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Hey Guys,

Been using MyBB exclusively since I started building forums.

I've tried various other open source alternatives (SMF, Vanilla, phpBB etc etc) even fully constructed a few sites using CMS other then MyBB just to get to the end and delete the whole lot and replace with a myBB install.

Recently I have a new site on 1.8 (my first 1.8 build) and it's sooo nice, love the updated styling, addition of font awesome icons and generally a much nicer feel. - heavenstrikeforum.com

The forum is now pretty much fully constructed, some minor tweaks to add still and some extra plugins to come later but these are mostly to extend the function of the forum i.e. chat etc.

Google SEO plugin is installed, meta tags and description added to index template, social media plugged in too, we actively tweet, facebook and google+ share threads and also use main facebook like/share buttons at the top of the header.

Now, I'm struggling to move the SEO forward in order to compete with a Zenforo forum on the same subject - heavenstrikerivalsforum.com

The usual online SEO checkers mostly show that my MyBB sites SEO is not as good as the Zenforo ones.

Some of the information given by the onlien SEO checkers are things like meta tags, h1, h2 tags etc, which we all know are not that important to googlebot these days compared to other factors.

After quite a lot of searching the forums and some googling I'm stuck at what to do or change now to make improvements.

Can anyone help shed some light on what I should next, I'm concerned that without some advice at this stage any changes I make could harm the SEO of my site.

Thanks guys.
(01-01-2015, 03:56 PM)GCZone Wrote: [ -> ]The usual online SEO checkers mostly show that my MyBB sites SEO is not as good as the Zenforo ones.

Well, Xenforo is optimised for SEO by default. However, you can do the same with MyBB. You should start with:
- adding a robots.txt file to stop robots from accessing links they have no permission to see - newthread.php, editpost.php, sendthread.php, etc. An examplary file that covers nearly everything is included in the Google SEO plugin.
- turning on CSS minification in Server & Optimisation settings. Also some JS files can be minified manually.
- validating HTML on your site, you have over 50 errors on the index page: http://validator.w3.org/check?uri=heaven...ne&group=0 And most of them are basic mistakes which shouldn't happen, such as forgetting the alt attribute in <img> tag and leaving not opened </i> after removing Font Awesome icons from theme I assume.
As always thanks so much for the help.

Destroy you have been a massive help. Totally missed the robots.txt file. Now uploaded to root.

CSS minification now enabled.

and finally working through the W3 index page errors, already dropped from 57 down to 40.

So as per usual, excellent help and support from the MyBB team, this is why I have never changed forum CMS.

Hopefully soon my php will be better and I can repay you guys with some contributions.

Big Grin

Done a great deal of changes to various templates and tidied up the code.

Now from 57 down to 23 errors and getting rather stuck again.

Up to date W3 check - http://validator.w3.org/check?uri=http%3...2Fservices

any pointers to work on final errors would be really appreciated as they are a little beyond my abilities now.

Thanks

Chris
Stuck on last few errors if any one has a few minutes to point me in the right direction? Undecided


Thanks Guys
Most of them are caused by incorrect encoding. If you add an URL to a template, make sure to always encode & to &amp; in it.

Outdated <script language="javascript"> should be changed to <script type="text/javascript">

<span id="copyright smalltext"> should be <span id="copyright" class="smalltext">

Some images are still missing the alt tag. They're also not closed.

2 closing </div>s are missing from footer before </body>.

Style tag should be moved to <head> section.

data-xxx errors can be ignored since they can't be fixed easily.
Thank you so much Destroy, no only is this helpful but i'm learning for the future too. I have many MyBB sites and with your advices over the last few days ALL of these have improved Big Grin
WOW - That was a tricky process but I have learnt so much over the last week. Thank you Destroy666.

So, I now have 1 remaining error and can't seem to crack that one.

Other than that. My lovely MyBB forum is still being out ranked on google by the Zenforo forum I'm competing with.

My SEO work so far is:

- Social Media integration - the member are quite active in sharing posts.
- I have added some very good quality blog posts on the subject of the forum on decent sites (well run, well ranked sites) with a backlink.
- No junky backlinks have been created at all.
- Google SEO mod installed and I believe correctly configured
- Robots.txt and sitemap uploaded to root and sitemap submitted to webmaster tools and a re-crawl has been requested.

The Zenforo forum admin has done ZERO SEO

Our MyBB site has more and richer content than the Zenforo one.

They are still out ranking us on google.

Am I missing something here or is this just bad luck.

Thanks again for all the support. I'd like to win this little battle for 2 reasons now.

1) Obviously my forum will be the better ranked one.
2) I can write an SEO guide on the subject including all the tips and help given in achieving this to further help the MyBB community


Thanks

Chris
Big Grin
*shrug*

maybe their domain name is better for the subject

Quote:The Zenforo forum admin has done ZERO SEO

Actually it looks like you're both doing the very same things. Keyword URLs, sitemaps, social links, ...

And both forums are small, so it's not like you'd outweigh each other content-wise.
I did wonder about domain name, but I was lead to believe that following the new google algorithms it's not so important anymore.

ok. The Zenforo dude hasn't done any additional SEO is what I should have said.

Both MyBB and Zenforo have keyword URLs, sitemaps and social links.

The difference is, my MyBB forum has 10 x the social activity
We also have a decent amount of high quality back links. They have very few backlinks- no more than 3 and they are not that good quality.

Hence my confusion. Big Grin
Well, from the technical side you can't really do anything else, maybe use the rich snippets for things like breadcrumbs but I doubt it matters much if at all.

Another thing that may matter is that they opened their XenForo forum ~20 days earlier than yours.
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