I’ll show you several ways to Make your Simple Machines Forum Search Engine Friendly.
Here are the steps necessary.
First, is the URL structure. Search engines really value a more descriptive URL. By default, SMF uses URL’s that are worthless for SEO. I’ll introduce you to an SMF mod, called Pretty URLs, it would rewrite your forums URL for a search engine. Pretty URLs is very simple to install, but a common problem is to ensure that .htaccess is writable, and that the root directory is writable.
Notice the difference below
(these links all go to the same post):
Default SMF URLs: http:// www.cyvin.com/index.php?topic=2969.0
Search Engine Friendly URLs: http:// www.cyvin.com/index.php/topic,2969.0.html
Pretty URLs: http://www.cyvin.com/offtopic/unleaded-gas/
Pretty URLs use the title of the post topic as part of the URL. This will help in search engines optimization.
With robots, search engines won’t penalize you thinking a thread pages are different topics. Set your Robots.txt as follows.
* Disallow: /*?action*
Next is the H1 tag. Like the URL, H1 tags are used heavily by search engines to classify the content on a page. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to do this with a mod. It requires some modification of the theme you are using. Most themes have a navigation section that indicates where you are currently at in the forum. The objective is to modify the theme so that the end node (the current page) is wrapped in the < h1> tag. This will also require a change to the css stylesheet.
Meta tags are used heavily by search Engines to classify webpages. To edit your meta tag, edit the “index.template.php” file to describe the site. Users of SMF version 2 can use the vBulletin Style Meta Tags mod to update the tags based on the thread that is being displayed.
I hope this helped.