Search Engine Optimisation

From Joomla! Documentation

Revision as of 07:25, 20 May 2011 by Mvangeest (Talk | contribs)

SEO refers to Search Engine Optimisation. SEO is the process of improving the volume and quality of traffic to a Website from search engines. A site that has been optimised according to SEO practices is said to be SEF, or Search Engine Friendly.

See also:

Joomla specific SEO / SEF tricks:


Fixing Broken Site When SEF is Enabled

Situation: Joomla template missing. Pages displayed with no templates.

To correct the problem when enabling Search Engine Friendly URLs in the Global Configuration, edit the configuration.php file variable $live_site.

The default $live_site variable in configuration.php is

var $live_site = '';

If Joomla is not in the root, then you need to include the folder path

var $live_site = '';

See also Why does your site get messed up when you turn on SEF (Search Engine Friendly URLs)?

Add a static text in the <title>

A common requirement is to customise the way in which the page title is displayed, For example, including the site name as part of the page title. The code on this page will allow you to change the global page title across the entire site. You may customise it to your own liking within your own template files. The code can be placed anywhere in your template index.php, although most people tend to insert it near the top or within the <head> element.

To get the current page title:

$title = $this->getTitle();

Similarly, you use setTitle to set a new page title. For example, to append the site name to the regular page title, you can use code like this:

$app = JFactory::getApplication();
$this->setTitle( $title . ' - ' . $app->getCfg( 'sitename' ) );

Combining these two pieces of code together, you can do this:

$app = JFactory::getApplication();
$this->setTitle( $this->getTitle() . ' - ' . $app->getCfg( 'sitename' ) );

Here's a more complete example of what a template would look like with this code embedded in it:

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "">
<html xmlns="">
$app = JFactory::getApplication();
$this->setTitle( $this->getTitle() . ' - ' . $app->getCfg( 'sitename' ) );
<jdoc:include type="head" />
.... rest of template file.

Add Heading Tags in the Titles for More Relevance

Search engines give a special relevance to the sentences between a "H" tag like <h1>, <h2> or <h3>.

I you want put a "H" tag to joomla 1.5 you need edit some files:

Override components/com_content/views/category/tmpl/blog.php

search for this piece of code (Line 5):

<div class="componentheading<?php echo $this->params->get('pageclass_sfx');?>">
  <?php echo $this->escape($this->params->get('page_title')); ?>

add your "H" tags between the title like this:

<div class="componentheading<?php echo $this->params->get('pageclass_sfx');?>">
   <h1><?php echo $this->escape($this->params->get('page_title')); ?></h1>

If you add more "H" tags between the joomla titles search into the tmpl directories for the code:


And add the "H" tags.

Remember to normalize the font-size of the "H" tags using CSS. For example, edit your template css and add something like:

.componentheading h1 {
font-size: 16px;

To override the output of a component or module see: How to override the output from the Joomla! core

Utilize RSS Feeds for Search Engines

Some search engines allow you to submit feeds to them for utilization in their search capabilities. Yahoo! Site Explorer [] is one such service. This is a powerful way for sites that regularly update their content to get relevant search placement. It can also be used for simpler sites that have fairly static pages. This procedure will explain how to create feeds for pages within your site, be it static or not.

In Joomla! 1.5.3: If you are not using sections and categories for your static pages, create a generic section for these static pages, such as "website content". Create separate categories for each static page. Change your menu items from, for instance, Article Layout to Category Blog Layout. Under the advanced parameters for the menu item, make sure that the show a feed link item is set to show. Make sure the syndicate module is published. If it isn't go to the Extensions Menu, select Module Manager, select the new icon, select Syndicate and publish the module in the desired position. You can then view the site and copy the URLs for each feed to submit to each search engine.

NOTE: You should have SEF enabled for this to work well.

Dynamic MetaDesc in a list of articles by category

When you view a list of articles by category, joomla put into the page the default configuration metadescription, but perhaps we want write the category description into the metatag for SEO reasons.

For this we need open the file includes/application.php.

Search for this piece of code in the function &getParams:

$params->def( 'page_title'      , $title );
$params->def( 'page_description', $description );

Add this code before:

if (strcasecmp($_GET['view'],'category')==0) {         
   $description = $database->GetOne("SELECT description FROM #__categories WHERE id={$_GET['id']}");       

Now the metadescription is more dynamic when you view a list of articles by category.

Change default SEF suffix from .html to .htm

If you need to change default article SEF suffix from .html to .htm (for example, if you need to move static site to Joomla and keep existing urls with .htm extensions), you need apply following patch to includes/router.php (working on Joomla 1.5.9, should work on other 1.5.x versions):

Index: includes/router.php
--- includes/router.php	(revision 13023)
+++ includes/router.php	(working copy)
@@ -57,8 +57,13 @@
 				if($suffix = pathinfo($path, PATHINFO_EXTENSION))
-					$path = str_replace('.'.$suffix, '', $path);
-					$vars['format'] = $suffix;
+					if ($suffix == 'htm') {
+						$path = str_replace('.'.$suffix, '', $path);
+						$vars['format'] = 'html';
+					} else {
+						$path = str_replace('.'.$suffix, '', $path);
+						$vars['format'] = $suffix;
+					}
@@ -93,7 +98,8 @@
 				if($format = $uri->getVar('format', 'html'))
-					$route .= '.'.$format;
+					//$route .= '.'.$format;
+					$route .= '.htm';

Note: This patch only for bundled SEF plugin