RC7 is now officially released. But, is it bulletproof this time?
Thanks to the extraordinary efforts of our testing team, vBSEO 2.0 will be officially launched tomorrow, Tuesday, September 6th, 2005.
This release was for the most part a refinement release. We corrected the last few lingering bugs, a few issues with vBSEO configuration settings backup and admin password, and slipped in a couple of new features like 'Smart rel="nofollow" for Showpost links?', Image Size Attributes, and a very exciting new feature involving 301 redirects for the new custom rewrite rules!
I trully believe we have gone above and beyond the call of duty to eliminate duplicate content issues and to ensure the search engine spiders and your Web visitors are directed to the right places!
/* Note: Please remember that your download is to be completed following the new procedure in your User CP for the vBSEO forums. */
Here is a summary of updates included in vBSEO 2.0 RC7:
(1) vbseo_cp.php has been renamed to vbseocp.php to make it easier to type without the underscore.
(2) 'Smart rel="nofollow" for Showpost links? feature has been added to the vBSEO Admin Control Panel in the Showpost URLs section.
For thread pages that have only 1 post, the content for the showthread URL for that page and the showpost URL for the single post is the same (i.e. duplicate).
When Smart rel="nofollow" is enabled for showpost URLs, rel="nofollow" is added to the showpost URL for any post that exists by itself on a thread page.
When there are two or more posts on a single thread page, the rel="nofollow" will not result in duplicate content and is not added.
The search engines will index any showpost URL that does not have the rel="nofollow" attribute.
/* Note: Since vBulletin 3.5.x adds rel="nofollow" by default to showpost URLs, vBSEO will remove the rel="nofollow" attribute from any showpost URL that exists on a thread page with 2 or more posts. */
This feature has been setup as default for RC7 installations.
(3) Image Size Attributes feature has been added to the vBSEO CP under the 'Other SEO Functions' section.
The default vBulletin templates do not include "width" and "height" attributes for included images. However, when these image dimensions are not provided, forum page rendering in most Web browsers will be slightly slower because the browser cannot determine sizing information for images until they download them. When this information is specified the browser can display text content in the right locations before the actual images are even downloaded. While this is a performance feature, there is also relevance to SEO.
Search engines can (in theory) use image sizing information as a component of their keyword relevancy calculations. One reason is that image sizing determines where text content will be positioned within the page. Another one is that SE can better determine the relationship of images to surrounding text when calculating the keyword relevancy of your forum pages.
While the SEO improvement of this feature is debatable, there is no risk involved in activating it since it functions only to add image height and width attributes to unspecified forum images.
(4) 301 Redirects from the original URL format to the new URL format for the Custom Rewrite Rules feature - The Custom Rewrite Rules that was included with RC6 has quickly become one of our most popular features. However, we have made it even better now. The original URL format that is rewritten in each of your custom rewrite rules will now automatically be 301 redirected to the new static URL format you create with your rules.
In the above articles.php?action=rss is custom rewritten to rss.html. With the new feature, articles.php?action=rss will be automatically 301 redirected to rss.html.Code:'articles\.php\?action=rss' => 'rss.html'
(5) Corrected an issue that was preventing forum home index.php files from being rewritten using the Custom Rewrite Rules feature.
The above will now work. Note: It is better to use this feature after changing your vB homepage filename to something other than index.php, such as forum.php. Otherwise, conflicts with our Homepage Aliases feature will arise resulting in an unnecessary Google PR split.Code:'index\.php' => 'xyz-forum-home.html'
(6) vBSEO Admin Control Panel Backup Procedure Changed - The XML backup/download procedure is now divided into 3 steps with backup for:
- Backup all vBSEO settings (Will backup all the main settings, 'URL Rewrite Settings' and 'Custom Rewrite Rules')
- Backup only 'URL Rewrite Settings'
This will allow users to share (a) their entire vBSEO settings, (b) only their URL Rewrite Settings, or (c) only their Custom Rewrite Rules.
