Wiktionary:Votes/2008-06/Install MetaKeywords Extension

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Install MetaKeywords Extension[edit]

  • Voting on: Whether we should install the Extension at User:Conrad.Irwin/MetaKeywords.php (documentation at User_talk:Conrad.Irwin/MetaKeywords.php) to allow us to include certain words and phrases in our pages. This would allow users who are searching the web to find us if they use words that our pages don't normally contain in their search. Examples of such terms might be "definition", "dictionary" and "meaning". This vote does not have any bearing on what words will be included after the extension is installed, it is merely to demonstrate community support behind installing the extension.
  • Vote ends: 21 July 2008 23:59 UTC
  • Vote started: 1 July 2008 23:59 UT


  1. Symbol support vote.svg Support We need to see if whether this will enhance usage. More usage should lead to more editors and more funding as well as more benefit from our efforts. DCDuring TALK 17:14, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
  2. Symbol support vote.svg Support I think this is a great idea. It is to use the standard means of informing search engines about that part of the content of the page that is not shown to the users. (Assuming I am eligible for voting.) --Daniel Polansky 17:30, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
    FYI: specific rules for eligibility to vote (edit counts or whatever) were considered and rejected. Anyone who doesn't parachute in from an entirely unknown IP should generally count. You are just fine. Robert Ullmann 18:20, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
  3. Symbol support vote.svg Support A good idea in general, but please do some research before implementing, because the stated purpose of adding keywords to increase Google rank is futile. Michael Z. 2008-07-01 18:22 z
    Note that the "stated purpose" says nothing about improving page rank. The ranking is mostly fine anyway, when a wikt entry is shown it is often first. The purpose is to match queries like "foo definition" which right now doesn't match at all. Robert Ullmann 17:09, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
  4. Symbol support vote.svg Support -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 18:23, 1 July 2008 (UTC) I think it unlikely that this will be used in a deceptive manner (but the first instance of such would cause me to have a change of heart about the whole operation). Perhaps we could assign dictatorial powers of content control on this to Conrad. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 18:23, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
    Since changes can potentially affect the whole site, I assume that it will be locked to prevent editing by new editors. Michael Z. 2008-07-01 19:31 z
    Yes, they are in MediaWiki space, so only administrators can edit it. Conrad.Irwin 19:34, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
  5. Symbol support vote.svg Support —Stephen 18:33, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
  6. Symbol support vote.svg Support Nadando 19:16, 1 July 2008 (UTC) We'll have to see if it works, but I think anything that increases the number of people contributing is a good thing.
  7. Symbol support vote.svg Support EncycloPetey 20:09, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
  8. Symbol support vote.svg Support It's a simple and well-designed extension that has no effect unless we want it to (since it simply adds keywords, never removing any), that seems likely to be useful both to us and to other MediaWiki wikis, both at WMF and elsewhere. Assuming its author is releasing its code under the same licenses as the MediaWiki software (which he is, right?), I see absolutely no reason that it shouldn't be installed here. If this were a certain other well-known WMF project, I'd give its author a barnstar or something. —RuakhTALK 18:13, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
  9. Symbol support vote.svg Support Robert Ullmann 18:20, 2 July 2008 (UTC) Yes, very good. Will be interesting to see what traffic increase results.
  10. Symbol support vote.svg Support I don't completely understand what exactly this is all about and how it'll work (haven't read the whole discussion, and not sure I want to ^_^), but I just hope it'll improve FL WT entries hits (define: operator on Google for English WT lexemes works perfectly for me, but not so for FLs), and bring as proportionally motivated new contributors as it'll bring vandals. --Ivan Štambuk 19:14, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
  11. Symbol support vote.svg Support DAVilla 00:22, 5 July 2008 (UTC)
  12. Symbol support vote.svg Support Connel MacKenzie 23:28, 12 July 2008 (UTC) Someone figured out what was missing? Cool - sofixit. --Connel MacKenzie 23:28, 12 July 2008 (UTC)
  13. Symbol support vote.svg Support --Panda10 23:57, 14 July 2008 (UTC)
  14. Symbol support vote.svg Support per Michael Z. 2008-07-01 18:22 z.—msh210 16:47, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
  15. Symbol support vote.svg Support Thryduulf 12:28, 10 August 2008 (UTC)
  16. Symbol support vote.svg Support Rod (A. Smith) 15:16, 15 August 2008 (UTC)


  1. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Brion 06:08, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
    • This extension would be useless (keywords are ignored by modern search engines, and descriptions do not affect your Google ranking) and counterproductive (boilerplate description would be much less useful to search users than the actual definition text that appears now).



The whole point of Wiktionary is to have a dictionary with the most extensive number of entries as well as the most in depth coverage of each word. Am I wrong?

