Learn SEO Through Forums

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I had someone who was reading my previous entries in my Learning SEO series ask about using forums to learn SEO. I promised that I would write a post about the value of forums in learning SEO.

Back in 1998 I became a moderator of a couple of forums on small business and website promotion on Yahoo Groups. Those lead to me becoming a moderator at Cre8asiteforums, joining forum owner Kim Krause Berg along with a number of other moderators such as Ammon Johns and Jill Whalen.

Cre8asiteforums was (and still is) a tremendous place to talk about SEO and web design and usability and accessibility. One of my favorite individual forums on the site was one called The Website Hospital, where people would bring their site’s URL and concerns about it, and ask questions. That was were I learned a lot about auditing sites, and seeing what worked well on them, and what might need some help. This thread is a good introduction to it: Getting Started in the Website Hospital.

Here’s a thread I started in November of 2005 that was an interesting read, on SEO Myths.

Another forum that I have gotten a lot of value from over the years is one call Webmasterworld. Most of the members of this forum are practicing SEOs or siteowners, who enjoy sharing their experiences. It reminds me of a weather vane, in that people are often open with information about changes that they experience to rankings and traffic to their sites. You can see changes taking place on the Web from what they write.

Another place that can be informative about how search works is the Google Webmaster Help Forum. If you experience problems with a site, it is often a good place to search to see if anyone else has experienced something similar – it is possible that someone has, and the answers they received may help you as well.

There are other forums on the Web that focus upon SEO and Search. I’ve included the ones that I am most familiar with. There were some others that I participated on, that aren’t very active anymore. It doesn’t hurt to start off as a lurker, and learn about the customs and culture of a forum before you start participating in it. You may find some that you enjoy participating in very much.

When I started going to conferences and events after being involved in forums for a few years, I finally had a chance to meet in real life many people whom I had only met in discussions at forums. It was nice getting a chance to do so.

You can learn a lot through forums.

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86 thoughts on “Learn SEO Through Forums”

  1. Bill: I also spent considerable time at webmasterworld. Actually quite interesting; The 2 forums you mentioned both hosted quite a number of expert voices, had many different valuable threads….and were remarkably different. If one spent time at both, one could learn tons of valuable seo, and one would get perspective on it in very different environments.

    Quite a healthy way to learn.

  2. Hi Dave, Perhaps that is why I was drawn to both places – there was so much available to learn at each of them, and it was possible to get very different perspectives, rather than redundant information, from each. I participated in threads a lot more at Cre8asiteforums and I did a lot more lurking and reading at Webmasterworld, but both of them were worth spending time out.

  3. Bill Sir, personally I always avoided forums to learn SEO because I found that if not all but many forum users use and recommend unethical techniques most of the time. I do recommend people to read whatever you get but apply it wisely after giving a thought on that. Reading SEO articles, applying what you have a read and regularly analyzing the results are the key factors.

  4. Hi Search Engine Call,

    My intent with this post wasn’t to create a big list of SEO forums, but rather to write about my own experiences learning at forums. I made one post at Black Hat world once, and a couple of posts at Warrior Forum. So my involvement at both was really limited It’s possible that people might get some value from those, but I didn’t spend much time at either.

  5. Hi Kbird,

    There were a couple of others that I spent some time out that just aren’t very active anymore, but it was worth the effort getting involved and learning from others. It did really help meeting lots of people and gaining access to a lot of ideas.

  6. Hi Soumya Roy, Not all forums are alike. But there are forums that don’t provide unethical techniques. I was an administrator at Cre8asiteforums for 8 years, and we didn’t have many people during that time suggesting or providing unethical techniques. Yes, critical thinking in how you apply something you learn from others is important.

  7. Bill, you and Ammon and Kim, among many others helped me enormously. Cre8asite was supportive, thoughtful and ‘holistic’ throughout the time I was involved. You in particular made me think about web standards and though I’ve moved on to different things it helped me think about things in certain ways. Good communities can be hard to come by and greatly valued when you find them and get involved. I still remember those days fondly.

