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XenForo and vB redirection scripts messed up my pagerank

Rigel Kentaurus

Well-known member
#1
There is a couple lines in the redirection scripts posted, for vB, that are pure evil. They have good intentions, of course, but do not work as expected. Almost at the end ...

Code:
if (!$target)
{
    $target = XenForo_Link::buildPublicLink('canonical:index');
}
I noticed that my pagerank was "punished" or frozen for one of my domains (discussions about pagerank being relevant are a separate subject), and I went on asking around in Google forums, analyzing my traffic and seeing what could have happened. Finally, I got to it.

Let's say I open a link for a thread in my old forum and redirection to xF is not possible. The scripts, right now, redirect to the home of the new installation.

While this is completely natural to me and obvious, it figures that it is bad for SEO. Having a LOT of redirects pointing to your home page is severly frown upon, in the same way that having a high level pagerank domain redirected to your home page just to aggregate page rank won't work anymore.

Short story, I am changing those files to return a 404 instead of the 301 redirect to the home page

Regular redirection will still work, of course, just the ones in which a xF target could not be found, won't redirect to home page anymore.
 
#2
Wow, this may explain some of the issues I've had in the last month, I deleted a large number of junk threads before I converted, maybe in combination with this, I made a big mistake!

What are you editing to change this?
 

Rigel Kentaurus

Well-known member
#3
Wow, this may explain some of the issues I've had in the last month, I deleted a large number of junk threads before I converted, maybe in combination with this, I made a big mistake!

What are you editing to change this?
Yeah .. the problem with that is that those threads are already in google (and maybe the showpost too), and now all of those are pointing to your base domain

Inside the vbulletin-compat package .. I changed, showthread.php, forumdisplay.php, showpost.php, member.php, forumdisplay.php, attachment.php
From
Code:
if (!$target)
{
    $target = XenForo_Link::buildPublicLink('canonical:index');
}
To
Code:
if (!$target)
{
    $response = new Zend_Controller_Response_Http();
    $response->setHttpResponseCode(404);
    $response->sendResponse();
    exit;
}
 

Rigel Kentaurus

Well-known member
#5
Why are you redirecting to the home page to begin with? Wouldn't you want to redirect to the new thread location?
Well... it redirects to the new thread location by looking the xf_import_log
It is when the thread is not found when it redirects to home

And *I* am not doing it, it's the semi-official redirection scripts
 

TheBigK

Well-known member
#6
Our PR went from 5 to 0 for two months post conversion from vB+vBSEO but we got it back. Never even bothered about PR.

The thing is; the more educated we are on the topic of 'SEO', the more time we tend to spend on useless stuff. Forget SEO, is I'd say and concentrate on offering value to members, visitors.

...and I'm surprised that I'm saying this. I was so much after the SEO thingy that I almost ignored our users for long time. But after converting to XF, I know how important 'people' are than the spiders.

Keep the 'basic' stuff in place and leave the hard math to Google. They've got plenty of engineers to figure out how to index your site :D