Site performance is the only way to win at search. Our Core Web Vitals optimizations helped Second Nexus experience a huge boost in search traffic.
Site performance is the only way to win at search. Our Core Web Vitals optimizations helped Second Nexus experience a huge boost in search traffic.
Why RebelMouse Is the Most Secure CMS on the Web
Delivering a secure, high-performing environment with extreme reliability is essential to all of our clients at RebelMouse. We only use industry-leading, reliable approaches to host our infrastructure. This ensures maximum stability and security for all of our clients’ data. Here are just some of the reasons we’re able to maintain a hard-bodied product that’s flexible, too.
Most websites get hacked. RebelMouse has never been hacked.
We’ve spent years building the most secure CMS of 2022. Open-source CMS platforms like WordPress and Drupal mean everyone has access to your code, and that means your website is completely vulnerable.
Think about it: There are millions of instances of WordPress in the world, and every security update and feature upgrade — no matter how big or small — has to be manually performed for each individual site to avoid outright breaking custom code, plugins, and more. On WordPress, you need a plugin to manage simple things, but those seemingly safe tasks can put your entire site at risk. For example, a plugin to manage affiliate links gave hackers an easy opening to add their own links instead.
Examples like these leave open-source CMS options like WordPress constantly vulnerable to security threats. If you are running a real online business, easily exposed features like plugins are a 2005-era feature that now serve as a major weakness on your site. Security threats created by outdated plugins can put hundreds of thousands of sites at risk, like this breach in 2022 that threatened the safety of 600,000 sites.
Every time a WordPress security breach is announced, the proper updates have to be made one by one. This is because the only way WordPress core developers can patch significant flaws within their software is to deploy fixes to users in the form of user-installed product updates.
This isn't an issue on RebelMouse. All of our updates are quickly deployed at once to every site we power. We often deploy multiple updates on a daily basis. While many WordPress users count on third-party hosting companies or in-house developers to stay on top of the platform’s updates, RebelMouse users can rest easy knowing that important updates are taken care of immediately.
RebelMouse isn’t a solution for cheap websites. We’re a solution for high-value websites that are high-performing and highly secure. It’s also why we’re able to power some of the fastest sites on the web with superior scores on Google’s Core Web Vitals. Click here to learn more.
Transparency is a priority. The sites in our network subscribe to a status portal that provides up-to-date details on platform performance with real-time updates.
We only use modern and reliable approaches to host our infrastructure for maximum stability. We host our infrastructure in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud because AWS is the most trusted, secure, and reliable infrastructure in the world. We have great relationships with the folks at AWS and utilize the best of their services.
All of our production services are covered with AWS Auto Scaling groups, which means we can sleep at night without worrying that something may go wrong. Our services are self-healing 24/7 as well. And even our stateful services, like databases, are covered with reliable automatic failover and backup solutions.
Since the RebelMouse team spans dozens of countries, we offer 24/7 live support. This means that any vulnerabilities that pop up will never be left unattended. In fact, many updates and patches are deployed across our platform in seconds without any interruption to our site network at all.Click here to learn more about RebelMouse’s infrastructure.
RebelMouse delivers 99.99% uptime with maximum performance, stability, and security.
AWS's Web Application Firewall (WAF) is a firewall that helps protect your web applications (or APIs) against common web exploits that may affect availability, compromise security, or consume excessive resources. AWS WAF gives RebelMouse developers control over how traffic reaches our applications by enabling us to create security rules that block common attack patterns, such as SQL injections or cross-site scripting (XSS), and rules that filter out specific traffic patterns we have defined. These rules are regularly updated when new issues emerge as well.
With AWS WAF, we're making sure that all of our sites are covered against some of the most common attacks, as defined by The Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP). The project is an online community that creates freely available articles, methodologies, documentation, tools, and technologies in the field of web application security.
Click here to learn more about WAF.
