AMA with our CEO Eric Hochberger | Mediavine Summer of Live

AMA with our CEO Eric Hochberger | Mediavine Summer of Live


[MUSIC PLAYING] Hi, everybody. Welcome. Happy Thursday. Happy almost June. I am Jenny Guy with Mediavine. I’m our marketing associate. And I am here with our
CEO, Eric Hochberger. Hey, guys. And we are kicking off
our Summer of Live with– We couldn’t start
it any other way than with our CEO, the guy
who built all our ad tech. And we have some exciting stuff
planned for you going forward in the summer. We’re going to talk a little
bit more about that as we go. But what we’re looking
for today is whatever you want to ask about Mediavine. We are here. We’ve got some
prepared questions. I’ve got some stuff that you
guys have asked on Facebook. But what do you want
to know from Eric? Because if it’s Mediavine, if
it’s ads, if it’s site speed, he knows. I’m going to set you up, Eric. [INAUDIBLE] Oh man, site speed, yeah. [INAUDIBLE] Yeah, I know that
that makes you happy. So let’s start out with
a question, actually, from [? Carly ?] [? Bittner. ?]
And she was asking about syndication. And Amber answered a little bit
of this from her perspective, but I’d like to hear
it from yours, Eric. Are you ready to just
jump right into the meat? Sure, let’s do it. All right, here we go. [? Carly ?] says, I
would love to hear about the pros and cons of being
a contributor to others’ blogs. I currently contribute to two
blogs that are not my own. In the contract,
it says I can post the blog post I write to my
own blog in x amount of time. Both blogs, however, have
differing information about how to do the correct way. Would love to get
that cleaned up so I know that I’m
doing things correctly. All right, I’m
guessing the two ways that they differ that
are giving you the ways to set up syndication
are probably in very technical ways,
such as how you set up the canonical URL,
if I had to guess. And I don’t think
that stuff matters as much as people worry about. As we always say,
Google is very smart. Syndication is
definitely not a problem if you set up your site
to syndicate content, or if you’re running someone
else’s content on your site. As long as you link
to them, Google is going to recognize the site
that you are linking to as the authority on that one. And you’re not going to be
seen as duplicate content. You don’t have to
worry about that. And syndication
isn’t going to be a problem if you’re syndicating
other people’s content. When people are
syndicating your content, that’s actually a
great thing for you because, again, you’re going to
be seen as the original source. So when someone’s
linking to you, you’re seen as the
original source, and they’re seen as
the one syndicating. So you just got to
follow the link. And whoever the link
points to, that’s who the original content is. You’re actually going to get
a boost as a result of getting that link. So syndication,
it’s good for you. It’s not a bad thing. So two thumbs up on syndication. We’ve heard that from the man
himself. [? Carly, ?] do it. And we got some technical
stuff on the canonical URL those things as well. Hi, everyone that’s
just joining us. We are here for an Ask Me
Anything with Eric Hochberger. He is the Mediavine CEO. We got some questions here. But if you’ve got questions,
please feel free to ask. So from [? Andrea, ?] she
is asking about, quote, “the regular bloggy stuff.” And she has three
parts to the question. So she wants to know, basically,
about SEO, ad optimization, and tools. So we’re going to start
with the big SEO question. So talk to us about SEO, Eric. And I’m going to go
away from [? Andrea ?] and ask a little bit myself. So you guys, when you originally
started Mediavine, the three co-owners of the
company, you started out as SEO consultants, yes? Yep, absolutely, back in 2004. Right, and then you
used that SEO knowledge. You moved from being
consultants to creating sites. So can you talk
about that process and talk to me about how you
used SEO to create sites? Yeah, no, I think
when you’re designing a site with SEO in
mind, you’re really going to look for a site– First off, you’re going to write
about content that people are already searching on the web. Luckily, most of the niches
that Mediavine represents, such as food, travel,
parenting, all of these things have so much search behind them. So you guys are
already in good spaces. You don’t have to
worry about that. That was where we came up
with The Hollywood Gossip. Celebrity gossip in general
is very highly searched. So that’s the first
thing to do when it comes to SEO, because
SEO is all about content. What are people searching for? We, I think, also
think a lot in terms of linking strategies at
Mediavine, and especially back then, when they were even
more important than they are today, and just making sure
you’re writing about things that are going to get people
to talk about what you’re writing about or link to you. That was even before the
days of, crazy enough, all of these different
social media platforms when we first
started these sites. But social media is very similar
to getting organic links, right? You want to write about
content that people are going to link to, again,
very friendly to what we all write about. It would be harder if, say, you
were starting a financial site. And we do have personal
finance bloggers, I know. But when we ran financial
sites in the past, those were much tougher to get
links to than, say, a celebrity gossip site, which people
are more likely to link to because people
want to link to things that they’re talking
about at the time. So yeah, and financial stuff,
it’s not necessarily as popular with people’s discussion. So really, that’s
what it came to. When coming up with what
site to write about, it, with SEO in mind,
really came down to content and what was going to
be most likely to get links and links to. OK, all right, that
all make sense. Well, I’m going to
actually interrupt [? Andrea’s ?] question to jump
in with [? Alvin. ?] You were talking about links. And [? Alvin ?]
