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URL friendly vs. URL-unfriendly :-)

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Core Freedom, Nov 25, 2011.

  1. Core Freedom

    Core Freedom Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure this is in the right forum, forgive me if it's misplaced.

    I have an SEO/Alexa/Google question that I can't seem to wrap my head around and I'm trying to explain this to a friend. I've had my Xenforo blorum now for 3.5 weeks and it went from non-existent on Alexa to a U.S. ranking of a bit over 420,000.

    My friend's site, which has been around for about 2 years, has a site that uses funky urls. Even though you were to go to his site at websitename.com (example), it would revert to this:


    His worldwide Alexa ranking is around 9.7 million and there's no data for the U.S.

    For the past 3 weeks I've applied the identical marketing strategy to his site that I am using on my site and I can't figure out why his site ranks so terribly. Can someone explain this to me? Does this have anything to do with the 'funky' url of his site, which is built on a database or are these not related at all?
  2. Floris

    Floris Guest

    Not sure how close the b and l keys are to your f key ^_^
    trilogy33 and Core Freedom like this.
  3. Core Freedom

    Core Freedom Well-Known Member

    Oh, you're so funny, Floris.

    Blog + Forum = Blorum

    My site was constructively criticized for being more like a blog when I was trying to create a forum. Instead of adjusting we just decided to create something new. :)
  4. Andrej

    Andrej Well-Known Member

    They are pretty close. :)
    Core Freedom likes this.
  5. Core Freedom

    Core Freedom Well-Known Member

    you guys are adorable, but what about my friendly and unfriendly url question? does anyone know?
  6. Brandon Sheley

    Brandon Sheley Well-Known Member

    First off, I wouldn't worry about Alexa rank at all :)
    Second, it would help if we knew the actual URL that you have questions about?

    There are a lot of factors in Alexa ranking.
    Core Freedom likes this.
  7. kuyenmotdivad

    kuyenmotdivad Active Member

    I'm not sure, but people goto websites if there is good contents there - not the way the URLs are layout wise. Google and other search engines use robots to crawl websites for content good or bad and use rank to show how good/reliable the contents is.
    Core Freedom likes this.
  8. digitalpoint

    digitalpoint Well-Known Member

    The URL structure has *very* little to do with it. I just pulled our Google Analytics report for our forum, and in the last 30 days, we've received 2,459,457 unique visitors from search engines (which works out to about 1 per second 24/7).

    I'm only mentioning that because we use the plainest URLs possible (no keywords or titles in the URLs).

    There isn't really a shortcut to earning Google's trust... but I can say with some confidence that Google generally trusts digitalpoint.com. Why that may be could be a topic of debate, but I suspect it has to do with a few things...
    • We have been around a long time (forum started in 2004, but site itself started in 1996)
    • We have never done anything that violates Google's quality guidelines (we have never bought or sold links for example, we have never used digitalpoint.com for any sort of spam landing pages, etc.)
    • We have gotten an ABSURD amount of links over the years (never asking for them). Google Webmaster Tools shows 458,614,550 links to the forums.digitalpoint.com sub-domain... even taking out the ones originating from within digitalpoint.com, it's still a pretty high number of links (2,835,337). Other sub-domains are similar... tools.digitalpoint.com for example shows 9,106,813 links after you take out the links originating from digitalpoint.com.
    So you have a very old domain that has never had any sort of history of spam or shadiness, combined with millions of 100% unsolicited links from other sites, and Google tends to trust your site more... like someone can post a new thread and that topic will show at the top of Google search results within minutes.

    My best advise is not to worry about the SEO too much... XenForo's default SEO is really good. Just focus on creating a quality site that people want to tell their friends about simply because it's a good site. It's not an overnight process, but that's the best long term strategy... it gets easier and easier as Google starts trusting your site more and more.
    hade, Markos, Bob and 7 others like this.
  9. Core Freedom

    Core Freedom Well-Known Member

    I love stats like these, they are hugely helpful for a brain like mine. ;) Thank you for sharing, super valuable!

    And congratulations by the way, these are some amazing number! :notworthy:

    I have 2 links to my site, lol! But there's always hope, huh!? :p
  10. digitalpoint

    digitalpoint Well-Known Member

    Oh, I forgot to mention... Alexa is more or less useless unless it's a sub-1,000 site. And even then, it's only relevant to compare the relative numbers between two similar sites with the same audience.

    If you want to really compare, just look at your Google Analytics vs. theirs.
    Core Freedom likes this.
  11. mrGTB

    mrGTB Well-Known Member

    Sound advice indeed. All the SEO hype is there mainly for others to sell you something you don't need. ;)

    Funny enough, I'm thinking right now about using the URL structure in XenForo that does not include keywords. The same way the MyBB forum worked. Reason being, if you rename a thread you might have sent into Facebook or Twitter e.t.c. It breaks the link-back.
    Core Freedom likes this.
  12. Core Freedom

    Core Freedom Well-Known Member

    Thanks, DigitalPoint, and everyone else!

    I can't help but wish there was a 'booklet' of some sort that shows the 50 top boards in different categories, and how they started, what they did exactly to get over the 'hump', how long it took for income to start trickling or pouring in, if they have employees today, how many and for what functions, how their income is structured (ads/membership/ebooks/affiliates, etc.), what they would do differently 'had they known', etc.

    I think it would be the ultimate guide to starting your own forum community. :D
  13. digitalpoint

    digitalpoint Well-Known Member

    I actually thought about that myself... then decided my setup just uses "unfriendly URLs" but only for the social buttons... that way they don't break on a URL change.
  14. Carlos

    Carlos Well-Known Member

    I've always found Alexa to be useless. I trust the Google ranking better than that.

    I also have found that the un-friendly URL's are not as strong as the friendly URL's. You'd have to do some heavy advertising.

    I know this, because my blog had ugly URL's for a year, and not enough traffic to fuel growth. I switched my blog to friendly URL's few weeks ago since my MW3Blog pulled in thousands of views based on the url postensity.
  15. tmb

    tmb Active Member

    With all the topic title changes I am considering changing to the unfriendly. Would be a pain to be re-indexed again but probably better long run.
    Core Freedom likes this.
  16. Forsaken

    Forsaken Well-Known Member

    You shouldn't have to worry about being re-indexed due to threads really only putting weight on the id at the end of the URL.

    http://xenforo.com/community/threads/random-title-for-thread.23815/#post-293723 (Link to your post with URL changed).
    Core Freedom likes this.
  17. mrGTB

    mrGTB Well-Known Member

    Why does everyone keep saying Unfriendly URL's. They are still friendly URL's, but without thread keywords included. Unfriendly is like vBulletin 3 used to be without vBSEO used.

    Has anyone ever taken notice how IMDb uses similar URL structure for links leading to movies.

    Core Freedom likes this.
  18. Onimua

    Onimua Well-Known Member

    You just explained why people call then friendly/unfriendly. :p

    They're friendly to the user, in that a thread title in the link is far more explanatory about the content than a series of numbers.
    Core Freedom likes this.
  19. a legacy reborn

    a legacy reborn Well-Known Member

    Alexa? Are people still using that? Lul, nuff' said.
    Core Freedom likes this.

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