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The Weeblr Blast podcast as seen in the Spotify podcasting website

4SEF and 4Podcast released today

Hi all,

This is the day. After a long, much longer than I hoped, 4SEF beta testing period, we're officially releasing today 4SEF, our latest SEF URLs for Joomla 3 and 4 extension. 4SEF has been available as beta for several months and in fact is running in production already on many sites which have transitioned from sh404SEF to 4SEF. But due to how SEF URLs are such a basic building block of any website, it took some time to have enough real world testers for me to feel confident all the bases are covered and we can remove that "beta" tag.

But that's not all: a few months back, looking at the fact not that many people were fans of reading our blog, I decided to experiment in combining it with a podcast. It did not take long for me to be sold on the concept, and so we came up with 4Podcast, meaning today is an exceptional double-release day!

4Podcast lets you very simply run a fully featured podcast with only standard Joomla categories, articles and a dedicated custom field. It's released today at the same time as 4SEF and we'll have a launch discount period, please read on for all details.

4SEO pages list showing real Core Web Vitals measurements

User question: how to use Core Web Vitals measurements?

Hi all,

We just had a support question regarding how to evaluate and use 4SEO real Core Web Vitals (CWV) measurement, and after replying to it, I thought this might be a good topic to talk about, again. The question was similar to: 

4SEO  reports a bad Core Web Vitals score for many pages but common online speed test tools give me a perfect score. What's going on here?

There's still a bit of confusion on how Core Web Vitals are used by Google, how important they are (hint: not that much) and how to use the numbers provided.

What are Core Web Vitals?

A quick reminder first: Core Web Vitals is Google's method for evaluating websites performance. These measurements are used when Google ranks pages  in search results, which is why they get a lot of attention.

Google has used speed to rank pages for a long time, but in 2021 they started using Core Web Vitals, a more realistic method, better at evaluating what real users experience when visiting a website.

4SEO dashboard with Google search results best performing keywords and pages

4SEO with Google Search Console and Joomla Custom fields

Hi all,

The last few months have seen a lot of 4SEO development , with 2 majors releases happening:

  • version 3 added support for Joomla custom fields

Using custom fields is an extremely powerful Joomla tool, avoids entering data in multiple places and generally makes your life easier 

  • version 4 lets you super-easily connect to Google Search Console and provides you with actionable data

With data from the Search Console API, 4SEO now helps you decide on what to write about and where, on which page of your site.  Having the technical aspects of your Joomla SEO right on your site is the base requirement, and 4SEO has you covered already here. But the real, big opportunities are often hidden in Google's own data and knowing what to write to compete is key to getting more and better traffic to your site.

 

An sh404SEF Google Analytics report

sh404SEF Google Analytics report will soon stop working

Hi all,

If you use sh404SEF Google Analytics reporting feature - providing you with easy to use Google Analytics reports right in your site admin or on the frontend, you may have noticed since the last sh404SEF update a large warning explaining that this feature will soon stop working.

Google has informed that as of October 3, 2022, they will no longer support the "Out of band" method to authorize access to Google Analytics data. As this is how sh404SEF can access your website analytics data to build its backend and frontend reports, said reports will therefore stop working in the coming weeks.

Timeline

  • September 5, 2022 - a user-facing warning message may be displayed when you try to authorize sh404SEF to access your Analytics account data
  • October 3, 2022 - the OOB flow is deprecated, meaning new authorizations will be refused

 This is all for the best, as this authorization method is not as secure as can be, and poses a remote phishing risk. But for us, it means sh404SEF reporting features will - likely - stop working when this takes effect.

A view of an AMP page created with wbAMP

wbAMP is being discontinued

Hi all,

As of today, we are discontinuing wbAMP, please read on to learn what that means exactly.

Why?

Over the last few months, we have seen Google, the originator of the AMP specification, move away from it. First, all signs of AMP pages - the amp icon - have been removed from the Google search results. Then the requirement that only AMP pages could appear in Top Stories and news carousels was dropped, meaning any page can do so while AMP was required before. And then the lead developer has left Google quietly a few months back, while other prominents AMP team members have also left, or moved to other positions within Google.

Finally, and more importantly, Core Web Vitals has been strongly promoted as the new way to promote speed in the seach results.This tells us that we are approaching the time where Google will drop AMP entirely.

We're not alone in thinking so: Twitter dropped AMP links in their mobile app and some large publishers - not all - start dropping it as well.

As such, I came to the conclusion that continuing our development effort on wbAMP was not a worthwhile  pursuit anymore: the SEO benefits of AMP do not offset the required work both for us and for site owners. There are better ways to do SEO on a Joomla site now.

Note that this decision is not linked to the need to migrate wbAMP to Joomla 4. We actually already did the work, more than a year ago (you can download the Joomla 4 version of wbAMP from the development versions downloads page). But I never released it publicly exactly for this reason.