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ME3Explorer's new website/portal!

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ME3Explorer's new website/portal!

Postby giftfish » 23 Apr 2016, 15:33

Hey everyone --

When placing a project on GitHub, they kindly give you a sort of website/portal to use. Heff and I started working on it last summer/fall, but didn't get the chance to finish. Luckily, Sir has some HTML skills and was able to pick things back up.

So, here we go!

http://me3explorer.github.io/

From now on when linking "ME3Explorer" somewhere, please link this. It gives folks the bare-minimum of information they need to know about the toolset, and then from there they can navigate to whatever sister site they need to. Forums, wiki, Nexus, whatever :)

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Re: ME3Explorer's new website/portal!

Postby CreeperLava » 23 Apr 2016, 16:07

Very nice ! Now to get it up in google. That's the main problem really. Even the ME3Explorer wikia doesn't come up easily in search results.
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Re: ME3Explorer's new website/portal!

Postby giftfish » 23 Apr 2016, 16:15

CreeperLava wrote:Very nice ! Now to get it up in google. That's the main problem really. Even the ME3Explorer wikia doesn't come up easily in search results.

How are you searching?

If I search "ME3Explorer Sourceforge", a wiki page is the 3rd result. If I search "me3explorer", it's the 3 and 4th result. If I search "mass effect 3 modding" it's the 5th non-video result, and still appears on the first page of results.

We're doing just fine.
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Re: ME3Explorer's new website/portal!

Postby CreeperLava » 23 Apr 2016, 16:34

I searched for "textures in mass effect wiki" because I didn't have that article in my history. No luck, only the masseffect wiki appears in the results.
Searching for "mass effect modding" or even "mass effect modding wiki" doesn't display the wiki either, or any ME3Explorer related stuff for the matter. Not on the first page at least. But who goes beyond the first page anyways ?^^

Note that I'm not searching with google, which probably explains why you do find something. Google uses your search history to alter the results. I use Startpage, which anonymizes my searches. So someone new to Mass Effect modding would probably get similar results to mine.
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Re: ME3Explorer's new website/portal!

Postby giftfish » 23 Apr 2016, 17:05

CreeperLava wrote:But who goes beyond the first page anyways ?^^

I do, if I'm really trying to find something. If I get to the 5th page, then there's a problem.

CreeperLava wrote:Now to get it up in google. That's the main problem really. Even the ME3Explorer wikia doesn't come up easily in search results.

CreeperLava wrote:Note that I'm not searching with google, which probably explains why you do find something.

Uh... okay.

CreeperLava wrote:Google uses your search history to alter the results. I use Startpage, which anonymizes my searches. So someone new to Mass Effect modding would probably get similar results to mine.

I use Private Browsing and don't ever save my search history. I can perform the exact same searches on my husband's computer -- who hasn't played (or searched for) ME in about 5 years -- and the same search results come up.

----

Googling something as broad as "mass effect modding" is going to be harder to be on the first page. Those spots go to Nexus, ModDB, the actual tumblr called "MassEffectModding", Girlsplaygame's "Mass Effect Mods", and a couple reddit posts. The reddit posts are unfortunate, but not surprising. There's no way we're going to get reddit's traffic. GirlsPlayGame is only there b/c of all the traffic they get for hair mods.

Search parameters matter. If people are going to be lazy and only search "mass effect modding" look at the first page of results and that's it, well, that's their problem. We can't help those who won't help themselves. Have a bit of patience, use your head (not you, Creeper, the collective "you"), and L2EffectivelySearch.

And, even so, the first search result is basically always Nexus, and we're now hosted there. Folks are going to find us.

As I said before, we're doing just fine. Especially for a fan-built toolset that mods a game that's 4 years old :)
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Re: ME3Explorer's new website/portal!

Postby CreeperLava » 23 Apr 2016, 18:10

Afaik, google uses your IP to recognize you and saves your searches remotely. So even if you don't keep that information locally, they still have data about you.
But yes, I agree with your last point, we're fine :). It's not a big deal.
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Re: ME3Explorer's new website/portal!

Postby FemShep » 25 Apr 2016, 01:56

If you're logged in, Google will personalize search results. They will do so via cookies and other stuff even if you aren't. The only real way to gauge your searchability is through a site that looks it up for you or via a VPN. You will need to do good meta tags if you want to get anywhere near the top of search results as they are the most important factor (among many). Learned tons about visibility in search engines with ME3Tweaks. You also need lots of incoming links as the traffic to a site also dramatically influences search results.

I don't know if you can use Google analytics on github pages, but if you can it will greatly increase your insight to who is using the site, how they got there, how they're using the site, who your users are (e.g. from where)... Lots of useful info, and its free.
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Re: ME3Explorer's new website/portal!

Postby SirCxyrtyx » 25 Apr 2016, 06:33

I've proved my ownership of the site to google, so it looks like I'll be able to take advantage of Google analytics. I've also set the "moved to" link on sourceforge to Me3Explorer.github.io, so hopefully that will direct traffic to the site. Any ideas for the title? Currently it's set to just "ME3Explorer", and that's what will show up as the big blue link in a Google search. Seems a bit spare, bit I'm not having any flash of inspiration as to what it should be. Maybe that's just because it's almost midnight.
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Re: ME3Explorer's new website/portal!

Postby giftfish » 25 Apr 2016, 13:07

@Sir -- Changing the SF re-direct link to the portal is a good idea. I like :)

SirCxyrtyx wrote:Currently it's set to just "ME3Explorer", and that's what will show up as the big blue link in a Google search. Seems a bit spare, bit I'm not having any flash of inspiration as to what it should be. Maybe that's just because it's almost midnight.

I think the best thing would be to go with a shorter version of the forum/banner taglines for consistency.

So:

"ME3Explorer Modding Toolset" -- page title
"ME3Explorer is the unofficial "creation kit" for modding the Mass Effect trilogy" -- page description

Seems like those would work well.

I still feel that if folks haven't found us after 4 years, they're not looking. And, a lot of new users are going to end up finding us via Nexusmods. Getting ourselves there was probably the best thing we could do to build a greater userbase (if that is the intent). Lots of overlap between folks who play TES and Mass Effect :)
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Re: ME3Explorer's new website/portal!

Postby FemShep » 25 Apr 2016, 14:51

You're going to want a title and meta description that's fairly verbose actually. ME3Explorer - Modding toolset for the Mass Effect Trilogy and then a 140char meta that contains keywords that also appear in the page. If you need some examples look at the head section of my homepage on me3tweaks, just open it in inspector. It has some SEO.
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