Any disadvantage to consolidating forums?

Red Squirrel

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Nov 29, 2009
Messages
9,211
I run several web forums. A tech one, a "anything goes" one, and a game server forum. The game server one is the only one that gets somewhat half decent traffic. The other two are dead, given there are a million like them out there. However, they do have a decent amount of posts accumulated over the past 10 years or so and my google rank is pretty good.

I am toying with the idea of starting a new forum, and merging these 3 into that one. I would then ensure that there are categories to fit all 3 audiences, but any redundant categories (Ex: the off topic sections) would be combined.

This would mean one forum to maintain instead of 3, and the traffic combined would make it have way more traffic. My original idea was to just allow a common logon for all 3, kinda how you can logon to various google sites with one login, but then I started thinking, maybe combining is better?

Also any future forum I add would just be a sub category of that one. So say I release some software or service, I'd send people directly to the sub category at the same forum. I could maybe even have a different skin per sub category to give it a better feel.

From a SEO/user approval point of view, what do you think is better? Has anyone done this before? The idea is to combine traffic into one forum instead of spreading it. Being one forum people may be tempted to post in other categories as well, possibly doubling the traffic.
 

ameoba

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jan 9, 2001
Messages
6,413
My original idea was to just allow a common logon for all 3, kinda how you can logon to various google sites with one login, but then I started thinking, maybe combining is better?

Doing a single-sign-on system across domains is a PITA. Not worth the trouble, unless the functionality already exists in the forum software you're using.

As far as integrating them goes - you might be able to migrate everything over easily (I doubt it) but keeping all your links working (IE - each of the forums has post #4582) once you merge them would be a nightmare.
 

PTNL

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
Messages
4,199
From any perspective, I cannot see any value in merging the three forums. Why pollute a current and well-utilized forum with content from two completely unrelated forums?
 
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