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SEO Testing on IP.Board Upgrade - Initial Results/Findings

Steven UK

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As a marketer, I have been testing this new IP.Board upgrade from a marketing point of view, which has some great features for SEO minded forum owners.

One thing I have noticed, and never seen this anywhere else with other software, not even WordPress, is that the TAGS seem to nearly always out-rank the actual forum post.

Not necessarily a bad thing, but interesting to know, because Tags are well accepted by Search Engines, especially Google, but just a word of advice, based on my initial testing, is that if you want to get a thread highly ranked, then do NOT add any tags to it, because what seems to be happening, is IF there is a tag attached to a thread, Google are throwing the actual thread onto page 2, and placing the Tag onto page 1, which does not have as much detail associated with the subject and thus could result in less click-through.

There could also be an advantage in there too, which I have yet to test, which is, if you are targeting a very competitive phrase for a thread, and you feel a usual thread could struggle to achieve page one (due to high competition), then the power of the IP.Board Tag could very well achieve this.

Another thing I have noticed, is that blog posts, when you click "blog this" from a thread, and do not change the content also rank higher than threads on nearly every occasion.

Definitely interesting, and requires more testing, but from initial tests, the above is happening more often than not.

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No worries, Matt.

This is really what I was trying to achieve with this software, when looking at the search engines:


The Main content thread being at the top (the above image is the first and second position, first page of Google, by the way), followed underneath by the tags entry. This way you are capturing two entries on the first page, and Google do not see it as anything other than what it is, a forum entry with a separate tag, which is fine. It is not spam, or manipulation, but simple forum software dynamics (with a slight integration of Blog/tag capabilities), which as far as this IP.Board software is concerned, with a little tweaking, Google seem to love!

Therefore, for search purposes, I am sure you can see why the above would attract a higher click-through rate than just a standard Google search entry, especially if you can use a little initiative, and add a face of a blogger into the equation, therefore further rendering the attraction of a click-through a lot higher.

For some threads, the above is working perfectly, but for others, the tag is the only entry on the page, and as Google spider the forum more, more tags are appearing as first page, instead of the thread which I want (well, ideally both). Not sure why this is happening, and "Google's Dances" could be happening with the new software update presently, but definitely encouraging so far, that it IS possible, and with some fine-tuning, I am sure the SERPS can be 'helped along' with the positioning I need (well, we all need, if we are being honest).

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