Wikivoyage:Search Expedition

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See also: Wikivoyage:Search engine optimization

The Search Expedition aims to make Wikivoyage the most popular free travel guide on the web. While the quantity and quality of our content has increased significantly since the move to the Wikimedia Foundation, we need to have a large audience who both use our guides for their travels and edit them to constantly improve the site.


The following is a list of tasks in no particular order. Some may need discussion or weeks of work, while others can be done in a few simple edits:

  • Useful addition of the Wikivoyage template to Wikipedia articles. (Search engines see the direct link to the Wikivoyage article, not the template code.) See Links from Wikipedia for details on adding links to Wikipedia, and Missing links from Wikipedia for a list of Wikipedia articles that are believed to be missing links to Wikivoyage.
  • The continuous project of replacing WT links on WMF wikis. See Search Expedition/wikitravel.
  • Promoting the replacement of WT links on other websites (non-WMF wikis, blogs, articles, etc). This might face opposition, so we have to explain our history and goals.
    • Identify which websites link to WT a lot. [1] [2]
    • If applicable, identify who is part of the community of both Wikivoyage and the given website. These people will be more trusted than outsiders, and aware of the processes.
    • Write a template message explaining our history and goals in a convincing way.
  • Working on improving cross-linking between other WMF wikis such as Wikinews, Wikibooks, Wikiversity, Commons, etc.
  • Updating content to differentiate it from any other travel wiki; this overlaps Wikivoyage:Prose Improvement Expedition to a large degree, but the objective is that text comparison doesn't mistake our wiki for duplicate content or a simple mirror site.
  • Verifying and monitoring our Alexa profile [3]
  • Verifying and monitoring our WOT profile [4]
  • Promoting the inclusion of a new "As featured on Wikivoyage" badge on tourist bureau websites about high-standard articles
  • Working on the widespread inclusion of Wikivoyage links on dmoz
  • Other common SEO techniques and alternative methods of garnering attention
  • Possibly rename the expedition to something all-encompassing and more relevant. See Wikivoyage talk:Search Expedition#This Expedition's name
  • Contact Android and iOS app developers to switch from WT to WV and point them to
  • Update (add a more descriptive meta description)
  • If you have an account on Wikipedia, you can add WP's Wikivoyage user template to your WP user page.

Article Rankings

The following articles have all undergone recent significant changes and have been reviewed by editors to confirm what impact this has had upon their standing in Google search results. Searches are conducted using the popular, likely and significant search string of "[place name] guide" using the anonymising to get search results from Google USA that are not influenced by your location, personalisation, searching history, etc. Since can be configured to give 10, 20, 50 or 100 results per page, please express the result as a specific position in the results rather than "on the first page" (which might mean anything from 1st position to 99th!). Also, you may need to use the "repeat the search with the omitted results included" option in order to see both WV and WT in the results.

