The Reef Web Development Thread

Fixed with the next update (i.e. later today).

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Hello, I had a discussion with @noemi Noemi earlier this week about how easy it is to reach info about The Reef when searching for it online. One problem that I identified is that the website doesn’t really come up in the search results. Noemi encouraged me to write down my feedback. For context, I worked for several years as an SEO consultant. @matthias, I think this is of interest to you, since you seem to be handling the website.

I did a very fast SEO audit of the website.


  1. The site is indexed in Google but doesn’t come up as one of the results on the first 2 pages in google for search terms like ”the reef Brussels” or ”the reef edgeryders”.

  2. When looking at which pages are indexed (just search in google site: there are 8 pages indexed and the bottom 3 ones shouldn’t be there judging by the titles and meta descriptions:

  3. For the pages that should be indexed, their titles and meta descriptions (the small snippets of texts under the title) are not really descriptive of what is in the page. The page in French has the meta data in English.


  • use important keywords in all of the titles: The Reef, Brussels/Bruxelles, Edgeryders, co-living/colocation etc.
  • use this tool to optimise the titles and descriptions, as they do have a maximum lenght:
  1. On the main page, the word ”Brussels” comes up only one time, somewhere at the bottom. Make sure to include it in more proeminent places, like subtitles.

  2. Make sure to have as little text as possible only in the images, as that one doesn’t get indexed. If there is no workaround, just have the content of the text in the image as the image alt. This also helps with accessibility.


i was wondering about these points recently. great that you mention them,

we are publishing our content stories (like the ones I did with sabine and celine jamar), in this edgeryriders platform but I was wondering, are they indexed by search engines?

also, all the research we are doing with workshops and interviews, are “discovery sessions” that should give us good ideas for content we can create to attract visitors to the site.

In principle, our forum topics are well indexed. Right now, Google has indexed 5600 topics. Not sure when and how it will happen to any new topic, though.

And Google also provides us with quite some organic traffic – it’s not like it considers a forum “low quality” just because it’s a forum. So I think if you want to go for more organic traffic, it’s about finding out what people are searching for, and writing unique content for that.

We did not really shoot for that so far but had some accidental success with some forum topics … the topic with the most external traffic is, strange enough, “List: Open source software for resource scheduling and booking” (17,200 clicks until now).

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I think that the research we are doing for the reef (workshops) and interviews can be used as discovery opportunity to find out what people are searching for in Brussels. and bring some inbound traffic to the reef web.

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