OpenSEF-how to keep the same module appearance in Joomla while linking from different content

Why do you need to do this? The answer is clear-to provide enhanced usability for your visitors. If one part of your site you is about Joomla template and the other is dedicated to Joomla hosting you’ll probably consider adding POLL module to the first and banner from hosting company to the second. You may also want to display different menus, related to content sections.

You can configure modules to show up with respect to links from menus, but what if you have more links pointing to the same content (you think that it is the same, Joomla thinks differently) from frontpage component, blog section or comments? Or what if you don’t have menu links to this content page and linking to it only from < Blog - Content Category>? This can make complete mess from the way your modules would be displayed. Content, accessed from some links would show up together with proper modules. The same content accessed from different links may not show modules that you were expecting or, sometimes would not show any modules at all.

Even worse. From SEO point of view the same content could be considered by search engines to be duplicate content. This is not very dangerous, as soon as one representation of your content should be original and only others would end in supplemental results. But which one? You’ll never know.

I was looking for solution to fix this in Joomla forums but was not very successful. I would like to explain what I used to do to work around this problem. It is possible that this way of configuring links is not the best, but it works for me.

I’m using OpenSEF component to make user and SEO friendly url’s. OpenSEF is excellent component and provides all necessary functionality to work with Joomla links.

First of all it is necessary to set <Use Content Auto-Mapping?> in Configuration --> Features menu of OpenSEF to <No>. Save configuration. Enter content that you want to add to your Joomla site. Then open your Joomla site and click on various links to content that you added. Find link that points to your content with proper module selection. I would recommend starting with links from menu, then from different sections or category’s if you don’t have direct links from menu to your content. Return to the page that is linking to properly displayed content.

Go to OpenSEF configuration and set <Use Content Auto-Mapping?> in Configuration --> Features menu of OpenSEF to <Yes>. Save configuration. Click on link pointing to content with proper module selection. You created new friendly url to your content. You can see this url in your browser. Then return to OpenSEF configuration and set <Use Content Auto-Mapping?> in Configuration --> Features menu of OpenSEF to <No>. Save configuration.

Discover all links that point to your new content from different parts of your site. Front page, blog, etc. Don’t forget to include a link that is pointing to this content from social bookmarking component (if using any), or you’ll never know if somebody digged your article (do you really care?). Then create <New Friendly URL> for each of these links.

Friendly URL should be your newly created one and internal URL should be one of url’s that you collected and that was pointing to your content from different parts of your site. It does not matter if it was displaying proper or not proper layout. If you were using content auto mapping feature before, it may be required to cleanup your links before making proper links to old content. Just go into <List Friendly URL’s> section of OpenSEF and review your links.

This work takes some time and is tedious. It would be nice to find better and easer usage of excellent features and possibilities that OpenSEF gives to us. But I was not able to find any other  solution to this Joomla problem.

Please let me know if you have any idea how to simplify this procedure.

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