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Is your SEO performance a dumpster fire? Here’s how to salvage it

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Is your SEO performance a dumpster fire Here’s how to salvage it

30-second summary:

  • A failing SEO strategy can happen to the best of us
  • No doubt it’s disheartening when your competitors are miles ahead and your business is struggling to bring in new leads
  • Founder of LSEO and best-selling author, Kristopher (Kris) Jones provides comprehensive steps and advice on how you can salvage your SEO performance

Dumpster fires: surely they can’t happen to you. Right? But before you know it, your website’s traffic has tanked, your competitors are getting all the organic love, and you couldn’t get a conversion if your life depended on it. Folks, if your SEO performance sounds like that, you might just have a dumpster fire on your hands.

A failing SEO strategy can happen to the best of us. There’s no doubt it’s disheartening when your competitors are all miles ahead of you and your business isn’t bringing in new leads.

The good news is that it’s never too late to turn things around.

When is the best time to plant a tree? 20 years ago.

When’s the second-best time? Right now, so let’s get to it.

Here’s how to salvage your dumpster fire of an SEO strategy.

1. Review and optimize all your current content

I’m going to talk about content a few times in this post.

That’s because content has long been and remains the most important element to focus on in your overall SEO strategy.

Websites are nothing without content.

You can see a website getting by with no meta descriptions, you can see them getting by without optimized images, but without content, what do you have?

Not a website!

But if you’re focusing on content first to turn around your SEO strategy, where do you start?

Yes, you optimize everything you already have.

You don’t want to get ahead of yourself by constantly creating new content when you have a whole slew of old pages and posts that may have fallen into SEO disrepair.

Google treats optimized content the same as new content, so to start out, you’ll want to audit your existing content to see what’s good, what’s bad, and what you can fix up to be good again.

You can use a content audit tool like that found in Semrush, or, if you have a more manageable load of content to work with, checking things out manually would work well, too.

This is about more than just deciding what content you like or do not like, although you should be able to tell at a glance which topics are still relevant to your website.

But to check out the SEO performance of each page and post, you can use Semrush as I said, or go manual with Google Search Console.

What I like to do is to put each URL into Search Console and check out how it’s doing as far as impressions versus clicks, click-through rate, and the average positions of its ranking keywords.

That gives me a decent snapshot of which pages need attention.

For example

A page with 10,000 impressions in a 30-day period but only 100 clicks will have a CTR of only one percent (not too great).

I would then go to that page to figure out what is causing the low CTR.

The page is obviously being ranked for the keyword, given its high impressions, but if few people are clicking, then maybe the page isn’t as relevant for the term as it once was.

If that’s the case, then optimizing the page for SEO could be a matter of creating new sections of content around that keyword, and certainly retooling what’s there already.

Optimizing your website’s content is a major part of improving your SEO strategy because it involves so many things that are going to help you.

For this first point, I focused only on the writing and editing part of the content optimization.

Let’s now move on to some other parts of an SEO strategy where you could update things (things that could nonetheless still be involved in content optimization).

2. Assess and update all meta tags

Your pages’ meta tags play an important role in your website’s overall SEO health.

Meta tags are also one of the easiest things to let slip by as you work on your website, because they’re so brief and simple, and there are so many of them.

The thing is, meta tags can go out of date as the landscape shifts around your industry and the keywords for which you were optimizing are no longer relevant.

Meta tags are a classic example of why you can’t set it and forget it with SEO.

Meta tags are another element to look at as you go through your content pages to improve their CTR.

Sure, a lot of your content itself could use updates, but retool the meta titles and descriptions, as well.

Remember, the meta information is what organic users see as they scroll a SERP.

If your title and description aren’t interesting or urgent enough to draw in audiences that are in the awareness stage, then those people will keep on scrolling.

Redoing meta tags could include using a new target keyword, rewriting the call to action, or making everything more concise.

Maybe start with a handful of pages only, say 20 or 30, and A/B test the old and new titles and descriptions to see how traffic and CTR change after your edits.

Doing that will confirm for you whether the updating you’re doing is worth it, and whether you should continue down this road with the rest of your pages.

