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We all love Islam 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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Here are some notes as I reviewed the questions:

Google corrects me when I search for this question:

miswak while fasting

When I tell it to search for miswaak instead, Islam.SE turns up first. It might be worth considering which spelling is most common for transliterations of Arabic words. (Wikipedia is often a good guide.)

As a non-Muslim, the question and the answer were close to impenetrable. If the answer had not included the phrase, "or a toothbrush dampened with water", I would have had no clue what the issue was. Generally, I'd say this is a good thing. (If a non-expert can't understand the question, it's often a sign the question is for experts.) But looking around, I see virtually the same answer repeated over and over again.

Therefore, I'm guessing it's uncontroversially the right answer. But that implies the question is trivial for experts and the Arabic words make it seem more impressive than it really is. You might consider creating a jargon policy so that the site is more friendly to non-Muslims. Alternatively, you could ask that questions (and thus answers) that are "off-the-beaten-path" somehow. I'm afraid I don't see much about this question and answer that are better then what I find elsewhere on the internet.

Both the question and the answer are terribly unclear (perhaps because of language barriers). If you voted anything other than "Needs Improvement", you probably misunderstood the point of the exercise. It seems like the question is an interesting one to y'all, but to me, it sounds pretty vague. I understand the answer, but it could use more detail and a friendly edit.

As an aside, seems unproductive. Maybe if it had a tag wiki, I'd understand, but it seems to me that every question on the site could be under that tag.

One of the comments points out that the question is unclear. Again, the language is a bit unclear. But more importantly, there is a question about what a 22-year-old might mean by "forcing" his father to follow Islam. It comes off as a question that should be asked of the OP's spiritual advisor. (See related issues on Judaism.SE and Christianity.SE.)

An interesting question and one that Google finds readily. But it's not clear from the voting which answer is better. There was comment correcting an astronomical error in one answer, but the answer was never edited to fix the error. I'm left slightly more confused than when I started. Remember, this site is supposed to be a long-term resource for people who find it in the future and not just a way for individuals to get their questions answered.

Looks like a contentious issue with no easy solution. The question looks excellent to me. The answers, as a rule, look well thought out. But the voting is practically non-existent. Reward your fellow contributors for working hard on a difficult question!

It seems like this question isn't specific to Islam. But the answer is great and the question does show up when I search Google.

Looks like a solid question with a partial answer. Perhaps it is, as mentioned by a commentator, a duplicate?

Like the use of a miswaak question, the internet has no problem giving up the answer. The question could use some editing. Ezati's answer adds quite a bit to Islam.SE's content. It's a lot closer to "Excellent" in my opinion that many of the other questions.

Looks like another old chestnut of a question. There are lots of answers out there. Unfortunately, the one answer here simply copied an answer from elsewhere. This question needs much improvement.

A poor answer is almost as bad as no answer at all; worse, since a user might assume this site contains mostly, or only, bad answers.


I'm a little disappointed in this evaluation. Your traffic really picked up for Ramadan, but I'm not convinced that the site's quality was maintained. I know from reading the site that many of you can write and answer well, but I saw far less of that in this sample of questions. If you have any ideas or suggestions, please raise them on meta.

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Final Results

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