New Members Stay Away (Google Doesn't Index Enough)

Do not post support requests, bug reports or feature requests. Discuss phpBB here. Non-phpBB related discussion goes in General Discussion!
Get Involved
User avatar
Macko
Registered User
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2016 8:38 pm
Location: Online
Name: Mac Ko

Re: New Members Stay Away (Google Doesn't Index Enough)

Post by Macko » Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:46 pm

Hi LowNoise.

I love phpBB, but I do think it does forum owners no favors as far as SEO goes. I personally wish whoever was in charge of rolling out later versions of phpBB would seriously consider that most forum owners want to be found on Google, and to put a lot more effort into making the software SEO friendly out of the box.

You won't believe the rediculous hoops I had to jump through to get our site's homepage to display how I wanted it to in Google results. And you'd think they'd make 'magic urls' default, or at the very least INCLUDE them, but no. You need to jump through hoops for that too.

So yes, I agree with you that there is a LOT that they should be doing to help our sites be more visible by default, but at least you can do it yourself if you want to.



Feedback:

I think your site looks just fine, BUT a week is no time at all! I'd better Google/guests think it looks like an empty forum, and they'd be right.

I think the one and only thing you need to be focusing on right now, and probably for the next week or so, is getting more posts on there. I go to your site and it looks very bare. That's fine, we all start off with an empty site, but it can't stay like that. I got a bit lucky when I started my forum, as we already had hundreds of people who were looking for a different forum than the one we previously on, so we didn't have to start from 'scratch,' but I will give you a few quick ideas that should majorly help you get the ball rolling.

1. Get a Facebook page. Link to a few topics.

2. Have some sock puppets. Much easier for new members to join a conversation than to start one with you.

3. Post some links on various Facebook posts WITH your FB page account. That will get some people interested.

But again, I'd focus on getting a topic in every forum first, ideally with more than just one admin account. And one week is nothing.

Good luck, and come update this topic in 3 months from now and we'll see if things are different!

User avatar
Lownoise
Registered User
Posts: 64
Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:44 pm

Re: New Members Stay Away (Google Doesn't Index Enough)

Post by Lownoise » Thu Feb 15, 2018 5:55 pm

Macko wrote:
Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:46 pm
Hi LowNoise.

I love phpBB, but I do think it does forum owners no favors as far as SEO goes. I personally wish whoever was in charge of rolling out later versions of phpBB would seriously consider that most forum owners want to be found on Google, and to put a lot more effort into making the software SEO friendly out of the box.

You won't believe the rediculous hoops I had to jump through to get our site's homepage to display how I wanted it to in Google results. And you'd think they'd make 'magic urls' default, or at the very least INCLUDE them, but no. You need to jump through hoops for that too.

So yes, I agree with you that there is a LOT that they should be doing to help our sites be more visible by default, but at least you can do it yourself if you want to.



Feedback:

I think your site looks just fine, BUT a week is no time at all! I'd better Google/guests think it looks like an empty forum, and they'd be right.

I think the one and only thing you need to be focusing on right now, and probably for the next week or so, is getting more posts on there. I go to your site and it looks very bare. That's fine, we all start off with an empty site, but it can't stay like that. I got a bit lucky when I started my forum, as we already had hundreds of people who were looking for a different forum than the one we previously on, so we didn't have to start from 'scratch,' but I will give you a few quick ideas that should majorly help you get the ball rolling.

1. Get a Facebook page. Link to a few topics.

2. Have some sock puppets. Much easier for new members to join a conversation than to start one with you.

3. Post some links on various Facebook posts WITH your FB page account. That will get some people interested.

But again, I'd focus on getting a topic in every forum first, ideally with more than just one admin account. And one week is nothing.

Good luck, and come update this topic in 3 months from now and we'll see if things are different!
Thx allot Macko!

Yeah I know a week isn't much at all and I understand it takes time. I've posted and talked about my site on different community's already such as Facebook, I've made an Instagram account with it where my URL appears with every post and in signatures on other forums. But as you say so, it's quite exhausting to post and talk to my own every day seeing nothing much happening. it's like talking to a wall.

What do you mean with sock puppets?

Also I think social media plays a high role in this, just check the high amount of Facebook and Instagram pages where people are having huge conversations about just 1 picture or video. I feel things really have changed the last 10 years having or posting on a forum. A forum/board isn't that interesting anymore it seems.

