*I copied this by Cerberus from this thread.

I tried implementing some of these steps but this was written for vB 3.x , as such some of the code has changed.

For example there is no longer "$headinclude" in the vB4 code. I was wondering if someone could point out which of these steps are stil useful in vB4 and what the proper code would be to edit your template.

Also, I know vB4 has improved their built in SEO'ing, which of these steps are no longer needed?


Ok, I thought I would throw this together for those people seeking a guide for seo without the help of vbseo. If I leave anything out or if anyone has anything to add please do so. So, here we go. Oh and thanks to all who have helped me and all who I copied some of this info from. I grabbed them from posts on various sites. Thanks Brandon,Joeychgo, Mike54,

1)Remove Powered By Vbulletin tag

Editing the "powered by vBulletin" phrases is something I recommend to every forum owner.
This phrase is showing up in the title tag of every page of your forum.
It's essential in SEO'ing your vBulletin forum..

How to Remove the "- Powered by vBulletin" in page title tags

Go to your ADMINCP> Language & Phrases> Search in Phrases

In your Phrases Search for: x_powered_by_vbulletin (be sure to choose to search by Phrase Text and Phrase Variable Name)

Edit the phrase. Simply change it from {1} - Powered by vBulletin

to {1}

SO your just deleting - Powered by vBulletin

2)Title and description changes

vBulletin handles page titles and descriptions differently then I like.

For starters, the page descriptions do not change from one page to the next. So the description for each and every post and thread are the same. This does not help search engines (or adsense) figure out what a thread is about. You want the titles, descriptions and keywords to be specific to each page / thread.

vBulletin does this in the template "headinclude". We will modify this template first. Remove the following from the template:

<if condition="$show['threadinfo']"> <meta name="keywords" content="$threadinfo[title], $vboptions[keywords]" /> <meta name="description" content="<if condition="$pagenumber>1"><phrase 1="$pagenumber">$vbphrase[page_x]</phrase>-</if>$threadinfo[title] $foruminfo[title_clean]" /> <else /> <if condition="$show['foruminfo']"> <meta name="keywords" content="$foruminfo[title_clean], $vboptions[keywords]" /> <meta name="description" content="<if condition="$pagenumber>1"><phrase 1="$pagenumber">$vbphrase[page_x]</phrase>-</if>$foruminfo[description_clean]" /> <else /> <meta name="keywords" content="$vboptions[keywords]" /> <meta name="description" content="$vboptions[description]" /> </if> </if>
This removed the description and keywords from the headinclude.

Now, lets go about putting them back in a better manner.

We have to replace them in all vital areas, meaning pages that we want search engines to index.

SO, lets start with the forumhome template.

Look for:

$headinclude <title><phrase 1="$vboptions[bbtitle]">$vbphrase[x_powered_by_vbulletin]</phrase></title>
Now, first, move the $headinclude to below the title line, and insert this inbetween the two.

<title><phrase 1="$vboptions[bbtitle]">$vbphrase[x_powered_by_vbulletin]</phrase></title> <meta name="keywords" content="$vboptions[keywords]" /> <meta name="description" content="$vboptions[description]" /> $headinclude
Like this you will be using the description and keywords that you set under vBulletin options. If you want to be specific to the page, you can change the areas in red below and use that:

<title> <phrase 1="$vboptions[bbtitle]">$vbphrase[x_powered_by_vbulletin]</phrase> </title> <meta name="keywords" content="$vboptions[keywords]" /> <meta name="description" content="$vboptions[description] " /> $headinclude
Ok... Thats the forumhome. Now onto the forum display template.

In the forumdisplay you have:

$headinclude <title>$foruminfo[title_clean]<if condition="$pagenumber>1"> - <phrase 1="$pagenumber">$vbphrase[page_x]</phrase></if> - $vboptions[bbtitle]</title>
We are going to make a similar change as we did on forumhome...

<title>$foruminfo[title_clean]<if condition="$pagenumber>1"> - <phrase 1="$pagenumber">$vbphrase[page_x]</phrase></if> - $vboptions[bbtitle]</title> <meta name="keywords" content="$foruminfo[title] $vboptions[keywords]" /> <meta name="description" content="$foruminfo[description] $foruminfo[title]" />  $headinclude
There are 2 main changes here. First, your pulling keywords from the vBulletin options as with the forumhome, but your also adding the forum name to the keywords... Second, you have a description that is specific to each individual forum. The description you get breaks down like this:

$foruminfo[description] = the description you entered for the forum in the forum manager

$foruminfo[description] = the title of the individual forum.

