Joomla!® extensions for SEO and content

Why anti-spam and security features in an SEO-oriented Joomla! extension? because getting spammy comments on your pages will get your otherwise superb content loose weight and authority in the eyes of a search engine. Worse, getting infected by malware is the fastest way to get your site out of search engines results altogether. To help prevent such outcome, sh404SEF implements two sets of features:

Anti-spam with Project HoneyPot

Project HoneyPot is a community driven project that first identifies spammers, and then let others use this information to reject visitors from spamming IP addresses.

sh404SEF implements the Project HoneyPot protocol and can block users visitors to your site if they have been identified as spammers. In addition to preventing poor content being injected on your site, this will also saves a little bit of server CPU and memory.

Security functions

Being a Joomla! extension, sh404SEF can implement a few basic security checks that are otherwise more difficult to put in place at the web server level for instance. This includes checks on some common requests parameters, but it also lets you blacklist (or white-list) visitors by their IP address or user agent string.

sh404SEF also provides you with anti-flooding protection. Though a last-resort protection, usually better done at web server level, this feature will save you CPU and memory if your site is under a flooding attack.

Please be well aware that security features provided by an extension cannot replace proper security policies. Probably the two most important things to do are: update Joomla! and any extension you use on your site as soon as a new version is available and use a well-known hosting service with good security record

A specific part of managing the meta data on your site is making sure social networks understand and classify as well as possible the content on your pages. Though this won't directly help you rank better on search engines result pages, social networks are often a very good way to reach out to people interested in the material on your site. They may in turn get you mentions and links on other web sites, and that will have a positive impact on SEO.

With sh404SEF, you put this to work in two ways:

Tag your pages to make them understandable

sh404SEF can automatically insert OpenGraph and Twitter Cards tags inside your pages. By default, tags are based on already existing title and meta data tags , but as usual, you can also manually customize all those values.

 

Spread the news: insert sharing buttons

As you have spent time and effort on your website content, you want to make it easy for visitors to share it with others. Doing so will bring you direct traffic, and will also help search engines discover new pages. sh404SEF can automatically insert common social networks buttons on your page, with many parameters to alter their display or content. Currently Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and Pinterest buttons are available.

Meta data are pieces of information, not visible from a website visitor, that describe a page content and can be beneficial to your site rankings. Joomla! and some 3rd-party extensions already let you provide some of them in various location. With sh404SEF, you get access to a centralize list of all the pages on your site, and you find and customize any piece of meta data from one convenient location:

 The page title (the title displayed in your browser bar) is generally considered the most important part of on-page SEO factors. It may have a direct influence on search results ranking. The other important element is the description. While it doesn't have any effect on ranking, it still needs a lot of attention, as it may influence the click-through rate, that is how many searchers will click on a search engine result link to get to your site.

sh404SEF lets you conveniently view and modify page title and description for any page on your site. By clicking on one specific URL, you can also get to a more detailed form:

This page let's you specify custom keywords meta data, robots or language tag, on a page by page basis.

Meta data are important to help search engines understand the content of your site pages, and present them to searchers. Another important area of modern SEO is making sure social networks such as Facebook or Twitter can also identify and present your web site content to their own visitors. This is done through specific meta data, as well as "social buttons", and sh404SEF has a whole range of features to help you achieve best results there as well.

URLs are what identify each of the pages on your website. Why do they matter so much? because search engines uses them in two very important ways:

As a unique label on which authority and other ranking factors will be attached

Have the same article or product page linked through several urls, and you will somehow "split" any authority/ranking value it may have. sh404SEF makes sure, from the start, that the same content is always accessed through the same url. Pages urls will not depend on your Joomla! site menu structure - unless you choose so, and will stay the same throughout the lifetime of your site. The following screen will list duplicates found for each page. They are all kept hidden from search engines and visitors, who only see one unique URL.

You can read more about patterns and SEO benefits of proper urls on this page from the MOZ.com site for instance.

As indicators of the structure of your content

The address of a website page can and should be used to give hints to search engines about how your content is organized and how various parts may relate to each other or to various topics. The default settings in sh404SEF will generate short but structured urls: articles pages will have urls such as /joomla-seo-analytics-security/sh404sef. This sample url structure will give a tiny indication to a search engine that the software described on that page, sh404SEF, maybe relevant to concepts and domains like Joomla!, SEO, web sites analytics and security.

So sh404SEF will construct URLs that benefit your web site, but it will also build a database of all the pages on your site. You can then access any url on your site, with a form such as the one below:

 You can manually customize any URL. It can sometimes be useful, for instance to mimic pre-existing URLs from older web sites.

Opposite to these good practices, a common mistake is to "over-optimize" URLs and try to insert as many keywords as possible in hope to improve SEO and visits. This first won't help at all, and second may only have negative effects. Search engines may see this as attempts to game them (and retaliate!). At best, it'll just confuse them. Though you can manually customize each and every URL on your site through sh404SEF URL manager, do so only with great care!

Another page from MOZ.com states very clearly, under the URL section, why it matters to help search engines understand all about your content in every possible way.

sh404SEF®SEO, analytics and security

sh404SEF® is the leading all-in-one SEO extension for Joomla! It blends automatic processing and full manual control to help you manage all SEO aspects of your site. Developed continuously by Weeblr® since 2006, its reliable core is regularly updated to match search engines optimization evolution, so that your site keeps performing better and better.

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