Companies are constantly trying to find ways to build backlinks on any platform possible, whenever possible. While it’s clear that backlinks from authoritative websites in your industry are best, this can be difficult when you first get started. You want to build up a good portfolio, but you need to work your way up to some of these really great types of backlinks. This is where the question of forum links comes into play. Business owners have to ask themselves: Will earning a link on an industry related forum help my overall link portfolio and SEO?
Why Forum Links are Tricky
The reasons forum links are so tricky is because they’re, in theory, easy to earn. Because companies do not have to write a long guest article, pay for the link, or speak directly with a full-time editor, earning a link on a forum site only takes a minute or two. You visit the forum, write a comment, put a link in that comment, and you’re done. Backlink earned.
Of course, those who do manage forums (at least good, quality forums) are aware of this. No forum wants to just give out links this way because it will bring down the value of that forum. Links that are for a company’s gain and not in the best interest of the users, and therefore are considered spam links. Because of this, you will see forums doing a few different things to make it more difficult for spammers:
Moderation: A forum manager might moderate all comments. If the link isn’t relevant, you’re not going to get it published, and you might be banned from the forum.
Activity: You can only post a link if you have been active in the forum at least ten times. Sometimes all ten of your responses will need to be moderated, etc., so it ends up taking businesses a little bit of time.
Nofollow Links Only: The links will be set to nofollow, which means search engines cannot follow the links.
Of course, you do not want to be a spammer. Maybe you want that backlinks, but you don’t want to spam the forum. In this case, you have to think about all of the hoops discussed above that you will have to jump through and decide whether or not it’s really worth it.
Top Reasons Forum Links Can Still be Valuable to Your Business
First, you have to consider whether or not the links are worth it if they are dofollow but require some time. You might need to go to a forum and actually get involved (imagine that!). In almost every single case, this is worth your time. You will earn some visibility for your company by offering great answers, and when it comes down to it, this is still less time consuming than writing an article. It will help get your name out there and you will get the dofollow link for Google to see; hopefully then you can soon earn links on those authoritative sites.
Second, you have the issue of nofollow links. Although it might be hard to believe, Google likes to see sites with both nofollow and dofollow links. It brings variety into your link portfolio, and this will help your SEO.
How do you feel about forum links? Have you ever seen an improvement in your SEO because you worked hard to earn forum links? Let us know your story and your thoughts in the comments below.