Hey Niche Surfers!
I hope you all had a fantastic week!
I am thrilled to announce that I am now using ChatGPT Plus! Yes, I'm one of the privileged few who got an invite to pay $20 to use it (if only that privilege gave me real perks 😅).
And they already released the Alpha version of Turbo. It gives you faster responses, but the quality hasn't been as good.
I also soft-launched the Topical Maps Unlocked course on Monday to all the presale students and it seems to be going over well! 🤞
I'm prepping for the official launch of it now, creating a proper sales page and everything. I'll hopefully have that ready by mid-week if I can. I will say that building a good sales page is more difficult than it sounds.
And that's it...I'll leave you with a limerick written by ChatGPT Plus for the Niche Surfer community:
In the world of niche sites, they excel
These Surfers, their skills they'll never sell
With ChatGPT's help, they're ahead
Their content, always well read
Their success, a story they'll always tell!
25% Off Lasso for the First Three Months
Do you want to make the most out of your niche site and boost your online income? Lasso is here to help!
Lasso lets you create high-converting, eye-catching affiliate displays and AWESOME comparison tables at the click of a button, saving you hours.
With Lasso, you can manage all your affiliate links in a single dashboard. Any change to one product updates instantly across your entire site!
You also get automated link management 24/7/365. We alert you whenever your affiliate links point to out-of-stock products or broken links, so you’ll never send readers to a dead end.
There’s also get real-time click data through Google Analytics: see EXACTLY which affiliate products make you the most money, and quickly optimize for this.
If you want affiliate product boxes that convert like gangbusters, click the link below.
Google Search's guidance about AI-generated content
At Google, we've long believed in the power of AI to transform the ability to deliver helpful information. In this post, we'll share more about how AI-generated content fits into our long-standing approach to show helpful content to people on Search.
Google shares more on what they think about AI-generated content "all along." The highlights:
- Rewarding high-quality content, however it is produced
- Google's ranking systems aim to reward original, high-quality content that demonstrates qualities of E-E-A-T: expertise, experience, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.
- Using AI to generate content with the primary purpose of manipulating ranking in search results is a violation of spam policies.
- Not all AI generated content is spam
- Automation has been used to generate helpful content such as sports scores, weather forecasts, and transcripts
- Those seeking success in Google Search should be looking to produce original, high-quality, people-first content demonstrating qualities E-E-A-T.
- Both human-generated and AI-generated content will be looked to surface high-quality information from reliable sources
- Only add bylines when readers expect it
Google Says If You Redesign Your Site Your Rankings May Go Nuts
Gary Illyes from the Google Search Relations team posted another PSA on LinkedIn. This time he said, "when you redesign a site, its rankings in search engines may go nuts."
He said, "Among other things, search engines use the HTML of your pages to make sense of the content. If for example you break up paragraphs, remove H tags in favor of CSS styling, or add breaking tags (especially true for CJK languages), you change the HTML parsers' output, which in turn may change the site's rankings."
In short, when redesigning, sure - go ahead - make the site pretty. But changing the core HTML can result in ranking changes.
Googlebot and other Google crawler Verification
PSA from Gary Illyes' LinkedIn post: check what traffic your firewalls and CDN are blocking.
By far the most common issue in his inbox is related to firewalls or CDNs blocking googlebot traffic. In the vast majority of the cases the blockage is unintended.
He suggests to make a habit of checking your block rules. They publish their IP ranges so it should be very easy to run an automation that checks the block rules against the googlebot subnets.
Check out Google's page on verifying Googlebot and other Google crawlers.
Tools and Resources
Great Tools for Niche Site Owners and Content Creators
The only SEO tool you will ever need. Loved by marketers & trusted by SEO experts all over the world
- Keyword Revealer - Uncover thousands of untapped long-tail keywords for any niche imaginable. Also has a keyword brainstorming tool to help explore new niche ideas.
- GetGenie - A WordPress AI writing assistant that generates WooCommerce copy and SEO content in seconds. One of the first I've seen that's integrated with WP.
- Persona Music - With many niche site owners and content creators expanding into YouTube, music is an important part of creating videos that make an impact. This deal allows you to license music from Marvel and Disney trailers, Emmy award-winning soundtracks, and hit TV shows.
The Website Flip | Referral Giveaway
Our good friends over at The Website Flip are doing a referral Rewards giveaway. Basically, invite people and based on how many you refer, you can win different prizes.
