GNOME Discourse topics does not appear in web engine search results

I love our discourse forum, but whenever I try to search for GTK related questions or other questions related to our platform, I dont see any search results from the discourse instance in popular web search engines (e.g. google,…).

Is there anything we can do to SEO-wise here? I just wanted to make sure, that we aren’t settings some flags which prevents e.g. search bots from scanning our forum contents or similar. I think the forum could over time become a very useful self-hosted resource/database of questions, tips, for developers.


i don’t know much about discourse, so i don’t know if this is a config issue or just how discourse works, but i doubt the search engine(s?) are real fond of how the URLs are being generated. I think the search-engine(s?)-that-shall-not-be-named see:

domain/letter for a directory name!/completely unimportant directory name (since it’s just a directory)/and finally the important part of the URL (“1631”, evidently).

If you were to look in the Search Console for $search_engine, you may even find that $search_engine is completely ignoring all URLs with directories in them if $search_engine has decided they are not important. One major criteria for lack of importance being directories, evidently… $search_engine did that to a recent project of mine for the whole docs part of the website. Who needs docs, right? Good thing there wasn’t any useful text in there humans might need. We wouldn’t want to index that. I’m also glad i didn’t spend any time making sure the directories and last segment of the URL were named well for people to easily find what they were looking for, or anything crazy like that. Obviously, there’s no legitimate reason to ever need to organize a website/app into a hierarchy…

The crawlers are certainly visiting (the orange bar is for crawlers):

We could have a look at what’s going on, but that may take some time to get a better picture.

It’s not just a matter of SEOs—mostly because those are meant to game the system, and companies making search engines do not really like it when people try to game their systems.

Google’s page ranking system, for instance, takes into account how many people link to a specific URL; this means that, in order to gather relevance, we’re going to need people to link to our Discourse.

It really depends what is discussed here - for example thread about GUADEC BoF of vendor styling appears as first hit

I guess when it comes down to having similar phrases or keywords then Discourse will lose out to much more linked/clicked web sites at least for a while. But as in principle search results gets indexed.

Thanks for your input! Happy to see that we do have crawlers around here, so probably the results will appear in popular web engines eventually. I would much rather post content on this forum, than elsewhere. :slight_smile:

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$search_engine crawled and initially indexed my docs section too. then, decided it wasn’t important and dropped it from the indexed pages list. just because $search_engineBot is crawling doesn’t mean the pages are being/staying indexed.

btw, this discourse instance didn’t email me about any of these follow up messages even though i changed my settings to be notified. Finally, the default should be to notify. It’s nice not to spam people, but people expect that they will be notified by email (by default) when they post in a thread.

You can change this behaviour in your preferences. Under notifications set When I post in a topic, set that topic to to watching

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