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

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 ? 

21 comments

  • 0

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

    We are working on fixing that issue.

  • 0

    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.

  • 0

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

  • 0

    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.

  • 0

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

  • 0

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

  • 0

    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?

  • 0

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

  • 0

    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...

  • 0

    Is it because this thread is marked answered that it will no longer receive any love?

  • 0

    We added SEO support for canonical names awhile back.

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

  • 0

    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

  • 0

    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.

  • 0

    @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.

  • 0

    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?  

  • 0

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

  • 0

    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! 

  • 0

    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

  • 0

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

     

    What's the status on SEO+Zendesk forums?

  • 0

    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.

  • 0

    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-Improvements-Join-Crusade-

    Thank you.

    Enjoy,

    Todd

     

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