Forum is extremely unsuccessful due to rival site

PatriotGB

Active member
I started posting stuff that I found interesting, concentrating on making a lot of good quality posts - and it's paid off. I basically treated the forum as a sort of blog with a comment feature and yes, it works.
Bingo! I was thinking about this and about to make another comment to that effect. I was going to suggest that if the OP (or anyone else starting / reviving a forum) has any expertise on the subject... to leverage that expertise by posting compelling / informative / good content. Pick a specific subject and write it up as a thread. Then another. And, another!

With any kind of website it's ALL about CONTENT. With a forum, even more so! Start creating content. Write-ups. Videos. Illustrations or photos. Get crackin'! Prime that pump!

And, if anyone adds a comment to your thread, be sure to respond to them. Acknowledge their comment and thank them for adding to the conversation. The more you engage, the more they will engage.

Entering "nerdzone", or "nerd zone" into Google returns nerdzone.uk as the top site and that's without any SEO! It was initially many entries down, but steadily climbed over a few weeks to reach the top spot and has stayed there ever since and all with no gaming of the system at all. That proves that quality content is key and Google rewards it.
No gaming necessary. In fact, Google easily detects gaming and penalizes it. Good content will make for good NATURAL SEO. But, be sure to work good keywords into your content. This can be done while still making it "readable" / useful to the audience. What would folks be searching for on Google? Create THAT content.

Speaking of which... if the content is particularly valuable, you might make it a "Resource" available to members only. But, make sure there's a publicly visible thread about it.

I also have a handful of active members on my site, along with others who post occasionally. Plus, people are registering new accounts every few days now, too. For a low maintenance hobby forum in 2022 that has no advertising and I'm not promoting in any significant way, this isn't bad going and I'm proud of what I've achieved, especially so since we know the general problems with starting forums nowadays. I hope the forum grows with time, but there's no pressure to make it grow quickly.
Yep... slow and steady. Marathon not a sprint. Let it grow organically, but fertilize that thing!

In the last 19 days, 100 new members on my forum! :cool:
 

PatriotGB

Active member
It's not irrelevant. Don't be so dismissive. There's loads of companies, Facebook groups etc called nerdzone in some form or another, yet I'm on top.

Why do you think there's a difference in our search results though? Enter the search as I showed and you should see my site is at the top.
FWIW... I'm in the US.
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It occurred to me that you might also work the keyword "geek" into your content. I know there's a "difference" between geek and nerd. But a lot of people use them interchangeably. Maybe do a "write-up" or article on the difference. That will make for some good keyword / content!
 

PatriotGB

Active member
I think we are off topic... 🥴

A tangent, perhaps... but a relevant tangent. Good SEO / search results can help grow a forum.

In the "Introduce Yourself" section, I ask new members how they found the forum. More and more are saying they found it in a Google search.
 
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Kevin

Well-known member
Sorry I wasn’t meaning to be dismissive, but if you want to test for SEO use words that people may be searching for as opposed to the title of the site. Maybe search forum for nerds or something.
Meme Reaction GIF by Robert E Blackmon
 

FTL

Well-known member
@PatriotGB

I've put up several posts over the last couple of days to continue putting fresh content on the site, so the process of seeding content continues.

Indeed, making my members feel valued is one of my key strategies. Comes under basic respect in my book, so not only for self gain. Someone does something positive for me, I want to do the same for them.

No gaming necessary. In fact, Google easily detects gaming and penalizes it. Good content will make for good NATURAL SEO. But, be sure to work good keywords into your content. This can be done while still making it "readable" / useful to the audience. What would folks be searching for on Google? Create THAT content.

Speaking of which... if the content is particularly valuable, you might make it a "Resource" available to members only. But, make sure there's a publicly visible thread about it.

It's great to know that I don't have to resort to obscure tricks to go up those Google rankings.

100 members in 19 days is going some, nice. I'd be happy with just a few registrations in that time.

