Could someone explain why almost any question talking baout SEO gets marked as "community wiki".

Like these:

EDITED - and some more:

The point is: almost all questions about SEO will never have a right answer cause derived from webmasters' experience, but not scientifically provable (nobody knows how the Google algorithm really works). Cause they have no right answer, are you going on marking them as "community wiki"?

Going on marking community wiki almost each question related to SEO makes this website not very interesting for whoever got in here thinking he could asK/answer about SEO stuff (for whoever does not know it, "commuity wiki" question/answer do not give any reputations points).

If we can not ask SEO questions in here, where are we supposed to ask them? You should rather call this website "Pro Webmasters, but NO SEO"! But on Area51 decscription of this site you stated that is also for "SEO experts", read the last two words in the title!

I think if you changed your mind and this is not supposed to be a SEO site anymore you should state it LOUD & CLEAR so whoever is interestd more in SEO (like me) can commit to the new upcoming Area 51 White Hat SEO.

I hope in there they won't mark community wiki each question related to SEO, well unless they are related to Black-Hat SEOing. :)

Plz explain, thanks to all!


3 Answers 3


Marco, good question. Right now we are having a debate about community wiki in general for this site about when it should be used. Check it out for a larger view of what is going on. It is here, Why was this question made community wiki?. We would really appreciate your input.

Back to the point, you are 100% correct that many SEO questions are based in experience and not in hard truths and in that case CW is a tough thing. That being said, I think there is a strong case for each of those SEO questions to be CW. The main words that I see are "best", "worth", and "any good" with respect to each question.

This means the user is asking for people to make suggestions and not give answers that solve the issue directly. I looked at them each specifically and I think the first and third question should be community wiki because they are lists. The second one might actually not need to be a CW but in that case it does look like the user made it a CW to begin with, which was their choice.

Because question 2 wasn't necessarily best suited to be a CW I won't argue over it any further.

As for questions 1 and 3 they are both asking for an extremely broad list of solutions and solutions that could change daily or weekly. I think that is why they are CW. Frankly even when the SEO specific site launches the same thing will probably happen to broad questions like 1 and 3 from above. People will push them to be CW.

  • 1
    well said -- questions should avoid words like "best", "worst", and so forth in the title, they are harbingers of doom Commented Aug 14, 2010 at 21:08

I can speak for the last question, which wasn't just a question about SEO, it was asking for 'any good apps to do [x]' which meets the criteria of needing to be CW based on most (not just our) SE site's FAQ.

As for the second one, it was made CW by the author, which is a personal decision. However, the question did meet the criteria to be CW. It was asking for opinions, which takes the post out of the realm of being a question and more into an opening topic for discussion.

The first one was made CW by Jeff. While on topic for this site, the question is far too vague to warrant the acceptance of a single correct answer. What kind of site? For what keywords? What Audience? If that question had been much more specific, such as:

I run a site that sells swing set parts for children. My domain is foo.com and my competitor is foobar.com. I'd like to increase our ranking to pick up our sales. I've tried doing [ list of stuff ], but no luck. Any suggestions?

It would probably not have been made Cw.

SEO questions are 100% on topic here, so long as they are asked in such a way that a specific answer can be crafted. SEO is not an exact science like programming or math. However, questions can be asked in such a way that answers will focus on a specific problem at hand that can conceivably be solved with advice or instructions given in a single answer.

As always, it is up to the OP to accept one of them.

I don't make a question CW just because it is about SEO, I make a question CW when:

  • A 'list of' stuff is asked for
  • A 'best of' comparison is asked for
  • A poll is being introduced (though, I usually close polls)
  • A question is on topic enough to remain open, but otherwise extremely broad

Also, please keep in mind that we are a very new site with a very new community. We're still in the process of figuring out exactly what we want the site to be (according to and possibly beyond its proposal) and working together to establish our ground rules.

Ground rules, of course are a happy medium of what the community really wants this site to be mixed with our experience of maintaining other Stack Exchange sites. Keep in mind that the majority of questions on Pro Webmasters are easily satisfied by a single expert answer, the questions that you linked are very much an exception, not a norm.


There is a discussion regarding the last question you included going on here.


The truth is, a bunch of webmasters/coders != internet marketers. Even worse, grouping the two together is almost offensive. Two totally different mindsets/professions.

  • Can you explain how an internet marketer would know more about information science (e.g. search ranking algorithms) than someone with a technical background? (SEO is not internet marketing)
    – danlefree
    Commented Mar 13, 2012 at 2:34
  • I'm sure my voice doesn't count, but that's the only reason I'm here. Because SO network needs an SEO site. If anything, whoever moderates this site needs to understand that closing topics and leaving them crawlable makes for the perfect keyword optimized page that just contributes to users bouncing back to SERPs and degrading usefulness in Google's eyes. The moderators think they're helping the community when in fact they're just creating some of the best optimized (yet non useful) pages I've seen in my career. If every page with a legitimate answer ranked as well as closed pages
    – SEO
    Commented Mar 13, 2012 at 2:36
  • we'd be in business
    – SEO
    Commented Mar 13, 2012 at 2:37
  • I'm not going to argue with you danlefree, or even cite wikipedia to insult your intelligence, but I would love to engage in a real discussion. I want to help out SO. If you would really like to talk, off the verbal abuse playground and be men about it, I would love to share my ideas with whoever will listen. If not, then I have no interest in whatever flame war you're trying to initiate
    – SEO
    Commented Mar 13, 2012 at 2:45
  • You are commenting on a question which hasn't been active in over a year (which is to say, the behavior this question was intended to address is no longer present on this site) and I apologize if you took my links out to Wikipedia as an insult (obviously not the intent - hopefully you see that). If you feel there is still a problem with the handling of SEO questions on this SE, please post your own Meta question and we'll hash it out.
    – danlefree
    Commented Mar 13, 2012 at 2:54
  • Ah. Didn't even notice! Thanks Danlefree. Sorry, misunderstanding and lack of sleep. Hope there's no hard feelings, as I love coders/webmasters :D:D. I'll be sure to do just that.
    – SEO
    Commented Mar 13, 2012 at 2:59

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