A lot of forums and blogs have links at the bottom of the article to jump to the Previous Post or the Next Post, by way of various forum and blog system PrevNext plugins. More recently, Q&A platforms have been shifting to show a sidebar listing of other similar questions asked. DaniWeb goes this route.

I was wondering if anyone out there has found either of these methods very helpful? What is the likelihood that, when stumbling across a question or topic as a result of a Google search, that you would have an interest in the question that just so happened to have been asked before or after?

I understand that the goal here is to increase time on site and user retention, but surely there are some better ways of going about achieving that. You know, ways that actually take the user's tastes or interests into consideration. Or, perhaps, I'm just way too much about data mining.

I guess the benefits are not so much for a Q&A site, but more for a discussion forum about a topic where there might be interest in browsing one topic after the next. What about going the route of infinite scrolling if that's the case?

Out of curiosity, what do the interwebs here think about news sites that do infinite scrolling on articles, such that you click on one article, and just keep scrolling infinitely down seeing one article after the next?

A problem that we definitely suffer from here at DaniWeb is people coming into an individual forum thread as a result of a Google search, and then bouncing as soon as they read what they needed to read. It's definitely a symptom of being the type of site where people typically visit only when they are actively trying to solve a problem, and are therefore goal-minded in their visit. They're not in the mindset to be like, "Oh, while I'm here trying to solve a problem, look at this nice purple forum I stumbled across. Let me stop what I'm working on and sign up and customize my profile!"

What could we be doing better, for example, to get this visitor to visit just one more page?

To be honest I hardly look at the releated topics, but they're not there for me I suppose :)
Looking at them now, I see thread titles that are not related at all to the topic of this very thread, but this is perhaps because there's no related topic and the algorithm just show some random threads.
I also see threads in there from many, many and many years ago... pretty much dead threads, so this could be the reason that peaople are still replying to them, while the OP has moved on already a looooooong time ago.

I have looked at the related topics and came to the same conclusion that it's a nice idea but looks to not be something I'd want in a next button to take me there. Since it must pull from what is in the data collection that exists, old and new threads would be presented. That's OK from a programming standpoint since old solutions can still work today. What new members don't get is replying to many year old inactive threads usually gets them silence or static. Too bad such posts are not locked when inactive for say years. How many years? Pick a number but 5 years seems long enough.

infinite scrolling on articles

I tend to stay on a site longer with this feature. I like to finish things and "end of page" is sort of like a finish point. With infinite scrolling there is no logical stopping point so I just keep reading. Same thing with books. I like to read to the end of a chapter before stopping.

RE: Old posts - how about a scheduled job that runs once a day (or week or whatever) that automatically closes threads that have been inactive for more than a year? Perhaps if someone tried to post in a closed thread they could get a dialog that says something like

This thread has been inactive since <date>. Would you like to start a new thread with a backlink to this thread?

It might also include an explanation as to why a response is likely not needed.

Newbies already get a warning message when attempting to post in threads that have been inactive for a long time. The thing is, I am against blatantly disallowing it because I do believe that sometimes it can be helpful. If someone stumbles across a thread from a Google search and has an answer that has not yet been posted, that could be useful to people in the future.

I just want to mention though, that while it may have gone this way, I was not meaning for it to be a thread about DaniWeb feedback. I was actually looking for feedback from other publications.