SEO for a forum

Richieboy67

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Hey everyone,

I am new here so I hope this has not been covered too much. My apologies if it has.

I am interested in seo for forum communities. I believe it is very challenging with much of user content being off topic or not well written on some forums. There are also other issues such as duplicate content, images without descriptions, unwanted incoming links etc.

Thoughts please?

Rich
 

Alex Thompson

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Hey everyone,

I am new here so I hope this has not been covered too much. My apologies if it has.

I am interested in seo for forum communities. I believe it is very challenging with much of user content being off topic or not well written on some forums. There are also other issues such as duplicate content, images without descriptions, unwanted incoming links etc.

Thoughts please?

Rich
Hey Rich, welcome to Webmaster Sun!

For your question, before getting answers from other members, I would suggest you read these existed threads that having the same question to you

https://www.webmastersun.com/threads/1224-How-to-SEO-for-forum
https://www.webmastersun.com/threads/12068-Optimize-SEO-for-my-community
https://www.webmastersun.com/threads/12053-SEO-on-my-forum
https://www.webmastersun.com/threads/11011-How-to-SEO-for-a-web-hosting-site
https://www.webmastersun.com/threads/8482-On-Page-SEO-for-Ecommorce-Website

There are also other issues such as duplicate content, images without descriptions, unwanted incoming links etc.
Duplicated content? it's a problem if you use on your forum copied from other sites/forums...Google doesn't like that and your site will be diffictul to get higher keyword rankings. If you use alt text for your images, users can find your images when they searched for images or Google can read your images as text. For unwanted incoming links, I would use disallow tools from Google to remove it...
 

Richieboy67

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Thanks so much for the welcome and for the links. :)

Yeah, I know. Do you guys recommend policing the forum and removing everything someone posts from another site?

I know about these things but they are general to seo. I am really looking for tips and tricks regarding forums only. I have actually been doing seo for many years and I find that many forums are very challenging to succeed with in terms of seo as opposed to other type sites like blogs for example.

The problems with some of what you mentioned are that it is very hard to police all content and add alt txt to all user generated images. Disavow is good for unwanted links but my point was just that with a forum people are always linking and many tyimes not from good ranked sites.

Ofcourse there is also the problem with people copying content from your forum onto theirs.

Adding good static content is a way to offset some of the duplicate and poor content but I would love to hear from forum owners.
 

Harry P

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Thanks so much for the welcome and for the links. :)

Yeah, I know. Do you guys recommend policing the forum and removing everything someone posts from another site?

I know about these things but they are general to seo. I am really looking for tips and tricks regarding forums only. I have actually been doing seo for many years and I find that many forums are very challenging to succeed with in terms of seo as opposed to other type sites like blogs for example.
If you knew about SEO, I am sure you knew about some tools to check duplicated content or using some ways to check duplicated content that posted from other site.

The problems with some of what you mentioned are that it is very hard to police all content and add alt txt to all user generated images. Disavow is good for unwanted links but my point was just that with a forum people are always linking and many tyimes not from good ranked sites.

Of course there is also the problem with people copying content from your forum onto theirs.

Adding good static content is a way to offset some of the duplicate and poor content but I would love to hear from forum owners.
If you knew some tools that spammers used to spam forums ( auto forum poster software ) then you will be easy to realize who is a spammer and who is a real person that contribute useful content for your forum.
 

Richieboy67

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Richieboy67
Ok, Duh..I know that but you were missing the point of my question. On a forum with hundreds of thousands of threads it is very time consuming. I wanted to know if it is worth the time.

Duplicate content is not good but Google does not really always know who the content belonged too. It will basically rank on the site that has the best relevant and ranking content. With that said do you guys recommend policing a forum to remove content from other sites?

And again you missed the point completely. I was not talking about spammers. I was talking about the poor content that forum users generally add. This is the major challenge with running a forum community today and ranking well. I wanted to hear from other forum owners on how they deal with this.

