Benefits From the Passive Income Life
I went on a school field trip with the kids yesterday up in the city's mountains to a small farm and gardens. The kids learned about animals and plants, made leaf-print canvas bags (image above), and did some rope walking, climbing, and swinging.
I got involved too. I helped feed the mosquitoes.
When I think about my old job, I wouldn't have been able to go. I love the online, passive income lifestyle, because I get to set my own hours and my affiliate sites continue to work 24/7 while I'm away.
I'm still not near where I want the sites to be, so I continue to put in a lot of work. But, for those times when I want to take off, I can do it without worrying about how many vacation days I have left.
What's one benefit that you receive or want from your passive income journey?
Google Indexing Issues Deep Dive - Crawled / Discovered - Currently Not Indexed
Having problems indexing pages on your site?
Chris from Niche Safari goes through Google Search Console and shows how to identify indexing issues/error messages and what they mean.
At the same time, GSC can show many issues that really aren't issues. The majority of the Excluded section is normal. You don't want all those URLs crawled and indexed, taking away from your important pages.
I like how Chris goes through a list of common responses from people as to what's causing issues for someone says who's having indexing problems. Responses like:
- Do you have sitemaps set up?
- It must be too competitive.
- It must be thin content.
Check the video out for his take on Google indexing.
I've shared my steps to how to index pages back on Wave 2. That works for me over 90% of the time, so just take it all with a grain of salt. Everyone's got something different and it's never an apples-to-apples comparison.
Mobile First Indexing - The Complete Guide
Is your site on mobile-first indexing yet?
Google originally planned to have 100% of indexed sites moved to mobile-first indexing as of September, 2020 However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they announced this date would be pushed to the end of March 2021. When mid-March 2021 rolled around, Google's John Mueller commented that this is not a hard date.
Google will notify you when you have been moved to mobile-first indexing. They will alert you from Google Search Console via email.
Check whether your sites are on mobile-first indexing or desktop-first by going to the Settings of your domains in Google Search Console. (Look at the image above and the big red arrow.)
It's coming eventually, so be ready by checking to see what your mobile site looks like on your phone or in the browser using Device Mode in Chrome DevTools.
17 Black Hat Techniques That Can Kill an SEO Campaign
Whether you do SEO for a living or consider yourself a newbie, most people involved in search engine marketing know that there are two ways to go about it. White hat and black hat.
Jon Clark at Search Engine Journal discusses 17 black hat SEO techniques that can hurt your site more than it could harm.
How many of these have you tried? How many do you use?
Tools and Resources
AMZ Table Assistant
This is one of the most useful Chrome Extensions I've found in a while. It saves me so much time with creating Amazon Affiliate links and AAWP product boxes.
With one-click, I'm able to create an AAWP product box with the ASIN and my affiliate tag automatically filled in. I don't need to separately create the shortcode and grab the ASIN and affiliate tag.
As you can see in the screenshot, there are multiple buttons there that create affiliate links ready to use as contextual links, AAWP and AMALinks shortcodes. You can customize your own buttons, as well as get shortcodes for just the product images themselves.
The Free version of the Chrome Extension will do 2 things: create a contextual link with your affiliate tag or grab the ASIN. The paid version has 2 versions that will get you everything: $20 for one user and $59 for unlimited users (e.g., for your partners, writers, VA's)
Watch a Demo of it in action on YouTube and Buy it on Gumroad.
Discover the best products for everything on Google
Stop creating your own Best Products lists. Google's creating lists for you with this new microsite.
You'll need to do it on your mobile phone too. It doesn't work on a desktop browser. Doesn't seem like you can do a search for a product category, but you can browse the ones they do have.
Keyword Surfer 3.0 - Run keyword research & write SEO content directly in Google | Product Hunt
The Keyword Surfer 3.0 Chrome Extension is out. The major update is the Content Editor pop-up window right in the SERPs.
