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Does the Style affect SEO? Is it possible to display optimized SEO style just to SEO bots?

Discussion in 'XenForo Questions and Support' started by VtoX, May 16, 2013.

  1. VtoX

    VtoX Member

    First let me state that I am aware of the 1000 different variables that go into SERP rankings.

    That said I can't help feeling like the Style I'm using isn't helping my SEO.

    • Is there a style that would be optimal to use for SEO purposes?
    • Is it possible to create and serve an optimal SEO Style only to Google/Bing bots and serve regular users a different style?
  2. Jake Bunce

    Jake Bunce XenForo Moderator Staff Member

  3. VtoX

    VtoX Member

    I guess that's my point. I'm not using the default style and the default style might be much better for SEO than the style I'm using.

    Is there a way to serve the default style to the Google/Bing bots and serve my custom style to human visitors?
  4. Adam Howard

    Adam Howard Well-Known Member

    That would be against Google's Terms of Service. What your normal guest see is what Google must see. If you make it so Google sees something different... You run the risk of being removed from Google.

    With this said.....

    Yes, a style can help improve SEO (a little bit). Typically page speed loading.

    Some styles have tons and tons of photos which add to the time it takes to finish loading it (maybe those photos are large). While a style with little or no photos (and are small & optimized) would improve your page speed time and thus help improve your SEO.

    Although the difference is usually not much.

    Google also seems to notice sites that are mobile web friendly. So if your overall design works in every browser, you've got an edge.

    Keep in mind there is no magic bullet in SEO ratings. Rather it is those little things that add up.
  5. VtoX

    VtoX Member


    Back to my original question.

    Is it possible to create and serve an optimal SEO Style only to Google/Bing bots and serve regular users a different style?
  6. SneakyDave

    SneakyDave Well-Known Member

    Yes you could, you'd need to have an add-on created and installed to do it, I can't find anything already released.

    Probably need to create something in which identified bots are assigned a specific user group, and then assign that user group the default xF style.

    EDIT: Actually, I don't even think you can assign usergroups a style, so the add-on would have to be more specfiic and robust.

    More info:
  7. VtoX

    VtoX Member

    Thanks SneakyDave.

    I found this add-on called Advanced Styling Rules.

    It allows for the selection of a user agent. It doesn't seem like it would be too difficult to add the various SEO bots to the user agent list and assign them an SEO theme. The content would be the same for the SEO bots so I don't think it would run afoul of the cloaking rules.

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