The Fluid, Creative Agency Inside of RebelMouse

A lot of people know RebelMouse from when we went viral in 2012 as a social aggregation tool — later dubbed "social media's front page." Those who stuck around with us got to later know us as a social-forward CMS. This is still true, but RebelMouse has since evolved into an enterprise-level publishing solution that — just like we always have — adapts to the current digital landscape. So while we were born in the age of social, we've kept up with every peak and valley the industry has traversed since the birth and boom of digital.


What a lot of people may not know yet is that every media property we work with doesn't just get to use our platform. Our clients get a global creative agency made up of content optimizers, social strategists, and audience builders. We continuously analyze all of our clients' data and performance so we can help guide your strategy toward a path of growth and revenue. RebelMouse is not simply lean tech, but also a full-service creative agency. Here's a little bit about how we got here, and more information about the services we offer.

Box-Free Beginnings

Growing up, my dad started a software company, which gave me the chance to learn how to write code from a very young age. I loved it immediately. The act of creating! A lot of people think of coding as a math or science, but I have always seen it as an artistic language. From the moment I touched code, it was an act of expression for me. My first program was a "Choose Your Own Adventure" experience. It was truly an act of writing and a different way of telling a story.

What I realized quickly as I began my career in my late teens and early 20s, was that people wanted to put me in a box and label me as merely "a developer." I wanted much more than to write code and be told what tech should do. By this point, I had already worked on viral projects (Dog Island is particularly fun) and built a real e-commerce business for Palo Alto Software.

I have always been able to see the big picture, which is much larger than simply the coding side of tech. It's why I decided to make RebelMouse a well-rounded product and not just a software offering. Our clients don't only sign up for a publishing platform, but also a real service that propels their properties to success on site, social, and search.

Finding the Dream Team

As I looked at the potential opportunities for who I wanted to work with, the way Jonah Peretti and Ken Lerer (co-founders with Arianna Huffington at The Huffington Post) approached tech was exactly me. When I became CTO of The Huffington Post, I had both design and product teams reporting to me, and I was responsible for overall traffic. I worked every day with an amazing editing team so that we could collaborate on how to build a massive and loyal audience together. It was far beyond the confinements of a developer-only box.

At RebelMouse, I've been able to put together a team of people who are like me. Most of the team, regardless of each individual's position and title, is technical. Developers manage accounts directly, working not only on product, but strategy, audience growth, and revenue, too. It's possible because, like me, they don't self-identify as developers in their heart of hearts. The net result is an amazing team of people who have fallen in love with particular aspects of the media and content business. And those aspects can be anything — from how to get the most out of Instant Articles to what's possible with Google AMP to growth hacking Instagram to wiring your site for maximum monetization.

Reaching Rebellious Heights

Today, RebelMouse is a fully remote powerhouse. I closed our SoHo office in New York City because I believe so strongly in distributed teams. We have no bar for geography when we look for talent on the team, but we have a super-high bar for talent. Having an office confused our culture, and accidentally excluded our brilliant people who weren't there to hop into a meeting room day to day. Now we're closer and more connected than ever, and we stay linked together across 26 countries. We're fluid between roles and time zones, and we work with clients who are meshed together with their teams, too.

We utilize a very unique approach in our mission, and it works for the awesome brands we work with, such as United Airlines, Raw Story, PAPER Magazine, and many more. We're inspired by intuition and gut, but we get to check everything against data, and are able to see what is working across a huge set of categories and verticals.

Below are just some of the specific services we offer at RebelMouse. If you're interested in creating something viral and awesome together, then please get in touch with us.

Site Design: We've finally entered an industry shift where site design truly matters again. Users are exasperated with the platforms and more willing to spend time on site, which is good news for publishers. Whether your content calls for a minimalist structure, a more artistic aesthetic, or a subscription-based experience, we'll create a look that's easy to use for your content creators while still being a key driver of user loyalty.

Social Growth: A lot of businesses still worry that organic growth on the platforms is dead. While the saturation of content has created a lot of noise in recent years, it's also created what we call a universe of creators. As a result, we've developed proprietary technology that leverages this universe to identify influencers across platforms right from within our Entry Editor. We work closely with you through these tools to amplify your message with every publish.