  8. Hi Adrian,

    It’s good hearing from you. I wrote this post because I wanted to give people an idea of the value a forum can have for them to learn about working on the Web. I enjoyed the discussions we had there tremendously, and I remember them fondly as well.

  9. Thanks for discussing about seo forums, 23 checkout about SEO Myths is informative

  10. Hi Bill, I’m so glad to read this post. I benefited so much from forums in the early years, WW, Sitepoint and others. I tell people today that I learned SEO through forums.

  11. Hi Emory,

    Thanks for sharing that, Emory. When I started this blog, I had an audience for it already because of my involvement with Cre8asiteforums. I also learned much of what I know about SEO from the chance to have worked with many terrific SEOs who were regulars and moderators/Administrators at Cre8asite. I had been working as an in-house SEO when I first started moderating at Cre8asite, but being at the forum gave me a chance to join an SEO agency; so I learned about SEO there, and it lead to me working at a place that I could use a lot of what I learned. I’m going to have to follow up this post with one about social media, and how people can use that to learn about SEO, because I’m finding it helpful these days.

  12. Forums were free to join and most still are. Many are where advice is immediately provided by people who have faced the same issue and know what to do. I still ask lots of questions at Cre8asiteforums ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Hi Kim,

    The spirit of sharing and learning happening at Cre8asite made it a wonderful place to spend time at. Thank you for keeping it running, and helping to support so many people who came to learn, and often stayed to teach. It was always fun asking a member of the forum if they would like to be a moderator.

  14. Yes, indeed, I learned so much through Crea8siteforums and will always remember the discussions we had!

    Thank you Bill and all the lovely folks that made it such a generous community.

  15. Hi Nadir,

    Cre8asite was a third space, neither home nor work, where we could just stop and say hello and ask and answer questions. It was a lot of fun, and an opportunity to share thoughts and ideas. Thank you for being part of that community. ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Frankly I don’t see much value in forums, at least in last few years. Now everyone migrated to bigger platforms. I really like Reddit for its community and variety of subreddits.

  17. Hi PJ,

    There are alternatives to Forums; but I think there may still be value to be found in forums. I am seeing a lot of activity in Slack channels, and at Reddit and in Twitter chats, but I think many of the things that I found helpful at forums still exists at a few, such as the three that I mentioned in my post. If someone finds those communities to be good fits for themselves, it’s possible that they could learn a lot from those places. Reddit may be a bigger platform, but that doesn’t necessarily make it a better learning opportunity.

  18. Hello Bill,

    This is very informative post about the SEO forums ๐Ÿ™‚

    Frankly speaking I am hearing this for the first time and I do not know much about these forum regarding the SEO.
    I am looking forward to read out more articles about the SEO forums to make my knowledge more clear about this topic.

    Thanks for the share.
    Shantanu.

  19. Hi Shantanu,

    If you want to learn more about using forums to learn about SEO; rather than reading articles about SEO forums, perhaps you would learn a lot more by spending some time at some forum and experiencing them in person.

  20. Hi Bill,
    Thank you for this article. To be honest, I only go to Warrior Forum and Reddit. I didn’t know that there is a lot of forums out there that I can learn from. I can’t wait to join in the conversations. Again, thank you.

  21. I believe a lot of valuable information is out there for free on many forums and it is possible to learn SEO this way. There are a lot of generous people who love helping others and openly share the knowledge they have gained. People on these forums could unintentionally also be giving you information that could harm your SEO efforts, so you have to be cautious. At the end of the day you still have to take action and test for yourself what works and what doesn’t.

  22. Hi Sarah,

    There are some great discussions going on in some forums, and they bring opportunities to learn new things, or see things from different perspectives. I hope you find some that you like.

  23. Hi Devendran,

    There is a lot of good information and a lot of misleading information on the Web. It’s important to exercise critical thinking and to test everything before you rely upon it too much – that is the way the world works as well as forums.

  24. Forums are very different and some are even harmful. I prefer webmasterworld and Google Webmaster Help Forum. What I wait from these two are tips, help and great advice. I think the moderator is a key person and his main duty is to keep the quality on a high level.

