shrewdies (@shrewdies)

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  • In reply to: Google Authorship



    I do not think it is worth spending time trying to get authorship credibility in forums. I noticed the problem of authorship failing to work on many of my forum pages, and stumbled across a debate in the google product forums:!topic/webmasters/ms5VaHN3clo

    This led to a post from the Google Webmaster Central blog:

    Whether you like it or not, Google does not want to apply authorship to forums. It is currently using the blunt approach of forum in the URL. If a URL contains the word forum, rel=author is ignored by google (with no explanation in the Rich Snippets Tool!). This means that any page describing forums or how to use them will not get credited at the moment. I suspect Google will improve it’s algorithms to try and identify forums in a better way, but it is unlikely to ever give credit for forum posts to a single person because it wants to recognize “The URL/page contains a single article […] by the same author.”



    OK, here are the redirects, but first some background.

    Your move takes some planning, and the redirects are specific to your old Simple:Press Forum structure and your new bbPress settings (Admin-Settings-Forums). I describe how I approached my conversion, but you may need a different approach. If you need specific help with a different set of objectives, then please just ask. I did not use tagging in Simple:Press, as it was more trouble to implement than the benefit it gave. None of this refers to tagging, and I notice that the r4638 version of SimplePress5.php has them commented out.

    If your forum has little search and external referral traffic, then save yourself the bother of all this, and just get on with building your new forum.

    Before I explain the permalinks, you need to be aware that I took this opportunity of simplifying my forum structure. I used to believe in different forums for different subject areas, but I’ve come to realize that most forum users do not understand my theme, so they cannot decide which forum to post in. I noticed the same thing here when I looked around for the best place to post. I decided to simplify my forums to two main choices, with the rest as child forums. I did this by manually editing the Forums parents in bbPress after the conversion. That explains my choice of Topic slug in bbPress settings, but redirects should handle any choice.

    In Simple:Press, topics get permalinks in a hierarchy under their forum, and all forums lie within the WordPress forums page in the Simple:Press settings. Thus, a topic will be referenced domain/wp-forums-page/sp-forum-title-slug/sp-post-title
    In bbPress, permalinks are built from your WordPress root, with prefixes set in the bbPress settings under slugs. Thus a topic will be referenced domain/bb-forums-base/bb-topic-slug/bb-post-title

    The post titles are the same in bbPress and Simple:Press, so redirects have to account for the changed forum slug structure.

    The first bbPress setting, Forums base, is the equivalent of your Simple:Press WP page, so I used exactly that. If you made bad choices when setting up your Simple:Press forum, I guess you could change it with the redirects, by specifying different destination URLs. I kept it the same, and simply renamed my old Simple:Press page (be aware this auto changes in WP menus, so you may need to manually delete old forum menu pages and add new custom menu links)

    In bbPress settings Single Slugs, the Forum Prefix should be left switched on.

    Forum slug has no Simple:Press equivalent, so I opted for something theme related. The default is probably OK, but I’m slug-fixated as a result of a bad SEO upbringing. I have not redirected these pages, but I will assess the impact over the next few days, and come back with these if I see they are necessary.

    I set topic slug to my most popular forum, which is very general, as per my introduction. Redirects will handle whatever you put here.

    The rest of the bbPress settings do not affect conversion.

    At last, @netweb here are the requested redirects. Are you glad you didn’t ask for my life story? 😉

    The general construct is:
    ^ begin with
    (.*) store the rest

    /$1 whatever * stored

    RedirectMatch 301 ^/gout-pal-forum/gout-symptoms(.*)$1
    RedirectMatch 301 ^/gout-pal-forum/gout-cures(.*)$1
    RedirectMatch 301 ^/gout-pal-forum/gout-diet(.*)$1
    RedirectMatch 301 ^/gout-pal-forum/colchicine-campaign(.*)$1
    RedirectMatch 301 ^/gout-pal-forum/united-states-colchicine-sources(.*)$1
    RedirectMatch 301 ^/gout-pal-forum/gout-related(.*)$1
    RedirectMatch 301 ^/gout-pal-forum/uric-acid(.*)$1
    RedirectMatch 301 ^/gout-pal-forum/your-gout(.*)$1
    RedirectMatch 301 ^/gout-pal-forum/tech-stuff(.*)$1
    RedirectMatch 301 ^/gout-pal-forum/wish-list(.*)$1
    RedirectMatch 301 ^/gout-pal-forum/gouties-water-trough(.*)$1

    One potential complication lies with multi-page topics. I’m still assessing if it is worth bothering with these, as traffic rarely hits anything after the first page. Google WebMaster Tools is currently complaining, but experience tells me it will soon re-index unless there are other sites that link to specific pages.

    Disclaimer: Before you try this at home, you might like to wait a month or so. I’ll be back to tell you if I killed my forum traffic or not. 😮

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