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+5 votes
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I know that Q2A does a great job of SEO out of the box, but there are a few things I think would improve it. So I am looking at making a plugin that adds a few things (some of which I have already done on my site). Here is my list so far:

  • Link H1 tag to current question (more about usability than SEO, it helps users get the canonical URL easily).
  • Move favorites button outside H1 tag.
  • Add page numbers to the title and headings on certain pages (since they should normally be unique).
  • 301 redirect questions to canonical URL. (Maybe also for duplicate questions.)
  • Return 404 error code for hidden questions.
  • Remove nofollow for links to current domain, and possibly a way to add "trusted domains".
  • Add "noindex,follow" meta tag to login/register page (reasons here).

One that may be controversial would be to remove the meta keywords tag as it is useless, but many people seem to like it. Meta description is also fairly useless on a user-generated content site when the contents of the meta description are already on the page. So perhaps a way for you to specify your own meta descriptions for certain questions, that will aid clickthrough in search results.

Does anyone have other ideas that would fit nicely into this plugin?

4 Answers

+1 vote
edited by
An SEO plugin is sorely needed and with the little coding I can do, I've started developing one also. Unfortunately, I'm not a good coder, so it's not something I would release out in the open. I think all your suggestions are good ones and I've already hacked together some of them. Some I might add are:

1. Have one category page per category, instead of a different category pages with the same exact content, depending on where you are on the Q2A site. This was brought up on another post on this site (http://www.question2answer.org/qa/7632/duplicate-content-issues). Well crafted category pages that are unique are very helpful for SEO, but the way Q2A puts together category pages now is, IMHO, silly and serves no useful purpose, especially if you want to create solid landing pages for SEO.

2. Allow for meta descriptions for tags pages, and also allow for this static description of the tags to be on the page on top. The tags pages can do very well for SEO, too, but the inability to control some static content on the tag pages is a minus.

3. Whenever you edit a question title, Q2A immediately changes the URL (if you are using SEO friendly URL's). This is not a good idea, since if you are involved in SEO you may update content frequently - but then the URL may change all the time for the post, if you decide to change the title of the post after doing some keyword research. This is not good. The URL should be saved once upon post creation, and if you want to change the URL slug afterwards, you should be able to do this, but not by just editing a post. See how this is done in Wordpress. I think Q2A needs a URL alias table maybe?

4. Also, something I've brought up before also, do not allow users (except for admins) to edit, hide, or delete questions. There is no useful purpose for Q2A's built in function that allows users to edit their own questions for as long as they want or to hide them whenever they want. Either remove this feature entirely or set up a time delay for this.

5. FYI, meta descriptions are not useless, but your suggestion to specify your own meta description for questions is the right way to do it (I've set this up on my own by using additional custom fields).

I'll add some more as I think of them.
Good suggestions. Re meta descriptions, IMO they are useless when you are just repeating the first line of the question. Search engines will already show that in search results if it's appropriate to the query.
Yes, I agree. you are right if you just repeat the first line. But, I think you can help conversion from search engines with a custom meta description that is not just a rehash of the first line.
Some excellent points. If you Google a Q2A site with site:example.com you'll see lots of redundant site default description results for tags, users, etc. Would be nice to have some more control over this.
I think being able to customize the side pannel box for custom pages and category pages would be very helpful.  This is most likely where a meta description would come from.  I also believe that it is a lot of duplicate content to have the same sort of heading paragraph on every page.  I would also like to see an optional description element for tags which could be edited from the admin pannel.  Popular tag pages would rank much better if there were some extra text description on them. Just my thoughts.
+1 vote

As you say, SEO is already good and was obviously part of the design.

One thing that would help is a breadcrumbs widget. This would show categories, pages, or tags that were navigated to the current page.

Breadcrumbs shown in H2 at the top of the page would make those category names and tags rank higher.

This should probably be a separate plugin however, since it might not be appropriate for all Q2A sites.


0 votes
I would like to be able to add a list of keywords, followed by a URL and anytime the keywords are seen in a question or answer, a hyperlink to the URL is created.  There should be some parameters limiting number of links in each question or answer, number of times each keyword is used as a link, and whether the links should be in questions, answers or both.  The list might look like:

diet, calories, burn fat: http://someurl/weightloss.html
exercise, workout, interval training: http://someurl/exercise.html

so if an answer was something like:

To lose weight you should consider a diet and regular exercise.

then the word diet and exercise would automatically get hyperlinked to the weightloss.html and exercise.html pages respectively.
0 votes
Noindex tag and category pages.

Only use 1 URL for questions, no matter how many times you change permalink structure/question title. 301 all unused permalinks to what you currently have selected, kinda like wordpress.