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  • Hi all!

    We're making a small-but-significant change to the Wikia experience today - we are standardizing the structure of all communities’ page titles (or “meta titles”). These are the words that show up in your browser window or tab, and they’re controlled by changing an entry in MediaWiki, the software that underpins Wikia.

    We're doing this for one reason: Search Engine Optimization. Our research shows that page titles that deviate from a "norm" tend to do much worse in search results. Oftentimes this is a result of keyword stuffing, which was effective many years ago but has more recently turned counterproductive. Other times, the title modifications made to the page title deviated too far from the wikia's topic.

    Going forward, the structure will simply display a community’s sitename, which is the default anyway, and will not be customizable. So to use one of Wikia’s own wikias as an example (yes, we’re learning from this research, too!), instead of looking like this for the main page:

    >Cocktails Wiki Want to learn how to make cocktails or need to find a cocktail recipe for rum cocktails or vodka cocktails? Look up or add your favorite cocktail today! - Wikia

    The page title will look like this:

    >Cocktails Wiki - Wikia

    For articles and other pages, the page name is placed before the sitename, like this

    >Shirley Temple - Cocktails Wiki - Wikia

    By making this change, our SEO team believes that we will be able to bring more traffic to your communities. The update works better with search engines’ automated indexing, and it also looks cleaner to human eyes on the search results page. And for your part, you can keep adding awesome content to your communities, because that's by far the best driver of SEO in the long term.

    This change will only affect the small number of communities that had previously customized their page titles in the past, but I wanted to give you a heads-up here before we made a noticeable change to your community. We'll be rolling this out over the course of a few weeks, and search engine indexes will pick up the changes for a couple weeks after that, so if your page titles look inconsistent for a bit, that's expected.

    Let me know in the comments if there are questions!

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    • My question is very minor but... it won't affect editing right? Because of course, bugs happen when a new update always comes into effect. But aside from that, this sounds not bad for pagetitles but I'd have to see it for myself.

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    • Nope! This isn't something that will affect day-to-day editing at all. 

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    • Okay. Thanks Ducksoup.

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    • could you provide screenshot examples of before and after from search results? sorry, that explaination's not really clicking for me.

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    • It will take a while for search engines to index these changes, especially since we haven't made them yet. What was unclear?

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    • Ducksoup wrote:
      It will take a while for search engines to index these changes, especially since we haven't made them yet. What was unclear?

      if i have a template called "Template:Edit", what would be the end result? idk, is "-Wikia" going to get added to the end or something...

      PS: you have an open </pre> tags

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    • <sarcasm>Thank you so much!</sarcasm>

      Our default (at time of wiki creation) sitename is shorter than our official wiki name (what is currently on MediaWiki:Pagetitle). Our sitename was never officially updated via a Special:Contact/wiki-name-change request because sitename is also the name of the Project namespace, which is already long enough. Going back to the default sitename (Alvin and the Chipmunks Wiki) removes the uniqueness of our name (Munkapedia) and renaming to remove the default portion is surely to hurt our SEO. So none of these three options look to be a benefit to our wiki, more of a negative blow to our SEO.

      I would like to know what brilliant advice there is for our situation. Is there any data to show which is the better option?

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    • question are you on here?? http://community.wikia.com/wiki/Special:ListUsers/sysop because your a staff

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    • Queenmew wrote:
      question are you on here?? http://community.wikia.com/wiki/Special:ListUsers/sysop because your a staff

      Staff have all rights, he does not need to be in the Administrator/Sysop group.

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    • ooo ok ^_^

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    • Nerfmaster: Template pages aren't indexed by search engines. Any page that IS indexed will carry the same pattern, like so: Category:Templates - Harry Potter Wiki - Wikia.

      Emerson: this is for Pagetitle. Sitename still remains under your control. So your main page would be "Munkapedia - Wikia".

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    • Ducksoup wrote:
      Nerfmaster: Template pages aren't indexed by search engines. Any page that IS indexed will carry the same pattern, like so: Category:Templates - Harry Potter Wiki - Wikia.

      based on that example/pattern, what would it have been before then?

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    • Category pages don't have customization options, so that isn't changing. It was just an example.

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    • Ducksoup wrote:

      Emerson: this is for Pagetitle. Sitename still remains under your control. So your main page would be "Munkapedia - Wikia".

      So we will not be able to edit MediaWiki:Pagetitle and the contents of this page will be {{SITENAME}}? We would have to change our sitename through Special:Contact to change how MediaWiki:Pagetitle appears. If so, this is the problem. How are you coming up with our main page title as "Munkapedia - Wikia"? Our sitename isn't Munkapedia nor is it on Main Page (MediaWiki:Mainpage or MediaWiki:Pagetitle-view-mainpage).

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    • So if we edit the pagetitle (when/if that gets whitelisted), that's what shows up on google? My wiki has "Wikia" at the end but I'd rather have it just be "Wiki"

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    • Emerson: I misunderstood. With your sitename, your pagetitle will be "Alvin and the Chipmunks Wiki - Wikia". 

      MZD: what shows up on Google is "[Sitename] - Wikia".

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    • Ducksoup wrote:
      Category pages don't have customization options, so that isn't changing. It was just an example.

      so basically you guys are switching the custom sitenames back to the original URLs, is that correct? not going to try to ask for further clarification because its apparently not working. just give a yes or no answer.

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    • No. Your custom sitename will not change. We're simply changing the structure of the pagetitle. It will now be "[Sitename] - Wikia".

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    • Since my original question wasn't actually answered, I guess we'll have to change our sitename to maintain (?) our SEO as the lesser evil (just get to deal with mile-long page names in the Project namespace).

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    • Maybe I didn't understand your question - I'm happy to answer whatever questions you have.

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    • So just to be clear

      • This does affect the name displayed in a tab or window title.
      • This doesn't affect wikias' de facto sitenames.
      • This doesn't affect the name of the Project: namespace.
      • This does affect the names of content in search engine results.

      Please correct me if I'm wrong!

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    • Correct. This affects Pagetitle only.

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    • 452

      Ducksoup wrote: Maybe I didn't understand your question - I'm happy to answer whatever questions you have.

      DEmersonJMFM wrote:

      Our default (at time of wiki creation) sitename is shorter than our official wiki name (what is currently on MediaWiki:Pagetitle). Our sitename was never officially updated via a Special:Contact/wiki-name-change request because sitename is also the name of the Project namespace, which is already long enough. Going back to the default sitename (Alvin and the Chipmunks Wiki) removes the uniqueness of our name (Munkapedia) and renaming to remove the default portion is surely to hurt our SEO. So none of these three options look to be a benefit to our wiki, more of a negative blow to our SEO.

      I would like to know what brilliant advice there is for our situation. Is there any data to show which is the better option?

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    • The advice is to sit tight! This won't be bad for your SEO. Short titles with accurate keywords are always the best practice for SEO - here's Google's documentation about it.

