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We all love Mathematics Educators Stack Exchange, but there is a whole world of people out there who need answers to their questions and don't even know that this site exists. When they arrive from Google, what will their first impression be? Let's try to look at this site through the eyes of someone who's never seen it before, and see how we stack up against the rest of the 'Net.

The Site Self-Evaluation review queue is open and populated with 10 questions that were asked and answered in the last quarter. Run a few Google searches to see how easy they are to find and compare the answers we have with the information available on other sites.

Rating the questions is only a part of the puzzle, though. Do you see a pattern of questions that should have been closed but are not? Questions or answers that could use an edit? Anything that's going really well? Post an answer below to share your thoughts and discuss these questions and the site's health with your fellow users!

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We had some great questions this past quarter. My main issue with many of them is searchability via Google. You have to be oddly specific for many of them, and even then, they are not always the top spot. We should try to make more adjustments to titles to reflect this; it might help with attracting more users. With the plethora of K-12 teaching websites, we need to do more to have distinctive question titles.

I found an old meta post that had good answers with a rundown on titles that is even more relevant today: On Strange Attractive Titles.

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    $\begingroup$ When you say "distinctive" do you mean "actually reflects what the question is about"? If so, then I fully agree. $\endgroup$ – DavidButlerUofA Mar 24 '15 at 18:47
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    $\begingroup$ @DavidButlerUofA Yes I do. It should help with the searchability issue. $\endgroup$ – Chris C Mar 24 '15 at 20:38
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    $\begingroup$ The matheducators.stackexchange.com/questions/7283/… one is particularly frustrating with the Google search, because you seem to need the word "solve" and "problem" to find it, rather than "do" and "calculation". Also if you include the word "student" to try to make it more specific, you stop it appearing at all! $\endgroup$ – DavidButlerUofA Mar 25 '15 at 15:16
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    $\begingroup$ @DavidButlerUofA I was thinking of that one as well. It's a great question, but you just can't find it. $\endgroup$ – Chris C Mar 25 '15 at 18:09
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I'm finding that the content of the MESE questions/answers is fairly unique among the things you find elsewhere, since most searches for similar things come up with advice for students rather than for teachers. Unfortunately, actually getting it to come up early is a different matter, because of this proliferation of advice directed at students.

For example, the Study groups question is a puzzle. If you search for similar questions in Google, you get a lot of sites from university's academic skills centres telling students how to form study groups or the benefits of them, but almost nothing on how the teacher can encourage it. So in the sense of actually providing answers to this specific question MESE is doing well. Unfortunately, the actual MESE question rarely comes up in the first few pages.

A similar thing happens when you search Google for the Handwritten versus typed course notes question -- you get a lot of stuff for students on whether they should handwrite or type when they are in the lecture themselves, or a lot of stuff on optical character recognition. Though this time it's common for the MESE question to come up early in Google results, at least if you say "lecture notes" rather than just "notes"

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    $\begingroup$ This is an interesting observation; I share the impression. $\endgroup$ – quid Mar 26 '15 at 16:53
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Final Results

Net Score: 8 (Excellent: 9, Satisfactory: 2, Needs Improvement: 1)


Net Score: 6 (Excellent: 6, Satisfactory: 6, Needs Improvement: 0)


Net Score: 6 (Excellent: 6, Satisfactory: 3, Needs Improvement: 0)


Net Score: 3 (Excellent: 4, Satisfactory: 5, Needs Improvement: 1)


Net Score: 1 (Excellent: 4, Satisfactory: 5, Needs Improvement: 3)


Net Score: 1 (Excellent: 4, Satisfactory: 4, Needs Improvement: 3)


Net Score: 1 (Excellent: 3, Satisfactory: 6, Needs Improvement: 2)


Net Score: 1 (Excellent: 3, Satisfactory: 6, Needs Improvement: 2)


Net Score: 0 (Excellent: 5, Satisfactory: 3, Needs Improvement: 5)


Net Score: 0 (Excellent: 2, Satisfactory: 7, Needs Improvement: 2)


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    $\begingroup$ The breakdown of Excellent vs. Needs Improvement is somewhat bizarre. $\endgroup$ – Benjamin Dickman Apr 2 '15 at 5:04

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