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From last few day's it's been observed that when we type Skeptics Stack Exchange in Google search bar the search is not returning with the link of the Skeptics Stack Exchange site. Instead, it is returning with the Wikipedia page as well as other links of Stack Exchange. I usually used to type the name of the site in search bar and exact direct link of the site used to appear.

Skeptics Stack Exchange


However, this is not the case with other Stack Exchange sites, for example,

Hinduism Stack Exchange

History Stack Exchange

Aviation Stack Exchange


So I assume that there is some problem with Google catching the Skeptics Stack Exchange site. The problem seems to be minor, but in the long term it can reduce significant the number of new users joining or viewing the site by simply typing the name of the site in Google bar.

Is it possible to rectify this issue in some way by the Stack Exchange team?

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    for me the top result is a Facebook page. I guess I should stop visiting Facebook.
    – rene
    Nov 17, 2020 at 7:55
  • @SwiftPushkar I just tried using google.ca and bing.com to search for: Skeptics Stack Exchange. The top match from both searches is a direct link to the Skeptics site, with various options listed below it (more for Bing than for Google), plus the next match with Bing is a link to the newest questions of the Skeptics site. It's possible the search results vary, at least somewhat, depending on the location where you're doing the searching from (note that with me, as using google.ca would suggest, I'm in Canada). Nov 17, 2020 at 8:04
  • Ok. Btw The results are same for chrome on android also , not returning with exact site link.@John Nov 17, 2020 at 8:08
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    Always strip your link (don't include the: "&oq=skep&aqs=chrome.0.69i59j69i57j69i60l3.3254j0j7&client=ms-android-asus-tpin&sourceid=chrome-mobile&ie=UTF-8" - unless it's absolutely essential to your question). Here is the result, Skeptics.SE comes up first: i.stack.imgur.com/Goyz2.jpg
    – Rob
    Nov 17, 2020 at 8:10
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    @Rob - Got it thanks.I just included whole link here for the purpose of the question , generally i do not do that. Nov 17, 2020 at 8:12
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    Google and your browser adds all that in when you copy the link and paste it; that forces the parameters on others who click and don't know to strip the link - that forces Windows desktop users to look at a Chrome Android tainted result. --- Your searches are poisoned by prior searches, for example if you frequently visited that FaceBook skeptics webpage it would probably come up first. -- If you want to know what everyone else sees the link should be trimmed. If it's a browser specific complaint (this isn't) then you should include OS / Browser version, etc. -- No problem, for most of us.
    – Rob
    Nov 17, 2020 at 8:21
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    If you've a question about how Google search works or an issue with it then you really need to ask Google. Nov 17, 2020 at 8:42
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    @Robert - No my question is more about google particularly not catching skeptics stack exchange site but catching others. And whether it can be corrected locally by SE staff with some means. Nov 17, 2020 at 8:48
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    Google does "catch" Skeptics, it's just not the first result. Facebook is first because someone posted exact match "Skeptics Stack Exchange", and since Facebook ranking is MUCH higher than Stack Exchange, that's the first result. Not sure why Wikipedia is second though. Nov 19, 2020 at 11:15

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Is it possible to rectify this issue in some way by the Stack Exchange team?

No. Google picks the top result based on what its algorithms think is most likely to be useful. Website owners are very much not allowed to simply ask Google for the #1 slot. Stack Exchange could pay for an ad, but they have evidently chosen not to do so (presumably because it would cost money without producing a return on investment).

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