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    • Okay this will get interesting

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    • The pagetitle in my wiki right here is "Kingdom Of Fun Wikia, the kingdom where fun lies within - Wikia". I don't see a single good thing on how this change would be beneficial. I mean the custom pagetitle I have in my wiki does not even stray off to my wiki's theme. Neither did I even plan to make the pagetitle off-topic in the first place. If people make their pagetitles literally stray-off from their wiki's topic, then that's their own problem now. I thought each wiki can customize any of their MediaWiki:Pagetitles if they wish. And if some pagetitles tend to be off a main wiki's topic, it's probably because their wiki was more of a test wiki or something.

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    • Ducksoup wrote:
      The advice is to sit tight! This won't be bad for your SEO. Short titles with accurate keywords are always the best practice for SEO - here's Google's documentation about it.

      Two big concerns I have: we'll lose uniqueness and we'll get lost in the many sites that use just the brand name Alvin and the Chipmunks.

      Will the last case still be true when our pagetitle doesn't reflect this anymore? I guess time will tell whether there's actually any real benefit here (there's loss right off the bat). At the very least our main page name better not change.

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    • DEmersonJMFM wrote:

      Ducksoup wrote:
      The advice is to sit tight! This won't be bad for your SEO. Short titles with accurate keywords are always the best practice for SEO - here's Google's documentation about it.

      Two big concerns I have: we'll lose uniqueness and we'll get lost in the many sites that use just the brand name Alvin and the Chipmunks.

      Will the last case still be true when our pagetitle doesn't reflect this anymore? I guess time will tell whether there's actually any real benefit here (there's loss right of the bat). At the very least own main page name better not change.

      Hmmmmmmm

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    • Yes

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    • Emerson: You still have "Munkapedia" in so many spots around the site itself, and so high on the pages, that this won't shake your hold on that search term.

      I get the uniqueness, too, and remember that you can always send us a Special:Contact request to change your sitename to uphold that uniqueness.

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    • Ducksoup wrote:
      Emerson: You still have "Munkapedia" in so many spots around the site itself, and so high on the pages, that this won't shake your hold on that search term.

      I get the uniqueness, too, and remember that you can always send us a Special:Contact request to change your sitename to uphold that uniqueness.

      The most used instance is (was) the pagetitle. The wordmark doesn't count as it's an image (when used as text it's always the sitename) and the name is used in some MediaWiki and many Project pages. That's about it. The change isn't likely to eliminate results, but it seems certain they'll decrease.

      I might do/need to do so later. I'll give the current change a chance, but I'm not convinced it's in our best interest.

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    • ??

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    • Well, I don't understand anything until I see it done.

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    • Milkandchocolate wrote: Well, I don't understand anything until I see it done.

      This change is soon to roll out Wikia-wide so you would see the effect take place anytime.

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    • okay

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    • I'm fine with this, because I don't change pagetitles on my wikias anyway. But, since when was "- Wikia" added to the pagetitles?

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    • idk

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    • This is actually a good idea.

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    • All my titles on my wikia are basic and new.

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    • I completely forgot I changed mine, glad to know they can be simpler now :)

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    • Will we still be allowed to use Javascript to modify page titles?

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    • That's a good point. Would Js even affect pagetitle-based SEO?

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    • 452

      Personally, I see this as yet another way Wikia is taking away our freedom to customise. It's easy to use something as nebulous as "SEO" as the justification for introducing restrictions, as there's not much that can be said to oppose it.

      For anyone wondering if this will effect their search rankings: the best way to find out is to test it yourself. Conduct searches today which include your keywords, and note down your results, then perform the same searches in a month. The more people who test this, the more results we will have to show Wikia if it does turn out to hurt search results.

      I know from things they've said in the past that they do not look at specific figures, but only aggregate data. When I've asked them to be specific about the outcome of changes in the past, they've outright told me that they were not keeping track. (Unfortunately, I can't quite recall which particular change that discussion was about, so I can't look up specifics. All I do remember is that I had to repeat the question several times to get a straight answer... which doesn't narrow it down, because evading direct questions is pretty standard.)

      Edit: It was the videos sidebar! I voiced my concerns that the presence of videos would negatively impact editing - because people just watch the videos and never write down what is in the videos.
      I also asked them to be specific about which data they were tracking, and asked them to track how many people become editors after watching a video. After repeatedly being given generic answers to my requests for specific information, I said "You do not appear to be understanding my questions" and explained the purpose of my questions, then received the incredibly unprofessional response of "I don't think you are understanding my answers.", and was still never told what data they were looking at to consider the videos module a success.
      Despite being told "we would gladly share our findings with any communities that request it.", I asked for the results three months later and the response was: "What you are asking for are exact specifics and something that would take a lot of work for our team to find out."
      This is part of the reason why I've stopped giving feedback, suggestions, and bug reports to Wikia. Unfortunately, this potentially-negative pagetitle change means I have to, but at least we can check the outcome for ourselves.

      I've just submitted my current keyword search rankings to Special:Contact so that they are on record.

      Edit: But judging from the confused response to the ticket, apparently the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing.

      4 of the 6 of my pagetitle keywords were chosen due to the fact that they were not common words used in articles, I anticipate that the rankings based on those will change. Some of the results already place the wiki at 2nd and 3rd, so it is possible the results may actually improve.

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    • 452 wrote:
      For anyone wondering if this will effect their search rankings: the best way to find out is to test it yourself. Conduct searches today which include your keywords, and note down your results, then perform the same searches in a month. The more people who test this, the more results we will have to show Wikia if it does turn out to hurt search results.

      I've done a number of searches and collected some screenshots with the results. I'm likely to do this a few more times over the next month or so as rankings still change for other factors (the first search result I listed above is wrong today as we've dropped half a page, given Google likes to flood the results with videos).

      I honestly don't see a problem with people being responsible in their use of terms/pagetitle. The "Cocktails Wiki" example is clearly overreaching. Even the Google doc I was linked to states "it's sometimes helpful to have a few descriptive terms in the title."

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    • anotenmelo en español para poder entenderles

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    • Google Translate: Write it down in Spanish to understand

      If you don't speak English, terrenos en anp-mncs de nuevo leon, then how did you navigate this wiki?

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    • will it effect editing, chat or blogs?

      if it does then will all wikis be effected?

      if all wikis get effected then that means we might not be able to do those things.

      will you be able to fix it?

      will it give bugs to anything we're using?

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    • Lilalola333 wrote: will it effect editing, chat or blogs?

      if it does then will all wikis be effected?

      if all wikis get effected then that means we might not be able to do those things.

      will you be able to fix it?

      will it give bugs to anything we're using?

      The following answers to your questions:

      1. No. Not at all.
      2. All wikis however, will soon receive this change.
      3. The change will roll out but I believe negative effects won't sprout out (except for bugs I guess?).
      4. Staff will surely be able to fix bugs, if there any.
      5. Hardly I guess...
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    • thanks pinkgirl234

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    • -___- Ok

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    • Hey. Do you need to add Specific titles. No?

