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Yesterday Joomla 3.4.2 was released with many improvements under the hood. Among the hundreds of bugfixes and improvements are 2 small but very useful improvements that might affect your SEO. These features might apply if you are running your site under full SSL using the Joomla core SSL redirect or if your site is multilingual.

The full list of fixed issues can be found here. If you filter the list for the word SEO you will see the SEO-improvements:

Introduces rel="alternate" for active language

Github description here. This is a really significant change for any multilingual site. Previously, any multilingual site would show a rel=alternate tag for the translated languages that are available, while Google requires the tag to be available for all translations, including the currently active language. This is now fixed. 

As an example: In my situation, with both English and Dutch laguage packs installed, the source code for the English homepage first only showed the alternate tag for Dutch:

<link href="http://joomlaseo.com/nl/" rel="alternate" hreflang="nl-NL" />

After 3.4.2 the English alternate tag is also shown

<link href="http://joomlaseo.com/nl/" rel="alternate" hreflang="nl-NL" />
<link href="http://joomlaseo.com/" rel="alternate" hreflang="en-GB" />

Great work from all the developers that worked on this. I reported this bug myself, but quite a few developers worked really hard on this issue, making me feel pretty lazy for only reporting the issue and then sitting back. Maybe it's time to pick up Jisse Reitsma's book on programming and be a little more involved in programming myself.

[Improvement] - Status code 301 for Force SSL option

Github description here. In Global Configuration you can force your Joomla site to use SSL, but as I mentioned in this blogpost about SSL for Joomla, this resulted in 303 redirects instead of the 301 redirects that Google advises. This issue was picked up and solved by Victor Vogel, and since 3.4.2 you can now safely use this feature.