Why search engines don't like forums (maybe)...

Discussion in 'Forum SEO' started by darnoldy, Jun 14, 2016.

  1. darnoldy

    darnoldy Curmudgeon

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    In all of the threads I've read here about "Google hates me," and "Is it okay to post links to my forum in other people's forums?" I have not seen any discussion on structured data markup, microdata, AMP, or any of the other initiatives that Google, et al. seem to be advocating.

    I'm pretty sure none of this stuff is yet part of the core of any of the forum software (shouldn't it be?)—but have any of you gone in and added it? Do you know about this stuff? Do you care? Is your general approach "If Mike and Kier haven't written code for it, it can't be important!"
     
  2. esquire

    esquire Habitué

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    Because virtually all of the things you discuss are not relevant to forums if you know what they are. Probably the #1 problem many forums have is fair to poor content, especially in comparison to competing content. If you don't curate user generated content vigilantly the overall quality level goes down. And even then it can be difficult in certain niches.
     
  3. darnoldy

    darnoldy Curmudgeon

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    I can't say that I fully understand them—I'm still trying to learn about them. Yet, schema.org does have an itemscope for DiscussionForumPosting.
     
  4. esquire

    esquire Habitué

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    Schema.org is not like some Google magnet. It sometimes helps machines identify what things are when not easily identifiable. Google is pretty good at doing this on its own but with some details and breakdowns it helps to know the details. Telling Google you're a forum isn't going to change your rank. Doesn't matter. They have been indexing forums for a very long time. And the quality of your content is far more important than whether you're using structured data, which is unnecessary unless there is good reason you need to have it set up, e.g. a certain data type that gets defined for placement in a carousel, etc. And no, your forum posts will never appear in AMP.
     
  5. davert

    davert Enthusiast

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    AMP is supposedly being put onto the top of the list for mobile searches, which is a problem. I find a bigger problem to be putting Google-YouTube videos in the top position of any search, personally. (No, that's not at all an abuse of monopoly power!).

    While there are no good tools for AMP as far as I can tell - the WordPress plugin is fairly awful and that's an officially sanctioned one! - at some point there will be and then I suspect AMP will be practically required to come up on mobile searches. The only major ad network on AMP, by the way, is... Google AdSense.

    I think we dismiss AMP at our peril, but the only real way to take advantage of AMP is to use a php system with AMP built in, e.g. WordPress with a modified plugin, or Xenforo 2 with a plugin. Kinda screws me since I still rely on static html for most of my site aside from the forums. (I thought about converting to a CMS but they no longer seem to make the old “static to CMS” systems.)
     
  6. redeye

    redeye Aspirant

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    May I ask what is AMP ?
     
  7. sgray

    sgray Aspirant

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    In short, it's a similar page markup to HTML, intended to optimize pages for mobile devices.
    https://www.ampproject.org/

    Personally, it's interesting, but not compelling to use atm. Seems like a new variation of 100 frameworks/cms/etc + 1.
     
  8. esquire

    esquire Habitué

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    I'm building an AMP system for an XF based objective but it has nothing to do with the forums. The Google AMP carousel is not meant to apply to forums. Information is a little light on application but more clarity will come in time. Suffice it to say that it is primarily about speeding up articles that are typically heavy downloads and the primary implementation at this point pertains to news articles on a selected but growing number of sites. I'm guessing the majority won't see any benefit by trying to chase AMP because it's simply not currently applicable to forum environments and cost/benefit and gain/benefit is likely to be small overall.
     
    • Informative! Informative! x 1
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  9. davert

    davert Enthusiast

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    I agree. I was looking at AMP largely for my static pages. I've implemented it with WordPress but have absolutely no idea if anything’s happening there. It’s so “alpha version” it’s just not funny. Google did their usual fine job on documentation (circular / self-referencing and vague), the plugin is half-baked...
     
  10. esquire

    esquire Habitué

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    I agree, it is a little light although the team is publishing what they can on the Google Webmaster Central blogs. Right now they appear to be analyzing results, which is what is to be expected from a new release. The Wordpress plugin has nothing to do with Google even though there is a collaboration between various companies. AMP has made it into the public user's Search Console so you should be able to see that Google recognizes it and if you've actually received any impressions.
     
  11. davert

    davert Enthusiast

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    Ah... I didn't think of checking those blogs. I'll check my search console. Thanks.
     
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