- 5 - Ask Me Anything Question
- 10 - Free 1,000 Word Article from ClockworkCopy.com
- 20 - Get 40% OFF any course or product. This is the biggest discount available to subscribers!
- 50 - Free Course. You will get access to any course or product under The Website Flip for free.
- 100 - Custom Easy Wins Teardown of one of your niche content websites.
- 175 - 1-Hour Strategy Call. Phone/video call to discuss your website portfolio, flipping strategies, and more
What I've decided to do is if the Niche Surfer receives enough referrals to win aa prize, I'm going to do a giveaway to one of you great people!
If I get anything else in the process, I'll give that away too! I don't have any other skin in the game except to help promote a great newsletter and hopefully give away a great prize!
Matt Diggity Built a Website with 100% AI Content. Here’s what happened…
Do you want to have AI content on your website and get a boost in your organic traffic? In this video, Matt Diggity shares his complete AI content strategy which will bring $8000 in revenue in just 11 months.
- Content Plan
- Article Outline
- AI Writing
- Human Editing
- Scaling AI Content
My Take: AI content can absolutely rank. I think we've all seen people talking about that. What they don't tell you is the additional work that goes into it. Matt does many of the same things I do when it comes to the workflow, especially when it comes to article outlines.
I don't know how many people are using the likes of ChatGPT or other AI content generators to create their outlines. Use what Google tells you it likes. I use Frase to create my outlines because I can see the outlines of the top SERPs easily, but there are many ways to do it.
Not that we're "writing for search engines," but Google does tell you what they like, so use that information to get a leg up over AI content generators.
Maybe someone with access to Bing + ChatGPT can try to put in a prompt of "create an outline for an article titled using the top 10 results for the keyword ." If they're able to use only the SERPs...then it's a different ball game. Until then...
17 Key Elements To Include on a Sales Page To Increase Conversions
Great post from Orbit Media Studios on creating a great sales page that converts.
As more site owners look to diversify revenue streams, creating their own digital and/or physical products is one of the main options. Creating sales pages that convert is key and not many people do it well (me included!). Here are some of the key elements to have on a sales page:
- Tell them the exact problem you solve (and how you solve it)…
- Give them the option to buy straight away…
- Let them know they are in the right place…
- Get them to imagine what life would be like if they didn’t have this problem anymore…
- Explain what it is that you do…
- Let them know how you are different…
- Let them know if they get any extra value-adds…
- Price Anchoring…
- Show them the results from past customers…
- Give them a reason to buy NOW (not later)…
Reinventing search with a new AI-powered Microsoft Bing and Edge, your copilot for the web
Microsoft launched an AI-powered Bing search engine and Edge browser deliver better search, more complete answers, a new chat experience, and the ability to generate content. Here are things it can do:
- Bing reviews results from across the web to find and summarize the answer you’re looking for. For example, you can get detailed instructions for how to substitute eggs for another ingredient in a cake you are baking right in that moment, without scrolling through multiple results.
- For more complex searches – such as for planning a detailed trip itinerary or researching what TV to buy – the new Bing offers new, interactive chat. The chat experience empowers you to refine your search until you get the complete answer you are looking for by asking for more details, clarity and ideas – with links available so you can immediately act on your decisions.
- A creative spark. It can help you write an email, create a 5-day itinerary for a dream vacation to Hawaii, with links to book your travel and accommodations, prep for a job interview or create a quiz for trivia night. The new Bing also cites all its sources, so you’re able to see links to the web content it references.
But...if you think that the ChatGPT that powers Bing is the same as the standard ChatGPT, think again. This Business Insider article discusses how the Bing version refused to create a cover letter for a job because it would be 'unethical' and 'unfair to other applicants.' But the regular ChatGPT did it without a problem.
Google AI updates: Bard and new AI features in Search
In case you haven't heard ---
Google introduced Bard, their own experimental conversational AI service, powered by LaMDA (Language Model for Dialogue Applications)— plus, new AI features in Search coming soon.
Next month, they'll start onboarding individual developers, creators and enterprises so they can try their Generative Language API, initially powered by LaMDA with a range of models to follow.
Over time, they intend to create a suite of tools and APIs that will make it easy for others to build more innovative applications with AI
Techcrunch's article raises a number of good questions about how Google will handle things.
If a person were to search for "is piano easier to learn and how much practice does each need?" Google could pop the results at the top of the search results
But isn’t that just plagiarism?
