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Are Signature Links in Forums Helpful for Your Website’s SEO?

Signature links in forums are one of the most effective ways of building your website’s link popularity and "back link count." It is believed that websites with signature links in forums will gain back links more quickly when compared to other, similar websites. Most major Internet search engines value forum content and forum signatures, although to what extent; no one is absolutely certain.

Some SEO (Search Engine Optimization) professionals believe that the “popularity” of the forum plays an important role with respect to SEO and SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). For example, a signature link on a web forum with 1000s and 1000s of members that is very active, and has a Google PageRank of 6, 7 or even 8 is believed to be more valuable (from an SEO perspective) than a signature link on a new, inactive forum.

Some forums do not allow member signature links. If the primary reason you are joining a forum is to gain back links for SEO purposes, you may want to determine if signature links are allowed before you join. Even if they are allowed, many reputable forums “force” members to have a number of posts and comments before you are permitted to display a signature link. Additionally, most forums limit the number of “lines in your forum signature” to 2 or 3. This prevents members from “cluttering up” the forum with a bunch of links to here, there and everywhere.

Signature links in forums are so popular that an entire “industry” has spawned. That industry is “selling signature links” to other forum members or even non-members, mainly for SEO purposes. Signature links are often sold on a monthly or yearly basis. The more posts a member has, and the “better their forum reputation is,” normally the higher the cost for a signature link.

Other things to consider when using signature links as an SEO tool: The more relevant the content of the forum (to your signature links), the better. The more often you post in a relevant section of the forum, the better. Avoid signature link spam – stuffing keywords into your signature links, and your anchor text unnecessarily, and always double-check the forum’s “terms of use” regarding signature links to ensure you are following the rules.

In addition to the SEO benefits of forum signature links, there is a good chance the links in your signature will receive “hits” from other forum members who follow your posts. Traffic!

When used properly, signature links are a cost-effective and efficient way to increase your website’s SEO, traffic, back links and overall link popularity!

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