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Posts posted by GTServices

  1. 18 hours ago, mcsg said:

    @GTServices Will this app allow us to add a user to a group when they register?

    I do not want users to select a group, I want to automatically add them to the group on registration.

    You can add them manually as you would normally (via backend). (just leave the 'Show Groups in Registration' setting disabled)

  2. Thank you for reporting. I'll get this fixed.

    Plus, I need to upgrade to 4.5. 😉

    8 hours ago, Josiah Wallingford said:
    1. Where is the Standalone Directory? I can't find it on the front end or menu options in admin.
    2. What I was hoping I could do was create a page and have groups as a block option to choose which groups to show along with their description on the page. Is this possible?

    I believe this is what you are looking for...


    the tabbed UI are groups ... it will fetch members based on the active tab

  3. Starting a successful forum these days is not easy. But, it is doable when site has a focus (niche).

    1. Create CONTENT. You need content to keep readers coming back for more.

    Create different types of CONTENT to grab different kinds of people. Here are some ideas...

    • Discussions
    • FAQs
    • Images (eg. to share, download, create a story, etc)
    • Articles
    • News
    • etc

    2. Differentiate your site from your competition. First impression is important.

    3. Invite people via social, email, word-of-mouth, etc. 

    4. (Onboarding) Create a helpful "Welcome Email Message" for new members. You can use this opportunity to help them take action (make a post), to inform, etc.

    5. Stay active on your site and with members.


  4. 20 hours ago, AlexWebsites said:

    I think Google will automatically noindex thin content. Just check your sitemap in webmaster tools and you'll see all your urls not included. Most, if not all, are due to low content. Personally, I would not worry about setting a noindex tag on forum topics. Maybe profiles...but I think the biggest change anyone can make to grow organic results is making sure their content titles are good and easy to understand.  

    The issue here is that Google will still go to those pages crawl and at some point index. This process takes away from indexing more important pages in a timely manner. (They will continue to revisit the page; Otherwise, comments would be ignored.)

    This affects people with lots of pages especially if you just migrated to a new system or rebuild your sitemap. You want to help Google as much as you can. It benefits you the most.

    (I removed my previous comment that was here as I believe it will just confuse more than help)

    The goal is to get Google to index/rank your quality pages faster asap.

  5. Good advice @Durango but admins need to pay attention to their Sitemap settings as well.

    Personally, I prefer not to NOINDEX all profiles. I think SOME member pages should get indexed.

    For example, I see that some writers, experts, and staff pages bring in good organic traffic. 

    Plus, we are trying to build a "community". Not just a content site.

    A community is about it's members

  6. Be cautious when NOINDEXing topics in masses. 

    If you made a mistake NOINDEXing a topic that has been indexed for years, it may take a while for Google to reindex (1 to several months). What's worse is that you may end up with a lower rank. You are forcing Google to recrawl/reindex the page. Older topics will get hit the hardest.

    With that said, there are some pages you can safely NOINDEX. I would start with Profile pages. They suck up your crawl rate. NOINDEX inactive accounts and maybe accounts that have 10 or less posts. You can already do this with IPS.

    If you have RSS generated pages, you may want to consider removing them as well. These are just copied content from external sites. Not useful in terms of Organic Search unless they have lots of comments. Manually review any that have lots of comments.

    A great way to do this is to review your Analytics > Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels > Organic Search > Landing Page data. Check how much traffic a page has been bringing in the past 7, 30, and 180 days. You may be surprised to find out that some "thin content" pages are actually bringing in traffic. Compare the numbers with other pages on your site.

    IMPORTANT: Make sure you are comparing the right numbers. Organic Search is all about USERS not Pageviews.

    NOTE: Most sites really don't have an issue with crawl rate.

    For sites that migrated to IPS (ie. vbulletin to IPS) the biggest issue occurs with change in URLs. This affects topics, images, and profiles. 

    The bigger your site the longer it will take to climb back up.

    Many site owners don't realize how much traffic Image Search brings in until it's too late. If I remember correctly, IPS doesn't offer any redirects for attachments/images with migration. They only offer redirects for topics/forums. However, if forum URLs lack forum ids* (which some vbulletin SEO tools offered) than this is something that IPS doesn't offer out of the box. You will need custom code for this.

