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Lack of Interest [Suggestion] Improve Search page SEO

Discussion in 'Closed Suggestions' started by Ryan Kent, Jun 26, 2011.

  1. Ryan Kent

    Ryan Kent Well-Known Member

    The following page ranks #1 in Google results for the term "Tampa DJ": http://www.gigmasters.com/Search/DJ-Tampa-FL.html

    It is a search page. What I notice is the following:

    The page URL is much cleaner then XF search URLs:
    XF search URL for "dj tampa fl" = http://www.terapvp.com/search/830/?q=dj+tampa+fl&o=date

    Their page has a unique description: "Browse and compare 131 professional Tampa DJs and DJs who will travel to Tampa to perform at your event."

    Their page also has some unique (albeit keyword stuffed) content: "Please note these DJs will also travel to Lutz, Mango, Land O Lakes, Odessa, Seffner, Thonotosassa, Brandon, Oldsmar, Palm Harbor, Safety Harbor, Zephyrhills, Dover, Valrico, Clearwater, Gibsonton, New Port Richey, Riverview, Sydney, Saint Petersburg, Dunedin, Holiday, Plant City, Tarpon Springs, Crystal Beach, Apollo Beach, Elfers, Ozona, San Antonio, Durant, Crystal Springs"

    Their page title: "DJ Tampa FL - Tampa DJ, Tampa DJs". The XF title: "Search Results for Query: dj tampa fl | Tera PVP | Tera fansite | Tera forums | Tera online"

    In short, the example site has outstanding SEO established to optimize their page title, url and content. This allows their page to rank #1 on a competitive term, rather then having the page be in the middle of page 3. If XF could offer something similar it would be a big win for XF and all it's users.
    ankurs and Brandon Sheley like this.
  2. Forsaken

    Forsaken Well-Known Member

    You do realize theres a large difference between a search results page for a job directory (that leads to external sources) then there is to a search result page for internal content?

    I don't get your sudden obsession with SEO, especially stuff that you've just admitted is mostly keyword stuffing and looks utterly atrocious. As many have stated, SEO isn't something you go out of your way to do and is really just best practices (most of which are already covered in the software). Once you cover the major things, the rest is diminishing returns or tends to have a negative benefit.

    tl;dr take SEO with a grain of salt; most of it is utter crap and pointless. You'll see better results focusing on the organic traffic and getting return traffic.
  3. principia

    principia Well-Known Member

    thats right. and also create a lot of useful content.

    i have deleted my sitemap and no second spend on seo. nevertheless are google, yahoo and other searchengines
    everytime on my site. they still love it. ;)
  4. Brandon Sheley

    Brandon Sheley Well-Known Member

    I don't completely agree with the 2nd poster, SEO is something admins need know about even if just a little bit.
    It's always best to improve your sites on-site SEO as well as market your site and create fresh content.
    As for the XF example in the first post, that page isn't even seen by guest so your point is mute..
    Id suggest working on post tags, than you can work on the tag clouds and tag pages which generally are visible to guest.
  5. Forsaken

    Forsaken Well-Known Member

    I'm not saying not to know about SEO, I'm saying not to go out of your way and do all these minor improvements that show very little results. Content will always out perform minor SEO tweaks, especially ones that make your site look like a content farm (like the job directory he posted). Focusing on how your members view your site is also more important than how Google treats it.

    The thing is if you follow the directions of every 'seo expert', most of which have the qualifications of a pre-historic turd (because a regular turd isn't outdated enough ;)), you'll spend more time doing minor bunk improvements rather than focusing on organic marketing (SEM) and on creating new content. Also, SEO tends to have varying degrees of diminishing returns. Doing continued improvements to XenForo (outside a few small things) will have such a minor impact to be non-existent. What point is there in wasting time better spent on something that'll bring more traffic and more members?

    Regarding post tagging... It is not for search engines, and really should only be a form of taxonomy used for your members to find similar content. Tag clouds are annoying, unprofessional, and completely and utterly useless and just cause issues with usability for most people.
    Kier and Brandon Sheley like this.
  6. Ryan Kent

    Ryan Kent Well-Known Member

    @Forsaken, you either didn't read my post or didn't understand it.

    Providing great content is exactly my focus. We all have seen very well written articles outranked by crappy web pages, and SEO is the reason. SEO is EVERYTHING to many sites whether they realize it or not. If you look at a site's traffic, what % of visitors come from Google or other search engines? If your thread is at the top of page 1 or the bottom of page 4 can mean the difference of thousands of visits per month. Many small companies pay tens of thousands of dollars per month on SEO.

