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July 2022 Google Product Reviews Update Is Underway

What you need to know about the fourth installment of Google’s major update

Google began to roll out the fourth installment of its product reviews update on July 27, 2022. This update, fittingly called the July 2022 Product Reviews Update, should take two or three weeks to roll out.

The search engine first launched the product reviews update in April of 2021. In that announcement, Google said the update aimed to favor product reviews with in-depth research instead of “thin content that simply summarizes a bunch of products.” This update is not a core update, but rather an ongoing effort to specifically optimize product reviews in search results.

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Instagram Rolls Out In-Chat Payments

Meta owner Mark Zuckerburg announced a new feature that allows small businesses to talk directly to customers and complete purchases entirely within the platform’s chat functionality. The feature is available for qualified users who have set up business accounts on Instagram.

According to the announcement, users who take advantage of the in-chat payment functionality will be able to:

  • Chat with customers in real time to answer questions and confirm purchase details.
  • Create a payment request with item description and price.
  • Request and collect payment.
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Is There an Optimal Article Length? Chartbeat’s Data on the Relationship Between Word Count and Engagement

This article was originally posted on the Chartbeat blog. Chartbeat’s real-time content analytics, historical dashboards, and optimization tools help the world’s leading media organizations understand, measure, and build business value from their content.

Publishers have always had to weigh the risks and rewards of quick news bulletins and deeply-reported longreads. Write too much and you might lose readers who are just looking for the facts. Write too little and you might cut the sections that turn those casual visitors into loyal readers.

While striking this balance is the responsibility of a good editor, one of our responsibilities is to uncover data and insights that make those decisions easier. It’s in that spirit that our Data Science team recently investigated the relationship between word count and engagement.

We sought to find out how Average Engaged Time changes as word count increases and how editorial teams can use this data to optimize their content. More on those findings below.

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Improve Your Site’s Load Time: Google Launches Signed Exchanges for Desktop

There’s been an important launch from Google that can help improve your site’s load time — signed exchanges (SXG) are now available on desktop. According to Google, SXG is a delivery mechanism that can help improve your Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) score by enabling privacy-preserving, cross-origin prefetch.

What’s an LCP score? The LCP metric is one of Google’s Core Web Vitals that determines your site’s performance. A page’s LCP score is determined by how long it takes Google to load the "above the fold" content of your site. This includes all content in the first viewport of a page, such as images, fonts, ads, and embeds. Click here to learn more.

Since SXG uses a cache to prefetch content that has been cryptographically signed by the origin, it helps speed up cross-origin navigations from referrer sites while also ensuring that pages remain unaltered and properly attributed, according to Google. To put it more simply, in certain browsers, the referrer site (Google) and destination site (your page) share cached information which increases your site’s ability to load quickly.

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RebelMouse’s Technical SEO Influencer Program

If you’re a search engine optimization (SEO) expert, we know you can do a stellar job of juggling a lot of tasks. That’s because there’s no magic key to unlocking a winning search strategy. High performance on search requires a deep understanding of how Google indexes and ranks content, as well as the flexibility to adapt to its frequent changes.

Today, SEO professionals aren’t just amazing content marketers. They double as savants when it comes to the technical aspects of SEO, which is often a piece of the puzzle that gets overlooked. If you are an SEO consultant, you know how frustrating it can be to make important suggestions to clients that never get implemented, and often, it’s the same problems over and over.

That’s why RebelMouse has decided to launch a Technical SEO Influencer Program to help SEO experts get access to the right technology that better showcases their talents. We know that you can do more for your clients on the right platform, and that’s where RebelMouse comes in.

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Google Says They’re Increasing Communication About Algorithm Updates

If you feel like you’ve been hearing about updates from Google more often, it’s not just in your head. During a recent Google Meetup in NYC, Search Liaison Danny Sullivan said that Google hasn’t been launching more updates lately, but it has made a point to communicate about its updates to users more frequently.

Even though you may know when updates are happening more than before, you still won’t know about every little change that Google makes. In a post about the topic, Sullivan said that Google’s algorithm is updated thousands of times a year. Many of these incremental updates are so small that users and site owners won’t even know they are happening. Together, these minor updates add up to enhance Google’s search experience overall.
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New Report: Email Is a ‘Key Tool’ for Building Loyalty

For the first time ever, the Digital News Report authored by Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism has dedicated an entire chapter to news consumption via email. The report analyzed data from thousands of readers of online news across 46 different markets. While the insights around email are focused on news content specifically, the data is useful for any publisher looking to enhance a newsletter strategy or even launch a new campaign. The findings in this year’s report shows that email continues to rise in popularity as an effective way to reach hyper-targeted audiences.