To strengthen our commitment to security, RebelMouse offers a bug bounty program. If you believe you've found a security issue on our site, or any of the sites we power, we may compensate you for your discovery. We look at all submitted reports, and if we agree that it's a valid finding, we'll pay $250 for each one.
Click here for more information about what qualifies as a security vulnerability and how to report a bug.
Fastly’s CDN is certified under the Swiss-US framework. We use the following Fastly services:
Click here to learn more about our Fastly recovery plan.
A lot of publishers may think uncertainty in the digital space means it’s time to double down on in-house developers to create a site experience that stands out against the noise. But it's actually the opposite: It’s time to invest in an external team that creates and manages tech for you, so you can instead focus on creating content that resonates with new and existing audiences.
Our infrastructure summary may come across as Greek to you, but that’s all right. Let’s create something together that isn’t just powered by next-level strategies, but also innovative and stable technology. Your content will be both protected and optimized for long-term growth.
Request a proposal today and let’s start working together.
Make sure your site is set up for success in 2022.
In the spring of 2020, Google let the world know that its Core Web Vitals would become the new benchmark for measuring a site's performance in its search results, known as the page experience update. Fast forward to more than a year later in August 2021 when, after much anticipation, Google's page experience update became official.
Since its rollout, developers have felt the impact of how their publishing platforms stack up against the new standard. Important decisions around the architecture of your site can now make or break your site's performance in the eyes of Google.
HTTP Archive, a tracking platform that crawls the web to identify trends and record historical patterns, has revealed how top content management systems (CMS) have weathered the page experience update through the creation of its Core Web Vitals Technology Report. RebelMouse consistently outperforms major CMS platforms on Google's most critical metrics since its rollout and into 2022:
Getting superior scores on Google's performance benchmarks isn't easy, either. The Ahrefs blog analyzed Core Web Vitals data from the Chrome User Experience Report (CrUX), which is data from actual Chrome users, to see how the web stacks up against Core Web Vitals. Their study found that only 33% of sites on the web are passing Core Web Vitals.
Luckily, performing well on Core Web Vitals is possible with thoughtful, strategic changes to your site’s codebase. Here's what you need to know and how we can help.
Google’s benchmarks for Core Web Vitals.
First, it’s important to understand the metrics that make up Google’s Core Web Vitals:
The other existing search signals are:
Together, all of these metrics determine Google's new page experience signals.
Google says it will always consider informative, quality content as its number one search signal. However, if two websites both have quality content, but one site has better Core Web Vitals, the site with a better page experience will always outrank any site that isn’t optimized for performance.
"By adding page experience to the hundreds of signals that Google considers when ranking search results, we aim to help people more easily access the information and web pages they’re looking for, and support site owners in providing an experience users enjoy.” —From Google’s original page experience announcement in May 2020.
Click here to learn more about what it takes to improve your site’s Core Web Vitals.
RebelMouse’s performance score on Google’s PageSpeed Insights test.
Having a quick load time and passing Core Web Vitals are important factors in Google Search’s 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.
There are generally three ways to get your site's performance measurements:
Each of those three methods can give you important details on how your site is performing, but their results are derived using different methodologies.
Click here to learn more about how to accurately determine your site’s performance.
We practice what we preach. This is RebelMouse.com’s Core Web Vitals audit from Google’s PageSpeed Insights.
The saying "Content is King" is still true in today's publishing landscape, but there's no kingdom without high-performing sites. While page speed may have begun as a luxury for savvy webmasters and lucky readers, it's now a make-or-break component that deeply impacts a site's longevity in a highly competitive and global space.
A high-performance site is so critical in today's digital ecosystem that a poor-loading site could be a fatal blow to any publisher or brand. Here are just a few ways poor page speed can impact your site’s bottom line.
Mobile Page Speed Impacts Overall SEO Ranking: Mobile devices account for more than 50% of web traffic. If a site's mobile page speed is slow, this means half of the users trying to access the site are not only suffering a poor experience, but they're likely abandoning the site visit completely. This puts the site in danger of losing positions in its Google Search rankings.