But for the certainty of uncertainty I will try to keep on doing my best, talk to a wall, promote my site, invite people via social media and hope new members will follow ;)

Cheers!
It's Nice To Be Important, But It's More Important To Be Nice!
Trance-Vizion ● (Trance Music Discussion Board). www.trancevizion.nl

User avatar
Macko
Registered User
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2016 8:38 pm
Location: Online
Name: Mac Ko

Re: New Members Stay Away (Google Doesn't Index Enough)

Post by Macko » Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:09 pm

Lownoise wrote:
Thu Feb 15, 2018 5:55 pm
Thx allot Macko!

Yeah I know a week isn't much at all and I understand it takes time. I've posted and talked about my site on different community's already such as Facebook, I've made an Instagram account with it where my URL appears with every post and in signatures on other forums. But as you say so, it's quite exhausting to post and talk to my own every day seeing nothing much happening. it's like talking to a wall.

What do you mean with sock puppets?

Also I think social media plays a high role in this, just check the high amount of Facebook and Instagram pages where people are having huge conversations about just 1 picture or video. I feel things really have changed the last 10 years having or posting on a forum. A forum/board isn't that interesting anymore it seems.

But for the certainty of uncertainty I will try to keep on doing my best, talk to a wall, promote my site, invite people via social media and hope new members will follow ;)

Cheers!
No worries! Yeah, but that's what it takes to start a 'community.' It's definitely a lot of work. And it's not a BLOG, so for it to be successful you will have to find a way to get people wanting to participate.

By sock puppet I mean using a second username to make some posts on your forum. You can't expect anyone to want to come to a forum and just chat with the forum owner, so you need some various people on there having conversations.

You could get 3 sock puppets to discuss a new CD or something. Maybe if you have some contraversal exchanges, someone will want to sign up and tell it how it is.

Social Media definitely plays a huge role in forums today, but it's nothing to worry too much about. For example, we had a lot of friends saying 'forums are dead, Facebook is where all the action is,' and I get what they're saying, but it's not technically true. You need to focus on the POSITIVE things forums have that FB doesn't and strive to improve on those things.

A few things I think forums are better at that Facebook:

1. A lot of our posts are said on our forum because people appreciate their anonymity. Not everything people want to express needs to be on their Facebook account where their friends and family can see. I might want to leave a bad review of a nightclub, but might not want my grandma seeing it, lol.

2. Forums are a better place to search for info. If you search for any info, you rarely find 'articles' or other valuable content on FB, unless you're looking for a one-word thing. Forums and websites are better for info now. I can't imagine being taken to FB posts every time I look for info. And forums are MUCH easier to search on than FB searches, unless you are looking for a person, etc.

3. People don't have to worry about FB's strict terms and conditions when they post on your forum. This might not be a big deal to some, but we have a lot of content that FB doesn't like. Nothing sinister, but FB can be pretty strict.

4. You can't sell ad banners on your FB page, lol. Not really something helpful at this stage, but that kind of shows you who owns who.

Again, focus on how forums are better than FB, and don't worry too much about things you can't control. We happen to break a lot of crazy news, and while it doesn't take much for someone to complain to FB that they don't like something, they have a pretty hard time getting us to take stories down. That might not be a big deal for your genre, but for us we follow crazy stories in the news and people like to speak their minds, and we allow them. (I don't want anyone to get the wrong idea, but it's mainly just expats getting arrested and other news stories that nobody wants to be featured in, lol.)

Also, what does your site offer right now that people can't find elsewhere? Right now I mainly see just cut and paste info about albums. I assume that info was taken from somewhere else, right? That's were Google is sending all the 'guests' you want to see. So you need some original content. I can't imagine anything people would search for on Google would land them on your page. You don't offer anything unique YET, so how could you expect anyone to go there and be impressed??

Here's the action plan I would do right now if I were you, in this order, BEFORE you do any more promoting on social media. First impressions are important, and you want it to look good when people go there. I discovered that someone was building a similar forum to ours. I could tell he was ready to put in the work to add content, and he was just starting out. I wouldn't say he 'copied' us, but based on the nature of the forum, it looked extremely similar. So what did I do? Did I make a rule banning links to them? No. I INSTANTLY shared their forum, wrote about it and even put a link to it in the topic. People went there all excited to see a new forum, but it was practically empty. I wanted people to go over there and have a first impression of the place before it looked good. The dude spent a freaking year straight translating local news like we do, and luckily he never manged to get more than 2 other active members on there. So, my point is don't start sharing it until you think people will go there and want to sign up. Ah yeah, back to the steps I would take if I were you...

1. Get a few sock puppets and make some interesting posts. Maybe some long posts just talking about the music you cater too.