Who Reads Email Newsletters?

While email is not the primary source of traffic for most news outlets, it is more popular in the U.S. than in other countries. This year’s Digital News Report found that 22% of users surveyed in the U.S. use newsletters or email alerts, with almost half of them saying it is their main way of accessing digital news.

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What You Need to Know About Alt Text for Search

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.

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INP and Core Web Vitals: What You Need to Know

recently spoke In this article:

What Are Core Web Vitals?

What Is INP?

Why INP Is More Challenging Than FID

How to Improve Your INP Score

INP Debugger

Front-End Solution

Get Ahead of the Rest of the Web

It’s been more than two years since Google let the world know that its Core Web Vitals metrics are the new benchmark for measuring a site's performance in its search results. Developers have since 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.

Now, the definition of what makes up Core Web Vitals could change. A new responsiveness metric called Interaction to Next Paint (INP) may replace First Input Delay (FID). During Google’s I/O conference in May 2022, it was announced that the INP metric was still in its experimental phase. You can watch the announcement here:

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Sign Up for RebelMouse’s Free Website Health Check

Most publishers are bogged down with day-to-day content strategy and creation, which usually means their technology suffers. That translates into poor search rankings, traffic dips, and loss of revenue.

Even so, the idea of replatforming to a new CMS, migrating your data, and overhauling your site’s architecture can sometimes feel more daunting than simply fixing the issues your website currently faces. But the stumbling block here is that most publishers aren’t even sure what the exact problems are with their current site.

That’s why RebelMouse offers a free website health check. This comprehensive audit will help you make a data-backed decision on what the best and most cost-effective next steps are to brighten your site’s future. Here’s what our health check includes:

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The Subscription Model Is Taking off and Competition Has Never Been Steeper

The post-pandemic user landscape is still ripe for subscription revenue

You can get a subscription for everything these days. Whether it’s a cheese-of-the-month club or annual access to read your favorite content, the subscription-based model has continued to gain steam in recent years. In fact, the market for digital subscriptions is valued at $650 billion according to a new report from Lineup, a subscription management solution.

The power of the subscription model has been growing since even before the COVID-19 crisis began, and isn’t showing any signs of slowing as we enter a post-pandemic landscape. According to What’s New in Publishing, Gannett reported a 46% year-over-year increase in digital subscriptions in November 2021, putting them at 1.5M total subscribers. Hearst grew its digital subscriptions by 50% in 2021.

But subscriptions aren’t just for big name publishers. Users in 2022 are ready to pay up for legacy names and new media companies alike, as long as it’s for an experience that’s beneficial to them, reliable, and free of the clutter that can come from third-party platforms. Speaking of platforms, even TikTok and Instagram have started to gauge their audiences’ temperature on subscription experiences. So, the competition has never been steeper for publishers looking to build a subscriber base. Unfortunately, launching a simple paywall may not be enough.

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Engagement on the Rise: Why It’s Your Ticket to Loyalty

New data from Chartbeat shows engagement time is increasing despite traffic dips

Getting users to your site is only half the battle. For publishers, it’s now become more critical to focus on how long those users stay on your site — and if they ever come back. Q1 2022 data analyzed by Chartbeat found that engagement is on the rise, even though metrics like pageviews and mobile traffic experienced a decline.

Chartbeat measures engaged time by the “amount of time that readers spend actively engaging with a page — scrolling, clicking, or moving their mouse.” With this in mind, their data showed that most regions in the world registered an average of 30 seconds of engaged time on site in Q1. Readers in Latin America led the results with an average of 34.7 seconds of engaged time.

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Google Launches Long Tap to Preview Function for Discover

Google Discover just got a bit more interactive. SEO consultant Glenn Gabe posted on Twitter that he noticed a long tap to preview function pop up on Google Discover for Chrome users.

The new preview feature is another great reason to start optimizing your content for Google Discover. As a reminder, according to Google, Discover is a hyper-personalized feed that "actively tunes itself to a user's interests and displays content that aligns with those interests." Since Discover's feed is curated by a user's previous web activity, it's a great opportunity to expose your content to an ultra-targeted audience.

The long tap to preview allows a user to preview an article page when they press and hold down on a story. Here’s a screenshot of what the new long tap to preview looks like:

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RebelMouse Q1 2022 Platform Performance Updates

Click here to read our Q4 2021 platform performance updates.

