SEO Best Practices for Hubs

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General Best Practices 

In general, you should:

  • Always turn off the Stream Option No Robots Meta Tag. This ensures that Google (and other search engines) can index the Stream and its Items so that they will appear in search results.
  • Always turn on the Stream Option Enable Canonical Meta Tag. This designates a canonical URL for each Item in a Stream, which helps to avoid problems with duplicate content.

Important

Before you turn on indexing and canonical meta tags on a Stream, must make sure that the Items within the Stream have canonical URLs set according to the URLs you want to be indexed for each piece of content. See below for more information.

 

Canonical Meta Tag

See below for which URL will be set as the canonical URL depending on your configuration:

Note

When you create a Marketing Stream, the Stream Options Enable Canonical Meta Tag and No Robots Meta Tag will automatically be turned on by default. To get SEO value from a Marketing Stream, you must turn the No Robots Meta Tag option off (see above).

Source Streams 

Stream Options Canonical URL Field Canonical URL Used

Enable Canonical Meta Tag ON

Has URL Value in Canonical URL field

Enable Canonical Meta Tag ON

Blank Item's own URL

Enable Canonical Meta Tag ON

Force Self Canonical URL ON

Has URL or blank Item's own URL (will override value in Canonical URL field)

Enable Canonical Meta Tag OFF

No Robots Meta Tag OFF

Has URL or blank None (Item's URLs will be indexable, even if content is duplicated elsewhere)

Marketing Streams

Stream Options Canonical URL Field Canonical URL Used
Enable Canonical Meta Tag ON Has URL Value in Canonical URL field
Enable Canonical Meta Tag ON Blank Item's own URL in Source Stream

Enable Canonical Meta Tag ON

Force Self-Canonical URL ON in Source Stream

Has URL or blank Item's own URL in Source Stream (will override values in both Streams' Canonical URL fields)

Enable Canonical Meta Tag ON

Force Self-Canonical URL ON in Marketing Stream

Has URL or blank Item's own URL in Marketing Stream (will override value in Canonical URL field)

Enable Canonical Meta Tag OFF

No Robots Meta Tag OFF

Has URL or blank None (Item's URLs will be indexable, even if content is duplicated elsewhere)

 

Index a Marketing Stream, Source Stream or External URL?

A single piece of content can live in multiple places: an external web property (e.g. a blog), a Source Stream, and one or more Marketing Streams. Which URL should you allow search engines to index?

There is no one right answer to this question — it depends on your preference. But whichever option you choose, the most important thing is to make sure only one of these options is indexed.

The majority of Uberflip customers choose to index the Source Stream URLs, then allow user navigation to the Marketing Stream versions by way of the user's interest. This option is the most popular because it's the simplest to set up. However, the big value of Marketing Streams is that you can present your content not just by type, but by topic/audience/campaign/product etc. So, if you want, indexing the Marketing Stream version of any given Item is also possible.

Because an Item can live in multiple Marketing Streams, you will need to pick which Marketing Stream URL you want indexed if you choose to go this route. This will require some manual effort: for each Item that you want indexed on a Marketing Stream rather than the Source Stream, you will need to edit that Item and set the Canonical URL field to be the Marketing Stream version's URL.  This ensures that in any Stream in which the Item appears (Source or Marketing), the canonical meta tag will reference your chosen Marketing Stream version.

One thing to specifically avoid in this scenario is to have an Item placed in multiple Marketing Streams which all have both the Enable Canonical Meta Tag option and the Force Self-Canonical URL option turned on. This tells search engines that all versions of the same content on different URLs should be indexed separately, which is considered duplicate content and has negative SEO effects.

In a scenario where you are combining multiple blog feeds/Streams into a single Marketing Blog Stream that you would want indexed, here is what you should do:

  • Make sure your Source Streams have the No Robots Meta Tag option turned on
  • On the "main" Marketing Stream, make sure both the Enable Canonical Meta Tag and Force Self-Canonical URL options are turned on
  • On all other Marketing Streams where the Items will also live (and, ideally, on the external source blog), edit each Item to set the canonical URLs as the URLs of the Items in the main Marketing Stream

By doing the above, you will avoid a duplicate content scenario, while also using the other Marketing Streams and the external source blog to drive SEO value to the main Marketing Stream.

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