Making topics more visible to search engines



I noticed there was some discussion here about how in a default configuration, much of the content on a discourse site will be set to “nofollow,” i.e. invisible to search engines, except as it pertains to the most trustworthy users on that site.

Would it be possible to clarify some more exactly how this default “nofollow” configuration is set “out of the box,” specifically what content is set to nofollow (is it all content in all topics, or just links?) and how we can adjust the sensitivity of the nofollow settings?

Really appreciate it. Thanks!!

(Mittineague) #2

AFAIK there are three Settings pertaining to “nofollow”

exclude rel nofollow domains - Default, none
A list of domains where nofollow should not be added to links. will automatically allow as well. As a minimum, you should add the top-level domain of this site to help web crawlers find all content. If other parts of your website are at other domains, add those too.

tl3 links no follow - Default, unchecked
Do not remove rel=nofollow from links posted by trust level 3 users.

add rel nofollow to user content - Default, checked
Add rel nofollow to all submitted user content, except for internal links (including parent domains). If you change this, you must rebake all posts with: “rake posts:rebake”

The content of all public topics is discoverable by search engines


So if the default “out of the box” nofollow settings pertain to “all submitted user content,” default = checked, how is the content of all public topics discoverable by search engines?

(Mittineague) #4

Same as with any site. The crawl the links to internal pages and index the content.


So on a default discourse install, all topics/textual content will be visible to search engines for indexing?

I must be confused/turned around again.

"add rel nofollow to user content - Default, checked. . " “Add rel nofollow to all submitted user content, except for internal links”

reads to me like -everything- in a discourse forum would be set to rel nofollow unless this setting was unchecked and all posts were rebaked.

(Felix Freiberger) #6

All external links will be nofollowed by default, these settings never affect internal links.

(Mittineague) #7

Don’t confuse “user content” with “internal links”

By default:
All links to public topics found on navigation and lists are regular links without rel nofollow
Links in posts that are to other forum topics or posts the same.
Links in posts to sites that are not to the forum are rel nofollow

In other words, search engines will have the forum pages available, but links to sites that are not to forum pages will not be.

Not that it stops SEO kiddies from link-dropping (not the cleverest bunch) but it helps keep the forum from getting penalized for having too many low quality links.