Talk:Google/Search and Wikiversity

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WhatLinksHere[edit]

So, could this be thought of as a sort of WhatLinksHere result for Wikiversity pages from the whole Internet? --CQ 13:38, 6 September 2009 (UTC)

Yes, that is one possible use of this learning project. Another is to analyze what search terms bring people to Wikiversity, and then focus some effort on improving the pages that Google suggests to them. --mikeu talk 14:41, 6 September 2009 (UTC)
Great project idea. The Jade Knight (d'viser) 18:39, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

I believe the use of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) techniques will lead to wikiversity having more exposure on the internet, drawing more visitors and hopefully drawing new volunteers. However I believe one of our strengths is Wikipedia itself. According to wikistics wikipedia enjoys up to half of all wikimedia hits on a daily basis. We can use this to our advantage by strategically placing tags that point to the relevant wikiversity articles, so that visitors to such places will be made aware of the project, and hopefully be inclined to contribute to the step by step learning resources we are trying to build here.

Good to see the computer science portal receives a little love by the way :) Lysander89 08:47, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

Take a look at w:Category:Wikiversity templates for some templates that can be used to link wikipedia articles to learning resources here. --mikeu talk 13:02, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
Excellent, the more links that point to a particular wikiversity page, the higher its pagerank may become. Lysander89 23:52, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

Notes[edit]

  • The page How to migrate new technology is the top 3 hit in Google search with 52 impressions and 8 clicks in the past 90 days. The resource is barely a stub and hasn't been touched since 2013. I've tagged it for PROD. --mikeu talk 21:05, 8 January 2018 (UTC)
Something's not right. See [1] and compare with Wikiversity:Statistics/2017. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 01:23, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
These different tools are not measuring at the same thing. The Google dashboard makes no attempt to count our total traffic or the assess the "popularity" of our pages. It only looks at how many times our pages are listed in Google's search results, for which search keywords, and how many clickthroughs there are from those results to our site. The various reports here should not show a consistent view of activity on our site as measured with other tools. This project is narrowly focused on external search, and specifically the largest search engine: Google. These reports ask the question: how does Google index our site, return results about our resources to queries, and how effective is that in bringing traffic to us.
There are, of course, many other things that we need to consider when making decisions about how to grow Wikiversity. But, that is outside the scope of this particular project. Sorry for the confusion, I'll updated the summary on the page to try to clarify what the project is about.
In the link you posted: of those "hits" only about 3 came from Google search results; the rest likely came from other search engines, bookmark clicks, or internal links on our site, etc. The spike of activity at the end (Jan. 8-9) is likely from me editing and refreshing the page, followed by others here clicking on the link that I posted. But, that is not external referral traffic that Google can measure.
The conclusion that I would draw from the differences between these various tools is that much of our activity comes from somewhere other than Google. Elsewhere, I'll try to quantify where our activity is coming from. Given that Goolge is the most popular search engine[[2]] I felt that it was something important to look at this first.
As an aside, I would also be very interested in doing a similar "referral analysis" for just wp -> wv traffic. There are lots of links to us there, but I'm not so sure how many results in pageviews here. Another topic for further research is incoming traffic from social media posts. --mikeu talk 16:02, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
  • One problem with these statistics is that they likely do not count a great deal of our mobile traffic. The dashboard currently only measures https://en.wikiversity.org but mobile devices often get redirected to https://en.m.wikiversity.org which is not included in the results. This is important as an increasing amount of "read-only" activity on wikimedia sites is mobile. I'll see if I can add that for future reports. --mikeu talk 16:02, 10 January 2018 (UTC)

Discussion[edit]

I've updated the page with the most recent results and also cleaned up the formatting of the older reports. Please let me know if you have any questions about this work. --mikeu talk 20:12, 8 January 2018 (UTC)

