Forum SEO: vBulletin/vbSEO vs IPB with SEO URL’S

Brandon Sheley posted this on Twitter.

I’m 95% certain I can get a vb+vbseo board to out rank an IPB forum with the same content & links.

I was going to write an article about this very topic. I had gathered the data and taken screenshots to do this and until Brandon posted on Twitter I didn’t have the urge. I have converted 3 of my communities to IPB from vBulletin. The sites all had vbSEO installed. I gathered the data from  Computer Help Forums from the last week I had vBulletin with vbSEO installed and then each week after the conversion to IPB. What I did was look at stats for each week after after I converted. Initially pageviews dropped, but, site visits and visitors stayed constant. Then about 2 weeks  in I noticed an increase in pageviews, visits and visitors. I also noticed that the search engines seemed to visit more often.

First a little information about the before and after. I had vBuletin installed with vbSEO. I used the vbSEO replacement feature which adds the first x words from each post to the header. I used the custom meta tags for each page and keyword thread titles.

When I converted to IPB I set up htaccess friendly url’s. I redirected the old vbSEO url’s to the default vBulletin url’s. Then used the tools IPB gives you to redirect the old url’s to the new IPB search engine friendly url’s. I have done nothing extra to the stock install of IPB to make it more SE friendly. The site doesn’t even have meta tags. I don’t know if adding them would help, but, it sure hasn’t hurt as the stats below will tell you.

Take a look at the last week I had vBulletin installed with vbSEO.

vbulletin with vbseo stats

Now look at the stats from the site 2 weeks after converting to IPB.

IPB one week stats

As you can see since the switch from vBulletin with vbSEO to IPB with no extra SEO being done the site gets more traffic, more visitors and more pageviews.

Now lets look at the SE activity on the site. One would expect this to increase anyway since the search engines had to re-index all the content. That is why I went a little farther ahead with this data. I wanted to let things calm down and in order to do that I waited until a month passed.

Search engine activity from the last week vBulletin and vbSEO were installed.

search engine visits with vbSEO and vbulletin installed

Now lets look at the first week a month after the install of IPB.

search engine visits with IPB installed

As you can see the search engines seem to like the site. They visit with more frequency.

Clearly a stock install of IPB with no special SEO done to it will not hurt your site in the search engines. In fact in my case the results with a stock IPB install performed better than the install of vBulletin with vbSEO.

So getting back to Brandon’s tweet. I would bet that anything that he can do with vbSEO wouldn’t matter at all. An equal IPB forum with same content would perform as well or better. That’s my opinion anyway.

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26 Comments on "Forum SEO: vBulletin/vbSEO vs IPB with SEO URL’S"

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Hi. Can you please share with us the method with the htaccess tricks to convert vbseo url to default vb url and then uses the converter script to point to new ipb url? Thanks

I posted in this same topic a few months ago before i switched to phpbb. I am back to give everyone my horror story with Invision in hopes that it gives people a better sense of what to choose. I’ve recently purchased IPB and converted over from phpbb. If i told everyone that i have been having problems, it would be an under-statement. First, only after a few months went by, i noticed some very old posts would show up blank. After trying to reset the boards cache etc, i figured out that the only way to fix this was… Read more »
Maybe you should read what they are saying instead of blowing it off and look up the definition of libel. Libel – anything that is defamatory or that maliciously or damagingly misrepresents. What you are posting is as such, as even stated in the PM that you decided to link for everyone to see. What you are writing IS libel! What you are showing IS libel! What you are trying to do is make IPS look bad because you’re disgruntled but what you don’t understand is you have no grounds to be disgruntled because IPS HAS tried to help you… Read more »
You’re post is hilariously hypocritical. I’m not going to sit here and bother volleying insults to you. I’m better than that. I’m going to show you that, while you stuck your nose in something that you really have nothing to do with, you are quite wrong and have actually let your fan mentality blind you to this. I’m quite aware of your posts over at the ipbforums, your contributions etc. If you are a fan of the product, that’s fine. I have no problem with that. That doesn’t mean that others do not have major issues with IPB as much… Read more »

Can you please share with us the method pls pls ???



I’m looking for move a vBulletin to IPB but i have to redirect the Url of VBSEO to my new IPB forum.

Can u send me your htacces please or give me an help?