Click here to read our Q3 2021 platform performance updates.

Click here to read our Q2 2021 platform performance updates.

Click here to read our Q1 2021 platform performance updates.

RebelMouse started 2022 off strong with a continued commitment to site performance, particularly Google’s Core Web Vitals, that makes the sites within our network the fastest on the open web. In fact, our commitment to high performance was recognized by Google. We analyzed the audience behavior of a number of sites we power, both before and after we optimized for high performance scores on Core Web Vitals. On every site we analyzed, there was a significant boost in loyalty and engagement metrics. Click here to read the full case study on Google’s web.dev blog.

Here’s a bit more of what we’ve been up to since the start of the year:

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Worldcrunch and RebelMouse Launch Partnership to Expand Multilingual Global Journalism, Registers Record Audience Growth During Ukraine Crisis

Worldcrunch, the international digital news magazine, has partnered with global publishing platform RebelMouse to maximize the reach and impact of Worldcrunch’s unique multilingual coverage of the war in Ukraine.

Worldcrunch has more than doubled its traffic (+112%) over the past three months, a record audience growth since its founding a decade ago. The boost is a testament both to the rising interest in global affairs in light of the war in Ukraine and to the technology now powering its journalism.

The crisis in Ukraine, like the COVID-19 pandemic, has been a reminder of the importance of international affairs and the need to offer new ways to cover it. Founded in 2011 in Paris, Worldcrunch is the only publisher that works in partnership with dozens of top international news sources and hundreds of journalists to translate and adapt their best stories into English.

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Filtering Posts in Layout & Design Tool

Many RebelMouse clients use an infinite scroll of content (which we call Social UX for Media) to give their readers a constant stream of content down a web page. We’ve recently updated the UI and UX in our Layout & Design Tool (L&D) to be able to precisely control what content is shown in what spot in the scroll. In addition, with these updates you can also precisely control what is shown in any post module on your site, be it a sidebar, interstitial, etc.

While we’ve always supported filtering content via L&D, these updates have allowed for greater flexibility and control. In this article, we fully describe how to filter content by related content, specific sections or tags, time frames, and much more!

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SEO Quick Checklist and Free Resources Guide

High-performance search is critical to every publisher’s bottom line, especially since search engine optimization (SEO) can dramatically impact content discovery and revenue. With over 90 percent of global traffic coming from Google, and SEO ROI that can reach more than 12.2 times the average marketing spend, mastering your search strategy has never been more important. But as users become more selective and Google’s crawler becomes more complex, the nuances of a successful search strategy are becoming harder for publishers and brands to wrap their head around.

Search is a difficult market to tap into. A study from Ahrefs found that around 90 percent of pages on the internet receive zero organic traffic from Google. At RebelMouse, we keep track of all of the important elements that make for a winning search strategy so that our clients can focus on creating content that resonates with their readers. Here are some tips we provide to the publishers on our platform to help them get the most out of search traffic.

SEO Quick Checklist: Mark off These Critical Steps for Search Success

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Google’s Latest Product Reviews Update Is Causing Late-Stage Search Volatility

Here’s what you need to know about Google’s latest update

In case you missed it, Google released a new algorithm update in March 2022 that focused on product reviews and their rankings in search returns. Officially called the March 2022 Product Reviews Update, Google began rolling out the changes on March 23, 2022, and said that the update would take about three weeks to complete.

Some site owners experienced peak volatility around their search traffic on March 31, but Barry Schwartz at SEO Roundtable noticed some late-stage volatility a week later. He wasn’t alone either:

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Why Affiliate Marketing Is the #1 E-commerce Choice for Media Companies

RebelMouse offers its intuitive e-commerce tech without a total site replatform

The COVID-19 pandemic solidified the prominence of e-commerce as the top way to shop instead of just a popular alternative to brick-and-mortar stores. In fact, it's estimated that 95% of purchases will be made online by 2040. But not every company is an e-commerce company. So how can publishers of all types capitalize on the hot online shopping market?

Luckily, the flexibility of the open web means that there are user-friendly paths to securing e-commerce revenue without actually selling products of your own. One of the best ways to achieve this is through affiliate marketing.

