We’ve been doing these wrap up posts for a few years now, but it seems like this year, everyone is getting in on it. We all expect the Spotify and Facebook year-end wrap-ups, but y’all, I also got one from my favorite grocery delivery app, and well, I did not need that nonsense.
I do not want to know how many times I couldn’t face the local chain’s aisles and was definitely willing to pay the upcharge and delivery fee for the privilege of not stepping foot outside my home.
That said, this is our tradition — yours and mine. I wrap up the year for you and talk about all the highest highs that we’ve reached together throughout 2021. Then Eric will jump right in at the start of the year and map out for you all that Mediavine has planned for 2022.
Don’t tell anyone, but they’re my two favorite posts of the year.
I’ve broken it down into our top 11 moments of the year. Why 11? Because Eric Hochberger taught me that you should always try to go for an odd number when making round-ups because they’re more enticing to the reader, and that guy hasn’t steered me wrong yet.
Mediavine 2021 Year in Review
Let's look back at all the awesome things we did together throughout the year. From launching Mediavine Shine to welcoming new talent in-house and on Teal Talk, it's been one incredible thing after another.
Remember that time we had John-freakin-Mueller on Teal Talk? It's pretty hard to forget. Mr. Google Algorithm himself (not really, but close enough) stopped by Teal Talk to chat with Jenny and answer all our burning SEO questions from whether or not we should delete old content (NO!) to whether Jump-to-Recipe buttons actually impact rankings.
It was an incredible hour, and we can't wait for him to come back in 2022.
Launching Mediavine's social responsibility arm, the first of its kind in the ad management realm, was no small feat. After kicking off in January 2021 with the announcement of an ongoing partnership with United Way, we continue to grow and expand what Shine means and what it does within the blogging community.
While the pandemic has put pause on in-person plans for Shine, we're working hard on what it will look like when we can have boots on the ground to do some good around the world.
Just like Mr. Mueller's visit, having our intense work towards an all-encompassing solution to the rollout of Google's Core Web Vitals requirements was really the stuff of dreams — or so we thought. Trellis, and all our ad tech efforts towards excellent CWV scores, received the Innovation Award at 2021's Google Certified Publishing Partner Awards.
We've put our heart, soul and a whole lot of data-driven decision-making into Trellis to make it the first WordPress framework built for site speed, user experience and optimal ad performance. It's built for anyone and everyone, so tell your friends!
You do not have to be a Mediavine publisher to purchase and start reaping the benefits Trellis has to offer your site today. Right now, even!
2021 became the year that the cookie almost crumbled. Everyone across the interwebs scrambled to find solutions to Google doing away with 3rd party cookies in Chrome while Mediavine took purposeful, continuous steps to solve for first party data collection — solutions that continue to solve multiple problems, even though Google changed their minds (crazy, right?) and is holding off until 2023.
We're not content to rest on our laurels now (or ever) when it comes to technology, so we continue to build Grow as a full suite of engagement tools designed to keep your readers happily engaged on your site, signing up for your newsletter, suggesting content they're more likely to click on based on data rather than guesses...and this is all in Grow's first year.
Spotlight Subscribe has been an early but cataclysmic success, sometimes quadrupling the number of newsletter subscriptions a site sees a week, all without pop-ups or slide-ins that slow down your reader's access to your content.
Grow is free to all Mediavine publishers and easily enabled in your Mediavine dashboard. Spotlight Subscribe is customizable, and you can even create custom widgets for specific pages or posts that you think might be more engaging than what you have set up across the site.
Enabling Grow now not only sets you ahead of the pack when the cookies finally do crumble, you're also able to earn more money on iOS and Mozilla traffic today.
What are you waiting for? Go turn it on right now!
It's no secret we're working on a lot of things at Mediavine. From Create and Trellis to the ad technology that started it all, we've got committed teams taking each product farther and better than it has been before.
As I write this, we've grown to more than 130 employees, attracting talent from across the technology industry. We've added four new vice presidents this year — Linda Payson as VP of Product, Punhon Chan as VP of Engineering, Yolanda Evans as VP of People Experience & Diversity, and Heather Tullos as VP of Support.
