A jumpstart basic SEO guide for new forum owners.

Shawn G

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Shawn G submitted a new Article:

A jumpstart basic SEO guide for new forum owners.

A jumpstart basic SEO guide for new forum owners.

Search Engine Optimization or SEO is a process of making a website optimized or ready for search engines and search engine ranking. SEO is very important for websites and especially for forums since most forums have a competition. Many people who run forums tend to go out and spend a lot of money for software and services to increase their SEO. What these people don't understand is that you can complete the most basic SEO services for your forum for free and still rank as high as you could with some paid modification or service. In the article, I will give you a basic guide to SEO on forums from my 10+ years of experience and research.

Friendly URLs are important

Many people are arguing the concept that friendly URLs do nothing for your community verses being great for SEO. It is common sense to just look at the URL itself and know that it does wonders for SEO. SEO has a lot to do with keywords and a friendly URL (example: forum.com/pets/pictures-of-dogs/) is much better than a non-friendly URL (example: forum.com/topic.php?=364575478). For one thing the search engine and spider is going to read the keywords on that URL to help determine how the page will appear in search. Another great reason for this is that it is easier to remember for those who save the post or want to return especially for category URLs.

Most of you forum software has a built-in feature to create basic friendly URLs. If the software doesn't have this built-in, then look for a free modification. This is not extremely important but it will help. I would do it first just so you don't have to figure it out later on.

Don't hide information from guests

I see a lot of forums these days hiding their main content from guests as an attempt to get them to join the forum. While this is possibly good for getting membership rates to increase, it is extremely horrible for SEO. Search engines and spiders are guests and if they cannot see your content, then the content will not be indexed and your forum will likely suffer a bad SEO score. Always keep all contents open to guests to better increase your SEO scores and rankings.

Now there is some information you should block from search engines, this can easily be done in your robots.txt file. You should ask your forum software provider about what all files you should block that is not needed for SEO. Some of these files include your administration control panel, the who's online list and...
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Shawn G

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You are welcome, thanks for commenting :)
 

izzypopa

Aspirant
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Sep 17, 2011
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I do sometimes hide content from guests, but its only downloadable content and links that i hide, is this still bad for my seo? all other info is present, just not attachments and links to downloads.
 

Shawn G

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Actually hiding links can be good for your SEO. If the links are external links and set to dofollow and you hide them from guests, then that means the bot will stay on your site. If you didn't hide the link from guests or set it as nofollow, then the bot will go from your site to that link and start indexing them :)

That is why I make most of my forums nofollow. I allow dofollow on this one and a few others, though.
 

ThisOldMan

Wordsmith
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Sep 22, 2011
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This needs some time to digest. One stupid question. Can you explain that part about do follow and no follow again? What happens when the link is do follow? What happens when the link is no follow? Thank you.
 

Anonchair

Fan
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Sep 18, 2011
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891
Sums up the differences between no follow and do follow pretty well. I've never really taken part in link exchanges, so I didn't know much about the two.
 
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