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How to win at Google/DC Database

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DC Database does very well for two major searches -- it's #5 for DC Comics and #4 for DC characters. The main page has a PageRank of 5/10. That's a great start!

Now, the challenge is to spread that good PageRank to the important pages on the site. The site doesn't show up in the top 100 for Batman, the Joker, Wonder Woman or the Flash, and it's at #60 for Superman.

The top priority for the wiki is to get higher search rank for the major characters. This can be done by giving priority to the New Earth character pages, and taking prominence away from the disambiguation pages.

Recommendations summaryEdit

  • Redesign the main page to eliminate excess links and link to the major character pages.
  • Move the major character pages to reflect the superhero names rather than the birth names.
  • Add words to the pagetitle to include major search terms, especially "DC Comics".
  • The disambiguation pages are too powerful. Reduce their prominence by moving "Superman" to "Superman (disambiguation)", and redirecting "Superman", "Clark Kent" and "Kal-El" to "Superman (New Earth)".
  • Reduce the number of links on the disambiguation pages by making the gallery into a portal, and only linking to the top level character page.
  • Direct links that currently go to the disambiguation pages to the appropriate character pages.
  • Eliminate excess links in the character infobox.
  • Eliminate templates at the bottom of the page that add excess links.
  • Eliminate categories that create excess links while providing limited benefit to readers.

Keyword dataEdit

Data collected on May 5th. "Average monthly searches" data is from the Google AdWords Keyword tool. "Wiki monthly hits" is from Analytics data. "Wiki rank" is from doing a Google search for that search term and counting.

Search term Avg monthly searches Wiki rank Wiki monthly hits Success rate
Batman 11,000,000 142 9 0
Superman 6,000,000 60 19 0
The Joker 1,000,000 191 16 0
Catwoman 800,000 20 6 0
Justice League 800,000 40 2 0
Wonder Woman 800,000 500+ 3 0
The Flash 500,000 500+ 0 0
Supergirl 500,000 492 0 0
Batman robin 400,000 500+ 0 0
Batmobile 300,000 500+ 0 0
DC Comics 300,000 5 358 .12%
Green Lantern 300,000 453 28 0
Aquaman 200,000 376 0 0
Green Arrow 100,000 127 0 0
Nightwing 100,000 500+ 0 0
The Riddler 100,000 500+ 0 0
Clark Kent 90,000 400 0 0
Gotham City 75,000 7 19 .03%
Swamp Thing 75,000 131 0 0
Lois Lane 60,000 59 2 0
Bruce Wayne 50,000 23 7 0
Lex Luthor 50,000 50 0 0
DC characters 25,000 4 77 .31%

As a comparison -- see Muppet Wiki's keyword data.

Top traffic sourcesEdit

These are the keywords that have brought in the most traffic in the last month:

  1. DC Comics (700 visits)
  2. Thomas Hewitt (600)
  3. Blackest Night (500)
  4. Jonah Hex (400)
  5. Black Lantern Corps (300)
  6. Larfleeze (250)
  7. Blue Lantern Corps (200)
  8. DC characters (150)
  9. Orange Lantern Corps (150)
  10. Black Canary (100)

Traffic for the major search terms is neglible.


  • Main Page: 5/10
  • Superman: 4/10
  • Batman: 3/10
  • Joker (New Earth): 3/10
  • Selina Kyle (New Earth): 3/10
  • Bruce Wayne (New Earth): 2/10
  • Catwoman: 2/10
  • Diana of Themyscira (New Earth): 2/10
  • Flash: 2/10
  • Justice League: 2/10
  • Justice League of America: 2/10
  • Kal-El (New Earth): 2/10
  • Kara Zor-El (New Earth): 2/10
  • Supergirl: 2/10
  • Wonder Woman: 2/10
  • Jason Garrick (New Earth): 1/10

How to winEdit

Main page linksEdit

In Google's Design and Content Guidelines, they suggest: "Keep the links on a given page to a reasonable number (fewer than 100)."

Google's algorithm counts a link to a page as a "vote" for that page. That vote is then split up and distributed among all the links on that page, and passed on to the linked pages. As you add more links to a page, the votes get spread out more, and the power of those votes gets weaker.

The position of the link on the page also matters.

There are 241 links on the main page, counting images. (Links in the skin don't count; those are set to no-follow.)

