Wikivoyage talk:Search engine optimization

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Boosting our search engine ranking - creating new pages

Swept in from the pub

So maybe you'd wish to try and replicate this as search engines are sometimes influenced by who is doing the searching, but I just today searched Intercity buses in France and Intercity buses in Germany (two more or less recent page creations that the advertising hellhole does not have); they were in the first page and the latter even quite prominently so - even after I changed the search term to "long distance buses...". Now the former is by no means a complete article (help from fr-WV maybe?), but this seems to indicate how we can increase our search engine ranking and draw more eyeballs and - hopefully - editors to the site; new articles and edits to existing ones even if they are not all that major. I just wanted to share that observation. I am of course a layperson, so it may well be that this observation is pure chance and we are just one of few English language sources to cover the topic at all, but still this is encouraging to see and motivation for me to keep updating the article as best as I can. Hobbitschuster (talk) 20:30, 5 August 2016 (UTC)Reply

Cool! Indeed, good up-to-date content is the best way to get visitors. Thanks for the hard work! Syced (talk) 04:16, 8 August 2016 (UTC)Reply

SEO again

Swept in from the pub

Outreach Has anyone tried directly contacting search engines? I have done so with DuckDuckGo and unless I am just remembering myself as a free culture hero, I think they actually changed their results to favor Wikivoyage. —Justin (koavf)TCM 02:32, 14 October 2016 (UTC)Reply

Many have thought about it, but no-one knows how to go about it in a way that might be effective, given that the webmasters of nearly every website in the world want to do the same. Here's a thought: Let's draft and polish an open letter to search engine companies describing why WV's situation is different from nearly all other websites, due to the fork etc, etc. Then, as well as having it on the site, we could try to identify a key person in search engine companies, reformat the letter for print, and post it off to them. Nurg (talk) 02:50, 15 October 2016 (UTC)Reply
I doubt an open letter would have any effect on SEO rankings. It might create some media or blogosphere talk if we are lucky, but that's about it. Google's algorithms mostly do what they do "automatically" with little input from management. And if anything google would actually have a (minor) incentive for us to go down in flames, as they cannot sell us any ads. In other words: Why would they even want to help us? The pure kindness of their hearts just cannot be assumed. Free content advocates are of course another thing. Hobbitschuster (talk) 17:47, 16 October 2016 (UTC)Reply
Does Google show bias in order to give a higher ranking to sites with ads on them? I didn't think that was the case. Also many search terms in Google actually show the Wikipedia article as the first result. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 21:55, 16 October 2016 (UTC)Reply
I am not saying they have an agenda against us (and they are unlikely to have one), but there is no reason they would bend over backwards to accommodate us. What potential gain could it bring them? Hobbitschuster (talk) 22:00, 16 October 2016 (UTC)Reply
Ultimately their goal is to get the most relevant search results to their users. It is likely that they are fully indifferent to us (and to WT), and will just give us higher rankings the more relevant we become. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 02:06, 17 October 2016 (UTC)Reply

How would I know if changing an article name would get a lot more viewers? (SEO question)

Swept in from the pub

Someone at Hebvoy recently suggested that we'll do a major change there based on an unbased theory, which they suggested might significantly increase Hebvoy's articles ranking in Google and other search engines.

Although at first I completely dismissed this theory... on second thought, I thought it would be wiser to share it with more people so that we'll be able to make a more educated decision about it.

The theory brought up is that most Hebrew speakers whom are interested in travel guides about a certain city/area would not google the name of the destination alone, but instead google "NAMEOFDESTINATION travel guide" or "NAMEOFDESTINATION for the traveler" (which in Hebrew would probably be "NAMEOFDESTINATION למטייל" or "מדריך למטייל בNAMEOFDESTINATION"). The person whom suggested this explained that by writing in Hebrew only the name of the destination one gets general information about the destination or articles in Wikipedia or other encyclopedias, but by writing it in the other way one is sent to the most relevant travel guides in Hebrew about that destination.

Let's put a side for a second the fact that it would probably be a major headache to change the names of all the articles at Hebvoy and fix all the breadcrumbs templates... is there any way to prove without any reason of a doubt that by changing the name of an article to a different name - for example "יוון למטייל" ("Greece for the traveler") instead of just "יוון" ("Greece") - this would lead to a much higher readership? any way to prove this empirically? ויקיג'אנקי (talk) 19:07, 24 July 2019 (UTC)Reply

This already works, in a way. The title of each page is technically "Place - Travel Guide on Wikivoyage" on English Wikivoyage. That's why searching Pleasanton travel guide brings up Wikivoyage more quickly than searching "Pleasanton." --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 22:33, 24 July 2019 (UTC)Reply
SelfieCity - you seem to be on to something interesting I haven't thought of so far - while in google links to English Wikivoyage articles appear as "Greece – Travel guide at Wikivoyage" for example, links to the Hebrew Wikivoyage articles appear as "יוון – ויקימסע" ("Greece – Wikivoyage"). Does anyone know exactly where does one fix that? ויקיג'אנקי (talk) 23:53, 24 July 2019 (UTC)Reply

(edit conflict) You would have to see how many people are searching for "XYZ" on Google and compare it to the search results for "XYZ travel guide". I'm not skeptical of the notion that changing an article name could benefit SEO in certain circumstances, but I'm skeptical that people searching for potential travel destinations will always write "travel" or "guide" in their search. Many people would just write the destination. Especially if they just want to learn about that part of the world but haven't confirmed whether they are interested enough to go there one day. The searches for "XYZ" would be made by both people who may want to travel to XYZ or people who want to read about it for a non-travel reason. It's impossible to read the minds of the searcher. Alternatively, people will often have a more focused travel search on specific travel-related information. Like "XYZ activities", "XYZ restaurants and hotels", "XYZ things to see", "XYZ safety tips", "XYZ shopping" etc. all of which is contained in particular sections of our guides. But I found that these searches normally don't bring up WV articles which is disappointing. It may be different now with the recent articles being created such as Shopping in Japan. Let's see how popular these articles get. Gizza (roam) 22:33, 24 July 2019 (UTC)Reply

