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SEO for SMF?!

Miyagi
Fri 5 May 2006, 01:03 pm GMT +0200
Hi All,

I've been searching for a few hours now looking for an SEO solution for my SMF based forums and can't seem to find anything.

Currently i have adsense running all over my forums but i don't think Google is indexing the forum pages based on my 'site:www. website .com' checks on google...

Is there a specific solution?

* Miyagi looks in wonder how Webdigity manage to have a .htm tag for all threads  :P

Nikolas
Fri 5 May 2006, 02:59 pm GMT +0200
Hi Miyagi,

I think that the .htm extension is something that SMF board offers without any modification.

About SEO in general I am looking to publish a version of the archive as there is no any archive script for SMF.

In return I will ask 1-2 links in every page of the archive (it is fair right?). Let me know if you are interested and I will let you know when it is ready.

Miyagi
Fri 5 May 2006, 05:55 pm GMT +0200


I think that the .htm extension is something that SMF board offers without any modification.

About SEO in general I am looking to publish a version of the archive as there is no any archive script for SMF.

In return I will ask 1-2 links in every page of the archive (it is fair right?). Let me know if you are interested and I will let you know when it is ready.

Gee i've dug through all the admin stuff and ticker the Search Engine Friendly URLs but i'm not getting any .htm files... any thoughts?

Re: Archive... That'd be awesome. If you code something that is useful for all.. i certainly don't have any issues with there being a link requirement in it as long as it's not huge and gratuitous etc. it would be the least we could do for your time and efforts. :)

Cheers,
Miyagi

Nikolas
Fri 5 May 2006, 06:01 pm GMT +0200
About the archive thing, I will let you know. Propably one of these days I will finish it when I have some spare time.

Now about the html I think it is in the 1.0.x versions but I am not sure. Maybe I have added it to the script, but I don't really remember......

Anyway the .html extension is not SEO friendly, that was a long time ago. Now as most of the sites are dynamic search engines are not using it to their algorithms.

BTW regarding adsense, check this thread. This might help you 8)

Nikolas
Sat 6 May 2006, 05:16 pm GMT +0200
archive for SMF is ready 8)

brandondrury
Wed 7 June 2006, 06:18 am GMT +0200
How is the archive working for you?

I'm running SMF 1.0.7 but I can't get Google to index my threads.  It'll index my forum's main page, but it seams to throw out all of the individual threads.  I copied and pasted a topic from here which was created months ago into Google's search and it came up with nothing (when put in quotes).

When I did the same test on my site, I got one result, but that was to my main site's index page (which uses the Recent Topics SSI feature).  In other words, Google found nothing.

I'm having a hard time accepting the fact that the posts (only 6,000 right now) will be totally ignored by Google. 

From what I've seen, in my extremely limited testing, this site isn't performing any better on a (per thread) basis.

Brandon

Miyagi
Wed 7 June 2006, 07:51 am GMT +0200
this is an interesting development in the world of SMF --> http://www.smfseo.org/

brandondrury
Wed 7 June 2006, 09:23 am GMT +0200
Yeah I've been on there quite a bit.  I'm still waiting for their forum to show up in Google.

Okay, I just checked.  It seams they do have more pages spidered than any other small SMF forum.  Interestingly enough, all the spidered pages are using long, crappy URLs with session IDs.  None of the pretty URLs are in the site:domain.com thing.

Brandon

Nikolas
Wed 7 June 2006, 10:59 am GMT +0200
The bad thing with SEO is that everybody see it on his/her own way.

The site: query doesn't show anything, the SEO target is to be on the SERPs.

As for the Session IDs it is too easy to get rid of them, but even if you don't nothing will happen.

brandondrury
Wed 7 June 2006, 03:10 pm GMT +0200
Quote
The bad thing with SEO is that everybody see it on his/her own way.

True.  But with real testing and experimentation, we can find mods that will clearly work better than others. 

As I've probably said 20 times already.  If I write a similar article with similar keyword densities about the same topic and put one in Articelive and one in SMF, I have absolutely no doubt that the Articlelive article will outrank the SMF by an overwhelming margin.  Based on what I've seen so far, I can expect 0 search engine traffic from SMF.

So, I think if we all keep pushing for this, we'll start to stumble on whatever it is that works.  As someone said in another posts (more or less) we first need to define the problem.  I'm not 100% convinced its URLs.

Brandon

Nikolas
Wed 7 June 2006, 03:41 pm GMT +0200
The bad thing with forums in general is that all of them are not optimized for search engines.

This is propably because of the design of them (tables with inrelevant user info in every post, etc.)

Hope we can sort this out some day....

brandondrury
Wed 7 June 2006, 09:10 pm GMT +0200
Quote
The bad thing with forums in general is that all of them are not optimized for search engines.

Could you give me a list of all the things wrong with a typical forum in terms of SEO?

I'm starting all sorts of SEO fights on numerous forums and I'm hoping to raise some awareness for getting SMF to seriously compete with the big boys.  If SMF can't rank well in the SE's, there is no reason to use it.

Brandon

Nikolas
Wed 7 June 2006, 09:17 pm GMT +0200
No this is not a problem of SMF but a problem of forums in general.

Search engines tend to see every post in a thread like a different thing that it should talk about the same thing, but as you know this is impossible. This is because of the tables. It looks like a table of advertisments (that advertising the link in profile) and they are very simmilar to spam - doorway pages.

Of course this is not absolutelly true, but I guess it is a reason for this problem. I think that in order to have some  good traffic from search engines in a forum you need a lot of changes in the software, plus a good link popularity.

BTW I have heared (don't remember where) that forums in general are getting some kind of penalty anyway. I think this might be right as in the most searches I do I don't see forums in the results frequently, except some giant forums who also have articles, blogs, etc.

brandondrury
Wed 7 June 2006, 09:28 pm GMT +0200
Forgive me.  I'm -1 on a 1-10 scale when it comes to scripting and software.  What is the difference (in terms of a spider) from a blog and a forum?  Both are dynamic and allow a person to respond.  The blogs don't usually go into as much depth about user profiles, but other than that are they really THAT different?

I can see way forum gets less clout than an article or even a blog.  It's because anyone can post a thread.  Not everyone can write an article for a real site.  In general, a thread post is of less "worth" than an article in terms of the value of the content on the page.

Brandon

Nikolas
Wed 7 June 2006, 09:35 pm GMT +0200
I think the difference is that

1) The interlinking. Blogs have perman links for every post, different version with comments or not, rss and other feeds, and all of them are linking to the main content

2) User profile stuff. Profiles are much smaller in blogs and they don't usually link to another place of the site

3) Blogs do not use tables (at least the 99% of them) so the spiders wont seperate the content of each comment

4) The 'heavy weight' content of each page is on the top as it is the article itself. In forums this is not frequently happens.

5) The comments in blogs are not conversation in most of the time, and they are allways in topic. In forums you can start from one thing, and discuss another later

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