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IPB seo, is it that good?


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how old is your forum? have you converted from another script?




My main site is around 5 years old but I converted from Joomla to IPB in Sept. and I am currently still working on certain aspects and have soft launched for existing clients, but the main launch is Jan '11

It is NOT the one in my SIG by the way that is my 'passion site' of gardening :thumbsup:

HTH
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how to fix this?



Go to the Look and Feel tab, edit each skin, and set it to cache to files. If it's set that way and still not working, most likely that means that your CSS directory isn't writable by Apache.


Whats the harm?



Generally speaking, the "harm" is that you are telling search engines you co-sign the content as valid and worthy. If Google disagrees, they may not "believe" what you say is worthy in the future. (Oversimplified explanation).



The rest I'll leave for Dan. ;)
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Your PageRank is quite low (PR2), low PR and authority can have an impact on how willing Google will be to accept large changes on your site.



Dan, do you really find PR to be that important in this instance?

The reason I ask is that after over 6 years of operating forums of all different flavors, I've yet to see PR have spit to do with any kind of traffic. I've seen as much (and sometimes even more) traffic on my sites with lower PR. I concentrate on building traffic to my sites. Traffic is what produces revenue. I look at what my sites are earning and let PR fall where it may. I have one site that has been as high as PR4 and fell clear back to PR0, but didn't lose an ounce of traffic or a dime of revenue. If memory serves, the site had climbed back to PR2 a year or so back, but keywords weren't ranking any better, traffic wasn't any better and revenue wasn't any better.

At the risk of being outed as one who does pay regular and close attention to the numbers in Google Webmaster and Google Analytics, my primary interests are where my keywords end up in the SERPs, what my search long tail looks like and where my sites' traffic is originating. The longer my keyword tail is and the more traffic I can get from the search engines, the better my revenue. Full stop. Getting other sites to link to my content is always nice, but when I see traffic from the search engines up in the 40% - 50% range and traffic from referring sites in the 6% - 8% range, I don't fret about those referring sites. The lack of links from other sites is what helps keep my PR low. But PR doesn't pay the bills, does it?

The only time I've ever seen PR actually mean something is when someone is trying to sell something - selling an entire site, or selling a link on a site.
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Dan, do you really find PR to be that important in this instance?



The reason I ask is that after over 6 years of operating forums of all different flavors, I've yet to see PR have spit to do with any kind of traffic. I've seen as much (and sometimes even more) traffic on my sites with lower PR. I concentrate on building traffic to my sites. Traffic is what produces revenue. I look at what my sites are earning and let PR fall where it may. I have one site that has been as high as PR4 and fell clear back to PR0, but didn't lose an ounce of traffic or a dime of revenue. If memory serves, the site had climbed back to PR2 a year or so back, but keywords weren't ranking any better, traffic wasn't any better and revenue wasn't any better.



At the risk of being outed as one who does pay regular and close attention to the numbers in Google Webmaster and Google Analytics, my primary interests are where my keywords end up in the SERPs, what my search long tail looks like and where my sites' traffic is originating. The longer my keyword tail is and the more traffic I can get from the search engines, the better my revenue. Full stop. Getting other sites to link to my content is always nice, but when I see traffic from the search engines up in the 40% - 50% range and traffic from referring sites in the 6% - 8% range, I don't fret about those referring sites. The lack of links from other sites is what helps keep my PR low. But PR doesn't pay the bills, does it?



The only time I've ever seen PR actually mean something is when someone is trying to sell something - selling an entire site, or selling a link on a site.




Personally, I think the way you look at PR is perfect. It's the same way I view it.

My understanding of "PR" is that it is effectively an artificial "score" that Google assigns to each site. That score represents in the scheme of things how much trust Google places in the site. If a site has a higher score, Google may be more accepting of big changes, or may list the site higher than a competing site for a particular search, but it means very little in real searching and traffic.
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its been 5 months now and my search traffic still didn't recover.


i think its safe to assume that IPB isn't the friendliest search engine forum script.