Poor Page Speed Makes Ads More Expensive: Much like with SEO, if your page performance is slow and prompting lost site visits, the ads being served on your site will receive lower impressions. Lower impressions mean the ads are more expensive to deliver, which costs revenue and users in a matter of seconds.
Poor Page Speed Tanks Usability and Loyalty: The health of your site will always be dependent on the experience you deliver to your readers. Usability is the core reason why Google decided to prioritize page speed. Slow load times are a sure-fire way to give your readers a reason to abandon your content. To make matters worse, thanks to the massive amount of content being created every day, users have plenty of other options to choose from and may be wary of clicking a link or CTA associated with your site in the future.
The RebelMouse platform evolves alongside Google’s algorithm, and our team of growth experts spans all time zones to ensure our sites are optimized for page experience with every new article.
To do this correctly, it takes a lot of optimization to perfect every moment of your site’s load time. We’ve mastered Core Web Vitals already, and our performance scores are drastically outperforming every other CMS on the market.
Our jaw-dropping page speeds have allowed us to power the fastest sites on the web. We’ve done this through a simplified version of code that still allows for ads, videos, and third-party applications to load quickly.
Now that you’re up to speed (pun intended) on how Google measures and scrutinizes site experience, let's take a look at some of the benefits RebelMouse-powered clients enjoy as a result of their excellent performance scores:
Here’s how those scores compare to traditional CMS solutions that don’t prioritize page performance:
Currently, publishers are trying to build optimized websites that translate easily across devices and platforms, but are failing to also deliver an experience that checks all their boxes and prioritizes their readers. It takes less than a second of delayed load time to turn away a user.
If you are publishing to a site with poor performance, it’s going to take a mammoth effort to overhaul your site’s entire architecture so that it scores high against Google’s Core Web Vitals. In most cases, it’s simply easier and more cost-effective to move your data to a platform that is already high performing with page speed woven into the foundation of its technology versus reinventing the wheel on your own.
At RebelMouse, performance is a pillar of our company’s culture. We’ve taken site performance seriously for years, and have leveraged them to ensure our sites are constantly high performing. It's why we outperform some of the biggest sites on the web. And like with any pillar of a company's culture, optimizing for high performance is never a one-time effort. Our engineers have been crafting and tuning our platform to address these new standards long before they surfaced.
If you want to publish alongside the speed of the web, request a proposal today and let’s start working together.
Alt text is an important part of any search strategy, but many content creators may not even be familiar with what it is. Here’s what you need to know about alt text and how it can improve your content’s usability and performance on search.
Alt text, which is short for alternative text for images, is very important for accessibility, and can also have benefits for SEO. Briefly, alt text is wording that is added to an image to describe it to search engines. It also allows people using screen readers to be able to know what the image is without actually being able to see it.
Here’s a quick three-minute explainer on alt text from Google:
Since alt text is designed to describe an image for someone who cannot view it, it should be more detailed than a traditional photo caption.
Differences of wording between caption and alt text. Both are easy to implement on the RebelMouse platform.
Alt text is an HTML tag included alongside an image attribute. As you can see from the image above, the RebelMouse platform makes it easy to incorporate alt text during the editing process.
Google’s Search Advocate John Mueller has said that Google has no specific guidelines regarding alt text. This came up during a recent Google SEO office hours hangout, when Muller dispelled speculation that Google only crawls the first 16 words of an alt text tag.
Mueller said that there are actually no restrictions for how long your alt text can be, and that in terms of SEO, you can add a lot of wording to an alt text tag as long as it's relevant for that particular image.
