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Your results in Google are plummeting. vB5 is horrible for SEO.

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  • #31
    Now dropping further at 1.49m for vbulletin.com and even further for site:vbulletin.com/forum at 1.46m

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    • #32
      Okay so I took some time and did some further analysis of vBulletin 5 connect, and there are many, issues present with it. All testing done at vBulletin.com These discoveries only took about 15 minutes of digging deeper. So I'm sure if I spent more time, I could find more.

      1. Googlebot can not see any links to threads/pages from within the thread listing view. (http://www.seo-browser.com/index.php...button0=Simple)

      2. Googlebot can not decipher what content is on a page.(See photo/screenshot)

      3. Googlebot can not see pagination links to navigate to the next/previous page in threads.(http://www.seo-browser.com/index.php...button0=Simple)

      4. There is no meta description or keywords for most pages (including thread listing, and the thread viewing pages). (In your browser -> View Source)

      So I'd imagine until these issues are fixed SEO is going to continue to be on the backburner for vBulletin 5 Connect.

      It's going to be interesting to watch how well this site continues to do in the coming weeks/months without a major overhaul.

      Comment


      • Dick
        Dick commented
        Editing a comment
        #2 looks like it's an issue with non-latin characters on the page. That text displayed as the snippet exists on the page. Not sure why that's what's being used as the snippet though. A more appropriate meta description might help.

    • #33

      Originally posted by OhioDave View Post
      How low will you guys let the indexed pages get before you realize you have major SEO problems with vbulletin 5. you're now at exactly 1.5 million pages indexed and dropping. so even if you got rid of duplicate URLs which I'm sure you didn't. You still have more than 1.5 threads/pages and user profiles...
      We will let them get as low as they need to be, so that we're only listing pages that add value.

      There are 1.6M pages or so indexed on this site. Your contention is that it's bad for that number to get smaller, because that means meaningful content is not in the index. Your contention is true only if the content that is removed from the index is meaningful. What if the drop in pages indexed is because meaningless content is being removed?

      Maybe another example will help.

      The forum has just shy of 400,000 registered users. Each of these users have a user profile, and if you Google the following search term, you'll see that pretty much all of them are indexed:

      Code:
      site:vbulletin.com inurl:forum/member intitle:profile
      This gives me 387,000 profiles in the index. That's a lot. But how meaningful is that content? I mean, it's in the index, so it's got to be meaningful, right?

      In the past 30 days, Google has sent a total of 300 visitors to 150 of those 387,000 profile pages. That means 386,850 of those profile pages didn't receive any Google visits (you know, give or take since Google only gives us three degrees of detail).

      Let's look at a couple profiles... How about some guys who go by "Big John":
      http://www.vbulletin.com/forum/member/28781-big-john
      or
      http://www.vbulletin.com/forum/member/175617-bigjohn
      or
      http://www.vbulletin.com/forum/member/220140-bigjohn60

      The last one at least has some information about him, but since he doesn't have any posts, his profile is pretty much orphaned. Do any of these profiles add any considerable value to the site? Do any of them contain any meaningful content? How horrible would it be for the site's SEO if they were removed from the index? How bad would it be for the site's SEO if we removed all 332,000 profiles for users that have never posted?

      I use this example because adding logic based meta robots "noindex" tags to profile pages is actually something that the vB team has discussed implementing. We want to ensure that the software is not adding unnecessary, low value pages that are indexable. Every page indexable should have substantial and unique content on it.

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      • OhioDave
        OhioDave commented
        Editing a comment
        So out of 1.46 million pages almost 400k are profile pages.

        that leaves lets say 1.1 million indexed threads/pages.

        seems that the profiles don't have any issue being crawled where as the threads do. If profiles are low priority and not important, why are almost all user profiles included in the index?

        care to share traffic stats from search engine refferals since the upgrade to vb5?

      • Dick
        Dick commented
        Editing a comment
        Since I don't really want to spend my whole afternoon writing a query to determine the actual number of pages this forum should have, let's do some back-of-the-napkin mathematics. The forum has about 400,000 threads comprised of approximately 1,700,000 posts. That's an average of 4.25 posts thread, which means the overwhelming majority of threads contain only one page. But for argument's sake, let's stay that there enough posts to make the average thread two pages. That would be 800,000 thread pages in the index.

        Seems to me that 1.1M is still a little high.

    • #34
      Well, I'll be darned, an IB representative posting at Vbulletin.com.

