vBulletin - bad for Google listings?

nsusa

Aspirant
Joined
Oct 22, 2004
Messages
38
It seems like that with the upcoming Big Daddy Google update many forum websites will loose a high number of pages indexed by Google. I think what happens is that Google is removing pages with duplicate content (vBulletin archives, different links/views to the same pages, etc.).

Does this make se-friendly URLs in vBulletin more important? Is it better to turn of the archive in VB to avoid a duplicate content filter to punish the site? What's everyone's take on that?

Christoph
 

DChapman

Devotee
Joined
May 20, 2004
Messages
2,879
vBulletin needs a lot of SEO work out of the box. This has been true for some time now. With Big Daddy, it will be increasingly true.

The archive is a big problem. It would be easy to turnoff the archive or utilize it as a sitemap, however, I know forums that generate upwards of 90% of their revenue from the archive. Obviously these forums don't want to turn it off.

I know of a group testing a fix for this issue. I hope it works, as it would certainly solve a major conundrum.
 

MGM

vBulletin Guru
Joined
Jan 29, 2005
Messages
3,457
A group? Could you provide a link or some more information?

MGM out
 
A

AWS

Guest
To avoid duplicate content only allow the spiders access to index, forumdisplay and showthread. The problem is there is more than one way vbulletin can show each thread. Showpost and print thread are a couple examples of showing the same content.
I have this as my robots.txt.
Code:
# MS-OS: 2005-05-11
User-agent: *
Disallow: /newthread.php
Disallow: /newreply.php
Disallow: /showpost.php
Disallow: /printthread.php
Disallow: /member.php
Disallow: /memberlist.php
Disallow: /calendar.php
Disallow: /sendmessage.php
Disallow: /subscription.php
Disallow: /search.php
Disallow: /report.php
Disallow: /misc.php
Disallow: /register.php
Disallow: /login.php
Disallow: /forumdisplay.php?page
Disallow: /forumdisplay.php?sort
Disallow: /forumdisplay.php?order
Disallow: /forumdisplay.php?pp
Disallow: /forumdisplay.php?daysprune
Disallow: /forumdisplay.php?do
# Allow: /forumdisplay.php?f=
# Allow: /forumdisplay.php
Disallow: /showthread.php?mode
Disallow: /showthread.php?goto
Disallow: /showthread.php?post
Disallow: /showthread.php?page
Disallow: /showthread.php?pp
Disallow: /showthread.php?p
Disallow: /archive
# Allow: /showthread.php?t=
# Allow: /showthread.php
# Allow: /announcement.php
# Allow: /faq.php
# Allow: /index.php
# Allow: /index.php?
# Allow: /sitemap.xml
With this all my forums, threads and posts are well indexed and there is no duplicate content spidered. Notice I als disallow the archive. The archive is just another way to show the same content which Google could penalize you for. There are a few that disallow everything from the live forum and send all spiders to the archive. This is another way to do it, but, I prefer to have the people coming in from Google to be in the thread or post. That way they are one click away from registering instead of 2.
 

jcerious

Participant
Joined
Feb 14, 2006
Messages
78
I don't think the search engines are indexing my forum at all! I checked by searching on some exact text that has appeared in one of the threads since December and absolutely nothing came up. Any ideas why that might be?
 

BamaStangGuy

Fanatic
Joined
Jan 8, 2005
Messages
3,215
AWS said:
To avoid duplicate content only allow the spiders access to index, forumdisplay and showthread. The problem is there is more than one way vbulletin can show each thread. Showpost and print thread are a couple examples of showing the same content.
I have this as my robots.txt.
Code:
# MS-OS: 2005-05-11
User-agent: *
Disallow: /newthread.php
Disallow: /newreply.php
Disallow: /showpost.php
Disallow: /printthread.php
Disallow: /member.php
Disallow: /memberlist.php
Disallow: /calendar.php
Disallow: /sendmessage.php
Disallow: /subscription.php
Disallow: /search.php
Disallow: /report.php
Disallow: /misc.php
Disallow: /register.php
Disallow: /login.php
Disallow: /forumdisplay.php?page
Disallow: /forumdisplay.php?sort
Disallow: /forumdisplay.php?order
Disallow: /forumdisplay.php?pp
Disallow: /forumdisplay.php?daysprune
Disallow: /forumdisplay.php?do
# Allow: /forumdisplay.php?f=
# Allow: /forumdisplay.php
Disallow: /showthread.php?mode
Disallow: /showthread.php?goto
Disallow: /showthread.php?post
Disallow: /showthread.php?page
Disallow: /showthread.php?pp
Disallow: /showthread.php?p
Disallow: /archive
# Allow: /showthread.php?t=
# Allow: /showthread.php
# Allow: /announcement.php
# Allow: /faq.php
# Allow: /index.php
# Allow: /index.php?
# Allow: /sitemap.xml
With this all my forums, threads and posts are well indexed and there is no duplicate content spidered. Notice I als disallow the archive. The archive is just another way to show the same content which Google could penalize you for. There are a few that disallow everything from the live forum and send all spiders to the archive. This is another way to do it, but, I prefer to have the people coming in from Google to be in the thread or post. That way they are one click away from registering instead of 2.

