Possible to Prevent Post Number Being Appended to URL While Scrolling Through Threads?
Hi all. Sorry for the rather clumsy title, but I'm not sure how else to describe this behaviour. I noticed on a forum using NodeBB that while scrolling through a thread the number of the post I was currently viewing was being appended to the URL in the address bar. This auto-updating URL meant I was getting multiple history entries per thread I viewed. Is it possible to prevent this behaviour (either as a user option or as an option for forum administrators)?
We recently discovered that these canonical URLs (ending in /2, /3, /4, etc for each new reply with a topic) are having some negative impacts on the quality of our site because Google is still indexing and showing the /2, /3 and /4 at times when it shouldn't. As more pages get created, more and more of these URLs get created too.
Is there any way to stop these additional "pages" from showing as a user scrolls down the page? Perhaps even set up redirects from /1, /2, and /3 back to the base post (and if there isn't a way, could this functionality be created in the next update)? This would help get rid of the many poor (and basically duplicate) URLs that are being created.
I originally thought it was a cool feature for NodeBB to have, and it's probably great for some forums that don't care about SEO... but given the negative impact it can have on the overall quality of a website (in Google's eyes), it would be very helpful (critical, even) to have the ability to turn this feature off.
@retipster As far as we know, there shouldn't be any quality decline SEO-wise, since upon entering any topic, we append a
canonicallink tag for search engines to parse.
e.g. for this topic:
<link rel="canonical" href="https://community.nodebb.org/topic/14551/possible-to-prevent-post-number-being-appended-to-url-while-scrolling-through-threads" />
Note that even if you check the source for the page with the
/2, etc., the canonical URL still responds as appropriate (without the post number).
So we far as we know, we are following the recommendations Google has set out.
Google chooses the canonical page based on a number of factors (or signals), such as whether the page is served via HTTP or HTTPS, page quality, presence of the URL in a sitemap, and any rel=canonical labeling. You can indicate your preference to Google using these techniques, but Google may choose a different page as canonical than you do, for various reasons.
The sitemap also lists the topic without the post number, of course.
Note that even if you check the source for the page with the /1, /2, etc., the canonical URL still responds as appropriate (without the post number).
Thanks. I tried this and it does seem to point me back to the original post when I visit one of these canonical URLs… so I guess my next question is, what’s the point of having these /1, /2, /3 URLs at all if they’re just going to bring people back to the original post anyway? Surely I’m missing what the functional purpose is, I’m just not sure what that is.
And just to probe a bit deeper, is difficult to give forum admins a toggle switch to turn this feature off?
I get that it isn’t supposed to cause any issues with Google, but in the cases where we just don’t want these added bells and whistles, wouldn’t it be easy to give admins the option to say “no thanks” to these extra URLs?
@retipster The function of these trailing
/2urls is to function as a rough "post index". I think we've all been there when you find a neat bit of content, refresh the page, and then it's gone for good. This problem is exacerbated by sites that change the order of content often (e.g. reddit, facebook) because a tab open for say, 24 hours, once refreshed, would have completely different content.
The trailing bits point us to an approximate location on the page, if not the direct post itself, so when you refresh, you end up back where you were before, and not at the top.
Where are you seeing these extra entries? GA?