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Embed Vanilla SEO Questions/Concerns

edited October 2010 in Vanilla 2.0 - 2.8
I do like how easy the Embed Vanilla option works, however - I did run into a few problems that kept me from switching to this for my websites.

* Page title doesn't change, for bookmarks and some for SEO - I think this might be a good option to include, if possible.
* Also for SEO - content doesn't look crawl-able. Since it is all loaded via JavaScript, seems like any forum content just stays hidden.

Does anybody have any alternatives or other suggestions on this? As it stands now, I will probably try to design a theme based upon my current website theme. I do think the Embed Vanilla feature looks cool, just not sure if it can or should be used for more professional websites or forums.


  • TimTim Operations Vanilla Staff
    The content remains available on the original standalone forum, and any links clicked there will redirect back to your blog, so the content should still be indexable. Mark might want to think about changing the way Canonical works when embed is enabled, so that the search engines know where the real URL is... I don't know enough about it to know if that is a good idea or not though.

    Page title seems like it would be a cool idea if it were possible. I'm not sure if it is. @Mark

    Vanilla Forums COO [GitHub, Twitter,]

  • MarkMark Vanilla Staff
    edited October 2010
    I've set up the plugin so that you only get forced out to the embed url if you are *not* a search engine. The canonical url inside the iframes are correct. We could probably make the plugin send the page title along to the container page, and we could even add a canonical to the container page, but since that is all set with JS, I don't think crawlers would pick up on any of it.

    The best way to get great SEO is to create a forum on a subdomain of your domain, and use custom theming to make it look like your site. We've worked really hard to make the default Vanilla install SEO-friendly. As soon as you introduce javascript loaded content, you're going to lose some of that no matter how great you set things up.

    At a bare minimum, you should make sure that the unembedded forum url is on the same domain as your main site. Link to that forum (and force embedding on it) from your site so that crawlers are led there. Users will be pushed out to the embedded version, and crawlers will crawl the non-embedded one.
  • Thanks Mark and Tim! :) I will probably still go the custom theming route, but nice to know that this is something that y'all do have in mind (as far as the SEO-stuff goes).
  • RaizeRaize vancouver ✭✭
    edited October 2010
    If you are really serious about SEO then custom theming is the ideal way to go. Simply install Vanilla in a subdirectory or like Mark said, use a subdomain.

    Embed Vanilla is really just an easy-breezy way for non-tech saavy users who don't even know about SEO or aren't concerned with it to add a forum to their site. It's surprisingly easy to add to any Wordpress blog. If you can create a new page you can have a forum.

    To take it even further, someone could create a Wordpress plugin that uses an iframe to allow you to access your Vanilla control panel from within your blog control panel. An easy way to manage everything from one place, even if the logins aren't integrated (someone has previously done this for bbpress and it gets the job done)
  • Thanks Raize. :) After doing a little tweaking with the embeddable theme I was able to whip up a theme that nested really well inside of my website - so think I am set. You can check it out here:

    I do have to say I have been really impressed thus far by Vanilla Forums. I have wanted to find a reason to use it for a while now, and now that I have dived in and given it a shot it is still amazing me. I have kept my installation pretty basic right now, but look forward to tweaking around with it more in the future.
  • Hi Mitch, I'd like to follow your example and create a custom theme rather than use the "embed" javascript plugin. My site is coded in CodeIgniter. Can you please tell me how I could do this? Thanks!
  • Ack! Sorry to resurrect this .

    Will you guys just enable WordPress integration by fixing the namespacing issues?

    That would completely solve this problem.
  • We are working on aggregating forum data to improve traffic and assist you guys in building great communities.

    Its early days but we are building some interesting tools.

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