I recently had a team call with everyone on the team (well, almost everyone) and I surprised myself with the number of people that were on the call. I have a few more joining in the next couple of weeks too.
Most are for the topical map service, while the others are for my niche sites. I'm finding a lot less time to spend on my niche sites, so I felt it's about time to train people to operate the sites.
I'm also looking for writers and editors for current and new sites. In the world of ChatGPT, AI rewriters, and other fun AI tools, I've had to adjust my own process of how I do things and how I find good people.
I am planning new sites that will use AI content generation and human editors for fact-checking and personality. One of the things I do as part of the application process is a paid editing test.
Here are a few of the things I do in the editing test to find the cream of the crop:
- I add in false facts - Fact-checking is really important when it comes to AI content, so this weeds out the lazy ones.
- I create an illogical order of headings - Are the editors able to look at the bigger picture of the article?
- Write a conclusion - Did the editors read the article and are they able to encapsulate it in a conclusion? (Whether or not I add a conclusion to articles, this is an important skill to have)
- Add different POVs - Part of my instructions is to make it a first-person POV, so I randomize it throughout the article. Are they able to see that?
Those are just a few things that I put into the article for editing. If you're employing human editors, are those things that your editor is checking for?
Everyone's looking for a quick and easy way to do things these days, but it's never as good quality. If you're going to put in 20% effort, especially with AI now, what do you realistically hope to get back?
AI can be a great time and money saver, but are you adapting to it to improve upon the quality?
I'll leave you with one thought:
Yes, AI is a threat.
BUT, AI is also a big opportunity IF you can adapt to it.
If you're looking to produce the same quality content that you're putting out now, but with AI, you're destined to fail.
Maybe I'll talk more about that next week.
How Shawn Hill Grew His BBQ Site to $25k Per Month in 2 Years
Shawn Hill goes on the Niche Pursuits podcast to share how he's making $25k a month with his BBQ site. That's all within 25 months too.
Here's his Niche Surfer Q&A if you missed it.
English Google SEO office-hours from March 2023
This is an audio-only recording of the Google SEO office-hours from March 2023 - a transcript is available at https://goo.gle/3yplmO0
These sessions cover topics submitted around anything search and website-owner related like crawling, indexing, mobile sites, internationalization, duplicate content, Sitemaps, Search Console, pagination, duplicate content, multi-lingual/multi-regional sites, etc. The answers are compiled by the Google Search Relations team. Here are some of the questions:
- Does Google recognize WEBP images by file extension or file format?
- How to handle one language in two markets for Google?
- Is it better for SEO to use the .com domain for my Dutch website, or the .nl?
- Can I massively request the re-indexing of all products in the shop in Search Console?
- Google is showing a URL to be a duplicate of another URL, why?
- Is the strong tag beneficial for our website, and what's the difference between the b tag and strong tag?
- Please check my robots.txt file. I want to know why my website is not being indexed.
- Are drastic changes in site: search results, a tell-tale sign of a core ranking system update?
- I uploaded an image to my website. It also has text in it, can Google crawl into that text in the image for the best SEO?
- Does Google's page speed algorithm take into account web pages that have had their viewport content optimized for speed, rather than the whole page?
- If Googlebot is blocked from crawling my unlaunced site, will that affect my site after launch?
- Is it allowed to add one structured data inside another type of structured data?
- How does Google define a page that has soft 404 errors, despite Google's soft-404 error guidelines?
- If a company offers different services, is it better off to have 2 websites or the same one in terms of SEO?
- Why organic searches display a different image next to the link than the main image for the linked product?
Site Names and favicons in Google Search
Google created a couple new pages in their search documentation to show how to show the site name and favicon in the search results.
Various Google Updates
Google has a number of updates, so combining them here:
- After 14 days, on March 7th, the February 2023 Product Reviews Update ended.
- The Google Trends site has a fresh new look, making it easier to explore what’s trending around you and across the world.
- After a bit of flip-flopping, Danny Sullivan of Google confirms that since October 2022, Google Discover visibility can be impacted by helpful content updates, as well as core updates.
Tools and Resources
How To Use ChatGPT to Instantly Improve Your Site’s SEO
Anthony Moore at Ezoic covers how to utilize ChatGPT in different ways to help improve your sites potentially:
- Write Article Content
- Write SEO Metadata/Tags
- Time-Consuming Tasks
- Run Keyword Research
- Create Coding For Website Schema
- Competitive SEO Analysis
New Free Tier Program | Vultr - Vultr.com
Vultr announced a new Free Tier for our flagship Vultr Cloud Compute product. These are the specs for the free plan:
- 1 vCPU
- .5 GB RAM
- 10GB Disk
- Plus 2 TB of free global bandwidth
My Take: Vultr is my go-to VPS provider. Their $6 VPS High-Frequency plans easily handle traffic of 100k monthly for me. The free plans seem like they can handle a starter or test site, but once you get any sort of traffic on it, you'll want to upgrade. Using this link will get you $100 in free credits.
Google SERP Features Timeline
Want to know the latest changes to Google's SERP features?
Brodie Clark has a timeline of notes on announced and unannounced updates to keep on top of the latest updates & tests.
How I Got +80% Traffic in the Hardest Niche Ever!
Matt Diggity gives an overview of steps you can take to increase your website traffic by up to 80%. He discusses the use of Power Hubs (aka topic clusters). He also covers:
- How to Write
- Blog Outreach
- Orphaned Pages
How I make UNDETECTABLE AI Content (that Google Loves)
Matt Diggity with another video on how to produce high-quality, undetectable AI articles that will become a massive traffic generator.
