Wikivoyage talk:Rewriting Expedition

From Wikivoyage
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Name of the expedition[edit]

I think this expedition is a good idea, but I don't think it should be called the "Copyediting Expedition". Copyediting is stuff like correcting spelling, punctuation, and adjusting sentences to be clearer. But from the discussion in the pub I take it this expedition is more about rewriting large chunks of articles to make them different from the other site for SEO purposes. I might suggest calling it the "SEO Expedition" or the "Rewriting Expedition".

Also, @SelfieCity: please read Wikivoyage:SEO if you haven't already, especially the first bullet point under "Make sure the content is unique". —Granger (talk · contribs) 01:02, 31 July 2019 (UTC)

Well, there already is a "Search Engine Expedition," I think, so let's go with "rewriting expedition." I'll make the change now. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 11:44, 31 July 2019 (UTC)

Article selection[edit]

I'm trying to make sense of Alexa's keyword analysis. It seems that for both WV and WT, there are keywords that drive traffic to a particular site or have an opportunity to drive traffic. Looking more closely,

  1. "Keyword Gaps" are "Keywords driving traffic to competitors, but not to this site". When people type these words in Google, it goes to WV's competitors. Alexa says some examples are China, Muscat in Oman, Sao Tome and map of Poland.
  2. "Optimization Opportunities" are very popular words that bring some traffic but could bring more. For WV they are Panay Island, Ani in Turkey, Các Tỉnh Miền Nam, and "Leith Edinburgh".
  3. Buyer keywords are words that show a high purchase intent. Not relevant since we're not a business selling things.
  4. "Easy-to-Rank Keywords" are words within the site competitive power. WV has Papua New Guinea, China, Maldives and UAE. But WT has "Madagaskar", "Luxemberg" and Micronesia. When people types these words, they go there. The weird thing is that the first two searches are spelling mistakes or the countries in another language.
  5. There is also a Top Keywords by traffic. WV has Czech Republic, "what continent is Istanbul", Bulgaria, Hyderabad and Spain. Our best appears to be Bulgaria where 4.71% of all people who type Bulgaria in Google come to us. On the flip side, WT has Croatia, Addis Ababa, India, Australia, and Costa Rica. In the case of Australia, 7.19% of searches go to WT!

I believe the high priority articles are those which are either popular searches but the readers end up not going to WV or they end up at WT (which is almost the same thing expressed in another way). This means articles like China, Muscat, Sao Tome, Poland, Panay Island, Ani, Edinburgh, Micronesia, possibly Madagascar and Luxembourg, Croatia, Addis Ababa, India, Australia and Costa Rica are priority. Let's check how much these articles have changed in the last 6 years and if not much, start updating and improving them. Gizza (roam) 06:28, 1 August 2019 (UTC)

I have added the last paragraph of your comment to the project page. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 18:57, 1 August 2019 (UTC)
The assumption in this analysis is that what Alexa says is correct. There are other site ranking websites too and we should look at a few more to get a fuller picture. But we can start with Alexa because it is most famous. Gizza (roam) 23:58, 1 August 2019 (UTC)
Sure; go ahead. Thanks for all the research you've been doing already! --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 11:10, 2 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Another possibility is South Dakota, which looks little edited in years. Being the home of Mount Rushmore, it is fairly important. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 13:47, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
  • @DaGizza: Could you please suggest a couple articles in the United States, especially California, which I would know better how to edit? --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 17:53, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
  • @SelfieCity: that's a tough one, but I found some articles. I first tried looking for popular Californian cities on Wikipedia that were not so popular on Wikivoyage (which may indicate that readers were being diverted to the other site). Most Cali articles that I looked at rank higher than WT. One article which didn't was Oxnard. According to Copyscape, 78% of it is identical to WT. A few other articles I found with over 50% identical information were Fremont and Sacramento but they don't rank as bad. Hayward, Modesto and Carlsbad (California) also have room for improvement. Gizza (roam) 00:48, 9 August 2019 (UTC)
Thanks. I plan to focus on those articles. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 01:51, 9 August 2019 (UTC)

Checklist:

--Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 17:17, 10 August 2019 (UTC)

SimilarWeb[edit]

Every website analytics tool has its biases and imperfections and won't tell us the full story on its own. I had a look at SimilarWeb, an alternative to Alexa. It says the "Top 5 Organic Keywords" on the other site (words which bring traffic) include three variations of "travel wiki", "West Baltimore" and "Africa". I tested "West Baltimore" and "Africa" in a Google search. WT appears first for West Baltimore and on the first page for "Africa". I suspect the results would be similar on the private search engines. So I suggest adding Baltimore/West Baltimore and Africa to the list. Gizza (roam) 09:24, 19 September 2019 (UTC)

Just checked Copyscape. West Baltimore is 86% identical and Africa is 13% identical (but being a major and long article, there are still thousands of identical words). Gizza (roam) 11:32, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
I think we should, therefore, add both to the list. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 21:17, 19 September 2019 (UTC)

Some questions[edit]

I've worked on a couple of articles. Sao Tome was straightforward because there wasn't a lot in the article, so expanding it was an obvious way of improving it.

