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Google Guidelines - Link Schemes and Forum Signatures?

     
5:49 pm on May 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Hi,
Been reading google guidelines for unnatural links,
and it says this about signing comments in forums with a link:
"Forum comments with optimized links in the post or signature, for example:
Thanks, that’s great info!
- Paul
paul’s pizza san diego pizza best pizza san diego"

I have in 2 forum my sites url in the signature but without anchorwords, and after many years posting they are quite some.
I just took away the signature, but I wonder if that is necesarry as it is not optimized as google says, its only the url to the index page.
Thanks
7:33 pm on May 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Looking at the way Google has traditionally handled links and various link schemes, negative action is usually taken if there is a pattern of a particular kind of link scheme and especially so if there is an abundance or predominance of a particular kind of link scheme making up the backlink profile.
7:52 pm on May 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Looking at the way Google has traditionally handled links and various link schemes, negative action is usually taken if there is a pattern of a particular kind of link scheme and especially so if there is an abundance or predominance of a particular kind of link scheme making up the backlink profile.

Thanks, but to technical words for me,
didn´t get the exact meaning of them.
Are those links negative or not?
I have 60 from one forum and 54 from another.
8:38 pm on May 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I think Google's pet hate is forum signature links. Not only does it create spam but also helps nobody as the signature links have nothing to do with the subject
8:54 pm on May 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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If you have a buttload of forum links and less than a buttload of other kinds then you're screwed.

That make more sense?
8:56 pm on May 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I think Google's pet hate is forum signature links. Not only does it create spam but also helps nobody as the signature links have nothing to do with the subject

However it helps as persons do enter your site, for many reasons, some does reviews, other are just curios ore maybe interested in the site etc. as a matter of fact, even persons in webmasterword checks the profile to see the site, I often see persons entering from webmasterworld.
So I think the correct should be that google ignored them, as they can be useful for siteowner and for users.
9:16 pm on May 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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If you have a buttload of forum links and less than a buttload of other kinds then you're screwed.

That make more sense?


ok, so Im ok then, thanks,
9:23 pm on May 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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If you have a buttload of forum links and less than a buttload of other kinds then you're screwed.

LMFAO! I think that's the best plain English summary I've seen.

+2
9:36 pm on May 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Inquiring minds want to know: why the bleep don't they simply ignore them?* They can't possibly not be able to tell-- especially when the link originates in some widely used software that puts everything into a recognizable format.

A lot of forums, blogs and similar seem to routinely ask for a website along with your name. (Why? Who knows.) But that doesn't mean it's a link, fer cryin out loud.


* Oh, all right. "They" = g### and other search engines. "Them" = pseudo-links in signatures.
9:41 pm on May 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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If you have a buttload of forum links and less than a buttload of other kinds then you're screwed.



LMFAO! I think that's the best plain English summary I've seen.

+2

Indeed..+ another 1 ..:)
9:51 pm on May 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Googoil works in maths so.........

If you have a buttload of forum links and less than a buttload of other kinds then you're screwed.


This I see as true so +1 from me
10:59 pm on May 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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even persons in webmasterword checks the profile to see the site, I often see persons entering from webmasterworld.


Me too. But it's only ONE link here. If you are prolific in a forum, you could have hundreds or thousands. My standard is to put a link in my profile, but leave it out of signatures. That way I don't have to worry what goofy thing Google is doing about forum links.
4:36 am on May 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

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as a matter of fact, even persons in webmasterword checks the profile to see the site

Haven't checked. Haven't seen it. Didn't even know it was there. Don't know that I will ever check or see it. And, as netmeg said, it's only one link.
7:10 am on May 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

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If I participate in an on-topic forum about my niche then I include a written URL for my website in the signature (if allowed). It isn't a link so Google doesn't care for it but it allows users to know your website if they are interested.

[edited by: n00b1 at 7:13 am (utc) on May 13, 2013]

8:20 am on May 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Didn't even know it was there. Don't know that I will ever check or see it.

There's some kind of arcane seniority system, so the link in your profile is only visible if the reader, the member, or possibly the nearest moderator's cat, has more than some-number-of posts.
9:01 am on May 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

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If I participate in an on-topic forum about my niche then I include a written URL for my website in the signature (if allowed). It isn't a link so Google doesn't care for it but it allows users to know your website if they are interested. 


do you mean a writen url such as http://example.com isn´t a link?
You are talking about on-topic, however if this forum allowed signatures it would be off-topic, however it could still be interesting to have it both to users and to owner, not necesarrily being spam.
9:04 am on May 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Don’t use forum signatures for “SEO” purpose, use them instead for traffic. Which will come to your site from those forums, if you are posting genuine and insightful posts, otherwise it is just spam and no likes it.
9:12 am on May 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Don’t use forum signatures for “SEO” purpose, use them instead for traffic. Which will come to your site from those forums, if you are posting genuine and insightful posts, otherwise it is just spam and no likes it.

I ever done, however not sure Google may see the difference, therefore I asked if it is ok 60 links and 54 from forum offtopics like this is ok.
Ater many years posting they are many and non is spam.
9:46 am on May 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Then why care about what Google thinks, if you are adding value to the forum and getting traffic in return?