      Pardon me but I have never seen the likes before. Welcome to the furor Dick...
      Is that your real name?


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      • #35
        Originally posted by DemOnstar View Post
        Welcome to the furor Dick...
        Is that your real name?
        You're funny... I am still laughing...

        Comment


        • #36

          Originally posted by OhioDave View Post
          Okay so I took some time and did some further analysis of vBulletin 5 connect, and there are many, issues present with it. All testing done at vBulletin.com These discoveries only took about 15 minutes of digging deeper. So I'm sure if I spent more time, I could find more.

          1. Googlebot can not see any links to threads/pages from within the thread listing view. (http://www.seo-browser.com/index.php...button0=Simple)

          2. Googlebot can not decipher what content is on a page.(See photo/screenshot)

          3. Googlebot can not see pagination links to navigate to the next/previous page in threads.(http://www.seo-browser.com/index.php...button0=Simple)

          4. There is no meta description or keywords for most pages (including thread listing, and the thread viewing pages). (In your browser -> View Source)

          So I'd imagine until these issues are fixed SEO is going to continue to be on the backburner for vBulletin 5 Connect.

          It's going to be interesting to watch how well this site continues to do in the coming weeks/months without a major overhaul.
          Plain text browsers really aren't as useful for SEO purposes as they used to be. Google now executes javascript and indexes AJAXed content. I'm not saying that there aren't some potential issues with how vb5 is displaying content. We have been, and continue to investigate this, however, using a text based browser to find issues is not going to help.

          Regarding #2, that looks like a bug to me.

          Regarding #4, the meta description is something that the vB team is addressing. I know there is an open ticket on it. But as for meta keywords, no major search engine has used them in a meangful way for years, so development efforts are best spend elsewhere: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogsp...-meta-tag.html

          In your earlier comment, you asked if I'd be willing to provide details on traffic stats. The only specifics I'm willing to disclose is the fact that search engine traffic has not dropped since the upgrade to vB5. I really don't know vB's policy on releasing traffic details, but I do know that most other verticals here at IB don't release those numbers.

          Originally posted by DemOnstar View Post
          Well, I'll be darned, an IB representative posting at Vbulletin.com.

          Pardon me but I have never seen the likes before. Welcome to the furor Dick...
          Is that your real name?
          Yes, Dick is my real name. I'm not on the vB team, but I've worked closely with them for the last 5 years. I've been on this forum as a customer since 2005. I'm not posting here in any official capacity, but as an interested party.

          Comment


          • #37
            Originally posted by Dick View Post
            Yes, Dick is my real name. I'm not on the vB team, but I've worked closely with them for the last 5 years. I've been on this forum as a customer since 2005. I'm not posting here in any official capacity, but as an interested party.
            Well Dick, good to see you take an interest and post something to establish your presence.
            I hope you have or will browse around the forum areas, maybe discuss a few ideas and listen to some feedback..Shame about the 'official capacity' aspect not being fulfilled but good to have you aboard...Things can only get better....


            Comment


            • #38
              I can tell you that since I upgraded from vB3 to vB4 about 4 months ago, I have seen a real drop in Google indexing ... and also in traffic from Google. I hope it won't take very long for my site to get back to what it was ...

              Comment


              • #39
                This is a discussion about vb5 @nd its horrible ability to be properly indexed. Vb3 to vb4 you shouldn't take that much of a hit due to the URL structure remaining the same assuming you kept showthread.php format. just fyi another drop in indexed pages. Also there are only 505,000 threads indexed according to site:bulletin.com/forum/forum search query. So yeah almost as many member profiles indexed as threads/actual content.

                Comment


                • #40
                  Perhaps it was the rise of social networks but vBulletin has been seeing a steady drop in interest for awhile now. Less people are searching for vBulletin and I'd imagine traffic here will continue to fall.
                  Art of Travel Blogging : The Travel Blogging Community for Beginners and Professionals

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                  • #41
                    Originally posted by OhioDave View Post
                    This is a discussion about vb5 @nd its horrible ability to be properly indexed. Vb3 to vb4 you shouldn't take that much of a hit due to the URL structure remaining the same assuming you kept showthread.php format. just fyi another drop in indexed pages. Also there are only 505,000 threads indexed according to site:bulletin.com/forum/forum search query. So yeah almost as many member profiles indexed as threads/actual content.
                    Maybe you missed my comment above:

                    Originally posted by Dick
                    Since I don't really want to spend my whole afternoon writing a query to determine the actual number of pages this forum should have, let's do some back-of-the-napkin mathematics. The forum has about 400,000 threads comprised of approximately 1,700,000 posts. That's an average of 4.25 posts thread, which means the overwhelming majority of threads contain only one page. But for argument's sake, let's stay that there enough posts to make the average thread two pages. That would be 800,000 thread pages in the index.

