Test Driving Wikia Search

Wikia Search Test Drive

When I wrote this morning’s blog entry I hadn’t had the chance to test drive the new Wikia Search engine, so it was very much a case of first impressions. You know however, what they say about first impressions! I’ve now had a chance to have a play with Wikia Search Alpha - (I mention the alpha, as we need to remember that this is a test drive and it will change in a big way before Wikia Search is launched as a finished article), and my initial impression seems to be a fairly accurate summation of the new site.

Alpha Search Engine

The alpha search facility is, at best, poor; at worst it’s a steam heap of something brown and not very fragrant! Even for an engine that has only had a year to build, the results are truly pitiful. The first term I searched, (predictably), was SEO and first ten results included 5 results in Japanese, including the first two results and one in Swedish. With 95593 results to choose from (Google have 152 million, incidentally), I would have thought the English speaking Wikia Search Engine could have pulled in better search results than that. The second page isn’t much better, with five foreign language websites; page three, 6 foreign language results, page 4; 7 foreign language results, and it goes on. I refreshed the SEO term page several times during the day and the number of pages for the search term SEO remained the same, at 95593 and there were no changes or improvements in the Wikia SERPS that I spotted.

Mini Article

Someone had added a mini article, on the SEO search page, so I made a small edit to see how it worked and it was the same as changing editing something in Wikipedia, but I still can’t work out who is going to check the edit, as information on how anything works on Wikia Search is sparse to say the least.

Wikia SEO Search Term Result Discussion

Somebody; no idea who, as there was no information to say who it was, had opened a discussion about the SEO search term and suggested that we should add some useful online tools, which I did. Again, I have no idea who is going to check these and it appears that someone can edit anything that anyone has written on the discussion, as long as you have an account. No doubt I’m missing something and it’s obvious to everyone else, but I’m just a boy, giving all away! 

Opening Search Wikia Accounts

Opening an account with Search Wikia is easy. In fact opening several accounts is easy. This being the case, how are the Wikia people going to stop the spammers from skewing results? I bet there are spammers all over the world with 100 to 200 accounts already set up, waiting for the five star system to kick in, so they can damage competitor positions and boost there own. It just seems too easy to fix results.

I got bored with clicking buttons and looking at the different areas of the search engine, as the help is non existent. Even the help file link that they send you when you open an account gives no information about Wikia search - it’s an old help file for wiki search that needs to be updated!

Summary

At present, in it’s current state, the Wikia Search Engine is a waste of time and needs to improve massively before anyone will take it seriously. The discussion forum  for each search term may become interesting, but again, I feel that it will be filled with self-publicists. The mini article is something that I like. It’s like having your own little wiki at the top of a search engine - that, in my opinion, is a good idea.

Other than that, the Alpha Wikia Search appears to be no more than a social networking site, with a pretty duff search engine attached.

It will, however, evolve and improveand despite the slagging that it is taking on most of the SEO Blog articles that I’ve read today, I feel that Wikia Search will be a player within five years. I don’t think it will be competing with Google, but I certainly see it holding 4 to 5% of the search marketplace. After all, Wikipedia was scoffed at in 2001 and look at it today, one of the largest reference websites in the world, with over 9 million articles, written in over 250 languages. I believe their search engine will grow even faster than that.

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The Big Man's SEO blog is primarily aimed at website owners looking for ethical SEO tips, optimisation advice and who are interested in reading articles and opinions related to search engines, the internet, technology and software.