Our Support, Engineering, Marketing and Product departments have all added many people and much talent in the past year, and it means that 2022 is going to be better than anything that has come before. Mediavine grew by 52 employees in 2021. We're so dang excited!
Mediavine Exchange is our proprietary server-to-server technology that takes programmatic header bidding out of the browser and moves it server-side, allowing for each ad request to move at lightning-fast speed. Frankly, faster than anyone else can do it, if we were to look at a side-by-side comparison between browser-side and server-side ad calls.
That's a lot of technical words, so let me break it down: Faster ad calls means faster ad serving, which means better user experience AND happier advertisers. Ads served faster are interacted with for longer, and great user experience lends itself well to engaged readers that hang around on your site. This is no trivial effort, and the results aren't trivial either.
We're lightyears ahead of the competition on this one, friends. Nearly all of our partners are working with us in a server-to-server environment now, and it's been one of the biggest behind-the-scenes improvements we could have made for your business in 2021. I'm bringing it up and clarifying it more for you now, because we want you to know how important technology like this is to your bottom line. We won't stop innovating so that you never stop growing.
We've been working on bespoke video players at Mediavine since publisher video production became a thing. This year, we released our Universal Player. It allows publishers to take advantage of Outstream videos as well as use their own content, providing the best of both worlds. Best of all? When you don't have a video for a particular post or page, the UP can serve up an Outstream video, making sure that every publisher is able to capitalize on all the available income from video advertising, no matter where they are in their video production journey.
Outstream video accounts for 35% of revenue across Mediavine sites, making this a huge part of our success together this year. If you haven't already enabled this, make sure you do it now!
Mediavine has preached the importance of viewability since day one. In fact, as the only ad management company that lazy loads its advertising, we know that loading ads only when we know they'll be seen is absolutely vital to earning the highest CPM possible. There's more than one way to peel an apple, as they say, and tackling viewability on multiple fronts means even more gains across Mediavine publisher sites.
Enter InView! Keeping the ad in view by allowing it to stick and move down from the top of the screen makes viewability scores even better without sacrificing user experience. It's led to great viewability gains across Mediavine, so make sure you've got it turned on in your Mediavine Dashboard!
When we launched Health Checks a billion years ago, the Mediavine Publisher base was shook. Suddenly there were goals! Not long after, we added teal stars to our red, yellow and green scheme, and Go for Teal!™ was born. We've had it in mind to expand on these health checks ever since the Mediavine Dashboard got a glow up, so we were thrilled to finally get these launched.
Like I said about InView, viewability is probably the best needle-mover for improving your ad earnings on a CPM basis. Working on these health checks can really help you improve your overall site worth to advertisers and lead to big gains down the road. There are plenty of help docs and our incredible Support team to help you along the way, so if you haven't already, make improving viewability a goal in Q1.
TQ Evans was a force to be reckoned with. She made big changes at Mediavine that show up in our culture today and every day and made a big difference in who Mediavine is as a company. How we approach employees and publishers alike was bettered by her guidance. When we lost her earlier this year, it's no understatement to say that we were devastated.
TQ's favorite thing was helping lift people up through education and growth of their knowledge. By creating the Tonquise "TQ" Evans Endowed Scholarship, we hope we're in some small part continuing what she felt so called to do throughout her career — helping young people learn and grow.
This living scholarship will continue to grow each year through donation and investment, meaning TQ will make a difference in students' lives indefinitely.
Launching the Behind the Numbers with Brad printables this year has been huge for our team and Mediavine publishers alike. We love having that visible representation in your hands of what we think will be the best dates of the month. That pretty little chart is fun to look at and to write for. A publisher recently told us she even plans her newsletter pushes around the dates on each monthly calendar. Now that's a great tip!
Look out for all new printables in 2022. We're excited to share more of this data with you.
I know I say this every year, but y’all…we do so many incredible things together in 365 days. Everything I’ve mentioned in this perfectly odd-numbered list highlights all the ways that, together, we’re advancing the business of blogging and content creation. None of this would happen without each and every one of you and the invaluable feedback you provide.
From all of us at Mediavine, thank you. Thank you for your trust, thank you for your excellent partnership and thank you for always helping us be better.
We can’t wait to show you what’s in store for 2022!