I have to agree with you here. I'm nearly 4 months into my experience with IPB and to be quite frank, i regret switching every single time i look at my site stats. If it weren't for twitter and facebook, my site would be devoid of any visitors right now. My phpbb page rank was 4. My ipb pagerank is 3. This is without taking into account that my conversion went less than great.


I would ask what makes you confident that "IPB isn't the friendliest search engine forum script"? If it's because your specific site has not regained it's previous position, that's a very subjective and unscientific basis to make such a broad statement upon. :)



We hear many mixed reports. Almost ALL of the reports that "IPB doesn't have the best SEO" come from users who have converted to our software, then fiddled with settings for 2 months and aren't happy that they're number 1 in Google yet. It's simply not how things work, no matter what software you use on your website.



Dan has personally offered to take a look at anyone's website who feels that IPB is hindering their site's search engine ranking. While we cannot provide personalized SEO services to our entire customer base of course, if you think IPB is the reason that your site isn't doing as well as you think it should, feel free to send him a PM.




With all due respect, It's really disconcerting when support staff use words like "fiddled" phrases like "used the wrong settings". The fact is, IPS advertises SEO as one of it's strong points out of the box. If for some reason you feel like "Almost ALL" converts are "fiddling" or "using the wrong settings" then maybe you shouldn't "Advertise" such a feature.

http://www.invisionpower.com/products/board/features/seo.php

The entire text there actually makes potential converters believe it will increase their search engine presence. Nothing there says i need to install a sitemap to get search engines to spider or increase my SERPS, It never mentions changing my CSS, it never warns me not to "fiddle" with my settings etc etc. The fact is, if i were still using phpbb, these are the kind of responses i would expect from a free, open source bulletin board or from the horrific vbulletin support when i was using it for my other sites. However, people pay good money for this.

I'm sure alot of people by now think that I'm just here sitting on some soap box to rant but it's quite the contrary. I search the invision forums every two to three days for the term SEO in hopes of finding a solution to my problems. When I do search, I find more and more people with the same issues that i have. As far as I'm concerned, this SEO stuff in IPB is a complete myth.
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With all due respect, It's really disconcerting when support staff use words like "fiddled" phrases like "used the wrong settings". The fact is, IPS advertises SEO as one of it's strong points [u]out of the box[/u]. If for some reason you feel like "Almost ALL" converts are "fiddling" or "using the wrong settings" then maybe you shouldn't "Advertise" such a feature.



http://www.invisionpower.com/products/board/features/seo.php



The entire text there actually makes potential converters believe it will increase their search engine presence. Nothing there says i need to install a sitemap to get search engines to spider or increase my SERPS, It never mentions changing my CSS, it never warns me not to "fiddle" with my settings etc etc. The fact is, if i were still using phpbb, these are the kind of responses i would expect from a free, open source bulletin board or from the horrific vbulletin support when i was using it for my other sites. However, people pay good money for this.



I'm sure alot of people by now think that I'm just here sitting on some soap box to rant but it's quite the contrary. I search the invision forums every two to three days for the term SEO in hopes of finding a solution to my problems. When I do search, I find more and more people with the same issues that i have. As far as I'm concerned, this SEO stuff in IPB is a complete myth.




Why don't we reset here for a moment.

What SEO features do you feel IPB should have but doesn't, or which SEO functionality in IPB is not optimal out of the box? If you are making a broad statement that "SEO in IPB is bad", please describe why it is bad. "My specific site isn't doing as well as it was" is not a basis for claiming search engine optimization as a whole is not present, or does not work.

IPB supports friendly URLs, smart meta tags, semantic HTML structure, a basic robots.txt (with ability to edit it as you see fit of course), ability to redirect requests to duplicate urls to the canonical form, canonical URL meta tags, and much more. We also describe in great detail why we believe SEO in our product is good. If you disagree, please be specific about what you disagree with. There's really very little we can do about broad "SEO is bad" statements.

(Note: not all of these blogs are strictly about "SEO", but they all describe functionality that relates to SEO in my opinion - some are about SEO specifically).