[? Lau ?] told us, I’m terrible at
building any links. Not so much a question
as a statement, but can you talk a little
bit about link building for us, Eric? Oh, man. Back in the day– And I guess I feel like,
again, I am a little far removed from this stuff. And I have so much to
defer to Amber and Josh, who I believe are going to
be doing one of these lives as well. You’re right, next week, sir. Excellent. Back in the day, we
used to call things link-baiting or
link-building strategies that we would come up with. And a lot of that is coming
up with original content that no one else has. And when you have that
original content– On The Hollywood Gossip, we
would try to get, for example, exclusives, or we
would come up with infographics or interesting
ways of presenting content. Obviously, on that site,
it’s a little difficult to come up with
something original because, by the
very nature of it, we’re reporting on what
other people are doing. But you could get
exclusives, and we could create unique content. Once you have that
unique content, it’s also about getting
that content out there. Just putting it on your blog
doesn’t necessarily mean people are going to link
to it, obviously. Blasting it on all your
social media channels, it’s still maybe
not even enough. You have to think beyond that. We used to go– Man, again, this stuff
is so old to me now. And I’m sure some
of these strategies are a little bit
silly at this point, but just talking to
other similar webmasters. And you guys all have Facebook
groups now to do that. When you have
something original, coming up with groups where you
can share each other’s content, which I believe
already exist, that’s generally where I would go for
link building, similar sites and just creating
original content, which, again, is so much of what
everyone here at Mediavine already does. That’s really helpful in
terms of sharing and building those links, because that’s so– I mean, that’s how
you get the traffic. And that’s very
helpful to people, even though it’s been
a while since you were in the link-building business. So let’s talk about ad– Actually, I’m going
to jump in with Amy. Amy just asked us
a question live. So Amy [? Katz ?]
wants to know– She said, I’m still
struggling with reaching [? Teal ?] on mobile. On desktop, my score is
5.6, but on mobile it’s 6.6. How can I improve
my mobile score? All right, Amy, without
seeing your exact site, it’s going to be a little tough. But I’ll give you
the generic advice we give everyone,
which it all comes down to the formatting
of your content. And that’s making
sure, depending on the type of your
site, first and foremost, the meat of your post
is always at the bottom. So if you’re a food
blogger, the recipe cards are the very bottom of the post. If you’re a travel
blogger, for example, and you’re giving an
itinerary or something, make sure it’s at
the bottom and not at the very top of
your post so that, no matter what, people
aren’t abandoning after they read the top, or
if you’re posting a video, putting the video at the bottom. So you want to have
long content where the object of what
they’re trying to get to is at the very bottom. And then you want to make sure
that content ahead of that is formatted properly. It sounds like you’re pretty
close, since you already have the desktop score. But really just hitting
Enter more often, as I think Amber likes
to say, and that’s just making sure you have
short, sweet paragraphs of text, so one to two
sentences, making sure you don’t have that
more traditional– when you’re writing
copy for school, and it would be three to
four sentences at least per paragraph. You really want one to two
for web writing, much shorter, so just hitting
Enter more often. The reason why
that’s so important is because at Mediavine, we
don’t break up paragraphs. We’ll only insert an ad
at the end of a paragraph, because we don’t
want to break up the flow of what
you, as the writer, have created for us
or for your readers. So make sure that if you hit
Enter, and you’re telling us this is a spot where you
could potentially break up the flow with an ad, do it. So just hit Enter more
often, and insert images throughout your post. And make sure you have a good
mixture of images and text, and you’ll get the ads. I think that’s a great answer. And I think what
really helped me with that, because I was
a school writer in English and all that– It’s so counterintuitive to
be pushing Enter so often. But when I toggled
to the mobile view, that helped me so much to
see what that wall of text looks like and the
way that people are consuming my content. That’s a great point. Yeah, and especially
since, on mobile, one of the things we always
encourage– bloggers doing this, it also will help in
terms of getting more ads– is increasing your font size. I think, traditionally,
we all used to use 11- or 12-point
fonts, which is fine when you’re printing it out, or
you’re reading it on a desktop. When you start reading that
stuff on a mobile phone, it’s tough to read. So we encourage 14
or 16 pixels now when you’re reading
it on the phone. And you start to get to that. If you have three to four
sentences in a paragraph, it is a giant block to
give your entire phone. So really consider that. This isn’t just for
getting more ads. This is for a better
user experience. And there’s been
lots of studies that show that’s the best way
to write for the web. I always think about people– I used to live in Chicago, and
I would read blogs on the train, on the L train on my phone. And I always think about
people jarring around, trying to read just this
massive wall of text. And so that helped
me with the writing. OK, [? Carly ?]