- Generate AI Content
- Free Techniques
- Write as Human
- Emoji & Comma Tricks
- Why This All Matters
OpenAI GPT-4 Arriving Mid-March 2023
Microsoft Germany's CTO, Andreas Braun, confirmed that GPT-4 will launch within a week of March 9, 2023.
They said it will be multimodal, meaning it can operate with different types of input, such as video, images, and sound. Current large language models like GPT-3 and GPT-3.5 can only operate text. Microsoft Director of Business Strategy Holger Kenn explained that multimodal AI can translate text into images, music, and video.
There is no announcement of where GPT-4 will be used, but Azure-OpenAI was mentioned. Microsoft's visible approach to AI is capturing attention and making Google appear to be struggling to catch up.
Here's the (original German news site](https://www.heise.de/news/KI-erklaert-Bilder-Kosmos-1-von-Microsoft-loest-visuelle-Raetsel-7532867.html).
eCommerce Internal Linking: Into the Spider-Verse
A slide deck from Kristina Azarenko on internal linking for ecommerce sites. She covers:
- Breaking down the pages in templates
- Building logical relationship between these page templates
- Using link blocks to scale internal links
- Making sure you link to existing canonical pages
- Making sure Google can see your links
The Role of E-E-A-T in Ecommerce
Google introduced a new signal to the “E-A-T family” – E for experience. Understanding how E-E-A-T can be applied to an ecommerce digital marketing strategy can significantly increase visibility, user experience, and revenue.
These are Lily Ray’s slides from the Re:Signal Re:commerce conference in London on March 2023. This talk provided examples of several ecommerce retailers leveraging an expert-focused content strategy to increase their SEO visibility and convey experience, expertise, authority, and trustworthiness with their users.
Ecommerce is a popular revenue stream aside from the regular display ad and affiliate commission streams for niche sites.
There are a lot of good insights in here on E-E-A-T even if you're not going the ecommerce route too.
How 16 Companies are Dominating the World's Google Search Results (2023 Edition)
Glen Allsopp brings us another epic deep-dive report. This time on how 16 companies control 3.7 Billion clicks per month across 562 brands. Technically, it's only 7 companies now since 16 was the number when he first published this site.
Be sure to save this when you have some time to sit down and read. Too much in here for just one cup of coffee!
Can adding age ranges to titles boost traffic for SEO?
SearchPilot's latest test wanted to see if adding age ranges to title tags on location pages would help.
- Control Title: Tutoring Services in Austin, TX - Star Bright Learning
- Variant Title: Tutoring Service for Ages 3 - 10 in Austin, TX - Star Bright Learning
The test led to a 4% increase in organic sessions with 90% confidence.
This result could be attributed to adding more specific content in the title tags about the services offered in that location, which may have led to both an improvement in rankings for keywords specific to the age ranges and improved click-through-rates due to users having a better understanding of the offering from the search results.
Here’s Proof Sites That Use Ad Mediation Can Grow Faster Than Sites Without It
Ezoic recently finished a study about ad mediation with their publishers.
They looked at two cohorts of publishers: one cohort (722 domains) that enabled ad mediation in the last 12 months, and another cohort (3502 domains) that did not enable ad mediation in that time.
The publishers that enabled ad mediation saw upwards of a 3x faster growth rate in EPMV, the true north metric of measuring real site ad revenue. The publishers that did not enable ad mediation saw nowhere near the same level of success.
My Take: When I enabled ad mediation for a month, I saw decreased page speeds and more importantly, decreased EPMVs and overall earnings for 3 weeks on 1 site and 5 weeks on another site. Here's a Twitter thread. I think I'm in the minority where it didn't work for me.
The Top Domains and Content for Garden Tools
Charlie Williams from Sistrix breaks down the gardening tools niche. Based on relevant keyword sets, he shares the best content and domains for commercial and informational search queries.
Good insights here if you're in the gardening niche or thinking about getting into it.
Lonestar raises $5 million for lunar data centers
How cool would it be to say you have a server on the moon??
Lonestar Data Holdings raised $5 million in seed funding for its plan to establish lunar data centers.
Lonestar is preparing to send a proof-of-concept data center to the moon later this year on Intuitive Machines’ second lunar mission, IM-2.
“The moon is a fantastic platform for this,” Lonestar's CEO Chris Stott said. “There is no climate, no climate change and access to renewable energy. You can build out amazing equipment up there.”
Silicon Valley Bank collapse: How it happened in just 48 hours
While not directly SEO or niche site related, it's still some pretty big news in the startup and tech world.
As dust begins to settle on the biggest American bank failure since 2008, members of the VC community lament the role other investors played in Silicon Valley Bank's (SVB) demise.
- Late Wednesday - SVB's downward spiral began when it surprised investors with news that it needed to raise $2.25 billion to shore up its balance sheet.
- Thursday EOD - According to a California regulatory filing, customers withdrew a staggering $42 billion of deposits.
- Friday - Regulators shuttered SVB and seized the deposits of this 40-year-old bank.
- Those who remained with SVB face an uncertain timeline for retrieving their money.
This is all after Silvergate Capital said it's liquidating Silvergate Bank and its $11 billion in assets (don't hold any crypto in any wallets you don't hold the private keys to).