SEO and IF

I’m new to the forums but not to If.

So I conducted a research: does SEO affect IF? The answer: yes it does, and that’s why 56% of people go to the Big Three systems and 44% to Quest.

What I did was to search ‘text adventures’. I got a web… Oh well, check it out yourselves:

Next, I tried ‘create interactive fiction’.

Get it?

Quest is on top in the first search, TADS in the next.

After that, I headed to Google Trends, and found out that ‘interactive fiction’ is typed 56% of the time.
[Guys, IF is dying faster than we think. On February 2004, we have peak search volume, half of that in March 2005, even less August 2006 and now just 10% of 2004.]

Thus Quest is not as unpopular as you think.

Some more stuff:

ADRIFT is found somewhere higher than page by searching ‘text adventures’ on Google;
Same with ‘interactive fiction’
SEO: Bad

INFORM is higher than 5th page in ‘text adventures’
Page 2 9th result goes for ‘interactive fiction’
SEO: Not as bad as ADRIFT

Not being an expert in the ways of SEO, my first response to this was “And we should care about this why…?”

Well, while Timewalker’s purposes and assumptions aren’t really clear, the results of his/her experiments do show that IF’s visibility to some basic searching remains pretty flabby, with the exception of Quest. Inform 7’s presence is flabbiest of all. If you type ‘make text adventure’, Quest and TADS show at 1 and 3. Inform 7 doesn’t show itself directly; instead there’s one person’s blog anecdote about using it. Is it because Inform does not associate itself with the words ‘text adventure’? Even if that’s true (and I don’t think that is a wise move), Inform 7 can’t even get on the first page if you type ‘make interactive fiction’. Surely with a bit of keyword tweaking on their base pages, both ADRIFT and Inform 7 could do as well as they should? (Though I concede I know Campbell tried some stuff and was having difficulty.)

The upshot of what I observe is that – knowing what I know about these things now, I would expect to see all the major systems explicitly appear on the first page in response to some basic search queries, and the reality is far from it. Only Quest is doing that job well, though interestingly it has the opposite problem of Inform - it doesn’t make page 1 explicitly if you use the term ‘interactive fiction’.

  • Wade

Surely this would require a controlled experiment. Define what you mean by SEO, and explain where IF is using it and where it isn’t. So we can compare the two cases.

(There was a day, many years ago, when I realized that the phrase “text adventure” didn’t appear anywhere on the front page of So I stuck it on there. It probably made a difference, but I never followed the stats to see exactly what difference it made.)

I have to concede, it was very clever of Alex to register and use it as his main domain. Nothing can beat that. could.

I don’t know that Google would necessarily rank .com higher than any other domain suffix. Does anyone know who owns that domain anyway, it’s taken but there’s nothing on it?

A quick lookup seems to indicate that it’s David Baggett of Bethesda, Maryland who’s got that domain. I’m guessing that’s David Baggett.