- Backing up or downloading XML files with the password included has now be removed to prevent further security issues. Instead, vBSEO users will be required to provide a new password (and confirm) when they login to their vBSEO control panel for the first time. Note: Once the password has been changed, the login procedure will continue as normal.
(7) Fixed issue with member profile URLs for member usernames with special characters.
(8) Minor text changes to the vBSEO Control Panel.
(9) Custom rewrite rules are commented out with // if they are invalid.
(10) Unnecessary trailing spaces for custom rewrite rules are now removed to prevent the rules from being considered invalid.
(11) Fixed an issue with XML backup/restore for Custom Rewrite Rules.
(12) Backup XML filenames for the vBSEO Admin Control Panel have been changed to vbseo_all.xml and vbseo_urls.xml
(13) Dot (.) Separator now allowed for vBSEO CRUs. You can find this option under Define Separator for URL Parts in the General Settings area of the vBSEO Admin Control Panel. This feature allows you to get much closer to emulating the CNN.com URL style.
(14) Fixed issue with 'Back to the Forums' link in the vBSEO Admin Control Panel. It now links back to the correct vBroot URL.
(15) Logout feature added to the vBSEO Admin Control Panel.
(16) Layout of vBSEO Admin Control Panel has been changed.
(17) Forum URL requests that do not contain include the sub-domain of 'www' are now 301-redirected to the defined vBroot to ensure PageRank is distributed to one domain format only.
(18) Fixed an issue with a double 301 redirect in the archive pages for thread URLs.
(19) Fixed an issue with multi-page threads when printing and showing all posts on one page.
(20) Fixed an issue that was allowing HTML tags to be included in META tag content.
(21) Fixed an issue with vBSEO PHP error reporting.
(22) Fixed issue with "View Full Version" link on vB archive pages related to index.php and the homepage aliases.
(23) Fixed issue with URL rewriting for polls and attachments.
(24) Fixed issue with invalid custom rewrite rules that caused vBSEO to work incorrectly. All custom rewrite rules are evaluated before saving. Invalid rules will be automatically removed.
(25) Fixed issue with ampersands (&) in the custom rewrite rules.
(26) Fixed issue with relative URLs (converted to absolute).
(27) Fixed issue with rerwritten vB archive links that incorrectly forwarded to forum home when a trailing slash was not added.
(28) Fixed issue with <br/> and <div> tags that were preventing full XHTML compliance.
(29) Minor text changes to the vBSEO Control Panel.
(30) Custom rewrite rules are commented out with // if they are invalid.
(31) Unnecessary trailing spaces for custom rewrite rules are now removed to prevent the rules from being considered invalid.
(32) Corrected an internal error message to read: NOTE: "Your /includes/config_vbseo.php file must be CHMOD 666".
So please do your best to disprove our theory that vBSEO 2.0 RC7 is now bulletproof
We'll be reviewing the remaining 'Tester's License' requests between tonight & tomorrow and will get back to each one of you.
We'll open the 'Custom Rewrite Rules' Forums with the Go-Live! You will be able to post your custom rewrite rules so that others can become familiar with the process and/or use your rules to rewrite URLs for mods you both have installed.
Install Instructions:Download Location: Testers may download vBSEO from their User Control Panel at the http://www.vbseo.com forums. Under the "Miscellaneous" section, there will be a link to "Download vBSEO".
Note: You must be a member of the forum now to download vBSEO. If you have not yet registered, please do so. You will then find a link in the "Miscellaneous" section of User CP that says "Become a Tester". Click that link and complete the process to register for the vBSEO testing team.
vBSEO User CP: http://www.vbseo.com/usercp.php
(1) Backup your .XML settings file (through 'forums/vbseo_cp.php')
(2) Upload all the files in the '/upload' folder
(3) Restore your previous settings by uploading your backup .XML file
/*Note: Our original request for vBSEO testers has been updated at vBulletin.org. To see the updated post, please visit vBSEO - vBulletin SEO (Search Engine Optimization) - Testers Needed for RC7 */