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Quasar

DoomWiki.org search rank increases by 2 avg positions in one day

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I recently got an email from Google Webmaster services informing me that we needed to upgrade from MediaWiki 1.16 because that version has known security issues. The list of links it gave me were all pointing into an area of the site that wasn't supposed to be publicly accessible in the first place called the images/cache directory, which is only used if on-disk caching is enabled. We've been on MediaWiki 1.24 for more than a year, just for reference.

Since we haven't had that enabled since 2014, there were stale copies of about a thousand articles cached under there, and for whatever reason, Google just decided on its own to:

  • Crawl these directories just because they were accessible
  • Consider them live versions of the pages despite the link rel canonical tags in their headers
  • Penalize us for them by considering them duplicate content.
Now the last wasn't obvious to me until, on last Wednesday during the day, I ran a shell script to purge these folders. On Thursday, the following happened according to Google Webmaster:
  • Impressions increased from 32495 to 60215 (185% - almost doubled...)
  • Clicks increased from 849 to 1453 (171%)
  • CTR dropped as a result of the massive impression uptick, but only by 0.1%
  • Average webrank across all pages went up two places, from 9.7 to 7.7 (this is pretty big - this means pages moving from second to first page of hits)
So how crazy is that?!?!?

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I'm noticing when I search for common Doomy phrases, that the DoomWiki.org links are often only one result below the accursed Wikia page - This is actually a huge improvement, they used to be halfway down the page and I'm glad to know it's not just putting it higher on my list because I visit often - I hope to see the DoomWiki continue to grow in popularity!

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Yeah, I'm able to search for stuff and notice that doomwiki.org is now pretty often right below Wikia in the results instead of a full page back. Very nice!

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Wow that's awesome! Lately I've been a bit annoyed at how often the wikia pages have been popping up as top entries in Google. I figured by now the Doomwiki pages would be higher up in the searches. Well maybe now that will start happening more often.

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I'd show a graph of doomwiki vs. doom wikia referrals to DW over time but Google Analytics is a piece of crap so never mind.

edit: funny how "doing work" on a Mac is so difficult compared to Windows, ugh

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Quasar said:

Now the last wasn't obvious to me until, on last Wednesday during the day, I ran a shell script to purge these folders. On Thursday, the following happened according to Google Webmaster:

  • Impressions increased from 32495 to 60215 (185% - almost doubled...)
  • Clicks increased from 849 to 1453 (171%)
  • CTR dropped as a result of the massive impression uptick, but only by 0.1%
  • Average webrank across all pages went up two places, from 9.7 to 7.7 (this is pretty big - this means pages moving from second to first page of hits)
So how crazy is that?!?!?

Woah! That's great to hear.

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does anyone knows why if you search for example "doomwiki map01" it will show a dozens of pwads' map01 but never the actual map?

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:woop:

i'll continue to update my blog with doomwiki links as appropriate, anything to push you guys back to the top.

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The goddamn wikia comes first int he results for me, then doomwiki

I get this:
Showing results for doom wiki *****
Search instead for doomwiki *****

When I click the "search instead", then doomwiki is first for me. (I am logged in)

So if stupid Google would acknowledge the keyword "doomwiki" as normal, it would help a lot.

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Zed said:

What we need is an aggressive publicity campaign.

Call it extreme if you like, but I propose we hit it hard and we hit if fast with a major - and I mean major - leaflet campaign, and while it's reeling from that we'd follow up with a whist drive, a car boot sale, some street theatre and possibly even some benefit concerts.

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dew said:

Call it extreme if you like, but I propose we hit it hard and we hit if fast with a major - and I mean major - leaflet campaign, and while it's reeling from that we'd follow up with a whist drive, a car boot sale, some street theatre and possibly even some benefit concerts.

You better start on the zdoom forums then, because a LOT of people there still use the wikia.

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rf` said:

You better start on the zdoom forums then, because a LOT of people there still use the wikia.

Not if we ZDoom moderators can help it; I make it a point of editing any links I find, and it helps if they get reported. There is a specific section in ZDF's official rules thread about it, linking to the DoomWiki's "Departure from Wikia" article to explain it, but beyond that, there's not much else I can really do, since I don't have the permissions needed to edit word filters or install phpBB plugins.

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WildWeasel said:

Not if we ZDoom moderators can help it; I make it a point of editing any links I find, and it helps if they get reported. There is a specific section in ZDF's official rules thread about it, linking to the DoomWiki's "Departure from Wikia" article to explain it, but beyond that, there's not much else I can really do, since I don't have the permissions needed to edit word filters or install phpBB plugins.

All much appreciated from our end, of course :)

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Any kind of script that could be made for those of us who look shit up really quickly and accidentally click on the wikia and give them hits far too often? Something to redirect us to the right wiki?

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dew said:

Call it extreme if you like, but I propose we hit it hard and we hit if fast with a major - and I mean major - leaflet campaign, and while it's reeling from that we'd follow up with a whist drive, a car boot sale, some street theatre and possibly even some benefit concerts.

I was thinking a solemn ad campaign that shows the horrendous effects long term use of Wikia has on people. Complete with a "this is your brain on wikia" comparison. That'll learn em!

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I fucking love Red Dwarf and didn't even catch that.. For shame.

OH WELL we still need that ad campaign legitly

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This is great news. Death to false wikis!

VGA said:

The goddamn wikia comes first int he results for me, then doomwiki


Me too, unless I search doomwiki.org map01 or whatever. I don't know if it makes a difference in Google's ranking or anything to just search doomwiki and then always click "search instead for doomwiki" after.

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ABRACADABRA said:

does anyone knows why if you search for example "doomwiki map01" it will show a dozens of pwads' map01 but never the actual map?

It does for me. Though it searches for "doom wiki map01" instead. The first 5 entries are all about iwads. The very first is the Doom ii entry on wikia. The 5th is the first doomwiki link, and it is also the Doom ii entry. The remaining entries of the page is about pwads, and all of them are on doomwiki.
Page 2 begins with other sites, non of them on wikia.
When I click on "Search instead for doomwiki map01", I'll get a page full of doomwiki links with Doom ii second.

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There's no reason for Google to know that MAP01: Entryway (Doom II) is any more or less canonical than MAP01 of NUTS.WAD. It's not a strong AI... yet anyway.

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