    * domain.com/forum-name/

    Before you mass NOINDEXing, I recommend the following...

    Check URLs in Analytics that may be affected. DO NOT NOINDEX BLINDLY.

    If you NOINDEX 5,000 topics that generated an avg 10 USERS per week. Than you are looking at 50,000 USERS lost for the week.

    Let's say your site has an avg 1.5 Pages/Session. That's equivalent to 75,000 pageviews lost for the week.

    Have ads on the site? The avg is 3 ad slots per page. That's 225,000 impressions lost for the week. 1 million impressions lost for the month


  7. TIP 1: If you are paying over $100 per month for S3 services you may want to consider a dedicated server @ $120 + Stackpath CDN @ $25.

    As your site traffic increases so will your S3 costs.

    You can sync your local static folders to the new server so that all images are copied to the new server. The CDN will then fetch the static files from the new server.

    TIP 2: If you stick with S3 make sure you use a CUSTOM DOMAIN so that all your static files are using a domain that you control - that you can move over to another service in case costs keep climbing. If you don't do this you can lose SEO from images, pdfs, etc that are currently driving traffic to your site when and if you decide to move to another service.

  8. Most ad partners will just approve your domains across the board (unless one is against TOS). I haven't run into any issues with ad partners approving domains and I've been doing this for a long time.

    For the most part, you will use key-values to target specific forums/pages on your site. This is usually associated with Direct Sales. eg. someone wants to target your ABC, MNO, and XYZ forums on your site. Key-values allows you to do just that.

    Placements are not required. 

  9. @AlexWebsites 

    In the beginning, it was best to keep them separate but we no longer have to do that. The tools available to us today helps us to keep things simple.

    We just have 1 set of ad units for all sites. 

    Today, it's simple to do reports based URLs (sites), key-values (ie. URLs, Page, Usergroup...), etc. 


    If you have AdX and Adsense, make sure AdX is set to "Default for Dynamic Allocation" (Admin > Linked Accounts)

    (Just make sure because some accounts that had Adsense approved before AdX may have Adsense set to Dynamic Allocation. If this happens to you, you could be losing a lot of money.)

    A key-value can be a url, usergroup, page, etc. It can be anything that you want to target. For example, you want to target a specific usergroup with a campaign. Or, maybe you want to target a group of members based on a custom Profile Fields. (This is very handy when a specific customer wants to target a specific group of people on your site.)

    Keep your naming convention simple for ad units, rules, etc.  

    For ad units, I use the standards when naming my units:

    • ros_leaderboard
    • ros_medrec
    • ros_largerec
    • ros_skyscraper
    • ros_halfpage
    • ros_banner
    • ros_mobile
    • ros_sticky
    • etc

    If you require 2 leaderboard ad units on the page, I recommend being specific on the 2nd. For example, name it post_leaderboard ... for another medrec found below the fold, name it bot_medrec, etc.

    You can use the same naming convention for Price Rules. 

    Naming is very important. You look at the name and it tells you everything you need to know. 

    (Keep in mind that your site design may change frequently but you shouldn't do the same with ad units.)

    Create Price Rules per ad units. Learn everything you can about price rules.

    Use Header Bidding and Adsense (alongside your Ad Manager setup) to put pressure on the auction

  10. Ezoic and similar service providers will only do so much for you.

    1. Keep in mind that they have many customers (sites) under them. Some sites provide a higher return so they do prioritize. They spend more time on those sites vs your site.
    2. Some of these service providers do everything through their system. This is the worse setup. As you can't reap the rewards later when and if you cancel the service. You want them to do EVERYTHING through your Ad Manager account.
    3. This isn't free. They take a percentage off your earnings.

    With that said, if you don't know what you are doing you are better off going with them. At the very least, they can help set everything up.

    You can always cancel the service down the road.

    NOTE: I'm just using Ezoic as an example because they were mentioned above. I am not familiar with how they run their business.

  11. I agree with Fast Lane.

    Header Bidding through Google Ad Manager.

    Use Google Ad Exchange (Harder to get an account. If you have an account - create a line item and set to "optimized by dynamic allocation".)

