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Private forum and google rankings

Discussion in 'Forum Management' started by gavpeds, Sep 22, 2014.

  1. gavpeds

    gavpeds Active Member

    Hi all so i have a question.

    Currently my forum is publicly viewable, all posts and threads are visible to gusts etc. Some members are now questioning this in regard to our specific subject area and the fact that at times we discuss their customers or business's.

    What they dont want is customers stumbling onto the forum and reading stuff! I had contemplated making the whole forum members only but my worry is that this will impact our rankings in google and content listings in google. I also fear doing this will reduce member registration rates. In the past we had guest view limits which impacted registrations.

    The other option was to just have a small members only area of the forum but some members feel that this would be confusing and mean members having almost a duplicate or similar private are to public areas.

    Any help or thoughts on this would be great. (y)
  2. Case

    Case Active Member

  3. gavpeds

    gavpeds Active Member

    Thanks but i don't think this will work for our users.
  4. FredC

    FredC Well-Known Member

    I guess this is similar to the above reply but it uses prefixes. My members love this and would have my head if I removed it. https://xenforo.com/community/resources/sonnb-hide-prefixes-from-usergroups.928/ of course I would read the various posts in that thread because I don't believe that it works on the various portals available for download here. That is not really a problem for me anymore since we use brogans featured threads plug-in and only manually promote threads to the homepage.

    My members like this so much I have to continuously remind them to not abuse the privilege.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2014
  5. gavpeds

    gavpeds Active Member

    Thats quite a neat idea, i bit better than the bbcode. Still not 100% it would suit our users but will see. So i also have @Brogan featured threads but mine are selected from certain criteria. Does this mean that if a post was selected that had the prefix it would still show to guests? The only thing that would concern me is that users might then just do this on every posts.

    I am just trying to find a balance for users really where they feel they can have member only discussions but i dont want that to effect our guest experience to much or at least our forum presence and ranking.
  6. FredC

    FredC Well-Known Member

    Yes the preview only.. Possibly some of us could fund an update to fix this.
  7. FredC

    FredC Well-Known Member

    I do battle this quite often on my own forum. I am continuously warning members not to get carried away with the option. And have even had to resort to removing the option for a few members.
  8. gavpeds

    gavpeds Active Member

    I wonder if they might be able to add in a future update a limit so users can use the prefix x amount a day. I have asked this in there thread.
  9. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    I'm not entirely sure what this is in reference to but the Featured Threads add-on respects permissions, so only those who can view the thread will see it on the portal/home page.
  10. FredC

    FredC Well-Known Member

    I believe its a limitation of this plugin.. https://xenforo.com/community/resources/sonnb-hide-prefixes-from-usergroups.928/ Which is in someway revoking viewing permissions for guests in forums that allow guest viewing.. I think im going to try to sponsor an update to correct this with your Featured Threads plugin, if the author is willing..
  11. FredC

    FredC Well-Known Member

    How about it @sonnb Would you be interested in discussing this further and supplying a quote/estimate?
  12. Anthony Parsons

    Anthony Parsons Well-Known Member

    If you take a forum private, then you may as well also take up adwords advertising, because that is going to be your only form of Google traffic. If Google don't have something to cache, then they don't have anything to deliver to others searching your subject. It's that simple.
  13. gavpeds

    gavpeds Active Member

    I thought so thanks. Its not something i want to do really. Just trying to find a happy medium for our members.
    Anthony Parsons likes this.
  14. Anthony Parsons

    Anthony Parsons Well-Known Member

    I run mental health based sites... so the subjects are tricky, however; the majority of forums are public. Members have demanded for years that I change this, and the occasional one flips out because they don't realise the content is public... but that is their problem at the end of the day, not yours. They either choose to post online, or they do not.

    I provide member only forums, as well as a custom anonymous forum and further anonymity options for premium members. Members have choice that way, but the choices are minority and paid options.

    Like I've said to members about this very same issue... I ask them who complain... "how did you find this website?" They answer... Google. So I respond with the obvious that if Google can't index content here, then they wouldn't have found it and would still be stumbling around the web looking for help. That typically curbs the irrational thoughts, paranoia and such.

    Nothing is private online, even in member only content communities. If you put it online, then expect it to disseminate globally without your consent. If you don't want that, then don't put it online, is the only solution.
  15. sonnb

    sonnb Well-Known Member

    Please PM me your issue.

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