I just started hosting my parties adventure logs (photo-rich 3d terrain) here at OP and was disturbed to find out that these posts aren't appearing in Google Image search.
What are the plans for SEO, and specifically image search support?
Do an image search for "Orcs of Stonefang Pass 3D" and right at the top you'll find photos on WotC and ENworld that all feature a photo or two from me cross posting to the OP site, but none of the photos from the adventure log itself: http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaign/the-forsite-irregulars/adventure-log
This is a real drag on your business and to those of us hard-working GMs their players - we're sharing on the internet on purpose, and visits are our food, and Google is the #1 source of those visits. Of all the places I've hosted my adventure logs, OP has the least reach and number of visitors by far.
Does the new platform address this - please? I'd really like a home for my games, but it is a core requirement to play well with search engines. As it is now, the free boards have better SEO than this pay-to-use service.
They are lower in the search results, but that may be due to being newer (if you posted the images on other sites earlier).
Something is missing/wrong.
@Langy - I'm not sure you understand how Google Search Indexing works - Google doesn't know how many page views an indexed page gets. Only the target webservers (and NSA) know that.
I know I heard Micah mention something about the new OP having SEO features - so direct feedback from him would be great.
Nice minis and terrain, by the way.
@Basileus - Adding "obsidianportal.com" is besides the point completely. This question is about "Discovery" - or how to people find my posts on OP if they don't even know that they (or OP) exist. Clearly OP isn't doing even basic SEO and I was just asking about plans for the future. As it is now, if I don't hear that it will be addressed somehow, I'm likely to stop paying for membership and post my stuff elsewhere. Simply put - for my personal needs - basic SEO is a must for a for-fee service.
Thank you very much for the praise for our campaign. I'll pass it along to the group!
A help entry would be your best bet- they don't get to the forums all the time, but the help support they see ("link":http://help.obsidianportal.com/ )
The OP reforge first step is scheduled for August, so the SEO is probably not getting in until then.
"OP's COTM April 2012":http://blog.obsidianportal.com/a-god-rebuilt-aprils-cotm/
Just trying to help out.
I guess it would help if you stated what your expectations are. SEO isn't magical, particularly when your search terms are the generic name of a published module that is cross-posted all over the internet. If you look through the tags on an Obsidian Portal site you'll see a whole mess of roleplaying related keywords, Google site verification and Google Analytics, etc... That is "basic SEO".
If it is any encouragement, if you use the same search parameters in either Bing or Yahoo, the pictures in your OP adventure log come up before either of the other sites you mentioned.
I find the "magical" crack belittling and even Micah (on the podcast) has admitted that OP doesn't implement much in the way of "Basic SEO". It is a bit more than meta keywords and site verification.
BTW - I'm not a novice - I co-authored a book on reputation systems... http://www.amazon.com/books/dp/059615979X and consult on the topic.
Thank you for pointing out the image search results at the other sites. They would benefit as well from more SEO work at OP.
Quality is a core part of Google's page ranking mechanism, from what I can see.
And yes, brand-new sites are pretty much never high up on search rank. It takes time for them to build things up so that they do get higher.
Again, this is probably because Google actually takes into account the domain that the site is on, rather than just the exact URL that's used. A site on a more prestigious domain will probably be ranked earlier than one on a less-prestigious domain.
In any case, are there any specific actions that you want OP to take? You've said you want them to make it so your page is ranked higher on Google search, but nothing about how they can do so.
--- BEGIN: I AM NOT AN SEO consultant ----
But there are some things I suspect would help: Fixing the internal link structure (adventure log intra-post linking isn't working right, for example), synthesizing alt text/tags/comments for images that don't have any, labeling uploaded images with post/page titles, putting in a LOT more cross links between users, posts they create, items they like, tag-based linksets (like in this forum), etc. internal crosslinks are definitely a way that a forum and blog it more rank. Clearly use semantic markup and to separate content and presentation (probably have a great head start here), cleaner titles and metadata (again, probably 80% of the way here already, though the url handling still has some problems, research and use better tags/keywords (this might be encouraging users to use a standardized set and standardized headers using them - H1, H2, H3, etc. are important to search engines. Make it dirt easy to create inbound links (this is again at least 80% working now) - though OP could encourage inbound links with reputation badges, like StackOverflow does...
--- END: I AM NOT AN SEO consultant ----
My suggestions may apply more or less to OP and google image search optimization. I don't know exactly as I don't work for either company and don't have any hard data. I was just surprised by the results, and I've seen bad results like these before, and it was always related to not spending enough time on making sure the pages were appropriately search engine friendly.
And - I'd like to say on that front - I haven't done everything here I can for my posts to make them search engine friendly (at other sites I didn't have to.) So I'll do an experiment with one of the posts to see if I can improve image search results without any code changes from OP - as a lesson for what changes might work for them.
In the end, I'd really like a site like OP to be the home for all my campaign logs - but this has to be fixed for that to happen. I'm really trying to help.
Just trying to help out.
I was just making sure I pulled all my weight SEO-wise - to confirm that additional work is indeed warranted.
Just trying to help out.
With the new team in place, I'd like to once again (7 years later) suggest that some cycles be spent on SEO.
It's a real shame that all that Google Juice that OP could have if the posts/photos/wikis were just appropriately encoded to be search engine friendly.
I'm so sad that all the 100s of photos I've put up here for my campaign (and tagged appropriately) aren't showing up in google search engine results - That traffic ends up going elsewhere. :-(
Please read the OP and discussion for full context.
Since 2013, we now have Schema.org to provide the appropriate formmating/schema.
@TheOldSchoolDM, thanks for bringing this topic back up! I'm an SEO idiot, so I'm going to need this spoon fed. Can you point to a specific page and specific changes you would want done to it? I can then generalize that and apply it across all the pages.
Obsidian Portal Developer
When i do a google search for images on my xcom campaign they come up and lead here. For example "hearts and mind" xcom has my images as the #1 and #5 spots.
In fact a lot of times when i am searching for an image for a pathfinder adventure path the top image sometimes brings me here even over paizo.
They are among us!
XCom: Defiance - Campaign of the Month November 2016
Circa 2010: https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2010/09/seo-starter-guide-updated.html
@cgregory What are you doing in your posts? Anything special?
This looks good for images: https://yoast.com/image-seo/
@TheOldSchoolDM, here's an example of a post that was asking for some meta tags for Facebook where I was able to implement the requested change:
Can you give me something like that? An example page on one of your Campaigns, and the change you want made to it. The more specific you can be, the more likely it will get done quickly. If I have to do research, it means it takes up more dev time, and it falls further down the list of priorities.
Obsidian Portal Developer