In the case of Poland, there is quite a lot already, and trimming it done seems to be a good way of making it more readable and more useful for travellers. Will this improve an Alexa (or other) ranking because now the text is different from others?

Should we try to incorporate the words "travel" and "tourism" into the lead paragraph to improve search word rankings? Ground Zero (talk) 05:50, 3 August 2019 (UTC)

After posting this, I read Wikivoyage:SEO per Granger's suggestion above. That is useful, but I'd be interested in others people's comments. Ground Zero (talk) 05:53, 3 August 2019 (UTC)
I like your idea about using those words, and I'll start working on adding them in future. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 11:37, 3 August 2019 (UTC)
If the word "travel" makes sense in context, then by all means use it, but I hope no one starts jamming it in artificially for the sake of SEO. I think that would be putting the cart before the horse. The word "tourism" requires even more caution as it sometimes has a slightly negative connotation in English (this seems to be why, for instance, towns in many countries have "tourist offices", but in e.g. the US a "visitors' center" is more common).
I'm pleased to see the additions to the Sao Tome article, which looks like it's now more or less at usable status. —Granger (talk · contribs) 01:09, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
Thanks, and I must say, that is good, humbling advice. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 11:45, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
Granger, your comment inspired me to go back and make Sao Tome properly usable. Ground Zero (talk) 12:44, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
  • By the way, @Mx. Granger: would you like to become a member of this expedition? You seem quite interested. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 15:00, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
    Done. I did something like this with the Brazil lead a while back and would like to do it in other articles when I have some time. —Granger (talk · contribs) 00:08, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
Thanks! I hope you enjoy the expedition. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 00:56, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
I typed just "Sao Tome" in Startpage and WT is ranked 6th on the first page which is quite high. Wikivoyage is 11th. But it goes to the country Sao Tome and Principe. Similar things happen when you see the other results like that of Lonely Planet. So without typing the full name of the country or including "travel guide", the results still go to travel guides of the country, not the capital city. Apparently, sometimes the country is called "Sao Tome" for short so we should add Sao Tome and Principe into the to-do list. Gizza (roam) 02:11, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
The problem with Startpage is that the URL seems to have little or no connection with the search term I input. Therefore, I can't link to the search term and results. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 12:39, 7 August 2019 (UTC)

Tracking results[edit]

I think it would be worthwhile tracking changes in search engine results after we update an article. I understand that it can take a few weeks to see changes. Maybe someone who knows how to do this could report the results for today for the articles that have been changed (China, Croatia, Sao Tome and Poland), and check back in in three weeks or so. Any volunteers? Ground Zero (talk) 05:59, 3 August 2019 (UTC)

@Ground Zero: Yes Done Yes, I checked and I have the right countries! See Wikivoyage:Rewriting Expedition#Rankings. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 14:16, 3 August 2019 (UTC)
I may go through these later today, because as I said in one my edit summaries in the project page, I shortened some of the links. Otherwise you get ones like google.com/fjdfih9d9404808h38f... you get the idea. I don't know whether or not that changes the results — it doesn't look like it does, but I can't be sure. Therefore, I may be checking later. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 14:26, 3 August 2019 (UTC)
Thanks! That looks great. I hope we see results, but this work is worth doing even if we don't see a big change. Ground Zero (talk) 15:25, 3 August 2019 (UTC)
Startpage is another private search engine we can use. I believe it is based on Google's algorithm but doesn't bring up personalised results like Google does. DuckDuckGo is also private but has its own algorithm. Gizza (roam) 12:55, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
Feel free to add search engines you want to add. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 12:56, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
Agree with adding Startpage. When checking with Google, make sure you're in private browsing mode to avoid personalized results. Even then there will be location-dependent results, though. For example, I just used Google to search for "China travel guide" from a Hong Kong IP address and Wikivoyage didn't show up until page 5 of the results. —Granger (talk · contribs) 00:02, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
OK. I've removed most of the personalized content from the URLs I linked to, but if there is a better alternative to regular Google, I am happy to go along with it. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 00:57, 7 August 2019 (UTC)

@Ground Zero: Would you say that now is a good time to check the results? Or should we wait a little longer for the search engines? --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 17:40, 14 September 2019 (UTC)

@SelfieCity: It's been five weeks, so I would hope to see some chants by now, although August might be a slow season for travel guides. It's up to you, as you would be doing the work. If we have positive results, we could use these to revisit the list and promote the project in the pub.ni admit that I had forgotten about it. Thanks for the reminder. Ground Zero (talk) 19:05, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
I plan to update these this weekend. If we see progress, then hopefully the expedition can continue operating on the various destination articles we listed when we set this up. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 19:07, 14 September 2019 (UTC)

Muscat[edit]

I suggest taking this off the list.

  • The WV guide had been edited lots in the last six years.
  • The lead and Understand parts are very different from wT.
  • Googling "Muscat" puts WV at #3 and WT at #4.
  • Googling "Muscat travel guide" puts WV at #5 and WT at #4 (which is kind of weird).

Ground Zero (talk) 13:09, 4 August 2019 (UTC)

I've done a strikethrough like this for now. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 13:23, 4 August 2019 (UTC)