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Let me first take Stack Overflow as an example. After collecting a database with thousands of questions and answers, SO can get many redirects from Google whenever somebody asks Google something like 'Why this ... doesn't work in this way?'. So for an external (non-SO) user it is pretty easy to find useful solution for his/her problem on SO.

Now let's take a look at Code Review. Questions here are very specific and narrow (though answers may contain very generic ideas) and I do not see any way to find this site on the Internet if you do not know it in advance. And it corresponds with the question 'how will we promote this site?' because without it, Code Review won't be able to promote itself (opposite to SO which is self-promoting using Google for example).

It is pretty clear why this site is useful for CR-users: those who ask for a code review may get some points regarding their code, reviewers can see ideas of other reviewers which also stimulates writing better code. But is this site useful for non-CR users? And do you see any scenario how external users will be able to find this site if they were looking for some solution? Or maybe it just doesn't matter at all?

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It is pretty clear why this site is useful for CR-users: those who ask for code review may get some points regarding their code, reviewers can see ideas of other reviewers which also stimulates writing better code. But is this site useful for non-CR users? And do you see any scenario how external users will be able to find this site if they were looking for some solution? Or maybe it just doesn't matter at all?

I'm going with the latter option here -- I am not sure it matters. I suspect the publicity from Stack Overflow, which has a native audience of programmers, will drive enough traffic here to get reasonable code reviews.

This site, like Code Golf, is a bit of an odd duck and a trial balloon.

As with all Area 51 sites, this site is an experiment.. and that is OK.. if it doesn't do well in public beta, we'll make the data dump available and shut it down.

I am cautiously optimistic at the moment though.

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If a user adds the right keywords - especially in the title - it would still be useful for external users. Say someone googles "PHP Doctrine bootstrap". Right now, they'll see a hit from Code Review at #4, and Stack Overflow at #6. They can jump to Code Review to likely see an already completed example with added commentary, or they can jump to Stack Overflow to see possible glitches they might have to overcome.

There is a problem in the google summary for the Code Review hit - it's missing question content, so as of now the user will have to guess the content by just the title alone. And since there's likely going to be a tonne of "is my code good" posts, it won't be helpful.

Bottom line: the user will have to think about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) when they choose their title.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ The problem isn't whether you get a hit from Google, it's whether the hit is actually useful for the visitor or not. Even though you get a hit, a high percentage of visitors wouldn't find that linked page useful because CR is often too narrow. \$\endgroup\$ – Pacerier Apr 30 '15 at 18:10
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I found this stack by way of Area 51 just a few days ago, but I imagine, as Jeff points out, that a lot of traffic will eventually be driven from Stack Overflow or other highly visible stacks.

I certainly hope CR sticks around, even if it’s only traffic comes from other stacks. As a “lone-coder”, I’ve often wondered if my code is “up to snuff”, or if I was missing some security hole, or if there’s a better way to design a certain class interface. I’ve never found anything like Code Review through Google, but I’m glad it’s available nonetheless.

Even if it survives only as an appendage of other stacks, is that such a bad thing? Not in my book.

On the other hand, it might help to blog about it. Coding Horror is a popular blog. Has Code Review been mentioned there? ;-)

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To answer the question directly: yes, definitely. I think the FAQ should have very clear guidelines regarding CodeReview "question" titles.

I've suggested this tag wiki for the tag:

Question titles must be meaningful.

Avoid titles such as "Please review this C# code" or "Is this implementation ok?".

Instead, choose a title that describes what the reviewed code is doing - prefer "Resolving path for ghosts' eyes in a Pac-Man game" over "Is this path-finding algorithm optimal?".

This helps making CR discoverable in Google searches.

Suggested edits that reword titles to make them more searchable, should be explicitly encouraged here.

The less "Please review this code" titles we have, the more we'll come up in search engine results.

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    \$\begingroup\$ On that note, I suppose it'll be good for anyone to search for questions with bad titles and try to improve them. This probably could still be attempted even if it's hard to determine a good title. Specifically, that pertains to users without direct edit privileges (1000 rep). In such a case, a title can still be suggested, making a note to reviewers that that suggested title may possibly need another improvement. For users at or above 1000 rep, I suppose an edit can be done anyway, while it can just be changed again if necessary. \$\endgroup\$ – Jamal Sep 6 '13 at 19:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think the "say what the code does" part is fundamental here, ...and it's really hard only if the question doesn't even hint at what the code is doing... which shouldn't too common :) \$\endgroup\$ – Mathieu Guindon Sep 6 '13 at 20:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ Right. That's also why it's important for the OP to mention what the code is supposed to do (in the explanation and/or title; not shoved in as comments). After all, the code on this site are more personalized than on sites such as SO. It's like giving someone an essay to review for meaning, but never even mentioned what the essay is supposed to mean! \$\endgroup\$ – Jamal Sep 6 '13 at 20:10
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We often end up writing a ton of code and if it works correctly then we leave it at that. It is hard to find someone who can review it with objectivity at workplace and otherwise also. StackOverflow drove me here and now I spend quality time learning here.Once the word is out that this is the best code review site ,we will have traffic coming here.I am not sure if we will get search engine re-directed traffic here.

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Very good point, while being active on this site I've also constantly had this same concern at the back of my mind.

Furthermore, I experienced a lot of redundancy in my answers, having to refer to the same proper coding techniques over and over again.

It is pretty clear why this site is useful for CR-users: those who ask for code review may get some points regarding their code, reviewers can see ideas of other reviewers which also stimulates writing better code.

Maybe that is part of the underlying knowledge which is built? A collection of good coding practices. Perhaps it would be useful to structure those in some way so we can refer to a central location in our answers? A single point of reference with unambiguous information/naming.

Actually, Programmers.SE would be a better location for that. :O Discussion of proper coding practices should take place on Programmers.SE, but how to apply them to specific questions can be discussed here. Some cooperation would be necessary in order to achieve this.

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