I disagree that showpost would be considered Duplicate content.

I can not see how Google would consider these the same thing:

http://www.mustangevolution.com/forum/uh-yeh-19622.html

and

http://www.mustangevolution.com/forum/285477-post5.html

they are not the same thing and if anything else this one post could be more keyword dense than the whole thread combined.
 

mightyb

Amaizingnistrator
Joined
Apr 13, 2005
Messages
1,366
[Zoints]DChapman said:
vBulletin needs a lot of SEO work out of the box.
Someone on digital point forums did an experiment that basically shows that VB is just as good out of the box and some SEO tweaks/hacks might even hurt the forum. The tests were also done in the long run.
 

DChapman

Devotee
Joined
May 20, 2004
Messages
2,879
AWS said:
To avoid duplicate content only allow the spiders access to index, forumdisplay and showthread. The problem is there is more than one way vbulletin can show each thread. Showpost and print thread are a couple examples of showing the same content.
If you're going to utilize that method, why not just convert the archive to a sitemap as it does make an excellent one.

Excluding your archive and not showing ads there drops your revenue generating potential significantly. Depending how agressive you want to get in the archive with ads, you can get upwards of 15% CTR there.

BamaStangGuy said:
I disagree that showpost would be considered Duplicate content.

I can not see how Google would consider these the same thing:

http://www.mustangevolution.com/forum/uh-yeh-19622.html

and

http://www.mustangevolution.com/forum/285477-post5.html

they are not the same thing and if anything else this one post could be more keyword dense than the whole thread combined.
They are considered the same thing because the 2nd post has the same content as the first post. If they didn't consider it duplicate content, then we could go around cutting up articles and making 50 different threads out of one article. Google, when indexing those pages, will choose to display one or the other, but will not display both in the SERPs. In addition, when you have showpost able to be indexed, your onpage links on showthread are often greater than 100 which isn't good.

mightyb said:
Someone on digital point forums did an experiment that basically shows that VB is just as good out of the box and some SEO tweaks/hacks might even hurt the forum. The tests were also done in the long run.
Please link me to that thread as I couldn't disagree more. Naturally, some SEO tweaks can hurt you, but there are a lot of tweaks that can be made to vastly improve results.
 

BamaStangGuy

Fanatic
Joined
Jan 8, 2005
Messages
3,215
[Zoints]DChapman said:
If you're going to utilize that method, why not just convert the archive to a sitemap as it does make an excellent one.

Excluding your archive and not showing ads there drops your revenue generating potential significantly. Depending how agressive you want to get in the archive with ads, you can get upwards of 15% CTR there.



They are considered the same thing because the 2nd post has the same content as the first post. If they didn't consider it duplicate content, then we could go around cutting up articles and making 50 different threads out of one article. Google, when indexing those pages, will choose to display one or the other, but will not display both in the SERPs. In addition, when you have showpost able to be indexed, your onpage links on showthread are often greater than 100 which isn't good.


Please link me to that thread as I couldn't disagree more. Naturally, some SEO tweaks can hurt you, but there are a lot of tweaks that can be made to vastly improve results.

How can the second or even the 11th post have the same content as the first post when it clearly... doesn't.

A thread titled list your car specs will be different post by post

Can you show me where google says for fact that these are considered duplicate pages?

Oh and you can see how my archive works with VBSEO. It redirects the showthread archive links to the actual threads http://www.mustangevolution.com/forum/archive/f-261.html
 

PalePhoenix

Prince of Dorkness
Joined
Dec 11, 2005
Messages
11,951
This is good, I was just about to start a thread to ask, "What the heck is Google doing on my site?" Though Mods and I think there's nothing to really complain about, we've gone from once a month visits/hits, to once a week, to daily (at about 5 pages cached), to where it's at now, visiting about twice a day with nearly 200 hits at a clip.

What's oddest about this, it's one of only three spiders to stop by...at least the only ones that are being SHOWN and COUNTED. We've got all the major ones set to show in the online list, but even in the ACP, we only see Google, AskJeeves, and Archive.org. Strangely, we've just leapt from 200 pages on MSN to 600. All of this is "good," we suppose, but we don't entirely understand the behavior.

And despite their gracing us with their august presence, we're still not seeing any more actual caches on Google, nor an increase in PR (which a Mod keeps telling me there are "rumors" they'll be re-ranking next month).
 

DChapman

Devotee
Joined
May 20, 2004
Messages
2,879
BamaStangGuy said:
How can the second or even the 11th post have the same content as the first post when it clearly... doesn't.