just asked us, Eric, is it possible to have
too many images in a post? She says she’s a food blogger,
if that makes a difference. Well, I mean, it does make a
little bit of a difference. So I think I share
an unpopular opinion with food bloggers in that
I wouldn’t necessarily do six photos of the same thing. I think if you can have unique
photos throughout your post, then there’s no such
thing as too many images, as long as they’re all
unique and showing something different about that process. If you’re a food
blogger, maybe that’s part of the step-by-step
instructions of six different things of how
to prepare this meal, things that you think
will help your user. Then I think it’s useful. If you think, this is useful to
show another image to my user, then do it. If it’s six photos of the
completed thing from just different angles,
then maybe that’s not the best user experience. And I know that’s not
a popular opinion, so I should shut
up with that one. But yeah, definitely more
photos is a good thing if they’re all unique,
important photos. I know our travel bloggers have
the most insane scores here because they have so many
beautiful, unique photos in their posts because
it’s different photos. Each one is so different
than the previous. Yeah, again,
everything that we– What I love is that
everything we encourage people to do to make more ad
revenue is really just being a better blogger, about
having a better website. And I think that having unique
content in every [? pulp ?] photo is just great
advice under that. So jumping back to when we
were talking about SEO, Marie [? Leggett ?] asked
us, how do you feel about internal linking? She didn’t ask us. She asked you, because
I have no idea. How do you feel about it, Eric? I’m obsessed with
internal linking. Ah. Yeah, no, so one
of the things we have with, again, The
Hollywood Gossip, we have our own internal CMS here. We don’t use WordPress,
though we are moving our stuff over to WordPress. One of the things
we used to have was the requirement of
number of links in a post. I would always say you should
have at least one internal link per paragraph, ideally. You want to link to yourself
as much as possible. That’s your way of
showing related content to Google in your post. It’s so important,
and to your user. Just think about, what is
related to this paragraph I’m writing about on my site? Once you guys have been
blogging for years, you have so much
content on your site. There has to be
something related to what you’re writing about. So I would say,
at a minimum, you should have three to four
internal links per post and shoot for more. And then make sure you also have
an external link on your post. One of the best ways
Google determines what your post is about is
by linking to someone else. So external links
are not a bad thing. And make sure you
don’t no-follow them. I don’t know why
people love to do that. No-follow things if they’re
affiliate links, for sure, or if you’re paid to put up
that link, then definitely no-follow it. But just the regular external
link does not need a no-follow. We actually have a really
great blog post on that by Joshua Unseth, who’s coming
in next week, all about– Awesome. –creating links. So check at the Mediavine
blog for that, you guys. OK, we’re getting
some questions here, one of them from a Mediavine
co-founder and co-owner. Steve Marsi is asking– Hey, Steve. –does social traffic– Hey, Steve. Does social traffic boost
SEO in any tangible way? He gets this one a lot. I probably can’t speak to that
anymore than Steve could have. I don’t think so. I would definitely let Josh
get this question again. I don’t think there’s going
to be a direct correlation, but obviously anything
that’s getting a lot of love on Facebook is getting
more users, more users that are more likely to link to it
on something that is publicly accessible by Google. So the reason why social
media wouldn’t typically count is because when Google goes to
parse that social media page, it’s going to have a
no-follow link to you, because Facebook doesn’t have
a follow link to your site, or Pinterest or
whatever they may be. But those things
do rank in Google, as you’ve seen Pins
show up in Google. So it’s never a bad thing to
get more social media to a post. So indirectly, I would
say, yes, it is absolutely going to help your ranking,
but directly, maybe not. But I don’t know how
much that matters. You should definitely
incorporate social media into your SEO strategy,
though, whether it’s a direct or indirect. Good answer. Excellent. OK, Ivy wants to know– She says, hello there. I and I believe many
other bloggers are not very computer savvy. Have you ever considered
hiring tech people with general tech knowledge
who can help us solve some of our problems [INAUDIBLE]? So typically, when it
comes to technical help, we do, in general, provide
more of it than we should. But you can always email into
[email protected] Almost half of our support
team is actually programmers. There are support engineers. And so we do have some–
and they’ll probably kill me for saying this– some
free technical resources we can provide you. [INAUDIBLE] We can also refer you to
people that you can pay. Obviously, we’re not
going to build you custom things for your site. That’s something you
would need to outsource. But for small, minor
technical things, we can definitely help you out. And again, to our support
team, we love you. I don’t know if we’re
ever necessarily going to be your support
team for hire. But I mean, that is
one of the things we’re designing and building
all these WordPress plugins for. And that’s to make sure that
for non necessarily technical people, you’re going to be
able to get all the power you need to be able to build
your site the way you want it. So the plugins are coming. And they should
hopefully reduce the need for your technical knowledge
or need to hire someone with that technical knowledge. Oh, Eric, speaking
of those plugins– Uh-oh. –can you tell me a little bit
about them in general and then when we can expect them? I know that they are
highly anticipated in the Facebook group. So our first one,
which I guess I don’t know if I want to
spoil the new name of, do we? Yeah, let’s spoil the name. Let’s do it. OK, all right, Facebook
Live people hear it first. So we’re actually renaming
the Mediavine, or naming, for the first time, the
Mediavine recipe card. It’s going to be called
Mediavine Create. And Mediavine Create
isn’t just about recipes, because as many of you
know, Mediavine is not just about food bloggers. So it’s going to
eventually allow you not just to create recipes
but non-food-based things as well, whether that’s
non-human-consumable foods, such as dog treats that
Google would knock you for putting inside a schema or
things such as DIY or craft. It’s all going to be possible
with Mediavine Create. And that one is coming
out into testing next two weeks into beta testing. And we’re hoping for a
mid-June release, still. So definitely, by
the end of June, Mediavine Create will
be publicly available. [INAUDIBLE] And you heard it
here, Facebook Live. Go to work, devs. I’m kidding. We are very excited
about all of this. I know we’ve got a giveaway
going on for tickets to Haven. We’re going to have some
of our developers at Haven demoing the non-consumable
functions of Mediavine Create, that plugin
for them, how that’s going to work for craft
bloggers and DIY bloggers. So we’re really excited
about getting that going. So let us see. OK, so [? Jodi ?] asked
us, what are some ways to get post ideas? I’m looking to get
ahead for the summer and need more blog
topics to pursue. Oh, I love that question. So I obviously
always look for SEO. My favorite tool
for this is SEMrush. I know it’s cost prohibitive
for a lot of people. I have heard that people
can team up and purchase it in a group. So I would recommend
you consider SEMrush. It’s very powerful. There’s a lot of competition
out there for SEMrush that a little bit cheaper,
so you can definitely look into those. What SEMrush will
let you do is find, basically, related top keywords
of your site and related keywords. You could type in– And I know this will
probably get frowned upon. But you could type
in other people that you know that are in
a similar niche to you, and you can see keywords
that they rank for. And that can give you ideas
so that you’re not just writing about the same things. Obviously, it’s tough to
come up with generic words to type into Google or
into a keyword tool. This can give you inspiration. Figure out what other people
are ranking for that you didn’t even think of. And something like
SEMrush is going to give that to you through
a competitor look-up. And the other– and
this one is free– is the Google Search Console. Look at your own site. Find things that you’re ranking
outside of the top three on. And I think Josh and Amber
talked about this one a lot and have some great tutorials. And I wrote one as well
on the Mediavine blog, but really using
Google Search Console to look within your
own keywords, things that you’re not in
the top three for yet, and then find related
key words to those, and then linking back to the
ones you’re in the top three for to boost that original rank. But yeah, look within your
own site for new content to write, and then look
towards your competitors or your friends. Yeah. Yeah, why not? OK, boss, [? Frida, ?]