Here’s a brief breakdown of what will be covered in this article:

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

Why Affiliate Marketing Is Important

Affiliate Marketing as a Subfolder

Intuitive and Powerful Product Editor

Structured Data for E-Commerce Products to Win at SEO

Launch a Simple and Easy Affiliate Marketing Program With RebelMouse

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Optimizing TikTok Embeds to Reduce CLS Penalties

TikTok has become one of, if not the most popular social media platform. They're fun, they're fast, and anyone can have fun with them, 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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Calendar View in RebelMouse Dashboard

The RebelMouse Posts Dashboard is your one-stop shop for details about and accessing your posts, both as drafts or published content. This includes the date of publication (or scheduled publication date) and various details surrounding search and social optimizations, among other data.

We also offer a calendar view version of the dashboard. You can easily access a variety of calendar views by adding certain additions to your base URL:

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Tracking History in RebelMouse’s Layout & Design Tool

The RebelMouse Layout & Design Tool is a robust feature of our platform that allows you to create stunning designs for the front end of your website, as well as customize your own editorial experience in Entry Editor. Literally every aspect of the visual arrangement of your site is customizable.

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Here’s What You Need to Know About Google’s Big GA4 Announcement

The search giant said that it’s nixing Universal Analytics for good

The internet was abuzz last week when Google announced that it’s sunsetting its Universal Analytics offering in favor of Google Analytics 4 (GA4). The search giant will stop processing new hits through Universal Analytics on July 1, 2023 (Universal Analytics 360 properties have until October 1, 2023). The news was a shock for site owners and search marketers alike who were not prepared for such a hard deadline.

In its March 16, 2022 announcement, Google said that “Universal Analytics was built for a generation of online measurement that was anchored in the desktop web, independent sessions and more easily observable data from cookies. This measurement methodology is quickly becoming obsolete.”

By contrast, Google says that “Analytics 4 operates across platforms, does not rely exclusively on cookies and uses an event-based data model to deliver user-centric measurement.” Click here to read Google’s full announcement and overview of the differences between GA4 and Universal Analytics.

Why the GA4 Announcement Is a Big Deal

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The More Data the Better: Insight Into How Google Measures Page Performance

Now that Google’s page experience update has completely rolled out on desktop and mobile, it’s important to know all the ins and outs of how the search engine measures site performance.

In case you missed it, Google’s page experience update was a massive change to how Google considers page speed as a ranking factor for search, and this included the prioritization of a set of key metrics called Core Web Vitals. Poor scores on these measurements have the potential to tank your site’s traffic. Click here to learn more.

Google’s Search Advocate John Mueller said that the page experience update can be broken down into different sections of your site based on how much data is available.

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Reminder: Google’s Page Experience Update Is Rolling Out on Desktop

Webmasters speculate a core update is also underway

Google confirmed on Twitter last week that it has “slowly” begun to roll out its page experience update for desktop.

Just two days later, the search community speculated that the new update may be responsible for a volatility in web traffic. However, SEO Roundtable contributor Barry Schwartz reported that he doesn’t believe the page experience update has anything to do with these fluctuations because the rollout will still take several weeks to complete. Instead, the traffic turbulence experienced by some sites may be attributed to a new core update from Google. These updates are notoriously vague and carry the potential to noticeably change your site’s traffic patterns. Click here to learn more.

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Content and SEO: The More the Merrier?

Google’s Search Expert weighs in on how content quantity impacts search performance

It can be easy for content creators to assume that their search rankings may improve with more content. More content means more chances for a search win, right? Not necessarily. According to Google’s Search Advocate John Mueller, quantity and quality don’t always go hand in hand.

Mueller often provides little nuggets of SEO tips that reveal a very helpful glimpse into the mysterious inner workings of the Google Search algorithm. This month, Mueller let the search community know via Twitter that more content does not equal better search performance in the eyes of Google’s crawler. Here’s a peek at the discussion:

Mueller has previously gone on record saying that content frequency is not a ranking factor for search. He recently clarified that this even includes quality content:

This means that even if you are writing 15 quality articles a week, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will rank higher on search than your competitors who may only publish once a month. So what’s the best way to make sure your content performs well on search? There are a lot of factors that go into a successful SEO strategy, but when it comes to the meat and potatoes of your content, it’s best to focus on practicing what’s known as white hat SEO.

While it may sound like an unusual term, practicing white hat SEO simply means creating content that falls within Google Search’s guidelines. These rules center around creating relevant, quality content on a fast-loading platform that’s mobile-friendly and easy to navigate. So instead of worrying about how much content you can generate, it’s better to focus on the kinds of content you create.

Click here to read more about white hat SEO on WordStream’s blog.

