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My google ranking heavily penalized due to forums?
Very high ranking in yahoo and bing/msn, but google counts words in forums
serengeti




msg:4207252
 12:12 am on Sep 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

I own a website that is ranked in the top ten for its main keyword in yahoo and bing/msn. In google, my site only got ranked recently after being online for over four years (although the site was ranked once in a while over those four years, it kept disappearing from the rankings regularly). For much of 2009, the site was never ranked if I remember correctly, even though many pages in the site were ranked in the top five for secondary keywords.

My site's current google ranking is outside the top 100 for the main keyword, although I am glad to be finally ranked consistently.

Now the question ---

From my Analytics account and Webmaster Tools account, it seems like Google counts all my phpbb forum posts and threads.

So according to google, my most popular word is "post" (number 1). My second most popular word is my main keyword. Other top ten words on my site per google include forum (number 3), topic (number 4), log (number 8) and private (number 10). All of these words are popular because of the forums.

I do not want to have a robot file that tells google not to visit the forums. Some of my forum threads are ranked highly for secondary keywords and I want to keep it that way.

Any ideas on how to get google to only rank my topic or non-forum related keywords on my site? Can I tell google to ignore words such as post, posts, forum and log?

Thanks.

 

Robert Charlton




msg:4207879
 5:10 am on Sep 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

I think this is in answer to what you're asking....

Do you use the word "forum", eg, as part of your page titles, headings, or anchor text links to your forum categories? Is the word used heavily on the page?

In the forum we're in now, eg, the forum name is...

General Search Engine Marketing Issues

...not...

General Search Engine Marketing Issues Forum

...and the word "forum" is only used three times on the page, and never adjacent to a keyword.

serengeti




msg:4213335
 6:40 pm on Oct 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

Hi Robert thanks for the great reply.

My problem is that I still want the main forums ranked by google.


Suppose my site is about planes and I have a forum on planes attached to my site.

On every page of my site, I have a hyperlink titled "plane forums". I prefer not getting rid of that so that google ranks my main forum.

I also have links on individual pages to related subforums.

e.g, "Boeing 747 forum" "Boeing 777 forum" etc...

Do you think that just deleting the word "forum" in these links to subforums will do the trick?

Or do I also have to delete the word "forum" from the main link on each page to "plane forum"?

Thanks.

serengeti




msg:4221874
 10:12 pm on Oct 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

I do not have a sitemap. Is there a way I can do a sitemap that lets google know that the forum and subforums are important, but less so than the main site content pages?

martinibuster




msg:4221887
 10:30 pm on Oct 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

You probably don't need the word "forum" in the title tag of individual posts. Who searches for "cat throwing up bile forum"? They type, "Cat throwing up bile" and that's what you want to rank for.

You can edit that in your forum templates. You may want to consider removing code from within the "viewtopic template" that would dynamically place the word forum into the title tag of an individual discussion thread. You can alter the phpbb code to insert the title of the discussion into the title tag field, followed by the name of the website, for branding in the SERPs.

Good luck.

Robert Charlton




msg:4222051
 6:11 am on Oct 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

Do you think that just deleting the word "forum" in these links to subforums will do the trick?

I need to ask, what trick? Sounds like you want to rank for forums. If so, leave it in where appropriate, but maybe not everywhere. martinibuster is completely correct that you don't need the word "forum" in the titles of individual forum posts. The word has begun appearing in WebmasterWorld in individual post titles, and I myself wouldn't use it that way... but I don't see it appearing in Google, so I'm not sure who's seeing what.

Can I tell google to ignore words such as post, posts, forum and log?

There are no negative keywords in seo, as there are in ppc, so you can't tell Google to ignore words... You just have to avoid using them as much or as prominently.

Sounds like maybe you do want to keep enough instances of "forum(s)" to rank on, and that maybe you're overusing it now. Aside from WMT, are these words giving you any trouble in Google itself? If they're not, forget WMT. WMT is for your information... but you still have to make the decisions. I think many users make the mistake of letting WMT be the tail that's wagging the dog.

serengeti




msg:4224059
 8:55 pm on Oct 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

I added my site in my profile if that makes it easier to understand what I am saying.

There are no negative keywords in seo, as there are in ppc, so you can't tell Google to ignore words... You just have to avoid using them as much or as prominently.


I don't use those words! They are automatically there in the phpbb forums.

So my most popular words have nothing to do with my content, and my website address is causing problems because it has a hyphen in it (I posted a thread about that recently too).

Thanks for your advice and help both of you.

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