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How to Fix Missing Meta Descriptions in France

There's a copyright law in France that now impacts the visibility of meta descriptions on search results, commonly called snippets. The regulation is the first implementation of the European Copyright Directive, which aims to improve online copyright rules in Europe. The law requires publishers to opt in to meta descriptions. Previously, they were enabled by default. Click here to read more about this change from Google.

The law caused meta descriptions to disappear in France for European news publisher and RebelMouse client Worldcrunch.

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RebelMouse Q3 2021 Platform Performance Updates

For many publishers and brands, Q3 2021 was about recovering web traffic lost to Google's page experience signals update that was rolled out over the summer. For us, the quarter was about continuing our success of delivering excellent Core Web Vitals metrics across our site network with platform performance updates both big and small.

As a globally distributed team, it's important for us to remain transparent about how we're able to power some of the best-performing sites on the open web. And while we're already looking forward to closing out the year stronger than ever before, here's a detailed look back at our accomplishments in Q3 2021.

We invested 1,946 hours into our platform in Q3 2021 alone, and all of the sites on our platform benefited from the work in various ways. Here are the key areas that we focused on:

  • 184 hours were spent on delivering new features
  • 1,010 hours were spent on improving existing features
  • 752 hours were spent on performance and infrastructure updates
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RebelMouse Clients See Performance Improvement After AMP Optimization

Performance is a major pillar of our platform, which means we are always making changes — both big and small — to improve page speed. Our focus on fast websites isn't platform specific, either. We want to make sure that users have a top-notch experience however they view your content, and this includes our integration with Google's AMP format.

Our team of traffic-obsessed developers recently implemented some performance optimizations to enhance our platform's integration with AMP, and that has improved the average response time for our clients. This means that users are able to access your AMP pages more quickly, which, in turn, improves your site's traffic from Google.

Here's a breakdown of the changes we've made:

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Keep Search a Priority With SEO-Friendly Image Filenames

There are a lot of factors that go into a successful search engine optimization (SEO) strategy, including performance, structured data, and, of course, choosing the right keyword(s). Our proprietary search technology helps content creators prep every article for success on search. This all-encompassing approach includes the use of SEO-friendly image filenames.

On RebelMouse, if you assign an alt tag to an image in Entry Editor, that alt tag will also become the image's file name. Briefly, alt tags describe images for search engines, and also allow people using screen readers to know what the image is without actually being able to see it. Adding your desired search phase to every alt text field, and in turn every image file name, will reinforce its relevance to Google's crawler, bringing you one step closer to the top of search returns.

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Add Style to Articles With HTML Class Selectors

RebelMouse's Particle Assembler is designed to break down articles into micro pieces of content, which we call "particles." Individual particles in an article can be styled, shared, converted to slideshows, and now, take specific CSS styling to make them pop, when you want them to pop.

By adding some simple (or complex!) CSS to your Entry Editor via Layout & Design Tool, you can have a preset template for side quotes, warnings, or just places where you want something to stand out a bit.

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Fuel a Data-Driven Content Strategy With Google Search Console Insights

At RebelMouse, we believe a data-driven content strategy is the key to success. Luckily, the era of "post and pray" is far behind us. Creators no longer need to create articles blindly and hope that they are successful. There are now tools that can help creators understand the kind of content that resonates with their desired audiences.

That's why we are excited to let you know about Google Search Console's Insights feature. According to Google, this new data view will help content creators and site owners answer the following questions:

  • What are your best performing pieces of content?
  • How are your new pieces of content performing?
  • How do people discover your content across the web?
  • What do people search for on Google Search before they visit your content?
  • Which article refers users to your website and content?
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How to Use the Feed Builder Dashboard

The Feed Builder Dashboard allows you to create custom RSS, Atom, and JSON feeds. You can access this dashboard by appending the following to your site's URL: r/dashboard/feed_builder

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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.

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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New Feature: Stacking Sticky Elements

We always love to introduce new features to the RebelMouse platform, and today we're announcing a Stacked Sticky element. This will allow you to have two sticky elements at the top of your page, with the option to have one of the sticky elements disappear after a select amount of time. This can be very useful for an ad or banner you want to display briefly, and then be able to have the space back.

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. And don't forget to check out our Q1 updates as well!

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How to Use the Pagination Element

You can add pagination to section, tag, and archive pages using RebelMouse's Layout & Design Tool. This can be done through our Pagination element:

Using the Properties card, there are three options that you can configure on the Pagination element:

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New: Add Media Bar Now Supports More File Types

The Add Media Bar in our Entry Editor allows you to add rich media integrations to every post with just a few clicks.