Start Winning at Search in 2022

RebelMouse is a publishing platform with built-in, proprietary search technology that makes it easy for each piece of content to rank quickly on search engines. Our modern CMS outperforms the competition on Core Web Vitals so that content creators never have to worry about page speed. We can also make sure that your team is creating quality, SEO-friendly content at the site level so that you can drive the level of traffic your site deserves.

Click here to start chatting with us about how we can help transform your business.

RebelMouse Outperforms Every Other CMS. Here’s the Data to Prove It.

Our Core Web Vitals drastically outpace every competitor, and we have the receipts

In an effort to build user retention and increase conversions, publishers are making a common mistake. They're adding more features to their websites, including ad placements, but losing sight of the main revenue driver: user experience.

The key to unlocking user retention lies completely in site performance. Currently, publishers are trying to build optimized websites that translate easily across devices and platforms, but fail to 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. This is why Google has made page speed a top ranking factor on search, and shepherded the entire open web's newfound prioritization on site performance.

Game Changer: Google's Core Web Vitals Announcement

Google cemented its seriousness about page experience with the announcement of its Core Web Vitals measurements in Google Search Console. Core Web Vitals are three specific metrics that Google uses to determine a site's overall usability. While these data points will evolve over time, the 2021 version of vitals consists of three specific metrics:

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): A website's LCP is the time it takes to load the main content on a page. Google wants LCP to happen within 2.5 seconds of when a page first starts loading.

First Input Delay (FID): This metric quantifies a user's experience when trying to interact with unresponsive pages. This usually occurs between First Meaningful Paint (FMP) and Time to Interactive (TTI) (more on what these two mean below). You want your FID score to be low to prove the usability of your site. According to Google, pages should haven an FID of less than 100 milliseconds.

Cumulative Layout Shift Score (CLS): CLS determines how often your users experience unexpected layout shifts or changes on a page. To ensure visual stability, you want your CLS score to be low. Google wants pages to maintain a CLS score of less than 0.1.

From Google.

Google says Core Web Vitals scores will be considered across every page, and will be a ranking factor in its Top Stories feature. While relevant quality content will always be the most important, the page experience ranking is now a make-or-break metric for your site's survival.

"A good page experience doesn't override having great, relevant content. However, in cases where there are multiple pages that have similar content, page experience becomes much more important for visibility in Search." —From Google's page experience announcement, May 2020

Core Web Vitals will determine every site's performance score. You can see your site's Core Web Vitals specifically via Google Search Console, but your website's overall page performance is measured using Google's PageSpeed Insights and Lighthouse tools.

At RebelMouse, we guarantee a performance score of 90 or higher via PageSpeed Insights. To do this, we've built out a platform infrastructure that exceeds industry standards on Google's key metrics, particularly its Core Web Vitals, outperforming most industry leaders.

You can read more about how we've mastered Google's KPIs here. But the truth is in the data. Below is table that provides a snapshot into how RebelMouse-powered sites score:

And here's what the scores look like for some of the biggest sites on the open web:

As you can see, there's a lot of data Google takes into account even outside of Core Web Vitals. Here's a quick summary of the other important metrics that Google trusts to measure page performance:

First Contentful Paint (FCP): This metric measures the time from click to the time when a user's browser renders the first bit of content from the Document Object Model (DOM), which is your site's HTML structure. According to Google, this is an important milestone for your readers because it provides signals that your page is loading.

First Meaningful Paint (FMP): This is the amount of time it takes the most important content, what Google calls "hero elements," to load on site. Hero elements are different for every site, but should be intuitive based on your content. This metric helps determine your site's usability.

Time to Interactive (TTI): This is the most important metric to keep an eye on. This is when the site is fully rendered and ready for user action. This is a critical point when slow load time can occur, usually because JavaScript or other complex content hasn't fully rendered. So, in short, think of TTI as how long it takes for your site to load in its entirety.

Total Blocking Time (TBT): TBT measures a page's load responsiveness to quantify how long a page is non-interactive prior to becoming interactive. You want your site to have a low TBT to maintain its usability.

Speed Index (SI): SI is the measurement of how quickly the contents of a page are populated. You want your speed index score to be as low as possible.

Creating quality content is only half the battle in 2021, and publishers are already burdened with the around-the-clock task of creating content that resonates. This is why quality content must be supported by modern technology that can keep up with the speed of the web. RebelMouse provides publishers with a CMS that supports the new content lifecycle with an editorial suite designed for reach on site, search, and social.

Click here to read more about our modern approach to web performance. If you want to make performance a priority, request a proposal today. We can easily transform your site into one of the fastest on the web, giving you increased user retention and better conversion rates than ever before.