Here’s a helpful example from Mueller of what kind of relevant text can improve your alt text:
If you have a picture of a beach, you could use an alt text and say, ‘Oh this is a beach.’ But you could also say, ‘this is the beach in front of our hotel or this is the beach that we took a photo of when we were doing a chemical cleanup.’ And kind of those intents are very different and people would be searching in different ways in Google Images to find more information there. And giving that extra context always makes sense, in my opinion.”
While this guidance from Google may seem vague, it’s safe to say that any effort to describe an image with helpful context is better than nothing. However, Google does clearly mention in its best practices for images documentation that you should not stuff keywords into your alt text tags. This means you should not use the alt text field as an opportunity to mindlessly input your desired search phrases, or even the name of your company, with no context.
Here’s an example from Google of keyword stuffing in the alt text attribute:
The impact of alt text on your search rankings is, like most things related to SEO, a bit hard to determine. While Google hasn’t directly mentioned alt text as an official search ranking factor, it has given several clues to its importance. For example, their guidelines do state that keyword stuffing alt text attributes like mentioned above could cause your site to be marked as spam and negatively impact your site’s search rankings.
In 2020, Mueller gave another nugget of insight into alt text’s impact on SEO. He said the alt text attribute is particularly important for image search, and that “using the alt attribute is a good way to tell us this is on that image and we’ll get extra information from around your page with regard to how we can rank that landing page.”
So the quick answer is yes, alt text is an important part of your holistic SEO strategy.
While making sure that every image on your site has appropriate alt text will not be a quick fix to better performance on search, it is an important part of your site’s usability and overall SEO strategy. Plus, when done correctly and with appropriate context, it’s another chance to reinforce your content’s search phrase for Google’s crawler.
Today’s modern search strategy requires putting together a lot of moving pieces, including the implementation of technical SEO, putting together a search-centered content strategy, and publishing to a high performance website.
RebelMouse is a modern CMS that weaves in every aspect of SEO into our product and your content creation workflow. Not only do we follow all of Google’s best practices for images, but you can easily manage alt text directly from our editing interface and optimize every piece of content for success on search. Additionally, our platform is known for delivering industry-leading page performance, and includes SEO must-haves like structured data right out of the box.
Stop stressing about checking off every box needed for a perfect SEO strategy. Let us do it for you. Request a proposal today to get started.
Google rolled out one of its notorious core algorithm updates on May 25, appropriately titled the May 2022 Core Update. These updates happen several times a year, but always make publishers and site owners nervous because they can cause web traffic volatility. Google says that core updates are implemented to increase the overall relevancy of its search results.
Historically, the search engine will not divulge details about its core updates, but will only confirm the existence of a core update in anticipation of some sites experiencing changes in traffic patterns.
In fact, if your site does experience a dip in traffic, it can be hard to determine what’s wrong. In its statement about the May 2022 Core Update, Google said, “Some sites may note drops or gains during them. We know those with sites that experience drops will be looking for a fix, and we want to ensure they don't try to fix the wrong things. Moreover, there might not be anything to fix at all.”
Google also notes that core updates don’t target specific pages or sites, but instead change how its systems assess content overall. This can even cause some sites with poor web traffic to experience improvements.
\u201cToday, we're releasing a broad core update, as we do several times per year. This update is called the May 2022 core update. Learn more: https://t.co/7kFklwdkAb\u201d— Google Search Central (@Google Search Central) 1653493546
Despite Google’s vagueness, the SEO community will usually try to identify patterns in web traffic to gain insight into what kind of content or sites could be impacted by each core update. The May 2022 Core Update had a larger-than-usual impact on SEO, according to search expert Barry Schwartz. Within 24 hours of the update’s rollout, site owners were complaining about dips in traffic.
Schwartz was able to put together key facts about the update over at SEO Roundtable:
RebelMouse is a modern publishing platform that anticipates major changes from Google, like the May 2022 Core Update, before they even happen. Our holistic search strategy makes sure that the sites within our network consistently rank highly on search and crush industry standards on site performance.
Request a proposal today to get started.