  25. Hi Dominic,

    I had the good fortune to participate in a forum where some really good SEOs were writing and helping others. It helped me learn a lot.

  26. Long before blogs, eBooks, and social media sites, we had forums to learn everything we needed to learn depending on a subject that we’re interested in. I think it’s awesome that there are forums that focus on SEO. I still have plenty to learn about it! It’s a wide subject.

  27. Hi Bill,
    Thanks for sharing the forum list. Personally I use facebook groups to learn new things about SEO but I will checkout them too.
    Thanks
    Lokender

  28. Hi Jocelyn,

    The forums I mention in the post have been around for over 10 years and have been providing help and suggestions regarding SEO for that time. There are a lot of people who are active at them who do SEO or run online commerce shops professionally. It’s worth seeing if you like those forums and getting involved.

  29. Hi Lokender,

    I haven’t yet mentioned using social media sources to learn more about SEO (something that I am leaning towards adding soon), but do check out those forums, and see if they might be a good match for you. You may find that you like them a lot; I know I did.

  30. There is indeed a lot that can be learned through forums. It is also a way to see people’s individual opinions on which methods work best

  31. Thanks Bill for such an amazing article..
    I have started learning SEO last year and also have learnt many techniques by going through different forums.

  32. Bill,

    I agree. I generally use Webmasterworld which give me a lot of value from over the years. Also, another one is my favorite is Google Webmaster Help Forum.

  33. I think forums are very important aspects in SEO & we can enhance our SEO by exploring forums. Thank you Bill! Thanks for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

  34. Hey Bill,

    Although I do know about some of them but the ones i didn’t know about I really want to thank you for sharing those with us.

    Thanks Bill for such a valuable post.

    Cheers
    Stecy

  35. I agree, Learning SEO through Forums helps us to improve knowledge in SEO and to get answers for our practical oriented SEO Questions.

  36. We love Webmasters Help Forum by Google. Thank you for putting such an amazing resource together our team will definitely use it ๐Ÿ™‚

  37. Hi Bill!
    This article is helpful for me, i found the hospital website forum and webmasterworld are the two wonderful forum. Thank for your sharing

  38. I think that it is depends on the country. In Poland we have one very old forum where you can find most technical information but if you need high level strategic help you need pay for it. On forum, you can only find basis information. Regards

  39. You have provided an nice article, Thank you very much for this one. And i hope this will be useful for many people.. and i am waiting for your next post keep on updating these kinds of knowledgeable things..

  40. Hey Bill,
    Just when I thought I should give up the idea of learning SEO, I came across this post and I am very thankful to you for sharing the forum information. The forums are really helpful.

  41. There is such a wealth of information available online. I used to read up on countless threads on web marketing and SEO forums back before I ever tried my hand at ranking anything.

    One of my favorites was actually Wickedfire. It’s a shame they decided to gate all the best content on there, because it really stifled the community as a whole

  42. Really a great addition. I have read this marvelous post. Thanks for sharing information about how social media can help

    students at college. I really like that. Thanks so a lot for your convene.

  43. Before the hype, long time ago i simply learned SEO from online material such as free blog, some BH forum ๐Ÿ˜€ which tell us to use xenuke to blast every backlink to our sites. But thanks to you and some white SEO warrior in the forum, inform me with the correct method and always follow the rules from Google. Play white, fun and always learn.

  44. I always found that forums are a great place to pick up new stuff and what is more, get help on specific things from people that are competent.
    Also, many knowledgeable people who don’t share their knowledge by blogging or social media can be found on forums. However, I also think that forums can be unfriendly towards newcomers ๐Ÿ™‚

  45. Learning SEO through forum is one of the good way because you can get different answers of your questions from different experts. There are many reputed SEO forums available to learn SEO.

  46. Hi Bill,
    The forum is a good option to learn SEO. Everyone can participate in the discussion and can even tell everything in detail. A forum is actually is the best platform for all SEO’s.

  47. Thanks for sharing such valuable information .Nowadays learning SEO from the forum is also a good tactic.Share best of your knowledge at forums. Ask questions, give answers it will increase your knowledge.