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    • What about wikis such as w:c:memoryalpha and w:c:tardis.

      AStranger195 wrote:

      Google Translate: Write it down in Spanish to understand

      If you don't speak English, terrenos en anp-mncs de nuevo leon, then how did you navigate this wiki?

      I think it got highlighted, which is why it happened.

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    • Speedit wrote:
      What about wikis such as w:c:memoryalpha and w:c:tardis.

      I'd say they're in the same boat as me (unless Wikia gives out special treatment).

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    • Umm, that would be a horrible idea for wikis who chose to setup with a different name as SEO for those wikis would just kick the bucket. Common sense that Wikia's advertisement for pagetitles was valid as sometimes the name of a wiki can be an inside "joke" or more accurately be an in-universe object that is relevant to a main protagonist or database.

      Ducksoup wrote: Emerson: You still have "Munkapedia" in so many spots around the site itself, and so high on the pages, that this won't shake your hold on that search term.

      I get the uniqueness, too, and remember that you can always send us a Special:Contact request to change your sitename to uphold that uniqueness.

      Could you verify whether this change will be applied to wikis with a non-subjectual sitename but an explanatory pagetitle? Will the update bulldozer wikis such as w:c:alvin, w:c:memoryalpha and w:c:tardis until they make the request to have it upheld or be applied on a case-by-case basis to avoid such wikis?

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    • I have a question,

      why wont be wiki pop up when I serch for it?

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    • Animaljam12345678910 wrote: I have a question,

      why wont be wiki pop up when I serch for it?

      off-topic subject, press "show" to view

      The wiki has to be indexed by Google to appear in Google's search. This will not happen until Google scans the wiki and it passes the absolute baseline for a site in terms of the wiki age since founding and added content (it's gotta have a few non-blank pages and be a few weeks old at least basically).

      The content pages of the wiki will not rank on the first few pages until there is quite a bit of content (so about 10 long pages and a good 100 pages), they have been around for a while, the site gets a bit of traction in the search in general and there is new and original content on the pages.

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    • To clarify.

      1. Will the MediaWiki page Pagetitle do anything at all after this change?
      2. Why not just make an announcement that a more to-the-point Pagetitle will generally improve the Wiki's search ratings?

      Also, it seems to be that this should have been announced as a proposal, not an imminent warning. Especially given the community centred nature of wikis in general.

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    • Silicon Soldier wrote: To clarify.

      1. Will the MediaWiki page Pagetitle do anything at all after this change?
      2. Why not just make an announcement that a more to-the-point Pagetitle will generally improve the Wiki's search ratings?

      Also, it seems to be that this should have been announced as a proposal, not an imminent warning. Especially given the community centred nature of wikis in general.

      1. Something tells me once this change starts going out all over the entire Wikia network, MediaWiki:Pagetitle will be rendered useless.
      2. I have no idea with them...

      This does not sound like a warning though. It's more like a global update announcement.

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    • I have a question. I'm just starting at this Wikia stuff. I want to put a picture on my stuff. The picture's from Google. However, it said I have to put what kind of copyright it needs or something like that. So which one should I put down?

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    • Depends. But you should really make another thread for this…

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    • I do not like this change. What if you don't want the word "Wikia" in the sitename?

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    • yeah what LaG roiL said

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    • LaG roiL wrote: I do not like this change. What if you don't want the word "Wikia" in the sitename?

      We're doing this for one reason: Search Engine Optimization. Our research shows that page titles that deviate from a "norm" tend to do much worse in search results.
       

      Simply put: it's a tradeoff for you. By having wikia in the sitename, you are increasing the amount of views your wikia will get. If you don't have it, you won't get as many views. As I said before on another thread; here is some evidence from some quick google searches:

      As you can see, adding the 'a' to 'wiki' automatically places my user page to the top of the search results!
      memmontalk
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    • so this side is great !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    • RansomTime
      RansomTime removed this reply because:
      Off topic
      14:39, December 6, 2015
      This reply has been removed
    • LaG roiL wrote:
      I do not like this change. What if you don't want the word "Wikia" in the sitename?

      You must not have noticed the fact "Wikia" is already applied to the end (and has been for months now). The current display is 

      Article Name ($1) - Text on MediaWiki:Pagetitle (which usually includes {{SITENAME}}) - Wikia
      

      so this page displays as

      A Change to Pagetitles - Wikia Community Central - Wikia
      

      after the change it should be (unless CC excludes themselves)

      Article Name ($1) - {{SITENAME}} - Wikia
      

      displaying as

      A Change to Pagetitles - Community Central - Wikia
      

      The ending "Wikia" can't (and shouldn't) be changed as it identifies that the wiki is a Wikia wiki.

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    • Wiktoriawikusia wrote:

      and l question whether you would  be albe to find me a boyfriend that is 10 years old ?? xd ;) :)

      *coughs*Someone delete this reply?


      Sooo is this change starting to roll out over the Wikia network?

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    • If its on the Wikia domain, why would you want to ignore that fact - seems a little in contempt of the free hosting and support the editors get from Wikia. But maybe there are unspecified and specific reasons why the Wikia addition is not to the benefit of the wiki.

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    • What if your community doesn;t necessairly want to use the wikia branding in the title. What advantage does reconigizing Wikia have for communities on an indivual basis?

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    • "Wikia" is a term that is granted a higher SEO like "Wikipedia" or "AsianWiki" in the pagename for being a derivative of the term "Wiki". So the site could get two hits in the pagename alone thanks to the subjectual similarity of the term "Wikia".

      PS: The Wikia network does contain some sites that host on their own sites and do not use the Wikia branding outside of the footer, I think.

       Speedit   talk contribs  15:14, December 6, 2015 (UTC)

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    • Speedit wrote: "Wikia" is a term that is granted a higher SEO like "Wikipedia" or "AsianWiki" in the pagename for being a derivative of the term "Wiki". So the site could get two hits in the pagename alone thanks to the subjectual similarity of the term "Wikia".

      PS: The Wikia network does contain some sites that host on their own sites and do not use the Wikia branding outside of the footer, I think.

       Speedit   talk contribs  15:14, December 6, 2015 (UTC)

      Like Uncyclopedia?

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    • Pinkgirl234 wrote:

      Speedit wrote: "Wikia" is a term that is granted a higher SEO like "Wikipedia" or "AsianWiki" in the pagename for being a derivative of the term "Wiki". So the site could get two hits in the pagename alone thanks to the subjectual similarity of the term "Wikia".

      PS: The Wikia network does contain some sites that host on their own sites and do not use the Wikia branding outside of the footer, I think.

       Speedit   talk contribs  15:14, December 6, 2015 (UTC)

      Like Uncyclopedia?