I have also thought that it would be a good idea to make e.g. Shopping in Portugal a redirect to the Buy section in Portugal, until a separate article is created like Japan. Some people when searching type the place plus things to see, eat, do, drink, sleep, buy, fly (using verbs) while other people type in words like restaurants, bars, sightseeing, activities, hotels, shops, airports (using nouns). Our section headings use verbs so noun searches on Google may not show WV results as high up as they should but redirects should boost SEO. Gizza (roam) 22:39, 24 July 2019 (UTC)Reply
DaGizza - if it was up to you, do you think changing article names to "Greece for the traveler" for example would vastly improve the SEO? which redirects exactly would you mostly recommend creating (if the case was in English would you recommend mostly "Shopping centers in X" + "Restaurants in X" + "Hotels in X" + "Nightlife in X" + "Museums in X"  ?). Can you recommend way to test this theory without actually changing the titles? ויקיג'אנקי (talk) 23:53, 24 July 2019 (UTC)Reply
I think to be frank, it may make things worse. From a readability perspective (not SEO), longer, complicated titles can put readers off. Simple article titles are better. And from an SEO perspective, it's mostly the actual content that matters, not the heading. The more unique, original content we have, the higher we will move up the SEO rankings. I don't personally think many people type "Greece for the traveller". They could write just "Greece recommendations", "Greece islands", "Greece nightlife", "Greece beaches", "Greece hotels" or just "Greece". There are many free tools that measure the popularity of various search terms. I don't have the time to analyse right now. And as SelfieCity said, whenever you write "travel guide" in the search, it bumps up WV's results. The full name of the Greece article is "Greece - Travel Guide on Wikivoyage". There are many safer and demonstrated ways to improve SEO. In Wikivoyage's case, diverging our content from WT as well as Wikipedia is key (since some editors here copy and paste text from Wikipedia which although allowed if attributed correctly, damages our SEO ranking again). Gizza (roam) 00:08, 25 July 2019 (UTC)Reply
I find that we need to beef up the "buy" section. I often use WV to research what to do in the country. WV does a good job highlighting attractions and restaurants, but a horrible job describing what kind of stuff to purchase for souvenir. For example, they don't mention maple syrup or smoked salmon in Canada (like seriously?) but talks a lot about money, currency exchange, tipping and taxes. Sure, maple syrup was covered a bit in "Eat" section and salmon was mentioned in passing. Just don't expect people to read every section beforehand and draw conclusions themselves. OhanaUnitedTalk page 03:18, 28 July 2019 (UTC)Reply
Shopping at Vancouver airport
I agree that many of our articles could use more information about what kinds of souvenirs are popular and available. Also, your comment reminded me of this picture. —Granger (talk · contribs) 04:17, 28 July 2019 (UTC)Reply

"Wikivoyage has disappeared from DuckDuckGo" (and apparently Bing too)

Swept in from the pub

Article here: [1]. Discussion here: [2]. Does anyone know anything more about this? 02:10, 27 October 2021 (UTC)Reply

Seems to be accurate. "wikivoyage" search results on Duckduckgo. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:10, 27 October 2021 (UTC)Reply
I see Wikivoyage results on DuckDuckGo. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 13:43, 27 October 2021 (UTC)Reply
That's interesting. I use DuckDuckGo regularly, and I noticed last week that it wasn't showing me Wikivoyage results anymore. @ChubbyWimbus: what words are you searching for? —Granger (talk · contribs) 18:08, 27 October 2021 (UTC)Reply
Yes, this site is now the first search result on Duckduckgo, but it was not showing yesterday. Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:22, 27 October 2021 (UTC)Reply
This site is the first result on Bing, too. Same on Google. This seems to have been a blip that has passed. Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:37, 27 October 2021 (UTC)Reply
I'm still not seeing any Wikivoyage results on DuckDuckGo. I'm searching for things like "wikivoyage india" and "wikivoyage london". —Granger (talk · contribs) 20:01, 27 October 2021 (UTC)Reply
Works for me Tai123.123 (talk) 20:02, 27 October 2021 (UTC)Reply
It's working for me, too, Granger. Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:12, 27 October 2021 (UTC)Reply
It seems the phenomenon may be location-dependent. When I search from an American IP address, DuckDuckGo shows me Wikivoyage results, but when I search from an Irish IP address, it doesn't. I tried two different UK IP addresses, and one of them worked but the other didn't. —Granger (talk · contribs) 20:20, 27 October 2021 (UTC)Reply
My Canadian IP address found it Tai123.123 (talk) 20:25, 27 October 2021 (UTC)Reply
I also seemed to try that as well. It doesn't seem to have an issue with a US IP, nor an Australian IP, but I tried with one UK IP and it didn't. But I don't use DDG much anyway. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 05:36, 29 October 2021 (UTC)Reply
  • The article has been updated to note that results are now back. But I think the oddly low rankings of Wikivoyage in search results continues to be a matter of existential concern for this project. I stopped editing as much after looking at pageview disparities between here and Wikipedia, since I want to work on content that is actually widely seen and read. Sdkb (talk) 21:34, 31 October 2021 (UTC)Reply