we’re going to jump back into our plugins. So [? Frida ?] said, I
appreciate the tech support– well, not really a
plugin, just more of a platform thing,
which we’re doing some posts on on our blog. I appreciate the
tech support I have received as a food blogger
on the Blogger platform. Any plans for a recipe card
HTML code for this platform? So I will say that’s not even
just exclusive to Blogger. Obviously, there’s platforms
like Squarespace, Wix, Shopify. We have bloggers on
all sorts of platforms that are not just WordPress. I can tell you our initial
focus is on WordPress because I believe it’s 91% of
our bloggers are on WordPress. And they have an
opensource system, which allows us to
develop for very easily. So that’s why that is
our initial project. However, it would not be the
hardest thing in the world for us to build an
HTML output from it. I don’t know when the time
frame for that would be. I know that it would not
be impossible for us to do. And I won’t say it
will never happen. So I just can’t promise
you it will happen or when. So maybe is what you’re saying. It’s a very strong maybe, yep. OK, so [? Zona ?]
asked, how do I keep ads from breaking up a section? For instance, I do a “you might
also like” in her blog post, followed by four internal links,
and she’d preferred no links in between those. All right, great question. So we actually don’t break
up divs or paragraphs, as I was mentioning before. And I throw the word
“div” in there, also. That’s an HTML element,
D-I-V. And what you can do is if you wrap
all of that in one div, or basically so it looks
like it’s one paragraph, our system won’t break
it up on purpose. And we actually
have a help article on this, which we can
send you after this, which will basically show
you how you can mark up a section of your site to
be one paragraph, one div, so that our in-content
logic won’t break it up. Awesome. Can I actually get one
of my awesome coworkers to post that on our Facebook
session, that help doc? That would be extremely,
extremely wonderful. All right, so [? Shashi ?]
[? Charles ?] says, you guys rock. Thanks, [? Shashi. ?]
We think you rock, too. She said, but most
SEO specialists seem to frown on plugins,
as they are supposed to be slowing down your site. With that said,
would the plugins– and then she says
in parentheses– other than the recipe card,
and yay for the release– we’re pretty yay, too– be available in HTML
code format that could be attached as a text widget? So I think there’s a
misconception about plugins and their hits on site speed. So what ultimately
a plugin does is going to be what impacts
the site speed, not just the existence of the plugin. So we’re very conscious, as you
can imagine, with me strongly advising on this plugin
that we’re going to be very conscious of site speed. And so what the plugin outputs
into your HTML in the end or what JavaScript and style
sheets and what it’s loading, that’s what slows
down your site. The existence of a plugin
doesn’t slow down your site. They can slow down the server
by running too much stuff in the back end. But again, ours is going to
be very conscious of that. If we [? didn’t ?]
have an HTML output, I would not turn off our plugin
and just run it that way. Our plugin is going to
have a lot more power than just what’s
outputted inside of that card at the
bottom of your post. If we did offer a version for
people like the Blogger sites that we were saying before, that
would be a scaled-down version, by the nature of
what it has to be, because we can’t output
the stuff we would need to. That would be a bare-bones– We want to be able to
give bloggers the ability to finally have a recipe
card, not necessarily what you’d want to do if
you’re on WordPress. So I don’t know why an
SEO specialist would just be telling you that
all plugins are bad. Most plugins are bad. They are correct. That’s just because
the WordPress standards are a little loose. I didn’t tell you
that you don’t have to worry about when
you’re installing our plugins on
[INAUDIBLE] site speed. That’s not going to be a thing. Yeah. All right, no, that’s good. That’s good. I think that you’re right. That’s such a thing,
that don’t get plugins. They’re terrible. They’re terrible. And I can say that I saw
yesterday with my own eyes that Food Fanatic, one of
our owned and operated sites, has a 99 out of 100 on GPSI. So Eric Hochberger is feeling
the need for speed every day of his life. So I guarantee that a
Mediavine plugin will be fast. Don’t worry about that. They will help you hit all
the site-speed metrics. There you go. All right, so
Marie [? Leggett ?] is asking about
Mediavine Create. She wants to know, how would
some on-the-fashion site work with Mediavine Create? So she’s asking
about fashion, how we can incorporate that into
the Mediavine Create plugin. So at the start, we
won’t be able to. We have plans. So initially, I
think this is more going to be geared towards
food, DIY, and craft, as we were saying before. We want to treat– fashion is definitely
on our list– fashion and travel a
little bit differently, because we think they’re very
unique spaces, especially– I know there’s a
lot of affiliate opportunities, especially,
in both of those, too. We want to make sure we’re
very conscious of that with [? whatever ?]
we’re designing. So it won’t be out the gate. So initially, Create is really
just going to be about food. And as Jenny mentioned, by
the time we’re at Haven, we want to make sure it is
supporting DIY and craft. That’s in July. And I can tell you fashion and
travel are high up on our list, but sorry, not yet. We’re getting there. We’re getting there. So Michelle Price wants to now– we’re getting back
to an ad question– I was always Teal
and over the minimum. I’m talking site health here. In the last two
to three weeks, I noticed that in-content ads
are green instead of teal. And ideas why this has
changed when content hasn’t? So we haven’t made any
major changes on our side to the in-content
logic, certainly not in the last two to three weeks. So I would guess it’s
probably a change in the traffic on your
site, that they’re just visiting different pages. If you want to email
in to @mediavine, we can definitely do a
quick site audit for you and see if there’s
anything we can catch. But as long as you’re green,
you’re generally still in pretty good shape. But we can take a look. We actually, Eric,
have a blog post coming out today that is
“Rocking the Mediavine Dashboard.” And it talks about how to use
the dashboard and the site health lights to
work and optimize, and when you get those sudden
changes in your site health lights but no
changes in content, how to self-diagnose
and work on that. But absolutely, emailing into
publishers works as well. [INAUDIBLE] blog. Love it. Thanks, Jenny. You’re welcome, Eric. [? Suzanna ?]
