Type in your suggestion - new feature or improvement idea

SEO - Improve Member Directory Indexing by Search Engines

Current Situation

Member Directory content will not always be indexed by search engines even if the pages are publicly visible.

Desired Situation

Have all publicly visible pages (including member directories) be fully exposed and visible to search engines to improve site SEO ranking potential.

19 votes
Sign in
Check!
(thinking…)
Reset
or sign in with
  • facebook
  • google
    Password icon
    I agree to the terms of service
    Signed in as (Sign out)

    We’ll send you updates on this idea

    Frank aka Fresh ApricotAdminFrank aka Fresh Apricot (User Experience, Wild Apricot) shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    24 comments

    Sign in
    Check!
    (thinking…)
    Reset
    or sign in with
    • facebook
    • google
      Password icon
      I agree to the terms of service
      Signed in as (Sign out)
      Submitting...
      • Steve TaylorSteve Taylor commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Any news on this, surely as a membership application the directory and search engine visibility should be a priority but it seems that events have taken over development time at the cost of the core function of the product. Please put more effort into the members part or we will have to look at moiving back to joomla and the community add-on there

      • EricEric commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        What is the status of this? I want to add our voice to the long list of clients who insist that SEO of member profile pages be a priority. Member profiles need to be indexible by search engines.

      • Steve TaylorSteve Taylor commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This is fundamental for a membership website and a big hole in our move to Wild Apricot as we got good listings for our members and now they are not showing hardly at all. This is a basic SEO requirement and I believe should be escalated to a release very soon.

      • Larry RachmanLarry Rachman commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This issue is critical for us as well - especially because our previous (non-WA) web site was easily indexed by the search engines. Our developer has offered us something of a kludge to achieve this, by having a static page for each member that would be visible to search engines. But it's exactly that - a kludge. The way I think this should work is that each member's directory page should be (optionally?) visible to, and therefore indexable by, the search engines. I realize that 'under the hood' directory pages are created on the fly dynamically, but that's more an issue of implementation than functionality.

      • BrooksBrooks commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I would like this feature added as well!

        p.s. - Everyone who wants/needs new features. Please be sure to speak up in these forums. I believe if we make it clear which issues are important to us, those issues will bubble up higher on the release list.

        As we all know - time is precious and limited. The WA developers will focus their efforts on the issues that they believe is most important to us.

      • devrapdevrap commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I would have to agree that the SEO issue--and general difficulty promoting member pages in general-- is the most important issue to my clients.

        I have been keeping tabs on the live road map, and I have to say, plans for SEO are really not featured there prominently. "SEO enhancements - 301 redirects" does not take care of either member profile indexing or providing a sitemap.xml (or equivalent) index to make this compatible with search engines and 3rd party SEO tools.

        Surely there have been more than 10 requests for that to make the list somewhere?

        Many thanks.

      • Dmitry ButerinDmitry Buterin commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Craig - I fully agree with everything you say.
        It is a very important request and we accordingly assign it very high priority on our product roadmap - and it still has to be considered in the context of other highly important requests.

        Please see http://www.wildapricot.com/blogs/newsblog/2014/05/29/wild-apricot-software-roadmap-beyond-version-5 for the discussion of our roadmap and a link to live version.

      • Craig CooleyCraig Cooley commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Dear Dmitry,

        I think you miss the point. It is not about greater SEO success, it is about providing services to our membership base that they require, the deal breaker. If they cannot be found as members, they won't join.

        To further this conversation, consider that not everyone reads "wish lists", it is a nice feature, but.... we don't have a lot of time. If something is not offered, we don't purchase. If we purchase something and find it is missing a component we desperately need, we find a new application, we will leave and say nothing. We can't wait, time is money and it is much easier to just move on.

        Your cost of "client acquisition", I am certain is high, but likely not as nearly as high as the unseen cost of low "client retention", and dismissive "no sale" shoppers. Certainly, high customer satisfaction and word of mouth is the best advertisement any enterprise can hope for.....

        I feel for many membership organizations the situation with one of my non-profit art organizations is typical. Members want to be easily found, visibility, and artist particularly want visibility, it is the bane of their existence. All the other galleries, museums, city cultural organizations pride themselves that others can find members easily, communicate and "sell"; they facilitate art admirers finding artists. Can't find them? It truly is a deal breaker.

