SEO Best Practices for the Drupal.org Redesign

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The following are some SEO guidelines for the drupal.org redesign implementation. Many thanks to Erik Wagner and Josh Ward of Volacci for putting together the webinar, Search Engine Optimization for the Drupal.org Redesign, which can be viewed at http://blip.tv/file/3006098.

Title tags

  • Title tags are displayed as search results, so ensure they describe the page
  • Ensure they include the most important keyword for that page first, e.g. Get Started with Drupal | Drupal.org
  • Ensure having strong sections including the most important keywords used when searching for a cms (see attachment)
  • No more than 69 characters per title tag
  • Avoid duplicate title tags

Header tags

  • No more than one H1 per page
  • Use the most important terms for that page in the H1
  • Use bold font for the H1 tag
  • Use maximum of 2-3 H2 tags

Meta description

  • Create a description for every page. The description should be different on every page for best results.
  • 156 characters or less
  • Include keywords relevant to the page
  • This gets displayed as a teaser in Google search results

Meta keywords

  • Used by smaller search engines, but still important
  • Maximum three keywords per page

    robots.txt

  • Be sure it has been reviewed before the site goes live
  • Ensure we exclude directories that shouldn't be indexed / searchable
  • If the site is open in the web before launch, it is a good practice to disallow the bot from crawling/indexing the pages by placing a robot.txt file with disallow * . *

HTML and CSS

Redesigned site suggestions

  • Define the page hirearchy/sitemap. The content taxonomy to be reflected in the URLS.
  • Use descriptive URLs on all new pages (e.g. with Pathauto, and alias existing pages)
  • Use hyphens in paths rather than underscore or mushing it into one word
  • Implement directory siloing by linking related content to each other
  • Use less than 100 links per page. Any more than this is poor SEO and poor user experience. e.g. On Download and Extend, there can be links to the pages with the top rated modules etc., rather than provide as many links on the main page itself.
  • Any navigation links that point to a subdirectory should be consistent with the navigation (e.g. in the existing site, documentation points to a section called handbooks)
  • Don't have H2s around links

Links

Links to drupal.org from other sites are like votes in favor of Drupal. The more votes there are, the higher the Google rank. To optimize the Google rank, use links that contain keywords describing Drupal.org. We can provide a list of link suggestions to use on your own sites, blogs, forum profile/sig line or social media profiles.
*See some keyword suggestions attached.
*Existing links should be redirected (301) as far as possible to the "new" pages.

Canonical URLs

We must also configure the comments, View pagination, Page pagination, Auto title CCKs to have appropriate Canonical URLs to avoid getting penalized for Duplicate content and improve our site ranking.

Recommended modules

(We need discussion on how to implement these, if they haven't been already)
* Token
* Node words
* Page title
* HTML Purifyer
* Pathauto
* Path redirect
* Global redirect
* XML sitemap
* Search 404?

Images

  • Having meaningful names, alt text for images. Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words!

Conversions

After the redesign is implemented, we can use Google Web Optimizer to do A/B testing and multivariate testing on pages. For example, we may want to experiment with the wording on the Get Started page to learn what wording produces the most downloads of Drupal core.
*See Google Website Optimizer

Geo Data

Include geo data where possible and generate GEO RSS/KML files for integration into maps.google.com and Google Earth
see the Submit Your Geo Content to Google article
Modules:
*XML to KML
*Views RSS

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keyword suggestions937 bytes