wrote a great post. OK, so I’ve got a GDPR question. Are you ready? Oh, can’t wait. It’s been a while. You knew it was coming. OK, [? Sara ?] [? Chunalone ?]
says, GDPR question, I see some bloggers adding
a second checkbox field to their comments section. It looks clunky with the
built-in WordPress cookie checkbox. Does anyone know if this is
something that we actually have to be doing? Also, Akismet, which
is a spam filter, added a data usage notice
under my comment box. Is this enough so that
I don’t need a checkbox? I feel like the comment
section is becoming so crowded that no one will use it. So unfortunately, I do think
that’s going to be necessary. [? So ?] [? Akismet, ?] which
is adding its data collection for how they do spam detection,
because you’re actually sending the comment out to Akismet as
separate from that checkbox, how you’re going to be storing
their data such as their email address in your database. So those are two different
types of data collection. So you technically do need
both of those notices. You would only need them for
users in the EU right now, but obviously it’s very
tough for WordPress to differentiate between
the EU or a regular user. So all of your users right now
are going to see both of those. And yes, it’s clunky. But unfortunately,
that’s the nature of notifying your users
about data collection. You have to notify
them, and it has to be at time of collection. So that’s really the best
place, as bad as it looks. Yeah, things are in flux. And we are changing
all of our things, and the world is changing
all of their laws. My speculation is
that we’re going to continue seeing shifts in
everything, from the technology to the response to the new
laws to the laws themselves. So do you want to
give a brief statement on how the Mediavine
company as a whole has done with our GDPR
readiness, just where we are with everything? Sure, I would love the chance. I knew you would. Yeah, I would definitely
recommend you check out, if you’re not
already running it, and that’s the Mediavine
Consent Management Platform, or the Mediavine CMP. And that will allow
you to basically get consent from your users for
data collection and cookies, mostly focused on the ads,
so to make sure that we’re able to serve personalized ads. If you enable that,
users in the EU are going to earn you 30% more. That’s what we’ve seen. Publishers that
have enabled our CMP are earning 30% more in the EU. [INAUDIBLE] Three zero. Yeah, so that’s pretty
darn substantial. Most companies, we have
heard, are actually hurting. And you can read articles
about this on the web. They’ve actually seen a decrease
in revenue as a result of GDPR. And our publishers are
seeing an increase in revenue as a result of GDPR
because of the work that was put into that CMP. We’re also now
working on that CMP to be able to give you guys more
access, to be able to use it as your own content
management platform to be able to gather consents,
such as any data you’re collecting. And that’s all coming soon. Yeah, so GDPR, for Mediavine
publishers, a good thing. That’s pretty exciting. All right, boss, we got a cousin
from [? Andy ?] [? McClung. ?] I’m five days old in
the Mediavine community but a longtime blogger. I’m considering going
back over all posts to make unique Mediavine videos. I keep seeing Mediavine
recommend putting videos at the bottom of the post. I’m curious if you
tested running videos at the top of a
post, so visitors can start at
prompting an ad view and then have it in
the sidebar, PIP style, while they scroll the
post for better results. I imagine this could
be case by case on where to put it exactly. Yeah, great
question, [? Andy. ?] So a lot of the articles
you’ve been reading are actually from
before we came up with that PIP style or the
sticky video here at Mediavine. That’s relatively new here. We personally play
it safe when it comes to a lot of this stuff. And Google only recently
approved sticky video. That’s Google Ad Exchange. And so we released ours
shortly after that, if you’re curious why it took us so long. So now that we have a PIP
or a sticky video player, putting it at the top
is not necessarily a bad thing anymore. So if you put it at the
very top, which is actually what our system will do if
you turn on the Auto Upgrade feature in the Video section of
your dashboard under Settings, it will move it to the
top and turn on auto play and turn on sticky. That way, they can start
it at the very beginning of your post. That’s [INAUDIBLE] on desktop. On mobile, we prefer
it a little bit lower, which is why our
auto upgrade only works on desktop, because we
don’t have a sticky player on mobile because there’s not
really a great user experience to make the video sticky
as they continue to scroll on such a small device. And plus, we already
have the video adhesion. We don’t really want to have
too many videos sticking with them as they scroll. Somewhere towards
the top is definitely a preferable spot now. But I recommend testing
on your own site and see what works best. Excellent [INAUDIBLE]. But definitely a
[? good ?] idea of creating unique videos, by the way,
for every single post. Our video player
marks everything up in schema.org to
make sure that we’re presenting to Google that
that post has a unique video. By creating a unique
video for every post, you’re actually going
to give yourself a little SEO boost
on every single post in addition to the additional
ad dollars you’ll be earning. So I’m going to jump in
with own question here. It’s still the year of video. There are so many
exciting things happening with video
all across Mediavine. I wanted to know
what’s coming up. What do we have in the pipeline
in the future for our video? We’ve got so much great stuff. So I’m not going to lie to you. GDPR put a lot of things
on pause for a little bit. But now that GDPR is– I don’t want to say behind us. But now that the GDPR
deadline has passed, and it won’t be all
consuming of everyone’s lives for a little bit,
we’re back to video. So one of the big
things that’s coming out is playlists, so the
ability not just to have a single video showing in
things like the video adhesion or in your post but to have
additional videos playing after that video completes or
creating your own playlist, whether they’re dynamic based
on your most popular videos or whether they’re
manually created by you. So playlists are coming. The other big video
thing is we’re working on templating
the video player, so you can make the player
feel more native to your site. So that’s another cool one
coming, and then some other fun stuff. But basically,
making you more money is the bottom line
of video this year and just making sure that video
adhesion and the sticky player, which are the two most important
video options at this point, are doing their best for you. So much exciting stuff, so yes,
[? Andy, ?] make the videos. Make them now. You’re at the
right place for it. [? Lisa ?] [? Sharpe ?]
