Forums

Forums are online discussion platforms that consist of numerous categories, topics and threads. Website forums have a very simple layout of text and minimal images. Forums follow a website structure similar to a pyramid. The topics usually start off very broad and general then gets more specific as the subject is broken down into sub-categories and threads. Administrators (admins) or webmasters have the tedious task of mediating and maintaining forums.

Apart from the admins, forums have a hierarchy of contributing users. Technically anyone can be a contributing user, but it takes a number of reliable posts to move up the ranks. Other parts of the forum that a user can choose or manipulate are their avatar (personal thumbnail-size picture), username and signature.

Spam Related Content

Forums have a bad reputation for spam content. This is because most forums are free. The only requirement is that a user has to first register with the website. Spam posts are usually not taken down unless someone flags the content as spam, which sometimes is still not enough. However, not all forums contain spam. There are a handful of reputable forums that are well maintained and provide reliable information.

Forums are full of text content; therefore keywords are very useful. There are some things to consider when posting in forums. First, make sure your posting in the right category or thread most of all in the right forum. Admins go through the threads and remove the posts not related to the topic.

If your intention is to spam a set of links or keywords in random forums, it’s not likely to work. Apart from the users not tolerating spam, search engines that index the forum will disregard keywords or links that are not related to the main topic. This means if the forum is about cars and you post a link about computer tables, it will probably be disregarded by the crawler or be labeled as spam due to most of the keywords in the forum are all related to cars.

Another way people try to spam forums is by inserting a link in the signature area. This is helpful only if the link of the website is related to the topic of the forum. It is common practice in forums to quote other user’s posts before their comment. This is unavoidable, especially if your contributing useful content that people are taking note of. Crawlers can label comments that are over quoted as duplicate content.

Forums And SEO

One way to get the most out of forums is to be a credible contributing user. It normally takes some time to build up the status to a high level, but could be worth it in building connections. If your website is related to the forum, then insert your website URL in the signature. Users won’t hesitate as much in clicking on links from a reputable contributing member of the forum. You can also start threads using long tail keywords in a category. Although it maybe hard to generate and manipulate a good keyword ratio due to the amount of text in a forum.

Conclusion

Forums are not as popular these days because most websites have their own personal forum section. Social media websites have also become platforms for users to communicate and are more favored by search engines. However, forums are still being used today as standard platforms for discussions. In order to fully maximize the SEO efforts of a website, its may be a good idea not to completely rule out the use of forums.

Back