SEO

101 Ways to speed up your Joomla site

Well currently 12 16 ways but with your help we will make it 101!  I’ll update the post as and when we get more ways to speed up your joomla site.

What with Matt Cutts recent (ish) interview with Web Pro News, he mentions that google will be taking page load times into consideration when they rank your website. What does this mean for all the joomla users?  Can joomla keep up?

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Joomla 1.5 SEO Extension Comparison

One of the confusing things for anyone optimizing a Joomla site is that there are so many options out there.

We ran a Joomla SEO class in Atlanta last week and one thing became clear … it was easy to grasp that there are several SEO extensions available and several issues that they fixed with Joomla.

The problem was … which extensions fixed which things? This chart is an attempt to make that much more straight-forward:

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Joomla 1.6 and SEO

If you haven’t done so already, you need to head to Joomlacode.org and download Andrew Eddie’s presentation on Joomla 1.6. Its also on video at Vimeo. After reading, I’m more encouraged about Joomla’s future than I have been for months.

The presentation has 39 detailed slides, so I won’t try to recap them all – look for that in a blog post next week. Today, I’ll focus on what’s important from an SEO perspective:

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Results of the Alledia.com Migration

Long Term Growth

At the beginning of March 2009, we migrated this website from Joomla 1.0 to 1.5.

We discussed some of the technical issues involved in this blog post, and I’m now going to talk about the Search Engine Optimization angle. I’ve had quite a bit of experience in moving sites to new platforms and my experience is that the traffic drop can vary from 0% to 75% depending how well its done. For example, the only other Joomla person to publish their data was Barrie from Compassdesigns.net who reported a 20% drop in traffic after his move to 1.5.

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Pagination Indignation

Joomla Pagination

Joomla PaginationOK, indignation might be taking it a little too far, but pagination is annoying.

What’s Wrong With Pagination?

  • What’s the point? Does anyone say “I really want to go to page 68 of the blog?” No – they use the search.
  • Weak link text. From an SEO standpoint, does the link text “68” help Google understand what a page is about?
  • Impossible to optimize. Take page 68 as an example. You can optimize that page, but when you’ve published a few more posts all the content will move to page 69 and your work has been wasted. Most pages like this simply end up with a page title such as “Alledia Blog – Page 68”
  • Duplicate title tags: Check out this guy who has 1400 pages all with identical metadata, simply because of pagination.

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Googles SearchWiki and You

Google Search Wiki

Google Search WikiI’m catching a flight in a couple of hours but had so many emails about this that I’ll try to sum up my thoughts:

Google made a major change overnight, allowing people to vote and comment on listings. You can vote websites up or down using the arrow buttons and remove a site completely using the X button.

The project is called “SearchWiki” and is another stage in their attempt to personalize search results. So if I searched for “Mambo, I’d get the software, if a dancer did the same search they’d get the dance and if the surfer did it, they’d get the clothing company. That’s the goal anyway.

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6 Reasons Not to Use Google SiteSearch

Google SiteSearch

Google SiteSearchQuite a few people have been asking lately about the benefits of using Google SiteSearch.

In theory, it’s great idea because people can use Google’s own search engine to search your site without leaving it. There’s even a slick module that allows you do this easily on Joomla 1.5. This should produce more accurate results, right?

Wrong. Here’s six reasons why you’re better off using your own site search rather than relying on Google:

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Adding No Follow to Joomla Menu Links

If you don’t want pages to indexed by search engines, it’s standard SEO practice to add rel=”nofollow” on links to that page. Pages you might not want indexed include “Terms and Conditions”, “Privacy Policy” and other pages that contains content you don’t want to rank for.

However, inside Joomla core, nofollow is not an option for menu links. At the request of some SEO Club members, and with some smart help from Brian Teeman, we’ve modified the Joomla menu module to allow no-following of links.

How to Use

  1. Upload the new module
  2. Publish this in place of mod_mainmenu
  3. Whenever you want to use no-follow, simply select “On Click, Open in: New Window in Browser Navigation”

Why a New Module and Not a Patch?

Simple – to make it easier to upgrade. With hack attempts rising lately, its important to upgrade as smoothly and easily as possible.

Doesn’t the SEF Patch, sh404SEF etc. do this?

No. They add the no-follow to the metadata of the page being linked to. This actually adds no-follow to the menu link itself. Click here for more details on the differences between no follow, meta no follow and robots.txt.

Downloads

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Surveys Build Mailing Lists

Joomla Survey

Joomla SurveysIf you’re serious about getting repeat visitors and building your brand, sending out newsletters is a vital tactic. Sometimes its hard to get started with a subscriber base, but there are tactics that work well – surveys are my favorite.

Prospect Magazine carred out a survey to rate the "world’s top 100 public intellectuals". A pretty boring subject, but it caught on with newspapers running campaigns to vote for local heroes in Indonesia, Canada, India, Spain, Bulgaria and Turkey. This story about the results on NPR really got my attention with a quote at the end:

Interviewer: "Do you have many subscribers in Turkey at this point?"

Propsect Staff Member: "We’re hoping to get a lot more. We quite cleverly made it compulsory for people who are voting to enter an email address into the system. Our email newsletter list is now made up of about 95% Turks." 

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Google Website Optimizer and Joomla 1.5

Google Website Optimizer

Google Website OptimizerSome very good news from the Joomla 1.5 world today … Google Website Optimizer now works with Joomla 1.5.

If you haven’t tried it yet, Website Optimizer is a tool for testing different versions of your site to see which one produces a higher conversion rate.

Thanks to Anthony from Joomla Performance and Barrie from Compass Designs for their work on this.

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Make All Your External Links Open in New Windows

External Joomla Links

External Joomla LinksMike at Simbunch.com has created a very useful little mambot that forces all external links to open in a new window. (free registration required)

What Does It Do?

The mambot can add these tags to all external links:

  • target=”_blank” (open the link in a new window)
  • rel=”nofollow” (telling search engines to ignore the link)
  • both

Personally I don’t agree with people who want to add nofollow to all their external links. It seems overly paranoid and contrary to how the web works. However, opening other sites in a new window is increasingly a good idea.

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URL Changes in Joomla 1.5

Joomla 1.5 has really taken hold in recent months, overtaking 1.0 to become the more popular system. The aim of this post is to compare the URLs in 1.0 and 1.5 so that you know what to expect in the new version.

Some Background

Joomla has always shipped with two different URL possibilites, the “Default” setting and the “Search Engine Friendly” setting. In Joomla 1.0 the phrase “Search Engine Friendly URLs” probably wasn’t accurate. Google and Yahoo never found much to love about them. It would be fairer to just call them “Shorter URLs”. Joomla 1.5 offers the promise of better URLs. Lets see if thats true:

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