These are just within the last year. There are many more if you wish to go back to 2009 and review things we have done that relate to SEO in our product. Please do let us know specifically what you feel should be changed, added or enhanced, if you feel that SEO is not good in IPB.


We may or may not include a sitemap in the default product in a future release, however for now if you wish to use a sitemap, there is a modification available for it (for free, written by one of our own staff members). It is recommended to use it, but it is not necessary.
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"My specific site isn't doing as well as it was" is not a basis for claiming search engine optimization as a whole is not present, or does not work.



1- there are some cases of traffic dropping after a conversion, don't you think the situation requires a little more research and attention from your side?
2- I answered all of dan's questions -in a timely manner- on November 30 and im still waiting for an answer from him, what else can i do to have invisionpower's attention?
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It's been spot on for me. Content is getting better exposure and more links are being created on Google compared to when I was running my board on phpBB.




That's not the case for me. Clearly, i'm not the only one either.



Why don't we reset here for a moment.



What SEO features do you feel IPB should have but doesn't, or which SEO functionality in IPB is not optimal out of the box? If you are making a broad statement that "SEO in IPB is bad", please describe why it is bad. "My specific site isn't doing as well as it was" is not a basis for claiming search engine optimization as a whole is not present, or does not work.



IPB supports friendly URLs, smart meta tags, semantic HTML structure, a basic robots.txt (with ability to edit it as you see fit of course), ability to redirect requests to duplicate urls to the canonical form, canonical URL meta tags, and much more. We also describe in great detail why we believe SEO in our product is good. If you disagree, please be specific about what you disagree with. There's really very little we can do about broad "SEO is bad" statements.



(Note: not all of these blogs are strictly about "SEO", but they all describe functionality that relates to SEO in my opinion - some are about SEO specifically).






These are just within the last year. There are many more if you wish to go back to 2009 and review things we have done that relate to SEO in our product. Please do let us know specifically what you feel should be changed, added or enhanced, if you feel that SEO is not good in IPB.




We may or may not include a sitemap in the default product in a future release, however for now if you wish to use a sitemap, there is a modification available for it (for free, written by one of our own staff members). It is recommended to use it, but it is not necessary.




Alright, I have reset myself. Yet after reading this, i have once again concluded that I can never get a clear answer from the staff here. This is turning right back to the vbulletin staff answers circa the internet brands acquisition. I think i made my issue abundantly clear, My page rank and SERPS have tanked. What more do i really write for that to sink in?

What kind of features need to be implemented? I don't know. I'm not an SEO expert and never claimed to be one. All i said is that the advertised SEO is very misleading and doesn't work properly for me. I can also find more than enough posts and paste them all into a tidy list of users who are suffering from the same problem. Judging from the responses here and on other forum posts on the same subject, I don't expect a clear answer about this.

You also went way off subject. I responded to your comments regarding users who convert and "fiddle" with the software. We can go off into this tangent though. I'll bite this fishing line just this once.

I'll respond to your list of urls with my own list

  • You first link was concerning IPB 3.1: I could care less about what improvements were set fourth. I began using ipb during 3.12
  • Unless google only specifically looks at the IPB community directory and not my website, i don't care about that.
  • Using the blog to advertise search engine enhancements. Again, I'll tell you that i can find sufficient evidence on your own support forums to refute this. People having SEO/SERP issues are using IPB in Live/production environments. That in itself should merit some concern.
  • I don't have IP.Content.I don't care about IP.Content. If you haven't already noticed, I'm not a fan of Invision products after all of the troubles they have caused me. I will likely never buy another Invision product ever again. I don't care how IP.Content handles urls. Ip. Content, how it handles urls etc etc does not explain the troubles plaguing some users.
  • Sharing links: Yes, Social networks are literally the only thing keeping my site afloat right now after my SERPs tanked. If i would have known this ahead of time i would say spending $150USD+ for link sharing isn't worth it.
  • Don't care
  • See above: The thing is. I ordered IPB just about 4 months ago. I don't care what you wrote or advertised before then or what kind of self promoting software updates you promised prior to that. I didn't order ipb because you put up some updates on a blog or because of IP.Content or how IP.Content handles urls. I ordered IPB because they claimed they had the best SEO compared to others.