        Like LinkedIn, you search for someone you will find them... the same with Facebook. I ask what percent of LinkedIn members are members as a result of media advertising? What percent of LinkedIn members are members as the result of finding an associate as a member and becoming one themselves. I suggest it is the latter, 20 to 80 I would guess. Certainly the same dynamic applies to Facebook. It works, it is a cheap method of "client acquisition", we want the same.

        Remember, our success as your customer, is your success. Help us be successful, as Nike says, JUST DO IT! Please no more rhetoric, no more excuses. Members join your customer's organizations for good reasons, a primary one is that they want to be associated with the organization, and certainly found, visibility. And for Wild Apricot, membership organizations that see that you are the membership management software provider for other membership organizations is noted; referrals should be rewarded. So, we as your customers and you as a service provider have similar needs. Our visibility, our member's visibility, is also your visibility, remember "Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software"?

        Thanks for listening,

        Craig Cooley

      • Craig CooleyCraig Cooley commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Dear Dmitry,

        Not everyone reads "wish lists".... we don't have a lot of time. If something is not offered, we don't purchase. If we purchase something and find it is missing a component we desperately need, we find a new application, we will leave and say nothing. We can't wait, time is money and it is much easier to just move on.

        Your cost of "client acquisition", I am certain is high, but likely not as nearly as high as the unseen cost of low "client retention", and dismissive "no sale" shoppers. Certainly, high customer satisfaction and word of mouth is the best advertisement any enterprise can hope for.....

        I feel for many membership organizations the situation with one of my non-profit art organizations is typical. Members want to be easily found, visibility, and artist particularly want visibility, it is the bane of their existence. All the other galleries, museums, city cultural organizations pride themselves that others can find members easily, communicate and "sell"; they facilitate art admirers finding artists. Can't find them? It truly is a deal breaker.

        Like LinkedIn, you search for someone you will find them... the same with Facebook. I ask what percent of LinkedIn members are members as a result of media advertising? What percent of LinkedIn members are members as the result of finding an associate as a member and becoming one themselves. I suggest it is the latter, 20 to 80 I would guess. Certainly the same dynamic applies to Facebook. It works, it is a cheap method of "client acquisition", we want the same.

        Remember, our success as your customer, is your success. Help us be successful, as Nike says, JUST DO IT! Please no more rhetoric, no more excuses. Members join your customer's organizations for good reasons, a primary one is that they want to be associated with the organization, and certainly found, visibility. And for Wild Apricot, membership organizations that see that you are the membership management software provider for other membership organizations is noted; referrals should be rewarded. So, we as your customers and you as a service provider have similar needs. Our visibility, our member's visibility, is also your visibility, remember "Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software"?

        Thanks for listening,

        Craig Cooley

      • devrapdevrap commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Wow. This is actually a really important integrated feature: that your public membership pages be indexable and SEO optimized.

        Truly, this might be a deal-breaker for my client who has been evaluating W.A. this past month. It has many integrated and attractive features for the price point. But for member pages to be SEO-optimized? Is crucial.

        At the heart of what membership-based websites need is for their members to be FINDABLE to the public. This is what drives membership! So this means a) needing simple, name-based url's, for ease of publicizing as well as SEO; b) for public member profile page content to be indexed; and c) for there to be an updated search tool that integrates google maps (or alternate) and offers a zip code proximity search (I realize this is a different wish list item/thread, just wanted to mention it here because it is related--driving the public to find the members near them).

        I'm pretty shocked to read that counter pretty much all web/mobile/internet trends trying to stay current with ever-changing SEO algorithms to help drive traffic, and given W.A.'s real focus on membership-based websites, that this is so low priority.

        This really might be the deal-breaker. I don't think my client can likely, in good conscience, move from their current website to W.A. if it will mean their clients losing search engine rankings. Which would be really sad, as we've invested a lot of time into thoroughly evaluating the amazing things W.A. can do.

      • jerrybrown11743jerrybrown11743 commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Our organization rejected a website development proposal because of this problem. The developer was going to use Wild Apricot widgets in several areas of the site, including a membership directory. Pricing was very attractive and we invested considerable effort in preparing and reviewing plans over several months before this issue surfaced. It was a deal-killer.