Re your search results, I know why the difference now: it's definitely our regions making the difference. When I set my VPN to the US, I had similar results to yours. That's not really surprising as it's a UK oriented site with the time zone set to UK etc, although everyone is welcome. That's still pretty high up, though, people are likely to see that.
 

thesignalman

Active member
Looking forward to it. 🙂

How much do you think opening the forum to the public will help my site? The rival forum is more about traffic signal hobbyists. I want my forum to have more people in the profession. (Signal Techs, Civil Engineers, Manufacturers).
 

FTL

Well-known member
How much do you think opening the forum to the public will help my site? The rival forum is more about traffic signal hobbyists. I want my forum to have more people in the profession. (Signal Techs, Civil Engineers, Manufacturers).
It's hard to say, but given the demographic you're looking for, I'm not sure how much activity you'll get and suspect it won't be much, unfortunately.

Anyone else have a better idea of what to expect?
 

thesignalman

Active member
It's hard to say, but given the demographic you're looking for, I'm not sure how much activity you'll get and suspect it won't be much, unfortunately.

Anyone else have a better idea of what to expect?

I think it's just bad timing.

Aaroads is a road themed forum and it has thousands of people on it, it's been around the longest out of all the transportation themed forums online. It doesn't focus on traffic signals, it's more highway and road themed: https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php

The forum that I got kicked off from (highway divides) is traffic signal oriented and only has about 600 people. However, unlike my forum, Highway Divides has a decent ratio of active vs. inactive users, even for it's relatively small size.

There was an old SignalTrafficForum from 2008, that was roughly the same size as Highway Divides, but had far more users, however, I've noticed the threads didn't have many posts, despite the forum itself being active, it could be because of the time period it was in.
 

tajhay

Well-known member
I think it's just bad timing.

Aaroads is a road themed forum and it has thousands of people on it, it's been around the longest out of all the transportation themed forums online. It doesn't focus on traffic signals, it's more highway and road themed: https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php

The forum that I got kicked off from (highway divides) is traffic signal oriented and only has about 600 people. However, unlike my forum, Highway Divides has a decent ratio of active vs. inactive users, even for it's relatively small size.

There was an old SignalTrafficForum from 2008, that was roughly the same size as Highway Divides, but had far more users, however, I've noticed the threads didn't have many posts, despite the forum itself being active, it could be because of the time period it was in.
Domain name change won't change anything. Running a forum isn't that easy. As others have continuously pointed out, content is king. A forum without visible posts without an already active user base is not going to succeed regardless of how many times you change the domain name.
 
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Anatoliy

Well-known member
The Quartet
Ivan A. Krylov


A Monkey (of his tricks beware!),
A Goat, A Donkey And a Bear
Resolved to play a String Quartet,
They got the score, two violins, viola, cello
And settled in a shady meadow
The hearts of listeners to win.

Each took his bow, sawed to and from...
But what a din!
"Stop, stop, my friends!" the Monkey cried.
"Hold on a minute!
Now let's begin it With you, Bear, sitting facing the viola...
Let's change positions...
First Fiddle, opposite the Second.
And now, my friends, you'll hear such music flow
The hills will dance and to the forest beckon!"

They all changed places, tried again...
It was as bad as ever.
Then The Donkey cried:
"Look, gentlemen, The secret is (as you will soon discover)
To sit beside each other!"
They listened to the ass and lined up in a row,
But as before the music did not flow.

They fell more heatedly than ever to discussing
Amid much fussing
Which place would best befit.

A Nightingale came, drawn by curiosity.
At once the quartet placed the subject of contention
Before him:
"Give us, please, an hour of your attention
To make our playing exquisite!
We have the instruments, the music requisite...
Just tell us where to sit!"

"Performing music calls for skill and comprehension...
And ears more sensitive than yours," The bird replied.
"It's one of Nature's laws: However much you change positions,
My friends, you'll never make musicians!"
 
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