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Hi,

how do you handle SEO (Search engine optimization)?

In my case there are 4 sections in which every entry contains data to fill one page. And every entry should have different meta description and meta title tags.

What I can do now is to add to all of these sections the same set of fields (meta description, title, keyword etc). What if there were 40 sections like this? As we all know, duplication sucks ;)

I must say that I was really surprise that after typing "SEO" in Symphony discussion board search engine, I got no results :)

Thanks for all your replies!

I must say that I was really surprise that after typing "SEO" in Symphony discussion board search engine, I got no results :)

It's a limitation of the search function. I believe the search must have four or more characters.

What I can do now is to add to all of these sections the same set of fields (meta description, title, keyword etc). What if there were 40 sections like this? As we all know, duplication sucks ;)

I'm not quite sure I understand the scenario. If the meta data is the same for a particular section, you could create a separate meta section. You could also target the first entry of this section like //entry[1]/keywords if you had a keywords field, for instance.

At work we solve this by having a dedicated SEO section with 4 fields, Meta Title, Meta Description, Meta Keywords (Textbox's) and an Active Path field (Expression Field).

A datasource runs on every page that just compares the $current-path with the Active Path. If an entry is found, we use it's data, otherwise we fallback to a default set in XSLT.

This approach allows a client to add SEO and tie it to a URL instead of an entry. We find it useful because often pages are a cluster of entries, so adding the data to entry can be limiting (for instance, how would you target the SEO for a Blog index?).

Each to their own though :)

Just as a sidenote: I have been in contact with several SEO specialists, and all of them confirmed that Google is not supposed to read keywords at all. I don't know if other search engines still read them, but if they do, they are living in the past.

(In Germany Google is very very strong, so it always gets the SEO focus.)

The description, however, may be used on the results page of the search engine.

Lewis, my point is that meta data is different for every page and there are as many pages as entries. And good point on this "3 character searching" limitation :):)

michael-e, as far as I know you are completely right, keywords are not supported by google.

Serious extension proposal below :)

bredno, thanks for your idea. But look: sometimes you have sections with many entries but any of these sections have only one related page (e.g. entries are listed in that page). In this case, your idea is ok.

However, imagine that there is a section called "Subpages" and any of those subpages has different page and different SEO tags. In this case, after creating a subpage entry, you have to add a new SEO entry in a SEO section. This task demands typing a correct path, which, assuming that a path to the specific page must include entry's ID or handle, can be very error-prone to a client.

Here below I give you my idea how to solve it. I think this solution would increase Symphony's flexibility by decreasing a need of duplication:

I can imagine a utility which would give developer an ability to speficy some fields (created, let's say in some sort of "template section", usual section but abstract, something like an abstract class in objective programming) and add them to any section we want (there would be a multiply choice list of all sections) in 2 modes: either "section mode", or "entry mode".

"Section mode" would let user fill the "template fields" only in context of one section (let's call it, section configuration).

"Entry mode" would add "template fields" to every entry in the section.

How about that? It's not only about SEO. In fact, when I look at 3 recent projects I've been doing, I see that in any of them I would use this utility. There is always some sort of duplication I must do and I'm sure that it shouldn't take place.

Look at this example: I've been recently doing a webpage for a kindergarden. There were 4 pages with identical scheme. And I had to create 4 identical sections for any of these pages! (11-fields sections!). I don't have to say it's WRONG :) What if there were 10 sections like this? Nightmare. Of course, there is a solution, let's make a 1 section and ComboBox with a choice of "to which page do you want to add this entry?". But now, all those entries are displayed together and it's a total mess. And in my case, the client said that sorting of entries is a fundamental issue. Sort entries in such a mess! Of course he won't agree with such a solution. Even if he did...

What if there are 10 similar sections with little differences. Let's say 9 same fields and 2 additional fields different for any section? ComboBox solution doesn't help at all here. We must duplicate those 9 fields 10 times, isn't it awful? According to modern programming and designing patterns this shouldn't take place!

At work we solve this by having a dedicated SEO section with 4 fields, Meta Title, Meta Description, Meta Keywords (Textbox's) and an Active Path field (Expression Field).

A datasource runs on every page that just compares the $current-path with the Active Path. If an entry is found, we use it's data, otherwise we fallback to a default set in XSLT.

This approach allows a client to add SEO and tie it to a URL instead of an entry. We find it useful because often pages are a cluster of entries, so adding the data to entry can be limiting (for instance, how would you target the SEO for a Blog index?).

Each to their own though :)

This is what I do. In my XSLT I check for entry meta of an article or similar and if none exist, I use the meta section and match the $current-path where I have a corresponding meta entry for that page.

In this case, after creating a subpage entry, you have to add a new SEO entry in a SEO section. This task demands typing a correct path, which, assuming that a path to the specific page must include entry's ID or handle, can be very error-prone to a client.

That's why I use this awesome extension Page Select Field.

Hey Guys,

I'm new in smphony and my question is what is the best solution to adding different Meta Informations (Title, Description and Keywords) to Pages and Section Entrys ?

And how I can overwrite the Page Meta Informations with the Sections Entry Meta Informations ?

Thx

@quma: Have you read brendo's post above in this discussion?

Perhaps there's a specific step along the way that you're not sure how to perform? If so, post back with what it is.

If you're so new to Symphony CMS that none of his answer makes sense, I'd suggest first experimenting with a few basic pages and data, and then coming back to this.

@DavidOliver: yes i read it, but If I have understood correctly, the path (url) for section entry meta informations is hardcoded with the "Expression Field".

thats not a good solution for my

Had you considered using the Pages Field extension instead of requiring the content editor to paste in a URL, as Lewis said?

This is what I do. In my XSLT I check for entry meta of an article or similar and if none exist, I use the meta section and match the $current-path where I have a corresponding meta entry for that page.

@lewis: can you give me a code snippet from your xslt checking code ?

@ DavidOliver: thanks

maybe i understood wrong, sorry me.

But i have a section with news entries, need i to create another section for seo with entries which contain meta tags info?

And when I add a new New entry, i then must add a new entry in Seo section. It's very unconvienent, more happy to have just 2 seo fields (keywords and description) right in News section. Such as in many other CMS.

@almix, if it suits you and your site better, you can indeed have meta tag fields directly in your News entries section.

Sorry to correct you @michael-e but Bing still uses Keywords.

But you are right. Google isn't just the biggest Search Engine in Germany. It gets also the most traffic here in Switzerland. Probably the most used Search Engine in the world (except russia and asia).

Bing still uses Keywords

Oh, really? Interesting.

Google does not use meta tags any more to rank a website. But yahoo and bing are said to use meta tags for judging a site. According to seo experts academy there are many seo myths than the working stuff on the internet today.

@Brendo,

How do you get this to work with parameter filtering?

If a user adds SEO to match "/films" against $current-path.

URL: mysite.com/films Works.

URL: musite.com/films/in-theaters No match. Data source is empty.

Sometimes I have 20+ possible page parameter results, so adding an SEO path entry for everything isn't practical.

Thanks! Matt

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