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Vancouver Joomla! Day – SEO and Joomla 1.5 June 14, 2008

Posted by Raul in Vancouver Joomla Day.
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Steve Burg is speaking right now about SEO and Joomla 1.5 – I just arrived back to VPL so I am a bit behind in the liveblogging. @SwingCandy’s twitter stream will have a much better account by now. I will start with the notes now.

Problem 3 – Reasons

– Sites have a limited amount of Page Rank.
– It’s much easier to rank a smaller site.

Problem 3 – Solutions

– Block 

* Calendars
* Photo galleries
* Tags
* Search clouds
* PDF pages
* Automatically translated pages

How to block

1) SEF Patch – add no follow
2) Robots.txt file
Disallow: /photos/

Why use Joomla if SEO is important
* The fixes to Joomla’s SEO problems really aren’t difficult
* The core team are aware of the problems and working on them.
* Content is king – no other CMS makes it as easy.

Recommended extensions
* Virtuemart – optimized shopping cart
* JReviews – outranks CNet and Amazon for competitive product reviews
* Mosets Tree – Spidered directory (really easy)

Joomla sites with great rankings
– WHreviews.com – webhosting reviews
– IPodSpeakerReviews – first ranked
– Triple-X.com.au – for wetsuits
– Joomla sites are 3 and 7 for CMS 

 Questions – Tricks for indexing quicker with Google News — you need to have a unique (at least 3 digit) unique number (most websites use the date). SHS will allow you to insert the date into your URLs. That’s the best way to do it.

Question – Converting an HTML what would you recommend – Absolutely one thing – DON’T CHANGE THE URLs, unless you can’t avoid it, just keep the same URL structure. Otherwise you’re risking your ranking.

Question – Keyword densities on a page – I don’t calculate these quantities. In the title, description, maybe italics in a couple of times. Make sure that the actual keyword is mentioned in all the important places. I wouldn’t bother with percentages.

Questions
1) How does Google recognize metadata?
Descriptions would matter for your most important landing pages, but often it is better to leave the description blank. Definitely your home page needs a really good description, your most important landing or category pages, but in general, it’s often better to leave descriptions blank.

2) A site that has a list of links – direct listings – if someone wants to put their sites – how would they go about doing that?
If you type in Joomla in the Google homepage, you get 7 pages. That’s all very fluctuating, sort of an experiment Google is doing. They go back and forth. The better established and more heavily traffiqued websites – you can’t really do much about it. At some point Google will follow.

Question – follow up on Joomla’s migration. Do you have to hand-enter each HTML URL to keep it the same? If you have to do – is there any way to automate this process?
The short answer is NOT. It really depends on your site structure. If you have a site – it depends on the number of folders. If you have an existing site with 5/6 folders, you start getting into a lot of problems. 2 folders you can automate – more than 2 folders, then you’re in a pretty painstaking process.

Question –

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