                    Seems to me that 1.1M is still a little high.
                    If a forum has 400k threads, and an average of 4.25 posts per thread [read: one page per thread on average], exactly how many thread URL's do you think should be in the index?

                    Let's imagine the most dramatic example of a forum with 400k threads and 1.7M posts...... The largest number of possible pages is a forum with 399,999 single-post threads, and one thread with 1,300,001 replies, giving it 86,666 pages. That forum would then have 486,665 indexable pages.

                    So, given a total possible number of pages at 486,665, how do you see 505,000 pages in the index as an indexation problem?

                    Comment


                    • #42
                      Originally posted by Dick View Post

                      Maybe you missed my comment above:



                      If a forum has 400k threads, and an average of 4.25 posts per thread [read: one page per thread on average], exactly how many thread URL's do you think should be in the index?

                      Let's imagine the most dramatic example of a forum with 400k threads and 1.7M posts...... The largest number of possible pages is a forum with 399,999 single-post threads, and one thread with 1,300,001 replies, giving it 86,666 pages. That forum would then have 486,665 indexable pages.

                      So, given a total possible number of pages at 486,665, how do you see 505,000 pages in the index as an indexation problem?
                      There may also be other variables at work. I was looking at Google Webmaster Tools last night, and we saw an indexed URL drop from 500,000+ URLs to 250,000 between the week of 4/7/2013 to 4/14/2013. This is easily a 50% drop of indexed page status. So something may have changed in their algorithm again, or its because we unrestricted robots.txt earlier that month. And this is vBulletin 4... never upgraded. So as to the efficacy of Google, people are going to be debating this until the cows come home. Did vBulletin forums themselves see a dramatic drop that week? I wonder. Only you guys have the raw data.

                      Comment


                      • #43
                        Originally posted by OhioDave View Post
                        This is a discussion about vb5 @nd its horrible ability to be properly indexed. Vb3 to vb4 you shouldn't take that much of a hit due to the URL structure remaining the same assuming you kept showthread.php format. just fyi another drop in indexed pages. Also there are only 505,000 threads indexed according to site:bulletin.com/forum/forum search query. So yeah almost as many member profiles indexed as threads/actual content.
                        Well the URL structure hasn't remained the same. I selected Friendly URLs, which wasn't available on vB3. I was worried about the search engine impact. Seems my fears were not unfounded.

                        Comment


                        • #44
                          Originally posted by MikeF View Post

                          There may also be other variables at work. I was looking at Google Webmaster Tools last night, and we saw an indexed URL drop from 500,000+ URLs to 250,000 between the week of 4/7/2013 to 4/14/2013. This is easily a 50% drop of indexed page status. So something may have changed in their algorithm again, or its because we unrestricted robots.txt earlier that month. And this is vBulletin 4... never upgraded. So as to the efficacy of Google, people are going to be debating this until the cows come home. Did vBulletin forums themselves see a dramatic drop that week? I wonder. Only you guys have the raw data.
                          No dramatic drop during that week. We've been dropping fairly steadily since the move to vB5, which was expected as we're working out the individual post pages from the index. We've had a couple weeks where the jump was bigger, but hte jumb from 4.7 - 4/14 was one of the smaller ones.

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                          • #45
                            Originally posted by JKerviel12 View Post

                            Well the URL structure hasn't remained the same. I selected Friendly URLs, which wasn't available on vB3. I was worried about the search engine impact. Seems my fears were not unfounded.
                            If you upgraded from 3 to 4, you shouldn't have had any issues with the change in the URLs. Google handles 301 redirects very well. The only issues that I am aware of was an issue where an early version of vB4 had an option to make the URL format something like /showthread.php?page-title which made Google think that the page title was a query parameter that didn't have an assigned variable. With that, I don't think we had any significant drop in traffic, but we did have issues with Google Webmaster Tools reporting every thread title as a parameter that it wasn't sure how to handle.... so it was cleaned up. If your settings use a / instead of a ? in the url after showthread, you should be good to go.

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