SEO Boss is an extension mainly dedicated to managing metadata related information on your site. Note that some of this functionality is now available as OSMeta by Alledia. The extension is available as a free download, while a PRO version with some additional features is also available ($24,95 and up). For this review, I used the free version of SEO Boss.
After installation, the component shows the following dashboard:
Meta tags manager
The meta tags manager is the heart of the extension. It is also this part that is ported to OSmeta, so if you just need this part, you might as well use OSmeta. The dashboard show you a nice overview of the metadata currently assigned to your content:
The nice thing is that you can use the buttons at the top to copy tags, keyword and descriptions from one place to another, like copying the article title to the keywords tag, or auto-generating metadescriptions based on the article text (in the free version the length is fixed to 255 characters, which is too long).
Some of these features could be nice, but some are actually superfluous, like the keywords tag. This is no longer used by most search engines. A reason to still use it i SEO Boss is that some of the other features are based on these keywords. Anyhow, even thoug search engines do not use them anymore, they should not be bad for your rankings, they will usually be ignored.
Possibly contra-productive could be the use for the title metatag column. If filled in, the title metatag generates the following format in your HTML:
<meta name="title" content="Page title">
However, the correct usage of page titles is through the <title> tag. The <title> tag is already created by Joomla. A title metatag that is different from the <title> element could even be harmfull for your rankings, so I suggest you do not use this feature. In OSmeta both the feature for keywords and title metatags have been removed, which makes it superior.
The keywords manager shows an overview of the keywords configured on your site, with a check on the position in Google of this keyword, including ranking change since the last check. It works based on the keywords defined the metatags overview (make sure you save this page first). If you then click the update button, your rankings will be calculated:
This is a very nice features, and pretty unique! In the settings, you can also supply localized searches, like googl.nl instead of google.com.
This feature can possibly be used to generate some non-standard metatags, like this:
<meta name="alexa" content="100">
However, it's usage will mostly not be effective, so this feature does not help that much.
The pages manager could be a usefull feature. It does require you to use keywords for your articles though. Based on the configured keywords, the overview shows you the keyword density for these. Any keyword stuffing is then quickly noticed:
This feature allows you to hide external links as internal links, which will redirect to external sites once clicked. The usages of this feature seems doubtfull, it sounds like tricking users (and search engines), which will usually do you no good in the long run.
The duplicated content feature sounds like a nice overview. Unfortunately it is only available in the Pro-version, so I could not test it.
There are some smaller features of less importance that I did not discuss, like the option to create backups of the SEO Boss database, switching on pinging to Google Blog search (seems like a discontinued service), and some configuration options.
Overall, some options of SEO Boss could have their value, but a simple solution like OSMeta or full-SEF solutions like SH404SEF usually seems a better solution IMHO. Only the Google ranking features is a unique feature. If you like this, go for it.