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How Does PathFactory Affect SEO?

PathFactory supports your SEO strategy and plays friendly with the SEO settings of the modern website CMS. Unlike other platforms in the B2B Content Marketing space, PathFactory does not host your webpage content. Since we don’t host your content, this means your optimization strategy, as related to page metadata, is not something PathFactory impacts and should not be a concern when deploying our solution. We leave these functions, including the creation and hosting of webpage content, to your website CMS, so you can continue executing your established SEO strategy without needing to migrate your content or disrupt your process.

This article explains how you can align PathFactory with your SEO strategy, provides tips for optimizing SEO configurations within the platform, and offers guidance on settings and overrides related to search engine directives.

This article is intended for companies aiming to increase their organization’s online presence. In this article, we describe how PathFactory complements your SEO approach and harmonizes with modern website CMS settings, ensuring a seamless integration of content delivery and optimization efforts. We will explore essential considerations for optimizing SEO configurations within the PathFactory platform and provide insights on enhancing search engine visibility. Whether you are new to SEO or seeking to refine your strategy, this article offers valuable guidance to help you maximize the potential of PathFactory’s capabilities.

What do you need to consider when optimizing SEO configurations within PathFactory?

PathFactory Experience sharing URL structure is described below. 

Custom Subdomains

The vast majority of PathFactory customers use a CNAME record to create a subdomain to use with content tracks (for example, insertanykeyword.yourdomain.com), allowing you to use descriptive keywords like “resources” or “documents” that support your SEO strategy.

Reverse Proxy

While the majority of PathFactory customers use a CNAME to create a custom subdomain, some customers wish to have PathFactory content tracks and Explore pages on their top-level .com domain, believing this may positively affect their SEO. For example instead of a content track URL being insertanykeyword.yourdomain.com, it would be yourdomain.com/insertanykeyword (PathFactory continues to host the experience, not your website CMS). PathFactory supports this configuration via Reverse Proxy. The process for setting up a reverse proxy is handled by a PathFactory Solutions Architect and someone at your organization’s IT department who has access to edit your DNS record.

Increasing the Likelihood of PathFactory Appearing in Search Engines

Search engines typically prefer original source URLs to Content Tracks. Some marketers like their Content Tracks appearing in search engine results and others don’t. If you don’t like it, then it’s easy to use canonicalization to only allow underlying assets to appear in search engine results. Since Content Tracks display content inside an iframe, generally crawlers will index the content inside the iframe, and give credit to the original source URL. In other words, if a Content Track is set to be indexed, the underlying content will usually appear in search results instead of the Content Track itself. Occasionally the Content Track itself may be included in search engine results if it has a lot of inbound links around the internet pointing to it and/or it happens to have a title and description that the search engine is ranking high.

Avoiding  Duplicate Content Within PathFactory

Since PathFactory Campaign Tools can be used to iframe your web pages as assets, there can be concerns of duplicate content (i.e. the same content living at two unique URLs—the original website URL and the Content Track URL). If a web page is used as an asset in a Content Track, then we recommend the track be canonicalized, meaning adding a canonical tag to every asset in the track which indicates to search engine crawlers to display the underlying asset in search results, and never the Content Track itself. This is an easy setting you can toggle on or off, on each individual Content Track.

PDFs and Image-Based Infographics in Content Tracks

If you plan to use PDFs or image-based infographics in Content Tracks and you wish to have the assets’ SEO benefit linked to your parent domain, we recommend you upload any of these images or PDFs to your website CMS, and then copy and paste the CMS-hosted URLs of these assets into your PathFactory content library. In this way your website CMS will host the source files, which can then be used in the Content Tracks. Then if you choose to index and canonicalize a Content Track, when search engine crawlers index these assets, they’ll see them hosted on  your parent domain and not hosted by the PathFactory platform.

Should I Index My PathFactory Content Tracks?

The logic below outlines the best way to determine when to use index, no-index, or canonicalize.

Putting PathFactory To Good Use and Producing the Best SEO Impact

Once you have decided which use cases you are using specific experience in, you can go into PathFactory and select the specific Search Engine Directive. All of these options are supported by PathFactory, and here is what each one does:

  • Canonical URL of Content – Index the Content Assets within the Content Track, and give the underlying asset URL credit (display the underlying asset in search engine results)
  • Canonical URL of Track – Index the Content Assets within the Content Track, and give the Content Track URL credit (display the Content track in search engine results)
  • Index, Follow – Index the Content Assets within the Content Track and follow any links in the content track. Leave it to the search engine to decide whether the Content Track or underlying asset gets credit and is displayed in search engine results.
  • Index, No Follow – Index the Content Assets within the Content Track but do not follow any links in the content track. Leave it to the search engine to decide whether the Content Track or underlying asset gets credit and is displayed in search engine results.
  • No Index, Follow – Do not index anything in the Content Track, but follow links to other areas outside the Content Track.
  • No Index, No Follow – Do not index the Content Track, and do not follow any links. Do not display the Content Track in search engine results.

PathFactory administrative users have the ability to set a Search Engine Optimization default within Organization Settings, as shown below.

Search Engine Optimization tab

You may also override the default Search Engine Directive on the Experience level as shown below.

Search Engine Directive menu

You may also set an override on the asset level within the track as shown below. This URL will override the setting in the track’s Search Engine Directive. 

Override Option
Updated on December 8, 2023

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