The future or fall of forums
I recently had a discussion with a profound webworker running several portals. We discussed the issue if forums will be as stable in search engines as they behaved in the past and if they are still a good choice if you're trying to build a sustainable community you can run a company on.
His point was that with the integration of the Google Groups in Google+ and with Google+ in general as a social space, Google is on the edge of ranking forums down in search engines within the next 1-3 years. He argued that this happened to several verticla services in the past. First directories, then rating portals, then pricefinder websites and so on. His opinion was to never build something Google also offers. Do something completely different.
I kind a understand that arguement and they downturn may have been already startet. Forums do not rank high on certain keywords, just the long tail helps you get found in the net. But what if Google kills your long tail? You could certainly use new registration...
So do the workload of running a forum really pay off in the long term?
Will Google set our forum 50+ ranks down after 2013?
Would love to hear your opinion (might be better than the bläh Vanilla blog.)