Link Building

Do Forum Links Provide Any Value for SEO?

Earning links back to your website has become one of the most important aspects of SEO, so it’s no surprise that websites will do anything to “earn” these almighty links. Whether it be utilizing black hat SEO tactics, overtaking the comment section of an article, or going crazy with the guest posting, more and more content is starting to look blue. So what happens when you visit a forum? Will including a link back to your website really make a difference in terms of SEO when you’re dealing with a forum?

Will a Forum Link Help Your SEO Efforts?

For those who are unfamiliar, a forum is essentially a website or a section of a website where visitors can post questions and then receive answers from those visiting the forum. Most websites will break up the forum into different topics so that it’s easier to navigate, and in many cases a moderator will review the comments before they go live. When it comes to links, some moderators allow them, others don’t allow them, and most will only allow them if you’ve posted a question or an answer at least five times. Why? Because forums are one of the biggest targets for spammy links because it is so easy to include one.

In other words, it doesn’t take a website owner hours to research and write an article, but rather it takes them two minutes to think up a comment and then link back to his/her website. In many cases, people write comments just to include a link back to their website, which brings down the value of a forum. For this reason, many forums set links to be no-follow, or set the links so that they cannot be followed by search engines. Fortunately, nofollow links can still be beneficial for a website.

Top 3 Reasons Forum Links Are Still Worth Your Time

It’s never a good idea to include a comment on a forum just because you want a backlink, but including your link will look good if that link is relevant and ads value to the conversation. Even if the forum sets its links to be no-follow links, there are still a few benefits:

  • Clicks. Just because search engine bots aren’t following the link you put in that forum doesn’t mean that people can’t click on the link. If you’re offering great advice in your answer to a forum question, and you say that a link can offer even more information, that will surly help you generate some clicks.
  • Reputation. Spammers don’t usually bother with no-follow links; thus aiding to their bad reputation. However, users will appreciate that you are adding a link just because you think that link could be helpful. It shows that you’re putting your audience before the Google bots.
  • Backlink Profile. Believe it or not, Google looks highly upon sites that have both nofollow and dofollow links. This illustrates that your links are natural, so although you may not get the PageRank SEO benefit, it is said that this will help improve your authority.

It’s still worth it to note that some forums do practice do-follow links. Usually a forum will tell you one way or the other, but you’re benefitting either way. Although forum links might not be crucial for SEO, it’s still worth understanding how they work so you can take advantage.

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