It's basically a stripped down content optimization editor with only working counters for the Words and Terms to use. There are no suggestions on how many times to use Terms, so you won't know what a good or bad usage count would be. I tried to see if it'd go red if a Term was used too many times, but it didn't. The Terms count will always be green, as long as the Term was used one time (at least it was still green up to 200 times).
I tested it and it does seem like a cool feature, but I'd be very careful to do any live writing in a pop-up window. If you wanted to use it, write in Google Docs or Word and copy/paste the content into their Content Editor.
As for the rest of the tool, I don't use the Keyword Surfer Chrome extension because their Search Volume numbers aren't that useful in my experience. There's also no CPC info, except for the keyword being searched. I like to know the Volume and CPC for the other related keywords they have in their sidebar window.
Chris at Niche Safari has a YouTube video that compares 4 Free and Paid Keyword Research Chrome Extensions and the data they all provide. It's a good video to learn more about the different tools out there.
Referral exclusions - Analytics Help
Over the last 1-2 weeks, there have been many site owners who have received a large spike in traffic for 1 or 2 days due to spam traffic. Half of my sites, large and small, received a similar spike.
The traffic will usually show up as Referral or Search Traffic with a url tied to it. One interesting thing I noticed was that it showed my own domain for one of them this time. I'd never seen that before. The URLs are usually something like trafficbot.com, internettraffic.com, a short URL, or something random.
Not much you can do about it, other than excluding the traffic in Google Analytics. Then it won't show up in your GA and screw with charts.
Here're links to instructions on how to exclude traffic for Universal Analytics (UA) and GA4:
- Universal Analytics: support.google.com/analytics/answer/2795830
- GA4: support.google.com/analytics/answer/10327750
In 2020, Two Thirds of Google Searches Ended Without a Click
If you've done any Google searches in recent times, you'll have seen how the SERPs are constantly changing and being tested to offer more useful information for searchers. Rand Fishkin releases his research on the effect that's had on users clicking through to sites.
From January to December, 2020, 64.82% of searches on Google (desktop and mobile combined) ended in the search results without clicking to another web property. That number is likely undercounting some mobile and nearly all voice searches, and thus it’s probable that more than 2/3rds of all Google searches are what I’ve been calling “zero-click searches.”
It's an interesting read indeed. That's where your keyword research is even more important, because you want to go after keywords that can't be fully answered by Google snippets from your site or any other sites.
The Best Product Comparison Chart – 13 insights to run your Amazon affiliate business by
Spencer Haws recently sold Table Labs, a software tool to create, well, Tables. The new owners wrote an article with 13 insights for Amazon Affiliate sites.
There are a number of metrics that can give you benchmarks on what the Top/Bottom 25% of affiliate sites have: position of products in a table, CTR, earnings per click, how many clicks a table should get, and more.
Look to see if your site's outperforming or underperforming based on their data.
Discussing Google's Page Experience + Cookie Death (with Sarah Clow, Ezoic)
Morten Storgaard talks to Ezoic's Sarah Chow about LEAP, third-party cookies going bye-bye, and more of what Ezoic has coming up. It's has some good information in there if you're with Ezoic, but also if you have / are planning to have display ads on your site.
Sarah gives off the list of Ezoic's most lucrative niches:
- Home and Design
- Business Related - Tips, Advice, Templates
- Online Tools
These are also highly competitive niches, so don't expect to write 10-20 blog posts and compete for the first page. You're going to need lots of authority to get up there.
She also said WISE (formerly Transferwise) integration is coming soon too. It's a really useful way to transfer and exchange USD with good rates and little fees. I use it whenever I need to exchange currencies, because of the good rates and the ability to transfer the money. All on one platform.
How I Made A Fast WordPress Site With Ads Using Ezoic Leap (beta)
Tyler Bishop, Ezoic's CMO, wrote a post on him using their upcoming speed tool, Leap, and the benefit the site's received in speed.
I'm looking forward to Leap and seeing what it can do.