3. Work on your technical performance

When you have to turn around your entire SEO strategy, you have to think about your website holistically.

That means focusing not just on your keywords and content, but also on how your pages perform technically.

I’m grouping issues such as image compression, site speed, mobile responsiveness, and Core Web Vitals all together under the umbrella of “technical performance.”

Although these factors are less “creative” and open-ended as compared to performing new keyword research or optimizing content, they matter just as well.

When people get to your website and are greeted with slow pages, a messy mobile appearance, and content elements that jump around as they load, their trust in you drops.

In a world as competitive as ours, you can’t afford to give people cause for distrust, because you can bet that there are a hundred competitors waiting in line to market to those customers if you can’t do so successfully.

If development work isn’t your forte, look into contracting out to someone who can clean up your website’s coding and otherwise speed things up while also optimizing for mobile.

Images should be compressed so they take up less space but don’t lose any of their quality, and each image should have optimized alt text.

Compressing and optimizing images is something you can definitely do yourself, either through a plugin (on WordPress) or manually if it’s feasible.

Even though page speed and load times aren’t always the most accessible kind of work to business owners and website owners, those are important issues to keep in mind as you labor toward turning around your dumpster fire of an SEO strategy.

4. Resume creating new content

You can turn around even the worst SEO strategy in the world.

Google isn’t going to hold you to the fire forever just because your SEO has been in the dumps even for the last few years.

Google crawls your site every so often whether you’re doing something with it or not, and as it sees that your SEO is improving, it can start to rank some of those pages higher.

So here is where we get into creating all-new, high-quality content.

Content in 2023 can mean a whole range of things, from blog posts to infographics to videos and podcasts and webinars and slide decks.

Whatever makes sense for your business and your industry is what you should do. Whatever types of media you know your audiences like to consume, give that to them.

In 2023, however, you have to be incredibly mindful of being comprehensive and useful for people.

If there’s anything that we’ve learned from 2022’s helpful content update, it’s that you just cannot skimp on content creation (not that you ever could, but Google is smarter than it was 10 years ago).

Gone are the days of skirting by on SEO-centric content, created just to score some ranking for this or that keyword.

Google is paying much more attention now to the intent and usefulness of a piece, and rewarding those web pages featuring actually helpful content (get it?) with higher rankings.

A perfect example of how Google is thinking these days is the product review update, also from 2022.

Google is now deprioritizing the ranking of low-quality product reviews in favor of more expert-level reviews where the reviewer has actually used the product or service and can speak to its pros and cons.

Why? Because Google wants to direct users to content they can actually trust to help them.

When you take the product reviews update and helpful content update together, you can see why content marketing has gotten so much harder over the years.

You can’t just rank after spending an hour on a 400-word blog post anymore.

You have to be a real expert, or at least put in the time and effort to create deep content if you work for a client portfolio.

These are all things you must keep in mind as you create new content for your website in the name of putting out your dumpster fire of an SEO strategy.

Now, of course, there are the nuts and bolts you have to remember, as well, when it comes to new content.

You have to mine the SERPs, develop the proper keyword strategy, and understand the correct intent behind those keywords to be sure you’re creating what people expect to see when they search that keyword.

That stuff you can all learn.

What I want you to take from this section is the idea that you have to work to create that new content. You have to put in that time and dedication to do it well.

5. If you’re local, focus on reviews

I don’t want to leave out the local businesses here: if you’re a local business, do you know that one of the single largest factors in helping your SEO is getting positive Google reviews?

Now, local businesses need to perform all the on-page SEO work that anyone else does, but what do you do as an ongoing SEO strategy?

The play here isn’t keyword-driven SEO content so much, because your local audience isn’t really going to find you that way.

Local audiences find local businesses by performing local searches and checking out the reviews in the map pack.

In fact, 77 percent of local buyers always read online reviews while checking out local businesses.

Your reviews affect the level of trust the public has in you. More people are likely to visit your website and use your business when they see that others have had a positive experience with you.

The cycle goes on when you encourage your customers to leave positive Google reviews.

The more reviews you have, and the more positive they are, the better off your chances will be of rising to the top of your local map pack.

Being at the top should translate into more traffic and better SEO overall.

