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Make it easier for search engines to index anchors on mobile
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Description

Search engines (like Google and Bing) allow web searchers to click directly to a section of a web page. If the answer to a user's specific question is in the "career" section of a Wikipedia page, the user should be taken to that section...particularly on mobile where the sections are collapsed and it might be hard to scan for the answer. Our pages aren't optimized for this.

  1. On mobile, there is no "link" on the page to the sections headers.
  2. Apparently a #! makes it easier for google to consider section headers as unique urls

See here:

https://www.searchenginepeople.com/blog/anchor-links.html

From a recent SEO review of our site:
"The page anchor is not rendered properly inside the mobile browser. Using an ahref anchor may be a better option to take users directly to the content they are searching for. This would also improve mobile search by reducing taps and scrolling."

Related: T182069

Developer notes

Restoring the table of contents is trivial and there is not much of a performance trade off for doing so.
That said, it presents a huge design challenge as this screencast shows (table of contents can take up multiple scrolling screens pushing down content):

Event Timeline

JKatzWMF created this task.Jul 6 2018, 3:47 PM
Restricted Application added a subscriber: Aklapper. · View Herald TranscriptJul 6 2018, 3:47 PM
Deskana triaged this task as Normal priority.Jul 6 2018, 4:15 PM
Deskana added projects: SEO, Mobile, MobileFrontend.
Deskana moved this task from Tag to 2018 SEO project outcomes on the SEO board.
Jdlrobson added a subscriber: Jdlrobson.

On mobile, there is no "link" on the page to the sections headers.
"The page anchor is not rendered properly inside the mobile browser. Using an ahref anchor may be a better option to take users directly to the content they are searching for.

Could you elaborate on this?
We currently render:

<h2 class="in-block section-heading" onclick="javascript:mfTempOpenSection(1)"><div class="mw-ui-icon mw-ui-icon-element indicator"></div><span class="mw-headline" id="Early_life">Early life</span><span><a href="/w/index.php?title=Peter_Jeffrey_(RAAF_officer)&amp;action=edit&amp;section=1" title="Edit section: Early life" data-section="1" class="mw-ui-icon mw-ui-icon-element mw-ui-icon-minerva-edit-enabled edit-page">Edit</a></span></h2>

Is the suggestion to wrap the mw-headline span in a link to itself or to link to it from something else in the page e.g. table of contents?

I know "yes" for the latter, but not sure about the former

Jdlrobson updated the task description. (Show Details)Jul 6 2018, 10:06 PM
Jdlrobson updated the task description. (Show Details)
Jdlrobson moved this task from Needs triage to Triaged on the Mobile board.Jul 10 2018, 9:03 PM

What about a floating button on the bottom-right corner, that when pushed opens the table of contents? That way you can easily access the TOC, independently on the scroll position (also useful to reach the top of the page). Of course, this would be more an improvement to UX, not SEO itself (depending on how it's done)

What about a floating button on the bottom-right corner, that when pushed opens the table of contents? That way you can easily access the TOC, independently on the scroll position (also useful to reach the top of the page). Of course, this would be more an improvement to UX, not SEO itself (depending on how it's done)

It's an interesting thought, yes! User interface redesigns are outside the very narrow scope of this task though, as it's focussed specifically on the aspects relating to search engine optimisation.

cscott added a subscriber: cscott.Jul 19 2018, 2:04 PM

Unbreaking section links on mobile would be a good idea. I'm not sure I understand exactly how they are broken, however?

CKoerner_WMF renamed this task from Make it easier for google to index anchors on mobile to Make it easier for search engines to index anchors on mobile.Sep 4 2018, 6:37 PM
CKoerner_WMF updated the task description. (Show Details)