I was just wondering for people who added their own forum/Q&A section to their website, have you experienced an increase in traffic/rankings because of this?
I'm thinking of adding a forum/Q&A section to my website, and I feel that this would have a positive effect on traffic/rankings if the posts have content that other visitors would be interested in reading about too.
I don't have any data to prove it, but I think a forum can be a good thing to attract people. The down side is that, it can obviously do damage as well. It depends on what your customers are like. If your business draws in a lot of cranks and nuts, then it might be a negative, rather than a positive. Either way, it will probably be a lot of work, because you will have to keep tight control. But it might be worth it.
We're doing the same thing right now. Of course, it has to be highly moderated and we're limiting it to pre-sale questions and other general discussion (we don't want it being a forum for soap boxing about an item arriving a day late).
I'm of the mindset that chances are that if you're providing better content than the next guy that keeps visitors on your site longer, results in more purchases, and generally makes happier customers eventually the SEO benefits will come.