XenForo: Reducing Number of Page Links


Staff member
Here's the scenario. You just installed some XenForo forum software on your server and you've already added some content. As you explore the site, you start noticing that there are more links on each page than you'd like. You know that too many links on a page isn't good for SEO, so you'd like to remove some of them. The question is, which ones and how do you go about removing them?

I recently went down this road. I can use this very site as an example (IndyFor). When I explored this website after adding a few forums and threads, I realized that each page was just chock full of links. Links I don't think Google needed to know about.

For example, After creating a few forums and threads, I began analyzing the homepage. On it, I've got the forum list as well as the ten most recent threads. These threads are posted in the sidebar. After taking a cursory glance, I figured there would be 20 links on the page. Ten for the forums and 10 for the threads. Well, as it turned out, I had 60 links. Some were duplicated, but the page ended up having links for the forums, threads, thread 301 redirects, and member pages. There's no need for Google or any of the other search engines to know about the 301 redirects or the member pages. So I removed those.

On the forum pages themselves, there are only supposed to be links to the threads contained within that forum. If we say that there are 10 threads in a forum, we should see ten links. What's the reality? There are actually 70 links. Again, some are duplicated, such as the member pages, but there are more 301 redirects and some random date links. This isn't good for SEO. Far too many links.

A huge problem lies on the thread page. On it, there aren't suppose to be any links (besides common site navigation ones). The reality is that there are five links for the first post and four links for every post thereafter. So if you have 50 posts in a thread and have 50 posts showing on a page, that's 200 links that aren't supposed to be seen by the search engines. On this page with 50 posts, there are supposed to be no links at all. Obviously, you can see an issue here.

So, what are these links for, anyway? Well, they're made for members and guests to navigate the site. I actually love all of the functionality of this software, I just wish there was a way to hide all of these links from Google. From what I've seen, Googlebot loves to crawl all of them as opposed to the more important pages. And when it crawls them, it gets confused and sometimes doesn't canonicalize the 301 redirects as it should and it also creates errors for all of those member and attachment links. Which brings me to an important point. Each image that's uploaded to a post also creates a link. So if you had 50 attachments in a thread, there's 50 more links.

When I first began learning this software, I became slightly overwhelmed by having so many links on each page. But once I began digging around in the template system, I learned how to remove some of them. And then I learned about a few add-ons that removed the rest. Today, if you browse around this site, you'll find no extraneous links. You'll only see links that matter. It's actually very streamlines, which Google should love. I'm not only sending it signals that matter. And the best part is, I made it so while I'm hiding the links for those who aren't logged in as a member (Google), members who are logged in get to see the fully functional website in all it's glory.

By now, you're chomping at the bit, wondering how you can also remove all of your extra page links. I can help you because I've already written an entire post that will show you exactly how to get all this done. All you need to do is read my SEO for XenForo post. I explain it all there. Give it a read through and if you have any questions, just ask me in either this post or that one. I'm happy to help.