    Use Adsense as backup

    Create Pricing Rules in Ad Manager (if you don't know what you are doing leave as-is)


    You have your 3+ header bidding partners competing at the top. 

    You have Adsense and any other partners (min 2) competing at the bottom.

    You then have to find partners to compete in the middle. This should be 100% fill. (It's hard to find but you can find them.)

    The goal is to put pressure in the auction. The more pressure there is the better off you are.

  12. The iframe embeds are nice looking but they don't offer the same SEO value as a text link. 

    Google follows an iframe src link but they don't pass any "rank juice" to that page.

    Basically, if you use use embeds for internal links you are not getting the full SEO value that is usually associated with "internal linking".


    IPS should offer option to Ignore Internal Links? to go along with "Automatically embed links?"

    It's currently an all or nothing setting.

    (After a considerable amount of time researching this I'm still not 100% sure but I rather be on the safe side.)

  13. 10 hours ago, AlexWright said:

    I have a question before purchasing this app. Is it possible to restrict based on birthday? For example, I have an NSFW group that users must be 18 or older to join. Is it possible to run a check via this app against a birthday?

    Sorry, this doesn't check for "birthday". This has nothing to do with birthdays. 😕

    6 hours ago, kmk said:

    Is possible? 🤔 

    Sorry, not possible. This app will display all Public Groups to the user.

  14. I agree, it should be part of IPS.

    For those unaware, Google Tag Manager requires code in HEAD and a noscript tag in BODY (immediately after the body tag).

    Most big boards use Tag Manager. I've seen a lot of smaller boards using Tag Manager.

    (Google Analytics is part of Tag Manager. If you have an Analytics account than you have access to Tag Manager.)

    Tag Manager is the BETTER option as it provides admins with more tools without the need to add more code to the site.
     eg. event tracking, conversions, remarketing, facebook pixel, etc

    I use Tag Manager for a number of things.

    It allows me to modify how a Bounce is counted in Analytics. 

    Analytics now counts a bounce if USER leaves the page quickly (less than 1 minute). If more than 1 minute it doesn't count as a bounce.

    So instead of seeing bounce rates as high as 70% I see 10-29% bounce rates. This metric is now more useful to me.

    Why the change?

    Because most Users land on a page from Google or some other channel just to read the content on the page. Once they finish reading - they EXIT. 

    It's only a problem if the content doesn't grab their attention. If they spend more than 1 minute on the page I know that they are actually reading (consuming information). This is a good thing. It tells me they are likely to come back.

    Now, when I see a high bounce rate I know the contents of the page needs attention, shouldn't be promoted, etc.

    eg. I use Bounce Rate to tell me if my homepage layout is working. At 10% Bounce rate with millions of sessions per week, I can say with confidence that it is.

  15. @Joel R I love PAGES + database. I use it to create directories. eg. Site Center, etc.

    When we use PAGES + database it creates issues that we shouldn't have to bother with for standalone landing pages. (no organization needed)

    eg.  URL subdirectory that is not needed (domain.com/database/record), index of PAGES database being found, customizing templates to fit all landing pages, etc. 

    What this provides me is the following: 

    • Ease of use 
    • Control over SEO urls (no Pages database subdirectory)
    • Freedom to build pages without the suite wrapper (header/footer)
    • Grouping of similar landing pages (For a specific landing page, I could create it's error and thank you page.)
    • Removal of distractions from view (I want readers to take action without any kind of distractions. ie. navigation, footer, etc)

    I use these landing pages to...

    • To generate leads
    • To provide surveys
    • To provide offers
    • Some are informational

    A lot of these are sponsored (advertisers) content. (Some of these are only available for a certain time.)

    Enabling tagging would be helpful for discovery. Pages come up for search why shouldn't they display when searching for Tag A, Tag B, or Tag C.

  16. On 1/12/2020 at 12:15 PM, fix3r said:

    mine do not overlap each other and they are not even centered


    Sorry, I was away on a trip. I noticed you fixed this issue. GREAT JOB!!!! (Basically, you can edit the CSS.)

    Even your PUBLIC GROUPS Directory looks AWESOME!!

    On 1/12/2020 at 2:30 PM, fix3r said:

    Made some Badges...




    Military.zip 217.58 kB · 0 downloads

    These look great. Thanks for giving back to the community.  

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