Let's try to increase our visibility

Discussion in 'Technical Issues & Suggestions' started by Big_Dog, May 26, 2014.

  1. Cainntear

    Cainntear Active Member VIP member

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    I doubt it... I just googled Learn a language, and the first result was learnalanguage.com, but number 2 was livemocha, then duolingo, then RS, then a newspaper article (telegraph.co.uk).

    So unless you can find a domain name that's a perfect match for one of the most common learner queries, I doubt it'll help at all....
  2. rlnv

    rlnv New Member

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    I'm not suggesting changing the domain name, just adding www. In theory, you can have as many aliases to a site as wanted. In practice, it is typical to have two, 1) www.sitename.com, and 2) sitename.com. You are using number two, without the www. When you add the www record, the site still resolves without it. You are just accounting for both of the most common ways of reaching a site. Then, transferring all traffic to the single URL without the www.

    Doing the above is perfectly safe and recommended way of resolving a site. Using 301 redirection on the web server is recognized and recommended by Google, and webmasters alike. You kill two birds, cover all likely inbound traffic, and ensure it all goes to the same place without fear of duplicate page penalty. For lack of a better way of describing it, that is a "best practice".

    If you are not self managing your webserver, its something your provider can likely assist with. I've managed my own Linux web servers for so long that I don't really remember what services managed hosting provide, but it's likely they could assist.
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  3. kikenyoy

    kikenyoy Administrator Staff Member

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    1) Add posts to your site. Things like: good to see HTLAL posters at Polydog, transcripts for Кухня now available, travel pics where you mention your languages, etc.

    2)Post comments/likes on other sites that are language related. Don't spam the site; make legit comments and hopefully people will be curious and check out your Facebook page and then the forum. Some suggestions are: Rosetta Stone, Luca, Women learning Thai, LingQ, HTLAL Super Challenge, and Benny. Add yourself to their followers.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2014
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  4. Big_Dog

    Big_Dog Administrator Staff Member

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    Got it. It appears to be working now. It always amazes me when I do something and it works, lol. I'll try to fix the page title stuff tonight. I had to send out tickets for that; basically asking the question, instead of poking around blindly. But I try to do everything myself, so that I know in case of emergency.
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  5. emk

    emk Member

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    If you'd like to learn more about SEO, the moz.com tutorial is a good place to start. Basically, spamming links all over the place is not a good idea, because Google tends to figure it out sooner or later, and penalizes websites accordingly. A safer strategy is to have lots of really interesting content on popular and relevant subjects. For example, Google has noticed that guest blogging has gotten really spammy in the last year or so, and Matt Cutts (the head of Google's webspam team) published a warning against dubious guest-blogging schemes. This was followed up by penalizing a guest blogging network and dropping it from the Google search index. Basically Google has an entire team of people looking for sites that are gaming the system, and they have both algorithms and human reviewers who apply penalties.

    Historically, HTLAL actually did this pretty well: with a half-million plus posts about language learning (or whatever the number was), it had answers to thousands of obscure questions. Taken collectively, those answers added up to quite a bit of traffic. Unfortunately, Google punishes sites for being slow, and it seems to have lowered the search engine rank of HTLAL considerably during the next-to-last outage, judging from the publicly available numbers.

    So my advice: If you want to rank, keep publishing good articles and holding interesting discussions.
    Bjorn, Fasulye, Big_Dog and 2 others like this.
  6. Big_Dog

    Big_Dog Administrator Staff Member

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    Page 4 now :)
  7. Big_Dog

    Big_Dog Administrator Staff Member

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    It's now "Polydog Language Forum". And the forum root page has been called "language learning forum at polydog" for some time, so I think we are now ok as far as page titles go.
  8. Big_Dog

    Big_Dog Administrator Staff Member

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    We are now on page 1 of google search for "language learning forum":)
    Still not on the board for "language forum".
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  9. Cainntear

    Cainntear Active Member VIP member

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    Not when I search we're not -- we're coming up on page 4.

    Google knows stuff about your personal preferences and customises searches to suit you. To get a more neutral check, go to a friend's house (someone with no interest in languages) and search from their computer.
  10. Stelle

    Stelle Active Member VIP member

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    I just searched "language learning forum" on google, and polydog was on page 5.

    Honestly, I think there's nothing to be done but wait. Focus your efforts on building content. I think that as the content increases, the search results will improve. Remember that google searches are not all for broad terms like "language learning forum". People ask specific - and sometimes odd - questions, like "Can I learn Swedish using only anki?", "Should I read Harry Potter in Italian?" and "How long will it take me to get fluent in Mandarin?". Those are the questions that will eventually lead people here, once there's enough content.

    I love HTLAL for its challenges and its language log board. It's slow, though, the search function is one of the worst I've seen, and the constant requests for members to pay can be tiresome. I have no problem paying to support a forum that I've used for a year - but NOT if the admin isn't there to address issues. I'm afraid that HTLAL is a dying forum. But as of right now, there's no place that is quite like it. While I've considered moving my language logs to polydog, I would miss the interaction with other learners that I get on HTLAL. I may still move here, or start a second log, but I can't keep up with frequently updating logs on both forums at the moment.

