Joomla 3.7 was released a few weeks ago. Because the router changes were left out, it seemed no SEO advantages were included in the release. However, it turns out there is a little gem hidden inside. It is a very small change, but extremely useful. It saves us from having to perform funny hacks and use superfluous extensions now!
The change is a new possibility to configure a browser page title for individual articles. To avoid confusion, I am talking about the page tile as you can see it in your browser tabs:
Even more importantly, it is used by Google as the title for the snippet of your websites inside the search results pages. It is often seen as one of the most important SEO aspects of a page:
Now one of the big issues with setting your page titles correctly in Joomla was that for individual articles, you could not set the page title exactly as you wanted it. By default, it is derived from the actual title of your article. Also, depending on your Global Configuration settings, your Site Name is either prepended or apended. In many situations this is perfectly fine, but as often, this is not exactly what you want. As an example, take my recent article about the RSSEO! extension. The title of the article is simply RSSEO!, which is fine. However, for optimal display inside the Google search results I want it to be like this:
RSSEO! by RSJoomla! - A perfect SEO extension
Without extensions, the only way to achieve this is to attach this article to a menu-item and then use the Page Display settings to set the desired page title:
This is pretty cumbersome if you have to do it many times. For larger sites, this procedure is no option, so this often forced us to use extensions like SH404SEF or OSmeta. However, since Joomla 3.7, this is not necessary anymore!
Set Browser page title: inside the Options tab in articles
As I only just found out, a small option was added at the very bottom of the Options tab inside your articles:
And indeed it works exactly as you would expect it to. Simply set a Browser Page Title and it is immediately used on the frontend. Note that it only applies to articles in blog or list views. If the article is attached to a menu-item, it simply keeps on using the menu-item title (plus Site Name if set). But in this situation this is fine, because we can already set our own page titles. For many other situations, it solves a lot of SEO issues and you may even be able to ditch some extension subscriptions!
By the way, thanks to Anja Hage, who showed me the feature on her website, I did not notice it before: www.joomlacursussen.nl/weblog/37-aangepaste-browserpaginatitel-voor-een-artikel-zonder-menu-item.