A Guide to Core Web Vitals and Ads in 2022

Core Web Vitals (CWV) are a key component to winning in Google Search. Knowing how to maintain and even improve your CWV is crucial for any modern website. That’s why Google provides handy tools to help you understand how your site is performing, according to their standards.

One aspect of a site that can quickly cause lots of problems with CWV is display advertising. From losing page speed to causing very bad layout shifts, advertisements are a prominent driver of poor user experiences.

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RebelMouse Q4 2021 Platform Performance Updates

Click here to read our Q3 2021 platform performance updates.

Click here to read our Q2 2021 platform performance updates.

Click here to read our Q1 2021 platform performance updates.

RebelMouse said goodbye to 2021 with a celebration of our commitment to powering the fastest sites on the web. Our prioritization of user experience and page speed allowed us to outperform our competitors on Core Web Vitals the entire year, and we’ve got the data to prove it. Check out HTTP Archive’s Core Web Vitals Technology Report for 2021 into January 2022:

We invested 2,245 hours into our platform in Q4 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:

  • 489 hours spent on delivering new features
  • 627 hours spent on improving existing features
  • 1,129 hours spent on performance and infrastructure updates
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Publish Beautifully: RebelMouse Launches Unsplash Integration

The world of bad stock photos is behind us

Creators should always have access to an editorial suite that helps them build dynamic, media-rich articles with ease. On RebelMouse, we make it simple to access our media asset uploader, which allows you to seamlessly embed media from your device or a popular third-party source, such as GIPHY, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Vimeo. Now, we're proud to announce an integration with Unsplash to make sure every post that you create is full of beautiful imagery.

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How to Delete Images From Your RebelMouse Library

Great content isn’t just in the words we use, but also in the imagery that surrounds those words. Sometimes, however, we can come across a situation where we need to rapidly remove an individual image from across our site. That can be quite tricky, as you will typically need to manually remove the image from all posts and pages that contain it. We’ve made this process a lot easier, by adding the ability to delete an image from your RebelMouse Library, allowing for the image to be deleted on any post by simply updating it.

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How to Optimize Your Website for 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. It also empowers users to focus on small but meaningful modifications designed to improve organic search performance.

Here's a checklist of how we ensure the sites in our network consistently 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. It also empowers users to focus on small but meaningful modifications designed to improve organic search performance.

Here's a checklist of how we ensure the sites in our network consistently surge on search.

RebelMouse’s High-Performing Search Strategy Checklist

Site Performance for SEO

The Right SEO Editorial Tools

Structure Your Content to Reinforce Your Search Phrase

  • RebelMouse's Particle Assembler
  • Alt tags

Structured Data

  • What is structured data?
  • RebelMouse's out-of-the-box integration

Best Practices for Images

Google Search Console

Optimize Your Website for Search: A Successful SEO Strategy Starts With Speed

From web.dev

How exactly Google determines search ranking largely remains a mystery for publishers, but what we do know is that the search engine continuously rolls out updates to its algorithm. And while sometimes these updates are small and nearly unnoticeable, other times they result in massive changes around the way Google crawls content, often disrupting the rankings of webpages all across the globe.

One of these massive disruptions came in June 2021 with Google's page experience update. Developers are now feeling the impact of how their publishing platforms stack up against the new standard.

The update means Core Web Vitals are now a major factor in Google Search's ranking methodology, and sites big and small that haven't been prioritizing performance have seen their organic traffic hit stumbling blocks as a result.

The update has solidified the do-or-die importance of page speed as a key ranking factor. All too often, sites with poor performance plummet off of Google Search's page one results.

Core Web Vitals scores are critical to your search performance. RebelMouse outperforms traditional platforms on the metrics that matter most.

Optimize Your Website for Search: Prioritize Google's Core Web Vitals

Google has set a high bar for the open web on what top performance should look like, especially on mobile. The following is a brief description of Google's Core Web Vitals.

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): A website's LCP is the time it takes to load the main content on a page. Google wants LCP to happen within 2.5 seconds of when a page first starts loading.

First Input Delay (FID): FID quantifies a user's experience when trying to interact with unresponsive pages. You want your FID score to be low to prove the usability of your site. According to Google, pages should haven an FID of less than 100 milliseconds.

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): CLS determines how often your users experience unexpected layout shifts or changes on a page. To ensure visual stability, you want your CLS score to be low. Google wants pages to maintain a CLS score of less than 0.1.

