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xF's SEO in comparison to...

Discussion in 'XenForo Pre-Sales Questions' started by Aarmin, Aug 24, 2012.

  1. Aarmin

    Aarmin Active Member

    I've been working on a site for a short while and was wondering how xenforo's SEO compares to lets say a HTML website?

    The reason I am asking is because I'm not sure how to tackle building this website
    I originally was going to write a lot of articles, but have found myself overwhelmed. On the other hand, I was thinking of taking a more laid back approach with just a bulletin board website, then then maybe I can cut down on my "workload". The problem with that is it feels like the majority of forum software coding doesn't tackle SEO very well... except for xf.

    - for clarification, I'm in no ways saying running a forum is light work.

    I understand SEO only goes so far in page rankings - quality content will rank a website higher; however, if one does a "specific search" it almost seams forum software content doesn't rank as well... I did an unscientific test search with Simple Machines Forum and Fluxbb software and it just feels that way. I can't really back this up with any solid data. I also use to run a forum using SMF and I felt like it didn't do so well on the search pages.

    I like the fact that XF is SEO optimized from the core (right?) and doesn't seem to be resource intensive (right?). I suppose it all comes down to my first question... how would SEO of a thread posting on this software compare to a well coded HTML webpage?
  2. MagnusB

    MagnusB Well-Known Member

    Google likes forums, cause it updates so frequently it gives them allot to crawl and index. As for the SEO, you can do the same thing with a well coded html page, though you don't have the hazzle of setting up every single page by it's own, or you could do better, but the SEO on xF is pretty good. I haven't used Flux or SMF, but I used to use phpBB3, and there was allot I could do there by just template edits to improve SEO, though I haven't found (or really looked) anything in xF as of yet.

    But you are saying you are going to publish articles, why are you looking at a forum software and not a CMS like Wordpress or Joomla or Drupal? IMO, it all comes down to your needs, and pick the package that best suits them. Just looking at the SEO, and not the complete feature set might result in you getting the shorter end of the deal.
  3. Aarmin

    Aarmin Active Member

    I should rephrase, you said I could do the same thing with SEO as XF does, but really... I'm not a professional webmaster. I'm not real knowledgeable about SEO, so one could assume XF would do it better than I can (not sure). I know a little, one example is that keywords don't help or hurt in any way with SEO. I suppose what I'm wondering is will a forum thread do the same thing as a basic HTML page (just decent coding, <title>, maybe headers, basic <div>...). Hard for me to explain.

    I did say that, but I want a community. When I say "community" I mean a free and open community like a bulletin board; some could argue that a blog or Facebook is like a community, but that's "too focused" in my opinion. I don't want it to be about me. My intent all along was to have a forum, so users could post questions and also discuss other topics (off topic).

    As for articles, I'm currently debating to either post them as threads, or as separate content. I guess I was worried if I posted them in a forum (like SMF, FluxBB, etc...) that it may hurt my search ranking wise in comparison if I posted them on a good/decently coded HTML page. Really, for now I'm just brainstorming what to do - but a forum is a must.

    Here is one site that adds a little bit of inspiration of what I may want to accomplish: http://www.autos.ca/car-comparisons/comparison-test-best-fuel-efficient-cars/
    The site is actually built on Wordpress (I couldn't tell until I viewed the source code), but if you go to the bottom of the article it links to the forum: see "Reader Comments (##)"

    The other half of me is thinking maybe I will just write the "articles" within the forum itself, as threads.

    Another way of thought is like myfico.com; they have a nice forum (although on terrible software) and a section with topics/advice (see "learn about scores" and "achieve my goals").

    Again, just brainstorming. I DO NOT want a blog, because I want it to be focused more as a forum community; furthermore, I do not have the resource and time to constantly write blog posts, because I feel like if I let a blog go to long without any updates that it may hurt my user base. I do feel I have the knowledge and time to reply to user threads. Plus with a forum, you have other members that will contribute.
  4. MagnusB

    MagnusB Well-Known Member

    xF would do better SEO than a basic HTML page, as a thread, mainly because of the semantic html, but also there are proper use of header tags etc etc. In short, there are no real advantage of doing the articles as html pages, except you increase your own workload.

    The autos.ca article you linked is a wordpress install with a SMF comment plugin of sorts. I think phpbb.com use similar stuff, where they blog in wordpress and have comments in their forum. I have also seen drupal and joomla with the same setup. Something similar can be achieved with XenPorta: http://www.valvetime.net/threads/cs-go-trailer-making-of-video.219712/ (only site I remember with that setup).

    SEO is becoming more focused on content, and also changes in Google means user history also plays a role. Unless you have a ton of time and money to spend, you should settle on the simple things, and xF have the best SEO I have seen so far (in forum packages), though I am not by any means an expert on the subject.
  5. Jake Bunce

    Jake Bunce XenForo Moderator Staff Member

  6. redwolf6

    redwolf6 Member

    I can tell you something happened with me. I was using IPB and when I make a topic I go to google and type it but it's always "empty" nothing from my forum. When I switched to XF I wrote the title and my forum was #1 so XF index the pages very fast.
  7. Aarmin

    Aarmin Active Member

    ok, I think I made up my mind on what forum software!

    Just need to think about how to implement my content... :unsure:
  8. Adam Howard

    Adam Howard Well-Known Member

    Out of the box before you even touch your code... XenForo is amazing. SEO support is very good and better than phpBB, WordPress, vBulletin, Burning Board, SMF, and far superior above IPB (as someone else said).

    You'll notice results almost instantly.

    As for implementing content... XenForo is very customizable and we have large community of friendly developers who are always willing and eager to help people out. :)

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