Top 7 SEO mistakes found in Drupal sites

By | 21st Sep 2012 | 4 min read

SEO is the bread and butter of any website and Drupal is no exception. The rules of SEO are pretty much the same in a Drupal as on any other CMS or plain HTML website but there are some SEO mistakes that are unique to Drupal like the ones found in our list of the Top 6 SEO mistakes found in Drupal sites. Also checkout the Top 6 SEO modules for Drupal to achieve even better Search Engine rankings. If you would like to ensure that all SEO aspects are taken care of in your Drupal site do get in touch with us

Clean URLs not enabled or not configured correctly

Clean URLs are URLs which do not contain any query strings and contain only the path to the resource. Clean URLs are better from an SEO perspective than ‘Unclean’ URLs as they tend to provide better readability and indicates better content structuring. Clean URLs also tend to allow webmasters to make the URL permanent as it does not expose the underlying implementation details. So ensuring Clean URLs is a good practice both from an SEO perspective, a semantic perspective and to a certain extent a security perspective.

Hardcoded links to non-aliased URLs

Drupal uses “nodes” to refer to content i.e This is not an issue for browsers and servers as it is for users as it is totally illegible to them to what the page is standing for. Using Hardcoded links (links in the node/nid format) instead of an aliased URL like in templates and custom modules is not very good SEO. Drupal has a feature called URL aliasing that provides meaningful names to these standard URLs. This would allow for better ranking on these keywords for the pages.

Clean URLs enabled without Global Redirect.

It is a fact that Search Engines do not like duplicate content. If you have enabled Clean URL's on your Drupal website then nodes will be available both from their node/nid path as well as the aliased path leading to the same content becoming available from two different URLs. This can be fixed by installing the Global redirect module which when configured correctly can redirect unaliased paths to the corresponding aliased paths.

Note: You might like to checkout our list of Top 10 Performance mistakes in Drupal

Changing node path without creating a redirect

If you have changed the url of a node in your Drupal site which has incoming links it will affect your search engine rankings negatively as it is bad SEO to have broken links. This can be solved by installing and setting up the Path Redirect Module which helps you redirect from an old url on your Drupal site to the new path. You can also decide to set the URL for the new node as the same as the old node using url alias.

Having a really slow Drupal site

If your Drupal site is slow - takes more than 2 seconds to load, its not only bad for SEO but your visitors will also be put off by it. Drupal has a variety of caching systems to help speed up your website. Boost is one such Drupal caching system that is pretty effective in improving site performance.

Robots.txt file

There is a serious SEO flaw in the standard robots.txt file of Drupal. It is set to exclude the /sites/ folder from being crawled by Search Engines. This is the folder where Drupal stores a sites images. Images with the correct alt attribute can boost your Search Engine rankings. So if your robots.txt file is not corrected you are missing out on a valuable area in SEO. Drupal has corrected this file from versions 6.20 onwards, but if you are running an older version you should correct this file or alternatively update your drupal installation.

Ignoring good analytics software.

Even if you get the basics of SEO right by using the right search terms and keywords and having quality content on your site, you need to get real time data of how your site performs to make minute adjustments. A good Analytics package like Google Analytics can gives you a good idea of how SEO Optimized your website by giving you reports of traffic to your website, average page load times, the demographics of your users, average page bounce rates, the number of unique and recurring visits to your sites and a whole lot more which can alert you to potential areas of improvement.