Doom Wiki Google rank issues

As most of you probably know at this point, last year the Doom Wiki migrated off Wikia to independent and ad-free hosting provided by manc. The migration was a long and demanding process, but the new wiki has now been up and running well for quite a while.

One would imagine that getting rid of the initial server hickup issues, updating major Doom information and community sites (including Doomworld, ZDoom wiki and Wikipedia) to point to the new wiki and all the other related work done would've improved the site's Google rank a plenty. But apparently it has not, and the rank has instead dropped.

Something needs to be done about this. So please post your thoughts on what could be causing this, and feel free to suggest ideas for possible methods of improving the situation.

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Wikia is hard to deal with because they use all sorts of fancy SEO tricks to stay at the top of search results. It may take a while for them to get out of the top even if the entire community updates their links to point to the new wiki.

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Isn't it possible to add a special autoredirect thingy to the Wiki on the Wikia?

You should also add a big announcement box on top of the Wikia version which would say that the wiki has moved.

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TomoAlien said:

Isn't it possible to add a special autoredirect thingy to the Wiki on the Wikia?

You should also add a big announcement box on top of the Wikia version which would say that the wiki has moved.

Wikia's admins would probably remove it.

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Hahahahaha I guess Doom just isn't such a popular game for its true wiki page to come on top ^_^

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There are a few links to the wikia site on the Japanese wiki, for example here. Anyone who understands Japanese volunteers to edit them?

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I tried editing, but even clicking preview, I get a a laconic server error on white screen:

エラー: このwikiでは逆引きできないホストからの投稿を禁止設定となっております。

Google translated it as:

ERROR: We set and the host can not ban a reverse in this wiki.

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I think that wiki is set to only allow editing by certain IPs. I could send whoever runs it an email I guess.

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Nuxius has a lengthy explanation and a couple of solutions. Unfortunately, the first (and likely most urgent) of these two can only be done by the site owners:

First, let's start with the easier to solve problem. This has to do with how Quasar has the various different domain names set up. Unfortunately, instead of just forwarding doomwiki.net and doomwiki.info to doomwiki.org (which is the proper way to handle multiple domains for one website) he mapped them all directly to the website. So you can use this website from any of those 3 domains, complete with 3 different logged in accounts if you wanted, because as far as anything outside of the server (ie your browser) is concerned, it is 3 different websites. And this includes Google. However, they're 3 "different" websites with the exact same content (obviously, since it's the same pages on the same server). In other words, duplicates, and of course as we have seen previously, Google has a method of removing duplicates from its results.

Another coincidence of this is that it temporarily spreads results across all three domains, so some will be from the .org one, while others will be from the .net or .info ones. It basically makes this wiki competition with itself.

And this leads us to another, in this case particularly damning, coincidence, in that having multiple domains mapped to one website is something unscrupulous websites used to do to grab more visitors (ie create one crappy scam website, then get a bunch of different domains with celebrities names in them and map them to that one website, that way you show up in numerous search results and get more visitors). I say "used to" because Google caught wind of this and now has it set up to actively punish websites that do this in their listings. So over time, more and more links to this wiki will disappear from the results as Google's automated processes weeds them out.


The other problem is simpler to solve, we just need to redesign the front page (something long overdue anyway). The current front page is inherited from a wikia-mandated change (this was the previous layout). And yeah, we could tart up the Wikia front page to make it wikiaer. It'd help us and the wikia staff would like it instead of considering it as sabotage.

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Except nobody has been linking to anything except doomwiki.org

I have not seen any links to doomwiki.net or doomwiki.info, and I would not encourage linking to them either for precisely those reasons. The domains were registered to keep Wikia from getting them.

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The auxillary domains are now 301 redirects. You'll notice if you attempt to go to one of them or a link containing one of them you will be redirected to the .org domain (you may have to clear your cache).

