38 Comments

It would be great to see actual/real-world examples of optimal SEO descriptions of various articles/posts, and links to them, so we can see how each SEO description fits with the article/post. Also it would help to see how the SEO description correlates to the number of clicks generated from Google.

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This is a great article! Thanks for making this info available to us:)

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Generally speaking, how do the big search engines -- primarily Google Search, handle, differently, if at all, the following three types of "blog posts" coming from a writer on substack -- where said writer's blog is housed on a subdomain on substack (not a custom domain name):

* The "blog post" is not behind a paywall.

* The "blog post" is behind a paywall and with NO "free preview". Note: just headline-1 and headline-2 are visible to the non-paying reader.

* The "blog post" is behind a paywall and WITH a "free preview". Note: headline-1 and headline-2 are visible to the non-paying reader -- as well as a portion of the body text.

In other words, is the Google Search webcrawler-bot built to be able to detect "paywall" walls, and, if detected, de-rank that "blog post" -- regardless of how "good" the SEO Title and SEO Description used are?

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Here is the reply I received from the Substack support team:

* Paywall or non-paywall doesn't make a difference here.

* The ranking on Google for all three is based on general SEO factors: the keyword searched being in the page's title, how many sites have linked to the page, etc.

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The note about "borrowing" from Substack's SEO reputation is misleading -- Google has stated that they see subdomains as individual sites, and SEO reputation does not carry over from subdomain to subdomain.

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It's possible that reputation doesn't carry over from subdomain to subdomain, but the Substack domain itself does lend some credibility to your subdomain?

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Sure, why not? And depending on the reader, it may also be a toxic brand that hosts COVID denialists and "cancelled" writers. You never know what people will associate with Substack, and since that's out of your control, I wouldn't bank on it to improve your credibility or reputation.

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I think you might be equivocating on the word "reputation". My understanding is that being part of a huge, established domain is positive for SEO, even if people have questions about the site's content.

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Ah, I misunderstood your question. No, I don’t believe being part of a larger subdomain helps at all with your SEO. Google sees it as a new domain.

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I'm glad Substack is addressing this issue. Thanks! (I wonder if Dan read my article, kind of similar:)

https://pau1.substack.com/p/6-steps-for-more-substack-subscribers

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Paul, could you write some actual SEO description examples:

https://on.substack.com/p/substack-seo-guide/comment/12817642

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Hi LE! Here is some info for you right from google.

https://developers.google.com/search/docs/appearance/snippet#use-quality-descriptions

If you read the rest of the article, you will know more about meta tags than 99% of the people. Reply if any questions!

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This is great Paul! That's exactly what I was looking for, actual examples of good and bad SEO descriptions. But of course I would never have been able to find this page without your help. They're using different terminology, "snippets." It's a whole confusing world, and it feels like one needs to take a class in order to understand. Thank you for being a guide and taking the time to answer my questions. It's overwhelming sometimes, and I really appreciate your help! πŸ€—

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Thanks for all the hard work you guys put into making our Substacks stand out.

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So helpful - thank you!

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For some reason I am not seeing Google Site Verification on one of my publication's settings. Is there a limit to how many publications I can verify?

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Very helpful post, thank you. Can you slow down the movement a tad as it took me a few times to realize the settings are at the bottom right hand corner of the page.

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Thanks for including our keyword 101 newsletter in this guide! We love questions – post your burning news/publishing SEO questions and we can try to cover in a newsletter!

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While it would be helpful to see real-world examples of optimal SEO descriptions, it's important to note that the "optimal" description can vary depending on the content and target audience. Additionally, the number of clicks generated from Google is not solely dependent on the SEO description but also on other factors such as the relevance of the content, the search intent of the user, and the competitiveness of the search results.

checkout the examples: https://sevenxsports.com/

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Y'all are amazing. I feel so cared for! πŸ₯Ή

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How do I set the title/description for my home page?

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Would like much to enhance my newsletter stats.

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Please I need urgent reply. I want to start a publication on substack but I don't know which is best for SEO, custom domain or Substack subdomain. The blog posts I've been reading are all confusing.

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