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As far as I can tell, full tag wikis do not seem to be indexed well by search engines, especially on beta sites. Tag wikis I made months ago on Genealogy & Family History SE cannot be found via a Google search. Questions and answers in contrast are indexed very quickly.

The content in tag wikis is a useful introduction to someone new to the subject. If they entered SE via the tag wiki after searching for basic info on a search engine, they then can immediately click on questions about that topic. I think it would be a great way to grow a site in beta. It would also be nice to have greater visibility of the tag wikis, because at present I don't think anyone really looks at them.

What – if anything – can be done to improve search engine indexing for tag wikis on beta sites?

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I think there's two reasons that these don't get picked up, because of visibility. They don't get a lot of visibility because:

  • Folks don't do a lot of linking to them
  • We don't do a lot of linking to them, as far as search engines see.

The only link that doesn't pop up in something Javascripty (TM) to these is on the tag page itself, e.g. /tags/discussion. See it there in the top of the side bar (it says "about")? It's not nofollowed, but it's the only place that these are surfaced where robots can reliably see them, in the absence of external links pointing at them.

I've always wanted to do a better job of showing folks that these exists (with better search results being a bonus to that), but it has been rather difficult to find more places to put links to them. Tag wikis are very useful for folks that are interested in taking some time to read them, I'm just not sure where else we could be advertising them.

I'm totally open to suggestions, if we can come up with reasonable ideas to (1) make people know that they exist and why and (2) encourage folks to share links to them - I'm completely ready to implement it.

It's just a hard question of where, without creating a lot of clutter in the question space, and most questions have multiple tags. We've spent more than quite a few cycles trying to find places and have repeatedly come up empty.

Ideas? :)

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