Simple Machines Forum, Joomla and SEO Part 1

Now that Joomla has been around for 18 months, some of its forums are starting to get pretty big. They are becoming potentially huge SEO assets for the accompanying websites. Although not comprehensive, this is a list of some of the biggest Joomla forums:

  • 720,130 Posts (SMF – not integrated)
  • 390,000 Posts (VBulletin)
  • 42,377 Posts (SMF – integrated)
  • 27,035 Posts (VBulletin)
  • 17,166 Posts (SMF – integrated)
  • 16,166 Posts (VBulletin)
  • 13,292 Posts (VBulletin)
  • 9,109 Posts (VBulletin)

One thing that immediately becomes evident is that only two of these eight forums are actually integrated into Joomla.

Search for the forums and the results are had to distinguish from each other:


If you search for the forums and you get similar results.

On the other hand, the forums are also built with Simple Machines but they aren’t integrated into Joomla and they don’t have the same problems with metadata:

The forums are built with VBulletin and are not integrated into Joomla:

Clearly the forums that aren’t integrated into Joomla produce much better metadata. If the Simple Machines Bridge wants to become a more popular, a solution will need to be found for the lack of meta titles, descriptions and keywords. Those sites using the Bridge aren’t getting the maximum possible SEO benefit from their large forums. Also, its likely that the click-through rate is lower for these pages because the visitors who find them in Google don’t have a clear idea about what they’ll find when they click.

Tomorrow, in Part 2, we’ll take a closer look at other SEO aspects of forums inside and outside of Joomla.

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