Improving SEO on Steem and steemit.com

in steem •  2 months ago

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Hello Steemians, today we’d like to talk about how SEO is improving for Steem developers thanks to a proposal that originated with @jesta, which was followed by an implementation by Smittyvb (@smitop on Steem).

The Problem

As the first and largest application leveraging the Steem blockchain, steemit.com often receives preferential treatment when it comes to the Search Engine Ranking Page (SERP). When a search engine “sees” the same piece of content in multiple locations on the internet, it needs to determine which source is authoritative. Google uses over 200 metrics to make this determination, but it is likely that because steemit.com is so established, it has a strong competitive advantage with respect to SERP rank for a given piece of content.

Steem is More Than Steemit.com

None of this was a problem as long as steemit.com was the only application built on Steem. However, as we have seen over the course of the last two years, Steem has such compelling value propositions from the perspective of application developers that hundreds of applications now leverage the Steem blockchain, with more coming online every day. In order to make Steem an even more hospitable environment for these apps, we felt it was important to resolve this problem by implementing an open standard for “canonical URLs.”

Steemscript and Canonical URLs

While @jesta began the conversation, other github users made significant contributions as well. @smittyvb submitted the PR for formatting canonical URLs according to steemscript which is an open JSON standard for trusted workflows developed by @bonustrack. Most frontends have been specifying the originating app on each post for some time, but now we have an open standard for signalling to Google and other indexers the authoritative (canonical) URL of any Steem post. This will help give “link juice” to the originating apps.

Helping steemit.com and Steem

Because the content hosted on steemit.com is mirrored in so many locations on the internet, it too is likely not enjoying the maximum benefit of search engine algorithms because they have no way of “knowing” what content truly originated from steemit.com. This change will create an environment where the origins of every piece of content are clearly presented for the algorithms and in a “language” they understand. This ensures that their map of the Steem ecosystem is accurate, which makes for a more healthy environment for growth.

The Importance of Open Standards

Without open standards, the internet would not have been able to function and scale to its current size. Like the internet, Steem is an open source framework designed to foster communication among people all over the world through their computers. We want to ensure this network is able to get as big as possible, and store as much valuable information as possible. But as networks scale they become exponentially more complex. Open standards enable everyone who is relying on a network architecture to collaborate and ensure that the foundational components of the network are antifragile and interoperable, so that we are free to build even more valuable applications on top of that foundation.

We believe that Steem is far-and-away the best blockchain protocol for web developers and it is changes like this that help our network increase its lead while scaling. If you’d like to learn more about developing applications on Steem, be sure to check out our dev portal: https://developers.steem.io

Steemit Team

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This is wonderful work. The simple fact that steemit blogs are already very google searchable is a great promotion for steemit.

It seems like that developers know their stuff when it comes to improving steemit on other search engines. I have noticed that our own search engine is pretty much non functional. I imagine that it would take some real significant work to build it into a functioning search engine. Are there any plans to do something about the steemit internal search engine?

I love you guys. This is exactly what was needed for @TokenBB and @SteemPress to thrive!

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Sure. Every dApp on the blockchain needs this actually.

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How is that going ? releasing soon?

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How does one man be in so many places and still remain sane? Teach me your ways.

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I'm an octopus lol

Ramping up @Steemit canonical work is excellent for 301 redirects.
    When a GoogleBot crawl discovers 
    shared links flagged to invisibilty, 
    are we setting ourselves up 
    for 404 like  errors?

    Is there any concern about this?
    @andrarchy


Fortunately, there was sufficient voting power to make this "invisible" post visible.

Are you guys reading my website? Cause I just wrote about this. 😉

Can I add a request? I noticed that posts above $10 or so get "follow" links, while those below are "no follow".

Having a threshold makes sense, but my recent post went from nearly $11 down to $9, and lost the "follow" link it had for a few days.

Maybe make it permanent? I lost a good backlink because of price dropping... I'm not the only one.

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Same here. I really hate that nofollow tag. It's not easy to earn more than $10 payout for posts now. Can @steemitblog look at adjusting that? Lower the payout to say $5?

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It would be nice if there were a couple thresholds that would be ok, for instance an equivalent of X amount of Steem ($10 is currently about 14.5 Steem!) That would be price agnostic, as well as a smaller threshold for posts with high engagement or high number of likes.

