Reply To: Mambo and Joomla! – duplicate content problem


Here’s a post from Joomla forum, 15 September 2005 (in thread asking when SEO will be built into Mambo, and – later – Joomla core):

Glad to see some discussion here; I made a few posts in a mamboserver forum about duplicate URLs for same content.

I’d like to see Mambo generate Cool, SEF links.
Cool links as per W3C – ie once you have a link to a page of content, you can keep it, even if and when upgrade software etc.
SEF – easy to read by search engines. I don’t think this is real crucial – I have forum threads that do ok in google with “raw” cms type URLs; but can only help, esp if include a keyword or two.
Plus, also importantly I think, good SEF URLs are more human friendly – maybe better for people to click on, and for cutting and pasting (working better in emails, where long URLs that split onto two lines don’t always link well).
And, can end in .html – which I read somewhere might put people looking to do bad things to php sites off the scent.

Tried 404SEF, but had problem others had (and author noticed) – kept slapping id numbers on end, so could wind up with a bunch of URLs pointing to a page. This is a Mambo issue, I think introduced after 4.5.0 – and making Mambo URLs less “friendly” than before.

I use beta 2 of Xaneon, and impressed by it; was real disappointed development stalled, think it’s great that development is back on track – glad to see Ken’s energy in helping get things moving; fingers crossed.

I don’t have too many glitches w Xaneon – maybe as not enough hits to wallop the database; would like to see its abilities extend to URLs for components (such as forum, menalto Gallery [there’s fix for Gallery 1.5 and Xaneon, but a bit complex to me]).

Like the name OpenSEF.
After some more development, maybe it can be included in Joomla! core – as an option. (“SEF” is option now; could have additional OpenSEF option, with proviso it might not work perfectly. [won’t be quite the only such thing in Joomla! core after all; but then, this is open source and occasional hiccoughs to be expected.])
Pro users who require support could then opt for SEF Advance. Dunno if this may work.

Then, on to a few other things.
One being page titles (in head code) – way more important for search engine rankings I believe. Good progress so far; but also making things easier for extra components would be good. (Latest simpleboard generates titles for threads; but for Gallery I’ve so far only managed album titles – photo titles would be great [my php hacking efforts not up to this so far, plus have hopes re G2])

– a couple of days later, I was back with:

I’ve complained about built-in SEF, since upgrading from 4.5.0.

– as get the item IDs slapped on end, so can have multiple URLs for one item (mamboserver had whole thread based on this, tho took time to get going).
This is surely SEU – search engine unfriendly. Google dislikes duplicate URLs (should rank one page, and penalise others with different URLs); then, which URL should others link to?; get dilution of Pagerank (or however you might call this, for all search engines – the potential benefits of inbound links).
Key reason I abandoned SEF404 (for one page, saw five or more URLs spawned in about ten minutes), and chose Xaneon.

(Maybe itemid problem is a little different – but surely means the “friendly” in built-in SEF is misleading.)

Also, with the item ids especially, URLs surely aren’t Cool – set to remain for long time.
Over time, this too is unfriendly (to search engines, also to humans – who might find themselves clicking on links that no longer work. Plus to site managers, who may find themselves putting in loads of redirects if, say, get whole new set of URLs after Joolma! upgrade [latter has happened w Mambo; hopefully now w J!])

– soon afterwards:

Further to complaints re built-in SEF, here’s extract of a post on webmasterworld:

The biggest problem I encountered with mambo was with the original SEF & non-SEF dynamic urls. You could end up with a content page having 4 or 5 different urls, depending on how you get to that page. As you can imagine, the result is one huge “duplicate content” mess.

Mentions Xaneon can fix this, so too SEF Advance.

But, should people have to pay or use a free third party component to fix a problem that Mambo (and now Joomla, till revised) creates?