Steemit had briefly become one of the 1,000 most important websites worldwide in the global Alexa Ranking. Now Steemit has dropped back to rank 1,763 in the global Alexa Ranking. In this article, I try to get to the bottom of this negative development.
A not insignificant part of the Alexa ranking is the success in the important search engines. Steemit has scored points here for a long time but also has numerous weaknesses, which I will explain below, including some approaches to solutions.
The Alexa Ranking is not a criterion to be optimized, but it reflects the success of Steemit in the search engines and can be used for rough analysis.
Okay, lets go…
Many Steemians are happy about the numerous layers/surfaces like e.g. Busy.org and steemkr.com, by means of which the contents of the blockchain are retrieved and visualized. For the optimization for better placement in the search engines, this is the sheer horror. Each content is available several times or can be reached under several domains. For the search engines, this is first of all double content and it must be evaluated quasi-continuously which is now the relevant source. The search engines will not constantly list duplicate content, but they will always choose one of the duplicates. This costs the search engines enormous additional effort, with such extensive websites as Steemit and this unnecessary waste of resources must represent a disadvantage for Steemit. Any other interface that ultimately lists the same content is a problem.
Since Steemit for various reasons doesn’t always cut off as an original source, Busy.org, steemkr.com or Steemit can be seen in the search results. Steemit still scores better than his own clones, because Steemit is linked much better from the outside. But this is not a guaranteed continuous condition.
Solution: The solution is relatively simple in principle. Each clone must now ensure that the Canonical Tag (rel=”canonical”) of each URL refers to Steemit. This explains to the search engine, which is the primary source and the duplicate content problem is gone. Alternatively, the meta tag “noindex” (meta name=”robots” content=”noindex,follow”) can be used to ensure that the content isn’t indexed by the search engines at all. Both solutions are costing the clones their own reach in the search engines and if this would happen voluntarily is doubtful. However, it is urgently necessary! The more content there is, the bigger the problem becomes. This is getting worse every day.
A Google site-query yields approximately 34,400,000 listed results in the search. The results roughly reflect the URLs indexed by Google. Steemit has become extremely extensive and that costs the search engines enormously high crawl budget and thus resources, i.e. money. You have to assume that a lot of content hasn’t been crawled for a long time. At least the internally bad linked ones. When e.g. dMania (Meme Portal on the Steem) puffed up, I was actually happy about it and I played around with it a lot (with another account), but I knew quite early what problem this is for the search engines. Hundreds of thousands of new content, under its own URL with only one image and a short, recurring section. That must have done a lot of damage too because we sent a totally distorted signal to the search engines just overnight. While Steemit used to be considered an authority with a steadily growing, strong focus on content, hundreds of thousands of spam pages are now included in the index.
But in principle, every article with little content also contributes further to the deterioration of authority, insofar as it still exists.
Solution: The so-called meta tag “noindex”. For example, dMania and all other content poor portals would place the meta-tag “noindex”. This content will then no longer be listed in the search engines and Steemit will benefit from it – similar to how it is important to prune trees. In the past, I had often found that very large websites suffered heavy losses when they became too large and the quality inevitably suffers. If these web pages are trimmed and reduced again to the essentials, these web pages benefit. Less is more today! In general, the aim is to keep the quality of the content as high as possible and to do without articles with little or no content.
What is high-quality content? This question isn’t so easy to answer, and this article is primarily about what search engines consider high-quality content. An article that is 2,000 words strong is not necessarily more valuable than a short article with “only” 250 words. In practice, however, unfortunately, this is often the case when a less extensive article is similar to an article with little content.
The question to a search engine can be “Weather New York” and if the answer is “30 Degree”, the search intention is unmistakably given and the answer was delivered correctly and must be recorded as a success. The content, i.e. the answer, can be regarded as high-quality content. The answer must, therefore, be seen in context. Who is searching, in which place, with which device, at which time, what? You can also use GuteFrage.net (the largest German-speaking question-answer platform) as an example because there are often only short questions including the answers. The answer to the question “How do I reclaim my girlfriend” will be more extensive than the question “Ice Bucket Challenge” or “How many yellow or red cards does a referee have in a game”. (yes, this question was actually asked!).
