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  1. #1
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
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    Unhappy Search engine friendliness and forums

    I'm currently using Discus Pro 4.0, and it's the best of forums and the worst of forums.

    On the plus side, the author is very responsive and friendly, and the software is reliable and administrator-friendly.

    However, it's based upon cgi and static pages, which limits interactivity. And worse yet, the site has a relatively stale look by default, it's excrutiatingly painful to skin, and there's absolutely no skinning or mod community for the software whatsoever.

    So I've been looking at other forum software, and I've been pretty impressed with several choices, InvisionPowerBoard (IPB) in particular.

    But there's one huge thing I'm loathe to give up: search engine friendliness!

    As with even vBulletin, IPB serves pages dynamically via php. Great for users, but unwelcoming for search engines, who will crawl, at most, the top level of a board... ignoring all the content below! :-(

    I've seen a couple of mods that change some links to be more search engine friendly, but when checking out the sites using those mods, it seems that Google at least STILL doesn't dig very deep within the forums. And of equal frustration, the links that users see are still the search-unfriendly ones, so when they (or outsiders) link to existing threads, that linkage (and pagerank) is lost on Google, too.

    Maybe I'm missing something, but I'm shocked and dismayed that this issue hasn't seemed to have gotten addressed very much.

    Are there easy and effective ways of dealing with this problem that I'm just not aware of?

    For the record, I'm using shared Web hosting on a unix platform, with an Apache server. I do have access to .htaccess files, but not http.conf.

  2. #2
    Sports Publisher mjames's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Charlotte, NC
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    Yes, search engine-friendliness is a persistent problem with forum software. I can't speak for others, but I know vBulletin 3 will be optimized to work with search engines and there are existing hacks at to try to make your vB 2x forum work with search engines. It's really up to which software you use, so you should talk to the makers of Discus Pro. Good luck.


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