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Last time I was using SL viewer search to try to find some sims with vibrant communities and when I TP-ed to lands appeared as the top search results I found lands with no people on them or just bots. I always look to tp to lands that on search listing appear on top and with highest traffic number in hope to find people to meet and to talk to. I believe its same case for everyone else. We're in SL mostly to interact with other people while sharing same 3D space/environment. 3D worlds that are empty (SANSAR) fail.

In my opinion SL search is highly dysfunctional and it is not really serving its purpose. I also think general SL community and everyone who cares for Second Life should keep putting this topic in focus.

Let me give a simple example how its indirectly hurting Second Life's growth potential. A new SL Resident uses SL search to try to find a land with community of interest to him. He gets search results clicks and teleports to a few lands and finds all lands empty and no people to interact with. Closes the SL viewer and never uses it again.

I think it is very bad for Second Life that its very hard to find lands through SL search who have genuine real human traffic and communities. It hurts SL. Bots traffic manipulation is the biggest reason why SL search doesn't really work and can not serve its main function of connecting individual with communities based on keywords of interest.

I think if LL appointed at least 1 employee or just even 1 - 2 work hours a day for someone to be checking if there are bots (bot traffic gaming) going on in the TOP 10 listed lands on search it would considerably improve the SL search user experience (no matter what kind of algorithm is employed as long as its based on trying to showcase genuine foot traffic - where most people hang out).
(If the problem is money - it can be solved by organizing willing and caring participants from SL community to do that in similar fashion as SL moles are organized).

I always liked to take perspective of Second Life as sort of 3D internet and SL lands/sims as websites. In Second Life you want to be able to find communities that you would like to take part in. It needs to be easy, fast and convenient. If new people coming to SL can fast find communities that they can get integrated in that also contributes helping to solve the player/user retention rate (a problem LL management should in my opinion always keep highest on list of priorities).

Just imagine if Google search was listing websites who artificially inflate their visitors numbers with bots. How fast do you think Google would loose their search engine market share against others who focus on preventing that? In early days Google managed to become the most successful search engine company because Larry Page and Sergey Bring managed to come up with a website ranking algorithm (I think its also based on points / score) that helps highest value information providing websites be ranked higher per keyword. Google and other search engines improved what most people understand under "internet" and search engines became synonym with internet while internet as TCP/IP and many other protocols is much more than that.

So to improve Second Life in the perspective that it can be seen as sort of 3D web where the main goal is to connect people with various interests with communities of their interest. There are so many communities in Second Life - it is amazing. The sad thing is that many of those communities are not represented. Many communities could be bigger and stronger if Linden Lab can improve tech for people find them more easily.

Second Life is not all about the community. Second Life is all about communities. There are many!

Top SL destinations and special editor picks in my opinion are also unfair and any system that depends on being featured land on landowners own submission (but that is a topic for a whole new topic and discussion).

Hope my topic that I am opening can lead towards a positive, healthy and productive discussion. Linden Lab is an OK company and the people working in this company and even the owners are constantly changing. But there is 1 thing that is always staying and that is us the users. As users we shouldn't vilify the company just because it isn't doing something that we think or consider should be done or did mistakes in past. Lets try as a community to gently push them in the right direction.

Be positive always. I always say positivity is a constructive force while negativity is destructive force. SL is full of dreamers and builders. If we want to build and grow we need to be positive. \O.. O/

Edited by Wili Clip
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@Wili Clip I'm a bit bored so I thought I'd write a post to you. Some forum long-timers know me and bots from way back, but I want to tell you something from back then. I got into using traffic-b

My honest opinion, this concern seems disingenuous. You worry that bots are causing traffic to be calculated for the wrong reason, yet operate a system which attempts to monetizes and manipulates traf

By now you should realize it's not the reputation of your product that's in question here.

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I would also like to point out that because some people are successfully gaming the traffic stats with bots that forces other people who would otherwise not do it into doing it too. So if you don't fight the problem the problem persists and just keeps growing bigger and creates market wide dysfunctions.

