An entirely subjective list of five components that I’ve found to cause SEO problems on Joomla sites:
- JTrans Pro. Get the old version not the new one! We use the old version here at Alledia. Notice when you click on the flag icons, it will take you to Google’s site rather than creating an extra page on Alledia.com. The latest version of the JTransPro adds 1000s of extra, badly translated pages to your site. You can see how the extra pages are created on their demo site (French, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish etc.). If you buy it, ask them for the old version. Read more about automatic translation here.
- Keyword Clouds. There are lots of them out there, but the key question is – do they create unique and valuable content on your site? No. In fact the make the unique content harder to find by adding more pages. Link directly to your key articles – don’t add unnecessary pages between your users and the content. If you do have them on your site, disallow them with robots.txt. For example … Disallow: /search/ or Disallow: /tags/
- Linx. If you do want reciprocal links, just be subtle about it. Reciprocal links are being penalized by search engines, so make them hard to find rather than using a single page called "My Reciprocal Links". Read more about reciprocal links.
- Bridges. The problem with lots of bridges between third party components and Joomla is that people often forget any form of metadata or SEF URL. Your search engine results end up with 100s of identical-looking results. For example, the Joomlaspan guys came up with this useful for the Simple Machines Bridge. However, generally SEO is better on components that are fully integrated into Joomla.
- Automatic Metadata Generators. The quality of automatic metadata can vary greatly, but in general it is much, much better to write unique meta titles and descriptions by hand. Theres no need to bother with keywords, but a few minutes spend on metadata can bring big benefits. Read more about automatic metadata.
Over to you … do you agree with my choices and can you think of any other components that can cause SEO issues?