Marie Ysais

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Does anyone have experience with Joomla websites and canonical problems? If so is there a way to fix it?
I am speaking with a developer now but there seems to be serious canonical problems with Joomla that isn't as simple to fix as other websites. For instance they are saying this url http://www.websitename.com/index.php cannot be re-directed to here: http://www.webssitename.com/
So the website has the same content on both. Anyone have experience working with Joomla and canonical problems?
 

djbaxter

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Well that was fast... here's his response:

See Joomla! • View topic - How to Remove index.php from urls

The issue is not the presence of www before the domain, but the presence of index.php in the url, if I'm not misunderstanding the forum post.

From that thread:

Once you have it working, you will need to add a redirect to your .htaccess file such that if URLs with index.php continue to be requested by users following old links in SERPs and in bookmarks they are redirected to the new URL without it.

Code:
RewriteCond %{THE_REQUEST} !^POST
RewriteCond %{THE_REQUEST} ^[A-Z]{3,9}\ /([^/]+/)*index\.php/([^\ ]*)\ HTTP/
RewriteCond %{SERVER_PORT}>s ^(443>(s)|[0-9]+>s)$
RewriteRule ^(([^/]+/)*)index\.php/(.*)$ http%2://www.example.com/$1$2 [R=301,L]

I urge you to use the new .htaccess file that comes with Joomla 1.5.23 onwards and Joomla 1.6.2 onwards. Look for the file called htaccess.txt in the installer package. It contains a note showing exactly where the redirects should go (in addition to a number of other changes). Add your new redirect code in the file at the point it says "redirects go here", or similar.

You might also want to add this code too:

Code:
########## Begin - 301 Redirect
#
RewriteCond %{THE_REQUEST} ^[A-Z]{3,9}\ /([^/]+/)*(index|home)\.html?\ HTTP/
RewriteRule ^(([^/]+/)*)(index|home)\.html?$ http://www.example.com/$1 [R=301,L]
#
RewriteCond %{THE_REQUEST} !^POST
RewriteCond %{THE_REQUEST} ^[A-Z]{3,9}\ /([^/]+/)*index\.php\ HTTP/
RewriteCond %{SERVER_PORT}>s ^(443>(s)|[0-9]+>s)$
RewriteRule ^(([^/]+/)*)index\.php$ http%2://www.example.com/$1 [R=301,L]
#
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^(www\.example\.com)?$
RewriteRule (.*) http://www.example.com/$1 [R=301,L]
#
########## End - 301 Redirect
 

Marie Ysais

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Thank you so much for the FAST responses! I will work with the developer today and see if they can implement the above code!

Nick, I do have a question for you. Where you able to rank the website well with continued issues of duplicate content? I have the one issue lingering I mentioned above but will try to get it resolved. I have read Joomla has a lot of these problems and it is hard to fix. So, how has it gone with your current client?

thanks!
 

Nick.SEOSpark

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Thank you so much for the FAST responses! I will work with the developer today and see if they can implement the above code!

Nick, I do have a question for you. Where you able to rank the website well with continued issues of duplicate content? I have the one issue lingering I mentioned above but will try to get it resolved. I have read Joomla has a lot of these problems and it is hard to fix. So, how has it gone with your current client?

thanks!

Hey Marie,

In all honesty, the project is still on-going and we are involved in a competitive fight on the front page. The website itself is a complicated one, with lots of pages. I'd say that we have minimized the duplicate content problems with the help of the developer. Essentially, getting the "canonical tag" implemented (correctly) will help the most if it is a large site.

Otherwise, I would recommend keeping an eye on "HTML Improvements" section in Google Webmaster Tools. If you see a high number (or any number) for "duplicate title tags" or anything else there, than you have to look at ways of minimizing it.

Anyway, we have some good rankings but there is room for improvement. We have achieved good rankings through other factors such as "inbound links".
 

Nick Rink

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Glad I found this thread as I've got a couple of clients currently using Joomla and one of them has an almighty nightmare with duplicated content. As well as the index.php issue they also have problems with every blog post having 2 unique URL's.

I've been looking into SEO extensions for Joomla and came across sh404sef, so good to see it mentioned here as well (thanks Nick). Have a meeting with the client's developer next week to go through this and a host of other issues. Will post an update in a few weeks once duplicate issues are (hopefully) resolved.

Wish everyone used Wordpress!
 

Nick.SEOSpark

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Glad I found this thread as I've got a couple of clients currently using Joomla and one of them has an almighty nightmare with duplicated content. As well as the index.php issue they also have problems with every blog post having 2 unique URL's.

I've been looking into SEO extensions for Joomla and came across sh404sef, so good to see it mentioned here as well (thanks Nick). Have a meeting with the client's developer next week to go through this and a host of other issues. Will post an update in a few weeks once duplicate issues are (hopefully) resolved.

Wish everyone used Wordpress!

Hope you manage to get it sorted Nick.

The point is that Joomla is just NOT an SEO Friendly framework at all - there is a lot that needs to be done to make it (even close) to SEO Friendly. In my situation, there are limitations from the developer and the framework that the website is run on.

Anyway, best of luck to everyone who has a Joomla website, and to that aim, I am going to give another link to add to your armory!

SEO Your Joomla! Website in 11 Super Easy Steps | SEOmoz

We need all the help we can get! - With Wordpress, you pretty much turn on Yoast's Wordpress SEO Plugin and you are on your way there.
Not so simple for Joomla.
 

Marie Ysais

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I had a little bit of success with the code that is above. I am not a developer so it is hard for me to say if the code was implemented 100% but all of the duplicate pages were solved except for ONE, and that is the home page.

I am having the developer also check into the extension mentioned by Nick and also checking over their code.
who knew?!

So, please report back to this thread with any new news! Thanks so much for everyone responding.
And Nick, thanks for posting that blog link that is everything I needed to know to get this project running faster!
 
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