How Coinbase Uses Discourse to Educate Customers and Improve SEO

As part of our ongoing series of interviews with customers, our latest is with John Mardlin who helps traders, devs and humans use bitcoin at Coinbase — partly through their Discourse-powered What is Coinbase? Coinbase’s mission is to make bitcoin accessible for normal people. Our core product is a wallet with +3MM users, which…

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Thanks @erlend_sh it was fun to put thought into this. :tea:


I was going to add that I’m still keeping my eye on the topic about warning on external links, e.g. bad guys posting phishing links like this:

[totally safe and normal link](

It might be best to warn (if enabled) on TL0 posted links, like so:


“Improving SEO” must be one of the best and often technically overlooked discourse features.

For one, have no mention of “SEO”, “engine” or “google” (in this sense) after a quick CMD + F.

Very good word choices for the title! :slight_smile:


I suppose we should be opening new topics to discuss feature requests mentioned in the post?

Yep. “Reply as linked Topic” should do the trick nicely :wink:

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@john_mardlin incredibly helpful to read about your SEO strategy and results.

Also, I am intrigued by how you link up your knowledge base and Discourse as that’s a balance we’re trying to strike as well and we’ll probably just move forward, copying your approach with “feedback” buttons on the bottom that link to hidden docs.

@codinghorror I’d love to see more blog posts about how people use Discourse, this was really helpful.


Go nuts.

It was a lot of work at first, but we eventually found some tricks to simplifying the process. The key was instead of manually creating a new topic, we made use of the /newtopic URL feature, and built a spreadsheet of all our KB articles:

Hopefully that’s enough to help you reverse engineer the process. :smile:

To @cregox, SEO was actually more of a pleasant side effect. I typically think of SEO as a marketing tactic, although for us it’s almost entirely SEO for people to help themselves. Though really the lines behind customers service and marketing are blurring, and both are good things to have. :chart_with_upwards_trend:


weird. I just got notified that I was mentioned in this one. link and screen (if the second one do load up):