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SEO techniques to make a forum rank higher

     
4:15 am on Feb 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

New User

joined:Feb 7, 2017
posts: 1
votes: 0


Hey there Amazing Community of Webmaster World,

I was hoping to pick your brain and get some highly valuable seo techniques for making a forum rank higher.

Also I would love any ideas, tips or tricks that you might have for Forums.
eg
What technical issues I should take a close look and what have you encountered before that caused you trouble?

Thanks in advance
6:59 pm on Feb 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

joined:Oct 24, 2015
posts:41
votes: 14


Unless you have something that people really, really want, forums are kind of hard to rank these days.

Because any problems people search for at this point are covered in actual articles that are of much higher quality than random forum posts.

Be at the cutting edge of a topic or give people something they really, really want. Those are the only forums I still see ranking.
12:01 am on Feb 17, 2017 (gmt 0)

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joined:Feb 7, 2017
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I was hoping for technical SEO advice. What technical issues forums might have that I might have overlooked etc.
10:10 am on Feb 17, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from NL 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Sept 25, 2005
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Though it depends on the software you use and how much you customize it, forums tend to have a lot of fluff pages that have little value for search engine users, like profile, print and e-mail pages, as well as links to pages that are of little interest to unregistered users (as well as robots) -- think of lists of birthdays and active users. You'll probably want to minimize all that, at least for non-members, to keep the focus on the content, and to reduce duplicates.

Because any problems people search for at this point are covered in actual articles that are of much higher quality than random forum posts.

That's a bit of broad brush stroke. I still find a lot of value in forum posts, often because they reflect people's personal experience, which can be invaluable. Also, good luck finding articles with as much detailed and experience-based information on topics discussed on WebmasterWorld, for example. There's a reason forums still exist.
10:49 am on Feb 17, 2017 (gmt 0)

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For the forum part of my site, I am just making things as simple and minimalist as possible, (I developed my own software), I am just showing the user name and date of a message (no signature, no other information about the poster) (user name being linked to the profile of the poster, with his information, and list of messages/topics). Also, I am using the HTML5 sectioning system to present a properly formatted and hierarchical page. I am showing links to the 5 last updated topics, and then 5 "related" topics (if there are). That's all.

Then, topics are gaining ranking as they are gaining messages. The more content , the more the topic will rank well.
5:20 am on Feb 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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

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Here are a few more thoughts ...

1) Avoid unnecessary URL variations.

For starters, decide whether or not you want to use the www. in your URLs.

www.example.com
or
example.com

Either way is okay but be consistent about which you use. Try to keep your non-preferred version out of circulation. Make sure you don't have unintended URL variations within your own navigation. Set up redirects in your .htaccess so that if someone tries to use an URL variant that isn't what you want, they'll be redirected to the version you do want.

When people are linking to things they often just grab whatever's in the address bar. If you make that consistent, it will help to keep your link popularity focused on your preferred version rather than being split between URL variations.

As well as the www vs non-www decision, and http vs https, watch out for variations like

example.com
example.com/
example.com/index.html

Strive for consistency.

2) Is your site free of broken links? What about redirecting links that could be updated?

Run a link checker and clean up any problems it finds.

3) How's your page loading speed?

Faster is better. Is everything minified that can be? Are your images well compressed? Consider whether some of your images could be replaced by savvy CSS styling. Take special care to optimize things that are in your templates and appear on multiple pages.

Improving speed won't create an instant SEO win, but improving the user experience will help your SEO over time. Users are more likely to recommend sites they enjoy, and happy buzz pleases Google.

3) How well does your code validate?

Code validity isn't a direct SEO factor but since invalid code can sometimes produce weirdness it's worth some cleanup. Again, if something is good for the user experience it will likely be good for SEO too ... eventually.
6:14 am on Feb 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

Moderator from US 

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

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Because any problems people search for at this point are covered in actual articles...


Many articles are a content marketing joke. That's why Google Pandalized content farms. Many articles are written by writers but not by people with experience.

It's the experience that makes forums valuable. I regularly seek out forum posts for information across a wide range of topics. Aside from SEO forums, reports based on personal experience are gold.
10:46 am on Feb 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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joined:Feb 7, 2017
posts: 1
votes: 0


Hey there Buckworks thanks for the info.

Good stuff even though I am looking something more technical for the Forums. Since I am pretty experienced with SEO (theory and technical) but not that experienced with Forums.
10:06 pm on Feb 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

Moderator from US 

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

joined:Apr 13, 2002
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votes: 306


One of the best ways to SEO a forum is to think of pages you don't want crawled and exclude them from bots. Most forums work on a permission basis so this is a matter of excluding bots from certain pages, even from seeing profiles or member lists. That way you can focus the crawl budget on the pages that matter.

Another thing that's important is to hack the code (if necessary) so that every post automatically has a meta description tag. Sometimes the H1 title of the page is a link to itself, so remove that. Etcetera.

Good luck,

Roger
 

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