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I own Forum.com and Forums.com - What should I do?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by System0, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. System0

    System0 Active Member

    This isn't so much a question as to which is better - forum.com or forums.com. I've used both in the past though tend to use forums more in domain names and sub directories.

    For my new project I actually have both. I am hoping to launch my new forum over the next month or so (then I'll start linking it etc). I developed the forum a few weeks ago using DOMAINforums.com though I bought DOMAINforum.com today via an auction. I was keen on doing this as it stops a competitor launching a similar forum at DOMAINforum.com, plus it will allow me to pickup traffic from people who enter the domain name incorrectly (which is quite common).

    HereĀ“s the thing. I could simply do a 301 redirect from forum.com to forums.com and keep things as they are. DOMAINforum seems to be a more popular search term though switching is probably not a good idea as the social media profiles are taken on Facebook and Twitter for the other domain name.

    So to summarise:

    • DOMAINforums.com - Slightly less competitive search term though I own the profiles for Facebook and Twitter.
    • DOMAINforum.com - Appears to be searched more often and more competitors are using the term on their own forums as page titles and website names (despite not owning the domain name). Unfortunately, the Facebook and Twitter profiles are already being used by others.
    I'm happy to keep using the forums domain rather than forum though is there any other way for me to benefit from the forum.com domain name other than picking up type traffic.
    • Will Google rank my forums.com domain name higher for the 'domain forum' keyword due to me redirecting the DOMAINforum.com domain name towards it?
    Have any members here been in this situation before? I don't want to use any black-hat SEO techniques or create duplicate content or anything like that however I am keen on using the second domain name to rank higher for those keywords.

  2. Blue

    Blue Well-Known Member

    I would leave whichever one is in place and redirect the other to the current domain.
  3. ChemicalKicks

    ChemicalKicks Well-Known Member

    I would say "DOMAINforums" primary with "DOMAINforum" redirecting.
  4. System0

    System0 Active Member

    Thanks for the feedback guys.

    From a social media point of view, domainforums is the best option as two different websites are using domainforum on twitter and facebook. I'd like to rank well for the other domain names keywords as well though (i.e. without the s).
  5. Anthony Parsons

    Anthony Parsons Well-Known Member

    Don't worry about plurals, as Google dismisses them and counts such as singular equivalent first. I think you got it right with whatever you have available for use on FB, Twitter, and other social media locations, so you get your brand reserved and is usable for you.
  6. System0

    System0 Active Member

    Yeah, the brand is something that was very important to me, which is why I'd be reluctant to change to domainforum.com and then use domainforums as the Twitter and Facebook usernames.

    I wasn't aware that Google dismisses plurals. Does that mean that google would rank domainforum.com and domainforums.com for the the phrase "domain forum" equally. I'm curious as to what would happen in an instance when two forums using the same title tag competed against each other e.g. if domainforum.com and domainforums.com were competing against each other, would be ranked the same for "domain forum" and "domain forums"?
  7. Anthony Parsons

    Anthony Parsons Well-Known Member

    They would get listed one after another pretty much. The domainforum.com would rank over the plural for a direct domain search and vice versa, though either could rank over the other depending on how Google determined each sites relevance for the term based on page content.

    If domainforum.com use "domain forum" a couple of times on its page, then quite honestly any better written page could rank over that domain for that term. The domain is a guide, it doesn't guarantee any type of placement in rankings. You also need to factor in what the term is that is linking into the homepage of the site and its relevance / quality of the page / site it resides on.

    Google is extremely good at reading between the lines with domain name links and pulling out the actual words to present them as individual words, even though a domain is one word, hence how a domain name ranks when you include spaces in a search term to begin with versus a direct domain search.

    If domainforum.com had little use of the word on their homepage (relevance) and people linked into that page using domainforum.com with all their links, then whilst Google is good at pulling words apart, Google also would review a direct word match as more precise, being if domainforums.com used "domain forums" on their homepage in relevance for branding, then had external quality links using "Domain Forums" and not "domainforums.com" as the link text, Google is likely to take the plural precise version over the singular domain version link, discard the plural and put the listing over the singular in rankings.

    Google can still be manipulated when you know how to do it, but the problem is that it takes a lot of time, playing around with different page versions and even more time waiting for Google to weigh in on any links pointing inwards and how they determine them will be forever unknown to you. PageRank means nothing, so leave that alone... relevance is about the content of the page and how Google determines that pages relevance to the link presented, where the link is placed, etc. Example, footer / sidebar / navigation links are counted, but worth little.

    A news release that only contains a link to your site that is distributed across news sites globally, that has relevance as it sits within the content of the page itself, by itself.

    The biggest problem is localisation. What you see from your location when searching Google will not be the same a person a state or town over see's if there is a more relevant local site that also uses the same term. Then expand that across countries and suddenly results get very ugly. You can be on page one on Google.com in your city, page 2 in another city a state over, page 30 in another country accessing Google.com from their location and page 300 when using a different countries local Google version.

