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View Poll Results: What do Search Engines Return more content from?

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  • Forums

    3 23.08%
  • Blogs

    10 76.92%
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  1. #1
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    Why do Blogs rank higher than forums in Searches?

    In my recent thread, What is the best forum software for search engine optimization? , I asked if anyone knew of any SEO forums.

    I received this response:
    Quote Originally Posted by eldacar View Post
    Yeah, except most forum developers have much more important things to work on that implement features that range from useless to slightly less useful than useless.
    Then, I mention, if all the SEO features are so useless, then Why do Blogs tend to rank higher than forums in the Search Engines?

    Here's my thought:
    I don't think it is merely because There are more blogs than forums, because more people usually participate in a single large forum such as sitepoint rather than 1000 small blogs.

    So, Why do forums typically fall lower in line?

    Google loves dynamically changing ever expanding new quality content.

    Is it because forums change less and the content is not as good?
    I'd say forums change just as much as blogs and the content is nearly as good if not as good.

    People don't link to forums as often as blogs? Is it because forums have too much bloat?

    In other words, There's a lot of stuff (XHTML & CSS) wise going on with a forum than a blog? I don't know if I believe that.

    My thinking it has to be to the structure of the URL's are not as a easy to read. The Page Titles are not always SEO'd. The main content is not H1 tag?

    Why is it? I mean, people typically don't digg forum posts or stumbleupon a certain forum discussion do they? Seems odd. I guess.

    Why do you think?

  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard chris_fuel's Avatar
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    In a way I think it has to do with how the perspective communities are structured. Blogs, if done correctly, become "link magnets" so to speak, and other blogs or forums start discussions about them.

    Forums, however, can be more of a tighter woven community. You get an occasional great howto or discussion thread, but for the most part things can be either repetitive, or simply not amazing enough to warrant people directly linking to on their pages.

    Then there's the fact of people with similar interests are in the same place. That said, most people are just going to be doing inter-forum links, because the people they care to share it with are going to be the people that share interests with the topic (people in the same forum).

    I hope that gives a bit of insight.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard ryanhellyer's Avatar
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    Blogs tend to be better organised and written better. People are more likely to link to well written, better organised content and so the blogs get more search engine traffic accordingly.

    Or at least that's my take on it.

  4. #4
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    IMHO if you write good article in blog , you'll get echos and echos and BL from other blog systems ,in easy way (rss),sometime automatically (tag).
    The more the BL(backlinks) ,the more the SERPs.
    Forums ,disorganised ,not easy to link and tag.

  5. #5
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    Blogs have lots of content on the main page. The main page will likely have the highest pagerank (Google only). Forum posts, on the other hand, are often several levels down from the main page.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Addict Hafsoh's Avatar
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    Blogs rank higher than forums in Searches mainly because of the amount of fresh text they tend to produce.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy DaveWoods's Avatar
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    It's not really true that any kind of site ranks higher than another. It all depends on the content and what you're searching for. In my personal experience, if I'm searching for a solution to a development problem, more often than not, the first page of Google is filled with forum posts by people with the same question that I have.

    For example, I'm not really a flash expert so needed some basic advice for linking movie clips in flash so my search terms was...


    link movie clip within flash


    How many blogs do you see compared to forums?

    It keeps getting repeated but it's obviously worth repeating again... search results are based on content and don't care whether the site is a blog, forum, wiki, shopping cart, news site or static site... search results will be returned which best match the user's query to the content and the type of software used to deliver that is irrelevant.

  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy hooperman's Avatar
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    I agree with csswiz. It depends on the search. If I look at the searches I've performed recently ("cheap holidays", "powerpoint", "printing in portrait rpg", "learn to morris dance" etc) I didn't notice any blogs at all.

    I'm sure there are certain subjects that are blogged about a lot, maybe "make money online", seo related ones etc, and if you search for words related to those areas you might see a prevalence of blogs in your results.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Enthusiast jhnrang's Avatar
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    Everything depends on the search terms. If the term is related to SEO, blogs would be coming up before forums because SEO blogs are very vibrant. On the other hand, threads or posts on forums get indexed very quickly as there are constant posting and bots make active forums their homes. Those posts/threads are almost instantly on search results.

    So yes--like some said before me-- its the "term" that matters.

  10. #10
    King of Paralysis by Analysis bronze trophy
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    Blogs generally outperform forums for one simple reason.

    People link to blogs.

  11. #11
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    Blogs get more fresh contents than forums, and search engines like the rich contents.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by csswiz View Post
    How many blogs do you see compared to forums?

    It keeps getting repeated but it's obviously worth repeating again... search results are based on content and don't care whether the site is a blog, forum, wiki, shopping cart, news site or static site... search results will be returned which best match the user's query to the content and the type of software used to deliver that is irrelevant.
    I think maybe Google has devalued the importance of blogs in its search results. I remember a few years ago doing searches in Google and being p*ssed off by all the blog results.

