Customizing SMF > Building Your Community and other Forum Advice

Forum SEO is a myth

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Mr. Jinx:
Although I agree with all points in Arantors startpost, I wouldn't say SEO is a myth for forums.
There are things that realy help search engines understand how to crawl your forum.

For example, I sometimes search on google, and end up on a 'print' layout page of an SMF forum (index.php?action=printpage). Same might happen with things like mobile content.
First of all you don't want users to go to a print page, but the full content. Secondly google may see this as duplicated content.
To prevent this you'll have to use a good robots.txt which tells the indexer to keep away from certain 'actions'.
The canonical tag also helps preventing the indexing of duplicated content (which is default in SMF 2.0).

I'm also not 100% sure about the H1 tag missing in SMF. Every SEO company seems to recommend atleast one H1 tag so the indexer know where to find the most important header on a page. Ofcourse, there are topics with a bad tiltle, but that is up to the users and moderators. Those topics with a good title and H1 tag will be easier to find in google.

In the case of the print-page view, Google takes the view that the content is more important than it is on the regular layout. This usually happens when there is so much crap on the main thread that it obscures the content (e.g. some custom themes, lots and lots of mods of stuff everywhere), and the print-page is much more content friendly. The print-page link is also indicated as being nofollow in 2.0 anyway.

There is an h1 tag in SMF as standard, in fact. Just that most people shove images into it rather than text.


--- Quote from: mashby on March 29, 2011, 09:59:36 PM ---The more time you spend on optimizing <meta keywords> or worrying about how your URL is constructed and looks to the human eye is time you really should be spending on content people would care to read. That's one of the biggest bang for you buck you'll ever imagine. Content is king. Keywords and URLs are peons. Think about it this way. Let's say I have a page that had the absolute best keywords and the best URL you'll ever see (put on your imagination caps please). But the page content was this:

How is that effective or useful? Focus your content on being useful, informative, linkable. That's one of the best directions SEO has taken. Content is king. Pictures of bunnies with pancakes on their head isn't quite so much.

--- End quote ---

UM YES SIR! The reason why I agree is I did that. 5 Page site, 350-900 characters per page, HIGH competitive area and industry..  That's why I got the forum...  Place rare content on it, invite pros, and use the content on the site.. There's your content...

And that is exactly why forum SEO is a myth: it is, and always will be, the content on the page that draws users in.

All search engine bots are looking daily almost all internet


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