Some general thoughts on what’s been rattling around in my head lately…

I think we’re going to have another major update coming up (if it hasn’t started already, but with no announcement). GSC is continually showing delays in the last couple weeks, even after all the recent updates. Something’s brewing.

There’s also some chatter about some sites seeing changes in the last couple of days, so I think Google is doing some testing. Prior to that, SERP volatility sensors were really low.

I feel it’s more than just the regular, unannounced updates that Google releases. If you’ve ever looked at stock charts, you’d look at the SERP volatility charts and note low the levels were. Then you’d start thinking - something’s coming.

It’s sort of like the calm before the storm. There’s more coming in Q4. When you look at some of the changes going on in the SERPs with features and layout display, Google is nudging out the “regular” niche sites from showing up prominently in the SERPs in favor of their own product reviews and/or those of advertisers.

Benefits are going to Google themselves and their advertisers. Even the small change from “ad” to “sponsored” on a different line is a move that benefits advertisers. You think the “sponsored” single word on its own separate line stands out more than “Ad - [page URL]”? Ads start to look like regular search results.

That will lead to more clicks on ads turn up the competition for ad bidding. And of course it all benefits Google in the end with higher bids and more clicks.

Google then generates more revenue, which helps them with their quarterly and annual reports, which helps their stock prices. It’s all connected. And Google isn’t the only company worried about their stock prices.

Look at Amazon. You think they’re offering higher commissions (more than 2x in some categories!) till the end of the year because they love their affiliates?

They want their platform to be promoted more because that leads to higher sales, which then leads to better quarterly and annual reports, which helps their stock prices.

Whether you want to call it a recession or not, the effects of inflation and the current economics worldwide have impacted everyone, large and small.

What can you do about it?

Keep your eye out for what’s changing. Stay up to date on the latest news on social media and newsletters (like Niche Surfer!). Consider if you think it’s a short-term or long-term change, and adjust your strategies if needed. As long as you stick to their best practices, you'll be fine in most cases.

Google is not the only source of traffic. Start utilizing other channels to drive traffic. Have you started an email list? Those dormant or non-existent social media accounts?

Remember, treat your sites as a business. Businesses generate revenue and have costs to run. Same as any niche site.

Above all, keep publishing great content because that’s what your “customers” expect when they visit your site. They want to be educated and informed. Great content will always win out in the end.



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