    To be clear, I am talking about SEO (Search Engine Optimization), not SEM (Search Engine Marketing). I don't care in any manner about ads so I am not sure why you brought up that topic.

    If you don't feel that SEO has value, then feel free to ignore it and the threads that talk about it. I know for certain that SEO makes all the difference in the world. There is a ton of ignorance about SEO, and the internet is full of misinformation on the topic.

    A page title and URL are HUGE factors in determining ranking. In fact, you can provide great content and be easily outranked by a lower quality page due solely to the URL and page title. If you don't understand that, well you probably should not be posting.

    So back to the original point. The example in the first post shows where a page is ranked #1 in Google search primarily as a result of it's focus on several key areas of SEO. If XF search results could be similarly adjusted, everyone would benefit.
  7. Forsaken

    Forsaken Well-Known Member

    I guess a few months have made you an honest to god SEO expert :).

    Oh, and if you missed it, that job directory is mostly static while search results on XenForo aren't. There are also many flaws with the suggestion in the first place.
    Deebs likes this.
  8. James

    James Well-Known Member

    If I search "Inception" on Google, I receive an IMDb result with a URL http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1375666/. You see plenty of top results with IDs as threads. Search engines aren't stupid. If I have a URL of www.domain.com/cats-and-dogs but have content about David Copperfield, I'm going to get ranked higher for David Copperfield than I would for cats and/or dogs.
    Kier, jmurrayhead, Blue and 2 others like this.
  9. Deebs

    Deebs Well-Known Member

    Exactly, it is all about the content, not some silly URL that looks nice.
  10. Ryan Kent

    Ryan Kent Well-Known Member

    It has been proven that URLs make a HUGE difference. It is a completely accepted SEO fact. I have not heard anyone debate this point this year. They make a difference in ranking, and they make a difference in click through-rate.

    XF clearly understands this as well, which is why they advertise SEO built-in as a key feature on the home page, and offer friendly URLs.

    I never suggested nor thought that search engines are stupid. They are run by algorithms. Those formulas score each page based on various metrics, some which weigh more heavily then others.

    Your example is GREAT! So I went to Google, searched "inception" and what comes up as the first result? This page: http://inceptionmovie.warnerbros.com/dvd/.

    Let's look at the difference between that page and the IMDB page. The warner brothers Domain Authority is 86, with a Page Authority of 59. Meanwhile the IMDB page DA is 96 and PA is 83. Wow! How is it the page with the much better PA and DA ranks second? It must be the content, right?

    Look at that page. It has NO CONTENT. Nothing. The term "inception" is used twice on the page, and both time within flash which is not crawled by Google. Of the 2 times it is used on the page it is a stand-alone term not used in a sentence. How does this compare with the IMDB page? The term "inception" is used 4 times on IMDB's page, with three of the usages being within a sentence. The IMDB page offers a LOT more content.

    So why does the no content, lower DA & PA page from warnerbros outrank the imdb page? Two key reasons are the title and URL! The title of the warnerbros page is one word so 100% of the title's ranking juice flows to that one word, inception. The title of the IMDB page is Inception 2010 - IMDB which is 3 words. Also the warner brothers URL has inception in the URL where the IMDB page does not.

    Your example highlights just how good SEO often beats good content. This scenario is proven countless times. A page's title and URL are key factors which determine the position of a page within search engine results. You can either adjust these important areas using best SEO practices, or lose out to others who both recognize their importance and are willing to make the correct adjustment.

    There is a fantasy world where the web page with the best content always ranks first. It's the same world where the guilty guy always gets caught and everyone gets what they deserve. The reality is there are systems which are not always fair. Those who work to understand the system and adjust their procedures according to the system will beat those who just blindly do what they think is right and hope for the best.

    I can easily locate dozens of articles and videos from authoritative sources such as Google's Matt Cutts or acknowledged experts, but the purpose of this thread wasn't to sell anyone on using SEO best practices. If you think SEO is a bunch of garbage and a waste of time, then no words I type will change your mind. XF has publicly embraced SEO and understands the importance for it's forums and customers. My request is to further integrate acknowledged best practices into the software where possible.
  11. Brandon Sheley

    Brandon Sheley Well-Known Member

    This may of been true 5-10 years ago but this simply isn't the case these days.
    The search engines are smart, they can read dynamic URL just like "SEO'd" URL's..
    Having one page per content is much much more important, for example some forum scripts (not sure about xf yet) will have several examples (URL's) for the same content.
  12. Ryan Kent

    Ryan Kent Well-Known Member

    Brandon, I appreciate your feedback but you have clearly misunderstood the discussion.