      Essentially =D

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    • Pinkgirl234 wrote:

      Speedit wrote: "Wikia" is a term that is granted a higher SEO like "Wikipedia" or "AsianWiki" in the pagename for being a derivative of the term "Wiki". So the site could get two hits in the pagename alone thanks to the subjectual similarity of the term "Wikia".

      PS: The Wikia network does contain some sites that host on their own sites and do not use the Wikia branding outside of the footer, I think.

       Speedit   talk contribs  15:14, December 6, 2015 (UTC)

      Like Uncyclopedia?

      Yes! The Hebrew version (Eincyclopedia) is hosted on Wikia, but didn't want to be recognized as a Wikia until they forced it.

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    • LaG roiL wrote:

      Yes! The Hebrew version (Eincyclopedia) is hosted on Wikia, but didn't want to be recognized as a Wikia until they forced it.

      Forced? Why? If they did not comply, would it be a violation of the Terms of Use?

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    • Wikia bought many early independent wikis. For a long time, many retained their own url and layout, or some other feature, as part of the agreement. DC and Marvel, for example, had anonymous editors turned off way back when. Wikis that still have Monobook usually fall in this category. Memory Alpha had their own url for a long time, but now it's under wikia.com. I don't know exactly what the reasons are (probably SEO) but I remember reading not everyone on Uncyclopedia was fond of it.

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    • Yes Wikia has acquired several wikis, or had many move over the years. They eventually got to the point of requiring  a uniform url (at wikia.com), namely because Staff has said it is very difficult to maintain seperate domains, from a technical standpoint. I also believe that Wikia wanted to attach those wiki's to their branding more (those sites do not need wikia branding to help with their SEO, but Wikia makes more money when people know they are apart of Wikia). Wikia would like as many communities as possible to be Wikia-branded, but there are many communities who do not wish that. This can often cause conflict between Staff and Communities, between having the liberty of content and profits. This is why we have many forks. I hope someday it can be more balanaced and Wikia can allow more freedom for wiki;s while still profiting (when profit gets in the way of community is when we have fights).Wikia has a large group of bonservants, building all of their content for free. They must be cautious not to provoke them

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    • Like the idea.

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    • I need help with fixing my email profile so I can create a page. I want to, but I can't. Can anyone help?

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    • Personally, I agree with the idea but I think it should be applied on wikis where its actually a problem and not taken away from wikis where its beneficial automatically.

      Superdadsuper wrote: Yes Wikia has acquired several wikis, or had many move over the years. ...Wikia has a large group of bonservants, building all of their content for free. They must be cautious not to provoke them

      Money for Wikia means a better domain, more active staff and more viewers due to the positive knockback. I'm still of the opinion that the Wikia staff do the best for us and are not afraid to accept when this is not the case.

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    • AStranger195 wrote: But, since when was "- Wikia" added to the pagetitles?

      I already alerted about this a month ago, nobody cared, and now you get this in return.

      The beneficial part of this is that, if your current page title has better SEO than the sitename itself, forking the wiki would give the new wiki better seo than the one in wikia :P

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    • The ultimate reason for this change is money.

      All the different wikis about the same subject will now have a very similar title, so the main wiki will virtually "extend" to all the other wikis with the same subject (which are probably abandoned, or has duplicate content). That will increase visibility of pages of those second line wikis, increasing the ad revenue on those pages. On the other hand, the main wiki can suffer from dropping some views that will get directed to those other wikis

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    • Ciencia Al Poder wrote:
      ...or has duplicate content). That will increase visibility of pages of those second line wikis, increasing the ad revenue on those pages. On the other hand, the main wiki can suffer from dropping some views that will get directed to those other wikis

      Wikis with exact, duplicate content from somewhere else are penalized SEO-wide. Redirecting views to different Wikia wikis that were already going to view a Wikia wiki isn't increasing views or ad revenue (no profit increase).

      Bottomline, you are using Wikia. There's no reason why Wikia shouldn't brand the wikis (outside {{SITENAME}}, which they do) that fall under its umbrella (unless there's a specific condition listed prohibiting such when a non-Wikia wiki is absorbed by Wikia and they both agree). That seems like rather common sense.

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    • WHAT will I lose all my edits!

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    • Eh?

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    • do you maybu now a serbian pikaz it's more isiar to me

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    • Violeta135 wrote: do you maybu now a serbian pikaz it's more isiar to me

      w:c:wlb.

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    • So you're saying when a wiki is named Bieberpedia it will show 'Justin Bieber Wiki' instead?

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    • Justine77 7 wrote: So you're saying when a wiki is named Bieberpedia it will show 'Justin Bieber Wiki' instead?

      No, it will show "Bieberpedia - Wikia" instead of "Bieberpedia - a wiki about Justin Bieber Wiki" or whatever customization you could have made

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    • Which is a real bummer - if Bieberpedia users did not find out about this, then their SEO would have got hammered for certain. Google does like pagetitles that actually define their subject as searching for say, "Harry Potter Beedle the Bard Book" picks up "harrypotter" in the URL and "Harry Potter" in the sitename.

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    • i like you shades

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    • Skycrystal wrote: WHAT will I lose all my edits!

      No no. This change won't affect your editing or your edits.

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    • Sannse
      Sannse removed this reply because:
      off-topic
      19:18, December 9, 2015
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    • Sannse
      Sannse removed this reply because:
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      19:18, December 9, 2015
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    • Oh

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    • What are we even talking about anymore?

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    • Boo!

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    • Hi guys. This topic is to discuss the change to pagetitles. If you have other questions you're welcome to ask them in the Forums

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    • Sannse
      Sannse removed this reply because:
      off topic
      22:24, December 8, 2015
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    • Sannse
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      response to removed comment
      22:26, December 8, 2015
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      Sannse removed this reply because:
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      19:16, December 9, 2015
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    • Why is this thread still open

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    • Speedit wrote: If its on the Wikia domain, why would you want to ignore that fact - seems a little in contempt of the free hosting and support the editors get from Wikia. But maybe there are unspecified and specific reasons why the Wikia addition is not to the benefit of the wiki.

      I get support from Wikia? (Sorry, I'm cynical because I believe a lot of the changes staff has been pushing are rather oppressive in terms of allowing individual community consensus. Their actual support via the contact forms tends to be rather quick, easy, and helpful, that time they didn't consider likely breaking of local policy in a way that diverted the primary active admin's resources disruptive notwithstanding. I suppose I shouldn't brush support staff under the bus for the company's large-scale changes, but... cynical. XP)

      That said, I don't have so much of a problem with this... but that might be because literally no Wikia wiki I ever frequent has a cool name that's not the sitename, and I'm also not creative enough to have a cool name like that for anything on the wikis I head. :P

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    • i all im back

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    • Sadiebourb wrote:
      i all im back
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    • Citrusellaeditswikis wrote:

      I get support from Wikia? (Sorry, I'm cynical because I believe a lot of the changes staff has been pushing are rather oppressive in terms of allowing individual community consensus. Their actual support via the contact forms tends to be rather quick, easy, and helpful, that time they didn't consider likely breaking of local policy in a way that diverted the primary active admin's resources disruptive notwithstanding. I suppose I shouldn't brush support staff under the bus for the company's large-scale changes, but... cynical. XP)

      That said, I don't have so much of a problem with this... but that might be because literally no Wikia wiki I ever frequent has a cool name that's not the sitename, and I'm also not creative enough to have a cool name like that for anything on the wikis I head. :P

      Agreed on the lack of need for pagetitle on the wikis I'm on but there are people whose wikis do rely on it in this thread. In general, there frankly is an element of rushing in decisions these days but usually support is good. That being said, I was blanked by a staff member all last month after reporting a Community Creation Policy violation so when there's the odd blip things can get pretty bad.