In order to make that happen, we need people to find us, people who will add to our information as well as those who want to look something up. The only practical way to do that is to get them to notice us. Since Google is the biggest of the web's search engines, it would seem to me the place to be bold and visible. That means putting us on the front page--top listing if we can get it.

Sure there are other things we need to do besides add the MetaKeywords, but we should be taking every opportunity to promote ourselves. Amina (sack36) 17:10, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

I do agree that we should take every opportunity, and that adding meta tags may be useful.
However, I'd like to point out that as far as is known, meta keywords are ignored by Google, and adding them specifically to improve Google rank is futile. Meta description is used by Google (see Improve snippets with a meta description makeover).
And care should be taken in using meta tags and other tactics to directly try to increase traffic. Certain tactics are interpreted as spam by the search engines, and will reduce ranking. A good start for advice is Google Webmaster GuidelinesMichael Z. 2008-07-01 18:19 z
I haven't read them for a while. This extension is possibly badly named, it will allow you to configure the meta description too. We should also set the meta keywords, not because of google, but so that any computer can tell what content is in the page. Conrad.Irwin 19:16, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
We do know that Google pays attention to keywords because in their guideline to webmasters it says "Don't load pages with irrelevant keywords." Amina (sack36) 22:55, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
It also seems that we could work on the snippet that Google has on the search results page for each entry to show what type content that specific entry actually had, extracting, say, language, PoS, and certain other headers that we think users might care about (Synonyms, Pronunciation, Translations, Etymology, Usage notes), and with lower priority languages of translations, and the remaining headings like References, alternative spellings. The idea would be to put as much of the table of contents into the snippet as possible. This would enhance usability, if not search ranking. DCDuring TALK 00:13, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
Another thing about keyword meta tags is that Yahoo search still uses them for sure. Just because we want to focus on the number one search engine doesn't mean we can't include info for the number two engine. Amina (sack36) 05:08, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
We want them to be something that a reader can use to evaluate the content of a page in a half-second glance. Maybe it can even be useful on its own. I would concentrate on the top-level headings for easy-to-scan summaries.
Compare the inconsistent auto-harvested summaries in search results at Wiktionary to the reasonably good meta-description summaries at IMDB (e.g., John Cusack: “Actor: Being John Malkovich. John Cusack is, like most of his characters, an unconventional hero. Wary... Visit IMDb for Photos, Filmography, Discussions, ...”).
It looks like Google only shows about 155 characters maximum. Currently, our Google search result for hen contains zero information about the term (139 characters):

hen - Wiktionary - 11:17pm

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary. Jump to: navigation, search. See also hēn, hén, hěn, and hèn · A mother hen with chicks. ...

en.wiktionary.org/wiki/hen - 56k - Cached - Similar pages
If we could edit the page-title template, and had fine-grained control over the description field, we could manage something like this (113 characters):

hen: definition from the free dictionary—Wiktionary - 11:17pm

hen /hɛn/ –n. A female bird [OE henn] • 2 more English, plus Danish, Dutch, Japanese, Mandarin, Scots, and Welsh.

en.wiktionary.org/wiki/hen - 56k - Cached - Similar pages
This would significantly improve the experience of finding Wiktionary entries. Michael Z. 2008-07-02 05:29 z
I'd favor everything short of the definitions themselves. We might want clickthroughs, although I'm not sure that clickthroughs help us much in search-engine rankings. It would help us know where we stand compared to other dictionaries if we were on all fours with them when it came to measuring visits. OTOH, giving people answers without them even having to click is a great way to make them love us (though we won't know how much). DCDuring TALK 18:39, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure where you mean clickthroughs—the description is text-only, no links or formatting are possible.
Space is very limited, so most descriptions won't be able to include the full definition, but the better the summary, the better usability for the reader (and consequently, more wikilove coming back). It is an open dictionary, after all, and we should flaunt the openness at the expense of the commercial outfits whenever possible. Michael Z. 2008-07-02 21:18 z
I just would like users to click through to us, instead of getting what they need from the search screen. We have many entries, including at least one of our most popular, where it would be possible to get the whole definition content of the entry into 150 characters and might even be hard to find anything else from the entry to fill the space with. DCDuring TALK 21:37, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
We don't count click-throughs to mirrors either. The sooner the user gets the information they need, the better. DAVilla 00:21, 5 July 2008 (UTC)
I'm confused. I thought this extension would only allow boilerplates description and keywords meta tags, customaizable by namespace but not by page. So we can't have definitions or anything else in the description. Am I missing something?—msh210 16:47, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
We can dream, can't we? DCDuring TALK 12:17, 21 July 2008 (UTC)