Posting on forums is one of the easiest ways to get backlinks. But should you be using other websites and forums to build backlinks? Let’s find out.
In this article, we’ll talk about forum backlinks, what they’re suitable for, and how you can use them to your advantage.
What Are Forum Backlinks?
Forums hit the online stage in 1994 and became the pioneer of online conversation. They even paved the way for the social media platforms we use today.
Forums come in many forms―from niche sites and branded communities to large ones like Quora and Reddit. Unfortunately, they don’t get as much love these days.
But you can still use them to your advantage― specifically forum backlinks.
As the name implies, forum backlinks are links from forums or online communities. These backlinks can be found in your profile, user signature, or comment. As you may have guessed, they’re easy to generate since anyone can register and post links.
Forums are great for building easy backlinks because they’re full of people interested in the same niche as you. By joining forums and offering value, you can build relationships, which can open the door to backlink opportunities.
In addition, forums help with brand awareness. When people see your company’s name, link, and logo in a forum signature, they’ll know about you. This exposure can lead to more traffic and customers.
The caveat? Forums don’t have the same SEO value as they once did. The next section explains why.
Should You Be Using Other Websites and Forums to Build Backlinks?
So, should you be using other websites and forums to build backlinks? Yes, but not for SEO.
You see, forum link building used to work well because search engines indexed them frequently. But since search engines realized that forum backlinks don’t have to be earned and can be created by anyone, that’s no longer the case.
Most forum links are now nofollow, which means that Google won’t index them. In other words, forum backlinks can’t strengthen your backlink profile. Plus, building these links using black-hat techniques can negatively affect your website.
Remember, spamming forums with backlinks harms your SEO efforts. Google even warns people against links that manipulate a website’s ranking in Google search results. Google even said that you shouldn’t use comments with keyword-optimized links in the body and signature.
However, this doesn’t mean that forum links are pointless. While these backlinks are of low quality, they still help.
In particular, you can use forums to build relationships and increase brand awareness. They also help you leave a mark in your niche and get organic leads.
Hence, forum links might be worth generating. You just need to build them using white hat link building techniques and know their limitations.
Additionally, forum backlinks have secondhand SEO benefits. For instance, if more people see a valuable post in a forum, they’re more likely to visit your site and eventually link to it.
How to Use Forums for Backlinks
While forum backlinks are not valuable SEO-wise, you can still use them for your marketing efforts. Here’s how to build forum backlinks:
1. Find forums in your industry.
Find forums in your niche using keywords and Google.
For example, if you need to find a fitness forum, type 'Dating inurl:forum' on Google. This query will then look for fitness-related sites with 'forum' in the URL.
You can also use big platforms like Reddit (relevant subreddits) and Quora. These are great platforms to start at because they have millions of users. Plus, the right link can provide valuable traffic to your website.
In addition, make sure to rule out any forums that aren’t active. While you can get backlinks from these sites, no one will see them.
2. Read and understand the forum’s guidelines.
Make sure you read and understand the rules before posting in a forum.
In general, every forum has different layouts and guidelines. Some are easy to use, while others take time. Many forums also have strict rules that must be followed. If you don’t follow these rules, you won’t be allowed to post or, worse, have your profile deleted.
So, read the rules and browse the site. While doing so takes time, you must be patient if you want your forum links to work.
3. Register and add your links.
Once you understand a forum’s rules, you can register.
Look for the Register or Sign Up button and provide your name, username, email, and other details. Depending on the guidelines, you might have to verify your identity.
Then, you can add links. The exact way to do this depends on the forum’s rules.
Common ways include the following:
Adding a link to your website in your profile.
Introducing yourself and adding a link to your website.
Writing valuable posts and adding links to content that provides more information.
Adding links in threads specifically made for promotion.
Responding to posts with valuable information and adding links to your content.
Adding links in your comments.
Putting a link to your website in your user signature.
Pro tip: add links that add value, entice the readers, and follow community guidelines. If you need help creating content worth being linked to, check this content pillar guide.
Why You Should Avoid Services Selling Forum Backlinks
You’ll likely see services promising to generate tons of forum backlinks for a small fee when browsing social media or freelance websites.
While they may look enticing, avoid them at all costs. You will waste your money on links with no SEO value and risk getting links on spammy forums and backlink farms. Remember, being linked to these sites can result in search engine penalties.
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