There are many online SEO forums that cater to users ranging from newbies to experts and where you can exchange ideas and get answers to specific SEO questions. This is a great way to increase your knowledge of a particular subject or get a quick answer from an expert. Each forum has its own flavor and rules.
SEO Forums seem to have become the rage recently and you can now find more than 100 forums of various capabilities and prejudices. Listed below is a sampling of some of the more popular and or better forums. Be warned that I have my own likes and dislikes and sometimes these tend to surface strongly.
Threadwatch attempts to sift out the signal from the noise in the forums and give an overall view of what’s happening.
SEO Roundtable offers a series of views on current SEO forum discussions by senior members of the forum community.
WebMasterWorld forums are one of the older forums and have a large and technically oriented membership. Often considered as a geek forum it is nevertheless a great place to get technical answers to SEO and other webmaster questions. One of the interesting features there is GoogleGuy, a poster from Google who is supposed to be privy to Google inside information, but whose comments have to be interpreted carefully. A bit sensitive to negative Google comments and each thread can have dozens of me too or irrelevant replies mixed in. One of the few forums where not all threads make it into a live discussion.
Warrior Forum has some excellent moderators and some thoughtful discussion. Especially noted for targeting usability issues.
Apex Forum is a forum with many knowledgeable moderators and has many active posts on current issues. The predominant flavor of this forum is best described as the content is king and is good if you don’t want to delve too deeply into the subject.
SEO Mastering Forum has attracted a large and loyal following with a dedicated anti-spam flavor. It can be a good source of information but has developed a rather strong affinity for the discussion and elimination of Spam, at a price of less discussion on other topics.
SEORefugee Forum has many knowledgeable members and prides itself on the free and frank discussion of all SEO issues. Here is the place to get straight information on SEO subjects which are taboo at other forums. (I may be prejudiced though as I moderate there) mixed with an irreverent attitude about the fads of the day. It can be a fun place too with a Jokes forum and a private Happy Hour forum for discussions that are well, Private.
Searchengineforums.com shows promise of being more friendly than the old forum but they still have to guard against the old moderator’s attitude which at best was abrasive and at worst could take turns like “Your posts are as welcome as a pile of dog crap on my front lawn, get lost”. Now emerging as a different more encompassing forum and one of the few not run by volunteers.
BlackHatWorld Forum is a very large forum with more than 50,000 members who have posted over 200,000 messages. There is a mix of very good information and some off the wall ideas, with some very longwinded discussions that have a tendency to turn acrimonious. Moderation is not the strong point of this forum, but to be fair there are some good moderators who are overworked.
Searchenginewatch forums include moderation and comments by Danny Sullivan and has some great content and is occasionally blessed by the presence of GoogleGuy and Tim Mayer from Yahoo. This is a place to go for those who want to engage in high-level technology discussion, some of which are way above my head. Danny’s opinions are formed from long experience and some times by input direct from the search engines. As of today, the forum doesn’t exist but they have an SEO blog that is updated with the latest information and trends.
DigitalPoint forum is unusual in that there are no moderators per se, but members can vote on other members’ posts, and if too many negative votes are cast, the poster may lose the right to put live links in his posts. This has not stopped a few trolls from taking more or less permanent residence there, waiting to make silly and irrelevant posts mixed in with a good amount of old fashioned crude insults. The no moderation idea is not working very well there, IMO
When looking for SEO forums visit a few to get the flavor of the place, the level of posts from the members and how responsive the moderators are.
Some forums are laid back some will allow links in your signature some will not and some will not allow any links of any kind anywhere.
The jury still seems to be out on whether or not putting keyword links in your forum signatures will help your rankings or not, but there is evidence that they are read and that a forum sig link will help a new site get spidered, so if the forum allows it why not?