    You just can't get around localisation easily these days... you either need to host your site in each country you want to target to obtain top rankings in that country, cloud won't do it, and most countries require you to have a country business to use local domain extensions, being the other way to get into localised search with better results.

    Moral of the story. You can still manipulate things in Google, yes. The odds are like going to a casino though and the cost can be extensive if you don't have the budget to back it up in order to get around localisation.
    System0 likes this.
  8. Carlos

    Carlos Well-Known Member

    I disagree with your and Anthony's assessment of Google dismissing "Forums." Even though that Google dismisses them, Forums is more popular than you think it is. For example, CODForums has captured over 5 thousand "cod forums" keywords, while "Forum" from my research on another one of my niche sites - It's not really popular. I see more "forums" keywords being used with Marvel Vs Capcom 3 site MVC3Forum than I see "Forum."

    I think you have a good domain name in either one.

    To me, Forums is more popular than Forum. But hey, that's just me. What you decide is ultimately your decision.
  9. System0

    System0 Active Member

    Many thanks for such a detailed response Anthony.

    One of the things I was concerned about was that there are other websites using the "domain forum" as their page title so I was keen on at least trying to target that keyword as well (particularly since I own domainforum.com).

    Switching isn't really an option since I can't get the social media accounts. Someone suggested using an alias though my understanding of that is that one domain would get penalised for duplicate content or the PR would just be split between both domains, therefore a 301 redirect seems like the best option.

  10. System0

    System0 Active Member

    Not sure if you are a bit confused over what I wrote. :)

    I don't actually own domainforum.com and domainforums.com. I own xxxxxforum.com and xxxxxforums.com. I haven't launched the site yet so I don't want to link to it etc until I get it up and going :)
  11. Carlos

    Carlos Well-Known Member

    I assumed that you owned "Forum.com" and "Forums.com." Meh, ya know what they say about assumptions. ;)

    EDIT: Edited the post to reflect my understanding. :(

    But yeah, Forums > Forum.
    System0 likes this.
  12. System0

    System0 Active Member

    Yeah. I've used forums more for sub folders and domains in the past but noticed that the keyword forum seemed to be searched more often in this niche.
  13. Carlos

    Carlos Well-Known Member

    What kind of niche is it?
  14. Anthony Parsons

    Anthony Parsons Well-Known Member

    At the end of the day, your focus should always be on what you can brand best when the choice is between singular and plural, for the exact issues that there are billions of existing pages and domains online, all fighting for similar terms. If something is open and really close to what you need, then grab it and brand it.

    Google doesn't care either way when comparing singular or plural form. You will see pages rank over a plural when searched, that are using the singular and vice versa, all due to page / site relevance. Just go do some Google searches for singular and plural words and you will see a diverse mix for yourself on what Google has returned and highlighted.
  15. Carlos

    Carlos Well-Known Member

    This I agree with more than anything Mr. Parsons had to say. :D
  16. System0

    System0 Active Member

    Yeah I don't think branding the forums.com domain will be an issue and it obviously isn't an issue if someone does type in the domain without the s if I have a redirect set up on the other domain.

    I just did a few searches for some different terms such as "car forum" and "car forums" and "movie Forum" and "movie forums". Each term brings up different results. More weight seems to be placed on the page title rather than the domain name, as many forums using forums.com in their domain use forum in their page title e.g. http://www.carsforums.com/ uses Car Forum.

    Perhaps that's one thing I should consider i.e. branding it with the forums.com domain name but using "Domain Forum" as my key phrase in the page title.
    Anthony Parsons likes this.
  17. erich37

    erich37 Well-Known Member

  18. Carlos

    Carlos Well-Known Member

    Even if you do have the "s" in it, you can still target the Forum domain. The domain name already has it, so I wouldn't worry.
    Yes, but you'll have collateral damage when you use "Car Forums" over "Car Forum." Yes, Car Forum is popular for the niche, but how do THEY stand out in that listing? Let me put it this way, CODForums ranks #1 for CODforums, and CODForum, guess which one they went to? Mine or the competitor, sitting on buggy ol' vB4? Answer: Mine.
    That's going to have the opposite effect on your site. Remember: Branding has to be consistent across Facebook, Twitter, on-page SEO and whatnot. The thing is, you don't want to confuse either google, and other search engines, or your members. Your word of mouth depends on what your site name is. Not the domain name; they'll direct your would-be visitors to your domain, that's a given, but word of mouth also has to be universal. What if someone asks "What's Dom Forum?" And googles it? Which one is he going to go to? Yours? Your competitor?

    While the keyword will rank your site higher, it's going to have an opposite effect. Maybe a jealous competitor will report your site to google for the practices you've made. You also don't want to be in a oversaturated market, which is my other point.

    If you do end up putting 'Dom Forum' on the page, you end up being yet another 'Dom Forum' and then your visitors will just glance over your name without thinking twice.
  19. System0

    System0 Active Member

  20. System0

    System0 Active Member

    As Anthony pointed out, localisation is an issue, though when I search for "cod forums" your site is first (to be expected as your domain is codforums.com) but when I search for "cod forum" you're not on the first page.
    Anthony Parsons likes this.

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