Article Changes Result Above WT?
Apple Valley (Minnesota) Blow it up and start over. Old version was BJAODNed mid-Feb 2017. As of July 2017, WV is 1st, WT is 2nd, based on the search query Apple Valley Minnesota guide Yes
Belitung Maps were created, listings were made and updated, complete with its pinpoint location on map As of October 3, 2014, WV is 1st, WT is 2nd, based on the search query Belitung guide Yes
Bolton Usable article from WT that had been dabbled with for ages and little remains of the original article. Listed 16th - below WT (11th) and below Wikipedia (3rd) in search results via anonymising
Broome Headings only were changed No longer in search results after headings were reverted to our usual style
Buffalo Guide that has been districtified. Substantial changes to Districts, See, Do, Eat, Drink and Sleep but much of the original text remains in other sections. As of September 3, 2014, WT is 2nd, WV is 8th, based on the search query buffalo guide
Erie Canal Outline itinerary with lots of background info but only a few actual destinations. I've since added several more destinations. Our article is 19th on, just under Wikipedia at 18; WT's article is 39th and slated for deletion in April 2018 if not edited. Yes
Garibaldi Provincial Park Outline that was deleted and started from scratch. WV has now slipped to 3rd, WT to 4th, WP now 1st for "garibaldi provincial park guide" in search results via anonymising Yes
Horwich Like Bolton, Nick's been messing with this article for ages, but not necessarily improving it! Content is quite different from WT original and it's now usable. As of September 3, 2014, based on the search query Horwich guide, Wikipedia is 2nd, Wikivoyage is 4th, Wikitravel is 8th Yes
Indonesia Minor updates, minor cuts on articles, add information on "stay safe section" As of November, 2017, based on the search query Indonesia guide, WT is 23th, WV is 47th
Jakarta Updates on details about inter and intra city transportation, scrutiny of see and do section to comply with manual of style As of October 3, 2014, based on the search query "Jakarta guide", WT is 1st, WV is 4th, also leveraging the official tourism site of Jakarta to increase in ranking together.
Karachi Was usable guide. Now at guide status and DoTM candidate. Results for search term of "Karachi wiki" ranks us ahead of WT Yes
Letchworth State Park Outline that was almost entirely rewritten in March, with pictures added; Buy, Eat, Drink, and Go Next left as-was. Our article is now number 2 on the list, with WT's article number 1.
Addenda 10 Dec 2013: for search term "Letchworth Park guide", WV is #3, WT is #5. For "Letchworth guide", WV #8, WT #3. For "Letchworth State Park guide", WV #6, WT #4. For "Letchworth Park travel guide", WV #3, WT #1.
Addenda 24 Aug 2014: "Letchworth Park guide" WV #7, WT #4. "Letchworth guide" WV #6, WT #1. "Letchworth State Park guide" WV #4, WT #5. "Letchworth Park travel guide" WV #3, WT #1. "Letchworth State Park travel guide" WV #2, WT #3.
Addendum 4 April 2015: Despite no updates since June 2014, our guide is now well ahead of WT's for nearly every plausible search term, including the simple "Letchworth State Park".
Except for "Letchworth guide"
Lions Bay-Britannia Beach Outline guide with a different name from the equivalent WT guide. Substantially rewritten. Ranks on first page of Google results, but below WT article.
Manchester Usable article that I've been trying to push up to guide. I've totally rewritten large sections of it, including the lead. I've also redefined several of its districts and moved content between them. Now features on 5th page of results. WT article was 1st result, now 5th. New district article (Manchester/Spinningfields - Albert Square) now ranks 1st, with WP's "Albert_Square" 3rd, and WT's "North_Central" 18th for "albert square guide" in Google search results via anonymising
Mohenjo-daro On WT: redirect to outline article under the alternative name Moenjodaro. Here, imported redirect was deleted and a full article was written from scratch. OtBP featured candidate. WV 1st, WP 2nd, WT 4th for "guide mohenjo-daro". Ranks even better with WV 1st, WP 3rd, WT nowhere for the more likely search term "guide mohenjodaro"; with WV 1st, WT 2nd, WP 6th for search term "guide moenjodaro". We're at 17th for "mohenjodaro" and "mohenjo-daro" and WT nowhere. Yes
North Vancouver Guide status article where I've rewritten the lede, Understand, added a map and added several new listings. Now on the second page of Google results (previously not ranked at all); WT guide on first page of results.
Okayama (prefecture) Outline (possibly usable) article - Get in, Get around, and Sleep updated/rewritten. Appears on the first page of Google results (2nd listing) right below the official homepage. Yes
Pemberton (British Columbia) Outline article that's been substantially rewritten. Search result depends on how name is searched. Just "Pemberton" lists WT ahead of WV on page two, while "Pemberton British Columbia" lists WV ahead of WT on page one. Yes-ish
Picton (New South Wales) New article, didn't exist on WT 3rd result, with one of the above being WP
Queenstown-Lakes Outline that had its lede re-written and content added to nearly all of the other sections. Ranks on first page of Google results, but below WT article.
Roermond Deleted as skeleton and recreated on WV from scratch as a full article. Ranks 2nd (after Michelin travel) with WT 9th for "guide roermond" in Google results via anonymising Ranks 4th with WT 7th for "roermond guide" Yes
Salt Lake City Completely rewritten to the point of retaining no imported prose longer than a few words at a time. Previously was not included in the 156 results that Google deemed original enough to display. Within two days, ranked 15th for the phrase "Salt Lake City travel guide" and 35th for the phrase "Salt Lake City guide" (compared to first and seventh respectively for WT).
Seattle Heavily scrutinized & added. Perhaps eligible for guide status. Still usable and messy in WT Based on "Seattle travel guide" search query as of October 11, 2014, WT is 3rd, WV is 39th, based on the Seattle guide query with the same date
Shanghai Guide article with quite a bit of work done but a fair bit of the original text remains (maybe half). Listed on fourth page of search results; WT article on page one.
Sindh On WT, it was outline and on WV, still outline (but actually it is guide now once its destination articles expanded) As of September 3, 2014, WT is 1st, WV is 2nd, based on the search query Sindh guide
Soekarno-Hatta International Airport Only on WV. Specific article about the airport created, complete with updated information. As of September 8, 2014, WV is 18th, based on the search query Soekarno-Hatta International Airport guide, about 10 days ago it was not in the top 20.
Somerset, Tasmania Experimental article created on the exact same day as a WT article called "Somerset (Tasmania)" with changed sub-section titles but deliberately sub-standard content Since day 2, always listed as first result for relevant search terms such as "somerset tasmania guide" and above Wikipedia with WT at 22nd (12 Nov 2013) despite WT article subsequently being deleted and protected by IBobi 19 Oct 2013 ! Yes
Tokyo/Roppongi Guide article with a new Understand section and updated listings (some new, some deleted, some modified). WT 2nd, WV dramatically improved to 5th for "tokyo roppongi guide"; WT 2nd, WV 20th for abbreviated search term "roppongi guide" (12 Nov 2013)
Travemünde Outline article on WT that's been rewritten and now nominated for Star on WV. As of September 3, 2014, ranks 4th for WV, 1st for WT.
Vancouver Guide status article where I've rewritten the lede and Climate section but nothing else. Based on "Vancouver travel guide" search query as of August 24, 2014, WT is 2nd, WV is 43rd
Yowah Usable article that was deleted and recreated with the same content (with permission). WT article with same name 1st, WP second and WV not even in first 50 Google results for "yowah guide" via anonymising


Current PageRank (0 to 10, higher is best):

  • For the Paris article: Wikivoyage 4/10, Wikitravel 6/10
  • For the main page: Wikivoyage 6/10, Wikitravel 6/10

Source: PageRank checker


Wikimedia-specific statistics
General statistics


See also