Search engines failing to log CODOH Forum. Possible solutions

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Sannhet
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Search engines failing to log CODOH Forum. Possible solutions

Postby Sannhet » 1 month 1 week ago (Sat Aug 15, 2020 1:16 pm)

A simple google search under site:forum.codoh.com gives me only 5,740 results. There are some tens of thousands of pages of content here (Total posts 86216 • Total topics 11533), which means the large majority is not being picked up.

This hurts Revisionism because I know of many people who, when the Holocaust comes up, google "[term of interest] codoh" to see what CODOH Forum members have said on the topic over the years. They are only seeing a small portion of what was actually written here.

If you "spot check" the names of particular recent threads, you also see Google usually has no record of them and yields 0 results. One example is this thread: "Norman Finkelstein endorses open debate on the Holocaust," posted August 4, eleven days ago. As of today, Google brings up zero hits for the phrase "Norman Finkelstein endorses open debate." (However, I see it is picked up on DuckDuckGo.)

What are some possible solutions here?

I see two:

1.) Put main subforum content on the main page directly, making fewer 'steps' needed to access. Given that almost all activity here is under viewforum.php?f=2, why not make either viewforum.php?f=2 itself, or a rolling window with latest threads, display on the main page forum.codoh.com? Search-bots (and humans), if they land at CODOH Forum main page, right now have to find and click through onto the main discussion forum. Forcing multiple steps onto people reduces the number who will get to the content at all. For search engines, this means a lower chance of logging pages at all.

2.) Create more outside links to Forum content. Link to new threads via the CODOH main page and not just to the forum itself. This could be atuomated, a "twenty most recent active CODOH Forum threads" feature that automatically updates in principle wouldn't be hard to add. Also, via the same principle, through social media auto-posting, as was formerly done with the @CODOHForum twitter account (now banned), to get more links from elsewhere pointing to CODOH Forum content, which helps search engines pick them up.

I am sure others also have some good ideas.

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Re: Search engines failing to log CODOH Forum. Possible solutions

Postby Webmaster » 1 month 1 week ago (Sat Aug 15, 2020 4:58 pm)

The permalink issue is already known. We are working on a custom plugin for the forum software that will have more descriptive links as well as integrating the forum into the main CODOH website search, among other improvements such as a .xml sitemap.

Many of these changes have been made for the main CODOH website already. For example, the following link:
https://codoh.com/library/document/6391/?lang=en

Is now:
https://codoh.com/library/document/why-germany-invaded-poland/en/

This is all still "In progress."

There is also a plan to have forum threads linked under these articles. So, in the above example, at the bottom of the page (or the sidebar) there will be something like "Related forum discussions" that links up to 5 threads that include links to the article. This will have to be done periodically with a Cron Job that will detect posts containing both the old and new URLs in the forum posts, taking into account whether these posts are visible or not (such as in the hidden "trash" subforum) or in non-discussion threads such as this one.

Please note that the main CODOH website and the forum software are coded in different programming languages which does complicate things. Additionally, the forum will be down for at least a few hours when these changes are being rolled out, most likely on a Friday night or Saturday. Those of us working on this also are volunteers with full-time employment.

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Re: Search engines failing to log CODOH Forum. Possible solutions

Postby Sannhet » 4 weeks 14 hours ago (Tue Aug 25, 2020 2:37 pm)

I notice Archive.org logs forum.codoh.com regularly but only logs viewforum.php?f=2 occasionally.

Archive.org's caches for "forum dot codoh dot com" (main page) (link):
539 captures
4 Apr 2006 - 19 Aug 2020

Most recent cache: August 19, 2020. At least one cache a week starting March 2018. Previous years have large gaps, for example zero caches between March 9 and September 9, 2016, but caching is regular over the past 2.5 years.

But,

Archive.org's caches for "forum dot codoh dot com / view forum dot php?f=2" ('Holocaust' Debate / Controversies / Comments / News subforum) (link):
178 captures
21 Sep 2006 - 3 May 2020

Most recent cache: May 3, 2020. Only three caches logged so far in 2020 for "f=2," none of them since May 3. Large gaps for "f=2" most years, months at a time with no cache.

Since 95% of CODOH Forum content is under the latter and it is caches so much less often, that is a problem.

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Re: Search engines failing to log CODOH Forum. Possible solutions

Postby Webmaster » 3 weeks 6 days ago (Wed Aug 26, 2020 2:39 pm)

Sannhet: When the planned updates are implemented, these URL parameters will no longer be used. The f=2 parameter is not even necessary for a link to properly show a thread.

One URL to this thread for example, might be:

https://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=13461

But the f=19 is extraneous, it serves no purpose. This shows the same thing:

https://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?t=13461

This is only passing GET variables, as opposed to POST. You can read more about this here, it is not complicated: https://w3schools.com/tags/ref_httpmethods.asp

You could use any value for that variable and it will work. f=2 would indicate the main Holocaust forum, for example:

https://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=13461

It changes nothing. There are an infinite number of URLs that will show the exact same thing. You can add them however you please.

https://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?t=13461&fruit=apple&snack=candy&flavor=chocolate

When the updates are finally rolled out, all of these archaic links will be replaced by more descriptive links. This process must be done in a way so that the old links automatically redirect to new, more descriptive links. There are plans to backup all externally embedded images as well.

We have no control over what the Internet Archive or Google chooses to index with their web crawlers. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) can only go so far when Google has the ability to decide which websites are "Authoritative" or "expert" sources of information.
Google (or their AI) certainly knows what is going on here.

I encourage users, when appropriate, to consider the "Subject" line at the top of the post and determine whether the subject of their post should be the default:
"Re: This is the topic title"
or something more descriptive.

Google owns YouTube. YouTube has completely banned all Holocaust Revisionism, it is against their "hate speech" rules. Anyone looking for general information on the subject of the Holocaust will be bombarded by the "authoritative" sources of "experts" on this subject such as Wikipedia, USHMM, SWC, and so on. Unless you're searching for something very specific (without Google's site: feature) it is unlikely that CODOH will appear in the top results for a Google search for a Holocaust-related topic. I am sure that this is by design.

We did roll out some minor changes in the past few months such as BitChute embed after CODOH was banned from Youtube

So, to simplify, all of the current URLs will be replaced with something more descriptive, but it's not as if Google's algorithms don't understand what is going on here. If this was a cooking recipe forum or something like that, Google's algorithms wouldn't be confused about these variables you're bringing up.

Anyway, the changes that are going to eventually come to play in regards to URLs would be basically like this. For this thread in the WWII forum:
Operation Barbarossa Was A Preventive Attack
URL: viewtopic.php?t=7999

A hypothetical Canonical URL might be something like:

forum.codoh.com/wwii-europe-atlantic/operation-barbarossa-was-a-preventive-attack-t7999/

Something like this may also be added in case someone wishes to use a shorter link in an info-graphic for example:
forum.codoh.com/t7999

It is all a work in progress, and whenever these final changes are made the forum will be down for a few hours.

If you have other suggestions for improvement, don't hesitate to post or PM me or the moderator. It would be simpler to do them all at the same time.

Also, feel free to donate, as we are all volunteers here with full time employment: https://codoh.com/donate/


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