Black Hat vs White Hat SEOs Face-Off; Doorway Pages; 2023 SEO Challenges; Entities and Schema; Blogging Stats; and Much More!
ME: If I create a niche site with AI-generated content, will I get hit by a Google Update?
CHATGPT: It's difficult to say for certain whether a niche site with AI-generated content would be affected by a Google update, as Google's algorithms are constantly evolving and the factors that determine a site's ranking can change over time. In general, however, Google's algorithms are designed to reward sites that provide valuable and high-quality content to users. If your AI-generated content is not useful or engaging to your audience, it's possible that your site could be negatively affected by a Google update.
There you have it. If you serve up unuseful content, it's possible your site will get hit by Google.
It's a great answer isn't it? ChatGPT is really amazing.
If you haven't heard OpenAI also released their newest addition to the GPT-3 model family: text-davinci-003.
When I got the email, I jumped into OpenAI's Playground and tried it out. I shared my results on Twitter comparing davinci-003 to davinci-002 and the results were very different.
Davinci-003 offers much more content and context, so I'm anticipating that it will be used a lot more now.
My go-to content optimizer Frase will now allow customers to use davinci-003 instead of their in-house AI model by using their OpenAI API key.
The only tools that I've seen that allowed customers to input their own OpenAI API keys aren't that user-friendly if you're not techy. So it's nice to see that Frase will be implementing this by the end of the year.
I'm sure you'll be hearing about many more tools doing the same.
And if you haven't tried out ChatGPT, it's a fun chatbot. You'll still need to create a free OpenAI count if you don't have one.
Here's one more ChatGPT response:
ME: Can you give me an inspirational quote for niche site builders?
CHATGPT: Sure, here's an inspirational quote for niche site builders:
"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill
This quote is a reminder that building a successful niche site takes time and perseverance. Even if you face setbacks or failures along the way, it's important to stay focused and keep working towards your goals. With determination and hard work, you can achieve success with your niche site.
For this week, here are some of the first Niche Creator interviews ever done:
I mentioned last week I'm pausing any new interviews until 2023 because I've been very busy. But since many of you are new, the interviews will be new to you!
Looking for some cutting-edge SEO tactics to add to your toolkit? In this new SEO case study, you'll learn strategies to help you grow your traffic by over 94%. He covers a number of topics here:
Creating Disavow Files
Link Building Strategies
Technical SEO Strategies
The Google office hours are now easier to go through as they are testing sharing transcripts on the Google Search Central Blog. Ther are many questions answered here. These are some of them:
What are the options to use the disavow feature in Search Console for domain properties?
How bad is the helpful content update for sites accepting guest posts for money?
Is Google more likely to crawl and index the pages if the content is short?
Is there a timeframe for the site migration?
Could the use of HTTP/3 improve SEO because it improves performance?
Why does Google keep using backlinks as a ranking factor?
Does it matter if the vast majority of anchors for internal content links are the same?
How should creators respond to sites that scrape and spam?
Is it true that Google rotates indexed pages?
How do we enable the Discover feature?
How can I best delete 10,000 pages of thin blog content?
Does the spam score affect my site's ranking?
Great walkthrough from Olga Zarr on how to use GSC for keyword research in these ways:
1: Use Google Search Console to check what people are looking for in relation to your brand 2: Use Google Search Console to find your quick win target keywords 3: Use Google Search Console to find specific keywords you can target in your existing content 4: Use Google Search Console to identify new SEO opportunities 5: Use Google Search Console to look for question keywords 6: Use Google Search Console to look for keywords your web pages rank in Google image search results
Doorway pages might seem like a nebulous concept for some marketers to grasp. Since Google announced that creating such pages was considered illicit practice, there has been some confusion.
Chris Silver Smith discusses what doorway pages are, what Google thinks of them, and how to avoid penalties. Types of doorway pages he talks about include:
Spammy city/region pages
Indexable internal search results pages
Substantially duplicate content propagated via keyword variations
Entities, schema, knowledge graphs - oh my!
What do all these mean?
Adam Smith from Niche Website Builders sits down and discusses Entity Building for Niche Websites and how to get started with this skillset, entity building via schema. This is one of the better, non-technical explanations I've seen when discussing entities and schema.
My Take: Schema is important. Entities are important. So does that mean you need to do all that work and get a bunch of schema code into your site? I don't think so. I don't really do much beyond the article schema that Rank Math does for me automatically.
The one I will add manually is the product schema when I do product reviews. It helps with getting the SERP features and the review stars for the product review. I will also add recipe schema, but I believe it's added for me automatically as long as it's selected in Rank Math.
The more important things to care about are entities and topical coverage. That'll give you topical authority. That's where topical maps come into play and why they're so helpful to create before publishing a single post on your new site. Do check out my Topical Map service to see more about topical maps.
Niche Website Builders' Black Friday Sale is still going on until Dec. 4th, so check out their deals.