Today, we're pleased to announce that Add Media Bar supports even more file types than before. Using the paperclip icon, you can now choose to upload Excel, PowerPoint, Word, PDF, and/or CSV files.

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Google’s June 2021 Lighthouse Update Changes PageSpeed Insights Performance

Google updated how their PageSpeed Insights scores are calculated by releasing a new version of Lighthouse on June 1, 2021. Lighthouse is a tool built into Google Chrome that lets you know how well your site is performing against Google's standards for a better open web. At RebelMouse, our team keeps up with updates from Google closely, and reads all of their release notes and GitHub updates.

This latest upgrade to Lighthouse had a negative impact on one of our previous methods for loading JavaScript in the JavaScript element of our Layout & Design Tool. Performance scores dropped as much as 20–60 points for sites that were using the JavaScript element in its previous state. However, our team kept on top of Google's changes, and developed a new approach that we call the post Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) method. LCP is a metric in Google's Core Web Vitals that measures the time it takes to load the main content on a page. Our post-LCP method loads JavaScript immediately after the LCP event has completed. Thanks to this new approach, scores in our site network have largely stayed intact, and many of them significantly outperform the open web.

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How to A/B Test Mailchimp Campaigns With RebelMouse

Mailchimp has a tool to A/B test campaigns on their platform. You can also use this feature through RebelMouse's native Mailchimp integration. Here's how it works.

First, you need to create a test audience in Mailchimp. We suggest creating one that consists of just your own email or internal team emails. Click here to learn more about how to create an audience in Mailchimp.

Once you have created your test audience, send the newsletter you wish to A/B test from RebelMouse to your newly created test audience. That way the newsletter will be saved to your Mailchimp campaigns on the RebelMouse platform. Click here to learn how to send a newsletter through RebelMouse.

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Optimizing Tweets for Zero CLS Penalties

Tweets are a very popular embed for media sites. They can contain lots of information and drive lots of traffic, and we have worked very hard to make it super easy for writers and editors to embed them by simply dropping a link into our Add Media Bar.

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RebelMouse and Amazon Onsite Associates Program

Amazon has recently begun adding editorial content to the search results on their site. This is a part of their Onsite Associates Program (OSP), which is an extension of their Amazon Associates (affiliate) program.

This is a really cool way for Amazon to pull in third-party content that discusses a particular product type to enhance listings, and it's a great way to give users detailed information about products that is divorced from the actual seller of the product. We've recently updated our RSS Feed structure so that you can easily send your content to Amazon to take advantage of this program.

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Google Page Experience Now Live in Search Console

Google has recently introduced a new page in Search Console, the Page Experience report. When you have Search Console properly set up, you will be able to access the Page Experience report directly from the side menu (currently this is only available for mobile pages). We will describe the features included in this report in detail, but briefly, Page Experience report provides a general overview of the user experience on your site.

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RebelMouse’s PageSpeed and Core Web Vitals Guide for Developers

The RebelMouse platform delivers tremendous page speed that's unparalleled by any other publishing solution. Our obsession with performance means that the sites within our network enjoy some of the fastest load times on the web.

Even with high-performing sites, it can be a challenge to balance monetization while maintaining a quality user experience on every page. Google has recently announced a new update that says its page experience signals will become a part of its search rankings. One major factor of the experience is Google's Core Web Vitals, which is made up of three key metrics that determine your site's performance:

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RebelMouse & Parse.ly Integration

Are you using Parse.ly to track your content analytics? Well good news! We've recently completed an integration with Parse.ly that allows you to easily connect your RebelMouse system to your Parse.ly instance.

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Create Custom Feeds With RebelMouse Feed Builder

We recently introduced our Custom Feed Builder that allows you to create and edit RSS, JSON, and Atom feeds. In this article, we go into the process of creating and editing feeds in much greater detail. By following the directions in this post, you will be able to create custom feeds to match your specific requirements.

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RebelMouse Supports TikTok Embeds

Let's be honest, we all love TikTok. And now you can easily embed TikTok videos into your articles in RebelMouse by using either an embed code or the URL of a post.

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Customize Your Entry Editor for Newsletters

At RebelMouse, we are always trying to make our platform fit with your workflow. That's why we recently introduced customizable Entry Editors that allow for different types of content to have different creation and editorial implementations. This lets you step beyond the bounds of most CMS platforms to help your writers visually understand how to create specific types of content.

One recent entry into our list of customizable editorial experiences is for newsletters. In this post, we describe how we've set up Entry Editor to allow you to search for past articles, drag and drop articles into the main post, and even visualize your newsletter template in Entry Editor while writing your post!

