I was having some problems with Final Fantasy XIII freezing on my Xbox 360, so I posted a few times to the Xbox Forums at http://forums.xbox.com/. The posts contained a link to a blog post here on ardamis.com that explained my situation in greater detail. I started to wonder if the forums were searcheable in Google, so I checked and found that for the most part, they weren’t.
The regular forum thread URLs contain a nofollow, noindex robots meta tag and end with ‘ShowPost.aspx’, but if you click on the Print button, you’re taken to a URL that ends with ‘PrintPost.aspx’. These printer-friendly pages have no such tag.
If you Google this – site:forums.xbox.com – you’ll see what I mean. There are currently less than a thousand results in Google.
This post is just to test whether I can get a PrintPost.aspx page indexed in Google by linking to it, and whether I can create an inbound link from forums.xbox.com by linking to the printer-friendly version of a thread that contains a link back to a page on ardamis.com.
The URL to the normal thread: http://forumsarchive.xbox.com/31588531/ShowPost.aspx
The URL to the printer-friendly page: http://forumsarchive.xbox.com/31588531/PrintPost.aspx
The URL to the normal thread: http://forumsarchive.xbox.com/31685953/ShowPost.aspx
The URL to the printer-friendly page: http://forumsarchive.xbox.com/31685953/PrintPost.aspx
To test, as of 03.17.2010…
Your search – site:forums.xbox.com ardamis – did not match any documents.
Both PrintPost.aspx pages are now indexed. Google Webmaster Tools still doesn’t know of any inbound links to my Final Fantasy post, although there are probably a handful by now.
The PrintPost.aspx pages are now showing up as the first two results in Google for final fantasy xiii xbox freeze. My post is the third result.
My post is now the first result for final fantasy xiii xbox freeze. The PrintPost.aspx pages are now showing up as the second and third results.
The answer is Yes, it is possible to get inbound links that show up in Google Webmaster Tools from forums.xbox.com.