The state of Joomla SEO through its major releases
In the past, Joomla was said to be a CMS platform which was not search engine friendly. But that was the story of Joomla 1.0 from 10 years ago. As time has been passing by, do you still believe this nowadays after all the evolution within Joomla? Joomla has been improved a lot with many new search engine optimized features. Let’s have a quick look about Joomla SEO functions in each version and see how Joomla became a search engine friendly platform.
Joomla in the first version actually paid some attention in search engine functions. You can do these 3 things for SEO with the standard Joomla core:
- Rewrite URL to make it search engine friendly
- Use Dynamic page title
- Setup meta data (meta description, meta title, meta keywords) for Global site
These are very basic functions for SEO but fairly speaking, it was not supportive enough to help you get a good rank in search engine result.
Joomla 1.5 was released 3 years after the first version. The core developer team had added some new features to improve the search engine optimization, based on Joomla user’s feedback. They are:
- Full support for feeds
- Customize 404, 403 & 500 error messages
- Add a suffix to URLs
From Joomla 1.5, Joomla users can quickly enable the module Apache’s mod_rewrite with just one click. This is very helpful to solve the SEO troubles related to URLs.
At this time, there are also a lot of Joomla SEO extensions born to support users with SEO issues that Joomla core couldn’t solve. These powerful Joomla extensions cover everything you need to improve your search engine ranking. So from that time on, which position your site can rank up to, depends on how you use these tools.
Joomla 1.6 release continued to help you improve the SEO onpage factors better with 4 new features:
- Meta description & keywords for categories
- Set aliases for article title
- Include Site name in Page Titles
- Redirect 301, 404 with ease
- Support Content right data
Different from other CMS, Joomla core system still focuses on the most necessary things for SEO not to all SEO factors. So many people still have a thought that Joomla is less search engine friendly than other CMS. Well, in fact, all Joomla websites can easily rank at the top ofsearch engine results with the help from Joomla SEO extensions . As I mentioned above, the question is not “Can Joomla help my website get high rank?” but “Do you know how to make your website rank higher?”.
Joomla 2.5 was born in 2012 with many huge features added including new search functionality, multi-database support, update notification and of course, search engine improvement. 2012 is the beginning of SEO local so Joomla developers acknowledged that demand and improved the core system in time. The new SEO functions in 2.5 version are:
- New system plugin: languagecode to help search engine recognize the site’s language quickly
- Use H1 tag for page heading
Joomla 3.0 was released only 8 months after Joomla 2.5, with 2 amazing changes perfectly for SEO:
- Responsive design
- Lighter core package
This is really a big milestone to prove that Joomla is optimized for SEO. Why? Because Google also marked mobile friendly function & fast loading speed as 2 important rank factors.
Joomla 3.1 provides us a new method to build internal link as well as enhance the sitemap structure:
- Article’s tag with metadata support
You can add meta title and meta description for the article tag similar with the category and article. But be careful with using tag. You should use “rel=canonical” to avoid the duplicate content. And always remember that you should only use tag to shorten your content efficiently. Don’t use it as a trick to generate multiple anchor links.
When microdata becomes a must-have tool for any website that wants to rank better on search engine result, Joomla 3.3 was released on April, 2014 with what is needed:
- Support Microdata
Microdata does not only help search engine quickly understand your content but also help your site stand out in the result page. Haven’t tried it? It may be the reason for your site to lose traffic from search engine. You can read this article to know the practical use of Microdata in Joomla 3.
Joomla 3.5 has just released as a stable version few days ago. With PHP 7 support, the loading speed of your Joomla site now can be boosted up to 2 times faster. This incredible number can kick out many other websites in the search engine battle.
Joomla 3.6 is promised to be released with the new routing system. With this, there will be no more stress due to different URLs for the same content. You can say goodbye to the trouble of unnecessary IDs or loading wrong content due to wrong given URLs too. And your ranking will be better for sure.
Is Joomla good for SEO?
Obviously, the answer is Yes. As you can see, through each Joomla version, there's much hard work to improve Joomla, to make it become a super user friendly as well as search engine friendly CMS. I believe that Joomla gives you the boost and power to make your website rank on top of any search engine.
Because Joomla already prepares you the SEO tools, your job is only using them wisely.
What do you think of the SEO improvements in Joomla? Comment your thoughts below and let's discuss!
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