Let's start with the standard point. A forum with little content or content that is not keyword rich, or a forum which does not have links to it from other sites will NEVER do well with search engines. Nothing we can do will change that.
But we can and should start lending a helping hand by optimising site URLs. Having reviewed the solutions available I am not impressed, they make far too many changes to the code, some times even needing template edits, and all too frequently giving people a shed load of admin panel options.
This is definitely a case where options distract from the fact the core business of SEO is about the content.
What I plan to start doing is to take an approach which is compatible with out phpbb2 SEO, this will have the added advantage that old links known by search engines will continue to work if a phpbb3 upgrade is done.
In my view this approach will quietly get 90% of the possible SEO mileage, and as it will do it without fuss, it will actually be more effective that more complex solutions that will focus people on the tech and not on the real job at hand.
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