SEO-Friendly Urls and More Webmaster Tools (RSS and ATOM Feeds, Canonical Urls)

In our previous post, we announced that Google Webmaster Tools features are now available for use in your hubs. And that is not all! Here is more great news for you: we were asked the question “Can you edit the way the question URL’s display for SEO purposes? Or is this in the plans at all?“, and today we have released this functionality. This is on by default in new Qhubs, but so as not to affect any SEO work already in place we have not turned it on for existing Q&A Communities.

SEO-Friendly Urls

If you want to turn friendly urls on for your Qhub all you need to do is go to your Settings page, where you will find Url Formatting under the Advanced menu. When you go to this page you will have 2 options:

  1. Short Urls                             example.qhub.com/1234/
  2. Numeric and name Urls          example.qhub.com/1234/what-is-qhub/

Make your choice and hit save. And there you have it Friendly Urls; verify this by going to any question page.

Canonical Urls

We are also introducing today Canonical Urls. Canonical Urls tells search engines what the url of a page should be, so as not to have duplicate pages in search engines (i.e example.qhub.com/1234/ is the same page as example.qhub.com/1234 and example.qhub.com/1234/what-is-qhub/). With canonical urls, search engines like google will not duplicate pages or content, especially now we have introduced friendly urls.

RSS and ATOM Feeds

We have also introduced ATOM feeds to complement the RSS feeds already available.  ATOM feeds contain slightly different information to RSS – for example question tags can be conveyed alongside each question or answer, which in addition to providing a lot more links back to your Qhub pages also allows Internet Explorer 8 users to filter feed entries by tag.

Feeds are available from your Qhub homepage and tag pages; RSS feeds can be subscribed to by clicking on the orange syndication symbol in-page.  Alternatively members can subscribe to both RSS and ATOM feeds by clicking on the syndication symbol in the address bar of Firefox, or next to the ‘home’ icon in Internet Explorer 8 where you can choose which type of feed to view.