doesn’t have a question. She wants to say
something nice to us, which we’re always a fan of. She said, I have a second
site with another ad network, as it’s not big
enough for Mediavine. And their GDPR plan is
terrible, and they’ve been so slow with everything. So thank you Mediavine
for making this easy. Thank you, [? Lisa. ?] Yep, thanks to the devs and to
the awesome publisher support team and everyone. We have some great, great staff. Eric, I don’t know what this is. But that doesn’t mean anything. Maybe you will. Maria asked, what do
you know about Twitch? Is it a money maker? Uh-oh. If you don’t know
what Twitch is, I don’t know what Twitch is. [INAUDIBLE] [INAUDIBLE] Let us google that. We’ll be back. OK, let’s go to Katrina. Social media, I can’t
keep up with it. I know. What will they
think of next, Eric? [? You mentioned ?] videos about
people playing video games. Is that what Twitch is? Maybe. It’s probably to do with GDPR. I think the EU invented it. There’s a law about it. So [? Katrina ?] wants to know
about Blogger, the platform. Are there benefits to using
WordPress and self-hosting instead of the Blogger
platform other than the fact that Blogger is just super
clunky, hard to work with, SEO or ranking benefits? And this is something we’ve
been addressing in blog posts, and I want to hear it
from the man himself. Eric, we do not dislike
Blogger, do we, at Mediavine? I mean, we certainly don’t
dislike Blogger, certainly not as a company. I don’t want anyone to think
that Mediavine dislikes blogger. We work with– Thank you. –publishers on
all platforms here. Granted, it is 91% of our
bloggers are on WordPress. But that’s not due to our bias. That’s the bias of the internet. Personally, as a computer
engineer, or a programmer, I am always going to prefer
an opensource solution to any closed platform. And WordPress is an
opensource solution. It allows people like
Mediavine to develop on it and bring you new features. Blogger, you’re at the
mercy of exactly one company to bring you new features,
and that’s Google. And we love Google here,
but Google might not be spending as many resources
on Blogger as you would want. I’m sure you don’t
see as many updates as the WordPress gets on
a daily and weekly basis. And naturally, the question
you have to ask yourself, do you want the flexibility
that being on WordPress would give you? There are a lot of SEO benefits. WordPress is definitely
built with SEO in mind, follows every
technical guideline that is released for SEO,
especially to use plugins, such as the [? Yos ?]
plugin, So it probably could help with your ranking. It’s definitely easier to
customize for more site speed. So Blogger is fast in that the
server-side component of it is handled by Google, and
Google is very good at servers. So they’ll serve
your page quickly. The actual page itself
is going to be slow. And there’s no way
for you to really be able to customize that. And that’s something that
WordPress would give you. So yes, in general, I would
say there are a lot of benefits to moving towards WordPress. But we’re certainly never
going to make anyone move to WordPress. I can promise you. That’s not our agenda. It’s not our MO. We support bloggers
on all platforms. We are not getting
kickbacks from WordPress. We are not on the
WordPress staff. That is not happening. Well, it’s an
opensource project, so they don’t have any
money to give us, either. People donate to them
[? if anything. ?] Great. Let’s not commit
ourselves to donating to WordPress [INAUDIBLE]. No, programming-wise. I know. So I just wanted to quickly
recap a comment thread that’s going on. Marie was asking if the
video we were talking about is with native videos. We had someone say,
yes, video we create, you can upload it into
the Mediavine dashboard. Marie said, shut your face. I have tons. So we’ve made Marie’s day. All right, so let’s go on to– Michelle asked, I’m seeing push
notifications and newsletter sign-ups and video
ads, et cetera, that cover the Mediavine
sticky ad as you scroll. Are we OK to do that? I love the sidebar
space to house things, but I don’t want to
run afoul of anything we need, we being Mediavine. Yes, that is actually a problem,
and we see it all the time. I know I could throw
plugins under the bus, but there’s a particular one
that encourages you to sign up for things like
Pinterest or newsletters that comes out of the sidebar. And it very likely will
overlap with your sticky ad. And that is a problem. That’s an ad policy
violation, number one. So it could get you in trouble
with people like Google. Luckily, you work with us, so
Google would first contact us before kicking you off. But it is a policy violation. That’s first and foremost
what you have to worry about. Second is, if it covers
enough of the ad, it’s actually going to
hurt your viewability. So remember, a user has
to see a certain amount of the ad on the page
for over a second for it to be considered viewable. And now if half of that ad is
covered up by a notification, they can never see
enough of the ad for it to be counted as viewable. So you’re never going
to get paid for that ad by people that are only
buying for viewable ads, which is a lot in the industry now. So I would strongly
discourage allowing anything to overlap with the sticky ads. Again, policy violation,
but also, it’s going to hurt your earnings. So consider using a
different part of the screen. I know we take up
the sidebar, which is where everyone
wants to run things, so you’re not running
it on the content. But it’s all,
unfortunately, a balance. Absolutely. All right, so Marie
also asked, are there any plans to allow infinite
scroll adjustments? She says she loves this, but
it’s required to turn it off. Yeah, so one of the issues
with infinite scroll is that, basically,
it would need to– it needs to be a two-way
communication between your site and our script wrapper
to know when there’s new content on your page. So it will be coming
eventually, but it’s going to require resources
on both of our sides. So yes, I would say it
is eventually coming. But for now, please
keep it turned off. Otherwise, basically
what ends up happened is you’ll add
more content to your site via infinite scroll. So let’s say you’re
doing one that loads another
article when you get to the bottom of your article. Our script wrapper
doesn’t know that there’s all new content on that page. And something has to
tell it that there’s all new content on that page. It can’t just
automatically detect it. So it’s a computer
problem, but it’s something I think we can solve
together, just not today. Maybe in the next few months
we can start to address that. Yeah, we’ll just keep fixing the
internet and doing what we do, and we’ll get there eventually. OK, Diana Hansen wants to go
back to the site health checks. Stay tuned for that
blog post today, Diana. OK, so she says
hers has gone down, but her traffic is way
up on both of her sites. She did enable sticky
videos on both sites within the last month. Could that have caused the
hit to her site health? No, we shouldn’t really see
sticky video causing any hit. So our sticky video plays very
nicely with our sidebar sticky. You’ll never see the
two of them overlap, since it’s smart enough to
make sure that they don’t. So it shouldn’t impact
your sticky sidebar health. And when it comes to
your in-content ads, naturally that’s going to be
determined based on content length and won’t
necessarily be impacted by running the sticky video
player or videos in your post. So I think they’re unrelated. But that’s awesome. Congrats on the
increase in traffic. So you’re probably
making more money, whether you have lower
health checks or not. But as usual, look
forward to that blog post that Jenny was saying. Or email in, and
we can take a look. Oh, OK, Eric, I don’t
know if you were guessing, or– [? Valerie ?]