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    •                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    oh cool

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    • I don't know whether this will ultimately be a good or bad thing in the long run. Although since I'm neither for or against the change, I guess I'll just see how it goes. Besides if it really does more harm than help, I'm sure Wikia will tweak it so it will be more acceptable.

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    • Well, this is bad news for me. One of my wikis will have it's SEO hurt, not helped, by this. You see, currently it says RangerWiki - the Super Sentai and Power Rangers wiki - Wikia. The middle bit will be gone, so now it won't mention what the wiki is about!

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    • Digifiend wrote: Well, this is bad news for me. One of my wikis will have it's SEO hurt, not helped, by this. You see, currently it says RangerWiki - the Super Sentai and Power Rangers wiki - Wikia. The middle bit will be gone, so now it won't mention what the wiki is about!

      Same. Though my wiki's theme will still tell what the whole wiki is all about.

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    • Digifiend wrote:
      Well, this is bad news for me. One of my wikis will have it's SEO hurt, not helped, by this. You see, currently it says RangerWiki - the Super Sentai and Power Rangers wiki - Wikia. The middle bit will be gone, so now it won't mention what the wiki is about!

      It's the exact same problem Memory Alpha and Tardis Data Core will have. Those wikis don't have Star Trek and Doctor Who in their names, and thus will no longer have those names mentioned in their pagetitles. In fact the same goes for Star Wars wiki Wookiepedia.

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    • Digifiend wrote:

      Digifiend wrote:
      Well, this is bad news for me. One of my wikis will have it's SEO hurt, not helped, by this. You see, currently it says RangerWiki - the Super Sentai and Power Rangers wiki - Wikia. The middle bit will be gone, so now it won't mention what the wiki is about!

      It's the exact same problem Memory Alpha and Tardis Data Core will have. Those wikis don't have Star Trek and Doctor Who in their names, and thus will no longer have those names mentioned in their pagetitles. In fact the same goes for Star Wars wiki Wookiepedia.

      Well this change will occur to every wiki. So....welp.

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    • Most of the examples on this thread are instances in which the wiki's pagetitle clarifies what the wiki's subject is about. Unless you are a very dedicated fan, the average viewer isn't likely to know what these wikis are about or what to search for. Imagine the length of these {{SITENAME}}'s (and Project namespace, which is the biggest problem with removing our editing ability of pagetitle) if all these wiki's need to change their "official" name to maintain their SEO.

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    • I agree completely.

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    • Frankly, I think this is going to hurt more wikis than it helps. In your example for "Cocktails Wiki", why wouldn't the following be a better SEO?

      Cocktails Wiki - Instructions for drinks, recipes for your favorite beverage! Learn how to make alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails! - Wikia

      I think a better answer would be to enforce a character limit on MediaWiki:Pagetitle (say 200 characters or less, allowing a parser string for the wiki name). Then, you could contact the admins on the wikis where it has been customized and encourage them to update it on their own.

      As far as the whole " - Wikia" thing on the end... meh, that's the price of having a wiki hosted by Wikia. I may not think it looks good in all cases, but it's an acceptable cost for utilizing their service.

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    • Vandraedha wrote:

      I think a better answer would be to enforce a character limit on MediaWiki:Pagetitle (say 200 characters or less, allowing a parser string for the wiki name).

      This was one of my thoughts for an alternative; even 100 characters would satisfy any reasonable wiki's needs.

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    • DEmersonJMFM wrote:

      This was one of my thoughts for an alternative; even 100 characters would satisfy any reasonable wiki's needs.

      It happened - now the damage could occur when Google recaches all the examples in this thread. A character limit is really the best way to go personally.

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    • Yes

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    • Potentially stupid question - should we know delete MediaWiki:Pagetitle and MediaWiki:Pagetitle-view-mainpage, since they're no longer used?

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    • Technobliterator wrote: Potentially stupid question - should we know delete MediaWiki:Pagetitle and MediaWiki:Pagetitle-view-mainpage, since they're no longer used?

      If it has no effect, deleting it won't have any effect whatsoever. I'd keep it for historical interest, and for when wikia roll back this change in a few years after noticing the negative impact in communities (just like any change it has made in titles before this one).

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    • Sounds like a rather...interesting change. Only time will tell to see what comes of this, I guess.

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    • Vandraedha wrote: Frankly, I think this is going to hurt more wikis than it helps. In your example for "Cocktails Wiki", why wouldn't the following be a better SEO?

      Cocktails Wiki - Instructions for drinks, recipes for your favorite beverage! Learn how to make alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails! - Wikia

      I think a better answer would be to enforce a character limit on MediaWiki:Pagetitle (say 200 characters or less, allowing a parser string for the wiki name). Then, you could contact the admins on the wikis where it has been customized and encourage them to update it on their own.

      As far as the whole " - Wikia" thing on the end... meh, that's the price of having a wiki hosted by Wikia. I may not think it looks good in all cases, but it's an acceptable cost for utilizing their service.

      Yeah, I don't mind the " - Wikia" thing. A character limit, I'd support, the RangerWiki pagetitle was 52 characters, so 100 is plenty.

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    • Yup. The effect has worked.

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    • The change seemed to also make the title of (all?) of the chat windows to display <wikia-pagetitle> instead of for instance Community Central chat in the title bar.

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    • Feinoha wrote: The change seemed to also make the title of (all?) of the chat windows to display <wikia-pagetitle> instead of for instance Community Central chat in the title bar.

      Yeah. Saw something similar like this last night in the chat in Plants vs. Zombies Wiki. :/

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    • Patiently waiting like everyone else for Wikia to find out that this was a stupid idea and revert it.

      My wiki is named Acepedia. It's about Ace Combat. It used to show "Acepedia - The Ace Combat Wiki - Wikia" in the title, now it's just "Acepedia - Wikia". How is anyone supposed to understand what they're looking at when all they see is "Acepedia" in the Google results?

      Probably the worst case of this is the aforementioned Doctor Who Wikia, which is now simply showing as "Tardis - Wikia".

      Come on, guys.

