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There’s a current thread at DCTip discussing whether or not Forum Signature Links are Underrated as a means of link building.

In short, no they are not. If anything, they are exceptionally overrated as a means of link building. What they are however, is an opportunity that is most often squandered.

Each and every post you make in a forum is an opportunity to create content. Indexable content. Content people search for. Content that comes complete with a signature link to you. This is the importance of signature links and not the link itself.

Think about it for a moment. How often have you searched for something and found forum postings at the top of the SERP’s? How often are those “I agree” or “Good idea” drive by spam type posts?

Find forums you genuinely like and become a solid contributor to the community. Don’t look at your posts as an opportunity to get “another link” but an opportunity to create good content that searchers will find that comes complete with a link to discover even more about you.

Dave

6 Comments

  1. rumblepup on the 21. Dec, 2006 remarked #

    Dave, I agree, but I don’t. (how you like them apples)

    I’ve posted my thoughts at the thread in question, but I wanted to add some thoughts here.

    I have personally noted backlinks from actual forum thread posts, however, I believe age has something to do with that. You would know better than me how Google, or any other SE, ranks age of link as a factor, but I’m sure that age has some weight building factor.

    Now, as far as backlinks from sig’s, again, from personal experience, I have also noted sig’s as backlinks, and suprisingly more than one, from the same forum.

    Your website has in it’s Google backlinks some sig’s from the jewelry forum you frequent. However, I think that those sig’s, if any, must carry the some weight, because of the relevancy of the link. Your posting in a Jewelry website, and your sig is found among content that is related to jewelry. That’s where I think the real weight can come from.

  2. CrankyDave on the 22. Dec, 2006 remarked #

    Hey Pup!

    I don’t disagree that the age of a link can be taken into account. Nor do I disagree that they get indexed. However, it is my contention that at some point the “value” of that link becomes nothing more that a link that can be followed by a vistor.

    So I’m not saying they don’t get indexed. What I am saying though is that at some point they carry very little value, if any at, as so far as Google and perhaps other SE’s are concerned, most notably when it comes to ranking.

    Dave

  3. rumblepup on the 22. Dec, 2006 remarked #

    I agree that the real value of sig links is for networking and promotion amongst other online professionals.

    Of course, the value of 1 link diminishes amongst 1000, 3000, or 5000 links all to the same website, from the same website, I’m sure, gets devalued.

    But one or two stick around.

    But I also think that these many sig links definitely get the SE’s “interested” in a site, leading to more crawling and possibly more pages being indexed.

    In other words, more value for marketing and networking, a little, itsy bitsy value for the SE bots

  4. Michiel Van Kets on the 18. Jun, 2008 remarked #

    well, link-value or no link-value … I think the best part is the direct traffic you can get from it, sure some link-love is always appreciated, but then there simply are better ways then forum postings

    still, I think a big difference is whether the tread has link of his own or not, sometimes just 1 link can make a huge difference, as google tend to ignore the pages without link and so give all of the value (from the forum) to the few treads that do have external links of their own.

    just my 2 baht 🙂

    cheers,

    Michiel
    (PS: do I get a direct link now ?) 😉

  5. CrankyDave on the 18. Jun, 2008 remarked #

    lol Michiel.. I allow comment links to be followed so I believe you have a link now.

    IMO links don’t really serve a much of a purpose unless there’s reason to follow them. This spills over into so many different aspects. What purpose is “just a link” without giving it some “value”? “Value” in the sense of of providing interesting or helpful information giving the link itself some purpose for being there in the first place.

    Dave

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