The RebelMouse Approach: We are able to outperform competitors on Core Web Vitals because site performance isn't just a goal, it's a company pillar that's woven into our culture. We use this focus on performance to help new media powerhouses and legacy brands alike make the most of the open web by growing traffic and building revenue without sacrificing user experience.

Through never-ending performance optimization, the sites powered by RebelMouse score higher on Google's Core Web Vitals over other CMS platforms, including WordPress.

RebelMouse's SEO optimizations result in big traffic improvements.

Click here to learn more about how to improve your Core Web Vitals scores.

Optimize Your Website for Search: Make the Most of AMP

Google's Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is a fantastic tool to increase mobile performance. The hyper-fast mobile format delivers a longer time on site for each reader, which encourages better conversion.

AMP pages are built to be fast and load almost instantly when clicked from Google Search, increasing user engagement and dropping bounce rates.

AMP is a rich environment, but implementing it properly can be time-consuming. AMP pages, in order to be fast, are highly structured, and companies need efficient tools to take full advantage of the opportunities that AMP provides. When implemented correctly, the impact on search traffic is remarkable.

The RebelMouse Approach: Our platform is fully optimized for AMP, and sites in our network use it as an often game-changing way to improve search performance.

Content creators can publish to AMP on RebelMouse with one simple click:

On RebelMouse, optimizing your content for AMP is a one-click process.

Plus, our team is constantly making little tweaks to improve AMP performance for our clients. For example, we automatically enabled a required large-image setting across our sites to optimize for Google Discover. While the update may seem small, it has resulted in a significant and positive impact on traffic when an article makes it into Discover's feed.

Check out the visible boost it gave one of our clients, as tracked by Google Search Console:

Our behind-the-scenes optimizations on AMP drive boosts to readership.

Click here to learn more about RebelMouse's AMP optimization.

Optimize Your Website for Search: Leverage the Right SEO Editorial Tools

RebelMouse's SEO tools increase search traffic.

Our SEO technology centers around best practices for search, including detailed metadata that helps Google's site crawler identify, index, and rank your content quickly.

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

How to Optimize Your Website for Search: Define Your Search Phrase

It can be tricky to nail down which search phrase you want to win. Within RebelMouse's SEO tab, you can brainstorm your ideas in real time. Through the creative usage of APIs, we ensure writers 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 learn more about this feature.

How to Optimize Your Website for Search: Match Your Slug to Your Search Phrase

Easily update your URL slug to match your desired search phrase on RebelMouse.

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 learn more about this feature.

How to Optimize Your Website for Search: Pick Smart Recirculation Links

Access outlinks for your search phrase directly from RebelMouse's editing interface.

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 in our Entry Editor 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 learn more about this feature.

How to Optimize Your Website for Search: Craft Metadata Before Publish

Update your content's metadata easily on RebelMouse.

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 learn more about this feature.

How to Optimize Your Website for Search: Structure Your Content to Reinforce Your Search Phrase

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.

Assembler is accessible via a couple of clicks in the formatting toolbar of our Entry Editor. From there, an organizational layout gets inserted into your article that guides you through the process of building out the particles that will shape your Assembler.

A look at how to add particles in RebelMouse's 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 learn more about this feature.

How to Optimize Your Website for Search: Make the Most of Google's "People Also Ask" Module

Strategize search phrases to win with Google's "People Also Ask" feature.

Particle headlines are 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 learn more about this strategy.

How to Optimize Your Website for Search: Use Alt Tags on Every Image

Easily update alt text with your desired search phrase on RebelMouse.

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. It also allows 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.

How to Optimize Your Website for Search: Conquer Structured Data

Google's Rich Results Test tool will make sure your structured data is entered properly.

Google's algorithm is now savvy about robotically written articles designed to win a specific set of keywords. As Google's search engine has gotten smarter, its web crawler software, known as "Googlebot," has also evolved in terms of how it indexes data.

But what if you could tell Googlebot the story of your website so that it doesn't have to make any assumptions? This is possible through the use of structured data, or as Google describes it, a set of "clues" provided to its crawler about what defines your content. Using schema, or a vocabulary you share with Google about every page on your site, you can tell Googlebot the story of your content in human language.

Rank higher on search by populating structured data for Google's snippets on search returns.

By following these rules, you're giving the search engine explicit clues about the meaning of a page. Structured data is a standardized format for providing information about a page and classifying its content. For example, on a recipe page, these classifying components could be ingredients, cooking time, temperature, and nutritional information.

The better Google's crawler can understand your content, the more easily it can index it highly on search.

