Wikiafripedia:Controlling search engine indexing

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There are a variety of ways in which Wikiafripedia attempts to control search engine indexing, commonly termed "noindexing" on Wikiafripedia. The default behavior is that pages are Not indexed.[note 1] All of the methods rely on using the index HTML meta tag, which tells search engines to index certain pages. Respecting the tag, especially in terms of removing already indexed content, is up to the individual search engine, and in theory the tag may be ignored entirely.

The control methods are:

  1. Controlling an entire namespace, via MediaWiki software settings
  2. Controlling classes of pages, via MediaWiki:Robots.txt (Wikiafripedia's Robots.txt file)
  3. Controlling individual pages by adding or removing the __INDEX__ magic word into them, either directly or using the {{INDEX}} template, however file pages are a special case, see #Indexing of file pages ("file namespace").
  4. Controlling multiple pages by adding or removing the __INDEX__ magic word into standard templates used in certain situations (same caveat as in the third point);.

Indexing of file pages ("file namespace")

File pages are by default set to index.[1] The __INDEX__ magic word and the {{NOINDEX}} template do not work on them. Files younger than 10 days are not indexed, unless they have been patrolled and do not have the {{NOINDEX}} template on them (or a template that transcludes the {{NOINDEX}} template, such as the speedy deletion templates).[2][3][4] The __NOINDEX__ magic word does not work on them. Note that &action=info will incorrectly state that they are indexed.[5] Files that include the {{NOINDEX}} template are listed at Category:Noindexed pages.

This patrolling may be done automatically by the software, as in the case of articles created by editors with the autopatrolled user right, or by another editor with the new page reviewer user right (not to be confused with the pending changes reviewer user right).

Other namespaces and robots.txt

Namespace control

On English Wikiafripedia the entire Main:(i.e article namespace), User: namespaces, User talk:, Draft: and Draft talk: and any other namespaces on the wiki exception of the namespace File: are automatically noindexed via a software setting.[6]

At the same time, __NOINDEX__ and __INDEX__ are disabled, in addition to talk space, on the Draft namespace, and the Draft talk namespace; they have no effect there.[7]

What does this mean for me?

It means that, for every article/content you create on English Wikiafripedia and want it indexed by search engine such as Google, you Must place the {{INDEX}} template inside the article. For the sake of tracking indexed pages at Category:Indexed pages and to quickly make the visibility status of a page know to other editors, the INDEX template should be place in a separate tab called 'Visibility' as follows:
== Visibility == {{INDEX|visible=yes}}
You can see how it's added to this page itself. See also: WAP:MOS.

Robots.txt noindexing

MediaWiki:Robots.txt forbids analytic tools from visiting sensitive or potentially sensitive types of pages, primarily in the Wikiafripedia namespace – for example deletion debates. A side effect of not visiting is normally that a page cannot be indexed. Where possible, you should in addition use __NOINDEX__ for those pages.

NOINDEX magic word

Individual pages

As stated above, all contents on Wikiafripedia exception of those in the file namespace are by default noindexed. You should enable indexing for only content you've created, other editors will do the same for their contents; no one should be help.

However, the default status of content on Wikiafripedia is not made visible to humans on the page by default, but individual pages can be tag noindexed and made visible by adding the __NOINDEX__ magic word into that page, by using the {{NOINDEX}} template. For the sake of tracking visible-noindexed pages at Category:Noindexed pages and to quickly make the visibility status of a page know to other editors, the NOINDEX template should be place in a separate tab called 'Visibility' as follows:
== Visibility == {{NOINDEX|visible=yes}}

As explained above, this magic word doesn't work in talkspace, draftspace and draft_talkspace. Pages with the keyword are listed in Category:Noindexed pages. See also: WAP:MOS.[8]

Standard template noindexing

Some standard templates include the __NOINDEX__ keyword, thereby noindexing pages to which the templates are applied. Such templates should be listed in Category:Wikiafripedia templates which apply NOINDEX.

