Improving search results for engine-only developers

Hi everyone!

This is a thread for ‘engine-only’ developers who just use the open source engine without using the Editor. When developing your apps and games, you might come up against a problem and need to search for a solution. So I’m really interested to hear the community’s thoughts and experiences on the quality and relevance of search engine results and what we can do to improve them.

One complication for engine-only developers is that they tend to be less interested in Editor related search results. Let’s say you search for ‘playcanvas render to texture’. The following are the first two results from Google:

The first is an Editor project - which might be seen as ‘noise’ and unhelpful. The second is a forum thread with an engine-only code example - much more relevant.

The more control you have to filter search results the better, for sure. One idea that has been suggested is to rename the engine. Let’s say it was playcanvas.js or playengine or something. This would likely help refine searches better. Changing the engine name is obviously a big deal though - there are vast amounts of docs and resources that would have to be updated - so we’d want to be thoughtful about that. But for now, I’m interested to simply kick off a discussion, hear peoples’ experiences and thoughts and see if there is any consensus. Should we consider an engine name change? If so, what to? Should we consider other options too? If so, what? :smile:


I am so used to calling it … The PlayCanvas Engine … that I am biased on this :innocent:

Another idea, I think the discourse forum software supports tags, I am not sure if they will be indexed by a search engine, but at least in the forum area they will be super helpful to tag posts as engine-only:

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I would suggest to create a category for this here on the forum. This makes it easier to search because you can search in a specific category.

Yeah, I was thinking an engine-only category might be a good idea too. :+1:

Will that improve the Google search results though if we had that category?

I wonder if finding the Editor search results is that bad? Usually you can read the link, and the solution in the editor is often the same as a solution for the engine only.

The feedback was that the solution would mostly involve ‘click on this option in the Editor’ rather than the property/function to set it. It’s been a common feedback issue where it’s harder to find a ‘code only’ solution.