Why has Fastcompany been losing Web traffic, while Inc.com continues to grow its Web traffic volumes?” Here are six key SEO differences that may lead to marked differences in search engine rankings and organic search traffic between the two.

SEO is a crucial factor in determining how well a website or blog performs in search engines. Organic search accounts for around 70% of all Internet traffic, so small differences in SEO quality can have large effects in Web traffic and consequently revenue and earnings.

This article will compare the SEO features of both websites and highlight those areas in which Fastcompany may be losing ground to Inc.com.

Fastcompany vs. Inc.com

Since websites like Fastcompany and Inc.com survive on Web traffic, and since both are owned by Mansueto Ventures, both should have an equal footing when it comes to SEO and SEM. But, the evidence suggests otherwise.

The following graph shows the global traffic rank of Fastcompany vs. Inc.com as recorded by Alexa. While Alexa is not necessarily 100% accurate, it does provide a reasonable enough picture of how each website has performed (Fastcompany in blue):

Traffic comparison graph of Fastcompany vs. Inc.com

As you can see, Inc.com has grown its Web traffic volumes over the last few years, while Fastcompany has seen an overall downward trend in its traffic volumes.

Fastcompany SEO vs. Inc.com SEO

Remember that, while SEO plays a significant role, these two sites also have a different readership and market that also affects their performance.

The purpose of this comparison could really be interpreted as “How Fastcompany can improve its SEO to catch up with Inc.com“.

Let’s take a look at some of the more telling SEO differences that I came up with after a brief inspection of both.

Fastcompany dilutes its brand and also implements poor SEO by using prominent sitewide links to other domains.

Each of the first three links in Fastcompany’s main menu link to different domains using the same anchor text. In other words, Fastcompany is risking a potential over-optimization penalty by providing identical outbound links on each and every page of its site.

Snappy titles

A quick comparison of article titles between Fastcompany and Inc.com also highlights an important difference. Inc.com uses snappier, shorter article titles on average.

Highly relevant, shorter titles may rank higher in search results because their relevance and focus is easier to determine, and they do not need to be truncated or shortened in the search results.

Find out more about how to construct the perfect article by reading SEO blog post template.


Inc.com includes the rel=”author” authorship markup that provides Google+ with authorship information.

By contrast, Fastcompany adds a text link to a local author page with no bio, image or rel=”author”.

To learn more about Google authorship, read The 3 most important small business search engine optimization tips, 2012.

Document structure

Inc.com articles are full of sub-headings. Content is presented in far shorter, more digestible chunks. Fastcompany has longer paragraphs that are have less heading structure.

While it may be an editorial choice to write in a certain style, the Internet has its own set of rules for creating high ranking content, as follows:

  1. Search engines prefer structure
  2. Online readers prefer easy-to-read text

Articles that meet these two fundamental needs, while still providing great insight and information, will perform better in search.

To see how Wikipedia does it best, read 5 top SEO tips from Wikipedia.


Article URLs in Fastcompany are not very well optimized for SEO. They include a (as far as I can tell) random unique identifier, which means nothing to the reader or to search engines – it simply takes up valuable URL real estate.

By contrast, Inc.com includes the article author’s name. While this is still not ideal, at least it is more meaningful than a random number. URLs can play a role in how pages are ranked in search.

To learn more about how URLs can play a vital role in SEO and driving organic search traffic, read 5 expert SEO tips to dominate Google search.

Social engagement

This should be a no-brainer, but only Inc.com makes it really easy to quickly share and socialize its content – by providing a sticky social bar that includes share buttons from LinkedIn, Twitter, FaceBook and Google+.

Fastcompany does include social sharing buttons, but they are a lot harder to find and get to – being present only in the footer of the article.

Obviously, driving growth through social media is one of the most important aspects of marketing (and SEO), and it is important to make social sharing as easy as possible.

Those are my suggestions for how Fastcompany can make some pretty easy modifications to its SEO in order to start generating more traffic and catch up to Inc.com.

What are your SEO tips and advice for established websites? Which big sites are getting SEO right, and which are getting it wrong? Share your SEO thoughts in the comments, or follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ for more great SEO and business tips, ideas and advice.