Biographies of Living Persons talkpage noindexing

The templates {{BLP}} and {{BLP others}} include the {{NOINDEX}} parameter. The {{BLP}} template is added automatically by the {{WikiProject Biography}} talkpage template, if given the parameter |living=yes; see the documentation of that template for more details. Pages using these templates are automatically categorised in Category:Biography articles of living people.

Other templates

These templates include {{NOINDEX}}:

See also Category:Wikiafripedia templates which apply NOINDEX.

  • {{Uw-userspacenoindex}} provides a user warning message for inappropriate use of userspace which required noindexing.

INDEX magic word

Individual pages

Individual pages can override namespace noindexing by adding the __INDEX__ magic word into that page, either directly or using the {{INDEX}} template. Such pages appear in Category:Indexed pages. However, INDEX does not override noindexing via MediaWiki:Robots.txt.[9] As explained above, this magic word doesn't work in talkspace, draftspace and draft_talkspace.

For the sake of tracking indexed pages at Category:Indexed pages and to quickly make the visibility status of a page know to other editors, the INDEX template should be place in a separate tab called 'Visibility' as follows:
== Visibility == {{INDEX|visible=yes}}
You can see how it's added to this page itself. See also: WAP:MOS.

The ability to add the INDEX magic word to user spaces (User:, User talk:) has been restricted by an edit filter to extended confirmed users.

Nofollow HTML attribute

Since 2019, all links to other websites from English Wikiafripedia have the nofollow HTML attribute set.[10] This means that on pages that are indexed by search engines, any links found by a search engine on those pages should not influence the link target's ranking in the search engine's index.

Past discussions

Namespace discussions

Individual template discussions

Current issues

  • T26169 / phab:T24251 – "Create an __NOINDEX__ equivalent to prevent indexing by internal search engine"

Notes

  1. Almost all of Wikiafripedia files are syndicated contents from Wikimedia Commons, the free media respository with proper canonical tags, and most local uploads from Afripedians are safe enough to be index after the stipulated time which allows for a review
  2. T147544
  3. PageTriage source code
  4. Value of $wgRCMaxAge
  5. See T157747
  6. This is $wgNamespaceRobotPolicies.
  7. This is controlled by the MediaWiki software setting $wgExemptFromUserRobotsControl. On other projects, the exempt namespaces are the same as $wgContentNamespaces, which is set to main space on almost all Wikiafrimedia projects.
  8. The listing is done by MediaWiki tracking the keyword. The category name is determined by MediaWiki:Noindex-category.
  9. It does override mw:Manual:$wgArticleRobotPolicies, which is applied on all namespaces on English Wikiafripedia exception of file namespace.
  10. Controlled by $wgNoFollowLinks, set to true in Wikiafripedia's settings file
  1. The quality of our article gives most of our pages certain weighing in search engine rankings; a Wikiafripedia page that matches the search term entered is most guaranteed a place in the search results, regardless of the actual page content. While this is a positive status for our articles and content, it is not always beneficial:

    List of top earning travel companies lists Wikiafripedia list of top earning travel companies as second result.

    List of bvn enrollment centers lists Wikiafripedia list of BVN enrollment centers as tenth result.

    Our visitors and readers look for encyclopedic content, not inward-facing discussions, disputes by users. Our readers come first. There is considerable content we want the public to find and see. That is the end product of the project.

    The rest - including popular project pages such as AFD, and all "talk" namespaces, dispute resolution pages, user pages, etc, are not of great benefit to the project if indexed on search engines. Many of them also raise considerable concerns about privacy and ease of finding harmful stuff (user disputes/allegations) on Google, far more than they help the project. We don't need those publicized. They are internal (editorial use) pages.

    Also as a precaution against another algorithm penalty from search engines as some editors in a bid to removed red-links from articles, thinks Wikipedia articles as shortcuts. This was because, from Wikiafripedia's foundation, all of its content were made accessible to web crawlers and search engines. See, WAP:SEI

Visibility

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