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Toughpigs

aka Danny

  • I live in Oakland, CA
  • I was born on January 6
  • My occupation is Product Manager at Wikipedia

Google rank

On another note, I've got for you a question about Google rank - I know you've done a lot to help Muppet Wiki show in Google results. I just noticed that this wiki doesn't show up in the result until around #222 (or page 23) for a search for "Sid the Science Kid." Meaning pretty much anyone that searches for "Sid the Science Kid" is not finding this wiki - which is actually a source for "Sid" information. We're burried beneath DVD retailers, torrents and out-of-date news articles. Any suggestions on how to improve that? That would be like Muppet Wiki not showing up in the results when someone searched for "Sesame Street." Thanks again. -- Brad D. (talk) 15:29, November 3, 2009 (UTC)

Yeah, this wiki's Google rank is pretty bad right now... I have some ideas on what you can do to make it better. The first two are easy; the others are harder, but more important.
  • You can change the pagetitle (which appears at the top of the browser) to include some more keywords. Google pays attention to the words that are closest to the front, so maybe "Sid the Science Kid, Dinosaur Train - Henson Digital Puppetry Wiki"? (Assuming that few people are actually searching for "Henson Digital Puppetry".) Here's examples on Muppet -- Main page pagetitle and other pages. Make sure you keep the $1 - in there; that's the title of the article.
  • You can also add keywords in the Description, which is what Google puts in the search results when people find the main page. Check out the Description on Muppet Wiki. It needs to be 150 characters maximum.
  • Get people from other websites to link to yours. The core of Google's PageRank is based on how many links you've got coming in from other sites. You've got some on Muppet, which is great, but it's better to have links from outside Wikia. IMDB is a good place to start -- go to each of the HDPS projects, and add a link in the "Miscellaneous links" section to your page. For example, here's the Misc. links page for Sid the Science Kid -- you can click Update and post a link to your Sid page. Then do the same for Frances, Dinosaur Train, etc. They have to approve the links, but it usually doesn't take too long.
  • It's also pretty easy to add links to TV.com and TVGuide.com.
  • You should make sure that the active Muppet fansites link to you -- Muppet Central, Tough Pigs, Muppet Newsflash and Muppet Mindset.
  • Most importantly, you should stay active on the site and build longer pages. Google pays attention to how "fresh" the content is on a site, and gives more weight to websites that update frequently. I just looked at the Sid page, and not much has changed there in the last six months. Compare the difference on the HDPS Sid page with the difference on the Muppet Wiki Sid page. You've actually added a lot to the Muppet page that you didn't add to the HDPS page! :) That's part of why Muppet Wiki's page shows up as #4 in a search for Sid -- there's more stuff on the page, and it gets updated more often, so Google sees it as being more important.
  • So -- long pages are better than short pages. More detail is better than less detail. Making changes on a regular basis is better than waiting a couple months and then doing a big update all at once.
  • That applies to the main page too -- that hasn't changed since January, so it looks to Google like this is a dead site. Put some news and text on there. Check out Marvel Database for a good example -- they change the Weekly Comics every week, plus they have a featured article and a history section. That's a lot of text for Google to look at, and it changes frequently. Right now, Google just sees your main page as a collection of links; they don't like that.
So there are a few techniques that you can use, and we do some stuff on the back end -- but at its core, it boils down to: Make a good site. Google's algorithm is all about figuring out whether the site is a good experience for readers -- lots of text, lots of information, clear links to relevant content, updated often. As you keep working on the site, you'll see the ranking go up naturally. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 17:59, November 3, 2009 (UTC)

Vandals

Hey Danny, I've had some problems with anon vandals lately. Someone just created 150+ articles on various birds. I'm not overly familiar with all the admin tools, but is there a way to quickly clean this mess up? Or do I have to go through all 150+ articles and tediously delete them each one by one? With the number of clicks that takes and my Internet connection here, that would take nearly 2 hours of straight working for me to get rid of all of those new pages (which I really am not interested in doing). Also I was wondering if you could turn on login-only editing here like we have on Muppet Wiki to prevent this type of thing from happening again. Thanks. -- Brad D. (talk) 04:19, November 3, 2009 (UTC)

Sure, no problem on the login editing. I just switched it over to login-only, and made a few MediaWiki changes so that people get the right messages.
Unfortunately, there isn't an easy way around deleting the pages... It's just gotta get done. Sorry; that sucks! -- Danny@fandom (talk) 06:35, November 3, 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. Yeah, it does suck.... but, as you said, it's gotta get done. -- Brad D. (talk) 15:29, November 3, 2009 (UTC)
By the way -- I made a mistake when I turned on login editing last night. :) I just fixed it, and tested it -- it's working now. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 17:59, November 3, 2009 (UTC)

Getting Contributors?

Hey Danny, Since starting this wiki back in September, there have been no other contributors here besides myself. Five-months and not one other person has decided to click the "edit this page" button on a single article (not to add information... not to format information... not to fix a typo... heck, not even to vandalize). I've posted cross-wiki links on Wikipedia, Muppet Wiki and Puppet Wiki; I've submitted the site to all the major search engines and web directories. I know this is a bit of a niche-subject and finding tons of people overly knowledgeable or interested in the topic may not be easy, but no one has stopped to add anything to an article here...ever! Any suggestions on how to get people involved in this project? Part of the fun and power of a wiki is being able to collaborate with other people and build off one another, but I feel like I'm working completely and utterly alone here. Any ideas on how to get some contributors here would be appreciated. Thanks. -- Brad D. (talk) 21:17, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

Yeah, I totally understand -- it's really frustrating to put all this work into a wiki and not have anyone else show up. Ordinarily, when somebody asks me a question like this, the answer is usually easy -- write more content, make sure the main page and sidebar link to the interesting pages, stuff like that. But in this case, you've done all of that -- you have a really nice looking, well constructed wiki with great information.
So it occurs to me that it may just be a difficult topic for a wiki. The stuff that you're writing about is pretty much brand-new, and hasn't found a huge audience yet. For the most part, the audience that it has isn't the usual wiki audience -- kids and young parents. The Muppet audience has had decades to grow up -- even the people who grew up on Muppet Babies or Wubbulous World are old enough to type now. The Sid the Science Kid audience is still in middle school.
I looked at the Keyword Tool on Google AdWords -- you can use that to see what people are searching on Google for. According to AdWords, there are around 8,000 searches a month for "sid the science kid" and 300 for "sid the science kid pbs"; 300 for "skrumps"; 1,000 for "frances tv"; less than 100 for "henson digital performance".
As a comparison, "sesame street" has 1.5 million searches a month, "muppet show" has 110,000, "fraggle rock" and "kermit the frog" get 90,000 each, and "muppet babies" has 40,000.
So right now, it looks like the Sid the Science Kid audience isn't hungry for detailed information yet. You might have to wait until HDPS has its first big hit -- Sid is doing well, but it hasn't penetrated outside the middle-school audience yet. You'd definitely see a spike in interest if there was an HDPS animated movie coming out, or something on network TV.
For now, I think your best bet for an audience/contributors is Muppet fans -- so the best thing to do would be to reach out to folks on Muppet Central or Tough Pigs. Maybe you could talk to Greg at Muppet Newsflash about writing an article about the wiki?
That's the best I can think of right now. If you want, I can add a setting that automatically puts every page on your watchlist -- so when someone comes by and makes an edit, you'll get an e-mail right away. That way, if you're not checking the wiki every single day, you won't miss seeing a new contributor. Let me know if you want me to do that; it's easy to do. Talk to you later... -- Danny@fandom (talk) 22:29, 5 February 2009 (UTC)
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