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Do forum signatures violate Google Webmaster TOS?



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Do forum signatures violate Google Webmaster TOS?

According to Google Webmaster TOS, an optimized forum signature could be an unnatural links that violates their guidelines.




http://support.google.com/webmaste...amp;answer=66356

However, forum signatures could still be relevant for backlinking and SEO purposes if presented properly. What are some ways a forum signature could be made so it is not considered an 'artificial link' by Google?

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Keith

For instance, let's say you have a pizza delivery service. Then you might only post on forum pages that talk about pizza or pizza delivery. That way, your forum signature (pizza delivery) does not seem out of place as it is related to the content on that page and linking to pages about pizza. You could apply that idea to SEO or house decorating or gardening or any subject.




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Caitlin

Start discussions that are specific to your niche. So if you are into internet marketing, you would start discussions about SEO, marketing, etc. Then your forum signature would be seen in context as it would be about internet marketing or other marketing related keywords.




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Deann

Don't just use keywords for your signature line. Take time to add a full description that is not hyperlinked in the forum signature. That will make your forum signature look more legitimate to site admin and also to search engines as the links are in context of other related content.




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Savannah

Don't just use keywords for your signature line. Take time to add a full description that is not hyperlinked in the forum signature. That will make your forum signature look more legitimate to site admin and also to search engines as the links are in context of other related content.



But you are often limited on length of signature line. Would you put your link at the start of this 'paragraph' of info in your signature line or would you put it in the middle?




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Beverly

Start discussions that are specific to your niche. So if you are into internet marketing, you would start discussions about SEO, marketing, etc. Then your forum signature would be seen in context as it would be about internet marketing or other marketing related keywords.



But don't you still see signature links on forums that have nothing to do with the content on that forum or page? For instance, I'm always visiting SEO forums and seeing signature links for apartments in Dubai. Is this normal? Also doesn't that look suspicious to Google, especially when the forum has nothing to do with apartments or Dubai?




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shek

Do you really think the answers on google community are standardized ? Most of the answers on that site are based on observations. And observations might not reveal actual fact, especially when google is changing/optimizing there algo almost every month !




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MikeQ

Forum signature should be relevant and if you are participating in some quality forums then you would get benefit, you would get benefit from SEO as well as traffics.




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Beverly

Do you really think the answers on google community are standardized ? Most of the answers on that site are based on observations. And observations might not reveal actual fact, especially when google is changing/optimizing there algo almost every month !



But it's from Google's official help pages, where they talk about types of Link Schemes. Hopefully, there are still some types of forum signatures which are not considered spammy backlinks as backlinking from forums is one of the easiest ways to do SEO.




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kailashseo368

Forum signatures are a brilliant source of targeted traffic and that's what I use it for. The problem is (and I see this across many forums) people over-optimize their signatures and that's a violation of Google's ToS. Signatures like "Foreclosure Miami", "Houston Real Estate" etc. will incur the unnatural links penalty.




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Tommy Matalino

Using 3 anchor texts tor a single link seems to be really too much and can be considered as spamming. Besides, I don't think you'll get 3x the link juice or traffic when doing that...




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Beverly

Forum signatures are a brilliant source of targeted traffic and that's what I use it for. The problem is (and I see this across many forums) people over-optimize their signatures and that's a violation of Google's ToS. Signatures like "Foreclosure Miami", "Houston Real Estate" etc. will incur the unnatural links penalty.


This type of anchor text only signature line looks very unnatural as it's usually surrounded by no other text. Most times when backlinking, I will add the maximum amount of text (not linked) as a description of the site being backlinked to. The description doesn't contain keywords but sometimes has related words that help describe the site more accurately such as content, theme, etc.




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