One change that might displease many

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by Vishal P. Rao, Jul 11, 2012.

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  1. Vishal P. Rao

    Vishal P. Rao Administrator Staff Member

    Prevent signatures from being showed to guests.

    I'm contemplating enabling this. I know this might displease many but I'm truly helpless. Search engine rankings of this forum are an all time low now and so are the earnings. Many forums adopt this feature (whether the members are aware or not) to maximize" signal to noise" ratio and improve rankings.

    Your views are appreciated.
  2. payment proof

    payment proof Well-Known Member

    I have seen some forums switch to this format. I'm not sure how it increased search engine rankings, but the amount of people posting decreased dramatically.

    Unfortunately the Penguin and Panda updates have made it tough for a lot of sites and forums.

    It's your forum though, so you need to do what is best. But those looking for backlinks may end up moving on elsewhere.

    I am sorry to hear that search engine rankings of this forum are at an all time low.
  3. Vishal P. Rao

    Vishal P. Rao Administrator Staff Member

    There is no guarantee that search engine rankings will increase. I only hope so. However, there is a good reasoning for that belief. You see, for a page to rank well, links on it should complement the content. If you see this concept from a visitor point of view, then also it holds good. This is in stark contrast of what's actually on a forum page. There are far too many links (in signature) and this reduces the overall value of the content in search engines point of view.
  4. Just2EZ

    Just2EZ Moderator

    I agree with the reasoning and conclusions.
    It will improve the quality of posts but will reduce quantity.
    It's a two edged sword, traffic vs. SERP.
    Anyone can buy traffic, SERP is earned.
    Less spam will be the end result.
    As for monetizing, the current set-up requires Clicking on Ads which you have no control over (and can't ask for).
    May be time to sell some ad space (or your own profit generating links) instead of giving google all the control?
  5. talfighel

    talfighel Silver Member

    You always need to do what's best for you Vishal and the forum. If your overall hits has dropped, I don't know why. Maybe because you changed the software, this might increase your rankings. Your forum is still number one on Google for "work at home forum" so this has not changed which is good.

    Hope that you earnings go up and not down.
  6. Just2EZ

    Just2EZ Moderator

    The new forum signatures look like part of the posts instead of a separate signature link.
    Is there a way to separate them such as a line or more space like the old format did?
    It looks more spammy with the signature in the post instead of separate.
    Diana MEYER likes this.
  7. A8ch

    A8ch Gold Member

    You are facing one of those tricky tightrope senarios marketers have to walk sometimes... making a decision based on the pros and cons of how it could improve business growth or affect customer satisfaction. There are no guarantees in life. You can only put your best foot forward and hope for the best results. I understand and support the logic of your reasoning.

    Running on online business does have its lonely moments, doesn't it.
  8. happywife

    happywife Gold Member

    You're going to have to do what you feel is best for your business. I know it's not a popular idea. Most of us do like our signatures to be visible, of course. But I feel I have a general idea of how much effort you put in to maintaining this forum properly. If it's not paying you (making it worth your while) then you DO need to look at your viable options. Maybe you can give it a test run at some point and see how it affects your rankings, etc.

    Forums like this should be a win-win situation. Members should benefit by gleaning helpful information from others as well as establishing some marketing credibility for themselves by their posts and link exposure. The owner should benefit by getting good content added which increases search traffic and income. If only one side is getting their "win" then something needs to change to maintain that balance.

    The search engines have been in upheaval for several months now, but I believe that if we all keep doing our best to add quality content, ethically, things will eventually settle and the cream will rise back to the top. ;)

    Diana MEYER likes this.
  9. jareso

    jareso New Member

    Some forums have ability for registered users to pay some monthly, yearly, etc. fee for their public do-follow signature links. Not sure if something like this could be implemented also here at work-at-home-forum.

    Just an idea how you could earn some extra cash besides regular advertisements. I guess some users would be willing to pay fee if it was fair price, although I can be mistaken of course.
  10. Vishal P. Rao

    Vishal P. Rao Administrator Staff Member

    Yes it still is but the long-tail traffic have dropped significantly, which really is the bread-winner for me. Thanks Tal!

    Thanks Hermas! Yes it feels really lonely. I feel I could just sit face to face with you guys and come up with a solution.

    I have increased the spacing. I feel it looks much better now.

    Thanks Jimmy. Regarding traffic/monetizing ratio, I'm pretty much contented. I don't have much problem there. The problem is only with the traffic. If the traffic goes down, so does the revenue. And there is no way to stretch the revenue with diminished traffic. I really don't want to put any more ads over here other than AdSense.

