We're making a small-but-significant change to the Wikia experience today - we are standardizing the structure of all communities’ page titles (or “meta titles”). These are the words that show up in your browser window or tab, and they’re controlled by changing an entry in MediaWiki, the software that underpins Wikia.
We're doing this for one reason: Search Engine Optimization. Our research shows that page titles that deviate from a "norm" tend to do much worse in search results. Oftentimes this is a result of keyword stuffing, which was effective many years ago but has more recently turned counterproductive. Other times, the title modifications made to the page title deviated too far from the wikia's topic.
Going forward, the structure will simply display a community’s sitename, which is the default anyway, and will not be customizable. So to use one of Wikia’s own wikias as an example (yes, we’re learning from this research, too!), instead of looking like this for the main page:
>Cocktails Wiki Want to learn how to make cocktails or need to find a cocktail recipe for rum cocktails or vodka cocktails? Look up or add your favorite cocktail today! - Wikia
The page title will look like this:
>Cocktails Wiki - Wikia
For articles and other pages, the page name is placed before the sitename, like this
>Shirley Temple - Cocktails Wiki - Wikia
By making this change, our SEO team believes that we will be able to bring more traffic to your communities. The update works better with search engines’ automated indexing, and it also looks cleaner to human eyes on the search results page. And for your part, you can keep adding awesome content to your communities, because that's by far the best driver of SEO in the long term.
This change will only affect the small number of communities that had previously customized their page titles in the past, but I wanted to give you a heads-up here before we made a noticeable change to your community. We'll be rolling this out over the course of a few weeks, and search engine indexes will pick up the changes for a couple weeks after that, so if your page titles look inconsistent for a bit, that's expected.
Let me know in the comments if there are questions!