Common Surnames

Greg Roach
  • Greg Roach

    Greg Roach - 2009-09-26

    PhpGedView maintains a list of common surnames in the gedcom.  This is a resource-intensive task, and so the results are cached, and only updated periodically.

    These common surnames (modified by config options to include/exclude certain surnames) are included in the HTML header of *every* page, using a meta keywords tag.

    Essentially, if ROBINSON is one of your common surnames, then every page on your site flags the word ROBINSON to search engines, even if the page doesn't actually contain a single reference to ROBINSON.

    It can be useful to have certain keywords (e.g. Genealogy, Family History, etc.), which otherwise wouldn't appear in the text.  However, I am wondering whether there is any benefit in flagging the common surnames here.

    After all, if you used a search engine to look for "ROBINSON GENEALOGY", and came to a page with no mention of ROBINSON, you'd be annoyed.  Also, search engines are getting quite good at reading the content of pages, without needing these hints.

    I am considering removing this.  Would anyone object if I did?

  • Wes Groleau

    Wes Groleau - 2009-09-27

    I favor NOT putting anything as a META keyword that is not either on the page or requested in the admin config.

    However, it would be nice if instead of common surnames, keywords could be surnames and/or places that actually do appear.  For example, an INDI page contains the surnames of parents and spouses, and a FAM page has surnames of all four grandparents.

    Probably a difficult thing to send this info from the page content into the page header.

  • Booma

    Booma - 2009-09-27

    There is an option in "Web Site and META Tag Settings" " Add Most Common Surnames to Keywords META field" "Yes" or "No".

    Does setting this to "No" solve the problem? If so just set the default setting to "No" with a note saying that setting this option to Yes will slow down your performance.

  • Greg Roach

    Greg Roach - 2009-09-27

    @booma.  Even if you turn this off, PGV will still need to generate/store/update this list.  It is this background task that I would really like to remove.

  • Thomas52

    Thomas52 - 2009-09-27

    The search engines have become very sophisticated.  Let's not waste our resources in this manner.

  • Booma

    Booma - 2009-09-27

    That being the case I agree with your logic.

    As a user I would be very annoyed if  I was searching for "ROBINSON GENEALOGY", and came to a page with no mention of ROBINSON.

  • Gerry Kroll

    Gerry Kroll - 2009-09-27

    We still need to generate the Common Surnames and Common Given Names lists for the blocks that use them.

    Don't forget that the blocks include links to the relevant pages.

  • Greg Roach

    Greg Roach - 2009-09-27

    <<We still need to generate the Common Surnames and Common Given Names lists for the blocks that use them.>>

    These all use the stats class.  Since the original common_surnames code was added (cached in gedcoms.php), we've enhanced the logic considerably (grouping surname variants/inflections as one surname), fixed the performance (using the pgv_name table), etc.

    It is only the value in gedoms.php that I want to lose, and this is only used for the meta-keywords tag.

    Everything else is (or will) use the stats class.

  • Greg Roach

    Greg Roach - 2009-09-27

    How do I make this forum show my underscores as underscores, and not as italic markers?

  • Lester Caine

    Lester Caine - 2009-09-27

    Unfortunately it's an 'improvement' to the sf forums and there is no way to disable it., but you can add a \ in front of it to provide \_aaa\_

    Check out the link below the edit box ;)


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