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Integrating Rumble Player on RebelMouse

RebelMouse has recently added Rumble Player as an option for uploading video content into your articles. Rumble Player is a fast and flexible video hosting platform that we have seamlessly integrated into our content creation tools.

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New Programmatic Ad Management on RebelMouse Yields Big Results!

If you're using AdSense Auto ads or managing other forms of programmatic, you know the struggle is real. Here at RebelMouse we are always innovating, and for publishers that includes site monetization. Thanks to Google's GAM 360 MCM account tool, RebelMouse is now able to effectively optimize Google Ad Manager for our customers, and so far we're seeing amazing results!

Premier Guitar recently launched on RebelMouse, and thanks to our help with ads, well, the numbers speak for themselves:

Premier Guitar saw major increases in eCPM, impressions, and revenue in their very first week after RebelMouse optimized their GAM.

If you're interested in optimizing advertising on your site, please contact your account manager or email support@rebelmouse.com!

Not on RebelMouse yet? Request a proposal today.

Custom Events and Journey Tracking

Being able to track your site performance and users' behavior on your site can be very beneficial in understanding what's effective on a given page. Using Google Tag Manager (GTM) in conjunction with Google Analytics (GA) and RebelMouse's Layout & Design Tool (L&D) allows you to glean many insights into what's working and, just as importantly, what's not working on your site. Let's start with a common example.

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RebelMouse Q1 2021 Platform Updates

Speed, performance, and Core Web Vitals enhancements

Click here to read our Q2 2021 platform performance updates!

At RebelMouse, we pour our souls into making sure that our platform is always the most modern, high-performance CMS on the market. In fact, we invested over $100,000 worth of hours into our platform in Q1 2021 alone. This has resulted in updates and performance enhancements that publishers would have to pay for on their own to make happen on any other platform, such as WordPress. We're proud to be at a level of scale where we can invest this way into our platform, and we will continue to invest at this rate every quarter moving forward just as we have in the past.

Here are the major updates that we've added to the platform in Q1.

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Nordot + RebelMouse

RebelMouse and Nordot have joined together to provide publishers with access to Nordot's massive content library directly from the RebelMouse CMS.

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Facebook Instant Articles: Troubleshooting, Debugging, and Tokens

Facebook Instant Articles are a great Facebook feature, but sometimes there can be issues that need to be addressed. In this post, we'll be looking at a few of the most common, including:

  • Resolving Facebook Instant Articles errors
  • Resolving Facebook expired token notifications
  • Resolving any setup issue regarding Facebook Instant Articles
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SEO Decline? Google Featured Snippets Are Dramatically Reduced

You may have noticed a decline in your traffic recently, particularly from Google Search. It appears that Google has changed their algorithm to dramatically reduce the amount of featured snippets that are showing on the search engine's results page. If you consistently get traffic from featured snippets, this algo update will most likely have a negative impact on your search traffic.

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How to Add Custom Fields to Posts

Great sites will often have content that follows a particular pattern, or have specific fields that need to be added to posts of a particular type. That's where custom fields come into play. Custom fields can be anything you need them to be, from checkboxes, to free-form text, to even phone numbers! During content creation, you can then fill out the custom fields as needed for a post, adding great details for your readers without any additional coding or effort. You can even create custom fields for your users!

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Bot Traffic Filtering With RebelMouse

Bot traffic is essentially any traffic that comes to a website that is not an actual human visiting the site. Bot traffic can be either beneficial or malicious. For malicious bot traffic, you may want to consider blocking it. For many publishers, the free tools in Google Analytics may be enough, but we also offer a more comprehensive option.

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Using Mustache Syntax to Customize Mailchimp Templates

RebelMouse has many ways that we can help to simplify your newsletter campaign workflow. Our integration with Mailchimp allows you to automate your daily or weekly newsletter (using an algorithm to select the top-performing posts of either period) or to use our Entry Editor to create a post, which can then be sent to Mailchimp and distributed to your appropriate lists. You are also able to simply select the correct template for any post you send as a newsletter (or your automated newsletters).

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Driven by Data: RebelMouse’s Customized Google Data Studio Dashboards

RebelMouse offers unique, customizable dashboards through Google Data Studio that provide key insights into the metrics that matter most to publishers. We give our clients the ability to quickly understand the performance of their sites so that they can then make important decisions on the fly. Here's what you get out of the box.

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Affiliate Marketing on RebelMouse: Managing Products

If you have a website that mixes content with products, you've probably faced the difficulty of incorporating your featured products into your articles. At RebelMouse, we've created an innovative and elegant way to create, search for, and insert your products into your article pages.

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