This includes:

  • 15 links to Project pages
  • 5 links to Special pages
  • 4 links to Help pages
  • 5 links to Template pages
  • 10 links to Gallery pages
  • 9 links to non-content Categories (Admin, Images, Article Requests, Cover Image Needed, etc)
  • 59 links to inadequate content in the Todo List
  • 35 links in the Blogs section
  • 31 links in the Cartoons and Comics footer

There are no links to major content pages like Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, etc.

Marvel Database cut down their main page considerably; I would suggest that DC follows the same model.

  • Take out all of the Project, Special and Help links at the top.
  • Add a character portal at the top with the major characters, linking to the New Earth versions.
  • Put the pieces of the main page onto the page itself instead of templates, so that there isn't a need for (source) links to the templates.
  • Add a few paragraphs of text at the bottom of the page about DC Comics. Link to the major characters and creators.
  • Take out the News, Fast Facts, Random image, ToDo List, International, Blogs and the Comics footer. These add tons of links without giving much benefit.
  • Add a list of This Week's Comics, with links to the current issues.

Article namesEdit

The major superhero pages should reflect their superhero names, rather than their birth names.

  • Kal-El (New Earth) --> Superman (New Earth)
  • Bruce Wayne (New Earth) --> Batman (New Earth)
  • Diana of Themyscira (New Earth) --> Wonder Woman (New Earth)


Changing the pagetitle can also add a boost on important search terms. Muppet Wiki changed the pagetitle to say Muppet Wiki - Muppets, Sesame Street, Jim Henson -- and saw a nice boost for some search terms.

For DC Database, adding the words Comics, Superheroes, Movies and/or Characters wouldn't hurt. "DC Comics - DC Database" would help more than "DC Database" does on its own.

Disambiguation pagesEdit

The disambiguation pages are sucking away the PageRank that should be going to the main New Earth character page. The Superman disambig page has 4/10, while Kal-El (New Earth) has 2/10. The problem with that is that the disambig page has almost no text on it, so it doesn't show up on many searches. It would be better if that situation was flipped around. There are a few ways to accomplish this.

  • Move "Superman" to "Superman (disambiguation)". Make "Superman", "Kal-El" and "Clark Kent" redirects to "Superman (New Earth)".
  • There are 401 links on the Superman disambig page. It's recommended that there should be 100 links or less on a page. The disambig's 4/10 PageRank is being split among 401 links, which is part of the reason why Kal-El gets 2/10.
  • Every item in the gallery has at least 7 links associated with it. Cut that down to one link per item, to the character page. If people want to see the gallery or quotes pages, they can go through the character page to get there.
  • Set up the gallery as a portal, so that the images link to the character page, instead of being wasted links to image pages.
  • There are approximately 1,000 pages that link to the Superman disambig page. Direct those to the appropriate character pages.

Eliminate excess linksEdit

Bruce Wayne (New Earth) has 541 links. We're working right now on the back end to put "nofollow" on some links that are currently followed, like footnotes and the table of contents. That will take care of some of the excess.

But there are lots of unnecessary links on the page:

  • 9 links to categories in the infobox, including Height, Single Characters and Black Hair.
  • 86 links in the Batman template, which link to a lot of disambiguation pages (giving them the PageRank benefit that should be going to content pages).
  • 16 links in template boxes at the bottom of the page, directing people to categories and disambig pages that are linked elsewhere on the page.
  • 59 categories, including Investigation, Secret Identity and Aikido.

Links within the content are good -- those are relevant links that help people explore the site, and they give appropriate PageRank benefits to the linked pages. However, repetitive links, links to categories and links to disambig pages do nothing but dilute the PageRank, for the page itself and for the linked pages. That's why the Batman disambig has 3/10, and Bruce Wayne (New Earth) has 2/10.


Search term May 5 July 19
Batman 142 43
Superman 60 49
The Joker 119 109
Catwoman 20 34
Justice League 40 37
Wonder Woman 500+ 77
The Flash 500+ 142
Supergirl 492 43
Batman robin 500+ 64
Batmobile 500+ 46
DC Comics 5 10
Green Lantern 453 365
Aquaman 376 229
Green Arrow 127 36
Nightwing 500+ 469
The Riddler 500+ 500+
Clark Kent 400 325
Gotham City 7 8
Swamp Thing 131 430
Lois Lane 59 56
Bruce Wayne 23 16
Lex Luthor 50 26
DC characters 4 4

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