There is more than one way to determine if a post is quality or not!

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I was surprised that this was not mentioned in clear terms. After getting to know this I am bumping up all my posts with promotions. But I feel it is still inclined towards whales and biggies. We need to have a way where Good content from newbies also gets follow link and better visibility.

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This is where you just go ninja and post a response to your own posts with a link. 😉

OMG, this is long overdue. All dApps should at the very least use one tag to identify where content was posted to the blockchain.
Then the other dApp owners have something to work with.

Better late than never.

Maybe well start to see some ranking improvements too - https://steemit.com/utopian-io/@just2random/could-this-be-the-real-reason-why-steemit-s-alexa-rank-is-falling

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All dApps should at the very least use one tag to identify where content was posted to the blockchain.

Yeah, I have this in mind too. It's good that we have these apps built on steem but the problem is not much of the users from these apps bring quality like how Steemit was envisioned to be a platform for authors.

Very nice! =) But can tell me someone where i can submit a app to this apps.json? I'm trying to develop some kind of app and im curious about that.^^

I've seen this mentioned elsewhere. Someone thought it might actually harm our posts that they are replicated across multiple sites and so might even look like plagiarism. It's another challenge to solve. I hope you can work with the others building sites around Steem to fix this.

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This is something I often wondered, how replicated posts might harm the SEO. Does reposting original content from another url on Steemit confuse the algorithm? @SteemPress

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Not really. What is morenlikely to happen is that alternative frontends just never rank.

Because of the authoritative DA of Steemit, Steemit probably doesn’t suffer from such. There’s not a big problem if a majority are internal links and if that is also consolidated by other links to Steemit on other front-ends.

The problem is solely that when you look in Google for unique Steem account names only Steemit will rank for that profile. Such is the strength of Steemit being the largest, oldest, and the site benefitting most incoming links.

All the other front-ends probably suffer a huge duplicate content penalty for it.

Canonical will now allow alternative front-ends to respect what was the originating app is what posted from and should thus be the site benefitting the search engine traffic as “original publication source”.

Without alternative front-ends suffering a duplicate content penalty (Ignatius they have implemented the canonical tag).

Please excuse my ignorance, but can someone post the meaning of "SEO" for those of us who are not familiar with the term?

Edit: As I was writing this, it became clear that it probably stands for Search Engine Optimization. Correct me if I am wrong.

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SEO

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This is a good example of why we shouldn't make assumptions while writing. I also generally suffer from this oversight.

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Yeah me too. I think the general rule is to spell it out on the first use with the acronym in parentheses then to use the acronym or abbreviation after that.

Im not mad though, but it is a good practice to follow.

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Yep, that's what it stands for.

Great work guys. I see people complaining here, as usual... but content created on dApps that are built on the Steem blockchain, needs to have a clear origin. By increasing the SEO of content created for platforms other than Steemit itself, the Steem blockchain becomes stronger and more decentralised.

Of course hardfork 20 and SMTs are going to be huge, but don’t underestimate the impact that subtle SEO changes that make dApps more appealing to use and develop, can have.

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Steem is now near all time low prices (in BTC). Something must be done.

Steem is now lower than it was for most of 2016 even. On one hand this is probably the best time ever to buy Steem via dollar cost averaging (not investment advice) but then at the same time for people holding a lot of Steem it is one of the worst times ever to sell it.

Anyone who bought or earned it is probably looking at the current prices as pure lunatic prices to sell from. When was the last time you saw Steem going for 0.00010764 BTC ?!

Yes, setting the correct canonical URL is the first step. For me, when I published some posts on steemit, I usually copy over to my own blog (for better archiving, search etc). Therefore, in order to signal Google to prefer my own blog, I put a link in the steemit post.

Awesome!

Besides the changes on canonical URLs, are you also planning to improve the Steemit.com editor with regards to SEO any time soon? It'd be great for content creators to be able to manipulate the meta information of blog posts such as keywords for instance. Currently blog posts submitted via the Steemit.com editor don't contain any meta keywords at all. Also instead of automatically converting the very beginning of a post into a meta description it'd be much better to define it independently from the content.

