Is it possible to get inbound links from the Xbox Forums?

In May, 2011, the Xbox Forums were redesigned and some, but not all, of the existing content moved to a new subdomain: http://forumsarchive.xbox.com. I’ve updated the post to fix the links so they no longer 404, but the rest of the information is dated and probably inaccurate.

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.

Update: 03.18.2010

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.

Update: 03.19.2010

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.

Update: 03.31.2010

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.

Update: 06.26.2010

The answer is Yes, it is possible to get inbound links that show up in Google Webmaster Tools from forums.xbox.com.

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