"How good is Drupal for SEO?" The answer: great Drupal SEO is easy to implement with the right SEO strategy, information and modules.
However, Drupal makes it easy to shoot yourself in the proverbial SEO foot at the same time, so you have to be careful.
Fundamentally, Drupal is a great SEO friendly platform. With the right information about how and where to tweak Drupal for SEO, you can have a lean, mean SEO machine that outperforms and out-competes your competitors.
This article will quickly explore the must-have Drupal SEO friendly modules, and also look at some less well-known Drupal specific SEO issues that might help leapfrog your site to the front of the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).
Must have Drupal SEO modules
Drupal 6 and Drupal 7 have a number of great SEO features built into the core. However, there are several modules that are vital to excellent Drupal SEO performance:
Nodewords & Meta Tags
In particular, you are able to configure and automate the meta keywords and description tags, as well as specify a canonical URL for each page. Canonical URLs are extremely useful because they help the search engines to decide which version of a page is the most important one (in the even of duplicates).
Global redirect is IMHO, one of the most important SEO modules available. It provides a host of important functionality that helps to:
- reduce duplicated content
- 301 redirect to node alias path
- 301 redirect to front page based on current URL
Instead of having multiple URL paths that all serve the same page (Drupal's default behavior - i.e. node/123, node/123/, node/path-alias, node/path-alias/, node/PATH-ALIAS, etc), Global redirect ensures that all variants of the same content are redirected to one URL.
Path & Pathauto
Path is part of the Drupal core, and can be extended using Pathauto to automatically generate SEO and user friendly URL aliases.
Absolutely vital for SEO, and far more useful than the default node ID paths. More about how to use Path with Token for SEO a bit later.
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Search 404 is a useful little module that returns search data for URL paths that are not found. In effect, it provides SEO keyword based content instead of a 404 error.
Boost is a must-have for any site that has predominantly anonymous traffic. Boost creates static cache pages and bypasses Drupal's processing for valid cached pages, improving your website page serving speed drastically.
Since page load speed is an important factor in SEO, Boost is now crucial.
XML Sitemap allows you to easily create a sitemap that can uploaded into Google Webmaster tools, and other search engines, to help them better crawl your website.
This module can help get your content indexed much quicker.
SEO Checklist provides a helpful and handy checklist of modules you should have installed for SEO purposes, and activities you should perform to ensure that your site meets most SEO best practices for Drupal.
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