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    • A bad example was picked for this. Sure the Cocktails Wiki one may be way too long, but most wikis simply use it to get their main focus across in a single short sentence while still keeping a unique title, like the aforementioned examples.

      I don't see what's wrong with a small description like "Wookiepedia, the Star Wars Wiki". I agree a character limit would be the best way to go about it

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    • Same here. Especially older wikis, which tended to include -pedia to mirror Wikipedia rather than -wiki are harmed by this.

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    • DEmersonJMFM wrote:
      At the very least our main page name better not change.

      Yes and no. It seems on a wiki's home page, pagetitle doesn't use the name of the designated mainpage, but {{SITENAME}} instead. Dashes those hopes.

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    • Well, I was originally ok with this, but some sysops on my wiki have been complaining that they miss the pagetitle now.

      I think a 100/200 character limit pagetitle may have been the better option.

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    • I think most wikis would even manage to do it on a 50 character limit.

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    • 200 is too much, 100 would get rid of most outliers, 50 would keep wikis constrained to just the "unique name", "subject name" Wiki or "subject name" Wiki formats (unless your subject name is rather long).

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    • 75?

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    • Oh, one bug: R&C wiki's pagetitle is now "Ratchet & Clank". That should probably be fixed.

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    • I'm pretty sure this will have a negative impact on Wookieepedia. Our wiki doesn't contain the subject in the wiki name itself, but our pagetitle used to be "Wookieepedia, the Star Wars wiki", and we'd like that back.

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    • I'm not a member of that wikia, but I agree with xd's point. This is probably the case for many, many wikias. Does Wikia really need that much more SEO that this is the only way? A restriction of our creative freedom, which is likely impacting most large communities negatively?

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    • Xd1358 wrote: I'm pretty sure this will have a negative impact on Wookieepedia. Our wiki doesn't contain the subject in the wiki name itself, but our pagetitle used to be "Wookieepedia, the Star Wars wiki", and we'd like that back.

      Oh, I tried contact through IRC because your wiki is under read-only lockdown for the canon-legend reshuffling. Apologies if you got the message late.

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    • Chiming in here to give a little more context for the change and address some valid concerns in the comments here.

      Search algorithms are changed often in an effort to serve search engine users rather than sites, so sometimes techniques that brought us success in the past need to be abandoned. In the past our title tags were in line with best practices, but those best practices have changed as the algorithm evolved.

      In fact, Google and other search engines issue algorithmic penalties to sites that are over-optimized because in the past excessive internal links or long lists of keywords were used to mislead searchers.

      In all things SEO, it is important consider the purpose of each element to be optimized—and the purpose of a title is to provide a short description of that document to search engines. Search engines display the first 70 or so characters that appear in the title tag on their results pages and this is the only thing most searchers read before making a snap decision.

      Google's documentation clearly states that page titles should be descriptive and concise.

      "Avoid repeated or boilerplate titles. It’s important to have distinct, descriptive titles for each page on your site. [ . . . ] Long titles that vary by only a single piece of information ("boilerplate" titles) are also bad; for example, a standardized title like "<band name> - See videos, lyrics, posters, albums, reviews and concerts" contains a lot of uninformative text."

      "Brand your titles, but concisely. The title of your site’s home page is a reasonable place to include some additional information about your site—for instance, "ExampleSocialSite, a place for people to meet and mingle." But displaying that text in the title of every single page on your site hurts readability and will look particularly repetitive if several pages from your site are returned for the same query" (emphasis mine).

      Our communities' pages succeed in organic search because of the countless hours editors and admins spend creating unique, engaging content that provides the best possible answer to searchers' queries. Removing extra terms from the title tag will not change that.

      Changes like this can seem sudden, but clean and concise titles are a tried and true SEO best practice. I am confident that removing confusing signals from the title gives each page the best possible chance to rank as high as possible for relevant search terms.

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    • Pinkgirl234 wrote:

      Feinoha wrote: The change seemed to also make the title of (all?) of the chat windows to display <wikia-pagetitle> instead of for instance Community Central chat in the title bar.

      Yeah. Saw something similar like this last night in the chat in Plants vs. Zombies Wiki. :/

      Yep. I think thats in (almost, if not) all chat tabs right now. Something that's hopefully getting fixed.

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    • Thanks for the response, Angelina.

      SEOkitten wrote:

      "Avoid repeated or boilerplate titles. It’s important to have distinct, descriptive titles for each page on your site. [ . . . ] Long titles that vary by only a single piece of information ("boilerplate" titles) are also bad; for example, a standardized title like "<band name> - See videos, lyrics, posters, albums, reviews and concerts" contains a lot of uninformative text."

      "Brand your titles, but concisely. The title of your site’s home page is a reasonable place to include some additional information about your site—for instance, "ExampleSocialSite, a place for people to meet and mingle." But displaying that text in the title of every single page on your site hurts readability and will look particularly repetitive if several pages from your site are returned for the same query" (emphasis mine).

      This is a reasonable explanation for removing pagetitles - and I imagine, simply moving the "a place for people to meet and mingle" in the example to the main page or something would be the solution there - the only problem is that it does not offer a solution for wikis such as Wookieepedia (despite how well they probably do in SEO regardless, losing "the Star Wars wiki" is probably still a hit), or where the site name causes display issues (such as "Ratchet & Clank wiki" - yes, that appears in the desktop tab). Would allow rare instances of pagetitles, or introducing a character limit, not be a reasonable way to allow these wikis to display a slightly different pagetitle, while not displaying ones that are ultimately more detrimental?

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    • Yep. I think thats in (almost, if not) all chat tabs right now. Something that's hopefully getting fixed.

      p.s. One of our engineers is pushing code out to fix that bug. She sits right next to me and I can see her screen. ;)

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    • SEOkitten wrote:
      Chiming in here to give a little more context for the change and address some valid concerns in the comments here.

      I don't really see how much of this applies specifically to the majority of the comments here. Yes, keyword stuffing is bad, same with uninformative text, but we are talking about part of the wiki's identify, it's name. This isn't a bunch of pointless/generic text.

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    • I interpret this additional suffix as more Wikia advertising. This is to inform that the content is from Wikia

      • eg: Alvin and the Chipmunks Wiki is now Alvin and the Chipmunks Wiki - (from) Wikia


      Some content has Wikia in its name like Wikia Templates

      • tab name → Wikia Templates - Wikia
      • main page → templates.wikia.com/wiki/Wikia_Templates

      Earlier this year, new content changed from <name> Wiki to <name> Wikia so Wikia now appears twice!

      • eg: Star Wars Wikia - Wikia


      Does the Wikia marketing department get paid on commission based on the number of times it can include Wikia !!

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    • SEOkitten wrote: p.s. One of our engineers is pushing code out to fix that bug. She sits right next to me and I can see her screen. ;)

      Glad to hear :P

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    • TableWiz wrote:
      I interpret this additional suffix as more Wikia advertising. This is to inform that the content is from Wikia
      • eg: Alvin and the Chipmunks Wiki is now Alvin and the Chipmunks Wiki - (from) Wikia

      This was done some time before this announcement and, frankly, I don't care. Our wikis are on Wikia. I see no reason they shouldn't be labeled as such.

