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Usually, we use this space to feature a conspicuous bump in traffic to some part of our website and map it to a recent news event.  This time, however, we’re going to do something a little bit different.  In an article back in April, we told the story of how we’d used the extra student labor made available to us during the Summer of 2020 (as their other summer jobs shrunk or vanished entirely) to re-invigorate more than 1,000 definitions in our Wex collection.  

In that same article, we introduced Nichole McCarthy, LII’s new Original Content Collections Manager.  She spent the Summer of 2021 continuing the Wex Definitions Project, and her student crew improved upon the output from the summer prior.  In total we have renovated around 2,500 Wex definitions, making each one longer and more comprehensive while linking it to more related content on our website such as statutes, US Supreme Court decisions, and other Wex articles.  We also added dozens of new definitions.

All of that work makes those pages better in the eyes of search engines, resulting in our Wex pages being more findable to the general public. And the public has, indeed, found Wex. This graph shows Wex pageviews up 20% from July through September of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020.  

Google Analytics graphic showing visitors increase over a period of time

Considering all that was in the headlines during this time last year–the election, the pandemic, and the Black Lives Matter movement all come instantly to mind–it’s amazing that Wex traffic is up dramatically this year.  All signs point to the output of our Wex Definitions Project as the reason why.  

Of course, traffic in-and-of itself is not our goal. The purpose of Wex is to provide useful, viewpoint neutral explanations of legal terms and concepts to anyone who needs them. We like to think that some segment of that increased viewership was spared a trip to other websites offering answers that are at the very least aligned with a political or social agenda and the very worst just flat wrong.    

We still have more than 5,000 other definitions in Wex, all of which will be re-visited in the coming years, and most of which will be revised in the process. Meanwhile, we continue to explore better organizations and linkages within Wex to provide even deeper context for our readers. We’ll keep you posted along the way. 

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