2. Get a friend to chat on there with you. Might make things a bit more fun for you and for others.

3. Put some focus on ONE topic and let it go to 3 pages.

4. Look for similar sites or FB pages that have questions that you can answer. Ask that question with one account and answer it with another. Get at least 20 of those.

I would spend an entire week focusing on that, and when you feel it offers something people want, then start sharing it on Social Media.

I don't know how good you are with SEO, but a simple thing you can do it start searching for something that would fit your genre and Google will suggest the rest of the search for you. Take that phrase and start a topic on it, and if it's a question, provide an answer.

And I have no idea if you are willing to spend any money on starting your forum, but maybe get an SEO expert to check out your site and make damn sure you have everything set up right, but I'd assume your biggest concern right now is that your forum doesn't provide anything useful YET.

If you know anyone who is also interested in what your forum is about, make them a moderator. Also, this site has a good list of extensions you can add to your site. I've probably added too many, but they really offer some great features. I even paid someone to update a KARMA feature that the dev stopped working on, and now people can give and take Karma from other users. Since it's an expat site, you can choose a country and it shows your flag on your profile (edit: I just noticed you already have that too).

One thing I noticed on your site is that you don't have a 'new topics' button, which pulls up a list of all the latest topics. We also have an extension that puts the last 5 topics with posts at the top of our site, so you can go there and instantly see the last bit of action the site has gotten. I think that also helps Google find the most recently trending things going on.

Look here and use any extensions that you think will improve your forum:

https://www.phpbb.com/customise/db/extensions-36

There are a lot of cool ones.

Anyways, don't lose motivation. It's only been a week, and I think you need to get a lot more posts on there, as nobody wants to join an empty forum. For example, I have 23 posts on my own forum today. That's over 50% of what you have on your entire forum for a whole week. You really gotta step up your game and get posting, else it will look like a desert. So get a lot more posts on there BEFORE you promote it on social media again, as you don't ever want to send someone to your site while it looks like that. And not a big deal, but I'd set your online timespan to something a lot longer than 5 minutes. I'd set it for as long as you can, then when people go there it won't just say '1 user online' as often.

User avatar
Lownoise
Registered User
Posts: 64
Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:44 pm

Re: New Members Stay Away (Google Doesn't Index Enough)

Post by Lownoise » Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:52 pm

Macko wrote:
Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:09 pm
Lownoise wrote:
Thu Feb 15, 2018 5:55 pm
Thx allot Macko!

Yeah I know a week isn't much at all and I understand it takes time. I've posted and talked about my site on different community's already such as Facebook, I've made an Instagram account with it where my URL appears with every post and in signatures on other forums. But as you say so, it's quite exhausting to post and talk to my own every day seeing nothing much happening. it's like talking to a wall.

What do you mean with sock puppets?

Also I think social media plays a high role in this, just check the high amount of Facebook and Instagram pages where people are having huge conversations about just 1 picture or video. I feel things really have changed the last 10 years having or posting on a forum. A forum/board isn't that interesting anymore it seems.

But for the certainty of uncertainty I will try to keep on doing my best, talk to a wall, promote my site, invite people via social media and hope new members will follow ;)

Cheers!
No worries! Yeah, but that's what it takes to start a 'community.' It's definitely a lot of work. And it's not a BLOG, so for it to be successful you will have to find a way to get people wanting to participate.

By sock puppet I mean using a second username to make some posts on your forum. You can't expect anyone to want to come to a forum and just chat with the forum owner, so you need some various people on there having conversations.

You could get 3 sock puppets to discuss a new CD or something. Maybe if you have some contraversal exchanges, someone will want to sign up and tell it how it is.

Social Media definitely plays a huge role in forums today, but it's nothing to worry too much about. For example, we had a lot of friends saying 'forums are dead, Facebook is where all the action is,' and I get what they're saying, but it's not technically true. You need to focus on the POSITIVE things forums have that FB doesn't and strive to improve on those things.

A few things I think forums are better at that Facebook:

1. A lot of our posts are said on our forum because people appreciate their anonymity. Not everything people want to express needs to be on their Facebook account where their friends and family can see. I might want to leave a bad review of a nightclub, but might not want my grandma seeing it, lol.

2. Forums are a better place to search for info. If you search for any info, you rarely find 'articles' or other valuable content on FB, unless you're looking for a one-word thing. Forums and websites are better for info now. I can't imagine being taken to FB posts every time I look for info. And forums are MUCH easier to search on than FB searches, unless you are looking for a person, etc.