    Back to the topic at hand: Blogs are more one sided than forum posts. There are millions of questions from millions of people. Forums are where people can ask and answer questions, such as you may have. Therefore, forums are more likely to contain esoteric information.

    Do a search for "Bill Clinton" (no quotes). There are some blogs in the top 100 results. I didn't see any forum posts.

    Then do a search for "mysql_real_escape_string" (no quotes). There is a number of forum posts in the top 10 search results. I don't think many people are writing blog posts about mysql_real_escape_string, do you?

    But I'll bet Bill Clinton has been discussed in a lot of forum posts. Yet, none in the top 100. But you will find blogs.

  13. #13
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy hooperman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cheesedude View Post
    I think maybe Google has devalued the importance of blogs in its search results.
    It doesn't make sense to devalue the medium information is presented in, because it's the information the searcher is interested in. A search engine's purpse is to return a good match for a user's query regardless of whether that match is found in a blog, forum or any other kind of web site.

    Quote Originally Posted by cheesedude View Post
    Therefore, forums are more likely to contain esoteric information.
    Esoteric meaning information known only by a special few? If forums contain esoteric information then there won't be much competition for related phrases and so will rank because of that - not because the medium is forum. But I doubt that you can make the generalisation that forums contain more esoteric information anyway. There are masses of run of the mill forums that look identical and by the same token there are pretty specialised blogs too.

  14. #14
    King of Paralysis by Analysis bronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by macroer View Post
    Blogs get more fresh contents than forums, and search engines like the rich contents.
    1) Forums get more fresh content than blogs.

    2) That will only result in an increased spidering rate at best, not a boost in the SERPs.

  15. #15
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    All great points. Thanks. I still wonder though. As many of you pointed out that content wins. Let's pull content out of the equation.

    Let's do a hypothetical experiment:

    Let's assume we have a Forum and a Blog. Both of which change frequently and both of which have great content revolving around the same keywords.

    Some of you may debate these assumptions, but I have to believe there are some keywords where there is a GREAT forum and a GREAT Blog with GREAT content. So in effect, the search engine looks at the content and both sites' content is relevant. Which site wins?

    The site that receives the most Back Links. What do you link more to? A blog or a Forum Post? What do most people link more to? I think tke71709 is right. Given equal content More people link to do blogs than forums. So, the blog would win the back links. While as chris_fuel pointed out: forums tend encourage internal linking.

    It's an interesting though.

    Given this assumption, a blog would be better than a forum. Wouldn't it?

  16. #16
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    Another point, I guess I'd like to add is just look at the URL of this post. Is it keyword heavy? Does the URL even include the Slug? No.

    Blogs, I think are more set up for SEO than Forums. Blogs support pretty permalinks, pings, trackbacks, meta plug-ins, rich keyword tagging, and Social plugins (digg, delicious, stumbleupon, etc.)

    Do you see a digg this on many forum sites? Are Forums going the way of web 1.0? I guess that's a discussion for another discussion.

    What do you think? I do think it depends on the search keywords. But if we again level the playing field. if a Forum has the same great topic and changes as often as Blogs. Why would blogs rank higher over Forums?

    What do you think if I took this conversation from this forum and posted it on a blog? The content is the same in both locations (forum) and (blog). What's going to win?
    Last edited by scott9s; Jan 25, 2008 at 17:24. Reason: adding a quesiton.

  17. #17
    SitePoint Addict nueva's Avatar
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    I go with the blogs..... I think now people are looking more to read a blog then to post on a forum......and since the blog has good quality then you get a better rank, forums they produce spam as well in way.......

  18. #18
    SitePoint Wizard chris_fuel's Avatar
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    I think another thing to take into consideration is analyzing how accurate content is. With forums, people are hidden behind usernames, with no on the spot way of indicating who this person is, what their profession is, or anything like that (like this post, some of you reading this probably don't know a darn thing about me).

    A blog, whoever, often has a miniature profile of some sort, indicating (to the extent you wish to believe) who the person is.

    So if a Jack Black, professor at MIT decides to post on his personal blog with a mini profile:

    "About Me: I'm Jack Black, professor at MIT. You'll occasionally find me doing consulting work for top Fortune 500 companies. In my spare time I spend time hiking with my family."

    about a recent trend in Object Oriented Design versus a forums post as "spock317" with the same content, people are more likely to link to the blog, as they can readily assess who the person is writing it. Even the people that do write incredible forums posts, I've note them to further address it to a blog entry, which people end up linking to.

    It takes a lot more weight to view a forum as a more credible source than a blog in my opinion.


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