6. Build natural backlinks

Finally, I want to mention another pillar of Google’s list of known ranking factors: natural backlinks.

Links are what unite everything on the internet together.

They’re also vital in keeping the ranking juices flowing to your web pages when it comes to your SEO strategy.

Backlinks to your website from other websites show Google that you’re an authority in your market niche since people want to reference what you have to say.

Link building, then, is really about building relationships to get your name out there as a trustworthy resource for others.

When Google sees your links coming from relevant, authoritative websites, it will assign more trust to your own site.

Just remember to keep the links coming from websites that make sense to your own.

The quality matters much more than the quantity here.

To do it, create content that people would want to link to, something with a lot of useful stats and other data.

You can also scout other websites in your niche to see where they may have content gaps, and then create content to fill that gap and ask for a link back.

It takes time and effort, and you’re not guaranteed anything, but it’s the natural way to earn backlinks that will actually help your SEO.

Give your SEO time to turn around

You can put out even the biggest dumpster fire when you know what to do and how to do it.

I’ll say again that SEO dumpster fires can happen to the best of us. Sometimes we go all-in on things we think will work, and they don’t.

Sometimes we get lazy and let our SEO go for years.

But it’s never too late to correct things.

It will definitely take time to see things start to shift for you, though; SEO isn’t an overnight solution. It needs anywhere from three to six months or longer to start showing a difference.

If you keep in mind both the broad strokes and the specifics of everything I’ve described here, you truly can reinvent your SEO strategy and be on your way to business growth.


Kris Jones is the founder and former CEO of digital marketing and affiliate network Pepperjam, which he sold to eBay Enterprises in 2009. Most recently Kris founded SEO services and software company LSEO.com and has previously invested in numerous successful technology companies. Kris is an experienced public speaker and is the author of one of the best-selling SEO books of all time called, ‘Search-Engine Optimization – Your Visual Blueprint to Effective Internet Marketing’, which has sold nearly 100,000 copies.

Subscribe to the Search Engine Watch newsletter for insights on SEO, the search landscape, search marketing, digital marketing, leadership, podcasts, and more.

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Top YouTube Videos, Shorts, And Ads of 2022

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Top YouTube Videos, Shorts, And Ads of 2022

Examining YouTube’s list of the top trending videos and top Shorts of 2022, as well as the YouTube Ads Leaderboard: 2022 year-end-wrap-up can teach content marketers, content creators, and digital advertisers some important lessons that they can apply in 2023.

But, it helps if you have a secret decoder ring to decipher why there are three lists – and why each one uses a different methodology to come up with the rankings.

YouTube unveiled its first list of the 10 most-watched YouTube videos back in December 2010. Unfortunately, that list taught many marketers that “view count” was the only metric that mattered.

But, I got my secret decoder ring back in October 2012, when YouTube started adjusting the ranking of videos in YouTube search results to reward engaging videos that kept viewers watching.

In other words, YouTube replaced “view count” with “watch time.”

This was a significant shift, because “watch time” gives you a sense of what content viewers actually watch, as opposed to videos that they click on and then abandon.

In December 2012, YouTube shifted from unveiling its 10 “most-watched” videos of the year to unveiling its “top trending videos,” based on time spent watching, sharing, commenting, liking, and other factors.

In other words, “watch time” and “engagements” were now the metrics that mattered.

Today, YouTube’s algorithm rewards “viewer satisfaction.”

In other words, YouTube doesn’t pay attention to videos; it pays attention to viewers.

So, rather than trying to make videos that’ll make an algorithm happy, focus on making videos that make your viewers happy.

This brings us to YouTube’s lists of “trending videos” and “top Shorts” for 2022.

To learn important lessons that can be applied in 2023, we need to realize that YouTube’s discovery system uses both absolute and relative watch time as signals when deciding audience engagement.

Ultimately, YouTube wants both short and long videos to succeed, so relative watch time is more important for short videos, and absolute watch time is more important for longer videos.

Top 7 Trending Videos Of 2022

1. “So Long Nerds“ By Technoblade (6:32 long, 88.3 million Views, 10.2 million engagements)

In this moving tribute, the father of beloved Minecraft creator Technoblade reads a farewell letter from his son.

