Wikia Search: Crap

January 07th, 2008 – 21 Comments

Wikia Search LogoDave asked what people think of Wikia Search, and I can’t say anything else but: crap. The results are crap, and what’s worse, you can’t track anything from it.

Check out the query for my name. #1 is me, as it should, out of the other 10 results, 5 are german. I’m searching from the Netherlands, with a browser with it’s main language set to english, and still, it thinks that off all the pages on the web about me, 5 of the most relevant ones are German, and one other is Dutch and one is French…

URL’s and Referrers
The URL for result pages look like this: That’s with the search query behind the #. You know what that means? That ALL traffic referred to you by this stupid search engine will look as though it comes from

In all: it’s crap.

21 Responses to Wikia Search: Crap

    By INDERT on 11 February, 2008

    After testing Wikia myself and read alot about it I knew it is an bad system which is made only to make money for themselves.

  2. Sergey Rusak
    By Sergey Rusak on 11 January, 2008

    I read hundereds of bad reviwes about Wikia. When I tested Wikia I gave me the most wierd results for my search inquries.

  3. PromoMasters
    By PromoMasters on 9 January, 2008

    I think they are hard working on getting things better. Special characters like ä ö ü are already up and running. But still acting case sensitive which is really funny. Michael P.S.: all new projects are labeled as pre-alpha and beta – this shows that is a project of a cool company :-)

  4. martijn
    By martijn on 9 January, 2008

    Can you consider something launched when it’s still in pre-alpha-alpha status?
    Going public was a wrong decision imo. They should have stayed stealth and use invitees. Lack of quality on this product is troublesome. I’m very curious if things will change fast, how and if.

  5. Pablo
    By Pablo on 8 January, 2008

    Feels better to read this just after i made a blogpost saying its crap ;)

  6. PromoMasters
    By PromoMasters on 8 January, 2008

    I don’t want to call it crap but I am absolutely wondered that Wikia works case sensitive and does not understand european characters. This is the minimum I have expected to work correctly. Further it is silly to click on Smaller test to get the good results and regulary all the crab. Michael

  7. Las Vegas SEO - Terry reeves
    By Las Vegas SEO - Terry reeves on 8 January, 2008

    I agree. Crap!

    I played around with it today and found it almost humorous.

    This is not the way to take over Google’s dominance in search.

  8. Joost de Valk
    By Joost de Valk on 8 January, 2008

    @Jules: I do “get” the privacy bit, I just think it’s crap :P not from you, but treating it like that.

  9. Jules
    By Jules on 8 January, 2008

    @Joost: I understand what you mean. If you’re a company that operates in the top-percentile of web-strategy-awareness, this is a bad thing. You get the point.

    However, you do not get the privacy bit ;-). The point I’m trying to make regarding privacy is: The less information about yourself and your actions you put “out there”, the better your privacy is. Regardless of what companies do with that information, and certainly regardless of the webmasters you happen to know.

  10. Joost de Valk
    By Joost de Valk on 7 January, 2008

    There’s a difference between “low quality” and pure crap… It feels like getting 10 random pages sometimes.

    The # in the referrer might be a “privacy blessing”, but only up till the moment when people realize that the fact that when companies know what people search for it actually makes them serve them better.

    And I don’t know ANY webmaster that tries to combine IP and keywords to pin down specific people, we only use aggregate data.

  11. Jules
    By Jules on 7 January, 2008

    The # in the referrer is a privacy blessing (and a SEO nightmare).

    This is a _user_ search engine, not a webmasters search engine, so I actually think the # construction is very, very clever.

    Disclaimer: I work for a web analytics company, so I can feel your pain, Joost.

    And to quote wikia: “We are aware that the quality of the search results is low..”. It’s an alpha release, give them a break.

  12. André Scholten
    By André Scholten on 7 January, 2008

    A quote from their site:

    Of course, before we start, we have no user feedback data. So the results are pretty bad.

    Then why the fuck did they launch? Take a focus group and put something a bit more useful together, but don’t launch this crap.

    I’ve read about 15 blogs on this new engine and all are negative…

  13. Erik-Jan
    By Erik-Jan on 7 January, 2008

    @Joost: Well, that’s another problem. I heard you could write a topic and delete the edit modus for others. This means that I could write about all your dirty secrets and there’s nothing you could against it, besides kicking an admin (but who’s that?).

  14. Roy
    By Roy on 7 January, 2008

    hehehe well for my own name it would return this blog ;)

  15. Joost de Valk
    By Joost de Valk on 7 January, 2008

    Hehe Erik-Jan, I’m just waiting for you to write it ;)

  16. Erik-Jan
    By Erik-Jan on 7 January, 2008

    Joost, you must be quite furious:

    “We do not have a mini article about “joost de valk”. Improve the search results for everyone by starting this article!”

    That doesn’t look like you!

  17. corey
    By corey on 7 January, 2008

    agreed. it can’t handle ampersands, and doesn’t identify bad searches by returning zero results. i searched for a string that appears no where on the web and got 272,000 results.

  18. MelC
    By MelC on 7 January, 2008

    You tell it like it is Joost!!!

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