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Home / Forums Index / Search Engines / Search Engine Spider and User Agent Identification
Forum Library, Charter, Moderators: Ocean10000 & incrediBILL

Search Engine Spider and User Agent Identification Forum

    
Spider Forum Thread Titles
incrediBILL




msg:4452714
 9:56 pm on May 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

Thought I'd discuss this with the members that post here before running off and making any changes as it's really your forum, not mine, but I'd like to suggest an improvement.

While some of our Spider posts rank in the search engines, some don't do very well because all of us, myself included, write cutesy or incomplete titles that don't convey the content of our threads as well. What happens is our posts, which are topical and relevant, end up falling way behind the IP list and browser user agent sites that are spamming the search index.

If nobody objects, I wouldn't mind editing a few of the previously posted titles for some of the more relevant information to make them slightly easier to find via search.

You guys all know search basics, how about helping out by making new titles in this forum have a few more words related to the topic so the posts are easier to search?

Also, don't forget we Twitter and G+ social media buttons on these threads and it wouldn't hurt to have everyone help promote topics to a wider audience.

Let me know your feelings on this topic.

TIA.

 

wilderness




msg:4452716
 10:37 pm on May 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

Bill,
Uniformity would make the past years results more SE findable.

On the other hand, there are thousands of the threads prior to 2004 in which this forum was much more active. (I'll send your a an old search method).

But. . .what of the newcomers, whom don't even bother to read the forum charter?
The simple example of "example.com" in the Apache Forum provides the flagrant disregard of newcomers to abide by long-timers methods.

Even a censored thread a few month ago (which is no issue), when a newcomer failed to grasp the long standing:

"Each webmaster must determine what is beneficial or detrimental to their own website (s)."

So are you going to edit the subject lines in thousands of threads and every subsequent thread hereafter? (Rhetorical)
You'll burn yourself out in no time.
Personally, I'd rather have a refreshed incrediBILL as opposed to an incrediBILL spread too thin.

Mokita




msg:4452717
 10:39 pm on May 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hi Bill,

I'm happy for you to edit any of my thread titles that you feel need it. But haven't been posting much recently.

Also, don't forget we Twitter and G+ social media buttons on these threads...


Sorry, no can do - I stay firmly away from all incarnations of social media - always have and always will ;)

incrediBILL




msg:4452721
 10:55 pm on May 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

@wilderness I was only thinking about maybe taking a look at the last 200-300 posts and possibly do only about 25-50 title edits tops for the topics I think would benefit others most looking to the same information. Basically, I would start with 2012 only and probably wouldn't go back more than a year into past as things change so fast in this space that if we aren't currently discussing it, it's probably obsolete.

So I'm not talking about anything outrageous, just 25-50 threads, get us ranking better ;)

FTR, I'm also considering doing the same thing in Apache as it's slipping just a bit.

wilderness




msg:4452722
 10:58 pm on May 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

Anybody searching on proxy or proxies always manages to located the Apache forum ;)

May we also should just put a proxy or proxies sig in our SSID submissions ;)

lucy24




msg:4452734
 11:55 pm on May 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

:: looking vaguely around for Pfui, who would surely have something to say ::

Could you bump all the entertaining titles down to the Subtitle line?

wilderness




msg:4452735
 11:57 pm on May 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hope Annie's ok.
It's been more than a few weeks.

incrediBILL




msg:4452745
 12:31 am on May 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

Could you bump all the entertaining titles down to the Subtitle line?


See, that's a good idea, why I started this thread.

<ot>I think Pfui's taking a break from technical difficulties ATM</ot>

phranque




msg:4452756
 1:29 am on May 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

bump all the entertaining titles down to the Subtitle

See, that's a good idea


WERD!
or +1 as the kids are saying these days...

Leosghost




msg:4452758
 1:31 am on May 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

This thread has no Subtitle..

incrediBILL




msg:4452784
 3:59 am on May 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

This thread has no Subtitle..


The subtitle is optional.

If you have to poke at the moderator just make sure you don't use the pointy stick

dstiles




msg:4452946
 7:09 pm on May 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

I agree the titles should be more relevant in a few cases. Whether I'm to blame for bad titles myself I'm not sure - terrible memory! :)

I'm another one who won't be twittering away as I don't do social media. As for g+ - no chance. I have JS turned off for all G JS so do not even see the button. And sorry about GA but I haven't allowed that for years. :(

Elsmarc




msg:4453037
 1:45 am on May 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

Well - I guess I'll jump in with my experience. I have had forum web sites online since 1997. I added them to some sites I already had which were, at the time, much like blogs of today. In 2001 I switched to vBulletin forum software on each site from the old UltimateBB (and Darryl Burgdorf's old WebBBS before that starting in 1997). Up until about 2004 it was all essentially a hobby for me and I didn't really pay that much attention to thread titles, or even the sites themselves. I rarely spent more than a few hours in the evening on them. They sorta ran themselves for the most part. In Dec 2003 I was going to take my sites offline and "quit the hobby". A fellow called me and told me how much he would miss the forum he visited, and also told me I had no idea what they were worth. He convinced me to think of web sites as businesses and it was he who turned me onto AdSense. I took my sites out of "hobby" status (no advertisements and all costs came out of my pocket), threw in AdSense, and I had started to see significant income. I re-evaluated what I had. It took me several months but I started going through threads one by one, looking at the content and giving them an "appropriate" title. I've never much been into SEO aspects (I've never done most of the stuff people recommend like "link building"), but this was something that to me was obvious if I wanted search engine traffic. I came to understand that thread titles like "Help! I'm new to this" was not just an issue with SEO (of which even today I do little of), it was an issue of people browsing the forums and doing searches within the forums. But it mainly helps people browsing the forums and their sub-forums. And it makes the forums more "business like". When people see a thread title like "Help! I'm new to this" they're very likely going to pass it by and less likely want to come back.

