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Community Building and User Generated Content Forum

Search Engines for Forums and Boards
Useful or not?

 10:35 am on Nov 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

There are a few sites out there which claim to be search engines for forums and boards: they scan your forum content and produce summaries and stats on your content.

Forget about the issues of content copyright and them milking ad revenue from it but what about the pros / cons of such 'search engines'?

Will proper search engines penalise your site if you are listed?

Will users get confused if when searching for a subject they are first drawn to the SEfFB site first?

One particular site which has indexed a lot of my content is one which claims to be a 'board reader'. I thought this was a good idea at first but now I'm not too sure.

My site ranks well in G for keywords for standard info pages but not for forum pages. I have done quite a bit of seo on the forum, G indexes regularily, and yet the pages do not rank well.

Should I block these search engines for forums and boards?

[edited by: Frank_Rizzo at 10:37 am (utc) on Nov. 3, 2008]



 10:46 am on Nov 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

Pick your bots. White list the ones you okay, ban all others. KISS method works best.


 4:47 pm on Nov 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

Sure that is good advice but what if something you whitelisted a while ago was actually a mistake?

There is not much info on this particular bot I whitelisted and yet it is well established.

What is the consensus on these types of bots? Do they actually harm your ranking in G?

Note that this particular bot does not duplicate full message content - it only displays summary text and stats on posts and posters. Whilst it looks safe I wonder if there is some kind of penalty going on.


 2:23 pm on Nov 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

Try searching for some thread titles and see if you rank #1. If the other guys' excerpts outrank you, there could be a dupe content problem.

Actually, though, it seems unlikely that a short snippet would displace a lengthy thread - it's hard to imagine that being seen as dupe content.

Are these other sites sending you worthwhile traffic? If not, you could block their bots and request that any past content be removed.

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