Try using a format similar to the homepage here at WebmasterWorld. Basically, use static html to highlight important posts on a regular basis. In phpbb, you can edit the header in the overall_header.tpl under the template you are using. Add a link to the "post_library.html" or the "latest_ news.html" and use the WebmasterWorld Library as a guide.
Link to Library: [webmasterworld.com...]
...those are my thoughts anyway.
I know there is add-ons for this now (phpBB), also you can use Mod_ReWrite to rewrite the url's but if you have a session id in the URL, Google might get caught in a spider trap, check out the official website for the forum, and take a look at the different add-ons.
I'm stickying you a domain that while it is not php, it is a relational database which is using Mod_ReWrite to make the URLs friendly and is being heavily indexed in Google. Prior to the Mod_ReWrite it was not being indexed.
I use vbulletin and have spent some time removing the session variable from its links. Given that Google only goes one variable deep, I had to make sure that the threadid and not the session id was the first variable it would see.
Also, the main page of the site has over a hundred inbound links (5 per forum) for the latest posts, resources and other stuff added to the site.
My oldest site with this design (2 months old) is now at PR6 and a couple of them are at PR5 and PR4.
If you look in the original forums (phpbb.com) you will easily find a thread that explains how to drop session_ids for searchengines. Very easy, only 2 lines in one file have to be changed. It is being used for several months by many people, no problems.
If you can't find the topic, sticky me for the URL.
There are futher techniques (some mentioned in this thread, like mod_rewrite) that could further help, but for me weighing the effort against the possible gain, I decided to just stay with the above mentioned modification.
Some suggestions are listed here: Looking for forum with static page output [webmasterworld.com]
Personal preference now is to use a dynamic forum script with mod_rewrite to make it look like static HTML. I've had great success with miniBB and mod_rewrite.
This is kind of a side issue, but we are also looking to put a BBS on our website so that all the discussions stay under our domain instead of using one of the freebie ones.
Looking at phpbb and a couple of others.
Any recommendations as to what/which is easier to set up and keep going - and be crawlable by Google?
We have an info site hosted on VIAnet that we could use (don't want to put it on our ecommerce site).
I am using PHPbb 2.0.4 and have had no success in removing the session_ids for search engines. The previous mods do not seem to work with this version. Anyone have an updated mod? There is no info on the current version that I can find on the PHPbb website forum.
I'm in the same boat :-/
I searched and searched and those mods that were posted didnt work. Hence I downloaded 2.03 and got it working fine. There is also a not so well knpown modification that flatten the urls which I also have incorporated.
I'm sending you a pm with the url's so you can see for yourself. I believe the moderators would edit an example url out. phpbb 2.03 is perfectly fine imo and secure.
For the flat url mod I can send you some files and instructions which work as long as .htaccess works in your directories. No need for mod_rewrites etc. Combined it makes for a very search engine friendly forum. I have phpbb 2.01 on my own domain (see forum in profile site) which works very well. Every page is indexed. The Mod does work with 2.03 as well and I'll send you the example in a sticky.