    The article you linked is referring to static vs dynamic URLs. That discussion is related to the crawlability of a site and it's pages. We understand the pages can all be crawled regardless of the URL. The focus of this discussion....is the page title, page URL and other mentioned factors important in determining page RANKING.

    There are many videos and articles discussing the topic. Here is a good one from Matt Cutts, head of Google's spam team discussing the importance of keywords in the URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWxKEvdMogA
  13. Brandon Sheley

    Brandon Sheley Well-Known Member

    I appreciate your argument but I'll have to respectively decline your statement that "SEO" url's are better than dynamic URL's.
    I've done a few test in my day as well (y)
    If you really feel a URL with keywords in it will get you father than one without, by all means keep spending time on them. ;)

    PS.. I didn't misunderstand anything in this thread :D
  14. jmurrayhead

    jmurrayhead Well-Known Member

    Keywords in URLs have always played a small part, not a huge part. Nowadays, they play even less an important role than before. As has been stated already, search engines are a lot more "intelligent" than they used to be and the content on the page will be the deciding factor, not the keyword(s) in the URL.
    Brandon Sheley and Forsaken like this.
  15. Jeremy

    Jeremy Well-Known Member

    I still think your suggestion is flawed. gigmasters.com has specialized content, meaning that they can put "Browse and compare 131 professional Tampa DJs and DJs who will travel to Tampa to perform at your event." When I search for DJs Tampa Bay, XF is a generalized content forum software. They put that in there, you get wrong text that go against the content on the page.

    XF's search works for generalized content, and does just fine. Does a search page REALLY need to rank high for a term? Because it is just that, a search page. It changes, constantly. Focus on your content, not your search.
    James and Forsaken like this.
  16. Mike Law

    Mike Law Active Member

    If you have a URL /cats-and-dogs and the content is about cat and dogs your ranking would be higher than id83773
    If your domain name also has cats-and-dogs there is really no reason not to be number 1 if your content is kick-ass.
    Ryan Kent likes this.
  17. Digital Doctor

    Digital Doctor Well-Known Member

    Probably nothing to do with Title and URL. How does the Warnerbros page outrank IMDB ? IMDB is first in the google search results.

    Page Title and URL Keywords SEO Google Keyword by keywordseopro.com
    #1 I think the keywordSEOpro people might be biased :)
    #2 The quote in the video could have been taken out of context. Later in the video he probably says "Content is King". :)

    I don't think you can isolate one page from a site and compare it another page on another site and ask .... why does Site1,page 1 have a better rank than Site2,page2 even though page2 has better content ? IMDB is IMDB ... people love it. You could make a page as good as theirs but your pagerank will not be as good. In that same light .... a "DJ Tampa FL" page at terapvp is never going to do as well as that same page on a site dedicated to finding about and ranking musicians (gigmasters).

    And you are an insult expert now.

    What about if your site was:

    Does anyone know any objective way to measure these things ? Hasn't someone determined the relative importance of these things ?
  18. Digital Doctor

    Digital Doctor Well-Known Member

    Google likes your site when someone googles a keyword like "Tampa DJ FL" and clicks on your site (and then doesn't keep googling). It also like it when people link to your site. I am sure there are alot of sites linking to gigmasters. Gigmasters has also been around a long time. Google likes that too. TeraPVP will never do well against gigmasters for "DJ Tampa FL".
  19. Brandon Sheley

    Brandon Sheley Well-Known Member

    Guess I better go register free-viagra-buy-viagra.com and setup a /free-viagra/ with "kick-ass" content and I'll be #1

    Thanks for the tip! :X3:

    but seriously..

    If you have sitea.com and siteb.com with the exact same content and same amount of links (that is key.. QUALITY LINKS) you might see a slight lead in the SERP's.. a very slight.
    All the major search engines have stated several times that they have no problem reading dynamic links, it's good to keep the parameters down but they'll read pretty much anything, including having spaces in file names!!! :LOL:
    Kier likes this.
  20. Kier

    Kier XenForo Developer Staff Member

    Brandon Sheley, Onimua, Deebs and 2 others like this.

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