Monday there was a fascinating story from the Daily Beast about how the new and much-hyped startup The Messenger is struggling to rank on Google. In short, The Messenger is not showing up on Google when people search “The Messenger.” In fact, Neiman Labs put together a comprehensive list of sites that rank higher for that search term. The site has a lot of content, high profile reporters on the team, and a ton of money behind it. So the question is, why aren’t they ranking and how can they improve that?
- The site is new. It takes time for new websites to build up authority and trust with search engines. Some of the sites that rank above them have been on the web for years, if not decades, where they have built trust with Google.
- The site’s content is not optimized for search. The titles, meta descriptions, and content of the site’s pages are not optimized for the keywords that people are searching for.
- The site does not have backlinks. Backlinks are links from other websites to your website. They are a signal to search engines that your website is credible and trustworthy.
Here are some tips for The Messenger to improve its SEO:
- The Messenger has been accused of creating a lot of “click-bait” articles to drive eyeballs to the site. But this doesn’t work from an SEO perspective when trying to build trust. They should focus on creating high-quality content from the impressive list of journalists they have hired. This content should be well-written, informative, and engaging. They have the right people in place. They just need to focus on the right content instead of chasing clicks.
- Optimize content for search. The titles, meta descriptions, and content of your pages should be optimized for the keywords that people are searching for. You can use a keyword research tool to help you find the right keywords.
- Utilize backlinks. The more sites that link to your site, the higher Google will rank you (it’s a sign of audience trust in your content). Writing articles that break news and or share something unique (which is one of the top missions of The Messenger) should help this happen organically.
In the Daily Beast piece, The Messenger responded to the news that they are having issues ranking on Google.
“We are working with SEO experts who have never encountered this before and are attempting to resolve the issue.”
We have no idea what SEO experts could be baffled by some very easy to understand issues with search, but by following these tips, The Messenger can improve its SEO and start to rank higher in search engines. This will help the site to attract more visitors and grow its audience.
And if they need help, we’re here 🙂