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Would anyone want to participate in an experiment?

Fred Sherman

Well-known member
#1
The thread, Google Traffic Going Down After Migration, got me thinking. While that thread is applicable to existing sites, what about new sites?

I'm curious enough to propose an experiment. Three sites are created with an identical topic and similar domain names, so that the domain name isn't a factor.

One is XF, one if VB and the third is IPB. No change to themes/skins/templates. That all remains "as installed". No add-ons either, except for free community SEO add-ons. Seed content for each sire in unique, but of the same number and quality.

Leverage the built-in and community released SEO tools (nothing that charges a fee, must all be free) and then "release them into the wild" for six months, providing only normal administrative care and feeding.

At the end of six months compare the traffic, content quantity and quality, page rankings, key word positions, etc for all three and declare a winner. Is anyone else curious about what the results might be?
 

CyclingTribe

Well-known member
#2
I'll happily loan you my dormant IP.Board license for the experiment if you need one?

What happens afterwards though? We don't want to dump on any members who sign up to participate - will the experimental sites be merged into one XF site at the end?

Cheers,
Shaun :D
 

Fred Sherman

Well-known member
#4
I'll provide the XF license. So now we're in business from an infrastructure standpoint.

Now we need a topic. Any ideas? Should it be wide appeal or niche?
 

CyclingTribe

Well-known member
#5
Entertainment? Music, film, TV, actors, etc. - fairly broad scope and something most people can relate to; or maybe a more specific entertainment one such as a specific genre like detective shows or hospital dramas?

Just a thought.
 

Fred Sherman

Well-known member
#6
What topic would have the widest international appeal over the next 6 months?

Just as a side note, if any of the sites takes off, how do you feel about selling off the sites and donating the proceeds to charity? The one I'm thinking of is Kiva. It makes micro loans to people all around the world. The sites may not be worth much, but this is a charity that can put to good use whatever they bring in.
 

CyclingTribe

Well-known member
#7
Just as a side note, if any of the sites takes off, how do you feel about selling off the sites and donating the proceeds to charity?
No problem for me ... I didn't have a specific use for the IPB license and was just going to sit on it, so if some good cause can benefit, then why not eh? (y)
 

petertdavis

Well-known member
#8
If you use three separate domains, that still could be a factor in the rankings. You could consider using three sub-domains on the same domain, that would make the experiment more pure.
 

Adam Howard

Well-known member
#9
I know how this outcome ends.

  1. XenForo
  2. WordPress
  3. vBulletin
  4. phpBB / MyBB / SMF -- typically tied, which I thought was odd
  5. IPB
In this order from my own past experiment, using the exact same content, keywords, and media tags. But it would be interesting to see if anyone could confirm my past results.
 

Anthony Parsons

Well-known member
#11
Leverage the built-in and community released SEO tools (nothing that charges a fee, must all be free) and then "release them into the wild" for six months, providing only normal administrative care and feeding.
I don't think it would be wise to use this facet of the test, as it would taint the results from default.

I would simply run the test for six months using default URL's.

I would then, if the software has the function as part of the software, turn on friendly URL's for a further six months to see what change is accounted from the URL viewpoint.

If you modify any other elements of any software with free or otherwise addons, you modify and taint the results of comparing default software, thus the purpose is lost IMHO.
 

-GR-

Well-known member
#13
The results also would not be fair to any product without having similar content. I don't care which product it is that you test but if product a has crappy content posted and product b has great content posted then the content will deem the winner which it should. So to accurately test I think you should not allow registrations on the sites and post similar but reworded content on each of them and see what the results would be.
 

Sheldon

Well-known member
#14
Why not just copy/pasta the exact same topics, exact same posts, "members", everything? To test, wouldn't all have to be identical?
 

Mikey

Well-known member
#19
shrug. Another factor is the admin. For example there will be 3 admins. One will have many sites and no time, one will advertise his site like crazy on social networks, etc. The most active community will be the one with the best admin, the software makes no difference. Supportforums.net runs on mybb, but i dont think half of the users would give a damn if it ran on anything else because the content and management style would still be the same. That's just one example that sprung to mine
 

Fred Sherman

Well-known member
#20
I think some of you are missing the point. Minimalist management, no advertising. No duplicate content, because all three sites would be penalized for non-unique content. The goal is to test to combination of built-in and community supported SEO tools to se which combination provided the best overall SEO benefit.