    Thank you Angie for supporting my decision.

    I'm really thankful to all of you for supporting my decision :) I'm truly grateful to have you all as my members here. The good news is that I'm not going ahead with this decision. I'll just wait and see. I feel the time has not come yet. I hope it doesn't come. I really want to give back as much as possible. I don't want to be in the credit side. I feel I can sleep a lot better with a feeling of having given more against the pleasure of seeing my traffic and revenue rise.

    Long live this forum :)
    robinincarolina and Just2EZ like this.
  11. payment proof

    payment proof Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the update Vishal. And I agree with all the others who said you need to ultimately do what is best for your forum/business.

    I hope that traffic continues to pick up and we'll all try to keep posting quality content here.

    Good luck.
  12. mountainmom5

    mountainmom5 Gold Member

    You need to do what is best for your business... All these released zoo animals has not been pretty for a lot of us. I will never look at a penguin or panda the same again. Google must know something about these critters than I do... o_O
    yahia likes this.
  13. Vishal P. Rao

    Vishal P. Rao Administrator Staff Member

    :D Even me, after reading your post :D
    yahia likes this.
  14. payment proof

    payment proof Well-Known Member

    LOL mountainmom5. I feel the same way and couldn't have said it any better. :D
    mountainmom5 likes this.
  15. robpenn

    robpenn Member

    The reason I give information on forums like this one is to get traffic in return. As much as I would like to help others out just for the pleasure of it I would not have time if there was not some financial benefit.

    One of the reasons I chose this forum was that the signatures were nice and prominent. I also like checking out other users sites after reading their posts. I can't help feeling Google search is missing something here as regards surfer satisfaction.

    Maybe the answer is for all of us to support this forum more by posting links to it on our facebook pages, etc. Check out Vishals "please support this forum" sig.

    If I found myself getting great traffic from this forum I would be very willing to help support the forum financially to prevent Vishal having to pander to Google, excuse the pun, and having to have all their random ads on the page.

    Maybe the answer is to have a voluntary contribution arrangement, where those who feel they are benefiting financially can contribute and keep the forum how we like it.
  16. Just2EZ

    Just2EZ Moderator

    That is too sad. Ever hear "It is better to give than to receive"?
    Some share to pass on what they have learned from others, not for profit.
    Granted this forum can be a good traffic generator but that is not it's purpose.
    People visit this forum to LEARN how to earn, not to check out poster's signatures.
    I, like many here, have been blessed beyond measure by the free sharing of knowledge.
    Many members state emphatically they joined because of what they learned from this forum.
    Earning comes with Learning.
  17. robpenn

    robpenn Member

    Just2EZ, please do not try to pretend you are here because of the goodness of your heart. You are in business.

    That does not mean you are a bad person. We all find satisfaction in helping others, but we should not feel guilty to say we are on the internet to make a living.

    Yes, forums can be also be fun, sometimes.

    I also do a lot of voluntary charity work, but I do not shout about it.
  18. Just2EZ

    Just2EZ Moderator

    My primary business is web hosting and design, not in my signature or even advertised.
    It's pretty obvious when members post only to expose others to the next great scheme.
    The point was that you said you don't have time to help others unless it benefits you.
    If everyone thought that way then forums like this would be useless.
    There are plenty of ways to advertise for free if that's all you want.
    In fact this forum has plenty of threads on that exact topic.
    It also has a lot of how-to info from successful members.
    Believe it or not, I read more than I post.
    If you feel guilty then you probably are.
    But it doesn't have to be that way.

    I hope you will help when you can because you can, not because you might make money from it.
    Vishal P. Rao likes this.
  19. A8ch

    A8ch Gold Member

    This is a public forum that offers the same benefits to all members. Whatever an individual's personal motivation may be for using the forum is irrelevant, in my humble opinion, as long as that person complies with the forum rules. This way participants are free to interact with others for financial reasons and/or for the satisfaction of helping others.

    Rob, your comment suggests that being in business and having a good heart are not compatible; but I don't think that's quite what you meant. :)

    An example of a businessman with a good heart, wouldn't you say, Rob?

    This is the kind of engagement that makes this forum an interesting place. It allows people with divergent points of view to openly express themselves and support their opinions in an atmosphere of civility and objectivity.

    Vishal P. Rao likes this.
  20. robpenn

    robpenn Member

    Just2EZ, sorry I antagonized you in my last post and sorry I didn't express myself clearly in my first post.

    I know exactly what you are saying about "better to give than to receive". It is great to give with no expectation of getting anything in return.

    I leave you in peace.
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