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Why We're Immune to Facebook's Pendulum

Our obsession over methodical traffic and how/why things go viral has allowed our clients to see a constant increase in reach on Facebook. Within the past five months, many publishers have been experiencing another decline in Facebook reach. In fact, reach is down as much as 42% so far this year. It's a trend that persists despite the rise of content championing polarizing stories and social-friendly videos. At RebelMouse, our clients continue to see their Facebook reach increase. We look at changes in the media landscape and platform updates as a challenge and an opportunity.


The direction has sparked questions about what Facebook has been doing to its algorithm, and what publishers can and should do in response. With the right mix of technology + strategy, we've created a content distribution formula that truly works for the properties we power.

Here are seven reasons why our Facebook game is 👌 .

1. Server Response Time

Facebook is prioritizing faster-loading pages, so we got faster too. It all boils down to user experience, and fast load times + page speed are musts if you want readers to stick around and consume your content.

The difference we see is unreal:

2. Social UX for Media: A Page View Game Changer

Social UX for Media is our way of making your site as viral and binge-worthy as the Facebook News Feed. This format enables our clients to present their users with content in a format they're already familiar using. We've seen clients double their traffic within 10 days using our highly optimized layout. It's working for the amazing media properties Axios, EcoWatch, Dance Magazine, Azula, and others we power.

Here's how Social UX for Media is impacting our clients' page views:

3. Facebook Instant Articles Optimization

We always tell our clients to "go all in" with Facebook Instant Articles — and we mean all in. This includes using video, producing engaging and intelligently designed copy, making sure your pages load fast, and ensuring articles are perfectly optimized for social. Clients that stick to this formula have experienced up to $25 CPM on Instant Articles.

4. Facebook Live Campaigns

Video continues to dominate in terms of engagement and reach, and native video even more so. Broadcasting live helps our clients get the right visibility across their audiences, and keeps their content mix fresh and engaging. Leveraging those earned video views to create custom audiences for future retargeting ensures our clients get the most out of their content.

5. New Content Lifecycle

It's important to work with other Facebook Pages that have high follower counts, and practice the law of reciprocity to build repeat visits from loyal followers.

6. Research Is Everything

We ask our clients to figure out which content is polarizing to their users. And once we're armed with that information, we work together to create related child properties as part of a larger site network. We all know that high affinity works well on social, and once it's mixed with the right technology and strategy, its effect and reach is undeniable.

7. Take Advantage of Instagram

Utilizing platforms like Instagram is an abstract value that is gaining momentum. We're building audiences and traffic everywhere, across platforms. Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, Snapchat — they're all here to send more traffic out to our sites.

At the end of the day, it's pretty simple: The world is changing, and if you change with it there's plenty of opportunity. The key is that you can't do all of this on a decentralized, custom CMS like WordPress, where every update has to be pushed out individually and security intrusions are the norm. It's a broken model emulated by too many platforms.

That's why we set out to solve this problem with a centralized, social CMS built for speed. In our world, the recent, months-long decline in Facebook reach for many publishers is merely another opportunity to help our clients rise above the rest.

Publishers No Longer Have to Submit Their Site to Google News

Google's Publisher Center creates new opportunities for audience growth

Just before the start of the next decade, Google announced an important change to its Google News offering with the launch of Google Publisher Center. The new interface merges Google News Producer and Google News Publisher into one to streamline the partnership process for publishers.

Overall, the change should make it easier for publishers to manage their Google News settings, including updating themes, directing URLs to section pages, and configuring user permissions. Read the full list of features here.

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How to Find Work-Life Balance as a Remote Employee

Tips from our CEO on making the most of an office-free lifestyle

Working from home is becoming increasingly popular, with an estimated 66% of companies now allowing remote work and 16% operating completely office-free. RebelMouse is one of those fully remote companies, and over the years we've mastered how to stay close to each other despite being spread across more than a dozen countries. We believe working remotely is good for both our personal lives and our productivity. Read more about this here.

Still, working free from the shackles of an office environment doesn't mean every day is a dance party in your pajamas from 9 to 5. Working from home comes with its own set of challenges just like any other job.

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Inside RebelMouse’s Quality Assurance Operations

How We've Perfected Stress-Free Publishing

At RebelMouse, we like to refer to our enterprise publishing platform as "lean tech." Most publishers have a natural inclination to start doubling down on teams of developers who try to build unique experiences to help stand out above the noise. But they should actually be doing the opposite: Lean tech is the preferred way to cut through content saturation. By allowing RebelMouse to obsess over your product, content producers, editors, managers, and everyone in between can focus on creating quality content and taking advantage of opportunities to leverage distributive publishing strategies that create real revenue growth.

One of the major reasons we're able to maintain a lean tech environment is thanks to our approach to quality assurance (QA). We make updates to our platform daily to ensure our clients always have access to the most robust, high-performing, and secure version of our platform. Behind the scenes, this means having a solid QA structure that's efficient, creates less bugs, and catches the ones that do pop up before they go live. It's a system of checks and balances that's hard and costly to replicate on a custom CMS. Here's a glimpse into how it works.

Our Tech Stack Toolbox

  • Cucumber
  • Java
  • Junit
  • Maven
  • Selenium WebDriver
  • TeamCity
  • Zalenium (Selenium Grid)

Our Checks and Balances Workflow

Automated Regression Testing Cycle

The Lifecycle of a Product Update

When an update is first made to RebelMouse, TeamCity immediately triggers the start of automated tests to review integrity.

TeamCity Build

TeamCity Agent

The tests run in parallel on TeamCity's Build Agent. Next, Zalenium creates docker containers with browsers that matches the count of parallel threads. An Allure report is then generated from the test results, which shows the state of the application after the update.

Allure Report Pass

If a test doesn't complete successfully, the testing framework receives a video with a failed test and attaches it to the Allure report.

Allure Report Issue

Based on the report analysis, a QA specialist will create a "bug" ticket in our product management software to address the issue if needed. Then, information about the bug is immediately sent to the project manager and we begin the process of correcting the problem.

The media powerhouses we power can publish with confidence knowing that any product issues that arise are met with a tried-and-true process to fix the problem with little-to-no disturbance to their workflow. If you have any questions about this process, please email support@rebelmouse.com.

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