A thread titled list your car specs will be different post by post

Can you show me where google says for fact that these are considered duplicate pages?
Let's take a look at webhostingtalk.com, an outstanding pr8 vBulletin forum that does no SEO work. They have 476,743 threads.

A site:webhostingtalk.com ([ame="http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=site%3Awebhostingtalk.com&btnG=Google+Search"]site:webhostingtalk.com - Google Search[/ame]) returns 369,000 results.

A site:webhostingtalk.com/showpost.php ( [ame="http://www.google.com/search?num=100&hl=en&lr=&safe=off&q=site%3Awebhostingtalk.com%2Fshowpost&btnG=Search"]site:webhostingtalk.com/showpost - Google Search[/ame] ) returns 14 results.

Google doesn't like showpost.php much :) All it does is hurt you.

*edit* I just noticed that WHT rel no follows their showpost on showthread, so that's not a great example. I have to run out for a bit, i'll add a better one when I get back.

BamaStangGuy said:
Oh and you can see how my archive works with VBSEO. It redirects the showthread archive links to the actual threads http://www.mustangevolution.com/forum/archive/f-261.html
Yes, that's definitely a viable method (until your site gets LARGE in which case you will have more than 100 links per page) as long as you don't mind losing 80%+ of your site's revenue generating capabilities.
 
Last edited:

DChapman

Devotee
Joined
May 20, 2004
Messages
2,879
PalePhoenix said:
This is good, I was just about to start a thread to ask, "What the heck is Google doing on my site?" Though Mods and I think there's nothing to really complain about, we've gone from once a month visits/hits, to once a week, to daily (at about 5 pages cached), to where it's at now, visiting about twice a day with nearly 200 hits at a clip.

What's oddest about this, it's one of only three spiders to stop by...at least the only ones that are being SHOWN and COUNTED. We've got all the major ones set to show in the online list, but even in the ACP, we only see Google, AskJeeves, and Archive.org. Strangely, we've just leapt from 200 pages on MSN to 600. All of this is "good," we suppose, but we don't entirely understand the behavior.

And despite their gracing us with their august presence, we're still not seeing any more actual caches on Google, nor an increase in PR (which a Mod keeps telling me there are "rumors" they'll be re-ranking next month).
Your redirect from your homepage to your forums is hurting you big time.

Code:
<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//IETF//DTD HTML 2.0//EN">
<HTML><HEAD>
<TITLE>400 Bad Request</TITLE>
</HEAD><BODY>
<H1>Bad Request</H1>
Your browser sent a request that this server could not understand.<P>
Invalid URI in request GET  HTTP/1.1<P>
<HR>
<ADDRESS>Apache/1.3.33 Server at AppStuff Port 80</ADDRESS>
</BODY></HTML>
 

BamaStangGuy

Fanatic
Joined
Jan 8, 2005
Messages
3,215
[Zoints]DChapman said:
Let's take a look at webhostingtalk.com, an outstanding pr8 vBulletin forum that does no SEO work. They have 476,743 threads.

A site:webhostingtalk.com (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=site:webhostingtalk.com&btnG=Google+Search) returns 369,000 results.

A site:webhostingtalk.com/showpost.php ( http://www.google.com/search?num=100&hl=en&lr=&safe=off&q=site:webhostingtalk.com/showpost&btnG=Search ) returns 14 results.

Google doesn't like showpost.php much :) All it does is hurt you.

*edit* I just noticed that WHT rel no follows their showpost on showthread, so that's not a great example. I have to run out for a bit, i'll add a better one when I get back.



Yes, that's definitely a viable method (until your site gets LARGE in which case you will have more than 100 links per page) as long as you don't mind losing 80%+ of your site's revenue generating capabilities.

Has someone documented that 80%?

I don't see the difference between them finding my real thread over my archive thread..

Google seems to like Digitial points showposts... [ame="http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&safe=off&q=site%3Aforums.digitalpoint.com%2Fshowpost.php&btnG=Search"]site:forums.digitalpoint.com/showpost.php - Google Search[/ame]
 

DChapman

Devotee
Joined
May 20, 2004
Messages
2,879
BamaStangGuy said:
Has someone documented that 80%?
I have :)

On my own forums and on over 50 communities I have done work for. It's often higher than 80%.

Aggressive use of ads there can bring upwards of 15% CTR and it is common to see $xx.xx CPM.
 

BamaStangGuy

Fanatic
Joined
Jan 8, 2005
Messages
3,215
[Zoints]DChapman said:
I have :)

On my own forums and on over 50 communities I have done work for. It's often higher than 80%.

Aggressive use of ads there can bring upwards of 15% CTR and it is common to see $xx.xx CPM.
Alright, I'll bite.. I just saw $$$ signs...

Can you show me one of your sites archives so I can see how you have your ads arranged? PM if you dont want to post.

Thanks for the help
 
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