File:Impact of sitemaps on Italian Wikipedia search engine-referred traffic.pdf

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English: In July 2018, the Italian Wikipedia instituted a temporary block to protest the copyright potential copyright changes in Europe. This had a negative side-effect of search engines sending traffic to the redirected page even after the redirect was turned off, so the Wikimedia Foundation's Performance Team created and deployed sitemaps for the Italian Wikipedia (and submitted them to Google Search Console) on August 10th, 2018 — both as a fix to the problem at hand and as an initial foray into sitemaps for Wikimedia projects. We used Bayesian time series intervention analysis with hierarchical modeling to analyze desktop traffic to the Italian Wikipedia from all recognized search engines and found that approximately 9.2K pageviews (95% CI: -4.6K–31K) — an increase of 0.75% from the daily average of 1.24M — could be attributed to the deployment of sitemaps, up to a long-term boost of 35K (95% CI: -12K–87K). These initial results are not particularly impressive. Although the confidence interval extends below 0 — signifying chance of negative effect — we can say with some certainty that sitemaps at least do not hurt traffic, but there is currently no strong, convincing evidence that they improve it either (especially not by much). We recommend further testing on wikis where there would be no artefacts such as the redirect, and where the size of the wiki might affect how useful sitemaps are to its search engine-referred traffic.
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Author MPopov (WMF)


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current15:29, 10 October 2018Thumbnail for version as of 15:29, 10 October 20181,275 × 1,650, 13 pages (4.32 MB)MPopov (WMF) (talk | contribs)User created page with UploadWizard

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