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    • Technobliterator wrote: Thanks for the response, Angelina.

      SEOkitten wrote:

      "Avoid repeated or boilerplate titles...

      "Brand your titles, but concisely...

      This is a reasonable explanation for removing pagetitles - and I imagine, simply moving the "a place for people to meet and mingle" in the example to the main page or something would be the solution there - the only problem is that it does not offer a solution for wikis such as Wookieepedia (despite how well they probably do in SEO regardless, losing "the Star Wars wiki" is probably still a hit), or where the site name causes display issues (such as "Ratchet & Clank wiki" - yes, that appears in the desktop tab). Would allow rare instances of pagetitles, or introducing a character limit, not be a reasonable way to allow these wikis to display a slightly different pagetitle, while not displaying ones that are ultimately more detrimental?

      Agreed. On these thoughts about the importance of shorter titles for SEO, I would kindly like to ask Wikia staff will honor requests for the usage of MediaWiki:Pagetitle for wikis which have a valid usage case? Will users be messaging staff through the main contact form for having the pagetitle upheld on a community - or is Special:Contact/wiki-name-change the preffered venue for the team?

      With thanks for killing the ridiculously long pagetitles on some communities that are truncated in the browser bookmarks due to their insane length - I usually have that problem with news sites that I bookmark. Hopefully, we can move on to the next step of having the wheat sorted from the chaff with the pagetitle requests.

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    • SEOkitten wrote:

      "Brand your titles, but concisely. The title of your site’s home page is a reasonable place to include some additional information about your site—for instance, "ExampleSocialSite, a place for people to meet and mingle."

      I also want to point out that the wiki's home page name doesn't display in search results - 131 above.

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    • One question, if detailed branding on the home page is fine, what's wrong with using MediaWiki:Pagetitle-view-mainpage?

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    • SEOkitten wrote:

      Google's documentation clearly states that page titles should be descriptive and concise.

      But on RangerWiki, Wookiepedia, Memory Alpha, and Tardis, the changes mean that the page titles are no longer descriptive. This change is counterproductive.

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    • I am hoping that a staff request can reactivate the pagetitle for those communities. I think its out of hours for staff seeing as its 2AM in San Fran the weekend.

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    • SEOkitten wrote: "Avoid repeated or boilerplate titles. It’s important to have distinct, descriptive titles for each page on your site. [ . . . ] Long titles that vary by only a single piece of information ("boilerplate" titles) are also bad; for example, a standardized title like "<band name> - See videos, lyrics, posters, albums, reviews and concerts" contains a lot of uninformative text."

      Doesn't the suffix - Wikia fall into boilerplate titles and be repetitive, given that "wikia" is already present in the URL?

      SEOkitten wrote: "Brand your titles, but concisely. The title of your site’s home page is a reasonable place to include some additional information about your site—for instance, "ExampleSocialSite, a place for people to meet and mingle." But displaying that text in the title of every single page on your site hurts readability and will look particularly repetitive if several pages from your site are returned for the same query" (emphasis mine).

      Changes like this can seem sudden, but clean and concise titles are a tried and true SEO best practice. I am confident that removing confusing signals from the title gives each page the best possible chance to rank as high as possible for relevant search terms.

      Same as my point above. - Wikia adds nothing of value to the page title, but it gives 8 extra and unnecessary characters to the page title, that could be used to give a valuable description of the wiki, like "Wookiepedia - The Star Wars wiki".

      Note also that the title of the page is at the start of the page title, so if the brand name exceeds the 70 character limit given by google, the important part (the title of the page) is still visible.

      Please, refrain from making those disruptive changes that harms the 99% of wikis that either have the MediaWiki:Pagetitle untouched or customized with a small and concise title that add valuable information of the wiki contents, just to optimize for the 1% of wikis that changed it following your old guidelines[1][2] of adding random keywords on page titles. That was your fault, and you should take the responsibility of either fix those wikis manually, or better, teach them about the new SEO practices and ask them to do the change, instead of putting all of us into the same bag and forcing a change that does more harm than benefit.

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    • Speedit
      Speedit removed this reply because:
      Inaccurate statistics.
      21:00, December 14, 2015
      This reply has been removed
    • Found an interesting case in which when an article has the same name as the sitename (minus Wiki) the pagetitle for the article is the exact same as the main page ('subject name' Wiki - Wikia). Makes the search results look like there's a duplicate showing when in reality the pages are very different.

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    • I wonder how many egregious offenders like cocktail wiki there were. Surely, this is a case where there are more babies than bath water.

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    • Tupka217 wrote: I wonder how many egregious offenders like cocktail wiki there were. Surely, this is a case where there are more babies than bath water.

      The shocking thing is that the "offending" page titles were created by Wikia paid editors like User:Meganhassler. See [1] and [2]. They first create the problem, and then punish all wikis that have nothing to do with this! That's unacceptable.

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    • I think there is truth in that the problem was caused by staff SEO advice four years back and that this solution is overreaching for the wikis who want their uniqueness upheld [1] [2]. Well, here's some respectable editors following suit in 2011. [3] [4].

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    • 452

      Ciencia Al Poder wrote:

      The shocking thing is that the "offending" page titles were created by Wikia paid editors like User:Meganhassler. See [1] and [2]. They first create the problem, and then punish all wikis that have nothing to do with this! That's unacceptable.

      Wow. Thanks for pointing this out.

      It's very disingenuous of them to use something they did as an example of why they're removing another customisation.

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    • Speedit
      Speedit removed this reply because:
      erased message
      12:09, December 13, 2015
      This reply has been removed
    • Staff is the ultimate responsible for this neglect, they should be fixing the page titles on a case by case basis, on the wikis where the current page title may be problematic for SEO, and not to force this change that does more harm than good on some of the largest wikis.

      I'm pretty sure they can get the contents of MediaWiki:Pagetitle of all wikis, and filter only those with more than X characters, to work on them. In the worst case, they could run a bot to delete or change them to a sane default, but still allow on-wiki customizations.

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    • Granted, they accepted that staff advice will evolve given the situation, but I don't think the absolute removal of this customisation perfectly lines up with the concept of a hosted wiki.

      Ciencia Al Poder wrote: .. I'm pretty sure they can get the contents of MediaWiki:Pagetitle of all wikis, and filter only those with more than X characters, to work on them. In the worst case, they could run a bot to delete or change them to a sane default, but still allow on-wiki customizations.

      The likelihood that erasing the pagetitle but leaving it open would actually take us back to square one and result in the same long pagetitles is pretty small considering its now seen as a spammy technique in general.

