SEO for Joomla Site – NoFollow tags for Read More Links, PDF, Email and Print Icons

Being able to control your internal link juice is one of the most important aspects of SEO. You want PR flowing to the most important pages and not being sucked up by lesser pages.

You will remember I highlighted some points in terms of SEO requirements for this Joomla site . In that post I highlighted the problem of having all links set to follow and other seo tips. This is taking valuable Pagerank away from the most important areas of the site and distributing them to less important pages. Unfortunately Joomla doesn’t do a great job of allowing you to set particular links to “nofollow”. But there are ways around this.

Read More Links to NoFollow

First you want to set your links such as “Read More”, “Click here” etc to “nofollow” and ensure Google follows your keyword rich links. To do this you can use the template override feature in Joomla 1.5 as follows:

1. Create a folder in your template folder called “html”
2. Create a folder in that html folder called “com_content”
3. In your com_content folder you will create a folder called “frontpage” or “sections” or “categories” based upon how you have your Joomla site setup. For example I have my frontpage module unpublished so I needed to create both a “sections” and “categories” folder to incorporate all my menu’s.
4. The next bit differs depending on what folder you have created:

a. For the frontpage folder you need to copy the file ../components/com_content/views/frontpage/tmp/default_item.php to ../templates/[your-template]/html/com_content/frontpage folder.

b. For the other two you will need to do the same thing but the file name is blog_item.php (obviously the folder name will change as well)

5. Open the file and search for the line:

<a href=”/<?php echo $this->item->readmore_link; ?>” class=”readon<?php echo $this->item->params->get(‘pageclass_sfx’); ?>”>

and replace with

<a href=”/<?php echo $this->item->readmore_link; ?>” class=”readon<?php echo $this->item->params->get(‘pageclass_sfx’); ?>” rel=”nofollow”>

Remove PDF, Print and Email pages from Google

Joomla has a built in PDF generator. I also have icons for print and email versions of the page. This can result in duplicate content problems in Google. Although these icons are not necessary. If you do require them, you can simply ensure they are not indexed using your robots.txt file.

User-agent: Googlebot
Disallow: /index.php?view=article*&format=pdf
Disallow: /index.php?view=article*&print=1*
Disallow: /index.php?option=com_mailto*
Disallow: /component/mailto/*

User-agent: Slurp
Disallow: /index.php?view=article*&format=pdf
Disallow: /index.php?view=article*&print=1*
Disallow: /index.php?option=com_mailto*
Disallow: /component/mailto/*

It should be noted these will differ if you are using SEF URLs. You can check they work at Google Webmaster. It allows you to test if the changes made to your robots.txt file work (you can check my robots.txt file as I am running SEF urls).

Once done you can remove any URL’s that have been indexed using the Google Webmaster tools.

Setting Menu Links as NoFollow

This is the last item on the list. You may want to set all links in a menu to nofollow (your footer) or simple set individual links in a menu to nofollow. Again this is not easy in Joomla and guess what. I will do a separate post on this as I am still coming up with the best solution myself.

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About Kieran Flanagan

Online Marketer who implements both inbound and paid strategies to help companies grow internationally. Lover of content marketing, SEO, analytics, CRO and strategy. A highly motivated marketing geek high on data crack.