Forums are one of the most visited sites on the internet. Their popularity is a result of their niche focus and quality educative posts. People don’t just visit forums, they visit them to learn, interact with like minded people and to promote their ideas and products. If you have a website, forums can increase organic traffic to your site with just a little effort. To make the most out of forums, you need to get a few things right.
You must join the correct forums. A process of identifying relevant forums must precede any other activity. Your website is the key indicator of where your traffic should come from. If your website is an online store for beauty products, you must target forums that have to do with ladies, beauty, fashion, skin diseases, professional women and so forth. This is about driving quality traffic to your site and you must be very careful on the forums you target.
The way you present yourself is very important. Make sure you register your details giving all indications about your kind of business. Create a good profile with a keyword signature and a link if the forums allows. A thumbnail picture of your site may be appropriate here. It helps the visitors get a picture of what you are promoting and some of them may as well just want to go ahead and visit your site without getting more details.
Contributing to the debate is the best part of forums for marketers. The quality and frequency of your contribution determines how much traffic you drive to your site. Most forum visitors follow threads that seem related to their interest. They will also follow threads that have quality and enlightening discussions. For you to drive traffic through your content, don’t just contribute to threads; do some research to know what is current and relevant. Also make sure you regularly update your posts, threads can sometimes get very long and you need to have several in the thread. Some people reply to one thread and hope that traffic will flow to their site forever. Forums are discussion sites and you must take them as such. The more you contribute, the more popular you become and the more you get noticed. Traffic comes from visitors who find your posts on the forums. If you are not a regular contributor, you will hardly be noticed and there will be little or no traffic to your site.
Register and participate in as many forums as possible. There are thousands of forums available on any given topic. All you need to do is to search for all those that have potential to give you traffic and you begin to participate in the debate.
Besides their heavy traffic potential, most forums are free to join and participate and this makes them an easy and free source of traffic. However it is only for those who can commit to regular participation.
People search engines help locate long lost family members, business associates, loved ones, and classmates. Besides finding people, people search engines are also used for “egosurfing” or “vanity searching”. Also known as “auto googling” or “self-googling”, by typing in a user name, individuals are able to view information that is posted about them online.
Several of the search engines listed below provide an additional resource for parents. Not only do these search engines search traditional online locations, but many search social networking websites and blogs. It is strongly recommended parents frequently perform vanity searches on children to monitor online activity and personal information that is published online.
The following people search engines offer varying search criteria and provide a variety of search results:
- Wink is a comprehensive search engine that provides an invaluable resource for parents. Besides the “standard” people search inquiries, Wink searches over 300 million profiles from blogs and social networking sites including Facebook.
- Search by location, name, school and interests
- Refine searches by using marital status, birthdate and gender
Wink offers a variety of helpful and free tools for users:
- The Wink Widget
- Search plug-in for Firefox and IE 7 users
- A Wink button can be added to blogs and profile pages
- Peek You is another people search engine that is simple and easy to use. “The smartest way to find people online”, this service searches social networking websites and photographs, and registered users can add profile information. The user interface is sharp and clean with a new Google tab also included.
- First and last name
- Username-which is an online nickname typically used in chat rooms, forums and social profiles
- Tags which are short descriptive words
- Pipl delves deep within the “invisible web” for information traditional search engines do not search. Touted as “The most comprehenvisve people search on the web”, besides traditional searches, Pipl searches through millions of social networking profiles as well as databases not commonly searched with traditional search engines. The Pipl interface is clean and simple and results are nicely categorized for easy viewing.
- Spock is a newer search engine, still in beta, that includes a simple and straight-forward user interface. Started in 2006, Spock was voted “Top 25 Websites to Watch” by PC Magazine.
Spock search engine includes:
- Tags which allow users and owners to add a variety of search engine optimized words. People can vote, add or delete tags
- Profile aggragation which helps consolidate various user identities and profiles
- Reputation Ranking
- Yo Name provides three types of searches; people search, web search or public records search from Intelius, which is a paid search. Yo Name also searches social networking websites and blogs.
- First and last name
- Telephone number
- Email address
Clicking on the “advance search” tab provides additional searches from:
- Riya is a different type of search engine. Touted as a “visual” search engine, Riya performs searches by:
- Public photographs
- White Pages is similar to telephone directories people have at home. The online White pages has over 180 million adutls in their searchable databases which covers more than 80% of people in the United States.
- Reverse Address
- Reverse Telephone searches are used to find the owner of a particular telephone number. Type the phone number in the search box and the user will be identified in results.
Whether trying to find an old friend or egosurfing, the seven people search engines listed above are helpful online resources for young and old alike.