHPbb to become search engine friendly you will need to install the following module as well.

 phpBB_SEO_Ultimate_SEO_URL_v0.6.2.zip

I have tested this module on PHPbb version 3.0.6 and 3.0.4

Once you have downloaded this package, you will need to unzip it to a certain location. Once done. You will need to copy all the files from the root folder from this package to the root location of your PHPbb system.

Next you will need to copy the files from the  contrib/phpBB_3.0.6_modified_files/  to the root location of your PHPbb system too.

After you are done with these two steps, you will need to navigate to http://your_phpbb_site/phpbb_seo/phpbb_seo_install.php to install your module. Once that is done you can login to your control panel to configure your PHPbb seo options.

Once that has been configured. You will need to copy the .htaccess content to the .htaccess file in your root location

Thereafter you will need to synchronize your URLS by going to the following location. http://your_phpbb_site/phpbb_seo/sync_url.php

With that you have successfully SEO all the links and URLs  on your PHPbb. 

 
How To Create A Site Map for Search Engines

Optimizing the links and URLS on your PHPbb forum will not be sufficient. There are actually two parts to a PHPbb SEO process. The second part of the process requires you to create a SiteMap which you could submit to the search engines. To do so, you will first need to download the following package

gym_sitemapsV2-0-0.zip

I have tested this on PHPbb version 3.0.6 and version 3.0.4

Once you have done so, simply unzip the contents of the archive to a convenient location.

Next copy the contents from a folder called root in the package to the root location of your PHPbb system.

Navigate to the URL http://your_phpbb_site/gym_sitemaps/gym_install.php to install the module

Go to your ACP to copy the newest .htaccess content to replace update in your .htaccess file

Also you will need to set your forum permission. Set Bots and Guest to read only.

Once that is done you can go see your site map at the following URL  http://your_phpbb_site/gymrss.php

A common problem that occurs when you first install the gym_sitemaps is that you get a 404 error when you navigate to URL  http://your_phpbb_site/gymrss.php which states that the link you are navigating to does not exist. To solve the error you will need to refresh your cache.

To do so you will need to change the content in the following file <phpbb_system_root>/cache/data_gym_auth_forum_guest.php

FROM
$expired = (time() > 129791) ? true : false;
if ($expired) { return; }

TO
$expired = (time() > 129) ? true : false;
if ($expired) { return; }
 

This will reset your cache.

 

 
Submitting your site maps to the search engines

Why should we submit our sitemaps to the search engines?

Submitting a site map of your website to the search engine facilitates the indexing of your contents by the search engines. To do so for Google simply navigate to this URL https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/home and create an account.

Once you have done so there are a few more steps you will need to do.

Add the google meta tag to the files in the following locations on your PHPbb system

Assuming your are using prosilver as your theme :

  1. Navigate to <system root>/cache/tpl_prosilver_overall_header.html.php
  2. Add the tag provided by Google Meta Tag to the portion just below the <head>tag (This will update the cache)
  3. Navigate to <system root>/style/prosilver/template/over_header.html
  4. Add the tag provided by Google Meta Tag to the portion just below the <head>tag (This will ensure the google meta is still shown once the current cache expires)

Verfiy that you own the site with Google https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/home

Google will start indexing the your PHPbb forum site.

 
Tracking Traffic to your website

Generating traffic to your PHPbb forum is good, but it can be even better if you could track what happens on your site and do updates immediately. Google provides this tool called Google Analytics to help you track your on site traffic.

To install it you will first need to sign up at this URL http://www.google.com/analytics/

Once you are done you will need to do the following 

Add the google analytics javascript to the files in the following locations on your PHPbb system

Assuming your are using prosilver as your theme :

  1. Navigate to <system root>/cache/tpl_prosilver_overall_footer.html.php
  2. Add the tag provided by google analytics javascript to the portion just below the </body>tag (This will update the cache)
  3. Navigate to <system root>/style/prosilver/template/overall_footer.html
  4. Add the tag provided by google analytics javascript to the portion just below the </body>tag (This will ensure the google analytics javascript is still shown there once the current cache expires)

 Now you PHPbb forum is up and ready to go!

 

Using a forum is a really good way to build up traffic your website.

It also provides a good source from which you could gather sales leads for your products.

If you do not want the hassle and want to have a

Search Engine Optimized PHPbb forum

Please Contact Us

We Are Glad to Be of Assistance

 

 


Saturday, 19th Apr 2014
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