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Civil War Talk - An American Civil War Forum

Discussion in 'Forum Showcase and Critiques' started by CivilWarTalk, Feb 3, 2012.

  1. CivilWarTalk

    CivilWarTalk Active Member

    http://civilwartalk.com/

    I converted this forum from vB4 recently, and Google has been very tough on us, we used to get 1,800 to 2,200 visits per day 60% were new visits from Searches at Google, today we are struggling to get 200+ visits per day, and only about 20% of that is from Searches at Google.

    One of my motivations for switching was a hit in traffic that my site took in November. I had been using ebay RSS feeds to fill a marketplace forum with links to Civil War auctions, and I was making lots of great money from affiliate links to ebay that way. One day just before Thanksgiving, Google dumped a huge amount of my traffic, the majority of that traffic had been visiting those Ebay threads. My Adsense and my affiliate traffic and $$$ tanked.

    I sort of panicked, and tried to figure out what to do. I always wanted to upgrade to Xenforo, but was worried that I'd take a hit in the wallet, but since I was already low on the income, I decided that now was the best time to make major changes and upgrade to XF.

    So, I've been working under the assumption that this would be a long road, to get back to where we were before. I tried to restart some of the ebay feeds, but that didn't go the way I had hoped, seems like Google really doesn't like me doing that, so that's turned off for good. Between the eBay feed issue and the conversion, we have a lot to overcome.

    On the positive side, the members have been posting more than they ever did in vB, and I'd also like to point out that although visits are way down, new user registrations are up! Overall, I'm 110% satisfied with XF, I just need that kick in the pants to get things rolling again...

    I'd appreciate any suggestions or comments on how to improve the style, or the layout, or if you think I should add something that's missing from the site. Yes, my style is pretty basic, but I don't usually like to stray very far from the default.

    Also, if I'm missing an SEO feature, or doing something you think Google doesn't like, please let me know so I can fix it. (I know it can take time for Google to reindex and re-evaluate a site, but I always worry I went and did something wrong!)

    If you don't like something, please let me know!
     
  2. Carlos

    Carlos Well-Known Member

    Give it some time.

    xenForo's SEO should do the work by itself, that's just from my experience. We're talking about Call of Duty market.

    If I were you, I'd put it on google's webmaster tools. Bing's webmaster site.

    *Sigh* To make things easy, just do everything you can to bring it to Google's eyes or Micros0ft's eyes, since after all, Microsoft owns Bing, and is on-going negotiations with Yahoo to acquire the entire site/company.

    Your site's design is nice. Very nice. No suggestion needed.

    Although, it would work a lot better if you bought a skin that reflects Civil War, as in like a Call of Duty skin, or a Battlefield skin... like the one that xenique does.
     
  3. dojo

    dojo Active Member

    I've moved a MyBB to VB 3 months ago. We still haven't recovered from the traffic disaster (80% of google traffic lost), so I feel for you.
    LOVE what you've done with the forums though. It's not a 'stock' theme anymore, it has unique elements and it's easy to remember. Let's hope your community will recover from this change and your members will appreciate your efforts ;)
     
  4. CivilWarTalk

    CivilWarTalk Active Member

    I've gotten some good Member Testimonials since the upgrade to XF....

    http://civilwartalk.com/threads/member-testimonials.1651/page-4#post-423493

    I've also made numerous other changes recently, I removed XenMedio, we just don't use it, and also reformatted a number of forums.

    I've dumped all RSS feeds for a solution created by Brogan...

    http://civilwartalk.com/pages/News/
    http://civilwartalk.com/forums/civil-war-marketplace.17/ (Pages Updated, not the Classifieds Forum!)

    Still waiting on some Google love, but our members really love XF, that is for sure...
     
    Vicki and ArnyVee like this.
  5. Eagle

    Eagle Well-Known Member

    I like the layout of it and looks really really nice, great job on this. I wish you the best of luck and every success..
     

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