What you've presented doesn't seem consistent with Wikiversity:Statistics. I believe that's what Google is reporting, but I can't explain where our high-interest pages are coming from except through Google searches or other Internet searches. I'm also surprised not to see some things in the Google results. For example, a search for Internet Fundamentals returns our content both as the definition and as the first two links. Yet this isn't in the Google results at all. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 01:20, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
This page only documents Google search engine referrals. While they are the biggest, they "only" have a 64% market share, so nearly 1/2 of our incoming search probably comes from Bing and lesser known engines. We could be getting a lot of traffic from interwiki links that Google can't detect. (I imagine that like most wiki users) I bypass external search and use the box on our page. Even if the results are skewed, they are consistently so and show a drop in Google's serving of our content over time. Perhaps despite coming up in the results, few are clicking on our links. I don't trust my browser to be objective unless I use an anonymous proxy. I'm currently logged into gmail and so search remembers that I've been looking for "keyword AND wikiversity." The top hit for Internet Fundamentals for me was a Google "featured snippet" of wv which makes me suspicious of how neutral that result is. I'll look into this some more. Any feedback would be appreciated. This is more a looong term project. The results are a bit boggling. --mikeu talk 01:43, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
I occasionally VPN into other sites that have no connection to Wikiversity just to check the searches. I haven't seen big differences one way or the other. I also search from school, where I'm in an anonymized computer lab with 5,000+ other users originating from the same IP (weekly counts), and the search results are still similar. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 02:26, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
Here is strong evidence that Google search ignores articles in Draft space, I Googled (without quotation marks): Wikipedia Draft:Miraheze. The first return was Wikiversity because it contains these words "article on Wikipedia (see w:Draft:Miraheze)". There is a reference to the actual wikipedia draft, but not from wikipedia, but on a site called wikivisually.com. I attempted to find a Google link to en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Draft:Miraheze in the first 30 Google returns, and it never appeared. Wikipedia drafts are apparently invisible to Google.
We can use draftspace in a much more gentle fashion than is used on Wikipedia. This illustrates how Wikipedia insults people's drafts:w:special:permalink/808275590. I took the liberty of creating a more nurturing format for the same WP draft (and then quickly reverting to avoid the wrath of WP administrators): w:special:permalink/819932706. Wikipedia's drafts should be more like the latter than the former.--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 03:34, 12 January 2018 (UTC)
Search of Draft: is something that I've given some thought to and have started to look at. I'm not certain if search would treat WV:Draft the same as WP:Draft. There's a few technical details that I need to verify like local vs. global w:MediaWiki:Robots.txt. Our internal search is a separate question with a different answer.
Sorry, but I would have speedy deleted Draft:Miraheze per WP lack of notability. All of the references are to the site itself. There are zero external links to reliable sources showing why anyone cares about the topic. I just did a quick search and couldn't find any mention of it. Take a look at the revision history of w:Draft:Ann Hardy which started off as a one line definition and was nurtured into a mainspace article. I'm somewhat active as a reviewer and I can tell you from my first hand experience that the situation is not as bleak as you portray it. While I appreciate your enthusiasm for the usefulness of Miraheze, it is simply just one of many hosting services that merely merits a mention at w:Comparison of wiki hosting services. I really don't see your example as damning evidence of faults in wp procedures or policy. We'll have to agree to disagree on that point. --mikeu talk 16:58, 12 January 2018 (UTC)
I am not certain that we disagree. My opinion is that Wikipedia needs notability standards that are enforced. My opinion is also that w:Miraheze needs to exist in mainspace. Given this conflict, the notability standard trumps. The way to make Miraheze notable is not by persuading WP editors that Miraheze is notable, but by helping Miraheze become notable. To act otherwise would be to violate WP:COI. My note on the talk page was intended to boost the morale of the people working on w:Draft:Miraheze((though I do confess to wishing that the WP editors weren't quite so vigilant.)--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 18:56, 12 January 2018 (UTC)
Regarding draft ns. Is it just draft ns, or would google not search in whatever other ns, because they thing those are not content important pages.--Juandev (discusscontribs) 19:27, 12 March 2018 (UTC)
By default, the only namespace that Mediawiki software will search is the main namespace. That default has not been changed at Wikiversity. Drafts are not searched by default. We can't control what Google indexes, but we can limit links to Draft: namespace to limit discovery. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 20:14, 12 March 2018 (UTC)

Google Index Status[edit]

There are many things about how Google returns wv results in response to a search query that I find puzzling. Aside from that the "index status" is of great concern to me. This search engine is informing us that they are basically "de-indexing" our site by listing fewer and fewer pages that are eligible to be referred to as the result of a search. The list of pages has dropped by 1/2 in just a year. We're probably getting a lot of traffic from other sources (cross-wiki links, bricks and morter instructors, etc.) but given how popular Google is for search this amounts to a great reduction in our visibility. Thoughts? --mikeu talk 17:13, 12 January 2018 (UTC)