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  1. #1
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Do signatures count as links?

    Just wondering. Do sig files that include web site links count as a link to your web site. Doesn't many of the search engines spider forums like this and wouldn't they pick up the web links or do they filter them out of forums because of the prevalence of them?

    Klaatoo
    The BIG TV Job List
    http://www.bigtvjoblist.com

  2. #2
    SitePoint Evangelist Timothy's Avatar
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    I think that if the forum is spidered, signature links would be picked up and counted as links, but I'm not really sure.

  3. #3
    Don't get too close, I bite! Nicky's Avatar
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    I think some do because if you searched for my website Gib-Online I used to get load of links back to the forums!

  4. #4
    SitePoint Zealot JK_Bowman's Avatar
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    Hey klaatoo,

    The answer is yes - if the fourm "page" or thread gets indexed. But that can be rather tricky. Most forum threads show up as a dynamically generated page and have a ? in the URL. (see above)

    Spiders don't "crawl" dynamically generated pages. They can't hit a submit button or perform a query. And when they see a ? in the URL they stop.

    If they did not stop, one spider could quickly bring a server to it's knees as it performed thousands of requests. And in doing so, it would get caught in an infinite loop from which it could not escape.

    Anyway - that does not mean the forum thread can't be indexed. Many engines will now index URLs that contain question marks. But these URL's have to be submitted to the engines individually.

    Now - you might think, WhoooHoooo!!! That's great! I'll just go make a lot of posts and then submit all those threads to the engines to boost my link popularity. But it's not that simple.

    The "quality" of the page that links to you has become more and more important as the engines have become more and more sophisticated. And the measurment of quality is generally "how many pages are linking to the page that links to you - and also - is that page similar in content to your page."

    Well, let's take this thread for example. I doubt anyone is linking to this thread. So, to a search engine this page or "thread" in and of itself is not very important.

    So, the tip would be that if you are looking to increase your rankings through link popularity your time would be much much better spent simply e-mailing web site owners who have content that is in some way similar to yours and asking them to trade links with you.

    One inbound link like that will do you much more good than a lot of thread links. And in the end it will be a better use of your time. Generally one would have to submit forum threads to the engines for days to equal the quality of one good inbound link from a similar site.
    Editor, J.K. Bowman
    Spider-Food.net


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