For reasons detailed in an earlier post about why Joomla canonical urls are not implemented correctly it may be that you want to remove them. That’s pretty easy by hacking the core, but safer to unset the tag in your template so the changes don’t get wiped out on an upgrade.
Ideally I like to keep all urls in lowercase, but there are a few things that can lead to your site being indexed with a mixture of upper and lower case characters, which in turn can lead to problems with search engines.
How can this happen? Well, for me it was playing around with Joomla’s sh404sef component and not checking the settings properly. By default it is set to use the case of category and article titles which resulted in some ugly /Joomla/Page-Title type urls. Whilst the component was installed it wasn’t a problem. After removing it (for many reasons) the problems started. When requesting the above url Joomla will serve the page /joomla/page-title and the url in the browser will remain as /Joomla/Page-Title.
If applications do this by default then it only takes a rival company to point several mixed-case links to your site to potentially cause a lot of problems.
Joomla 3 introduced a new feature of canonical url links. There is no way to turn it off in settings, which wouldn’t be a problem if it worked correctly, but unfortunately it doesn’t. It has been plagued by problems since it was introduced and has led to some sites taking a massive hit on visitor numbers after upgrading to J3.
For a while now in Google webmaster tools there has been an option under the ‘optimization’ tab called ‘Data Highlighter’. This is their new attempt at an alternative to structured data (or another way to add it without changing the structure of your pages).
It is essentially a wizard interface to get Google to understand your pages better than they do right now.
I wrote about this a while ago in my Joomla microdata article. It has struck me since that it was complete overkill to add authorship in that way and can be done without any code changes at all, just using the standard contacts component.
The reasoning is, that you don’t have to link each article on the site to the authors Google+ page. If there is an author page on the site, and each page is linked to the author page then you only need to add the link to the Google+ profile on that author page.
Adobe recently released their ‘blank font’. It is essentially a font which contains no glyphs and is basically a css hack to stop the flash of unformatted text when using webfonts.
I wrote a long time ago about how to cache the font files when using @fontface. That method can be used in conjunction with this to create the best user experiance for your site.
Google has been using microdata for quite a while now and adding it to your website can help with clickthrough rates from search engine results.
The most obvious is Google’s own authorship markup (not strictly microdata per se) where linking to your Google+ profile adds your profile image to pages in search results, but there are many other tags which can be added to display extra information next to your page title and description.
In this article I am going to look at adding microdata for article publishing times, images and authors to Joomla 3.
Last month (April 2013) Twitter announced the introduction of a new set of meta tags known as ‘Twitter Cards’. Adding these tags to your site allows extra information such as an image and description to be attached to any tweet which contains a url of a page on your website.
You can read the twitter article on the subject here.
As twitter falls back to opengraph tags, not all of the tags are needed if you already have Facebook opengraph tags on your website.
There are hundreds of plugins, modules and components which add Facebook opengraph tags to your articles, but is it really necessary to add an extension for the sake of a couple of meta tags.
There was a time when Facebook ignored your standard meta tags and insisted that you add a specific opengraph tags for things like page title and description. They no longer seem to enforce this from looking at the linter with the exception of Joomla’s author tag which it doesn’t like because it uses meta name instead of property. In fact, after a bit of experimentation, it seems the only needed tag is the site type, everything else will be collected from the standard meta data. So lets add some tags.
I was recently asked a couple of times about international SEO and targeting websites with similar content at the correct people without just serving up a duplicate site.
The most obvious example of this is a .com website which is meant for American audiences and .co.uk which is meant for England, but it could also be a ‘uk’ sub-domain of the .com and potentially a completely different website using a different brand name as the domain name. The content of these websites might be practically the same apart from an address and contact number. So how do we make sure that the correct site gets sent to the right users?