Drupal tips, tricks, tutorials

1st steps to creating video podcasts (for Drupal)

The latest episode of the Seven Generations Technosanity Podcast is a video as will be the next few episodes. I've been resisting doing video work partly because it's harder to edit but also the technology is far more complex. But for the episodes in question I need to show some things, not describe them. For technical context, the podcast is on a Drupal site meaning the solution has to fit the Drupal workflow.

Duplicate content on Drupal sites

The search engines downgrade sites which appear to have duplicated content. This is often the sign of a spam site that's attempting to bury search engines with lots of pages. Unfortunately some features of Drupal make it look like duplicate content. For example if you've turned on clean URL's and turned on the pathauto module for SEO purposes you have a nice user-friendly URL for each page but at the same time Drupal still shows the page at the "node/12345" URL.

Notifying search engines of new content

Search engines index the web by crawling along links on web pages. It's rather inefficient for a search engine to reindex pages which have not changed and which have already been indexed. Hence it improves efficiency of the whole internet for search engines to have a way to know what pages are new, what pages are old, and only reindex the new pages.

Meta-tags on Drupal content

I've never used META tags on any of my sites but many people swear by them. A META tag appears in the HEAD section of an HTML page and is supposed to give keywords related to the content of the page. See Meta Tags for general documentation on them.

Search engine friendly Drupal URL's

Drupal and Clean URL's described how to enable "Clean URL's" in Drupal. It's useful to know why you should enable Clean URL's.

Out of the box Drupal default URL format is: example.com/?q=node/12345.

While not terribly egregious this URL format is not helpful for search engine optimization. One rule of thumb in SEO is for the URL to contain words relevant to the article. The default URL of node/12345 is not relevant to the article.

SEO with Drupal

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a critical component in the quest to find readers, as it appears most people find websites via search engines. The king of search engine sourced hints (otherwise known as 'organic traffic') is Google, of course. How do we enable SEO effects in Drupal?

Methods to assist announcing Drupal-hosted content to social bookmarking & sharing sites

There are lots of social sites which facilitate sharing links to stories between the site members. They vary in form, but have a lot of similarity, with the main function being to post on a common site a story title, link, and description. A lot of traffic can be generated from these sites and thus it's useful to a website proprietor if their content gets promoted into these social sites. However there are dozens of these sites, with different mechanisms to post into each.

Enabling Comments

Comments are a part of the blogging scene and some "blogs" (like slashdot.org) are mostly about the comments. Let's look at what's required to enable comments on a Drupal blog.

First is to enable the Comment module, which you should already have done. In the User Management area is the Permissions screen which has a section for comment permissions:-

  • comment module
    • access comments
    • administer comments
    • post comments
    • post comments without approval

Single-user versus multi-user blogging

Drupal can be used for either a multi-user or single-user blog site. It's a matter of how you configure the site and especially the permissions.

First visit User settings. You can control how liberally it is possible for users to create new accounts. For a single user site it's best to only allow site administrators to create accounts, and the other end of the spectrum is to allow anybody to create an account without administrator intervention.

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