Will sponsored results go above or below the results and will they be included and/or promoted within the AI framework? What qualifies as a question with no right answer? Can users customize the results?
Getty Images is suing the creators of AI art tool Stable Diffusion for scraping its content
Getty Images, the stock photo company, said it believes that Stability AI “unlawfully copied and processed millions of images protected by copyright” to train its software and that Getty Images has “commenced legal proceedings in the High Court of Justice in London” against the firm
AI firms claim the practice of scraping the web is covered by laws like the US fair use doctrine, but many rights holders disagree and say it constitutes copyright violation. Although companies like Stability AI deny any legal or ethical hazard in creating their systems, they have still begun making concessions to content creators.
Stability AI says artists will be able to opt-out of the next version of Stable Diffusion, for example. In a recent tweet about the company’s training datasets, Stability AI CEO Emad Mostaque said “I believe they are ethically, morally and legally sourced and used,” before adding: “Some folks disagree so we are doing opt out and alternate datasets/models that are fully cc.”
How did Getty Images find out? Stable Diffusion recreates Getty Images' watermarks. I mean...
What is Tomb Raiding SEO Keyword Research Technique
Craig Campbell and Mark Mars from Niche Website Builders discuss Tomb Raiding SEO.
Mark used a particular case study to demonstrate how effective it can be. He was able to use this technique to build a website over a 13-month period, which he then went on to sell for over $200,000.
Tomb raiding SEO is essentially going after your lower authority competitors and raiding their website to find their top-performing content.
My Take: This is the main reason why the low-competition keyword strategy is only a short-term strategy. If you want long-term success, the topical authority approach is the only way to go.
5 Essential Questions to Ask Before Buying an Affiliate Site
Lauren Buchanan at Empire Flippers shares five essential questions you should ask before buying an affiliate site. Although the business may look great on the surface, you have to dig deeper to uncover whether the affiliate site is a good investment or not.
You not only need to examine the site’s potential for growth but also whether it matches your interests, and skillset, and if you have the necessary resources to take the site to new heights.
- What Is the Niche or Market of the Website?
- What Traffic Sources Does the Site Have?
- What Is the Performance History of the Site?
- What Is the Quality of the Content on the Site?
- What Growth Opportunities Can I Tap Into?
My Take: These are indeed 5 key questions when considering buying a site, but have you tried to ask the same 5 questions about your own site? I often ask people I coach to do the same thing with their sites - as objectively as possible (which is not easy).
This is something we all need to learn how to do when it comes to growing our own sites. If we're unable to look at what the problem areas are and where the opportunities are for the sites that have been in our hands the longest, how easy will it be to look at a site that we have limited, less-intimate information on?
And if you're trying to grow your own site, what better way than to look at it from a buyer's POV. What would you do with the site to grow it?
The Role of AI Content in SEO
Lily Ray discusses her thoughts on AI content and Google's guidance on AI content. She also offers up some tips on incorporating AI into an SEO content strategy:
- Creating summaries of your own content
- Generating product or category descriptions
- Generating meta descriptions at scale
- A starting point for writing poems, songs, or lyrics (with tweaking, of course)
- Coming up with content ideas or editorial calendars
- Some basic keyword research tasks
- A starting point for generating structured data, Excel formulas, robots.txt commands, regular expressions, and other types of code (but always ensure the output is reviewed and validated by humans)
Barbehow Case Study 1, Year 2, Quarterly Update: Google Updates and ChatGPT
Dim's barbehow.com case study with LowFruits is one of the very, very few who share their sites publicly. The good, the bad, and the ugly.
Dim shares all the numbers: display ad and affiliate earnings, ePMV, traffic metrics, and more. He's also active in the comments, so you can ask him questions there.
Check out Dim's Niche Creator Interview here.
How My 25 Niche Blogs Bring in $130,000 a Month in Revenue
Anne Moss owns 25 websites where she blogs about things like home decor and gardening. She says success is not about SEO but about quality content. She offers lots of great tips in here:
- Don’t worry about SEO strategies, focus on creating quality content
- Hire writers who write for the readers, not for Google
- Provide writers with regular feedback to foster a culture of continuous improvement
- Effective people management requires clear communication, goal setting, and a supportive work environment
- Make a conscious effort to empower team members by delegating responsibilities and allowing them to take ownership of their work
- Focus on your site and content rather than worrying too much about securing the perfect domain name
If you missed her Niche Creator interview, check out the Anne Moss interview here.