Thanks for your reply.
 

SEOPub

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Google does not care about different sites having the same content. That is not duplicate content and will not get a site penalized.

What they care about is one site publishing the same content over and over again on the same site. That is duplicate content.

What you are talking about is syndicated content, and if Google had a problem with that, sites like The New York Times, Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, etc. would be screwed. They all publish content from the Associated Press along with their own content.

As far as poor content, Warrior Forum, Digital Point, etc. rank just fine and most of the messages published these days are junk. However, for your members, I would moderate things more tightly than either of those forums do, and even more tightly than this forum does. Dumb trashy messages just make the forum look bad and cannot help signups.
 

Richieboy67

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I didn't say they penalize for duplicate content but they will rank according to how the content is best used. It does not matter who had the content originally.

As for forum content, a good example of the poor content I'm talking about would be off topic gossip. Content like that just waters down good on topic content.

I think my forum would benefit greatly if I got rid of some of that crap.
 
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SEOPub

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SEOPub

Most popular forums have an off topic area full of a bunch of random topics. They do just fine with it.

As far as duplicate content, yes they will generally rank the most authoritative version. Sometimes they rank a few versions. It doesn't hurt your forum though if the page on your forum gets moved into the supplemental index. You just don't rank for that article. No big deal really.
 

Richieboy67

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Richieboy67
"They do just fine with it" is not really a good seo strategy. Would you agree? :D I tend to block my off topic forums using robots.txt.

As far as duplicate content goes there are many other factors involved but the bottom line is that the more duplicate content you have the less likely it is that you are going to rank well unless those articles do very well on your site. If Google sees that people are visiting them on your site and sharing them then you will rank.

At any rate, I am looking for some new ideas for seo in regards to forums. I think the best strategy in 2016 would be to keep only quality content and get rid of everything else. Better quality not quantity is what works these days though this is very hard to do on a forum without ticking off many members.. lol
 

SEOPub

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You are really making some false assumptions here. The first one that a site has to be focused on a topic to rank well. That is not entirely true. Look at a site like Buzzfeed. It's topics are all over the place. What about Twitter? It covers everything. There are tons of examples.

Bottom line, having an off topic section on a forum is not going to kill your rankings for whatever the main topic of your forum is about.

Second, having duplicate content across your site is not going to kill the chances for other pages on your site to rank. Retweets are duplicate content. Look at Amazon. Most of that site is duplicate content. Newspapers. Lyric and famous quote websites. I could go on and on with examples.

Lastly, I wouldn't get too hung up on moderating posts for "quality" content for Some perceived SEO benefit. You are giving Google too much credit in judging content. If Google was that serious about judging content, Warrior Forum would not rank for much of anything these days.

There are tons of sites and forums ranking just fine with average content. Hell, you can see it everyday on a lot of SEO forums. There is almost always someone crying that they have great content but are being outranked by junk.

Now if you want to moderate things more tightly for your users' benefit, by all means go ahead and do so. Having a few one-liners or replies with crappy English in a thread are not going to drastically impact the page's ranking ability.
 

Ron Killian

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Ron Killian
Guess I am no the only one that noticed that. :( Sadly ever since the take over. Some sub forums use to be ruled by an iron fist, but it did keep out the junk. Last I was there, some sub forums don't seem to be monitored at all.
 

SEOPub

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SEOPub
Not to hijack this thread, but yes. They changed their moderation philosophy. They wanted to be more inclusive I guess, which basically meant instead of deleting and/or merging threads of the same question over and over again, they just leave them alone. They also no longer have any active moderation. Those of us who who moderators in the past, were also members that participated in the community. When we saw something that was inappropriate, violated rules, etc., we removed it. Now all they do is react to reports, and most people have grown tired of reporting things.

I expect within 2 years they will redirect the site to Freelancer.com or just cutoff the discussion area altogether and make it a marketplace only.
 
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