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PhiNotPi's avatar

What can be done to improve Fluther's SEO?

Asked by PhiNotPi (12242 points ) April 17th, 2014

Yesterday, I noticed a question in General about SEO (search engine optimization). SEO basically determines how “attractive” a website is to search engines like Google. Improving Fluther’s SEO will lead to more users, more traffic, and an increased ability to pay for our servers.

A few years ago, Fluther took a big hit with the Google Panda update. Last year, we took another hit from the Google Phantom update. You can see the effects on this graph.

If there are any users who might know how to improve Fluther’s SEO, your advice will be greatly appreciated.

———

In terms of what an individual person can do to improve Fluther’s SEO, I think it would help if people linked to Fluther threads from outside of Fluther. There’s not a lot of external websites that link to Fluther.

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25 Answers

dappled_leaves's avatar

“In terms of what an individual person can do to improve Fluther’s SEO, I think it would help if people linked to Fluther threads from outside of Fluther. There’s not a lot of external websites that link to Fluther.”

But… we ban people for doing that here.

PhiNotPi's avatar

@dappled_leaves No, I’m not asking people to spam for us. I advise against that.

Symbeline's avatar

This seems far off in my memory, but didn’t we have Fluther cards or something? Like a link you can put on your website, or as a signature on forums and message boards? It would appear as a little box advertising Fluther, then interested peeps could click on it and it brings them here. Maybe I’m thinking of another place, but I’m pretty sure this was here.

Symbeline's avatar

Yeah, that’s it! Oh ok, so they still work. Widget, that’s the name of that? No wonder I couldn’t find them anymore…

Cruiser's avatar

Start a Fluther Facebook page and invite Jellies to post pictures of Dr. J at varius locations in their part of the world or just pictures and stories they want to share with the Jellies stuff we are really limited on doing here. Also link the YouTube interview of Ben and Andrew and various news articles that have been written. Creating a Fluther Twitter account should be a no-brainer. Jellies could tweet to each other as well and twitter what’s happening here at the site.

Then just blog about stuff happening at these various spots and keep the members moving back and forth will create lots of other activity that will ramp up you presence for the Google search engine.

I am also curious to see just how this new Jelly thingy will add or subtract to Fluther.

PhiNotPi's avatar

Earlier today, I disallowed the /lurve/ and /moderation/ parts of this site in the robots.txt. I think those sections of the site were creating unnecessary baggage, since I think Google was reading all of the GA/GQ/FlagAs links.

@Cruiser We already have a Facebook page. Right now, people only use the Facebook page to report when the server is down, but there is really nothing stopping people from posting other things. We also have a Twitter feed which tweets the newest questions. As far as I know, Jelly won’t affect Fluther and will remain completely independent.

Cruiser's avatar

@PhiNotPi I looked for a Fluther FB page and could not find it. Just found a locked old members group page.

SpatzieLover's avatar

Yep, the Facebook page for Fluther hasn’t been there for a looong time @PhiNotPi. I had “liked” it and used it regularly (yes, when the server was down).

EDIT: WEIRD….and now here it is:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Fluther/6276464639

I had to do a further search to even get to it, even though I still have it “liked”. I have ” get notifications” clicked on now so maybe do an update to see if users can respond.

Cruiser's avatar

@SpatzieLover IMO that is further proof that Fluther is in desperate need of a social media jockey who can coordinate the better use of these media outlets. The most recent posts are “testing” “site is down” “Fluther is over capacity”...not exactly inviting nor exciting posts. More or less broadcasting we are incapacitated stay away. I couldn’t find it yesterday and IMO it obviously is not used how it could or should be used.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@Cruiser I completely agree.

It took a lot of searching on Facebook for me to locate the page, and I only took the time because I knew it must be there somewhere. Both Twitter and Facebook should be sparking interactions of their own to lead in new jellies.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@Cruiser Indeed, the messages left on the Facebook page are not a great advertisement for the site! But I had no trouble finding it at all. Not sure why it was hard for others to find.

Cruiser's avatar

@dappled_leaves I use FB weekly and searched Fluther and came up empty other than a
page 4 ancient members had created. I am not even close to expert in this arena. ((shrugs))

johnpowell's avatar

The made it so Google doesn’t index Social and Meta thinking that might help. It didn’t so it might be time to undo that if it hasn’t happened already.

PhiNotPi's avatar

More updates:

I also disallowed a few more parts of the site (like /togglebookmark/ and */send/) and made a lot of links into no-follow links (like the GA and Share Question links).

I gained access to the Google Webmaster tools for this site. I used their “data highlighter” to highlight the important parts of our pages (like thread titles).

johnpowell's avatar

I think you might be pissing into the wind here. Removing more stuff hasn’t helped at all and all it does is make it so I can’t search for things I know are here. I actually just ran into this today. I spent 10 minutes looking for something I know is in social but fuck, google doesn’t index social. So no luck.

Blocking shit hasn’t helped SEO at all. I would suggest reversing it so your loyal users at least have a functioning search.

PhiNotPi's avatar

@johnpowell I’ll look into re-indexing social. As far as I can tell, I did not block anything that was actually showing up in Google searches anyways. Those parts of the site (like /send/) were generating crawl errors and pages with no meta description.

PhiNotPi's avatar

Okay, so I’ll re-index the Social Section, which should return search functionality to that portion of the site. I will probably wait a few days, just to determine the impact that these current changes will have on our site. Any changes which don’t help will be reversed.

PhiNotPi's avatar

I went ahead and re-indexed the social section, because there’s no reason not to.

Dog's avatar

My opinion? Fixing the code so that only members with verified email addresses can post/ask/create a profile. This will greatly decrease Google-unfriendly spam links that plague Fluther.

Symbeline's avatar

Yeah. Fuckin French German guys trying to sell us shit.

Mimishu1995's avatar

@Symbeline And make us sick with having to flag and play language duel with them.

Symbeline's avatar

I saved the memories. :)

Epic.

Mimishu1995's avatar

Haha! My Japanese will live forever!

Dog's avatar

Regarding the spam- why are links allowed in profiles at all?

I have counted three new users who just joined to create a spam profile in the last hour…

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