Monday, July 23, 2012

Joomla! 2.5: modify meta tag to guide robots


By default Joomla 2.5 does not add the robots meta tag in the header and you have no handy tool by default to do it in one place, unless you don't use some add-on which let you do this easily.

But what if you prefer to do it yourself, bare-handed, without seeing even some code? You might be surprised, but in fact in Joomla 2.5 it's very easy to set up meta tag robots for your home page and content articles.

Tweaking these settings might add you an edge over your competition in the race for better ranking in Google and Bing searches - to name only the biggest players. You can do this in two easy to follow steps:

Step 1. Go to Content >> Category Manager and open the category you need to change
Open the parameters tab "Metadata Options" and set the value of Robots for example to "noindex, follow" to prevent indexing of category blog pages, but invite search-engine bots to follow the links in the page to discover all content items linked to them.

Step 2. Go to Menus >> Menu Manager and open the menu containing the menu item to the category blog you need to change. Open the menu item, then open the parameters tab "Metadata Options" and set the value of Robots to "Index, Follow".

Done! The web bots now are properly instructed how to discover and index your site. Using these settings the category pages will have lower ranks/importance as the content pages, this way facilitating the "concentration" of Page Rank to your content pages - at least this is the SEO guys out there are claiming.

If you use still Joomla 1.5, to change the value of meta tag robots in Joomla! 1.5 for content category pages you have to add some code in your template.

// Set robots for category pages
$document =& JFactory::getDocument();
$view = JRequest::getVar('view');
if ($view == 'category') { $document->setMetaData('robots','noindex,follow'); }

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