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Google ranks with low PR URL's containing 'forum(s)'


Well-known member

I just found out from Stuart Wright that Google ranks with a low PR any URL containing the keyword 'forum(s)'.
In other words any this link:

will score lower than:

Can anyone provide some info related to this issue? That brings me to my request where we need to have an option in AdminCP that allows us to define a custom URL keyword for each section. (forums, threads, etc.)


Well-known member
I have an addon in the works that will allow you to rename any route. I just haven't got around to polishing and releasing it.
So say I have a custom created route like a custom addon's landing page with a path of /mypath, would this addon when said and done be able to change the instance of the custom created route as well to something like /mynewpath ?

Jake Bunce

XenForo moderator
Staff member
So say I have a custom created route like a custom addon's landing page with a path of /mypath, would this addon when said and done be able to change the instance of the custom created route as well to something like /mynewpath ?
Yes. It should work with any route, default or not.


Well-known member
Google News does not like "forums" but Google SERP has never had a problem with it. Before worrying about changing the route I would prefer seeing something from Google directly instead of hearsay. So far I'm not finding anything from Google about it.


Well-known member
Good content and high traffic because of it is still the king of search engine optimization. Almost everything else is here say and speculation.


Well-known member
Absolutely incorrect. There *are* reasons why a forum would have lower PR than a non-forum page, but it has nothing to do with the URL.

For example, as far as Google is concerned, links that are nofollowed simply have their "link juice" disappear rather than distribute it to the dofollow links on the page. So a site with a lot of external links (regardless if they are nofollowed or not) loses PageRank from having those links. More info on that here: http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/pagerank-sculpting/

Matt Cutts said:
So what happens when you have a page with “ten PageRank points” and ten outgoing links, and five of those links are nofollowed? Let’s leave aside the decay factor to focus on the core part of the question. Originally, the five links without nofollow would have flowed two points of PageRank each (in essence, the nofollowed links didn’t count toward the denominator when dividing PageRank by the outdegree of the page). More than a year ago, Google changed how the PageRank flows so that the five links without nofollow would flow one point of PageRank each.
So as a random example, let's take Stuart's "Movies/Cinema" forum: http://www.avforums.com/forums/movies-cinema/

Looking at the source, there are 73 nofollow links for a guest... these are 73 links that take away from the value of all the other links on the page. This means all those popup menus that vBulletin generates for use when you click on a username is only magnified because those contain multiple links for every user.

For sake of argument, let's say there are an average of 50 nofollow links on each avforums.com page. Google shows 745,000 pages in it's index... This ends up being 37,250,000 links that don't pass link juice... but it's ALSO 37,250,000 links that take link juice AWAY from all the normal links.

In the end, PageRank doesn't mean a whole lot, but if you want to raise your PageRank as a forum, you should be looking at nofollow links and figure out how to just do away with those links completely (and then their link juice will flow to the other links on the page).

Either way, having a word in your URL will not affect PageRank. It could affect search RANKING to a small degree.

Cleaning up the nofollow links on my forum ended up taking the site from PR4 (which it was at for years) to PR6.



Well-known member
How does XF handle 'nofollow' links? I do not show signatures to guests anymore but we still have posts (contributed by members) that link to external sources.