Gohugo.io path structure, section names, and SEO re documentation

While digging into Hugo’s documentation with an eye towards finding holes in it, places where it’s lacking, and structural issues. Something did jump out at me. If you do a Google or Bing search for “hugo documentation” or “gohugo documentation” (preferably in incognito/porn mode). If you do, you may notice that the first results are pages such as “Introduction to Hugo”, “Hugo Quickstart Guide”, and “Hugo :: A fast and modern static website engine”. The problem is, in my ever so humble opinion, is that you don’t see a result for something with a title such as "Hugo::Documentation" and I believe that this is something that should be fixed.

I’m not an SEO expert; infact I’ve never done any sort of SEO optimization in my life. That being said, I think this is something that should be examined. I’m not sure what the correct way to resolve this issue is but I do think there would be value in making a page which is returned high in a search result list that’s clearly labeled in such a way that it’s clear to a Hugo neophyte where to start when looking for documentation.

Off the top of my head there are a few things that could be done to improve this situation. First all the the documentation should be moved to an explicit hierachy such as gohugo.org/documentation, doc.gohugo.org, something similar. Another idea, orthogonal to the previous one, would be to add a page titled something like "Hugo::Documentation" which would act as a landing page for the rest of the documentation.

Seeing as it’s nearly 0400 here I think I should probably sign off for the “night”. I’d enjoy hearing other’s thoughts on this and other documentation related topics.


I personally don’t see that search as a bad thing. If I am searching only for ‘hugo documentation’ then I probably want an intro or quick start guide (and it is part of the documentation).

It seems to me, from what others have said in other threads (and my own experience), issues with the docs are after this, at the point where the user wants more.

I also wonder if merging some of these threads would be a good idea.

Well, if the documentation site has clear blatant links to those “favorites” that google highlights, then, imo it would be fine to just find the doc site first.

I simply believe that there should be a canonical landing page for “Documentation”. Sure, pages such ‘quick start’ are great but in my experience a non-negligible number of users who start on pages such as that fail to realize that they’re not at the top level of the documentation and when they don’t find the answer to the question that lead them to search in the first place they either give up or resort going to the form where they ask “the same damn question that’s been answered time and time again”. It’s all about making it as quick and easy for users to find answers on their own; this not only reduces the load on the few project participants available to field queries but produces a far better experience for the enduser.

1 Like

Fair points. I was just looking at it from the point of view of priorities and what is needed elsewhere.

This is what we all want, and we can assume that’s each person here is considering this as a priority (as web developers this is staple to our jobs). I don’t think it is the reason for one view or the other.

I may be alone in my view anyway. I just think any user with enough knowledge to build a static site will not be deterred or inconvenieved by this particular Google search.

It’s also worth considering that if we wanted to go down this route fully, it’d be worth knowing / researching what are the likely Hugo short and long tail search terms.