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Duplicate meta descriptions in sub-forums

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Posted
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#74631 (In Topic #15534)
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Community saint

Looking through all the Webmaster tools stuff and found in the HTML suggestions that I have duplicate meta descriptions on sub-forums:


I checked and found that you cannot set the meta-description per sub-forum or even forum. Is this something that should be addressed? I know there is an element of bowing to the almighty Google but those that don't….

Bob
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Posted
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#74685
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There are two meta data descriptions. There's the one that is defined for the whole site, or can be overridden by content (next to where keywords are set). That is {DESCRIPTION*} in HEADER.tpl.
Then there's the one where ocPortal tries to look at natural data and work one out at run-time. This is {$META_DATA,description}. It is passed to Facebook OpenGraph and DublinCore. You can substitute the second over the first in HEADER.tpl if that's what you want. In this case it does pick up on the forum description.


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Posted
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#74698
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Community saint

So there is no way to set the meta-description for just the forums? I'd hate to lose the meta-descriptions I've already set on other content.

Maybe you could consider using the Description field already available in the forums to set the meta-descriptions for forums.

Bob
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Posted
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#74699
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Code

{+START,IF,{$MATCH_KEY_MATCH,forum:forumview}}{$META_DATA,description}{+END}{+START,IF,{$NOT,{$MATCH_KEY_MATCH,forum:forumview}}}{DESCRIPTION*}{+END}


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Posted
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#74720
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Community saint

Thanks for this, Chris.

Does this go in HEADER.tpl or in one of the forum view tpls?

Bob
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Posted
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#74722
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Substituting {DESCRIPTION*} in HEADER.tpl.


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  • If my reply is too Vulcan or expressed too much in business-strategy terms, and not particularly personal, I apologise. As a company & project maintainer, time is very limited to me, so usually when I write a reply I try and make it generic advice to all readers. I'm also naturally a joined-up thinker, so I always express my thoughts in combined business and technical terms. I recognise not everyone likes that, don't let my Vulcan-thinking stop you enjoying ocPortal on fun personal projects.
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Posted
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#74725
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Community saint

Cool. Thanks for the help, Chris.

Bob
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Posted
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#74735
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Community saint

So it replaces the bit in bold from line 24 in HEADER.tpl?

<meta name="description" content="{+START,IF,{$NEQ,{DESCRIPTION},{!NA}}}{DESCRIPTION*
}{+END}
" />

Bob
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Posted
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#74760
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That'd work.


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Posted
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#74799
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Community saint

Okay, then, I've given that a go. Is there any way to quickly check the value of description?

Thanks for your help.

Bob
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Posted
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#74800
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View the page source?


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  • If my reply is too Vulcan or expressed too much in business-strategy terms, and not particularly personal, I apologise. As a company & project maintainer, time is very limited to me, so usually when I write a reply I try and make it generic advice to all readers. I'm also naturally a joined-up thinker, so I always express my thoughts in combined business and technical terms. I recognise not everyone likes that, don't let my Vulcan-thinking stop you enjoying ocPortal on fun personal projects.
  • If my response can inspire a community tutorial, that's a great way of giving back to the project as a user.
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Posted
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#74801
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Community saint

Another DUH moment. I think I'm clearly in the lead in that metric.  :$

Chris-

Will you be implementing this change in the disturb? I think you should consider it as it will reduce one go Google's nags.

Thanks for your help.

Bob
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Posted
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#74802
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No, I'm not sure I agree with it, and therefore I'm sure some people won't. The default behaviour in ocPortal is that there is a site description, and content has descriptions. Things like categories don't really stand alone as an item so well compared to those two extremes – I think there is a case that the SERP description of a forum is better that of the site, because that's the closest entity an outside observer might want to know about.
It's debatable though. I'm more concerned about making everything go through that META_DATA symbol, then it is all simpler code and people can decide what they want.


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Was I helpful?
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  • If so, please let others know about ocPortal whenever you see the opportunity.
  • If my reply is too Vulcan or expressed too much in business-strategy terms, and not particularly personal, I apologise. As a company & project maintainer, time is very limited to me, so usually when I write a reply I try and make it generic advice to all readers. I'm also naturally a joined-up thinker, so I always express my thoughts in combined business and technical terms. I recognise not everyone likes that, don't let my Vulcan-thinking stop you enjoying ocPortal on fun personal projects.
  • If my response can inspire a community tutorial, that's a great way of giving back to the project as a user.
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Posted
Rating:
#74815
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Community saint

While I can see your point, I think I would side with Google on this and since you provide the Description field in each forum category, it seems an ideal match - make Google happy and have the benefit of creating a useful meta-desciption based on the more specific object if it is filled in.

I see this is also an issue with blogs but I am not sure there is a good solution here as there is in forums.
EDIT: Actually, there is a description field in the author profile. Notsure how it might fit into your scheme of reference.

My whole attitude about this is that Google is suggesting that, where possible, you move from the general to the specific and I agree with that approach. Otherwise you end up with SERPs listings whose description just mirrors the main site description which to me is like picking a number in a crapshoot.

At any rate, I just wanted to make notes on whether or not to expect this to change in an update.

Thanks for your help.

Bob


Last edit: by BobS
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