The gamer lost his battle with cancer in June, but his legacy remains on YouTube.

2. “Watch The Uncensored Moment Will Smith Smacks Chris Rock On Stage At The Oscars, Drops F-bomb” By Guardian News (1:24 long, 104 million Views, and 1.8 million engagements)

It was the smack heard ‘round the world: Academy Award winner Will Smith went off-script and slapped Chris Rock, live on-stage, at the film industry’s most prestigious event.

3. “Hi, I’m Dream” By Dream (5:42 long, 48.5 million Views, and 4.7 million engagements)

Dream’s ingenuity within Minecraft has led him to become a top creator with a devoted fanbase.

But no one knew what he looked like IRL, until now.

4. “ Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar & 50 Cent Full Pepsi Sb Lvi Halftime Show” By NFL (14:41 long, 146 million Views, and 3.5 million engagements)

Lose yourself in this epic Super Bowl halftime show packed with some of the biggest artists in hip-hop history: Dr. Dre, Snoop, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lama, and 50 Cent.

5. “I Built Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory!” By Mrbeast (17:01 long, 132 million Views, and 5.1 million engagements)

In a “Willy Wonka” inspired warehouse, MrBeast challenges contestants to traverse a chocolate river, climb a candy wall, compete in confection-themed games, and indulge in their sweetest fantasies.

6. “Pranks Destroy Scam Callers- Glitterbomb Payback” By Mark Rober (26:41 long, 55.9 million Views, and 2.2 million engagements).

Engineer Mark Rober exacts dazzling revenge on a scam call center in the latest version of his glitterbomb series.

7. “Being Not Straight” By Jaiden Animations (15:22 long, 17.8 million Views, and 1.7 million engagements)

In this coming-out video, Jaiden Animations depicts a personal journey from adolescence to adulthood, sharing how they discovered their sexual identity along the way.

Top 7 Shorts Of 2022

1. “Diver Cracks Egg At 45 Ft Deep #Shorts” By Shangerdanger (0:56 long, 251 million Views, and 12.3 million engagements)

The ocean floor is a mysterious place. It’s full of unknown sea creatures, strange plants, and…chicken eggs?!

Join Shangerdanger as he cracks up the internet and dives egg-first into the blue depths.

2. “Sarah Trust Challenges” By Hingaflips (0:31 long, 142 million Views, and 6.5 million engagements)

Better than parkour? This is Trampwall: an epic sport where acrobats defy gravity and leap off a wall, onto a trampoline, to pull off mind-blowing aerial stunts.

3. “Come With Me To Shave My Fluffy Dog! #Doggrooming #Grooming #Goldendoodle” By Brodie That Dood (0:52 long, 108 million Views, and 6.8 million engagements)

For years, his long fluffy fur has made Brodie one of the most iconic dogs on YouTube. So, the heartbreak was real when it was decided that he needed a close trim.

4. “Dave and Busters Bet Me 1000 Tickets I Couldn’t Do This…” By Chris Ivan (0:59 long, 83.6 million Views, and 6.3 million engagements).

No one does trick shots like creator Chris Ivan. In this Short, he attempts to land a plunger on a Dave & Buster’s sign.

The prize? 1,000 tickets … if he can pull it off.

5. “That Gap Between Your Car Seat and Center Console” By Jay & Sharon (0:58 long, 182 million Views, and 6.4 million engagements)

We’ve all lost something in the dreaded gap between the car seat and the center console.

In this comedic sketch, creators Jay & Sharon show us what’s really going on down there.

6. “Welcome To The Stomach #Shorts” By Adrian Bliss (0:34 long, 118 million Views, and 7.0 million engagements)

In this bite-sized skit, witty creator Adrian Bliss brings to life all the characters trying to gain entrance – and party in – his space-limited stomach.

7. “This Magic Trick Explained (America’s Got Talent)” By Zack D. Films (0:34 long, 97.4 million Views, and 5.6 million engagements).

How did he do it? The judges of “America’s Got Talent” were confounded by this magic trick.

But not internet-sleuth Zack D., who unveils its clever secret.