To answer the question about the high-quality content on Steemit, we have to look at the context and ask ourselves the following question: Who is the target group? That won’t be easy to answer either, but we probably agree that the focus on this platform is still on crypto. If we approach this question a little bit according to the exclusion principle, we can ask ourselves what content the crypto-relevant target group prefers and then, if necessary, quickly agree that the target group is deep in the topic and is probably also looking for more in-depth information on the topic.
Even if you shimmy along what Steemit wants to stand for, the content in connection with curating the same is already an announcement. The claim to filter out high-quality content is an inherent part of the underlying principle. So we can make the claim: “Steemit wants to stand for high-quality content”. Steemit is no question/answer portal and also no weather frog, here it goes into the depths. It should be.
Against this background, it is unnecessary to mention once again that memes aren’t conducive to the Alexa ranking.
Solution: Write high-quality content! Write the best content you’re able to write, and rather once less. Writing articles to only farm Steem is like cutting into your own meat. If we lose reach in the search engines, we lose the currently most important marketing component. Because Steemit still lives strongly from its reach in the search engines. This distinguishes Steem from other blockchains because no other has such a powerful and already established marketing tool. If this falls away, Steemit has a problem, because outside of this tool far and far no marketing is to be seen.
When a website is online, the actual work begins – the website maintenance. In addition to maintaining the content of the website, technical maintenance is also important. One of the weak points, which results from the fact that articles cannot be changed afterwards, is the fact that daily more links run into the void.
If I go through my articles, I easily find 10 links, which have pointed to a content but which – for whatever reason – is no longer attainable now. On my websites, I control this automatically. The links that cannot be reached any longer will be reported and depending on the destination I will decide how I deal with them. Sometimes I look for a new and/or better source, and sometimes I just don’t use the link and remove it.
Here on Steemit, it isn’t possible for me and we have to assume hundreds of thousands of links that run into nothing. The search engines don’t like it at all. The search engines are progress hand over hand, link by link, through the web pages and a broken link is a dead end. If there are many dead ends, which become even more every day, one must assume that this is regarded as a badly maintained website.
Solution: The solution seems to be within reach because the processing of articles is now also possible for articles that are more than 7 days old. But this remains a drop in the ocean because if e.g. dMania closes tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of links will be void. Steemit Inc. should automatically recognize this and remove the link or redirect it to the start page (301 Redirect).
A quick look at Google Trends with 20 samples (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Steem, Steemit, etc.) is enough to conclude that the demand for crypto has fallen. This is not drastic and everything is still fine, as we had such a hype at the end of 2017, which inevitably had to cool down for initially.
Since I cannot estimate how much influence which factors have, it is quite possible that the last mentioned factor makes up the lion’s share with regard to the falling demand and here we have exactly zero influence. The curve (Alexa Ranking) correlates perfectly with the curve of the primary keywords of the crypto world. This creates a negative downward spiral, which drills itself further and further down on its own.
Solution: There is only one thing to say about this: patience and consistency. If the topic itself experiences a hype again, Steem/Steemit will profit from this hype and ride this wave again.
I completely forgot the point Speed/Error in my article. @vladimir-simovic has pointed this out to me. Okay, I mentioned him in the German article and asked him for a critical review. That’s what he did.
How could I forget that the “504 Gateway Time-out” is worse than ever and almost unbearable. Also, I despair here only very often and that must push Google of course badly. Accordingly, I would also adjust the priority and put it at the top.
Again and again Steemit has various technical problems:
504 Gateway time-out
There are problems with writing articles, voting, and comment on them. This annoys not only the users. Also, it is not a good signal to the search engine if a page is very slow or not accessible at all.
Even without error messages, Steemit.com is not very fast…..
Solution: The response time of a website should not exceed 1 second. Especially due to growing mobile use. Steemit.com must answer faster and no longer output errors.