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Forum signatures and Google

     

serenoo

7:29 am on Sep 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I would go to forums about my niche, join the discussions, writing messages with the link to my website in my signature.
Is that dangerous for Google ranking?

RegDCP

4:02 pm on Sep 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Great question serenoo.

I recently had contact from a person who had a significant loss of SERPs after Penguin.

Over the years she had built a large network of links using signature links in all manner of venues, most outside of the topic found in her link. Most of these links were just the raw link without anchor text as her link was 2 keywords that accurately described her landing page.

She did not engage in any other type of link building.

Penguin removed her from the #2 position and searches showed the site to not be found in the top 100.

I would think that posting in relevant forums or groups a safe place to attach a sig link.

Personally, on all the non relevant venues I post in, my link will be

my-domain (dot) com

SevenCubed

4:27 pm on Sep 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



These days it appears to be walking on thin ice at least from google's perspective. Maybe less so if the forum is related to your niche as RegDCP points out.

It's probably too late for you because you have your domain up and running already? This is where pre-planning domain names is very practical. When possible I will try to encourage a new business-owner-to-be to select a business name that includes an obscure descriptive word that is in such a grey area that it can almost be considered as a noun, adjective, verb, etc... so that when participating in forums offsite they can squeeze that word into the discussion in close proximity to the keywords being discussed and as long as it's relevant it's pointing to their domain in a round-about kind of way without the need for a signature.

netmeg

4:46 pm on Sep 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



I like the way we do it here - people can put links to their sites in their profiles, but no signatures. So you can still participate in the forums, dazzle people with your brilliance, and if they're interested, they'll come check you out via your profile link. That probably looks pretty authentic (mostly because it is)

engine

4:55 pm on Sep 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator engine is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



As it's so easy to spam using sig files it is no longer of significant value to the search engines.

Is it dangerous? I doubt it if it's on-topic and relevant.

The value to a search engine is in the discussion, not in the sig file.

martinibuster

5:04 pm on Sep 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



I believe it's the profile the links give your site. If most of your links are from a large number of forums across a wide range of forums then it's possible that your backlink profile may resemble that of a forum spammer. When you actively engage forum signature links as a link building method you are setting yourself up to creating a profile that resembles what you have become, which is a forum spammer- particularly if a cursory review of your posts show that your forum participation consists of a few fluff posts on each forum. If your backlinks receive a hand check then it's going to be obvious that they were created with the purpose of influencing the algorithm, which can get you in trouble.

If it's just a lot of links from one or three sites, that's probably going to fall into the range of normal. There would be a lot of collateral damage otherwise.

SevenCubed

5:36 pm on Sep 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



So you can still participate in the forums, dazzle people with your brilliance, and if they're interested, they'll come check you out via your profile link.


Ya but that's a way of trying to grab the centre of attention with strong words of "self-proclamation" rather than a more passive way that I'm describing. Your way of stating this is a reflection of how you think. From your perspective you saying you are all about debating a topic with an potential ulterior motive of self-promotion so that people might want to try to figure out who you are -- sort of a "I'm the greatest" mentality. Whereas anonymously presenting concepts without need to have one's ego stoked by implying "this is my knowledge" can help people better understand something, while at the same time being humble about it. Heck I don't want to be known, I like my privacy.

Being passive in presentation encourages others to see something in a different way without making them feel obliged to you and that helps them to extend the concept in their own way. The very root of what's at play here is the difference between being an introvert vs extrovert. I don't mind butting heads with you because I see you as being an extrovert whereas I'm a introvert -- your posts help me grow to lift me up to a more balanced way of thinking, and hopefully I can help you in ways that are good to help you balance too. And, it takes both personality types to balance the world. It's like choosing to sit at a table at the lower level of a feast as opposed to rushing in and heading to the seat of the guest of honour.

I don't want a signature to draw attention to me, or a link in my forum profile. I simply want to try to divert traffic to a source that I know will help them find their answers, product, or service. I don't want to dazzle people with brilliance "belonging to me" I want to present a "brilliant concept" to them as an anonymous messenger. A signature is "I am brilliant", a discreet manipulation of words within a paragraph digresses to the authority in a subtle way that is undetectable by the human reader nor the search engine algorithm but is in fact leveraging the algorithm to do the hard work for you.

netmeg

6:12 pm on Sep 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Ok, but I'm not sure how that is relevant to the subject at hand; as stated the OP pretty much WANTS to bring people back to his/her site via forum posts.

And it's not necessarily an "ulterior motive of self promotion" at all - but if you are saying useful and/or interesting things, on any topic or in any niche, people will naturally tend be interested in who you are or what you're about. (Also if you say controversial and blunt things) And if you don't want to be known and like your privacy, then you probably won't be posting links at all, so...?

(And by the way - the few who actually know me assure me that I am a complete and total introvert)

SevenCubed

6:27 pm on Sep 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



as stated the OP pretty much WANTS to bring people back to his/her site via forum posts


I interpreted the OP theme as being him asking if the back-link is dangerous in degrading his SERP not whether or not he brings people there.

And if you don't want to be known and like your privacy, then you probably won't be posting links at all, so...?


I don't understand what you are saying there. I post links in threads here from time to time like most other members but they don't cater to me or my interests. My main interests in day to day existence are not even remotely close to the tech topics I discuss here -- 'cept for the occasional foo. Can you explain the "so...?" part?

(And by the way - the few who actually know me assure me that I am a complete and total introvert)


Interesting :)

serenoo

9:32 pm on Sep 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



SevenCubed
My website is new with no backlinks, so I would start let it know to the people of my niche.

Netmeg
thank you for your advice.

Martinibuster
I have 0 backlinks because my website is new. Then probably I will have to get some backlinks
before going to forums. :-(
Of course I do not want to build links by signatures, I only would let my website know to my niche,
with no implication about spamming links.
If the signatures are nofollow, then am I out of danger?

martinibuster

10:14 pm on Sep 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



If the links are nofollowed then that's the best of all worlds if not getting kicked out of Google is important to you. I say it's the best because it might help start word of mouth for your site, which can be good for ranking.

Good luck.

;)
mb
 

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