Raising awareness for T Gauge Model Railway / Railroad

The place for general discussions and requests for help on all matters relating to T gauge.
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dkightley
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Raising awareness for T Gauge Model Railway / Railroad

Post by dkightley »

Do a search on one of the search engines on the web (such as Google) for T Gauge....and you'll find that this forum appears on the second or third page.

I've come to the conclusion that the absence of the phrase "T Gauge" in the actual posts is meaning that despite the bots from Google and other search engines running rampant on the site, the right keywords do not get indexed....and references to the site don't get created.

So, as an experiment, let's post on this forum the actual words "T Gauge"....and let's see if the site makes it onto the front page!!
Doug Kightley
Webmaster here and volunteer at the National Tramway Museum http://www.tramway.co.uk

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Towers
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Re: Raising awareness for T Gauge Model Railway

Post by Towers »

Also need variants like "T-Gauge" "T Scale", "T-Scale" etc.

The forum doesn't have anything in the keywords meta tag of its html code. If you bung in T Gauge and the variants in the meta tags of the html code then it should increase its position in search results. It won't be instantaneous but it will make a big difference.

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Towers
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Re: Raising awareness for T Gauge Model Railway

Post by Towers »

The forum does come up on the first page of Bing.com results though.

mattd10
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Re: Raising awareness for T Gauge Model Railway

Post by mattd10 »

T gauge t gauge t scale 1:450 tgauge tscale

Hope that helps, ill repeat this on a regular basis :D

henningz
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Re: Raising awareness for T Gauge Model Railway

Post by henningz »

Google omits some certain characters e.g. "-" as well as case sensitivity. This means that "T Gauge", "Tgauge", and "t-gauge" will bring up the same results only in a very slight difference. "T Scale" will help as it's the correct expression. "Gauge" is just used for too many other things.
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dkightley
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Re: Raising awareness for T Gauge Model Railway

Post by dkightley »

I think the bottom line is that we need to make sure that the phrase "T Gauge" sits in as many threads as possible.....otherwise in a thread say on trackwork, the search engines will fail to link trackwork with the scale....and the indexed page will be lost in a sea of other general topics.

I have made a small change to the content of the description meta tag to include "T Gauge". This might help indexing....I'm not sure.
Doug Kightley
Webmaster here and volunteer at the National Tramway Museum http://www.tramway.co.uk

hedge
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Re: Raising awareness for T Gauge Model Railway

Post by hedge »

And another!

T gauge t gauge t scale 1:450 tgauge tscale

ivanf
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Re: Raising awareness for T Gauge Model Railway

Post by ivanf »

I read somewhere that google uses the number of links to a page when ranking pages... so if (e.g.) Alan at t-gauge.com could be persuaded to put a link here on his site it might help...

martink
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Re: Raising awareness for T Gauge Model Railway

Post by martink »

Google also considers keywords in titles to be important, as long as they match the content of the associated plain text. When people search for longer phrases, it pays to have that complete phrase somewhere. Also consider US modellers - they would normally not think of typing "Railway". And yes, the more links to the site, the better.

So, could I suggest changing the titles of one or two of the main categories (e.g. "T Gauge Layouts")? Maybe put "T Gauge Model Railroad" in a few places in your posts (those of you who model US prototype!)? Make sure that the forum name "Talking T Gauge" is prominent somewhere as text, not just a graphic.

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dkightley
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Re: Raising awareness for T Gauge Model Railway

Post by dkightley »

Thanks for the suggestions.....

The keen eyed will already have noticed the liberal sprinkling of "T Gauge" already! :D ;)

And not sure what can really be done about the cultural name differences. I wonder if the likes of Google have some special coding in their search engine to deal with this?? Google do have some very clever things.....one of their latest is the Google Translate app. It can translate printed word "on the fly". Point your smartphone's camera at text....and the on-screen live picture has the text translated for you. Not always word perfect....but impressive!
Doug Kightley
Webmaster here and volunteer at the National Tramway Museum http://www.tramway.co.uk

martink
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Re: Raising awareness for T Gauge Model Railway

Post by martink »

dkightley wrote:The keen eyed will already have noticed the liberal sprinkling of "T Gauge" already! :D ;)
Doug, you seem to be a keen follower of the "If it is worth doing, it is worth overdoing" school of thought!

One or two would have been plenty - too many may actually be counterproductive, since putting in huge lists of every keyword imaginable was a trick that Google got wise to a long time ago. If their algorithms decide that it is excessive, or that a site appears to be trying to game the system, they actually penalize the rating instead of boosting it. What really counts is just making sure that some of the most likely search phrases are in sensible positions. A very important condition that you already have covered is making sure that the URL contains "tgauge" (which it does).

Have you set up a suitable list of SEO meta keywords for the site? Make sure to include "t gauge", "model train", "model railway", "model railroad", "layout", "eishindo" and such.

Another good trick is to put captions on key pictures (if your hosting software allows it). This lets them be picked up by the google/image search. Don't try anything tricky, but be sure to include the obvious in the description. For example, I just tried searching for variations of "forth bridge" with "model of", "model railway", etc. and yours does not show up in any of the images, and on a text search only when I looked for "t gauge forth bridge" (at least then it was number 1!).

I went through much the same thing with some of my own videos and website, making sure that the most plausible search finds the right item. Fortunately, T Gauge pages are rare enough on the web that there isn't that much competition. FWIW, I have just tried googling "t gauge", "t gauge forum", "t gauge layouts", "t gauge model trains", "t gauge model railways" and "t gauge model railroads" with variations. With the exception of "forum" where you come up as number 1, the site shows up on the second page or not at all. I am afraid my own stuff is generally ahead of it, though this might only be on my own machine with its own search history.

Finally, it may take weeks for the changes to sink in, though some differences should be noticeable within a few days.

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dkightley
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Re: Raising awareness for T Gauge Model Railway / Railroad

Post by dkightley »

Doug, you seem to be a keen follower of the "If it is worth doing, it is worth overdoing" school of thought!
Not at all.....and I would take issue with you on this. My "liberal sprinkling" statement was in fact a tongue in cheek comment - did you notice the winking smiley?

And in reply to your question about meta keyword tags.....I haven't bothered. Google don't use them any more, Yahoo have said they hardly use them, and Bing read them but don't use them as an important factor in their ranking algorithms. All three do state that they index on the contents of the pages

And this actually highlights the reasoning behind me starting the thread in the first place: If the desired key index term is not within the content of the page, then it ain't going to be indexed. All I have in fact done in terms of changes to the forum is to try and make sure that the phrase "T Gauge" appears somewhere within the HTML code on any individual page view....thus increasing the chances of search results.

I'm not on a mission to get the site onto page one of the search engines. I hate the social media craze of "likes" and "having x thousand followers"...and I cringe when I see my username as the last poster on most of the sections of the forum!
Doug Kightley
Webmaster here and volunteer at the National Tramway Museum http://www.tramway.co.uk

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