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  1. No.
  2. Traffic is not a useful metric.
  3. Legacy Search is about the only thing that still uses Traffic as a major metric.

Unfortunately with the Web Search currently a bit borked, users are having to relearn how to use Legacy Search effectively.

This is also a topic that has been covered - in varied forms - repeatedly over the years.

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1 minute ago, bigmoe Whitfield said:

Traffic is calculated differently now, there is an answer to some place how it was changed.  

It was changed like 10 years ago which is somewhat of a shame since places with actual traffic took a hit because of places that botted traffic. I don't think bots actually count as traffic nowadays anyways. 

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1 minute ago, Finite said:

It was changed like 10 years ago which is somewhat of a shame since places with actual traffic took a hit because of places that botted traffic. I don't think bots actually count as traffic nowadays anyways. 

Bots marked/flagged as Scripted Agents do not count. Unflagged? They are treated like a normal account.

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26 minutes ago, bigmoe Whitfield said:

Traffic is calculated differently now, there is an answer to some place how it was changed.  

If its has been recently. Do you have a link maybe or know where? Thank you \O.. O/

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36 minutes ago, Solar Legion said:
  1. No.
  2. Traffic is not a useful metric.
  3. Legacy Search is about the only thing that still uses Traffic as a major metric.

Unfortunately with the Web Search currently a bit borked, users are having to relearn how to use Legacy Search effectively.

Do you think that Google search algorithm doesn't treat website visitors as an useful metric? Its one of the most useful metrics possible. It is implemented by tik tok trending algorithms (views & likes & comments) as well.

A good search system is based on pointing system and traffic/visitors/visit length and many others are very important components the pointing or scoring system can be based on.  

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37 minutes ago, Solar Legion said:
  1. No.
  2. Traffic is not a useful metric.
  3. Legacy Search is about the only thing that still uses Traffic as a major metric.

Unfortunately with the Web Search currently a bit borked, users are having to relearn how to use Legacy Search effectively.

 

I never stopped using Legacy. 😋

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Second Life is not the main World Wide Web, your response is - thus - irrelevant.

They changed the way the system calculates Search Relevance quite some time ago and seriously nerfed the influence Traffic has on the results - this is a simple fact, just like Traffic not being a useful metric for Second Life searches.

You can argue all you'd like - including pulling out more irrelevancies - and it won't change the reality.

Edited by Solar Legion
... word correction.
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The question is not if it does affect or it doesn't affect it or in what % in their new algorithm. Fact is that traffic is one of the most important metrics and even if you lower its influence in the search ranking algorithm this is not necessary going to improve search functionality it can even make it less useful. Search algorithm keep needs to be tweaked but in a way that solves the problem of people finding empty lands on top search results as that is the worst thing. 

The traffic is still relevant and completely taking traffic out of the equation or making it irrelevant would not solve and improve anything.

The problem with bots traffic gaming needs to be actively dealt with (its never going to go away) and taking traffic metric out of search ranking algorithms would not be a viable solution. In business that is called to dumbsize.

To reduce the number of employees in a business without regard to organizational efficiency, such that its operations become unprofitable or inefficient.

In the case of taking land traffic out of search engine or making it less relevant that leads towards lower efficiency of the search functionality.

I deal with systems where people make money with it and they are always trying to game it (cheat). If I for example lowered the amount of money they could earn with it just to have less people trying to cheat that would lead towards less people using it. There needs to be set of rules and active policing.

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29 minutes ago, Wili Clip said:

The question is not if it does affect or it doesn't affect it or in what % in their new algorithm. Fact is that traffic is one of the most important metrics......

Doesn't matter what you think about traffic as a metric. 

In SL traffic is worthless, LL broke it intentionally after people gamed it.

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Traffic is not worthless. They may have lowered its significance and with that possibly made search engine even less efficient but it is still one of the important factors. My opinion is that in order to increase search efficiency they should increase land traffic relevance more but at the same time work actively against bot traffic manipulation.