To be fair, that was my doing and not Quasar's. I had initially done that when we first bought the domains and we hadn't done anything with them since. I ultimately have control over them so I should take some blame.

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Interesting, because searching for "doom wiki" on DuckDuckGo brings the new wiki on second place.

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DooMAD said:

Might be an idea to read up on this, since it's fairly new:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Panda
Could be one of the changes that's affecting the wiki's rank.

Google has always screwed the non-commercial sites in favor of the big money. They haven't even bothered to respider doomwiki.org since fucking May. There is no excuse for that.

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reboot said:

Interesting, because searching for "doom wiki" on DuckDuckGo brings the new wiki on second place.

Unfortunately Google is virtually the only search engine. For example, the top 6 referrers to my site for the month (about 97% of all search traffic):

1. google / organic 17,984
2. (direct) / (none) 5,135
3. forums.nasioc.com / referral 1,205
4. romraider.com / referral 458
5. iwsti.com / referral 354
6. yahoo / organic 292

I really wish doomwiki.org would get bumped above wikia. As it is I find what I'm looking for then replace the domain name after clicking on the link. I guess I'd be doing my part more if I scrolled down to the doomwiki.org links.

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What I really like about Wikia, and wish would become standard elsewhere, is the rich-text page editor.

Or I used to like. It doesn't seem to edit very complex pages (containing tables) in rich-text, without the need of visible mark-up, and that was my main issue.

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From the limited details online about how Panda affects rankings, it may be that a site's usage statistics play a factor. Seems somewhat self-reciprocating that a site with higher traffic is rewarded with a higher ranking, but that's what people are saying. I'm still no wiser as to how we would go about fixing that if it is true.

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I have a buddy doing SEO consulting on the side. I'll see what he has to say. But Google rankings boosts just take a long time.

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I have a suspicion that money is the key again.

Seeing how prominently featured the wikia link is at the top of the list I think it's quite obvious that some money flows to boost it.

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He said the biggest problem is the duplicate content. Google doesn't want to list the same thing twice.

I assume wikia isn't going to allow any "new home is doomwiki.org" links and obviously no redirects. Since its a wiki rollsbacks are map08 (see what I did there?)

He also said the only good news is Google will see the wikia site stagnate and start to prefer the updates on the new site.

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qoncept said:

Since its a wiki rollsbacks are map08 (see what I did there?)


Don't you mean map07? :p

There's not much tricks and traps in rolling back revisions. It's something that's dead simple to do.

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Gez said:

Don't you mean map07? :p

There's not much tricks and traps in rolling back revisions. It's something that's dead simple to do.

Doh. Actually I meant map23.

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qoncept said:

He said the biggest problem is the duplicate content. Google doesn't want to list the same thing twice.

I assume wikia isn't going to allow any "new home is doomwiki.org" links and obviously no redirects. Since its a wiki rollsbacks are map08 (see what I did there?)

He also said the only good news is Google will see the wikia site stagnate and start to prefer the updates on the new site.

Except it's not stagnant because there's a sea of anons still editing it. The quality of their edits is overall terrible, but since when is a search engine capable of distinguishing the quality of the material it is indexing?

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Answer: because we cannot close or delete it.

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I think a way of salvation is there being public knowledge that "Wikia sucks, people have made alternatives to it, look for them instead". Doomwiki.org is not the only example.

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I also read that less or no banner ads on the site can help as well. Perhaps in the long term, the changes will benefit us. For the moment we'll just have to put up with it and keep maintaining our one to a high standard.

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Google does have certain metrics regarding the "usefulness" of results affecting how high the appear in the lists. They even have groups of people evaluating how good certain results are for particular searches.

The best way to get around it is to let the old wiki go down in flames of bad anon edits, get every site possible to refer to new wiki and just wait. Eventually the old wiki will be so bad that it'll lose its place and the new one will rise.

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What do we do to up the ranking in Google without resorting to sleazy tactics? I'm gonna link it on my Youtube page so that helps.

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