As i said above, posting links just threw this conversation way off subject. Just as i mentioned earlier, i can post just as many links with other customers having problems. I think the real issue we just hit on here is that there isn't a single person in support that can answer this question clearly. I'm not asking for anyone here to bend over backwards or kiss my butt whenever i post something. I'm asking for honest answers and support. The support that i paid for. I think i would rather have a "I don't know answer" than to waste my time with another post like the one you just wrote. None of what you posted is a sufficient support answer. You simply danced around the subject using some old links.

This SEO nonsense is my main gripe; Bigger than my terrible experience with your phpbb to IPB converter. My site is ad free and completely not for profit. I put out money for ipb because they claim to have great SEO. I forked over my hard earned money that wasn't generated by crappy popups or ad banners. I paid that money so that my site could be a success. My only expectation was money in exchange to have an increased online presence for my website. Instead, my Search hits are terrible and my site has a dwindling user base. In other words, i paid invision good money for failure.
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Well you're saying you don't know what we should do and you're not an SEO expert but then you go down the list of SEO info that was provided and said "don't care" to them. If you're not interested in helping us help you then we're not going to get anywhere here :)

If I recall you also posted another topic about your "nightmare" where we all established that you have never, even contacted our technical support services. As I said in the other topic: I think most of our staff is at a bit of a loss as to what you want from us.

You said above:

I think the real issue we just hit on here is that there isn't a single person in support that can answer this question clearly. I'm not asking for anyone here to bend over backwards or kiss my butt whenever i post something. I'm asking for honest answers and support. The support that i paid for.



Well that's just not true because of two points: 1. you have made exactly zero posts in our support forums and 2. you have made exactly zero support tickets. We in fact DO have SEO experts on staff in support - you just haven't asked for any help so wouldn't know that. As for the statement of "support that I paid for" I think that is incredibly unfair and downright misleading for you to make statements like that when you are making a conscious choice NOT to use our support services as far as I can tell. Unless I am very much missing something, I will have to ask you to stop making such misleading statements as it serves to paint an incorrect picture of our support.

Back to the topic at hand:

IPB supports SEO quite well out of the box and the majority of people are quite happy with it. Sure it might not be perfect for everyone but it's improving with each release and we will continue to improve it. I'm afraid that's the best answer we have right now :)
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Well you're saying you don't know what we should do and you're not an SEO expert but then you go down the list of SEO info that was provided and said "don't care" to them. If you're not interested in helping us help you then we're not going to get anywhere here :)




a question: if you buy a Ferrari car, then you discover that it doesn't go above 100 miles/hour while its advertised top speed is 200, you go to your car dealership, complain about it and the person you are talking to you answer is: unless you tell us how to fix it we cant help you

what will you feel?

i am feeling the same way right now.
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a question: if you buy a Ferrari car, then you discover that it doesn't go above 100 miles/hour while its advertised top speed is 200, you go to your car dealership, complain about it and the person you are talking to you answer is: unless you tell us how to fix it we cant help you



what will you feel?



i am feeling the same way right now.




The difference is that you are asking how to fix it in that case. As I said, the other poster has never asked a single question of our support service.
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Well you're saying you don't know what we should do and you're not an SEO expert but then you go down the list of SEO info that was provided and said "don't care" to them. If you're not interested in helping us help you then we're not going to get anywhere here :)



If I recall you also posted another topic about your "nightmare" where we all established that you have never, even contacted our technical support services. As I said in the other topic: I think most of our staff is at a bit of a loss as to what you want from us.



