As far as relevance goes, there is at this stage, more focus that needs to be put on getting the link from a forum revolving around any niche – it need not necessarily be related to the website we are targeting. The reason for this is that there can only be so many forums which we may end up finding in the same niche as our website, which could lead to us running out of forums, to gain backlinks from. This could lead to our backlink diversity taking a major hit.
Forum links are found by Google relatively quickly – since activity happens in a forum on a daily basis. At the same time, there is also a fear of your link being removed or your profile also being deleted at times, since the forum moderators are not always in favor of posting in the forum for backlinks.
The way to work yourself around this is that initially, once you join a forum, do not insert any backlinks in your post/signature. Merely engage yourselves in the discussions going on in the various sub-forums involved. Once you have been hanging around in the forums for awhile, simply edit your signature to include a backlink – the signature will then automatically appear below all your posts. Also, make posts in sections where even guests(non-members) can view your posts – this is the first step to getting them indexed.
How to find forums?
To find niche relevant forums, using Google, search for your forum topic. For example, if your website is based on weight loss, search for weight loss. Then on the left-hand side of the page, click on “discussions”. Almost all the search results which
show up then will be from forums. (Snapshot of first few results below)
Search in Google with the following footprint:
weight loss injurl:forum
Now go to Google groups (http://groups.google.com) and check the radio button which says “all groups” below the search button. Then again search for weight loss or whatever your forum topic is. This will again give you some forums since Google views forums essentially as discussion groups.
Tip: Also Big Boards (http://directory.big-boards.com) is an excellent place wherein you can search for forums relevant to your niche. Again remember, do not add your link in the signature right away – first make a few posts and let them comfortably remains in the forum without being noticed by the moderators.
Only once you rest assured that the moderator has visited the posts once (as a thumb rule – a week’s time), only then should you add your signature. I know time is a major constraint here – but do try and make it a habit of engaging yourself in the forum when possible.