Frankly speaking, one has to look beyond Google and build traffic sources which aren't susceptible to algorithmic changes. In any case, whatever Google says and does at the moment, may not be true few months down the line, so why bother?
10:08 am on May 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

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why bother

I would say that if I hadn´t lost position in google.
Google always said befor, no backlink can hurt you, however this does not seem to be the case anymore.
10:30 am on May 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Forum signature - FYI Google should discount the value as it not giving much value to readers. I hope Google able to differentiate between actual reply content vs signature content.
11:12 am on May 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Google always said befor, no backlink can hurt you

No, they said competitors can't hurt you, though they have qualified this slightly.

People have then implicitly or explicitly gone through this logic chain:
1) Competitors can build links to your site
2) Competitors can't hurt you
3) Therefore, links can't hurt you

However, this ignores one salient fact. Competitors typically do NOT spend many months/years slowly adding a small number of forum posts to your site as an act of sabotage. A big rush of links, maybe. But not a slow, sustained drip.

There is nothing to stop links hurting you, and plenty of recent communication from Google to imply that they very much can.

How that balances with competitors' ability to do harm, well that's an open question.
11:15 am on May 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I hope Google able to differentiate between actual reply content vs signature content.


That's a really good point. It seems Google "knows" that an answer is in a forum. Google even adds the dates of the answers within the SERP listing. What's everyone's opinion? Does Google know a link is in a signature? Is it possible Google discounts signature links the same way it treats sitewide links? If so, does that make profile links better for SEO purposes?

By the way, I actually discourage the use of forums for SEO purposes. Traffic and mindshare building is perhaps a better use for forums, but not for SEO purposes, for building links. See this discussion in link dev [webmasterworld.com] for more info on how to properly approach a forum for building mindshare.
11:24 am on May 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

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The way that many forum signatures are abused is reason enough to discount it, imho.
11:32 am on May 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Please be Clear and tell whether links should be placed in Forum signatures or not.
12:14 pm on May 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Enforcing website names in forum signatures to be seen by others is somewhat contextual of larry page profile popping up every now and then in Google+ (ready to be added :P ). So even google boss wants to promote himself then why can't one promote his own site in social forums. A forum poster may not be doing this for SEO purpose.

But still forum signatures are seen as SPAM links. Period.

Based on personal expereince, we have seen www.domainname.com helps more than anchor texted url, but don't cross the line. On an average, 25-30 odd www mentions are fine from one forum site.

Would advise OP to maintain the limit.

-lalit kumar
12:32 pm on May 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Please be Clear and tell whether links should be placed in Forum signatures or not.

SEO is no longer a recipe or cookbook with exact instructions. Members here are sharing their experience, and you need to be responsible for your own decisions, based on any input that you appreciate.
12:58 pm on May 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

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My opinion is,
I dont fell comfortable taking away the signatures because this could be a reason google see it as a negative seo, (have ever received any warning).
I dont do things only for google, and google should not make the rules, however as google is the most important site to get visitors....

On the other hand I have 84 natural links from an informative site, I checked the site a bit worried as it may look like bought links.
The site in question have a sidemenu and the link to mysite among with some few more appears on all the pages, and as in menu, the amount increases.
I am not worried as these links goes to my swedish version wich is doing just fine.
1:26 pm on May 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Hi,
Been reading google guidelines for unnatural links,
and it says this about signing comments in forums with a link:
"Forum comments with optimized links in the post or signature, for example:
Thanks, that’s great info!
- Paul
paul’s pizza san diego pizza best pizza san diego"

I have in 2 forum my sites url in the signature but without anchorwords, and after many years posting they are quite some.
I just took away the signature, but I wonder if that is necesarry as it is not optimized as google says, its only the url to the index page.
Thanks


Fix the problem you change the outcome.

Re-tool the signature code so that the link on the member's profile page is the only external link and their massive internal forum contributions that built value for you over time (compelling content) is rewarded by providing their profile solid link juice.

Now instead of having thousands of worthless external links the user has a powerful profile link based on their own worth to your website and that changes Google's impression of your domain.

1. Solves user's problem
2. Solves your problem and
3. Solves Google's problem.
1:45 pm on May 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Fix the problem you change the outcome.

Re-tool the signature code so that the link on the member's profile page is the only external link and their massive internal forum contributions that built value for you over time (compelling content) is rewarded by providing their profile solid link juice.

Now instead of having thousands of worthless external links the user has a powerful profile link based on their own worth to your website and that changes Google's impression of your domain.


Sorry, my english knowledges did not reach to understand this.
The forums arent mine and I can only delete the signature or keep it.

In one of the forums I have deleted my url to use as a signature, this means the signature disappeared on all of my posts in that forum, however stayed in profile, google had 60 links indexed.

In the other forum I have deleted my url to let users view my website, this meant the url disappeared from all of my posts, but whats even worse even from my probile on that forum.

sorry but I did not understand your solution.

[edited by: helenp at 2:00 pm (utc) on May 13, 2013]

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