Joined: 13 Jun 06
13 Feb 07 10:07 pm
Blogs and forums are ways of regularly adding new content to your site. They are by no means essential, it depends on what type of site you're building. If you're regularly adding content to your site in the form of articles etc, or simply updating the content of your site, that can be enough.
As for the sites you're mentioning... a lot of our sites are actually being updated regularly, just not in a way that you can see from the website. They might have a newsletter series that goes up on the website and (if you look hard enough) you can probably find it, but we don't link directly from the website because we want people to sign up to the newsletter.
Haircutadvice.com isn't being updated very frequently, but it manages to rank well because we managed to get a lot of good backlinks. I imagine that if we were to update it more regularly it might rank even better, but it's not a high priority at the moment. Most of the competitor sites aren't updated very frequently either :)
The last point is that most of these sites are quite well aged. (Haircutadvice is more than three years old.) This also helps their search engine rankings.
So the point is... forums and blogs are great tools for keeping your site fresh, but there are other ways to keep your site updated. Also freshness is just one factor search engines look at.
Hope that helps,