That was 2004, I was 54 years old and was making enough money to "retire" from working in my field of many years - I was a business systems and standards consultant who traveled 11 months out of the year. Now I have are my web sites. I do quite well bringing in the low 6 figures every year. That said, my web sites *are* a job. I watch every one closely. Luckily, they aren't huge. I have a great group of moderators and they are now helping with what they used to think was a silly thing: We look at every thread title that isn't very clear and retitle it. For all intents and purposes we look at the first post in every new thread to ensure the title reflects the content. It takes a lot of time but my belief is thread titles are like book titles, or news article titles - Every one should reflect the thread content.

It's a lot of work. Personally I think it's worth it.

I will say that here (WebmasterWorld), for the most part, thread titles are usually pretty good. I stop by every day or two to look at the thread titles on the first page. If I see something that interests me I'll open the thread. This thread is an example of my reading it by chance because "Spider Forum Thread Titles" is pretty weird. It's like you took a few key words and threw them in as a title. Forum Thread Titles are very important to me so I clicked on the thread. However, in any of my forums such a short "key words" thread title typically wouldn't be acceptable. Either the moderators or I would have looked at your starting post and retitled it with a longer, more specific and descriptive title. I will add one other thing - My forums rank for "long tails" on specific tech/business topics in searches so thread titles are significant.

I also watch Google (WMTools) for duplicate content (different threads with identical titles) and try to make sure as few threads have identical titles as I can. They can't all be eliminated considering one forum alone has almost 70K threads and another has over 40K threads (small, but profitable niches). But it is a factor. Thread titles here (WebmasterWorld) are typically short so I would think there are lots of duplicate content issues based upon thread titles. I ensure thread titles in my forums are long and varied as I can. Again, I have a wonderful group of unpaid moderators (some of which have been around for over 10 years) who help me with thread titles. I couldn't do it alone and I thank them for all they do quite regularly.

@wilderness - "So are you going to edit the subject lines in thousands of threads and every subsequent thread hereafter? (Rhetorical)" -- I can't say it would make sense here at WebmasterWorld, but I literally did (as I mentioned above) and yes - Every day my forum moderators and I ensure *every* thread has an appropriate, detailed title. And I do mean *every* thread. Cavat: I started retitling threads years ago so if I was going to start doing it today, I'd either have to hire a couple people to do it or just (as was mentioned above) go back a few years. Either way - It's a *lot* of work.

My "inspiration" was that I'm older and thought about all the time I spent in libraries years ago. Go the the card files and you expect to see varied titles. If I was looking for something, the closer to what I was looking for the easier it was for me. On the other hand, it was also the inspiration for me to start forum based web sites. They are a place one can go to find specific information they need with the addition that topics can be discussed (tech stuff often has opinions and such so being able to discuss "definitions", "requirements" and such was (and still is) critical.

Anyway - Those are my thoughts and some of my experience. To me, thread titles are the "soul" of a forum.

I know this is a bit off topic, but as a general comment - The other, and just as important, part of a forum is ensuring every question asked (as much as possible) get's a reply. I don't think that's a problem here, but in many, many forums (especially tech forums like mine) you get a search result and it's a post starting a thread that no one responded to. The moderators and I watch to make sure there is some response, if only a couple of "bumps" which usually get someone to help with an answer.

As always - YMMV.

lucy24




msg:4453194
 11:22 am on May 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

I also watch Google (WMTools) for duplicate content (different threads with identical titles) and try to make sure as few threads have identical titles as I can.

Next door in Apache we have, at a rough estimate, 85,000 threads titled "Rewrite help needed" and another 48,000 called "htaccess problem".

I gotta say I like the snappy titles in this forum. And that's not even talking about the simple ones like "Spider thread" or "Cookie-based spider catcher" that are strong contenders in the It's Better When You Don't Know The Language category.

tangor




msg:4453862
 6:32 pm on May 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'll just say I'm not against it. Will add that the burden of work will fall on the moderator(s) undertaking the task, and that while one can ask posters for better titles, don't expect to get them since the poster cannot edit the titles themselves, and there's that other difficulty among new(er) members seeking a single answer for a single problem.

Pfui




msg:4459222
 10:17 pm on May 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

Briefly, belatedly...

I'm all for UA-based thread titles in this forum, the more specific, the better. Then optionally use sub-titles for additional bits, including personal quips.

Up-front details save time when skimming/searching for info and/or looking to post same.

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