I'm no software developer, but I think adding a form where to define the meta tags should be easy to implement while it could have a considerable impact on organic traffic.

Thoughts? :-)

Perfect! Another reason why I shouldn't stop using @steempress. This will be a great marketing point when the steempress team goes out marketing the plugin and steem.

Was this really the number 1 priority?

I was actually thinking about a few others 😁

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The beauty of a community contribution is that it doesn't have to be a top priority for Steemit to get done. It's a big help to everyone when people contribute good code that is easy to review and test.

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Very honestly speaking... 100%

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Very honestly speaking... 100%

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Very honestly speaking... 100% agree with you!

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Very honestly speaking... 100% agree with you!

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It aids adoption.

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No, but we figured people might be tired of hearing about SMTs and Hardfork 20 ;)

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Yeah those 2 subjects are both terrible. They are part of a 5 year planning 😜😆

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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SEO and STEEM make for some really uncomfortable Adwords buys.

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Fantastic! This was long overdue but I'm glad the team is addressing some key issues now one by one. I've been waiting for this since forever... looking forward to the deployment now as it will open up new doors to bring fresh ideas and established online users/entities to our platform!

Great update everytime. This is what we need to be the best blockchain in the world...

Another great and wonderful update. Keep the ball rolling guys.
Well-done.

DApps on Steem really needed this to grow exposure to the outside world though organic traffic, especially since some of them are ready to onboard their own share of users. So it is a good timing in my opinion, certainly not a non-priority. Could have come even sooner.

Yeah! At least interfaces will have a way of filtering posts by originating app...

Back in the days people thought it would be cool to post duplicate content on various sites just to pimp the ranking. It's a bad thing. Google is really bitchy about it.

It's even more terrible because steemians don't have a clue that they potentially produce duplicate content when they use different apps. Serious Problem.

Thanks to all the developers here who work hard to make steem better and better! It's great that you work on a solution. Cheers.

Great news. Good work.

I had some Questions about improving your content reach here .... https://steemit.com/dlive/@barcrofttv/29279997-b510-11e8-aada-0242ac110003

This is great! Thanks so much for Steemit team and devs :)

FYI: You can see all supported list of Steem apps here: https://github.com/bonuschain/steemscript/blob/master/apps.json

@mimismartypants look a steemit post about SEO...hmmm wouldn’t canonicals mean we would see dApps posts deindexed so sites like busy.org and steepshots pages will now be deindexed?

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Mmmm very interesting indeed!! They already ranking below steem so they cant really do more harm. Only good in stating that that they are legit sources! So it might just work that preferential treatment will be given in the serps to the app you most favour!

Will be very interesting. If third-party apps are smart they would invest in a documentation and content strat to start promoting their apps. Now they actually going to have to do some seo themselves as serp competition will begin!! Very interesting to see who will dominate the rankings!!

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This is cool. At least there will ambiguity and this will help steemit and everything attached to it. hope to see the SEO improved for the sake of projects like @knacksteem.org and others. More power to your elbow guys.

Congrats, this post is featured on my news show (in Chinese :D) for today.


In time. Healthy SEO is the most important and most vital factor for a website or -service.

I wonder if changes in this field as well as more highlight on quality content can make Steem price rise.

Very good explanation if for a newbie like could understand why that is so important...good work!
I also hope that this will lead also to a better user experience with the search engine.
Finally all those big updates H20, Hivemind and SMT will merge beautifull together.

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This is one of the best news ever! Its an Open door.... This is a plus for the Steem blockchain.

Thanks aplenty Team Steemit and Steem!

So, how to implement his for a basic web dapp?

It isn't clear about setting canonical vs apps.json vs what?

When it is going to release

@steemitblog can you convince @Ned and the gang to sell your stacks (which aren’t being used for the most part) on the open market to give us another shot to pile up at 5 cents? SEO is cool too but I think the thing on everybody’s mind is “wen whale”?

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Improving SEO for Korea market is a whole other story.

This one was my expectation.
While writing and publishing a post at Steemit it should be unique and Google should identify as that is first arrived at Steemit. So that content scrapers can stay away from stealing the original content.
Thanks to awesome Steemit development team 👍👍👍

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This is awesome to see... what a great move... To people that look at links for none spam reasons... this looks much better! Keep up the great work!