Top 7 YouTube Ads Of 2022

Meanwhile, YouTube uses an entirely different methodology to determine the top YouTube ad for its 2022 year-end wrap-up Leaderboard. This makes sense.

The top ads are generally the ones with the biggest budgets, which drive up view counts, but not always engagements.

1. “Amazon’s Big Game Commercial: Mind Reader” By Amazon (1:31 long, 69.7 million Views, and 25,700 engagements)

The creative agency for this ad was Lucky Generals and the media agency was IPG – Rufus.

The ad’s description asks, “Is Alexa reading minds a good idea? No. No, it is not.”

2. “Welcome To Clan Capital! Clash Of Clans New Update!” By Clash Of Clans (1:20 long, 52.9 million Views, and 212,000 engagements)

The creative agency was Psyop, and the media agency was in-house.

The ad’s description says,

“Welcome to the ultimate clan destination! A place where you and your clan can BUILD and BATTLE together! A place called CLAN CAPITAL!”

3. “Goal Of The Century X BTS | Yet To Come (Hyundai Ver.) Official Music Video” By Hyundaiworldwide (4:08 long, 40.5 million Views, and 886,000 engagements)

The ad’s description says,

“Our ‘Goal of the Century’ can’t be achieved by one individual alone, but we can achieve it if we all join forces and unite.

Just like football players come together as a team to score goals, we aim to use the power of football to go forward together in pursuit of the greatest goal – ‘A united world for sustainability.’”

4. “Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return To Hogwarts | Official Trailer | HBO Max” By HBO Max (1:58 long, 27.3 million Views, and 739,000 engagements)

The creative agency was in-house, and the media agency was Hearts & Science.

The ad’s description says,

“Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts invites fans on a magical first-person journey through one of the most beloved film franchises of all time as it reunites Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, and other esteemed cast members and filmmakers across all eight Harry Potter films for the first time to celebrate the anniversary of the franchise’s first film, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.”

5. “Introducing iPhone 14 Pro | Apple” by Apple (4:20 long, 23.8 million views, and 571,000 engagements)

The ad’s description asks, “What lies beyond a traditional smartphone? Let’s find out. This is iPhone 14 Pro.”

6. All of Us Are Dead | Official Trailer | Netflix” by Netflix (2:35 long, 22.6 million views, and 518,000 engagements)

The creative agency was The Refinery, and the media agency was in-house. The ad’s description says,

“All of us will die. There is no hope.” The school turned into a bloody battleground and our friends into worst enemies. Who will make it out alive?”

7. Sally’s Seashells (Extended) | Big Game Commercial 2022“ by Squarespace (1:07 long, 21.6 million views, and 67,600 engagements)

The media agency was in-house. The ad’s description says,

“See everything that Sally sells in this extended cut of our 2022 Big Game commercial. Starring Zendaya as Sally and narrated by andré 3000.”

Most Important Lesson That Marketers Can Apply In 2023

Looking back at YouTube’s lists of top trending videos, top Shorts, and top ads for 2022, there is a meta-lesson that marketers can learn: one size does not fit all.

Different metrics matter when measuring different types of video, and different types of ads are better for different marketing objectives.

Or, as the British say, “There are horses for courses.”

Now, that’s a lesson that all of us can apply in 2023, and beyond.

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Meta Reinstates Trump to Facebook & Instagram

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Meta Reinstates Trump to Facebook & Instagram

Meta announced that the suspension of former president Trump from Facebook and Instagram will be lifted within a few weeks, with “guardrails” in place to discourage repeat offenses.

2021 Suspension of Trump

Meta indefinitely suspended the account of then-president Trump after he praised the people who engaged in anti-government violence that ended in several deaths.

The suspension was reviewed by the Meta Oversight Board who concluded that the indefinite suspension was inconsistent with rules in place for dealing with policy violations.

The Oversight Board wrote:

“…it was not appropriate for Facebook to impose the indeterminate and standardless penalty of indefinite suspension. Facebook’s normal penalties include removing the violating content, imposing a time-bound period of suspension, or permanently disabling the page and account.

The Board insists that Facebook review this matter to determine and justify a proportionate response that is consistent with the rules that are applied to other users of its platform.”

