Old forum isn't being surfaced by Google

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Joined: Wed Nov 20, 2019 1:26 pm

Old forum isn't being surfaced by Google

Post by justben »

Hi all, I recently took over the day-to-day running of a well-established forum.

It is over 15 years old
It has 13,000 topics and 1200 users
The content is really good and unique

The previous owners let the forum slip over a period of a few years. It wasn't on an up to date version of phpBB, it wasn't on HTTPS and it wasn't mobile-responsive.

I have since tidied it up and submitted the sitemap to Google. It has indexed over 13,000 pages but the number of impressions and clicks showing in Google Search Console is woeful. Something like 300 impressions a day and 10 clicks.

I am new(ish) to phpBB so I'm not sure if it is limitations with the software itself but I doubt it.

I have another site in a similar niche with only around 100 pages and it gets 10x the number of impressions and clicks from Google search.

I'm happy to share the URL. Any clues as to what I might be doing wrong?

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Lumpy Burgertushie
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Posts: 67740
Joined: Mon May 02, 2005 3:11 am

Re: Old forum isn't being surfaced by Google

Post by Lumpy Burgertushie »

what you need is patience. google works at its own pace. it has billions of sites to index. it could be months before it gets around to you again. since the site was so out of date etc. google will probably be starting over.

the bottom line is that phpbb needs nothing major to be indexed immediately and ranked highly.
your site, on the other hand, needs to be relevant to the subject, it needs to have lots of content, it needs to
have relevant keywords/phrases to the subject matter. etc. etc.

all the normal things that any site needs to have good ratings.

I'm baaaaaccckkkk. still doing work on donation basis. PM your needs.

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Marek Muc
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Posts: 39
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2018 2:59 pm

Re: Old forum isn't being surfaced by Google

Post by Marek Muc »

most likely you see some warnings and issues in search console that were reported before your remake, browse through them and see whether you've resolved them (e.g. mobile responsiveness) and there is a button in the top right corner "validate fix" - click it
and wait :)

the other site that you mention is a bulletin board as well? or a regular site?
My website is a combination of both, a 'regular website' with carefully curated content, plus a board run on phpBB, the difference in impressions and clicks is huge (the board gets significantly fewer)

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