1. To create a new domain for an internet forum:
Examples: warriorforum.com, seoforums.org, blackhatworld.com, apexforum.org, webmasterforums.com
- If the domain gets penalized, the original domain name will not get penalized because the two domains are different. Since the content is user-generated, this is an essential aspect of choosing an independent domain name.
- URL errors are limited to the new domain.
- You can install the new domain on a new web server
- It is possible to isolate the forum on an independent web server as the forum can be attacked by spambots.
- If you already have a website, the forum website will less benefit from the first website because they are on two different domain names.
- Users need to remember the new domain
- If you use the keyword “forum” at the end of your domain name people will never know if it should be plural or singular.
- You must buy a brand new domain with an SSL certificate.
- You should pay for an additional domain name on a yearly basis
- People have to learn a new domain name to access the forum.
2. To add a subdomain to the root domain
examples: forums.seochat.com, forums.searchenginewatch.com, seo-forum.link-assistant.com, forum.macrumors.com, forums.whirlpool.net.au
- The easiest way for people to find the forum when typing the domain on a tablet or a mobile phone because a dot is more accessible than a slash.
- You can install your forum on a different web server than the root domain.
- This solution was chosen by Google for its forums: https://productforums.google.com/
- in Google search console, your subdomain and your root domain can be tracked independently. The web traffic to the subdomain and the HTTP error codes don’t appear under the root domain section of google search console.
- We did the test to move a subfolder to a subdomain thanks to a 301 and we didn’t lose the PageRank.
- If a penalty occurs in the forum it may impact the main root domain.
- You need an SSL certificate to add HTTPS to the subdomain.
3.Using a subfolder of the root site
Example: moz.com/community, seomastering.com/forum, highrankings.com/forum, www.webmasterworld.com/google/, seo-hacker.org/forums/
- The Internet forum fully benefits from the Google juice of the root site.
- The forum uses the SSL certificate of the root domain without any additional settings. You don’t need
- A Google penalty against the forum will also impact the whole website. We already saw this case with a classified ad directory with many categories and ads created by users. It happens to us. We had 15 pages with a phone number inside the title and the whole domain has been penalized.
- Most of the time, if you use Plesk, Cpanel, DirectAdmin, you can’t install the forum on a web server that is different from your root server. Consequently, if your forum gets taken down because of spam bots, your root site is going to be taken down too.
- In Google search console, the list of error codes will mix the root domain and the forum domain urls.
- In Google search console and Google analytics, the web traffic will mix the root domain and forum traffic.