Facebook responded to the board that the suspension will last for two years beginning on January 7, 2021 after which the suspension would be reconsidered.

The indefinite suspension remained in place until the announcement that it will be lifted in the weeks following January 25, 2022, just over two years after the suspension.

Why the Suspension of Trump was Lifted

The review of the suspension was timed for two years after the imposition of the original suspension on January 7, 2021. This was by agreement with the Oversight Board.

Meta undertook a review of whether Trump continued to pose a risk to public safety and decided that enough had changed to lower the risk.

The explanation of the decision indicated that multiple factors were considered:

“To assess whether the serious risk to public safety that existed in January 2021 has sufficiently receded, we have evaluated the current environment according to our Crisis Policy Protocol, which included looking at the conduct of the US 2022 midterm elections, and expert assessments on the current security environment.

Our determination is that the risk has sufficiently receded, and that we should therefore adhere to the two-year timeline we set out.

As such, we will be reinstating Mr. Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts in the coming weeks. However, we are doing so with new guardrails in place to deter repeat offenses.”

Facebook Public Figure Penalty Guardrails

Meta published updated policies, Restricting accounts by public figures during civil unrest, that describe the new protocols for dealing with public figures who violate Meta guidelines.

The updated rules apply to both Facebook and Instagram.

The new policies outline tiered penalties increasing in severity depending on the content violations.

Meta explained that the goal of the penalties were to deter violations of their policies.

The penalties last from one to thirty days to as long as two years for especially egregious violations.

Three factors will be considered to determine the severity of the penalty:

  1. “The severity of the violation and the public figure’s history on Facebook or Instagram, including current and past violations.
  2. The public figure’s potential influence over, and relationship to, the individuals engaged in violence.
  3. The severity of the violence and any related physical harm.”

 

Heightened Penalties

Public figures who return after a suspension will face heightened penalties, including disabling the account of any public figure that fails to respond to repeated warnings.

Meta’s rules targets QAnon content and outlines specific measures they will take that will limit the reach of penalized public figures.

That means anyone who is following the restricted account of a public figure will not see content posted to those accounts, plus the removal of reshare buttons.

“Our updated protocol also addresses content that does not violate our Community Standards but that contributes to the sort of risk that materialized on January 6, such as content that delegitimizes an upcoming election or is related to QAnon.

We may limit the distribution of such posts, and for repeated instances, may temporarily restrict access to our advertising tools.

This step would mean that content would remain visible on Mr. Trump’s account but would not be distributed in people’s Feeds, even if they follow Mr. Trump.

We may also remove the reshare button from such posts, and may stop them being recommended or run as ads.”

Response to Reinstatement of Trump

Facebook’s announcement stated that they expect to be criticized but that the decision was guided by guidelines set down by the Oversight Board.

The response on social media was predictably passionate, with congressman Adam Schiff characterizing the reinstatement as Facebook having “caved.”

Others accused Facebook of having no rules or procedures even though Meta’s decision was based on rules and procedures.

Many of the top tweets commenting on the Trump reinstatement commented that Facebook’s decision was based on greed while others lamented the lack of consequences from Trump’s action, even though he was punished with a two year suspension.

Read Meta’s Announcement:

Ending Suspension of Trump’s Accounts With New Guardrails to Deter Repeat Offenses

 

 



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Wayback Machine: 5 Alternatives To Try

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Wayback Machine: 5 Alternatives To Try

Much of the web is ephemeral.

Web pages exist until they don’t. The content on them exists until it’s updated – and then it’s gone.

Unless you go digging in an archive.

Archiving the web is important for cultural and anthropological research. It’s also helpful for business reasons, like competitive analysis. It can even help document or monitor political processes.

Your particular reason for seeking archived content might determine which service works best.

The Wayback Machine is the most commonly known archive.

Screenshot, https://archive.org/web/, January 2023.

The Internet Archive is a nonprofit organization, and the Wayback Machine is the web version of its archive, containing an absolutely massive amount of data.

You can request that it save a webpage in its current state, as well as make use of tools, like an API.