Cooper told us her teenage son listening
in the background says Twitch is a live-streaming
website for video games and cooking and music. Yeah, that’s what I was
saying, video games. I know about the Twitching. You’re practically
a teenager, Eric. I know. I’m so cool. You are. You are very cool. All right, I’m going to go
back a little bit to something that I know you
love to talk about. And that is ad optimization and,
bottom line, making more money. I know people can
feel overwhelmed when we start asking
about optimization and doing things when
you have so much content and you’ve been
publishing for so long. So can you tell us the top
two things, top three things someone could do today
with ad optimization and what can people do every
day, maybe make a practice? Like, today, I’m going
to take my vitamins, and I’m going to let the dog
out, and I also going to x, y, and z to optimize. Well, I’m sure you’ll know what
my first one is going to be. And that’s site speed. The most important thing
to your ad performance is actually your site speed. And that’s also the
most important thing to your traffic. So it’ll be the most important
thing to your overall revenue, so focusing on site speed first,
just making sure your site and content load quickly. Remember, our ads load
after your content. So you’ve got to make sure
your site can load quickly, so our ads begin to load. That makes sure that
your ads are seen. And ultimately, how
much you get paid is based on how many
of your ads are seen, which brings us to the next
thing, which is making sure you have very engaging content. I know that’s a hard
thing to quantify. But when you’re
writing a post, make sure you’re not
just inserting fluff in order to get more
in-content ads to show up. You want to make
sure you have ads that are being
seen by your users, not just loaded
and scrolled past. So think of ways– And I don’t mean to call out
food bloggers in particular, but come up with things that
are related to that recipe that you can tell them
as part of that story before the recipe card. I know people have found very
clever ways here at Mediavine in order to be able to get
high scores with a food blog. So you can definitely do it. We have lots of
people that are Teal. Courtney [? O’Dell ?]
is incredible at this, giving people tips and tricks
and all sorts of things you can do at the
top of your post before they get to the recipe
card to keep them engaged. That way, they’re going
to see all of those ads, and then doing that with
all of your new posts and going back to
your original posts. And then, of course,
the third trick would be just writing
longer content, but again, as long
as that’s engaging, and you’re using
that other trick and making sure that you’re
not just writing fluff but writing long content,
not just inserting six identical photos
but six unique photos. What are you doing
for your user that’s going to make them read
through all of that content? That’s really what
you’re trying to do. So do good is what you’re– Yeah. I’m kidding. Write for your users,
not for your ads. Write for your user,
not for your ads. Let’s quote that on a sampler. Let’s make a t-shirt. I like that. So Michelle has
another question. She wants to know– You get to talk more
about site speed, Eric. She wants to know what your
best resource is for reviewing and improving site speed. Her name is Lauren. And she’s at Once Coupled. No, honestly, the
best thing we have is using the Google tool,
which is the PageSpeed Insights, which is going
to give you a lot of tips, and then using– They have another
product coming out– I think it’s called Lighthouse– that’s similar to this. But if you would like to hire
someone who is very, very good at speed
audits, both Lauren at Once Coupled and
the team at Agathon are pretty great at doing
these speed audits for you and can help you actually
make the changes you need. If that’s out of
your budget, there are ways to definitely
self-audit this stuff. We have some guides up on
our site, and even Once Coupled has some up on her blog,
how to do this stuff yourself. I think making sure you’re
using the right tools is very important. I know there’s a lot of
site speed tools out there, but the ones that we and
you should care about are ones that measure how
quickly the first screen view of your site loads. The most important
thing to your user, remember, is how quickly
the page appears to load. The only thing you
can perceive as a user is what your eyeballs see. You don’t know what’s actually
happening in the computer, right? You don’t care about that. You want to see how
quickly that site looked like it loaded to you. And so what’s going to happen
if you’re using the wrong tool, it’s going to look
behind the scenes and see how long the entire
site, let’s say, took to load. You don’t care about that. You just care about
that first screen view, because in theory, as soon
as first screen view loads, the user’s going
to look at that. By the time they’ve
scrolled the next one, the second screen view
has had a chance to load. So that’s why Google
subscribes to that theory of how quickly you can load
that first screen view. That’s why Mediavine’s
obsessed with that. Again, that’s why we
lazy load all of our ads and make sure they
get out of your way, and the first screen
view comes out quicker. So make sure you’re using
a test that does that. So that would be the
PageSpeed Insights Test, and the other is
webpagetest.org. That’s another one that’s
actually mentioned by Google, so we would recommend taking
a look at that one as well. And it has a score– I can’t remember the
name of it right now– that basically measures how
quickly your first page loads [? on ?] [? page ?]