You said above:





Well that's just not true because of two points: 1. you have made exactly zero posts in our support forums and 2. you have made exactly zero support tickets. We in fact DO have SEO experts on staff in support - you just haven't asked for any help so wouldn't know that. As for the statement of "support that I paid for" I think that is incredibly unfair and downright misleading for you to make statements like that when you are making a conscious choice NOT to use our support services as far as I can tell. Unless I am very much missing something, I will have to ask you to stop making such misleading statements as it serves to paint an incorrect picture of our support.



Back to the topic at hand:



IPB supports SEO quite well out of the box and the majority of people are quite happy with it. Sure it might not be perfect for everyone but it's improving with each release and we will continue to improve it. I'm afraid that's the best answer we have right now :)




None of that was any SEO info that anyone here could Tangibly use. Read them again please; They were blog posts advertising upcoming features. Second, the remaining links were pertaining to Ip.Content. I think i have made my feelings abundantly clear about buying any more invision products. The first product i purchased doesn't give me the advertised results let alone work properly. Why would I buy a second one?

As i already mentioned, there are more than enough people running IPB on live enviornments that have had these issues. Nobody, not even you seem very interested in addressing this. These are misleading statements? I'm curious to see where any of the statements I have made are misleading. My site had better SERP stats running free, open source software. I paid Invision money for their software and i got worse SERP Stats. 4 months later, i still have bad SERP stats. You don't need complex SEO knowledge to see the correlation here. What is misleading about that?

Suddenly all of my posts are under moderation? Why so defensive? I have a feeling you just don't like to see these kinds of negative, blanket statements made that could adversely affect your bottom line.
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:lol: You really don't want me helping you... should surely contact support to see if something is wrong with your SEO setup :)




i have asked about SEO when my license was active and i didn't get the proper support (ticket #673311) and i created this thread when i was an active customer. don't i deserve an answer?
i won't renew my license now as im not planning to upgrade to v3.1.4 because its very buggy and its not worth it -in my opinion of course-
why don't you ask your SEO expert to take few minutes from his precious time and advise us here in the public forum so everyone can learn from him?
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1- there are some cases of traffic dropping after a conversion, don't you think the situation requires a little more research and attention from your side?


2- I answered all of dan's questions -in a timely manner- on November 30 and im still waiting for an answer from him, what else can i do to have invisionpower's attention?




1) This is just so broad that I'm not sure what you would have us do exactly? Would you suggest that we should go through every single customer who says their search engine rankings went down after converting and personally attempt to bring that specific site back up in Google? If so, this is not the business we are in. We develop a distributable software product and we support that product. We do not provide individualized and personalized SEO services for every customer who uses our software.

We are happy to provide assistance to any customer who feels our software is not working as it should, or as is advertised. You should use appropriate support channels in this instance (submit a support ticket in your client area). You will find dozens of feedback topics in these forums exclaiming how quick and helpful our support is. Please - don't be afraid to try it for yourself.

2) You have a fair enough point here, and I will see if Dan can respond to you shortly. He has been quite busy as of late with various other duties, so I'm sure this topic simply slipped his mind.
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Your ticket was replied to many times and you never got back to our staff on the last reply so one only assumes you were happy with their reply back then (August 2010) :)

Since we are now straying from the subject at hand and into people talking about their specific account issues I am going to lock this topic.

majdi: not sure what to tell you really - your support is expired.

gary: your site has guest access DISABLED for all your forums... in that case all the SEO in the world WILL NOT help you since the spider cannot read anything to index (a spider is a guest after all). Again, not sure what you want us to tell you in that case. (Of course if you had submitted a support ticket ages ago we could have pointed out that flaw ages ago.)

To summarize:

IPB has good SEO support out of the box and the majority of clients report back generally quite hapy. No, it won't be perfect for everyone. Yes, depending on your site IPB's SEO support may help it greatly or it could potentially diminish your standing. I'm afraid that is the nature of SEO - there is no magic "turn on the SEO" button we can provide to magically make you rank in search engines.

We continue to take feedback from clients with extensive experience with SEO (to weed out those who think they know SEO from those who really do ;) - there are lots of armchair experts out there ) and will continue to enhance IPB's SEO support in future versions. We already have many features in development for the next version as we did for previous version updates.

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