Big thanks to Niche Website Builders for inviting me to their podcast! I had a great time talking to Adam Smith.
And a Big Welcome to all you New Surfers riding the waves with us!
If you haven't heard the episode yet, do check it out on the NWB Podcast. If you prefer the video version, you can see it on the NWB YouTube Channel.
Wow, as I go to get the YT link, I see that the video with me has the 2nd most views!
Ok, NWB only has 4 videos so far...but it's still cool that the video has more views than two other videos. Little ole me is a no-name compared to the other three. It could also be due to the great thumbnail NWB created for the episode.
I just published my January 2021 Income Report. Total Earnings were $6,581.53, which is a 40.56% drop from December. Check it out if you want to know what happened - any guesses?
Now, onto the good stuff...
Google Ranking Factors: Which Ones are Most Important? - YouTube
Ahrefs came out with a video on the most important Google Ranking Factors.
This is the list that I agree with the most, even though I don't completely agree with their order of factors, but I do agree with all 8 as important ranking factors.
- Quality Backlinks
- Search Intent
- Topical Authority
- Content Depth
- HTTPS Protocol
- User Experience Signals
Duplicate content (and what to do with it) - Google Search Central
Here's the Google Search Central team with a video on duplicate content.
The video does a better job explaining, so it's worth the 5 minutes of your time if you have questions on duplicate content.
What's interesting is John Mueller talked about duplicate content in the last two SEO Office Hours too. In the Jan. 22nd video, a question about repurposing a blog post into a video would count as duplicate content was asked. John said it's not duplicate content and is "a great way to spread your information in different channels...I would definitely not stop doing that."
John then adds about duplicate content on two different sites or the same site. What Google would do is just pick one version to show in SERPs. The other one just doesn't get shown.
Then in the latest office hours on Jan. 29th, John said there's no negative ranking factor associated with duplicate content on the same site. The question was about duplicate product descriptions on a car parts site and if that would negatively impact them in search. John says that Google can more or less deal with the duplicate content in that case by just showing what Google thinks is most relevant.
Tools and Resources
MarketMuse vs. SurferSEO vs. Frase.io vs. Clearscope (with Real Life Examples)
Jon Dykstra goes through four content optimization platforms. If you've been following Niche Surfer for awhile, you probably know I'm partial to Frase.io. I've used SurferSEO before and currently testing MarketMuse, but hadn't heard of Clearscope though.
The comparison is good, but the thing with the word count was surprising. I actually had talked to Frase's CEO about some things on Facebook about word counts and Topic Scores. They're currently doing tests on word counts to see how accurate/inaccurate Frase and other platforms are with word counts. Those results should be out soon.
Scraping for word counts isn't always the easiest and some will widely over-count and some will under-count. It all depends on what is actually counted as part of the scrape: body, headers, footers, sidebar, product boxes, hidden content, etc.
If I see the counts as off, I'll just go to the articles themselves, highlight the copy, right-click and use the Word Counter Plus Chrome Extension to give me the number of words. While it'll catch ads/product boxes/others in-between paragraphs, it still gives me a rough count and peace of mind, because I'm counting myself.
How to Filter Out Referral Spam in Google Analytics
I've seen some people on Twitter and Facebook groups mention they've seen a spike in referral spam traffic this past week.
I haven't seen any recently, but have in the past and had to filter out the spam in Google Analytics.
Check out this article for steps on how to do that in the new Google Analytics 4 and Universal Analytics.
Schema Markup - The ONLY Guide You Need To Read in 2021
RankMath has a nice overview on Schema Markup and how to implement it using their plugin. Even if you don't use RankMath, it's still a good introduction into Schema.
I don't use the paid RankMath, so can't take advantage of all the Schema with the plugin, but I do use the FAQ schema in articles.
Having FAQs in your articles will help with getting sitelinks in the SERPs. But be sure the FAQs are relevant. Don't just copy/paste the same set of questions to every article. That'll confuse Google even more.
When it comes to Schema and priorities, I feel it's more important to get your content down. Once you've gotten to a point where the content being published is always good, then look at Schema as the next technique to level up your content and site.
Amazon.com Associates Central - Resource Center - Share associate links from anywhere
Did you get the email from Amazon?
You can now create affiliate links from the Amazon app and share them on a social media app.
With Mobile GetLink, it’s easy to generate content with associate links from your iOS mobile device and share instantly while you are out and about
All this talk about Amazon doing away with the Associates program...nope.
How Can I Compete Against Bigger Websites With More Backlinks?
Oh, this is good. I love the way he ends this.
