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Questions About Multi-lingual Forum For Travel Website


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6 replies to this topic

#1 VikingDesigner

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 09:32 AM

Hello,

We are creating a high quality niche Travel Guide which will be in 10 languages once live. We do these languages as there are many tourists that don't speak English that travel to this part of the world. We want to incorporate a "Travel Forum" so that visitors can post comments and ask questions about the area with other tourists. The purpose is purely to add the value of the website. The Travel Guide will rank Nr 1 for the related searches as it is a very narrow segment/niche.

However, we are fairly new to forums and our concern/question relate to how Search Engines sees the content users post on the forum. We could of course block the search robots from indexing the forum content, but we feel the content should be fairly valuable to users so this is really only an option if we risk "penalties" from Google and other search engines.

We will not monitor the forum 24 hours per day as we don't have time nor resources for it. We will go through the posts every few days but as there might be plenty, we would prefer to stay as "inactive" as possible.

As we will have the site in 10 languages ( on the same domain in subfolders type www.travelguide.com/en/forum - www.travelguide.com/es/forum etc, etc ) , the idea is that users post their questions/comments in their language. For example an English speaking person would post to www.travelguide.com/en/forums and a Spanish speaker would post to www.travelguide.com/es/forums. Another option would be to have just one folder for the forum and all users post their comments/reviews in one place. We feel this would make it maybe a bit more "messy" and prefer the various language folders to have all different languages in their own place.

The idea is that any visitor can quickly see comments/reviews in his language.

Question 1:
Even though users are asked to post their question under the right "language folder", my concern is that how Google will see this if users put a comments in a forum that is not the right language. For example someone post a comment in Spanish to the ""English" travel forum folder.....and vice versa. Would this be interpreted as "bad" by Google ?

Question 2:
Another concern is that since a forum is "user created content", how could this risk the website ? if comments are badly written, bad gramma etc, knowing that Google and other search engines are becoming stricter with regards to "quality", could this be a risk for our Travel Guide ? We will track comments but don't intent to be " police-like" and can't track every comment as we would not have any time left for our daily tasks.....

I apologize for the rather long text/questions, but thought I rather explain exactly the matter so that it can be seen in a better context. I have tried to browse through tons of texts/forums but can't find anything that really answers this. Any advice/help is greatly appreciated smile.gif

#2 Jill

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 04:09 PM

None of those things will matter to Google. What will matter, however, is if you're not very closely monitoring things you will definitely get forum spammers and that will be the ultimate downfall for the forum itself and for Google.

I wouldn't start the forum until or unless you have people to carefully monitor.

#3 VikingDesigner

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 09:52 AM

QUOTE(Jill @ May 23 2011, 06:09 PM) View Post
None of those things will matter to Google. What will matter, however, is if you're not very closely monitoring things you will definitely get forum spammers and that will be the ultimate downfall for the forum itself and for Google.

I wouldn't start the forum until or unless you have people to carefully monitor.


Good morning Jill,

Many thanks for your reply. Very kind of you.

I understand your point. What do you think about a solution where the system would be built in a way that any comments in the forum, only gets "indexed" once we have "approved" the comment. Something in line with having all comments as "no indexed" until we go through them and approve them. They would still show up but in way that are not indexed by the search engines before we make them so.......

Would that potentially solved it ? I am sure we could build this feature into our CMS system.

Thanks again,


#4 Jill

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 10:42 AM

You probably mean that the comments have to be moderated before they show up publicly. That would be a perfect solution assuming you have the time to moderate.


#5 VikingDesigner

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 03:29 PM

QUOTE(Jill @ May 24 2011, 12:42 PM) View Post
You probably mean that the comments have to be moderated before they show up publicly. That would be a perfect solution assuming you have the time to moderate.


Hi again Jill,

What I mean is that comments would be visible to website visitors, but would not be found/indexed by search engines until we have "approved" the posts. That way in theory the content that do get indexed by the search engines, is only decent posts.

Basically having all posts by default with something like a robot.txt instructing search engines not to index the content and we would later on decide which posts get indexed and which ones don't.

We have never done a forum before so this is all very new to us. I am not sure why "spam" would be a problem if users have to create forum accounts or login through face book etc. I thought it can be prevented by different anti spam tools ( catcha etx ).

Still, I hear this "spam problem" from many sources so must be a problem........


Anyway, I appreciate your help and advice. if you have any more light on the subject, I'd be very happy to hear it.

Kind regards,


#6 Jill

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 04:06 PM

I'm not sure you'd be able to do what you want, but even if you could, you'd be potentially showing spam posts to your visitors, which doesn't seem like a goo diea.

#7 VikingDesigner

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 06:02 AM

QUOTE(Jill @ May 24 2011, 06:06 PM) View Post
I'm not sure you'd be able to do what you want, but even if you could, you'd be potentially showing spam posts to your visitors, which doesn't seem like a goo diea.


Hi Jill,

Ok, many thanks for your input. To summary it seems that the bottom line is that if we don't have the resources to follow the forum all the time, it is not a good idea to set up the forum.....

Just a final question : When you say "spam", do you refer to spam such as "buy viagra" etc, etc, "rolex watches" and all other types of spam out there. I though this kind of psam can be limited by having users to create forum accounts, confirming emails etc.....or this spam gets through anyway ?

I thank you very much for your inputs. It is greatly appreciated smile.gif

All the best,




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