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I submitted a question (and answer) to Bioinformatics Stack Exchange 4 days ago, but for some reason it's not showing up in Google other than through recent questions.

Does Google not index all questions on Stack Exchange sites, because they don't have enough links pointing in? That's a shame, it makes Q&A on Stack Exchange sites much less findable. Not sure whether this is a bug or just a problem by design.

This is the question: How to convert Sars-CoV-2 ORF1ab codon positions to ORF1b positions?

And this is how Google doesn't show it: enter image description here

Addendum: Ironically, when I repeat the search 4 hours later, this meta post is indexed but the original post still isn't. It really looks like, to me, that Google doesn't take Bioinformatics Stack Exchange seriously, which is sad, because it won't grow if the questions don't show up.

enter image description here

Addendum 2: Ironically, now that I've written about this problem on SE Meta, Google has decided to index the question. Could it be that Bioinformatics is not indexed well until a link points into it from somewhere more reputable, like SE Meta?

enter image description here

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  • Well, the data is there, and Google can parse/ read it just fine, so it doesn't really appear to be a Stack Exchange problem.
    – zcoop98
    Oct 20 at 14:50
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    @zcoop98 It may not be an obvious SE problem, but if SEO is bad, it is an SE problem because if people don't find it well on Google Bioinformatics SE will never work as a resource. Since Google is the main referrer, if indexing is bad, it's killing the usefulness of SE. Oct 20 at 15:01
  • Maybe I phrased it poorly; I just meant that, given that Google's rankings are mysterious and very opaque on purpose, if Stack Exchange is feeding Google the correct inputs for their Q&A pages on BioInfo.SE (which that link supports), then there's little SE can do, since they're already doing the "right things" as far as SEO is concerned.
    – zcoop98
    Oct 20 at 15:06
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    Another possibility (maybe, I'm unfamiliar with how all this infrastructure works), is that Google's webcrawler is hitting the same rate limit that you observed on Archive.org; I'm not sure how we would be able to know whether that's happening or not though; SE might have internal logs to be able to tell.
    – zcoop98
    Oct 20 at 15:09
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    Yes, exactly, there may be a lot of reasons for this, and sure, while Google is opaque, not all of SEO is voodoo, there are a lot of reasons that may impact indexing/ranking. Good thought that there may be a relation between the Archive rate limiting reason. SE staff could investigate by using Google's Search Console, it's there for a reason. It should help debugging (if this is a real problem). Oct 20 at 16:02
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I don't believe we do anything special or different across sites when it comes to Google indexing. (Not for questions, anyway.)

For what it's worth, the question does show up for me as a top result right now:

enter image description here

Maybe there are some regional differences or something?

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  • Thanks. So is it Google that decides Bioinformatics is not worthy? This meta post got indexed and shows up within hours for me. See the addendum above. Oct 19 at 23:55
  • Possibly it cares about traffic - the Bioinformatics question does not have many views. This one doesn't either, but it has ~triple.
    – bobble
    Oct 20 at 16:39

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