Google Holy Grail; Level Up Link Building; Site Selling Tips; Survive Google Updates; Entity SEO; AI Stock Images; and Much More!
Google took a big hit this past week as they disappointed with their earnings reports. It was mostly due to the decline ad spending.
But does that mean that content sites will start dying due to lower ad spending? I don't think so.
During times of an economic crunch, marketing dollars are often the first dollars cut. I don't completely agree with that strategy, but that's a conversation for another day.
When ad spending is cut, content sites that rely heavily on display ads will see earnings plateau and maybe decline a bit, even if traffic is steady or increasing. We're in Q4 now, so it may not be as evident. But if you go back to Q2-3, there were many on Twitter and Facebook concerned with low RPMs and EPMVs.
From the affiliate front, I've seen a slight increase in affiliate sales YOY. People are still buying. I've still seen purchases of the high-ticket items one of my sites is focused on. I've also seen purchases in the $50-100 range as well for another site continue to stay steady.
Now, it could be that even though people are purchasing less with each order, the number of people purchasing online have increased. That's why revenues have seemed stable.
And that's exactly what's happened. Total earnings had a slight increase, but average revenue per click and order has decreased. That means there are more buyers, but each person spends less.
The increase in online buyers is why Amazon's ad business increased 30%. More people are turning to online products and services, which is why Google Cloud's business increased 38%.
These are some of the things that I often look at and consider when thinking about my sites - each one a small business.
Where do they fit in? Who's the target customer? How can I diversify to increase traffic and earnings?
Once you've gotten past how to set up a WordPress blog, write content, and basic SEO - I challenge you to take a step back and do the same.
Where does your site fit in?
Who's your target customer?
How can you diversify to increase traffic and earnings?
The other way to do it is to do nothing. Just continue publishing content. Ad revenues will turn around...eventually. Q4 will still be good and people will be riding high on Twitter and Facebook sharing screenshots.
But sitting on my hands isn't my thing. I'm always looking ahead and thinking about the future.
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This week's Niche Creator is Jessica Lauren Vine!
Jessica is a niche site builder who is also a real estate builder! The first person interviewed who's out there building assets online and offline. This is going to be a fun one.
She's super active on Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram sharing her tips, so be sure to check out the Q&A:
Jessica was also recommended by last week's Niche Creator - Shawn Hill!
Google Trends can be valuable to your SEO strategy. Find out how you can use this tool to optimize your SEO efforts.
Whenever I'm researching new topics and keywords, I always check Google Trends to see if there are any related and breakout topics I should be adding to the list.
Google's October core update was likely focused on deindexing content that didn't get significant enough search volume. Onely takes a look at what pages were deindexed and what weren't.
They also promote their tool that can check a site and what pages are indexed and deindexed - ZipTie.dev.
This a good article on entities and building topical authority from Andrew McDermott at iPullRank. He covers what Entity SEO / Topical Authority is all about:
Planning your strategy around entity SEO
How Google views your business (as an entity)
Steps you can take to guide Google’s perception of your business
There's a focus on businesses that sell products/services, but this is completely relevant to content sites as well. Topical authority is here and now.
Brian Moseley at Semrush shares his guide and steps on how to recover from Google Algo Updates.
Research the update
Create an action plan
Strategically update your content
The thing is, it's nothing groundbreaking, but you do need to be able to analyze your site objectively. And I wouldn't rely only on the Update that's currently being pushed out as the sole source for knowing what to look at.
Always look at your site and content as a whole because it all adds up. There's never a situation where you only need to look at this. The better the site's foundation, the less chance your site will be affected negatively.
Crawl budget is a vanity metric. Your goal should be to guide Googlebot in crawling important URLs fast once they are published or updated. It’s not guaranteed Googlebot will crawl every URL it can access on your site. On the contrary, the vast majority of sites are missing a significant chunk of pages.
The reality is, Google doesn’t have the resources to crawl every page it finds. All the URLs Googlebot has discovered, but has not yet crawled, along with URLs it intends to recrawl are prioritized in a crawl queue.
Jes Scholz covers 7 steps to optimize crawling:
Ensure a fast, healthy server response
Clean up low-value content
Review indexing controls
Tell search engine spiders what to crawl and when
Tell search engine spiders what not to crawl
Curate relevant links
Audit remaining crawling issues
Matt Diggity covers how you might change the way you approach search engine optimization with a focus on Featured Snippets.
Results of Changes
He says that Googlebot will ignore everything behind the # and only focus on what's in front .
Google considers Dofollow links a vote of confidence and trust for the information shared on that webpage. These are ranking factors.
Nofollow links are a bit more nuanced. As to whether or not Nofollow links are a ranking factor, that’s up for debate. Some argue that Nofollow links have zero impact on ranking, and others claim that they still help, just not to the same degree that Dofollow links do.
This article looks over the evidence of both sides of the argument and shows why Nofollow links are not a Google ranking factor.
Mark and Gael at Authority Hacker discuss a number of different tips and tricks for link building. These are more advanced than the typical link building campaigns.
Link builder piggybacking
Vetting a site
Personalising name (+bonus tool)
Mark and Adam from Niche Website Builders discuss "Digital PR for Niche Sites" and tear down more Aged Domains. If you don't know what Digital PR is and its relation to SEO, you'll want to listen to this. It starts around the 12:00 minute mark.
They are starting a Digital PR Service, but it's still a great discussion about what digital PR is and how it can help your sites.
This is a good overview by Jake Sheridan on what topical authority is and how to build it.
One of the things I talk to topical map clients about the most is choosing a good seed keyword. The seeds they usually start with are too broad and vague. The examples in the image are from the article and good to review.
Many people have moved on to creating content sites that only monetize through display ads. That doesn't mean affiliate marketing is going anywhere.
Affiliate marketing is still going strong and it looks like there's going to be less competition moving forward. You don't need to worry about getting high traffic numbers either to make a few thousand dollars a month.
This article will cover a few high-ticket affiliate marketing niches and how to find affiliate programs.
Greg Elfring from Empire Flippers shares his thoughts on when a good time to sell a site is. It's a good discussion and he brings up many good things that some people don't think about. Greg shares many great stories too that can help you when considering whether to continue building your site or to sell it.
If you're thinking about selling, EF has a valuation tool you can use to estimate what you can potentially get for your site.
Jason Mills discusses his aged domain case study website he started six months ago, which currently earns him a monthly income of over $3000 with only 41 articles live (affiliate marketing).
Jason shares the entire process from the start of the case study. He talks about niche selection, the metrics used to determine what makes a good aged domain choice, and what goes through his mind when deciding on a suitable domain.
Check out Jason's Niche Creator Q&A if you haven't read it yet.
Great interview here as Jamie I.F. and host James De Lacey talk about how much money people are really making with their niche websites, before diving into the affiliate content itself. The pair discuss how to write good quality affiliate content that’s going to convert into sales.
Jamie gives us several different examples, using vacuum cleaners as an example. He talks about having a competitive advantage, what is the right ratio of affiliate content vs info content (if there is one), and how he personally has tackled that.
In case you missed it, both Jamie and James have done Niche Creator Q&As:
Shutterstock has announced an extended partnership with OpenAI, which will see the AI lab’s text-to-image model DALL-E 2 directly integrated into Shutterstock “in the coming months.”
It's a really close relationship because Shutterstock is also banning the sale of AI-generated art on its site that is not made using its DALL-E integration.
In addition, Shutterstock is launching a “Contributor Fund” that will reimburse creators when the company sells work to train text-to-image AI models. This follows widespread criticism from artists whose output has been scraped from the web without their consent to create these systems.
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