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Forum Posting vs. Article Writing and Distribution: Which Is Better SEO?

There are a lot of very different activities that all fall under the umbrella of ‘SEO’. One of the things that SEO companies do constantly is evaluate their processes to see which if any of these processes is going out-of-date or otherwise becoming a less efficient thing to do. It’s an in-depth and very complicated process, because there are often no clear answers. Unless Google comes out and says “we’re devaluing XYZ backlinks” (which they have done in the past!), it’s all inductive logic and pattern analysis.

So let’s look at two common SEO activities: forum posting and article writing and distribution.

Forum Posting
The essence of forum posting is to go onto a forum, make a name for yourself there, and then slip in a few backlinks to a few choice sites. The advantage of forum posting is that it’s a backlink that comes pre-equipped with a pile of potential traffic: the forum-goers that respect your efforts are quite likely to click your link and check out your wares. The disadvantage of forum posting is the administrator: if they decide that you’re a marketer and you’re spamming, all of your effort can vanish with a click of their banhammer.

Article Writing and Distribution
Writing and distributing an article is a time-consuming effort that begins with research, continues with writing original content, and ends by finding the right place and method of making that article available to the public alongside a link back to your webpage. The advantage of article writing and distribution is that your article will generally rank well in the SERPs all by itself, creating an entirely new crowd of people who will see the article and might click the link bank to your main page. The disadvantage of article writing is the enormous amount of effort that goes into creating a proper article that will drive proper traffic.

The question of which makes better SEO depends on a lot of variables. If your goal is raw SERPs, you’re probably better off with forum posting; there are a lot of very high-authority high-relevance forums for just about any niche out there, so forum posting can nail you lots of quality back links relatively quickly. If your goal is traffic, the articles may get you better in the long run since they score for SERPs on their own in addition to raising the ranking power of your website.