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RebelMouse Pageview Methodology

Throughout the evolution of media on the internet, there's been a constant struggle between design that provides the best monetization of articles and design that offers the best user experience. It's what has spurned the adoption of ad-blockers from the user perspective, and crazy 40-page slideshows on the publisher end.


The secret to strong, lasting growth is to focus on a strategy that strikes a balance between the two. At RebelMouse, we've built our technology around making it turn-key simple for our clients to create and deploy content in a way that will do just that. We accomplish this by employing a proprietary mix of functions that abide by a set of core principles of user-interaction. Here's a look at what we do and why.

Infinite Scroll, Particles, and the New Pageview

The early days of the internet were dominated by web pages. They had a finite beginning and a finite ending. But social networks like Facebook and Twitter have shifted the way people interact with the internet by providing content in a waterfall feed where you can spend five minutes or five hours consuming content.

Media has always hit a bit of a snag with respect to this style of content delivery for a number of reasons. How do we track pageviews? How do we serve enough ads to keep the doors open?

While these are partially technical hurdles, they also require a bit of a philosophy change in the minds of media professionals. We can no longer debate whether we should switch to an endless scroll feed. We need to treat it as critical to our success. User retention hinges on the ability of your audience to binge content beyond what brought them to your site in the first place.

RebelMouse supports an infinite scroll feed of posts that is mobile-friendly by using expandable posts. This way, your users don't have to scroll endlessly just to get to the content they would like to read. They can read the part of the post that is "before the jump," but instead of jumping to a new page, the story expands upon click to show the rest of the post.

That full post may take several forms: a short-form or long-form article, a listicle, a slideshow, or a combination. Because of this, we've created a simple framework for building your content called Particle Assembler.

We playfully call each piece of your content a "particle," which is quite literally a "part" of an "article." These particles have become the core unit of content authoring on RebelMouse, and are standalone elements with their own imagery, title, and copy. For example, you may have a post that is titled, "Top 5 Places to Eat in NYC." Each eatery in this listicle will have a lead image, the name of the restaurant, its location, and a description of the restaurant with even more images of food. All of these listicle items contain enough information to stand by themselves as single posts.

Because of their standalone nature, we assign particles their own unique URL, which fires a pageview on-scroll, and is uniquely shareable on social. It's an evolutionary change to the old tactic of paginating a multi-part article to increase ad visibility. Our methodology, however, keeps your user experience intact and includes robust ad serving technology so your articles preserve your monetization strategy. We also use industry standard rules for pageviews that require at least 50% of the screen space to change before it counts as a new pageview. So whether you use Comscore or Nielsen to verify your site traffic, you can rest assured that it will be above board.

So, not only will you record a pageview for the initial, collapsed view of a story, you'll also get pageviews for all of the particles within when a user expands it. Also, soon we'll be giving publishers the ability to control your own configuration depending on your environment and individual business needs.

The result is that you'll now be properly credited for all of your pageviews. Traditional infinite scroll designs on other CMSs are massively under-reporting view counts by treating the entire feed of stories as one pageview. With RebelMouse, you no longer have to choose between a great user experience and properly measuring your view data again.

The Real Goal Is User and Revenue Growth

The most important metric for media companies and content is the total on-target audience. It's important to us at RebelMouse that we're not just helping our clients take advantage of all the most sophisticated measurement systems and getting credit for the depth of engagement we create together. What we've found is that building engagement on a particle level — and creating unique URLs for this — creates a larger audience because it makes your content more shareable and searchable. It also creates valid and elegant monetization opportunities.

Platform Views: The Next Dimension

On-site pageviews are only a slice of the traffic pie. In the quest to make the internet faster and more accessible, the platforms have rolled out technologies to create clean reading experiences that load with lightning speed. Google has their AMP format and Facebook has Instant Articles, and both should be considered in the pageview equation. These often times go overlooked because they're off-site views, meaning they're not actually served via your website itself.

RebelMouse makes it easy to integrate into these platforms seamlessly without any heavy lifting. We can also assist in monetization strategy for both.

Adding Meaning to Each Pageview

By default, when sending a pageview hit to Google Analytics, it's just that. A pageview. You can gather some added insights like source/medium, and demographic information via Google's built-in functionality, but for media/publishing sites, it comes up a bit short out of the box.

Given that RebelMouse was born in the world of publishing, we look at things a bit differently. There is so much more to a pageview on a media site that is worth tracking. With minor additions to our client's GA account, we send along custom dimensions for author, section, publication date, and layout. This allows us to do advanced analysis of site data so that we can provide full reporting to each client without the need to purchase a secondary analytics solution.

One Dashboard to Rule Them All

Having all of this data piped right into Google Analytics is nice, but GA can still be pretty cumbersome when filtering data on the fly for analysis. It also is limited to just seeing data from GA without bringing in other sources.

To get over these hurdles, we use another Google product to bring it all together in Google Data Studio. Our custom Data Studio reports allow us to provide an easy way to filter your data so you can get immediate insights that are actionable and share them with anyone on your team, regardless of their knowledge of Google Analytics.

We can also provide some in-depth analysis that isn't available in GA such as moving average reports for pageviews and users over time. Seeing how your short, medium, and long-term trends are shaping up at a glance is critical to answering the question: "How are we doing?"

Data Studio also allows for the connection of multiple data sources, which means we can add in data from Facebook Insights, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, Sailthru, and more. So instead of looking at your data in multiple places, it's all in one report.

Back your content up with the insights that make a marked difference. Our in-depth Google Data Studio dashboards can help steer your content strategy, monetization efforts, and user experience toward a path of growth. Request a proposal today and let's start working together. And even if a replatform is not on your current road map, we can make sure your current site is equipped with the tools it needs to leverage metrics that fuel success.

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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