3. People don't have to worry about FB's strict terms and conditions when they post on your forum. This might not be a big deal to some, but we have a lot of content that FB doesn't like. Nothing sinister, but FB can be pretty strict.

4. You can't sell ad banners on your FB page, lol. Not really something helpful at this stage, but that kind of shows you who owns who.

Again, focus on how forums are better than FB, and don't worry too much about things you can't control. We happen to break a lot of crazy news, and while it doesn't take much for someone to complain to FB that they don't like something, they have a pretty hard time getting us to take stories down. That might not be a big deal for your genre, but for us we follow crazy stories in the news and people like to speak their minds, and we allow them. (I don't want anyone to get the wrong idea, but it's mainly just expats getting arrested and other news stories that nobody wants to be featured in, lol.)

Also, what does your site offer right now that people can't find elsewhere? Right now I mainly see just cut and paste info about albums. I assume that info was taken from somewhere else, right? That's were Google is sending all the 'guests' you want to see. So you need some original content. I can't imagine anything people would search for on Google would land them on your page. You don't offer anything unique YET, so how could you expect anyone to go there and be impressed??

Here's the action plan I would do right now if I were you, in this order, BEFORE you do any more promoting on social media. First impressions are important, and you want it to look good when people go there. I discovered that someone was building a similar forum to ours. I could tell he was ready to put in the work to add content, and he was just starting out. I wouldn't say he 'copied' us, but based on the nature of the forum, it looked extremely similar. So what did I do? Did I make a rule banning links to them? No. I INSTANTLY shared their forum, wrote about it and even put a link to it in the topic. People went there all excited to see a new forum, but it was practically empty. I wanted people to go over there and have a first impression of the place before it looked good. The dude spent a freaking year straight translating local news like we do, and luckily he never manged to get more than 2 other active members on there. So, my point is don't start sharing it until you think people will go there and want to sign up. Ah yeah, back to the steps I would take if I were you...

1. Get a few sock puppets and make some interesting posts. Maybe some long posts just talking about the music you cater too.

2. Get a friend to chat on there with you. Might make things a bit more fun for you and for others.

3. Put some focus on ONE topic and let it go to 3 pages.

4. Look for similar sites or FB pages that have questions that you can answer. Ask that question with one account and answer it with another. Get at least 20 of those.

I would spend an entire week focusing on that, and when you feel it offers something people want, then start sharing it on Social Media.

I don't know how good you are with SEO, but a simple thing you can do it start searching for something that would fit your genre and Google will suggest the rest of the search for you. Take that phrase and start a topic on it, and if it's a question, provide an answer.

And I have no idea if you are willing to spend any money on starting your forum, but maybe get an SEO expert to check out your site and make damn sure you have everything set up right, but I'd assume your biggest concern right now is that your forum doesn't provide anything useful YET.

If you know anyone who is also interested in what your forum is about, make them a moderator. Also, this site has a good list of extensions you can add to your site. I've probably added too many, but they really offer some great features. I even paid someone to update a KARMA feature that the dev stopped working on, and now people can give and take Karma from other users. Since it's an expat site, you can choose a country and it shows your flag on your profile (edit: I just noticed you already have that too).

One thing I noticed on your site is that you don't have a 'new topics' button, which pulls up a list of all the latest topics. We also have an extension that puts the last 5 topics with posts at the top of our site, so you can go there and instantly see the last bit of action the site has gotten. I think that also helps Google find the most recently trending things going on.

Look here and use any extensions that you think will improve your forum:

https://www.phpbb.com/customise/db/extensions-36

There are a lot of cool ones.

Anyways, don't lose motivation. It's only been a week, and I think you need to get a lot more posts on there, as nobody wants to join an empty forum. For example, I have 23 posts on my own forum today. That's over 50% of what you have on your entire forum for a whole week. You really gotta step up your game and get posting, else it will look like a desert. So get a lot more posts on there BEFORE you promote it on social media again, as you don't ever want to send someone to your site while it looks like that. And not a big deal, but I'd set your online timespan to something a lot longer than 5 minutes. I'd set it for as long as you can, then when people go there it won't just say '1 user online' as often.
And again, cheers Macko for the very extensive feedback! This will seartanly help me further :D
It's Nice To Be Important, But It's More Important To Be Nice!
Trance-Vizion ● (Trance Music Discussion Board). www.trancevizion.nl

Post Reply

Return to “phpBB Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: david63, Mannix_, Yandex [Bot] and 19 guests