Empty lands don't work. Second Life is about communities & SL search should reflect that if it is to be efficient at its purpose.

I still get more clients for my business when I get more traffic on my land. I've been measuring it.

Can you imagine what would happen with Google company (search engine division) if they just said because people are "somehow" inflating the fake visitors amount on their websites we are now going to take the visitors/traffic out of our search algorithm and make it irrelevant for search how popular the websites actually are.  

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Just now, Wili Clip said:

Traffic is not worthless. They may have lowered its significance and with that possibly made search engine even less efficient but it is still one of the important factors. My opinion to increase search efficiency they should increase it but at the same time work actively against bot traffic manipulation.

Empty lands don't work. Second Life is about communities & SL search should reflect that if it is to be efficient at its purpose.

The value is still shown and tracked because removing it from the viewer entirely would have taken more work, and leaving it in prevented people who obsess over such numbers from freaking out.

That number is worthless everywhere it actually matters.

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5 minutes ago, Coffee Pancake said:

The value is still shown and tracked because removing it from the viewer entirely would have taken more work, and leaving it in prevented people who obsess over such numbers from freaking out.

That number is worthless everywhere it actually matters.

I am a programmer myself and I can say that it is not like that. It would not have taken them more work. If they took it out completely they would make even more damage than good. Lowering its significance for example to 50% or if they did it even lower while adding more other metrics for tracking activity is ok... but if they lowered significance they should still keep tweaking it to find the optimal balance.

The problem of bots gaming the traffic will never go away. It needs to be dealt with systematically.

Again can you imagine what would happen with Google company (search engine division) if they just said because people are "somehow" inflating the fake visitors amount on their websites we are now going to take the visitors/traffic out of our search algorithm and make it irrelevant for search how popular the websites actually are.  

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Just now, Wili Clip said:

I am a programmer myself and I can say that it is not like that. It would not have taken them more work. If they took it out completely they would make even more damage then good. Lowering its significance for example to 50% or if they did it even lower is ok... but if they lowered significance they should still keep tweaking it to find the optimal balance.

The problem of bots gaming the traffic will never go away. It needs to be dealt with systematically.

Again can you imagine what would happen with Google company (search engine division) if they just said because people are "somehow" inflating the fake visitors amount on their websites we are now going to take the visitors/traffic out of our search algorithm and make it irrelevant for search how popular the websites actually are.  

 

The cheapest and simplest option was to nuke the relevance of the traffic value. Which they did. They will not restore it's relevance because "businesses" abused that system creating artificial ways to generate traffic ... Like the one in your sig. 

 

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3 minutes ago, Bitterthorn said:

Comparisons to Google are moot. Second Life's search engine is not Google's search engine.

they are or having been in the past using google search appliance, so it's google's search on a custom piece of hardware.

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9 minutes ago, Coffee Pancake said:

The cheapest and simplest option was to nuke the relevance of the traffic value. Which they did. They will not restore it's relevance because "businesses" abused that system creating artificial ways to generate traffic ... Like the one in your sig. 

I don't think that you have authority to say what LL will do or not do unless you're in the LL higher management yourself.

The traffic is still relevant for search rankings. They lowered it some and if they did even more that would not be the wisest decision as I argue in my above comments if you read them.

People will always try to game systems if that leads to increased personal game. Its normal. Solutions for such problems can be addressed with measured approach of systematically fighting it (algorithms) and policy/rules but they need to be actively enforced.

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The only people I know that don't know search is borked are newer people.  Most of the people I know don't use it to find places full of people.  I use it to get a LM to a specific place.  So to me and a lot of others, the traffic numbers are a non-issue.

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3 minutes ago, bigmoe Whitfield said:

they are or having been in the past using google search appliance, so it's google's search on a custom piece of hardware.

It is absolutely likely they are using the programmable search engine, but I wouldn't know for sure unless someone from LL has spoken about it openly. 

That said, the key word there is programmable. However the search works for SL will be wholly unique to SL.

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