Search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo! and others are still the starting point for many users on their search for specific information on the Internet. These search engines require websites, which they can visit, scan and index the content. The "indexing process" is basically the association of words and other definable tokens to a domain name. Websites, which support search engines in this process are called search engine friendly or search engine optimized (SEO).
TYPO3 always had the reputation of being search engine friendly, mainly because it has been easy to configure basic techniques such structured page content (typically heading tags <h1> to <h6> as a top-down hierarchy). Other options to make a website easy to scan for search engines are speaking URLs, meta data and redirects to instruct search engines to update their index. More sophisticated techniques can be achieved by installing extensions developed by the TYPO3 community from the TYPO3 Extension Repository (TER)
However, the importance of good practise SEO should not depend on third party extensions, according to Richard Haeser. He started an initiative earlier this year at the TYPO3 User Experience Week (T3UXW18) to enhance the TYPO3 core by modern SEO features. Richard teamed up with Joost de Valk and Riny van Tiggelen and together they formed an expert group, who have been working hard on various aspects of this topic.
The first results of their amazing efforts can be seen in TYPO3 version 9.3, which introduces a new system extension called "SEO". Meta tags, which are relevant for SEO and set in page properties are rendered in the frontend by default with no additional configuration required. Behind the scenes, a new Meta Tag API manages this in a modern and fast way. More obvious for integrators and editors alike is a new tab "SEO" of the page properties in the backend. It is possible to instruct search engines to index a page or follow links on that page, add Open Graph data to a page or add information especially for Twitter. The Open Graph protocol is supported by all modern social networks such as Facebook or LinkedIn.
The SEO initiative has more features up its sleeve and the TYPO3 core will likely receive further improvements before the LTS version (Long Term Support) will be launched later this year.