Writing a good forum signature

All the good forums allow their users to have a forums signature at the bottom of each of their post.

The way that forums signatures operate depends on the forum:

  • Some forums have the no-follow attribute on links rendering them useless from a search engine ranking point of view
  • Some forums only show forums signatures to logged in people meaning a smaller audience

Types of forum signatures

There are 4 types of forum signatures. Each one may work in certain forums and not in others.

Descriptive links

The descriptive links is your classic forum signature. It can have one or many links, and is it easy to identify what each link is about. If your links are on topic with the forum, this type will work well for you. The problem comes when your links are not related and as people can tell that they are not related. They have no reason to visit your links. An example of descriptive links is:

See syncrat for MusicNews and sport

Personal links

The personal (or ego) links forum signature is different to the descriptive links forum signature as it focuses more you and not the links. Instead of your signature appearing as descriptive links like:

See syncrat for MusicNews and sport

Your signature would instead appear like:

Webmaster of syncrat; Top website in some random awards

If you have a good website, a signature like this can give you more authority in a forum of the same topic. This can sometimes backfire if your website is not up to standard though.

The problem with this type of forum signature is that it has more focus on you, rather than your website. The result is that it is not too far from a mystery link.

Mystery link

When you are linking in your forum signature to a site that is not related to the current forum, mystery links can sometimes bring good results. A mystery link is where there is no indication of the type of site the link will end up on. It may take you to an online store, personal home page or porn page. One example of a mystery link is simply:


A mystery link should only be used if you are getting low click through or interest.

Graphical banner

Perhaps the most disliked forum signature is the graphical banner due to its typical size. Some banners are just an image and a link and others display statistics such as:

  • The number of times the signature has been viewed
  • Your current computers statistics
  • How much of your CPU time you have donated

If you do have a graphical banner, make sure that is is not to high as this means that people have to scroll further to read the conversation.

Rules to remember

When designing a forum signature the are 3 rules to remember:
Spelling and Grammar
A badly spelt signature just makes you look bad.
Don't have anything too big
Readers get annoyed when they have to keep scrolling due to large forum signatures.
Don't have too many links
Too many links not only makes you look like a spammer, but it also does not seem as professional as one simple link and a description.
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