20% More Content on Aged Domains, DFY Websites, One-Off Bulk Content Orders, and Content Subscriptions.
5% Off all Digital PR Subscriptions.
Dr. Marie Haynes interviewed Charles Floate, an SEO known for ranking websites in ways that go against Google's spam guidelines. They discuss PageRank and the importance of links in Google's algorithms. Charles revealed ways he's been able to manipulate Google's guidelines and succeed, though Dr. Marie Haynes doesn't condone such practices. She adds:
"Our chat helped me reform my thoughts on links and their power to move the needle for rankings. Links are most definitely important in Google's algorithms and will likely remain the core for quite some time. But as Google develops new ways to identify quality content, most of which comes with AI innovations, I believe PageRank is not as important to SEO as it used to be."
My Take: Great discussion here from two of the top SEOs who approach things differently. One of the big things they agree on is something that I tell everyone to do. Create your social accounts for your brands (aka niche sites) just like any other brand/business would do. Get listed in relevant online directories. Put in the work and build your E-A-T.
A recent Twitter poll by Tim Soulo from Ahrefs shows that SEOs are super mixed in their opinion of the importance of domain name age on SEO and Google rankings. The poll showed 40% said domain age is a significant ranking factor in Google, 26% said no, it is not. The rest of the responses, 33%, said it depends.
My Take: The age of the domain doesn't matter if there's no content or barely any content. It's the content age and the backlinks that matter more. You could have a 20-year-old domain (like I do), but if you do nothing with it, it won't rank. It also won't rank suddenly as-if it was a 20-year-old site if you just published your first post.
I remember seeing videos 1-2 years ago of a guru who talked about how long ago they bought a fresh domain. After almost a year, they published their first content and expected to already be out of the sandbox due to domain age. Sorry, but that's not how it works.
An interesting collection of statistics here from Siege Media from various sources. Some of the interesting ones:
The four highest blog traffic niches are food, lifestyle, travel, and arts and crafts. (RankIQ)
Of these blogs, food is the most popular niche, making up 42.8% of all high-traffic blogs. (RankIQ)
Blogs that post 2 to 6 times per week get better results than those that publish blogs at irregular intervals. (Orbit Media)
It takes an average of four hours and 10 minutes to write a blog post in 2022. (Orbit Media)
Lifestyle and Mommy blogs accounted for 25% of all new blogs started in 2021. (RankIQ)
List posts get 218% more shares than how-to posts. (Backlinko)
The food blog niche is the most profitable blog niche in 2022, with $9169 per month. (RankIQ)
Of all bloggers who make more than $50,000 per year, 45% of them sell their own products or services. (GrowthBadger)
Bloggers make 42.2% of their money from affiliates. (RankIQ)
Bloggers make an average of $45,000. (Ryan Robinson)
Of bloggers who make at least $2,000 per month, 42% use Mediavine and 32% use AdThrive for their ad services. (RankIQ)
Daria Sherr on the Semrush Blog will show you SEO tests that show how important it is to test your own theories. She discusses how the exact same change on one site will not always bring the exact same result on a different site, no matter how closely you try to replicate what you’ve done before.
A couple of the examples she gives:
Adding CTA to Title
Adding Dates to Your Titles—Dating Your Content
SplitSignal tests whether adding the product category name to the product page titles would have a positive effect on organic traffic. For example:
Bose QuietComfort 45 Black | Amazon.com
Bose QuietComfort 45 Black - Headphones | Amazon.com
54% of the respondents in their Twitter poll said that organic clicks would increase, but they were wrong! It led to a -8.2% loss in clicks.
Huh? What? Candle company name ideas?
Yep. This is from Niche Pursuits, so it's technically relevant since it's a niche. It's a high-search volume keyword ~2k with low SERP competition. I understand why they'd go after this keyword with their high-DA site.
The main reason I'm sharing this is because of the candle company names they came up with that can offer as a great source of inspiration when coming up with your own brand names.
Whenever we create niche sites or online businesses, we should come up with good brand names if you're building for the long-term. Some fun names in here.
There are also many name generators out there. One of my favorites is Namelix. It uses AI to generate different types of brandable business names.
Search Engine Journal's State of SEO look ahead to 2023 and beyond, to find that SEO practitioners anticipate machine learning and AI, Google updates, and the deprecation of third-party cookies to lead the way as the greatest shifts in SEO. Some of the key insights:
When asked what were the biggest SEO challenges over the last 12 months, respondents stated:
Lack of resources (14.9%).
Strategy issues (12.3%).
Scaling processes (11.9%).
Pandemic-related issues (11.2%).
Alignment with other departments (10.7%).
Looking ahead to potential threats in 2023, we asked respondents to select up to three “biggest shifts” and industry changes in SEO. Here are their top responses:
Machine learning and AI (18.7%).
Google updates (18.0%).
Third-party cookie deprecation (13.9%).
Google zero-click pages (12.9%).
Competition for talent (11.5%).
Get your own copy of the report here.
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