September Updates Analysis; Google Search Updates; Tax Deductions; Blog Post Length; SEO Myths; Link Structures; and Much More!
Today is my son's birthday and he wanted to go driving, so we took him indoor go karting.
These go karts for kids were also made to drift, so they were hard for him to control at first. But once he went a couple laps and got the hang of the go kart sliding, he was going all out.
He was even doing 360s going into turns to show off and then would finish off the turn.
It's very similar to the firsts that we experience in building and growing niche sites. We're always tentative and make sure we're doing things well the first time we do something:
Building your first niche site
Writing your first article
Outreaching for your first backlink
Outsourcing your first article
Hiring your first VA
And all your other firsts
But once that first is out of the way, that's when the fun begins!
You start ramping up because your site is gaining more traffic and money. You start thinking that this can be something you do long term and have some fun with.
My son reminded me that this wave we're all riding should be fun. Have fun and don't be afraid to show off. Share your knowledge with others and pay it forward like others have done for you.
Have a lot of fun this weekend and next week!
LowFruits is offering an Exclusive 10% Off for all Niche Surfer readers!
LowFruits rarely offers any discounts, so this is a real treat!
LowFruits has become one of my go-to keyword research tools because it excels at finding and analyzing keywords. It's not just for low-competition keywords anymore too. Plus, it is an amazing clustering tool!
I've also been playing around with a subscription with the boosted keyword search and being able to extract competitor keywords. They are really great extras if you sign up for a subscription. There's no discount on a subscription, but you can buy extra credits.
I've been told by Paul at LowFruits that the subscription credits will get used first. Once that's exhausted, the pay-as-you-go credits will start to be used. This will prevent wasting the extra credits you purchase.
Here are the prices for the credits after you take the 10% discount:
This week's Niche Creator is KK Ezekiel!
KK started building niche sites 5 years ago and his main site has brought in about $400K in just the past 4 years. He is actively sharing on Twitter, so give him a follow there, but first check out his Niche Creator interview:
This is the Google updates page that Google wants you to go to for the latest information on the Updates. The September 2022 Core Update and Product Reviews Updates (PRU) were both completed as of September 26, 2022.
I think I'm one of only ones who have a theory that the PRU was hidden within the core update time period. Obviously it was an announced update, so it wasn't hidden out of sight, but I have a feeling it was released during the core update to CYA (cover your a**).
The previous PRUs had so many info-only sites get hit that Google received a lot of backlash. But then again, are there any updates where there are zero complaints?
By releasing the PRU during the core update, they were able to say things like:
If you see a change and wonder if it's related to the core update or the product reviews update:
* If you produce product reviews, then it's probably related to that.
* If not, then it might be related to the core update.
Now they have an out by replying with "if your info content lost rankings, it wasn't due to the PRU."
Good thread from Glenn Gabe with many examples of just pure confusion from the 2 updates released at the same time. This was from 1 day into the update.
Which sites won and lost from Google's rollout of three significant search algorithm updates? More importantly, why?
Lily Ray covers the winners and losers of the updates, and category impact.
Semrush shares their data on volatility with the September updates. Overall, the September 2022 Core Update presented rank volatility increases that were 53% less drastic than change in volatility seen during the May 2022 Core Update.
They found the most volatile niches during the September update were:
Hobbies & Leisure
Pets & Animals
Beauty & Fitness
Top SEO Barry Adam has found that Google appears to be giving up on AMP finally! You know, Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages that they tried to get everyone to use because it was all about page speed.
Barry did a comparison between the old and current version of the Article Structured Data documentation. All mentions of AMP were removed.
Good SEO Audit checklist and overview of what to do when you need to audit a site. If you were recently affected by one of the many Google updates, you can use this as an audit plan to see where you could be having issues. There are links that take you to more in-depth guides too that you should follow too if you're having trouble determining what's wrong.
Lots of interesting SplitSignal tests here that they share here. I've shared some before, but this is a nice recap of interesting ones. Here are some of them:
Title Case vs Sentence Case for Titles
Including a CTA in the Meta Description
Adding City and State to Titles of a Cannabis Directory Site
Emphasizing H1 With CSS
Adding CTA to Title Tags of a Pizza Delivery Website
This week's test was removing FAQ schema and whether it would be a positive or negative result.
A nice guide for an overview of SEO URL structures and how to keep them optimized for search engines. Suki Go at Salt.agency shares 5 best practices:
Use URL query parameters correctly (majority of niche sites won't use this though)
Use a canonical tag
Standardize your URLs in lowercase
Use a trailing slash in container URIs
TOOLS AND RESOURCES
Do you want to know what the best SEO browser extensions are that will improve your productivity? In this video, Matt Diggity shares a list of the 5 top-voted browser extensions, including:
Great collection of content brief templates from various sources. Templates are in Google Docs, Notion, Word, PDF, and more. Plus tips on automating your team’s content brief workflows.
I'm a big proponent of giving your writers content briefs, so they don't come back with missing topics. Even the writers that I've worked with for a long time will not be able to read my mind.
Think of it this way. Take 10-20 minutes to do the research and create a content brief, or come back to the article months later when you're wondering why it's not ranking and want to optimize it.
Short-Form vs. Long-Form Content is a constant debate and question. Andrew Riker at BrightEdge covers four factors that will influence how you determine content length:
Don’t Think Exclusively in Terms of Written Content
Understand Keyword Intent
Work Within Existing Structures
Leverage Long-Form Content for Complex Topics
Here is Semrush's article on how long blog posts should be. Margarita Loktionova covers the 3 steps to determine post length:
Establish your goal
Define your audience
Focus on search intent, not word count
She also gives word count ranges, but those will vary depending on so many factors, so take it with a grain of salt.
I've received some questions about setting up URLs and internal linking structures lately, I wanted to share this oldie, but goodie video from SEO Fight Club.
The guys there go through different ways of creating URL and linking strategies. It includes a complex linking strategy for large companies like Sears and how the ideal is using multiple domains.
This is pretty much the Ultimate Guide to Google My Business - new name is Google Business Profile. If you want to create your own business profile, this is pretty much all you need to read.
Many niche site owners will create a business profile because it acts as a citation link, but also for E-A-T.
Educating yourself on what you can and can't deduct can save you a lot of money come tax time, which means more money in your pocket or reinvested in your business. These are some of the things that you can deduct:
Home Office Expenses
Office Supplies and Equipment
Internet and Cell Phone Usage
Domain Name Registration & Web Hosting Fees
Advertising and Marketing Expenses
Software and App Costs
In this September episode of Google Search News, John Mueller goes over recent updates in Google Search. From new reports in Search Console to ranking recommendations for content creators.
and more updates from Google Search Centra
In Google's third annual Search On, they showcase the latest features and tools that make it more natural and intuitive to find what you’re looking for, thanks to advancements in machine learning. They have 8 different articles discussing their updates, including these:
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Have a great week taking your niche sites to another level!