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Does off-topic content hurt your site?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Blue, Apr 30, 2011.

  1. Blue

    Blue Well-Known Member

    Say you have a forum about bicycles and all of your content is about bicycles. Google lists your site highly when a person searches for bicycle information If your site starts generating off topic content for instance say about fishing, would that hurt your bicycle ranking or just make your Google listings wider including the other topics?

    Does off-topic content hurt your site?
  2. whynot

    whynot Well-Known Member

    No,it does not.
    A few off-topic posts increase the traffic.
    Too many of them? Open a new thread and transfer them there.
  3. steven s

    steven s Well-Known Member

    I don't think O/T hurt listings.
    If someone is searching something specific about bicycles, they will find the appropriate forum.
    Now if your O/T section started to dominate one subject, say fishing and it attracts viewers, is that a bad thing?
  4. Blue

    Blue Well-Known Member

    That is a good question as well.
  5. Peggy

    Peggy Well-Known Member

    I think that off-topic helps yours site attract viewers and members, as long as it doesn't dominate your site.
  6. Blue

    Blue Well-Known Member

    Say the second subject grows to a point that you create forum sections for it. So now you are pulling in bicycle and fishing enthusiasts. Is your bicycle Google ranking going to go down as your fishing ranking goes up?
  7. steven s

    steven s Well-Known Member

    I really don't think one has to do with another.
  8. AdamD

    AdamD Well-Known Member

    Couldn't you block access to an off topic area, for guests? That would solve any potential problems..I assume? heh
  9. Peggy

    Peggy Well-Known Member

    I rarely make new forums for any subjects that are not related to my forum topic.
  10. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    My site is motorsports but we do have one specific unrelated forum in addition to the usual off topic forum, simply because a lot of the members are interested in it.
    The forum is science, technology & space.
    Peggy likes this.
  11. EQnoble

    EQnoble Well-Known Member

    I would say no...and regardless, the more real visitors that stop by your site the more chance you have of having return visitors which is the first step needed to establish a solid community. I think it would like you say make the scope of a search leading to your site wider which would bring more views...out of those you may pick up a few good members.

    I would say the only thing you have to really keep a lid on (minus the few obvious topics that will come up that are not appropriate for your site in any way) is derogatory things especially that which can be taken offense to by someone not even involved in the conversation. This creates a serious imbalance. Keep those "awkward moments" few and far between and when they do happen keep deescalation in mind and really I don't see how off-topic content can hurt you. If people don't want to read it they aren't searching for it or paying it any mind. Nature is what it is and peoples' minds wander...I say let em.

    This is just an opinion by another user of the internet.
  12. Blue

    Blue Well-Known Member

    I do have forums sections for unrelated topics and they are fairly popular in themselves. However, they are only viewable by registered members. I am thinking of opening them up for unregistered guest viewing, but only if doing so would not impact my main topic rankings.
  13. a legacy reborn

    a legacy reborn Well-Known Member

    You could always make a random website :). Hard to have those succeed but if you do everything correctly then I don't see why it wouldn't...
  14. CyclingTribe

    CyclingTribe Well-Known Member

    My cycling forum with 1.6 million posts has a very, very busy off-topic area (well, two if you could the non-guest political forum too) - that account for maybe 35% of the total posts on the site - yet I still rank very highly for cycling forums.

    Whilst my longer term members still enjoy talking about cycling - the binder, the thing that keeps them coming back year after year - are the friends they've made in the off-topic areas. Let's face it, you can't talk endlessly about one topic can you? You need something else to gel your community together.

    I have an off-topic area for all of my forums, because people love to talk and giving them somewhere to discuss things that are not theme-related keeps them on your forum and builds your community "feel".

    Shaun :D
    kyrgyz and Steve F like this.
  15. Blue

    Blue Well-Known Member

    Never thought about that, good point. Thanks.

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