global ranking with a


Our forum is around 15 years old, we have always enjoyed excellent ranking on google until about 2 years ago when our google search traffic dropped by around 50%. at a similar time we moved from a US based host to a UK based host. About a year ago we moved from vbulletin to IPB which again had a major effect on our search traffic which we hoped would recover but after no improvement after a year we decided to switch to xenforo. We have now been using xenforo for around a month and we have seen a slight improvement and the post count is up I still feel with the amount of threads and posts we should be ranking much better with google.

When checking google analytics it appears most of our search traffic is coming from the UK, with a little from europe and next to nothing from any further afield. The content on our forum does have a global appeal and I have a feeling that the combination of a UK host and a domain is costing us a lot of search traffic, would it be worth switching to a .com domain or is there something else that i'm missing that could be the problem ?
You havent mentioned if you kept the orignal link structure while switching from Vbulletin to IPB and then to Xenforo. If you did not then thats one reason why you traffic dropped.
You cannot keep changing the link structure of your forum time and again as any incoming links would land on 404 pages and you loose out on the benefit from those links you would have got for ranking on search engines.

I had a look at your forum and to be honest it deserves a lot more traffic and the only thing standing between your forum and the traffic that it deserves is your lack of SEO skills. Take for example this url : This one has forums/forum/ twice and unless you have a very good reason for that extra directory to be there it should not be there. I wont suggest changing it again unless its very recent. I also dont like your home page being redirected to forum/portal besides other things.

I am not sure what prompted you to change from vbulletin to IPB and now to xenforo (My guess is your link structure changed with every move and thats not good) but my advise to you would be do not believe what people write on forums (Thats exactly what you been doing till now) and that would include my reply as well. You dont know what expertise or lack of it people (that reply) posess.

By the way that domain alone is worth a lot ;) It could mean early retirement if you can find the right buyer ;)

Brandon Sheley

Well-known member
The fact that the site isn't loading at the moment would be a big red light as well ;)
*edit* well it's loading now, but I'd check that out for sure

Brandon Sheley

Well-known member
Loading fine here
It was down when I first loading the link above, I even went back to the root url.. it was all white.
After I posted and checked a few other things and came back it was loading fine.
Do you have the site in Google Webmaster Tools?
If it's having any downtime like what I saw, it will affect rankings and GWT should be able to let you know about those outages.


Well-known member
It's fine. It does that same thing in the screenshots whenever you resize the page. Looks like something might be clashing with the responsiveness of your theme in chrome but other than that it's fine.


Thanks everyone for your input. I've sorted the forums/forums/ issue out and the page layout. Any other SEO recommendations ?


Well-known member
I found one thing that helped seo was the little things.

Google PageSpeed Insights helped us hugely after we were hit by Penguin 2.

Basically go here:

The newer Google changes are all about content quality, inbound link quality and performance - this tool helps with the performance side of things. Read some articles on how to lower the effects of penguin too. We blocked around 30 referral domains and it increased out Google ranking, as Google considered them to be of low quality.

It's no longer about more keyword links = better search engine ranking. It's about proving that your site is worth visiting. It forces you to get very high content, quality inbound links, and a fast website.

Even just fixing the speed helps a massive amount, or at least it has done for us.

Anthony Parsons

Well-known member
I still feel with the amount of threads and posts we should be ranking much better with google.
Ok... to kill this aspect. Everyone thinks they should be ranking better with Google, however; so does every one of your competition who's talking about satellite something or other.

Here is a blog I wrote on this exact issue you're facing:


Going Global
So the question often asked from people is, how do I do this when my audience is global?

Well, if you're a business and have the finances to achieve the goal, you do the above in each primary country / region of your main audience. If you want China, and your company is English, then you need to get someone to write your website into Chinese, host it in China, OR, have a Chinese version that uses the .cn TLD.

When you're not a business, then you break the globe into audience demographics and try the cheapest route possible. If Europe is your primary demographic, you host their. USA, you host their, and so forth. Then you try and get TLD's of your domain name and park them over your primary TLD, thus providing different TLD's to Google. This tells Google to put this domain name into its UK index, this into the US, this into EU, et cetera. In Non-English countries, you can't beat native language websites (or versions) for direct reach.

Going global today is nothing as easy, or cheap, as it was 10 years ago. It was actually laughable... it isn't funny anymore though, and often quite expensive to do it correctly. Google have done this to stop exactly what you want to do, which is that you believe your forum has appeal to the world... but the fact is, Google doesn't care what you believe. If you want Google to believe your product / service is warranted in location x, y and z, then you need to specifically target x, y and z so Google know your serious... because to do that, it means you're investing some $$$ into achieving that aim AND for most countries, you need a business within them to obtain their TLD, thus you have legitimacy for country presence.

This stops all the kids, and believers, that their website deserves world attention, when in fact it doesn't, from cluttering Googles results and making Googles job harder due to the demand for online presence today.

Wouldn't a person in the US have more right to run a US based satellite forum than someone in the UK? I would think they do... thus they deserve Google presence in the US, not you.

Localisation is there for good reason today... especially as the demand for presence grows exponentially, daily.