Monetization: RebelMouse is invested in a lean tech model that opens up new revenue streams for you to see impactful return on your content. We make sure your brand is optimizing the right ad networks and has a premium sales pitch so you can reach your true revenue potential. We help you through time-tested best practices that have delivered again and again.

Custom Web Design: We built RebelMouse to be as flexible and fluid as we are. That means if we believe in the idea you have or the new feature you want to build, we can not only build it, but make the idea even better through implementation.

Our unique journey over the years has enabled our clients to both experience amazing statistics that crush industry standards, and reap next-level growth at a time when a lot of publishers are worried about making ends meet.

We're here to help you and your brand prosper, no matter the state of the social ecosystem. Even if you aren't currently able to switch to our CMS, we'd still love to talk with you. Drop us a line to schedule a quick chat. We guarantee we'll be able to add value within the first fifteen minutes.

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Why RebelMouse Is the Best Content Marketing Platform

RebelMouse is a unique platform and company. The company was founded on the vision that media companies would need an always-modern solution to thrive in the new connected internet, and that brands would have to behave like new media companies and use the same platforms.

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Maximize Your SEO Potential With RebelMouse’s Entry Editor

Take a peek into how our proprietary technology helps sites surge on search

The RebelMouse platform features a rich search engine optimization (SEO) toolset that guides writers and editors to think about the right search phrase behind every story, as well as how to focus on small but meaningful modifications designed to improve organic search performance.

Our SEO technology centers around best practices for search, including detailed metadata that will help Google's site crawler identify, index, and rank your content quickly. It often leads our clients to experiences traffic surges that look like the following after launching on our platform:

how to increase search traffic

Here's a look inside our proprietary technology that helps our clients experience quick search boosts that turn into long-term SEO wins.

The Search Tab

how to find the right search phrase

Every new article presents a new opportunity to win on search. RebelMouse's Entry Editor features an SEO tab that's designed to help you optimize every post to give it the best shot at winning a targeted search phrase. Here's a glimpse into how it guides editors through a perfected search strategy before the "Publish" button is even clicked.

Define Your Search Phrase

search volume data

It can be tricky to nail down which search phrase you want to win. Within the SEO tab, you can brainstorm your ideas in real time. Through the creative usage of APIs, we ensure writes and editors are armed with the right information when optimizing content for SEO. In the example above, the drop-down list is suggesting search phrases that are already performing well on Google. The number next to each recommended phrase is its monthly search volume.

This helps you determine which phrases are easy to win, or perhaps too competitive to strategize for, on an article-by-article basis. Click here to read more about this feature.

Optimize Your Slug to Match Your Search Phrase

submit url to search engines

The SEO tab in our Entry Editor is designed to repeat your desired search phrase throughout your content so that Google's crawler has every chance to index it correctly for search. With this methodology in mind, it's a best practice to have your article's URL slug match your desired search phrase. From the SEO tab, you can click the Optimize Slug button to automatically match your URL slug to the search phrase you want to win. Click here to read more about this feature.

Pick Smart Recirculation Links

seo outlinks

After you've defined your search phrase and optimized your URL slug accordingly, you can select highly relevant links to add as related content to the end of your article. We call these Around the Web (ATW) links. The SEO tab allows you to pick the best links from your own site, as well as from around the web, which leads to truly amazing traffic boosts. This is a proven SEO practice that's rewarded by Google. Since your article will link to pages already winning your search phrase, it can increase your own post's relevance score in the eyes of Google's crawler.

We automate the surfacing of both ATW and internal links for you, so it's as easy as ticking a handful of checkboxes to add them to your post. We've also done the math, and the data is clear: Adding ATW and internal links to the end of your articles can increase traffic coming to your posts from Google by over 300%! Click here to read more about this feature.

