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We all love Freelancing Stack Exchange, but there is a whole world of people out there who need answers to their questions and don't even know that this site exists. When they arrive from Google, what will their first impression be? Let's try to look at this site through the eyes of someone who's never seen it before, and see how we stack up against the rest of the 'Net.

The Site Self-Evaluation review queue is open and populated with 10 questions that were asked and answered in the last quarter. Run a few Google searches to see how easy they are to find and compare the answers we have with the information available on other sites.

Rating the questions is only a part of the puzzle, though. Do you see a pattern of questions that should have been closed but are not? Questions or answers that could use an edit? Anything that's going really well? Post an answer below to share your thoughts and discuss these questions and the site's health with your fellow users!

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  • The review queue link gives a 404 error...
    – levelnis
    Sep 30 '13 at 16:42
  • @levelnis - That appears to be normal, but I'm not sure it makes sense for that to be a 404. See meta.stackexchange.com/questions/204091/… for details. Hope this helps!
    – jmort253
    Nov 3 '13 at 23:27
  • I see - so the 404 is shown to indicate that the review period is over - no, it should definitely not be a 404! Even after your explanation I had to re-read that 2 or 3 times before I got it. Bad usability...
    – levelnis
    Nov 3 '13 at 23:50
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From a pass through the sample questions, it's clear that Stack Exchange sites are favored on Google, and the questions on the site are ranked surprisingly high on Google for our age.

A few things to note, however:

  • In the majority of cases (nearly all, in fact), freelancing information is in a blog, with roughly 5-6x the content of a freelancing.stackexchange question & answer

    • This information goes on and on (with some exceptions)
    • "High signal, low noise" would be perfect here
  • Titles! We have so many titles that kinda make sense, but they are not what you would actually search for on Google

We could work towards providing a few community-maintained canonical answers to the most common questions asked in freelancing ("How can I get started?", "How do I work out pay rates?", and "How do I deal with clients that don't feel like paying?").

While all of the previous questions are verging on Too Broad, I feel if we had some dedicated maintainers for a zero-noise reference question or two on specific subjects that are asked hundreds of thousands of times per day, it would be a great start.

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Final Results

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Now that the evaluation is over with, we can follow Hiroto's lead and examine the questions and fix titles, edit posts to make them more searchable, clear, and easy to read, and remove anything that's just noise.

This would also be a great time for the community to flag posts that can't be edited and improved and that should be removed.

Aside from that, I'm not sure I agree with the approach to creating community maintained canonical answers, at least not yet. It's still early in our site's growth, and there's a lot of great questions out there yet to be asked. Creating a series of catch-all answers could send the wrong message to the community and discourage the subtle variations on more detailed questions that could attract better answers that apply to more specific, long-tail situations.

Hope this helps!

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