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    • So far, based on the search terms I've been keeping up on, our rankings have had a slight net negative lose. A number of the rankings are the same (the first I've mentioned above returned to the previously stated level because Google decided to remove half to three-quarters of a page of videos). One of my terms decreased against Wikipedia (irritating). Others are a little less robust in search results, one of which shows more results now from our Twitter (@Munkapedia) than previously shown from our wiki. There are still some titles that have yet to be recached so the full effect still isn't yet visible.

      I'm so happy for this SEO gain we were supposedly meant to get from this change.

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    • 452

      It's a good thing that Wikia already pre-dodged people reporting negative results by saying:

      That said, thirty days post-change isn't enough time for the SEO pie to get baked - it'll take six months or more for google to completely re-crawl and update their historical rankings. We can do our best to play by the rules that we see set out before us, but we'll only know the results of following them after the pie gets baked. A coworker used the analogy, "it's like Battleship, except infinity ways to place your pieces and the enemy can re-place their ships after you hit them".
      ~ Wikia Staff

      Wikia are playing battleship against us. No matter what we say, they will move their ships and tell us we "missed".

      Wikia Staff's final statement in my support ticket was

      We're confident this is the right move.

      Confidence is what you have when you do not have evidence. The first definition in my dictionary explicitly uses the word "belief".

      They do not care about "results" because "SEO" is a religion to them, not a science. They believe they are doing the right thing, and no amount of evidence will shake their faith in Google's SEO bible.


      So far, out of my 16 test searches, 3 have negative changes, 1 has a positive change and 6 have no change.

      edit: For the record, Wikia Staff have also tried to undermine my results by claiming that my google history effects my results: my results are identical with or without Incognito Mode, and I have encouraged them to verify my findings by doing the searches themselves.

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    • Speedit wrote: The main reason why this is an issue is because the staff chose to rollout on Thursday expecting indexing to recache for Friday and any potential changes in the SEO metric of Wikia to occur in the weekend without the community team available to provide support. Natural keyword placement is still highly beneficial and subjectual - the key in all of this and the explanation of the untold damage Wookiepedia will suffer ahead of the premiere on Tuesday, 15th December 2015.

      I think the pages have recovered a lot, the ranking is now the same on pages I was manually following from Thursday. A comment on traffic statistics - they may not apply to this case because of the Taboola "You May Also Like" thing taking users by surprise a little. (Wanna discuss that, hit the forum and let the staff respond here about pagetitles seeing as its office hours now). "The Force Awakens" is back to #2, disaster averted - I think Google served me the page as #1 as I use Wikia a lot. The statistical disrepancy in the traffic stats here is due to an advertisement rollout powered by Taboola.

      PS: Its unlikely that it will be changed back in order to comply with Google's SEO docs.

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    • @Speedit: You should check those rankings in Incognito Mode; your Google history will affect your personal results.

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    • Azending
      Azending removed this reply because:
      Because it's outdated
      06:06, February 17, 2016
      This reply has been removed
    • Okay. hahaha.

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    • 452

      Back in December, when I said "In 30 days I'll perform the searches again and update the ticket with the new results.", Wikia Staff replied with:

      thirty days post-change isn't enough time for the SEO pie to get baked - it'll take six months or more for google to completely re-crawl and update their historical rankings.


      Well, it has now been more than 6 months. Enough time for most people to have forgotten all about this, which I expect was the point.

      As of August 2016, out of my 16 test searches submitted to Wikia on December 5th, all 16 have negative changes.

      I had thought that there was one term with positive change and one term with no change, but when re-testing all 16 terms in an incognito window, it turns out those results were skewed in Wikia's favour because I hadn't cleared my cookies in a couple of days.

      I'm not making my search terms public, but they have been submitted to Wikia Staff for verification, and they have not disputed the accuracy of these search results.

      • Search Term 1
        • Was the first 6 hits
        • Now only the first 4 hits
      • Search Term 2
        • Was first 4 hits
        • Now only the first 2 hits
      • Search Term 3
        • Was the first 3 hits
        • Now only the 2nd and 3rd hits
      • Search Term 4
        • Was the 1st hit
        • Now the 7th hit
        • I specifically predicted this change, because this term only appeared in the page title.
      • Search Term 5
        • Was 3rd behind IGN and gamefaqs
        • Now 4th behind IGN and gamefaqs
      • Search Term 6
        • Was 2nd behind IGN
        • Is now ahead of IGN
        • After repeating this search in an incognito window, it turns out that this term is now 3rd, behind IGN and gamefaqs.
      • Search Term 7
        • Was the 3rd and 4th hit
        • Now the 7th hit
      • Search Term 8
        • Was the first 2 hits
        • Now only the 1st hit
      • Search Term 9
        • Was the first 3 hits
        • Now the first 2 hits
      • Search Term 10
        • Was the first 6 hits
        • Now the first 2 hits
      • Search Term 11
        • Was the first 2 hits
        • Now the 5th hit
      • Search Term 12
        • Was the first 3 hits
        • Now only the 2nd 3rd and 4th hit
      • Search Term 13
        • Was the first 3 hits
        • Now the 5th hit
      • Search Term 14
        • Was the first 2 hits
        • Now only the 1st hit
      • Search Term 15
        • Was the first 3 hits
        • Now the first 2 hits
      • Search Term 16
        • Was the first 3 hits
        • Now the 3rd hit

      After submitting these results to Wikia Staff yesterday, their reply was:

      it's clear that, taken as a whole, the SEO changes we made eight months ago were a net gain. That's why we made them.

      While I provided them with solid independently-verifiable experimental data which proves a net loss, they have again replied with empty words that have nothing to back them up.

      Given that Wikia Staff to not possess a time machine, the claim that an unproven "net gain" today is "Why they made the changes 8 months ago" is bizarre. They did not have access to today's data 8 months ago, therefore today's data was not used 8 months ago to inform their decision. This line again reinforces my earlier statement that Wikia Staff made these changes due to "faith", and have nothing to do with evidence.

      Does anyone else have any results to share?

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    • Hi 452!

      Like I said in the other thread: this is something that we have to track on a sitewide scale. Of course, there are always going to be variations on a local level, as there were on your wiki, but as a whole the changes to page title were good for SEO across the network.

      I know you prefer hard data, so here is a thread in which our resident SEO expert, Angelina, shows our work on the back end.

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    • Ducksoup wrote: Of course, there are always going to be variations on a local level, as there were on your wiki

      That's something we know and that's why we request to allow changing page titles **on a local level**

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    • You misunderstand me. The change we made keeps with Google's best practices - the consistency and cleanliness of the page titles helps Google find and index your page.

      However, because of the ever-changing nature of the internet, sometimes rankings change by themselves. There's lots of competition for those highly-placed search results, and sometimes - through no fault of page titles - one or another page will rise or drop in the results. 

      I strongly recommend reading the hard data that Angelina provided in the other thread.

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    • Dammit this thread was brought up again and I'm like what...until I realised it was posted 1 year ago. >.<

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    • Hi

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    • A FANDOM user
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