The RebelMouse Approach: If structured data sounds like a big undertaking, it doesn't have to be. Every RebelMouse site automatically populates key structured data so that Google can better understand your site. This, in turn, optimizes your pages to win in search results. Our out-of-the-box integration populates all the standard schema data with information about article content. This works on desktop and mobile web, and the data also gets populated for Google AMP.

RebelMouse properly marks up structured data for content with our out-of-the-box integration.

Click here to learn more about our out-of-the-box structured data integration.

How to Optimize Your Website for Search: Be Mindful of H1 Tags

To put it simply, an H1 tag is a piece of HTML, or HyperText Markup Language, that marks the heading of your web page. Here's an example:

This Is the Title of My Content
    

For SEO purposes, H1 tags are designed to win a specific search phrase for your page. In fact, a recent study from Moz found that the HTML title tag is the second-most important ranking factor for SEO, behind only the actual content of the post.

This is because Google recognizes the H1 tag as the highest-level tag on your page. Think of it as your chance to summarize what your content is about clearly and succinctly for Google's web crawler. The more accurate and relevant you make your H1 content, the easier it is for Google to index it for search.

When writing HTML, there are six different heading tags available to you: H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, and H6. Each heading has a different font weight. You can use this scale to organize your content's headlines and subheadings accordingly.

Example of headings from W3docs.

The RebelMouse Approach: You can easily choose your desired heading in RebelMouse's Entry Editor by using the formatting toolbar:

Select which headings you want to use right from RebelMouse's editing interface.

Once you choose your heading, it's automatically reflected in your site's code:

RebelMouse's headings are automatically implemented correctly to your site's code for search.

Note: You may have noticed that the H1 tag is not an option you can select in the formatting toolbar's drop-down menu. That's because it's best practice to use only one H1 tag per page. On our platform, we reserve the H1 designation for your article's headline. This is inputted into your site's code automatically.

Click here to learn more about H1 tags.

How to Optimize Your Website for Search: Follow Google’s Image Guidelines

An example of Google Images information populated by structured data. Image from Google.

Google Images is undoubtedly the leader in image search online, and they have many guidelines on how images should be handled. Here at RebelMouse, we make sure that your site is able to follow those guidelines right out of the box. Google's recommendations fall under a number of general topics:

  • A great user experience
  • Be descriptive
  • Structured data
  • Speed
  • Alt text
  • Make images discoverable

The RebelMouse Approach: Being certain that everything on your site is optimized both for performance and for following Google Search's guidelines is an exhausting task. Fortunately, RebelMouse takes that worry out of your hands by building our platform around the principles of page experience and the belief that all sites built on our platform should be flawless. We follow all best practices for Google Image's guidelines.

Click here to learn more.

How to Optimize Your Website for Search: Measure Success with Google Search Console

A look at page experience data from Google Search Console.

Google Search Console is a free tool that helps you to understand and optimize your site's performance on Google Search. When Google visits your website for tracking purposes, it performs what's called crawling and indexing, a process of adding web pages into its search results.

Search Console will allow you to add or remove certain content from Google Search's results. The tool will also help you learn which keywords trigger your site to appear in Google's search engine results page (SERP), as well as which third-party sites are linking to yours. It also allows you to monitor your site's performance on search, including locating any errors on your pages.

The RebelMouse Approach: We offer full support to help our clients connect their sites to Google Search Console. Our strategy services also help you understand which content and site layouts are working the best for your audience through our custom Google Data Studio dashboards.

Optimize Your Website for Search With RebelMouse

Google owns most of the referral traffic on the internet, and your site should reflect this reality. That's why the sites on our network follow all of Google's webmaster guidelines.

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. Get in touch with us today and let's start working together.

RebelMouse Matches Google’s Best Practices for Images

Being certain that everything on your site is optimized both for performance and for following Google Search's guidelines is an exhausting task. Fortunately, RebelMouse takes that worry out of your hands by building our platform around the principles of page experience and the belief that all sites built on our platform should be flawless.

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A Guide to RebelMouse’s Search Logic

RebelMouse has its own proprietary algorithm for on-site search across the properties that we power. Here's a breakdown of how our search logic works.

Searching on Site

Our search results are based on the relevancy of your search phrase. This is usually pretty straightforward, but sometimes you can customize your search page depending on your content. In the example below, RebelMouse-powered HealthDay implemented filters to categorize their search results on site:

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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

Click here to read our Q4 2021 platform performance updates.

Click here to read our Q2 2021 platform performance updates.

Click here to read our Q1 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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