If you like, you can swap these around - like
<meta name="$foruminfo[title] $foruminfo[description]" />

Ok, now onto the Showthread template:

Here again, you have this:

$headinclude <title>$thread[title]<if condition="$pagenumber>1"> - <phrase 1="$pagenumber">$vbphrase[page_x]</phrase></if> - $vboptions[bbtitle]</title>
Change it to this: (changing the red text to something specific to your forum)

<title>$thread[title]<if condition="$pagenumber>1"> - <phrase 1="$pagenumber">$vbphrase[page_x]</phrase></if> - $foruminfo[title]</title> <meta name="description" content="$thread[title] is discussed at vBulletin FAQ - $foruminfo[title]" /> <meta name="keywords" content="$thread[title] $vboptions[keywords]" /> $headinclude
The breakdown here is this:

You are changing the title slightly by removing the site name, and replacing it with the name of the forum that the thread is in.

You are adding the description which will now have: The Title of the thread + The red text + the title of the forum the thread is in. Lots of keywords in your description now.

You are also adding the keywords that you placed in vBulletin Options, as well as the thread title which is also in the keywords now.

I also like to do the Showthread_showpost and Memberinfo templates. These arent really important, but I like to do them anyway.

With Showthread_showpost you start with:

$headinclude <title>$vboptions[bbtitle] - $vbphrase[view_single_post] - $threadinfo[title]</title>
and change it to:

<title>$vboptions[bbtitle] - $vbphrase[view_single_post] - $threadinfo[title]</title> <meta name="keywords" content="$thread[title] $vboptions[keywords]" /> <meta name="description" content="$thread[title] $foruminfo[title] $foruminfo[description] " /> $headinclude
and for Memberinfo you have:

$headinclude <title>$vboptions[bbtitle] - $vbphrase[view_profile]: $userinfo[username]</title>
and Change it to

<title>$userinfo[username]'s profile on $vboptions[bbtitle]</title> <meta name="keywords" content="$vboptions[keywords]" /> <meta name="description" content="$vboptions[description]" /> $headinclude
Thats a start. Dont be afraid to customize this a bit for your particular forum.

3) Remove forum titles from threads

Once you've established your forum title in vBulletin Options, that title will appear on all sub-forum, member profile and thread pages. I am of the opinion you can experience much better thread title relevancy by removing the forum title from these pages.

Since everyone removes the 'Powered by vBulletin' from their titles, why not take it a step further and remove the forum title, as well?

This is a simple modification to make.

1. Log into your Admin CP

2. Select Styles & Templates, then select Style Manager

3. Select the style you want to edit and then Edit Templates

4. Select the FORUMDISPLAY template. In the Title tag, near the top of the template, you are looking for


5. Delete that code and save the template.

6. Repeat steps 4 & 5 for the MEMBERINFO template and for the SHOWTHREAD template.

This will remove the forum title from the title of the page, giving more weight to the actual thread title.

4)Adding H1 Tags to your Forum and Threads

H1, H2 and H3 tags can help search engines such as Google, Yahoo and MSN figure out what a web page is about.

SO this is an important mod to make. It also is good for your members as it gives a more descriptive introduction to a thread.

As always, you should back up your forums before making any changes.

In the FORUMDISPLAY template find

and Below it add:

<br /> <center> <h1 class="myh1">$foruminfo[title_clean]</h1> <h2 class="myh2">$foruminfo[description]</h2> </center> <br />
This adds the Forum Name in the H1 Tags and the Forum Description in the H2 tags. It also places these items below the navbar when you visit a forum.

In your SHOWTHREAD template find

and Below it add:

<br /> <center> <h1 class="myh1">$thread[title]</h1> <h2 class="myh2">$foruminfo[title_clean]</h2> </center> <br />
This adds the Thread Title in the H1 Tags and the Forum Name in the H2 tags. It also places these items below the navbar when you visit a thread.

Now. You can control the size and appearance of H1, H2 and H3 tags via your CSS if you choose.

For example. In your Style Manager, Main CSS, under Additional CSS Definitions, scroll to the bottom and add something such as this:

(This will make all the H1 & H2 tags using this class appear like this, forum wide) This is the code we use here to give you an idea of how it looks.

/* ***** H1 Tags ***** */ h1.myh1 {font-family: Arial; font-size: 20px; color: #000000; font-weight: bold;}  h2.myh2 {font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; color: #000000; font-weight: bold;}
You can change the font, font size and whether its bold or not by simply changing the variables. You can also change the color if you like.

5).htaccess to stop duplicate content

Open up notepad on your computer and paste this code into your notepad

Options +FollowSymLinks
RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^yoursitename\.com$
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.yoursitename.com/$1 [R=301,L]
Obviously replace yoursitename with the name of your site. You can also replace .com with whatever type of domain you have for example .net, .info, etc...

Then go to file at the top save as and name it .htaccess...Make sure to save it as all files...Now just upload it to the root folder of your site.