I would suggest that before you assume that the bought links are what is causing your competitor to beat you, take a look at the other things they may be doing better than you.
The benefits of focusing on your own stuff far outweigh the time you spend trying to figure out what your competitors are doing.
I used to spend so much time wallowing in the "They have all these backlinks. I can't compete without money." mindset. I'd get dejected and not want to do anything.
It was only when I changed the way I was thinking and focused on what I could manage that I started to get things done. As my earnings increased, I started to build links, like with the Niche Website Builders' Shotgun Skyscraper Campaign.
But before link building, I focused on content. Content is what drives your site and what will generate higher earnings.
A great piece of content will: 1. Convert visitors to stay on the page longer, so more ad revenue. 2. Convert visitors to click your affiliate links, so more potential affiliate commissions.
Buying more links might get you to the top of rankings faster. People may click to your page. But if your content is good, they'll bounce right off back to the SERPs. No ad revenue, no affiliate commissions, and you've just told Google that your content isn't good.
That last part could result in lost rankings (even if Google says they don't consider CTR/Bounce). That leads to buying more links...and the cycle continues.
SEO Content Audit Guide [Updated February 2021 ]
One of the better content audit overview guides. It covers a lot of different areas of audits.
For more of a step-by-step content audit, Ahrefs has a How To Content Audit article to check out. It comes with a nice Google Sheet template that'll do a good amount of the work for you.
There are formulas that'll sort through your Google Analytics and Google Search Console data to give suggestions on whether to leave the page as-is, 301 redirect it, or delete it.
How to Write Affiliate Reviews That Convert with Kevin Meng
Mark Webster talks to Kevin Meng about writing affiliate reviews that convert.
In my conversation with Adam Smith on the Niche Website Builders podcast, he asked me a question about how I was able to achieve $0.22 earnings per Session. CRO in articles is a big part of it.
Listen to this episode, because it's going to help you with creating content that will better convert your visitors to purchase. One thing I will mention...
One of the Content Pet Peeves they talk about is fluffy intros. OH BOY.
I've gotten to the point where I tell most current writers to not write intros because it's difficult for writers not to write fluffy intros.
If I do hire a new writer, I'll let them write 1-2 articles with intros as a test with the direction to not write fluffy intros. But if they still end up writing fluffy intros, I just tell them to skip the intro and use those words to add meat to the content.
Real Money Real Business Podcast - Mini Case Studies
Empire Flippers has a few podcasts that are a great resource to learn from.
One of their podcasts, Real Money. Real Business., interviews current sellers on their marketplace. Empire Flippers (EF) asks sellers potential questions that buyers would also ask.
The great thing about that is listeners (buyer or not) can get insights into how those online businesses grew. What did the owners do to get to the revenue and traffic that they're at? Where are the growth opportunities? What are the risks?
The online businesses for sale cover a variety of niches. The ability to see the potential of sites can be motivating, what you can look forward to by working on your site.
The podcast episode show notes will have the Listing Number of each site for sale, so you can also go to the EF Marketplace to find that listing and learn more about the site.
You do need to register to see the actual domains, earnings, traffic, etc., but you can still get an overview of the sites. Treat these as mini case studies.
This podcast interviews sellers on their platform and asks them questions that would be asked by potential buyers. They go through the good and bad. Discussing how the sites were grown, where growth opportunities are, and what the risks are. You can lookup the sites on the EF platform to do more research. These are all mini case studies to learn from.
English Google SEO office-hours from January 29, 2021
John Mueller is at it again at the latest office hours on Jan. 29th, 2021.
15:35 - This guy purchased a site that might've been a PBN in the past. Is he wasting his time building on the domain? John Mueller says no.
21:23 - This person has a client with an authoritative page, but much slower than their competitors. Is Pagespeed used now as a significant ranking factor? And will it become more of a factor in May? John said speed is used on mobile now. In May, John's guess is it could be a stronger signal, but it still also depends on the search intent. It's hard to draw the lines.
23:45 - Are subdomains viewed as a separate domain site? John said "It depends."
31:45 - Site move to new domain, should everything be moved over, including sitemap and robots? Yes to sitemap.
51:18 - (Paraphrased) "We wrote the first Air Pods Max review in the country, but we don't show up in the results. Can you sort it out?" John responds with "I can't make you rank automatically higher."
56:18 - This guy has a mega menu with 1000 links and thinking of removing it for a silo structure. What would be the impact of removing all those links, while still having links on relevant pages? John brings up Pyramid structures and that could they help with assessing importance of topics/categories, but don't implement too many clicks to get to the content. Basically another vote for silo structures.