        Our organization is the IEEE Consultant's Network of Long Island (http://www.licn.org ). We have 40 members who are sole proprietors of consulting businesses. Our current site is a conventional design which uses HTML for our membership directory. Each entry is a separate page which includes contact information along with several paragraphs describing the member's practice. Page include keywords and metatags. Searchs will often find these pages. For example, a Google search for "microprocessor consultant long island ny" will bring up several of our member's listings.

        Our members pay annual fees for membership and listing on the site is one the primary reasons they join. So, they are adamant about search engine indexing.

      • Dmitry ButerinDmitry Buterin commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Ian,

        Yes, that's the plan - to address this soon after releasing the new CMS.

        FYI, I highly doubt that indexing your member pages would affect *your site* Google ranking in any way. It *might* give *your member sites* a *tiny* boost - but unless they have great keyword reach descriptions in their profiles, closely related to your other site content, this would not affect your site ranking. In fact, it might have slight negative effect if it adds lots of outbound links (I assume that each member has a link to their own site on their profile page). SEO is a very complex area.

      • iantiant commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Dmitry,
        Thanks for your response.
        I imagine that the vast majority of your clients are like me – we only look at the wishlist and other areas of the forums when we have a problem and I’m sure that most of them don’t know they have a problem! I assumed that our web site was “Google-friendly” not that the greater part of it is completely unsearchable as far as Google is concerned.

        I imagine that if you sent out an email to all your business-oriented clients asking “Do you care whether Google can search and rank ALL of your site?”, the overwhelming response would be “of course we do!! Fix it!!”
        If you don’t agree, I would encourage you to contact your business-oriented clients and ask them .

        You note that our site is not highly ranked by Google – only 3/10 when I last checked – and that’s not surprising when 300 or more of our pages are hidden from the search tools is it?

        I understand and agree that it makes sense to delay any changes until your new CMS system and architecture is in place but would urge you to schedule this change as soon as possible after that date and give us a commitment that problem will be rectified in 2012.

        Regards,
        Ian
        Worthing and adur chamber of commerce
        www.worthingandadurchamber.co.uk

      • Dmitry ButerinDmitry Buterin commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Ian, this is on our roadmap - but I currently see the priority of this as relatively low, given two things:

        1) Few comments on this thread

        2) As I understand, the idea is that your members will get a bit of SEO benefit by having a link from your site. It seems to me that this benefit would be imperceptibly small in most cases, given that it's just one link and that your own site is not a very high ranking site in Google.

        One other factor is that we need to wait for version 5.0 (~late summer 2012) which will have new CMS and new architecture for displaying all functional pages, only then it would make sense to consider changes to member directory.

        I would appreciate feedback.

      • iantiant commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Another 6 months has gone by without any progress on this subject.

        As a Chamber of Commerce this is very important to us and our members and I'm sure to any other of your clients that have businesses as members.

        Are there any plans to get this on the roadmap? Do you have any idea how much work is involved and therefore what the likelyhood is of us ever seeing this corrected?

        Regards,
        Ian
        worthing and adur chamber of commerce
        http://www.worthingandadurchamber.co.uk

      • MeaganMeagan commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        [quote user="kchayka"]

        [quote user="Apricot's Kernel"]Member directly is shown using JS code and this is not properly handled by search engines. [/quote]

        I'm inclined to think this is not so much a flaw in search engine indexing, as you imply, but of the membership directory design. Some effort was put into making static pages search engine friendly, but the member directory, which is probably the most important part of the system, was left out of that mix. I hope you are giving this problem some priority.

        [/quote]

        I agree and would like to see this given a high priority as our members joins us for the eduction we offer and the advocacy we provide on behalf of an industry. If our members could be found through us it would add SO much value to membership!

      • kchaykakchayka commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        [quote user="Apricot's Kernel"]Member directly is shown using JS code and this is not properly handled by search engines. [/quote]

        I'm inclined to think this is not so much a flaw in search engine indexing, as you imply, but of the membership directory design. Some effort was put into making static pages search engine friendly, but the member directory, which is probably the most important part of the system, was left out of that mix. I hope you are giving this problem some priority.

      ← Previous 1

      Feedback and Knowledge Base

      Wild Apricot Inc. 144 Front Street West Suite 725, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5J 2L7