Craft Metadata Before Publish

what is seo metadata

When it comes to Google's site crawler, providing clever metadata is one of the best ways to contextualize your content for search. From there, Google's search algorithm will rank your site for search queries that it determines are relevant to your content. Our SEO tab allows you to write your metadata right from within our Entry Editor. Plus, our character counter will help you make sure that your SEO headline and description match Google's best practices for metadata text length.

It's important to make sure your metadata is clearly written in a succinct way so that Google can quickly understand the nature of your content. Click here to read more.

The RebelMouse Particle Assembler

how to optimize an article for seo

RebelMouse's Particle Assembler is a content creation tool within our Entry Editor that makes it easy to transform your posts into media-rich micro pieces of content, which we call particles, that can both be shared individually and crawled separately on search. Our Assembler functionality gives your content more legs, which means more chances to generate more traffic.

The following steps demonstrate how you can use our Assembler to optimize an article to win a search phrase.

Use Particle Headlines to Reinforce Your Search Phrase

how to write headlines for seo

Assembler is accessible via one simple click in the formatting toolbar of our Entry Editor. From there, an organizational layout will be inserted into your article that will help guide you through building out the particles that will shape your Assembler. The best way to think of Assembler is by treating it as an enhanced list format. If your article is about vegan cooking trends, each particle can feature a new trend. But Assembler does not need to be a simple list. It can also cover the main points of your article and feature user-generated content or even related stories.

Assembler is a helpful SEO tool because it can generate a unique URL slug for each particle, maximizing your article's ability to get indexed by Google for more than one key search phrase. Click here to read more about this feature.

Make the Most of Google's "People Also Ask" Module

how to optimize for people also ask

Particle headlines are also a great way to make use of Google's "People Also Ask" module. This will help you identify search patterns of users who are interested in your search phrase. By tailoring your particles to those patterns, it's likely that your post will move up in Google's search rankings. Click here to read more about this strategy.

Add Media to Every Particle

alt text for seo

Each particle is another opportunity to add relevant media to your post, and Assembler makes it easy to add alt text to every image you upload. Alt text is very important for accessibility and can also have benefits for SEO. Briefly, alt text is text that is added to an image to describe it to search engines, and also to allow people using screen readers to be able to know what the image is without actually being able to see it. You can easily add alt text to any image in RebelMouse from our Entry Editor. Adding your search phase into every alt text field will only bring you one step closer to the top of Google Search's first page.

Make the Most of Our SEO Toolset

RebelMouse's proprietary technology works for any kind of site, whether you're a brand, a new media company, or a legacy publisher. SEO doesn't have to be something that only developers and analysts can understand and augment. Our product is designed to put the power of search in the hands of content creators, editors, and social curators, too.

Start winning on search with every publish. Request a proposal today and let's start working together.

You're almost there! Fill out the form below and a Rebel will contact you within one business day.

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Making Sense of PageSpeed Insights and Core Web Vitals

Page speed and Core Web Vitals are an important piece of the SEO puzzle. Having a quick load time and passing Core Web Vitals are important factors in Google's search ranking and results. But there are multiple ways of testing your speed and vitals, and it can get very confusing to try and understand the results since different measuring tools can result in different scores.

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How Does It Look?

It's entirely up to how you want it to look, but here's an example screencast where we have an ad for our new book at the top, followed by a breaking news banner right beneath. You can see that as the page scrolls down, the behavior is set to have the ad removed after a couple of seconds of scrolling, and that it will reappear as the page scrolls back to the top:

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RebelMouse Q2 2021 Platform Performance Updates

Q2 of 2021 was a big quarter for the open web. Google delayed their release of SEO ranking by CrUX report, and they changed their method for Lighthouse scoring drastically. Our team was a few steps ahead of these changes, and we were able to update our platform so sites in our network had little, if any, performance interruptions.

We invested over 1,592 hours into our platform in Q2 2021 alone, and all of the sites on our platform received the benefits of these updates. To break it down into large buckets, we invested in the following key areas:

  • 538 hours dedicated to new features
  • 725 hours dedicated to improving existing features
  • 329 hours dedicated to performance and infrastructure updates

Here are the major updates that we've added to the RebelMouse platform in Q2.

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