For years, participating in online bulletin boards relevant to your business’ subject has been a habit that internet marketing gurus have encouraged almost every webmaster to engage in. Quite some time ago, the habit of regular forum posting was very powerful SEO. Forums have a tendency to gather quite of bit of authority on their given subject, and with that authority they can get some decent PageRank as well. A backlink from a relevant, authority site with a high PageRank is the best backlink you can get, so it was considered worth quite a bit of effort to obtain.
But is forum posting still worth the effort?
After all, forums have changed a lot in the past several years. Administrators generally ‘caught on’ to many of the most common forum marketing ploys (for example, preventing people from linking to off-forum site in their signatures). Not only that, but many forums have switched to no-follow links and other SEO-killing tactics. It’s also a lot harder to become a recognized and celebrated member of a large Volume Pills forum these days; the signal-to-noise ratio has become so bad that you have to be excellent in all ways just to be noticed as someone who isn’t ‘noise’.
But for all of that, the answer is “yes”. Forum posting is still worth the effort; you just have to apply your effort in a slightly different way. For example, check to see if a forum’s links are dofollow before you register. Look for forums that are smaller and more specifically focused. Rather than a Warrior Forum that has two million users, look for a Mobile Website Design Forum that only has a thousand. That’ll keep the signal-to-noise ratio more respectable.
Watch out for the pitfalls going in, and you’ll find that not only is it easier to establish a presence and plant a few quality backlinks, but it’s also easier to enjoy the process of doing so. With the right forum, you’ll probably even learn a few things along the way — and which of us couldn’t benefit from a bit of extra market research?