As huge as the Wayback Machine archive is, it’s likely not 100% complete. If you’re having trouble finding something specific or wondering if there are alternatives with more features, these alternatives might help.

I won’t be going over paid SaaS subscriptions, as I don’t consider a paid service a true alternative to a free one provided by a nonprofit.

Let’s go!

1. The Memento Project

Memento is an exceptional alternative to the Wayback Machine because it aggregates several different sources, including the Wayback Machine itself.

On the website, you can access archives from several sources by using the Time Travel tool.

Wayback Machine: 5 Alternatives To TryScreenshot, http://timetravel.mementoweb.org/, January 2023.

This is the first distinction that makes Memento so cool, and it includes some of the other archives on this list, too. That means it’s a customizable experience and likely one of the most complete.

Memento’s other distinct feature is the Chrome extension that allows you to select the date on which you’d like to view your current page. This brings the tool to where you’re browsing instead of making you put a URL into a form.

You can also create a snapshot of a page and generate a link to it that won’t break. This is particularly useful for citation.

If you’re concerned a page might disappear, or the content might get updated, but you want to use the information, creating one of these links ensures that people will be able to see your original source.

2. Archive.today

Archive.today is another “snapshot” tool. It allows you to save a link to a page as it currently exists.

Following the link will send users to an unalterable version of the page.

Wayback Machine: 5 Alternatives To TryScreenshot, https://archive.ph/, January 2023.

It also features some relatively advanced search queries you can perform on domains and URLs to find snapshots that have been saved with the tool.

This tool also features a Chrome extension as well as an Android app.

Searches on Memento can include results from Archive.today.

3. WebCite

WebCite has powerful applications for authors, journalists, academics, and publishers.

It offers a variety of ways to build and present the archived pages and the URLs.

Wayback Machine: 5 Alternatives To TryScreenshot, rhttps://webcitation.org/, January 2023.

Unfortunately, at the time of publishing, it doesn’t appear to be taking new requests. But you can still access already archived pages. When and if it starts accepting requests again, it’s a very useful tool for that.

Its most powerful feature for authors and publishers is the ability to upload a manuscript directly to the website.

The tool will scan every link in an uploaded manuscript and automatically create archives of each of the pages linked to as they currently exist. This saves a lot of time if you’ve used a lot of website citations.

If you’ve created content that you want people to be able to create snapshots of, then you can add a specific WebCite link to your page that users can click on. This embeds archive functionality into your page, saving users time if they decide to use your work as a citation.

4. GitHub

GitHub is a development and collaboration platform that also prioritizes public projects and open-source code.

It documents and archives open-source code and programs, and is searchable by other archives such as the Wayback Machine.

Wayback Machine: 5 Alternatives To TryScreenshot, https://github.com/explore, January 2023.

But, if you’re looking for something related to code or software development, it might be easier to go straight to GitHub instead of using another archive service.

While it does have paid business plans, GitHub is free for the average user. It even offers 15GB of storage and some computing power in its cloud developer environment for free for your personal use.

5. Country-Specific Web Archives

Several countries run their own web archives.

These can be particularly helpful alternatives to the Wayback Machine if you’re looking for a website highly relevant to a specific location, or the culture of a country.

More focused archives might have more complete information if you’re having trouble finding it elsewhere, although again, I want to mention that the first alternative in this list, Memento, pulls from several different country-specific archives.

I should also note that many archives specific to a country, region, educational institution, or individual library are partnered with Archive-it, a service provider built by The Internet Archive (makers of the Wayback Machine).

They curate specific collections based on relevance, but all Archive-it partners leverage the same source: The Internet Archive.

These are a few of the country-specific web archives:

Conclusion

When you’re looking for alternatives to the Wayback Machine, you might not realize that a great many of them, in part or in whole, are powered by the same archive.

But there are other services out there you can use. Some have more helpful features, depending on what your goals are.

This isn’t an exhaustive list of alternative tools, but it’s most of the easily accessible tools for the average user.

Others require monthly payments, and some are free to academic and legal institutions, but not to individual users.

I chose to focus on the best of the tools that you could go and use right now with no fuss.

More resources:


Featured Image: Studio Romantic/Shutterstock



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