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April 12, 2024 - @483.25 (what is this?)
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Author Topic: How is the old web/web revival so well "hidden"?  (Read 516 times)
Yaya
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« on: February 06, 2024 @641.39 »

I've been wondering for a while how the old web/web revival is so well hidden?

My one thought is that this may be a result of companies funneling a ton of money into SEO so then we get pushed to the bottom, but it just doesn't seem to me like most people stumble upon the old web.

I guess I find this interesting because no one is actively hiding anything. Like this forum or other web revival sites can easily be found by searching, but I guess if it is not someone's interest then they won't find it.

Another thing that might be helping is the fact that many of us have partially or fully exited social media, so we're not pushing our sites on those platforms--and many of us are not pushing our sites at all (besides sharing on a forum thread here or on neocities where there is already interest) since for most of us our sites are for ourselves along with other interested people.

Again I just find this super cool as the web revival has a "hidden in plain sight" vibe that is just awesome.

Curious y'alls thoughts!

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ThunderPerfectWitchcraft
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« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2024 @662.26 »

Your SEO thingy is about right. Recently a german language writer used the exactly same title that I used before her for my little music project for a rather small publication, with the result that you won't my thing anymore by searching its name in the german googel version (it went down to rank 81). I didn't use any marketing agency, but did quite a bit of promotion for it over the years, but I'm out-SEOed by every digital book store, commercial review page, and so on.

Before stumbling over this place, I searched a few times for active BB-communities (since I loved BBs back then) - and only found either dead places or reddit threads that discussed their decline; ultimately my gateway to this place and the web revival was a friend who I first met on an existing semi-active board for free software video game development and who linked me to the page of the frugal gamer - I'd never had found it over search engines and social media.

So yeah: I believe that the big corporations preferance for commercial stuff and the commercial actors ability to buy visibility is just pushing largely uncommercial movements and players to the brink of the internet. There might be other factors, but I believe them to be minor ones.
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KittyTheKat
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« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2024 @690.01 »

Another thing that might be helping is the fact that many of us have partially or fully exited social media, so we're not pushing our sites on those platforms--and many of us are not pushing our sites at all (besides sharing on a forum thread here or on neocities where there is already interest) since for most of us our sites are for ourselves along with other interested people.

So yeah: I believe that the big corporations preferance for commercial stuff and the commercial actors ability to buy visibility is just pushing largely uncommercial movements and players to the brink of the internet. There might be other factors, but I believe them to be minor ones.

Yeah, I think these are related reasons. I only found out about Neocities and this forum through someone's Tumblr post. The movement is designed around requiring you to personally search and explore things you find interesting about it, so it won't reach people who interact with the Internet primarily through algorithms on social media or search engines. It's not profitable to companies to promote small projects or outside links, so to find the web revival stuff you have to either actively search for it or happen upon it on a less algorithmic platform like I did.
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« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2024 @699.43 »

Good topic. I don't actually think it's *that* hidden. If you google search web revival, the first two results link to Melon. There's then reddit threads about it, SpaceHey posts, etc. I think the issue is, it's a very specific subset of people who are interested in this. I would say the majority of young internet users who weren't online in the 90s / 2000s, probably aren't looking for web revival stuff. They're more than likely on TikTok / Instagram / whatever, where all their friends are.

I looked for old web / revival stuff because I simply got sick of what the internet has become and missed that time. This is something those younger folks just won't feel because they weren't around. But there is a ton of information out there about web revival. It's just knowing what to search in order to find it.

I do think your SEO point is valid though. Google search no longer functions like it should, and instead favours paid results. So this certainly doesn't help. For people trying to find niche websites, they probably won't have much luck on Google. But if they are looking for web revival, it doesn't look too difficult to find.

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« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2024 @710.36 »

I actually have Google Search Console stats for this forum/melonland site along with my own personal site, which tell me how many times the the site appears in a Google search and what words people were searching when it appeared  :omg:

The forum appeared in about 9000 searches last month, and of those 9k appearances, it was clicked on about 800 times. (These might sound big to some people, but I think as far as Google numbers go, it's very small - for comparison, I also have analytics data for the forum and only about 8% of visitors come from Google)

The terms people were searching for were primarily (in order of # of clicks): "melonland", "melonland forum", "melon land", "90s texture CDs", "old web revival", "yesterweb", "scm music player not working" and "vistaserv" - they make sense since those are quite specific and unusual searches, and I think the kinda person searching those things would be more open to the design and style of the forum - the trend across all my sites is that most search traffic comes from people who already know about the site and are just searching its name instead of typing a URL!  :drat:

I dunno if any of those people looking up texture CDs actually joined, but I hope they were able to find the information they were looking for!

For my personal site; the most-google-searched-for and clicked page is the Emo Text Generator which I find funny; but again it makes sense since it's fun, unusual and useful for people who want to write some quick emo text! (Otherwise quite similar, 3000 appearances and 250 clicks - only about 4% of traffic coming via Google - this site has no SEO appeal and that's how I like it!  :tongue: )
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schiavona
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« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2024 @725.38 »

It's early so I'm gonna try to be brief!  :smile:

I really do think it is both a combination of SEO chicanery as well as what I see as a trend towards a lack of curiosity. Why would anyone ever go exploring when fresh hot content is being served up to you on a silver platter by the companies analyzing your browsing habits? I think because there's no real reason to explore on a lot of these big websites, people just don't do it when they use them, and when you combine that with the SEO stuff that's happening, well, I guess when you can't find what you want, you just take in what you're served. Now by no means am I saying this is a universal thing in the least, and I don't really have much in the way of examples to back it up, so I'm just throwing spaghetti at the wall in hopes someone smarter than me will either validate or be like "actually, it's more like this..." 'cause if this is just my own limited perspective, I'd love to know!

Whew, less brief than I thought it was gonna be though.
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ThunderPerfectWitchcraft
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« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2024 @740.45 »

Yeah, I think these are related reasons. I only found out about Neocities and this forum through someone's Tumblr post. The movement is designed around requiring you to personally search and explore things you find interesting about it, so it won't reach people who interact with the Internet primarily through algorithms on social media or search engines. It's not profitable to companies to promote small projects or outside links, so to find the web revival stuff you have to either actively search for it or happen upon it on a less algorithmic platform like I did.

Oh, I absolutely tried to go on the big, established social media - especially when starting to release games; I wanted them to be seen and played. But I quickly realized that you can't get though there with just zeal - if you want visibility, you need either money (to buy it) or much energy combined with at least a bit of ruthlessness - because if you are a cheapskate, the algorithm is stacked against you, and what remains is a highly contested ground where some people will play dirty to hold it (ofc there is the chance of going luckily big by chance - but that's the jackpot, and very unlikely to happen). If you refuse both, you'll stay mostly invisible on the traditional social media networks. I suppose the same thing is true for websites (or art in general): If you want visiblity, you either have to invest your money, or go all out in marketing them yourself - and this is something that people usually don't do if they don't want to make a living out of it.
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