Search engine optimization
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in Moodle is limited however there are several steps that can be taken to improve search engine visibility and ranking.
- Enable the opentogoogle setting in siteadmin > security > site policies
- Have a simple site name that is clean and obvious e.g. [Organisation Name] E-Learning
- Set the site description (Used by many themes as the metadata)
- Set course descriptions (Also have the course links on the front page otherwise descriptions will not be crawled)
There are other factors that come into play in SEO such as amount of content, website traffic and website trust. In short, lots of relevant content and lots of traffic.
Google listing text
The text that Google lists next to your website is taken from the meta description tag. You can fill this information in the Admin > Site Settings area of Moodle.
Google blog search
The Google blog search, despite its name, lists any site with RSS or Atom feeds, which includes all the Moodle forums.
They will soon have a manual submission process but for the time being you need to ping a weblog update service.
Google site maps
Site maps allow you to tell Google exactly what pages you have and when your site changes. You do this by creating a 'sitemap' using a program you can download from them, or alternatively just point them at your RSS feed.
The opentogoogle variable in Administration >> Configuration >> Variables may be set to 'Yes' to allow Google to enter your site as a Guest. In addition, people coming in to your site via a Google search will automatically be logged in as a Guest. However, people can just read the content from Google's site without ever visiting your site.
Links to and from other sites
Linking is a major contributor to SEO. If you link to reputable sites your ranking will increase, but more importantly other sites linking to you will increase your ranking.
Other sites linking to you is very important, but you cant just go and create 30 sites with a link to your site because Google is smarter than that. Reputation is important to Google and 100 links from small sites with no reputation won't count for a single link from say www.time.com.
Of course, the standard stuff applies:
- Making your content interesting
- Linking to relevant sites and getting relevant sites to link to you (within reason)
- Getting bloggers in your field to talk about your site (this seems to be the current best method)