Open SEF - do you use proper links for Joomla?

I added links to new category’s and realized that they looked different from what was expected. I configured them to be Blog - Content Category. Sometimes they looked this way. Sometimes not. They looked like Table - Content Category. I was confused. I checked the way these links were configured. They were configured properly.

Things started to look strange. I was setting different menus for different pages. Sometime menus appeared in those sections. Sometimes they disappeared. I had the same problem with other modules. I started to feel that everything was falling apart. I verified that proper link sections were enabled in module configuration. Configuration looked OK. But the only one way to be sure that this module would show up was to enable it everywhere by using ‘ALL’ in ‘Menu Item Link(s)’. I began to loose my trust in Joomla functionality.

After analyzing the problem I started checking the configuration of external components and modules that I’m using with Joomla. Very soon I realized that in the Open SEF list of Friendly URL’s (Open SEF administration panel) the same Friendly URL’s are pointing to different internal links. And there was one strange parameter in the table - Link Priority. What was this parameter supposed to mean?

I found an explanation to this on an Open SEF support page:

“ Link Priority is a new feature which is designed to help overcome the Joomla ItemID issues.Previously OpenSEF (and Joomla) used the first link found in the database for the Friendly URL (FURL).The same content may have different types of links pointing to the same content (same ContentID).One link may be a Blog Category link, another link may be a Content Category Table link - to the same content.These internal URLs will have different ItemIDs.These multiple internal URLs may all alias to the same FURL.Which one of these internal links is used for the FURL will determine a number of things.The ItemID controls the display of modules, the pathway, user access, menu highlights, and a number of other things. “
And:
“Where modules are displayed (on what pages) is determined by the ItemID.
If the link to the page is not the preferred ItemID, the correct modules may not display.”

Hmm…
This means that links were pointing to the wrong representation of content.
This priority is as follows:
1- Content Item Link
2- Typed Content Link
3- Content Section List
4- Content Category List
5- Content Section Blog (specific)
6- Content Category Blog (specific)
7- Content Section Blog (global)
8- Content Category Blog (global)

And SEO friendly links to Content Category List and Content Category Blog would be the same, but you will go to Content Category List as soon as it has higher priority. Even if you configured this link to point to Content Category Blog.

It was easy to find a solution after this explanation. Just sort url’s in Manage Friendly URL section of OpenSEF administration panel. Disabled duplicated url’s, pointed to unwanted locations. Everything started to work as expected. There are some tips that would be able to simplify your life even more. You can append Content ID and Itemid to the end of FURL (in ‘Configuration → Features’ of OpenSEF). And you can always ask for help in OpenSEF forum.

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