  48. Hi bill,
    Forums are very useful for learning more things about seo. When I have any problem is search console, I use google forums.
    Thanks for sharing.

  49. Great article! I am new in SEO and it is really helpful for me. Thanks for sharing it, it is really informative.

  50. I think webmasterworld is the best option. I am a member of this site and there are many other members who are practicing SEO. It can be the best option.

  51. Very useful information on how to learn SEO from forums. Forums are very good source of learning. Thank you for the post

  52. Hello…Thank you for your article.I would like to learn SEO. Please share more information and SEO tips.

    Thank you
    Tejakhan

  53. I loved this artice. First I used to think I have wasted all my time on forums. But, they provide many different opinions from different people. Which is very good to increase your knowledge.

  54. Hi Reputation Planners,

    And you end up with a really wide mix of skills and experiences among people who attend forums; so you stand a good chance of learning from them.

  55. Learning SEO is something anyone can do. And the best part is you can do it mostly on your own as long as you know where to begin.
    With the right resources like forums, blogs, facebook groups and tools, you can quickly learn the basics of search engine optimization. Then you can start applying what youโ€™ve learned and be well on your way to becoming an expert.

  56. I don’t use the forum for learning SEO. I think by reading any books or article you can’t learn SEO properly only you can gain some knowledge from there. But if you want to learn SEO properly then you have to apply your knowledge practically. I think practical learning is the best way. So for getting knowledge, i use youtube or some personal blogs. So after reading the article, I think forums will help you. Thanks for your info.

  57. Hi Ron,

    There is a lot of value in creating a website, or starting a blog, and adding Google Search Console to it, and Google Analytics. In addition, becoming an editor for Wikipedia can be a good learning experience, and participating in a forum to the point where they decide to make you a moderator can provide some insights. Being active on social sites such as Twitter and Facebook and Instagram also gets you involved in learning new things. A forum can be a good place to find people to ask questions, or to get involved in discussions about SEO. They aren’t a replacement for hands-on experience, but they can help people learn.

  58. Yeah, I agree, that from forums and social media platforms we learn a lot but the learning from these platforms doesn’t give enough information to make a person an expert.

  59. Nothing at all wrong with learning SEO through a forum – although be aware that there are plenty of garbage SEO forums so you have to be skeptical of everything you read.

    You wouldn’t believe the number of mindless drones in places like Warrior Forum. And if you call out some piece of bull crap one of their “verified members” posted you get banned. Gotta keep that WSO racket going.

  60. There are many a ways to learn SEO, such as tutorials or guides. However, through forum is indeed a good suggestion. The active replies will keep you constantly update and getting the right information through multiple sources.

  61. Based on my experience, there avec many forums related to SEO learning but not all can be judged equal and some even give wrong advice.
    Thanks for sharing your advice, links to interestinf forums including Cre8asiteforums.

  62. Hello Bill, I’m so happy to peruse this post. I profited such a great amount from gatherings in the early years, WW, Sitepoint. got really valuable information about SEO from Forum.

  63. I was a wickedfire member and learned a ton there. I’d also suggest checking out Builder Society – lots of old members from WF migrated there and it’s still running. Lots of knowledge in those pages!

  64. I spent some time at webmaster world. it is quite interesting; The forums you said about both hosted quite a number of expert voices, had many different valuable threadsโ€ฆ

  65. Bill: I also spent lots of time at webmasterworld. Its quite interesting; The 2 forums are mentioned both hosted quite a number of expert voices and they discuss well, had many different valuable thingsโ€ฆ
    Lots of discussion happens which are truely helpful in many ways.

  66. Sadly, Cre8asiteforums and the Website Hospital isn’t active anymore. Do you have any idea which forum the members and moderators moved to?

    Yes, WebMasterWorld was and still is a top notch forum to get your doubts clarified.

  67. Hi Sid,

    Cre8asiteforums just closed down. The owner decided that she wanted to spend her time building a business rather than running a forum 24/7. There are negotiations going on to relocate that forum so we shall see where it ends up going.

    Yes Webmasterwords is still active, and a good place to read about changes taking place on the web.

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