Welcome to all the new Surfers! It's exciting to see all the new people surfing niche site waves with us every day.
So I fell into a rabbit hole of Testing this week. It all started with Site 4, a new site I started in January and slowly putting content on. Then I started using seotesting.com (below) too.
In my latest monthly income report, I mentioned how one of the new pages started ranking immediately, so I added AAWP product boxes to hopefully optimize conversions. I also made a change from a WP Table to an AAWP Table.
A couple days after I made those changes, I noticed that search impressions suddenly dropped, including a main keyword. I couldn't figure out what happened, because I hadn't made any changes. Could it just be the Google dance because it's a brand new site and a new page?
As I looked into the drop and considered the possibility of the AAWP Table being an issue, I came across the <table> vs <div> debate and how it affects SEO, if it does. The stock Gutenberg WP Tables uses the <table> tag, while AAWP uses the <div> tag. Click that link to get both sides of the story.
I figured it couldn't hurt to change it back, since search impressions were nonexistent anyways. I changed the AAWP Table back to a stock WP Table. I included AAWP shortcodes inside the cells to get product images and the Buy buttons.
The next day, that page got back some of its search impressions. A few days in and it's not looking bad. I can't say 100% that changing to a <table> is the cause for the rise in impressions, but it's sure an interesting coincidence.
March 6-7th and 10th - More Google Search Ranking Updates?
More potential updates as people continue to report changes in traffic and rankings. These mini-updates each week appear to be the new normal.
Keep an eye on it and see. These are all unconfirmed updates by Google, so take it with a grain of salt. It could be they're testing things and/or doing minor updates that wouldn't affect the majority of people.
Unless you're knowingly cutting corners, I wouldn't worry too much about all these tests and mini-updates. Keep your site in good shape and you'll be fine.
YouTube SEO: The Ultimate Guide
Itamar Blauer created an in-depth guide all about YouTube SEO based on his experiences making YouTube videos since 2008.
If you're creating YouTube videos along with your affiliate sites, you may want to check this out. At least read about the Google SEO vs YouTube SEO differences.
He goes into common YouTube SEO mistakes, optimizations, and some advanced tricks.
Itamar also has a YouTube video version of the written guide.
Crawl Budget and the Crawl Stats report - Google Search Console Training
Daniel Waisberg at Google Search Console (GSC) does another training session and talks about:
- Crawl Rate
- Crawl Demand
- Crawl Budget
- Crawl Stats Report
If you haven't seen these stats yet, you're missing out on good insights about your site and what Google sees.
He does say it's more relevant for large sites of over 1,000 pages, but I think everyone should still watch this, it's less than 10 minutes. It'll help you understand how Google crawls, which is the first step to getting a rank position.
For example, Is your server able to handle multiple requests? If not, Google's going to crawl your site less, which means less of your site will get indexed. You do not want to have a site that only relies on force indexing (if it works - remember when it was down?)
That's why I use a VPS Server. Those will almost always be faster than any shared server. It takes some management, but it's only an hour or two each month to check in.
If you have some technical knowledge, you can setup one yourself using a Vultr High-Frequency Server ($6/month) and Plesk (Free up to 3 sites), a one-click application to manage multiple WordPress instances on the server.
If you want a managed server experience, you can use Cloudways and the Vultr HF Server ($13/month).
I usually have more than one site on a server too, so that helps make server costs even less per site.
Tools and Resources
Ezoic CDN Manager – WordPress plugin | WordPress.org
Ezoic put out their brand-new Ezoic CDN Manager WordPress plugin. It will empty the cache on their CDN whenever you update pages.
Whenever I used to update content, I always had to log into Ezoic's Dashboard, go into the Speed settings, and manually clear the cache. It's not hard, but it did take time. If you have multiple sites, that time adds up.
If you use Ezoic, this is a huge time-saver.
SEOTesting.com Review 2021: Is This The Best SEO Test Tool?
SEOTesting.com uses your GSC data to create many different Reports on how your site is doing. It will also help track your different SEO and Split Tests for you with your GSC data.
I just started a trial myself and made a few tests already. I haven't checked out all the features yet, but there's a lot of great data analysis that I already do - manually. I can see it saving me so much time. E.g., Keyword Cannibalization Reports.
Spencer has a 60-day SEOTesting.com trial through the links on this review post. 60 days!
Go get it now.
Linkable Assets: Attract Backlinks with Amazing Content (7-Steps)
Matt Diggity shows how to create content assets that will generate links.
In the article, he goes through:
- What linkable assets are
- How to utilize linkable assets in your link building campaigns
- How to share your linkable assets
- How to track your link building progress
He made a YouTube video that only summarizes the article. For example, there are 6 steps in the video, but there are 7 in the article.
So you'll still want to read the article itself.
Creative Link Building Outreach Angles with Bibi the Link Builder - YouTube
Bibi Raven is one of the top creative link builders out there. Mark at Authority Hackers puts her to the test with random niches for her to brainstorm creative link building campaigns for. Lots of great tips here.
Once you Matt Diggity's guide to creating Linkable Content...
Check out the Authority Hackers Podcast video to get those creative link building juices flowing.
bibibuzz.com Twitter @bibibuzzcom
If Your Site is Completely Down, Serve Up a 503
John Mueller tweeted out what to do if your site has an outage. It's a 3-part tweet:
If your site is completely down, serve 503 for all requests asap (you can show a user-friendly page too). If your host is down, point your DNS to a temporary host that just serves 503.
Serving 503 to all requests gives you a day or two before Search starts dropping URLs. More at https://google.com/search?q=site%3Adevelopers.google.com%2Fsearch%2F+503 (various articles / blog posts). 503 first, then breathe deep, & find something that works for your site. I'd also go for a run & eat chocolate, YMMV.
... and if it takes longer, we'll start dropping URLs from our index, that's pretty much impossible to avoid. We'll pick them back up once we can recrawl them with useful content. There's no "outage-reputation-loss"; we understand things sometimes go poof, and can come back too.
User-generated content (and building your community)
Learn more about what your responsibility is for user-generated content on your pages and how you can protect your page from violating Google’s AdSense program policies.They share best practices for hosting and monitoring comments, forums, discussions, images, and more.
If you didn't know, User Generated Content (UGC), is considered as part of your website's content and will count towards monetization and rankings.
For example, Comments are UGC. Do you turn Comments On or Off for posts? I turn off comments on all my sites, because I find comment spam not worth the time I spend moderating.
Check this video out if you already have or plan to have interactions with users. It's always good to learn about how content can affect your site.
Keyword Research Live by Authority Hackers for the Personal Finance Niche
This is a good look at how experienced affiliate marketers do their keyword research for a new niche and site.
Gael and Mark let the community pick a niche, Personal Finance, and Gael does keyword research for the niche live on the stream.
One interesting thing I noticed at around 7:50 when he's talking about brainstorming and organizing keywords into silos. Then he suddenly stops and comments "We're going to do examples in a second, but I need to set the context here, so you guys understand what I'm doing..."
Don't fall into the trap of going straight into finding keywords to write posts on. Don't gloss over site organization, because that's what Google relies on when crawling your site to rank.
So when you're doing research for a new site, track what you're finding and how they fit into your site. You may come across new topics you didn't previously think about, so you'll need a way to organize all that you find.