[? view, ?] screen view. Great, and that’s actually
what [? Katrina ?] asked, too, was the best way to
check site speed. And we pretty much GPSI, right? Google PageSpeed Insights is– Yep. –exactly where you need to go. All right, so we are– I’ve got a couple of
fluffier questions for you. But they’re not
feelings questions. They’re fluffy questions. Sure. So Eric, do you have any pets? What? No, no. [? You kidding? ?] You don’t have any pets? Don’t lie. I have two wonderful Shih Tzus,
[? Margo ?] and [? Millie. ?] You told me no [? feelings. ?] They’re masculine. Are you going to feel feelings
if I ask you your pets’ names? No. Oh, duh. [? The ?] [? older one ?]
just turned 14. Aw. I know. Well, that’s cool. You guys almost
share a birthday. I know. He stole it. OK, Diana wants to have links
to those site speed checkers. We can absolutely do that. Marie says, what’s
this Guggenheim update? [INAUDIBLE] We’ll get you away from
your dogs [INAUDIBLE].. Thank you, Marie. So WordPress, with
their new version– Is it WordPress 5.0? I wish I had my WordPress
guys here right now, who know this way better than me– have an editor coming out
that’s called Guggenheim. And it’s a complete
change to the editor. And apparently, the community
either loves it or hates it, and it’s very divisive. It’s going to be a
lot more powerful, I think, for users long term. But yeah, I mean, it’s going
to break a lot of your plugins, unfortunately. So there’s ways
to update the 5.0 but still run the
old editor, which I think is what
we and everyone is going to recommend for a while. We’re going to make sure– and I
think we’ve already done this– that the Mediavine Create
and all of our plugins will work with the
new Guggenheim update. But it’s a matter of
time before everyone else makes those same changes. So that’s the scary
thing happening. It’s basically a new editor
that you use in the back end, in the admin when you’re
writing your post, which is obviously a
big deal to you guys. And it’s going to change things
for the better, long term. But like all things, it’s going
to suck in the short term. Growing pains. All right, we’ve got
one final question from our new publisher,
[? Andy. ?] He says, last question if there’s
time for a second one. I have never had comments
enabled on my site. I realize there could be an
SEO benefit with comments but fear that enabling all
posts with zero comments after six-plus years of
posts would look bad. Have you noticed that
blogs with comments enabled generate more ad
revenue due to sidebar scroller or mobile bottom ads? Should I do it? Comments are a weird thing
when it comes to ad revenue. Weirdly, advertisers
don’t love comments. They’re considered UGC,
or User Generated Content. I had to make that one caveat. But there is potential
SEO benefit, absolutely, from comments. If people are writing,
and especially if you’re responding,
that is great content that is generally
related to the post. If you take a look at a
lot of the Mediavine blogs, for example, we will respond
to all of your comments with answers and links. And Google will look at that as
additional content to the post, because it is. And a lot of users
will go down to there, could get additional questions
or answers, as you can imagine. I mean, that’s the
idea of the comment. So yes, useful comments will
absolutely be an SEO boost. I don’t know if
it’s going to look bad to your users to
have a bunch of old posts with zero comments. It’s going to look like
it is low engagement. You can maybe get rid of
the counter if it’s at zero, and just say the word
“comments,” maybe. There has to be a
clever workaround you can come up with. But I don’t think
comments are a bad thing. I know they’re less and
less popular these days because users prefer to
talk on social media. There’s old-fashioned
people like us that don’t know what Twitch
is that still use comments. The day your boss calls
you old on Facebook Live. OK, Courtney
[? O’Dell ?] says, I swear comments help
me but also ratings. OK, yeah, people
are liking that. What do you think, Eric? So yes, you’re a comment fan. You’d say yes? I would say yes,
and just make sure– and I know most of
you guys already do it– you’re answering in your
comments with technical detail. I know a lot of people use them
as a chance to be sarcastic, which is also fun, too. But make sure you’re
answering your comments with useful information
to your user and to Google and putting in links in there. It’ll be good for
you and for SEO. All right, last
question, what is your favorite thing about
Mediavine, Eric Hochberger? You’re trying to get feelings. I want you to cry. I know. That’s what I’m doing right now. No, honestly, it’s in
our mission statement, and it’s helping publishers and
create sustainable businesses for a long time. And that’s what we
love about Mediavine, is that we’re able to continue
for all of us to grow together. All the heart emojis,
everyone, do it. OK, so thank you so much. This is our first
Summer of Live. We had great questions. We had great answers
because we had the man here. And we are so happy
that you guys joined us. This is going to be available
on our YouTube channel as soon as we get
this put together. And next week, we have Josh
Unseth and Amber Bracegirdle, co-hosts from the Theory
of Content podcast. We’re going to be talking all
things SEO, so please come. Bring your questions. We’re going to be here. And the week after
that, I will have Mr. Hochberger back with me. And we are going to be revealing
the 2019 Mediavine conference dates and location. So we are quite excited about
that, lots of stuff coming. And please comment here,
tell us, send an email, let us know what you want to
see during this Summer of Live. We’ve got lots of slots, lots
of exciting stuff coming. And we are excited. So goodbye, Mr. Hochberger. Thank you guys all
for joining us. Thanks, guys. Have a great day.

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