Threads (German: thread, train of thought, topic) are related contributions in the online area that can appear in communities, forums, blogs, or on the intranet as well as in email traffic. A thread always consists of a starting post on a specific topic, which is supplemented by other participants and their posts.
These posts are thematically related to the start post and are presented chronologically below it. However, the term thread comes from information science: there it describes independent activities in a process, with each thread forming a processing line. Threads can also occur in parallel in the IT area, in which case it is multithreading.
Threads consist of contributions and postings created by multiple users of a platform. Typically, the thread is identical to a specific topic or question. Threads are not thrown together but serve to answer a question from a large number of users. The start post forms the initial node, which is then supplemented by further postings. This creates a tree structure that sorts the thread to a certain extent and separates it from other threads. Because all postings belong thematically to the start post. The entire structured construct is then referred to as a thread. In forums and communities, threads can also be sorted chronologically.
The function of a forum or a community to create a thread is often already present in the infrastructure. However, a thread can also be created manually by the admin, possibly also by a normal user. It is a violation of forum rules to start a new thread below a thread or create a post that is unrelated to the original post. In such cases, the newly created thread is either moved or deleted. The user who created the thread may get negative comments for it. Forum rules and instructions for using the community must therefore be observed.
Threads are used to answer a question and are therefore targeted. Therefore, certain postings that are particularly helpful are often fixed at the beginning of the thread. In this way, users who are interested in this thread can see the current status of the discussion directly. Such postings or contributions are also referred to as sticky threads. Notes, news, FAQs, or guiding rules from the admin can also be noted here. All new users of the thread should see this information first before they start to continue the thread.
If a user creates a new contribution to a thread, he sometimes pushes it up within a forum. This signals that the thread is current. Sometimes this is done on purpose to bring the post back into the center of other users’ attention. One then speaks of a bump or push, which is not always welcomed – especially when the contribution pushed up has no added value or no new information.
For many such actions, there are special symbols in forums, communities, or discussion platforms that can be added to the posts. In this way, users can see what type of posting it is or whether a thread has already been completed, i.e. has been answered satisfactorily. Depending on the platform, there are different rules and guidelines and also systems that evaluate the trust or expertise of the users in different ways. For example, some forums allow users to rate whether an answer to a question was helpful or not.
Importance for search engine optimization
Forums, communities, and comments in blogs or on websites are often used to set links in order to generate backlinks in this way. Often it’s just comment spam that doesn’t fit a thread in any way. The creator of the comment wants to place a link and will add a short passage of text, which often has nothing to do with the actual content of the page. This usually happens on blogs or in public forums.
In addition to the backlink, page views, and traffic should be increased. Sometimes these are fraudulent websites that are intended to be publicized in this way. Google and other search engines target these types of spam and constantly work to curb such methods because they are viewed as manually interfering with search engine policies. However, the webmaster may have to take action himself to prevent comment spam