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Do we get SEO benefits when using ZenDesk for forums/articles?

Colin Murphy
asked this on February 19, 2010 10:32

We are considering using ZenDesk's forum capability to house a lot of FAQs, knowledge articles, product documentation, etc... as many other customers have done.  However, we can't make this commitment unless we can reap the SEO benefits (it took us a lot of time to develop all that content)... will we be able to when the site is hosted at ourcompany.zendesk.com ? 

 

Comments

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Skip Moore
Zendesk
Check Answer

Google does spider the portal forums, but the links show <your helpdesk>.zendesk.com 

We are working on fixing that issue.

February 24, 2010 14:15
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Paul
Check Answer
There is an unsupported way in which you can use an A name, such as forum.ourcompany.com, however the ourcompany.zendesk.com will still be accesable and there will be duplicate content.
March 02, 2010 18:28
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Skip Moore
Zendesk

Just remember that we do change IP's when we upgrade clusters. So you will have to keep a eye on the A record. 

March 02, 2010 21:30
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Paul

Thanks.  This was the critical issue for us and that is just a minor problem.  We can live with updating the IP as needed.  We didn't do a CNAME as the content basically "belongs" to ourcompany.zendesk.com in the eyes of the search engines when done that way.  It will be nice when this is more supported.  Maybe just an option to allow access from the the A record only.  However the search engines these days are really good about filtering duplicate content without penalizing the main site so it's not too much of an issue.

March 03, 2010 06:20
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Riccardo Zulian

Is the <your helpdesk>.zendesk.com  problrm solved?

May 28, 2010 09:27
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Paul

The will still be duplicate content, however Google has been good at picking up the correct version.

June 12, 2010 09:03
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Joshua Shokunbi

Any update on this question its been about a year since the op asked? I'm looking for a feedback/support tool and looking at zendesk as a good uservoice alternative. Only thing holding me back a bit is the domain asilaing feature and not knowing if zendesk will allow me to reap in seo benefits like uservoice?

May 29, 2011 23:11
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Mark Parrott
lush

Would love to hear an update on this also. Bit of a potential deal breaker for us and we like Zendesk.

June 28, 2011 13:24
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Michael O'Riley
streamtime

Interested in any updates also. We have a large knowledge base currently sitting in wordpress that we would like to move across into our Zendesk account. The two area's keeping us in wordpress are stats (which various forums are saying will hopefully be looked into this year) and SEO. Our articles are top hits via google searches at the moment - losing that entirely is a large step backward...

July 19, 2011 03:48
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Mark Parrott
Is it because this thread is marked answered that it will no longer receive any love?
August 18, 2011 15:06
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Skip Moore
Zendesk

We added SEO support for canonical names awhile back.

So you will not take a hit for using zendesk and a CNAME

August 22, 2011 11:23
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Mark Parrott
lush
OK - Just to check though. We build SEO rank on our subdomain (cname) but not on our primary names. e.g. helpdesk.ourdomain.com not www.ourdomain.com/helpdesk
August 22, 2011 14:32
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Wayne Theisinger

And who owns the content added to the knowledgebase - ie can we export the content should we choose to move to an alternative solution. Don't really like the idea of being tied in for fear of losing SEO weight.

May 15, 2012 01:16
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David Goss
thackerays

@Mark Parrott

"We build SEO rank on our subdomain (cname) but not on our primary names. e.g. helpdesk.ourdomain.com not www.ourdomain.com/helpdesk"

That's right. Subdomains are considered by Google as a separate domain entirely, and neither of them contribute SEO value to one another.

A good solution would be to have the documentation articles on your main website to get the SEO value there, and syndicate them to Zendesk via the API (or the other way round, depending on how you want to work). The only thing that's missing is an option in Zendesk to "hide my X content from search engines" which I suppose would insert a <meta name="robots" content="noindex, follow" /> in the page to prevent it from being index. This way all the SEO benefit goes to your main website but the content is available in both places.

September 27, 2012 09:48
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Sven

Hi - jumping in a bit late - but when creating new Categories in the forum the url they get looks like this: 

https://webcontent.zendesk.com/forums/21620083-playhippo-faq   

That number sequence in the beginning is not a good thing - possible to not have it automatically added?  

December 27, 2012 14:14
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Sven

Same thing on the actual post under each category-  they get this random number

December 27, 2012 14:15
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Justin Seymour
Zendesk
Check Answer

Hey Sven: 

That number is unique to the forum or article. It is assigned automatically and dynamically, and will change if you delete and then recreate the same article. Unfortunately  this is not something that can be modified or disabled! 

December 31, 2012 05:37
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Stafford Vaughan
Check Answer

Hi Sven,

Just to add to Justin's comment, the unique number is a good thing, because as I describe in the Zendesk book, you can also use the shortened version (e.g., https://webcontent.zendesk.com/forums/21620083) without the suffix based on the name of the forum or article. This means that you can rename the forum or article and the link with just the unique number would still be valid. If the URL relied on the name of the forum or article, you would need to update all hyperlink references to that forum or article whenever you changed the name.

Hope that helps,
Stafford

January 02, 2013 14:22
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Andrea Saez

Looks like this link no longer works: https://support.zendesk.com/entries/505505-forum-seo-improvements-a...

 

What's the status on SEO+Zendesk forums?

March 05, 2013 11:37
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Jennifer Rowe
Zendesk

thanks for letting me know, Andrea! We archived old release notes recently and that was one that got archived. Here's all it said:

>>We've made some improvements to forums which will hopefully increase Search Engine Optimization, leading to better ranking of your forums by search engines such as Google. This involves things like changing the meta description, page titles and keywords to values that Google understand better.

March 05, 2013 13:33
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Todd Myers
modernretail

Gang,

If SEO is important to you could you please help me out by joining a crusade to encourage Zendesk to work on some SEO improvements:

https://support.zendesk.com/entries/38409208-Help-Center-SEO-Improv...

Thank you.

Enjoy,

Todd

 

January 27, 2014 10:27