Forum Backlinks: Are They Worth It?

Forum Backlinks

Of all types of backlinks, forum backlinks are undoubtedly the easiest to get. They cost virtually little to nothing to acquire – outside the efforts of finding the RIGHT communities and posting.

So, we understand why you are here. You want to mass-produce forum backlinks for your money sites. But you don’t want to waste your energy.

  • Are forum backlinks FREE?
  • If they are free, is there any relevance to SEO?
  • What are the benefits of creating forum backlinks?
  • Are forum backlinks worth your time and effort; should you create one – how?

Don’t fret; this article shall provide answers to your question.

In summary, we shall establish what forum backlinks are good for and how to create them correctly.

That said, let’s delve in!

To understand if getting a forum backlink is free, you must understand the meaning of “forum backlinks.”

So, what are forum backlinks?

Like the name, forum backlinks are upvotes you get for your website from online communities.

However, how you get the links from the communities differs.

For starters, you could add a link to your comment on group discussions. Also, you could squeeze the link into your profile description (like on Instagram) or signature.

Either way, you will generate a backlink conveniently, unlike when you design or redesign graphics with infographics link building. Or when you have to do outreach for guest posts.

Outside getting links, there are different types of communities too. You could start with niche groups on Facebook or Slack.

Then, you could progress to niche/support discussion communities. The top of the pile, however, remains platforms like Quora.

Whichever option you use, getting forum backlinks is free – 100%. However, you MUST invest considerable effort.

For example, your comments must answer the questions asked; that should be the primary goal before your links.

In fact, if you don’t help people GENUINELY, your answers might get flagged; you might even be removed from the community.

If forum backlinks are free, getting them is a no-brainer for SEO then. Right?

Let’s find out!

Short answer: yes and no.

Let’s Handle The Yes Part First!

Forum backlinks don’t necessarily help your rankings on search results. In fact, if you push it too hard, you could hurt your SEO efforts. How so?

Pushing your links on everyone’s face in the communities is link spamming. Unfortunately, Google doesn’t like that; it might lead to penalties.

So, how do forum backlinks help SEO?

Helping community members with experience-backed and actionable answers will make people check you out.

The best part: if your contributions to forum discussions are one-of-a-kind, members will quote you on their websites and link back to your sites for free. That is sustainable and what Google loves.

Now, Let’s Talk About The “No” Part!

Unfortunately, forum backlinks are often “nofollow.” Here is what that means:

Nofollow backlinks offer nothing for SEO. Google crawler won’t crawl the links. In other words, they (the backlinks) won’t be indexed. Ultimately, there will be zero impact on your rankings on your search results.

Fun fact: forum backlinks are “pillow links.” Pillow links are more tuned for non-SEO purposes and benefits.

Note: most forum backlinks are “nofollow;” some are still “dofollow.” Google crawlers crawl the latter. And your rankings search results will receive a boost.

Summary: forum backlinks boost SEO results. But the boost is almost insignificant.

And for even the insignificant contribution, you must use sites offering “dofollow” backlinks.

But how can you know if a forum backlink is “dofollow” or “nofollow”?

Follow the steps below:

  • Visit the site
  • Right-click on the anchor text
  • Click “Inspect”
  • Check the “rel” tag
  • Lookout for “dofollow” or “nofollow” tags

From the example above, the “rel” reads “nofollow.” Such forum backlinks will add nothing to your rankings on search engine result pages.

So, if forum backlinks (even the “dofollow” links) don’t “exactly” assist SEO, what are their benefits?

Find out below!

While forum backlinks are not SEO rank boosters, they can help your “overall” digital marketing strategies. Here are some of the benefits:

Awareness

Forum backlinks might not attract the same level of traffic as being “no 1” on search results. Nevertheless, it is instrumental in creating awareness for your brand.

And depending on the forum used, you could even hit a gold mine of traffic. If your comments or posts reach the top spot on the community’s popular groups, the results will be enormous.

Tons of people will know your business, and the awareness will ripple across other forums. You might even get some mentions on authority sites.

Interest

The awareness stirred by your group comments and posts won’t stop at just making your business or brand popular. People will be keen to know more about you.

In the process, your website traffic will increase. If you included subtle lead generation hacks, that could warm up users.

For example, you could add a link to download a FREE e-book within your posts or comments. Of course, users would have to submit their email addresses.

Pro tip: offer to send the download link to users’ email addresses. That’s a subtle tactic.

When you get the email addresses, send well-crafted copies to warm up the subscribers to your products and services. Avoid being generic and overly salesy while you’re at it.

Trust & Sales

In the process of building awareness and interest, you’ll conveniently gain the trust of prospects. Your email sequences would have already calmed all doubts.

You could also send prospects to the “ultimate guides” and “how-tos” on your blog to further relax the sales barrier.

The little steps will eventually gain you more customers. The process is undoubtedly lengthier than with SEO.

Nevertheless, you will still get the same result: more sales.

Note: to enjoy the benefits discussed above, you must build your forum backlinks rightly.

Fortunately, the practical guide below can help.

  

The best way to get cost-effective results from any link-building strategy is to let experts help you. Nevertheless, you might want to be hands-on.

In that case, the following steps will be most helpful for building forum backlinks.

Compile A List Of Suitable Forums

Undoubtedly, the top forums with several discussions and topics are Quora and Reddit. The two platforms are popular and have the most users.

So, draft Quora and Reddit on your list. But don’t stop there.

Search for more forums. How?

Use Google!

Type your “industry” and “forum” into Google

You’ll find the top forums; add 2-3 to your list.

What if you can’t find a forum despite your Google search?

That would rarely happen. But say it did; broaden your search to a general niche forum – still related to your business.

Screen The Forums On Your List

To screen the forums on your list, do so in two steps:

  • By activity
  • By rules

By Activity

You won’t create brand awareness, talkless of making sales in a forum with no activity. Choose communities where members are active.

If the owners are active on the forum, that’s better.

Fun fact: when Quora started, the co-owner, Adam D’Angelo, was actively responding to questions on the forum. Such active involvement set the tone for the popularity of Quora to date.

About the activity, check the date of the last posts. Other hints include:

  • Views – an estimate of how many people are in the forum
  • Comments and shares – a gauge of participation level in the forum

By Rules

All communities have their rules. For example, adding your links under other people’s posts when it’s not asked could result in a ban.

Posting links always could also be against the rules of the forum. So, check through the pinned guidelines – if there are any.

If you can’t find the rules, locate the community manager or top members.

Overall, check that the rules are what you are okay with. Some forums can be unnecessarily strict – to be fair.

If the “rules” of a forum are too much, cut it off your list.

The aim of all forums is to have valuable discussions and proffer short solutions to problems. So, remember that primary aim before joining any.

In fact, offer value first in all cases. If possible, don’t add links to your posts or comments. Only do so when applicable.

For example, if you could answer a question within a sentence. You don’t need to add links.

Say you might need to write a long text – showing complex steps. That’s an opportunity to add a link.

In such a case, answer the question summarily. Then, add a link to your blog post as a more rounded resource to guide the inquirer.

Furthermore, offering value beyond links will score free points with users. Soon, many would ask you to add links.

In cases like that, you can rest assured of tons of traffic – and high conversion rates too.

Verdict

If you want forum backlinks solely to boost your rankings on SERPs, no, you’re better off with other strategies.

But for overall and all-encompassing marketing, forum backlinks can be instrumental to building cross-sectional awareness and interest in your business.

Forum backlinks, combined with other SEO-focused link-building strategies, can boost your rankings on search results.

And to get the best results. Consider letting an expert help you!