    But language logs are where a lot of answers to people's questions can be found. That's some of the content that you want to build. So how do we encourage more people to keep language logs on polydog?

    It would also be helpful to have lots of serious conversations about language learning. That's already starting to happen. Your posts on synergy were fantastic, and there have been some great reviews and some interesting discussions about vocabulary, fluency, etc.

    Maybe you could set some kind of forum challenge, where members commit to starting one interesting thread directly related to language-learning, and make an effort to contribute to at least three other people's threads. Maybe keep it all in the "general discussion" board, which is where a lot of the discussion seems to be happening anyway. Think about things that people might be searching for: using music to learn a language, language exchanges, best courses, making the transition from courses to native materials, how to work with a tutor, improving listening, how long before speaking, organizing study time, how much time to study every day, motivation etc. If we talk about those things, we'll be more likely to attract people who want to talk languages.

    Also - and this might be an unpopular suggestion - you might have too many categories. You could at least merge the "off topic" and the "jokes" categories into one board, since neither them really help increase language-related content. They arguably might add to a sense of community - but I'm up in the air on that. I come here for languages. If it ever got to the point where the only updated threads were to the off topic/non-language-related stuff, then eventually I would stop coming.
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  11. Peregrinus

    Peregrinus Active Member

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    I would agree with merging off-topic forums, but not others, which I think you are not advocating. I would hate to see serious topics get dropped off the first page of a forum's results because of off-topic stuff. Many users won't go deep in the pages.

    Re searching on HTLAL, even when I was an active member, I always used an advanced google search on the HTLAL forum, which is very fast, even if clicking the on the results is not. I have that search as a bookmark. What it can't really do though is replicate the tag search.
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  12. biTsar

    biTsar Active Member VIP member

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    Do any of the ad blocking products get rid of that ? Haven't visited there in years, wouldn't know. Still waiting for the administration to send me my 1/2 year Pro membership refund, haha.
  13. Wise owl chick

    Wise owl chick Active Member

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    I think that Infos for each language would be great, I mean some good websites for all the different things like listening, grammar, pronunciation, etc etc

    I've asked here last week or two weeks ago for some Infos for improve my Spanish, but only one person has replied with one suggestion. I think that a good list for the languages (separate for each language) would be extremely helpful. We can compile it for each language in a specific language resources section. then we can discuss how good each website or thing is also. And we can have a thread in the langauge for practice it.

    what a relief that polydog hasn't "the professor" it is very annoying how they say "the professor" on htlal, as if he were the only professor in the world. I find him absolutely boring but not nasty. the adoration is truly annoying.
  14. Big_Dog

    Big_Dog Administrator Staff Member

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    Me too. I had different things in mind for the other forum, but it just turned into another off-topic. So they are now merged.
    You might try to ask in english. Personally, I don't write or type Spanish, so I don't even check those forums often.
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  15. Wise owl chick

    Wise owl chick Active Member

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    Ok, I will write the same question but in English this time.
  16. luke

    luke Member VIP member

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    If there was a way to upload public domain content, that might get some helpful content uploaded. Specifically, some have made edits to FSI courses, such as splitting them into smaller, more useful chunks, etc. If those were hosted here, it would attract visitors. Some of them might stick around.
  17. Bob

    Bob Active Member VIP member

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    I remember that HTLAL has those language profiles that you can arrange by # of countries, popularity, etc. There is also a page for the % overlap of romance languages. The guy stopped at 20 though.
  18. Big_Dog

    Big_Dog Administrator Staff Member

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    These are both good ideas. Anyone for crowd sourcing?
  19. luke

    luke Member VIP member

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    One sort of crowd sourcing and providing language learning materials is parallel audio. We're all familiar with parallel texts. Parallel audio is similar. A stereo recording with one language in the left channel, the other in the right. Creating material is basically piggybacking off of other public domain content and putting it in the parallel audio format. I did that this morning with John Stuart Mill's Utilitarianism in English/French. Librivox is a source of a lot of public domain content. http://www.litteratureaudio.com/ is a treasure trove for French.

    The basic approach uses the free audio editing software Audacity:
    1) Find recording of the same content in 2 languages.
    2) Do basic edits. Remove "this is a librivox recording ..., end of recording, etc".
    3) Truncate silence (optional)
    4) Sometimes it's helpful to do Noise Removal. You can tell by looking at the graphical display if there is hiss in the recording.
    5) Compress (based on peaks is the option I prefer). Compressing makes the quiet parts of the audio louder and the loud parts quieter. Basically it levels out the sound of the audio. Very useful especially in non-professional recordings.
    6) Determine which one you want to use as the base speed.
    7) Use "Change Tempo" to make the other recording's length match the first recording.
    8) Add an empty track.
    9) Paste audio of second recording into the new empty track. The sound lines up because of step 7.
    10) Adjust the left/right panning so one language is completely in the left channel and the other is completely in the right channel.
    11) Export as mp3.
    12) Listen attentively.

    If the site hosted content like that, you would get more traffic from people who are interested in checking out and perhaps contributing to parallel recordings.
  20. Big_Dog

    Big_Dog Administrator Staff Member

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    listen to L1 in one ear and L2 in the other?

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