Yandex Ranking Factors; Google AI Music; Top Losing Domains 2022; $122B SEO Industry Stories; Content Briefs; Internal Link Impact; and Much More!
This week I have a special guest intro for the newsletter - Dustin Hyle from Iridium Hosting!
Dustin commented on one of my Tweets how he got an investor because of the Niche Surfer newsletter! When I saw it, I immediately asked him about it and got the story. I thought it was really cool and asked him to write something up so I can share with all of you.
Here's his story and below is also more information about why Iridium stood above the others to get investment.
From Dustin Hyle -
Here's the full chain of events and a little about Iridium Hosting.
I heard your interview on the Niche Pursuits podcast.
You had a much faster revenue growth than most people so that made you stand out to me. Because of that, I signed up to your newsletter.
I've been following Spencer for years and due to the location on his Twitter bio, I knew he lived very close to me. I never reached out because I didn't want to be some random creeper from the internet.
However when he announced his plan to do Niche Ventures and start some small investments, I somehow missed it. I woke up one morning and pulled up your newsletter while still in bed (as I commonly do) and I read your coverage of it.
I felt like it was a sign, I needed to apply and reach out to Spencer. I got up and got showered because the application process was a video.
I filmed a few takes of my video telling Spencer about Iridium Hosting.
Spencer emailed me the next day and said he was interested.
We hopped on a call and talked about the business. Then we met up for dinner and discussed more.
After that dinner we went back and forth a little bit and came to a fair agreement. So Spencer has a minority ownership of Iridium Hosting as the first investment from Niche Ventures.
Andrew McDermott from iPullRank covers internal linking and why it's the most important SEO tactic for topical authority.
How link equity factors into internal linking
Entity SEO and internal linking
The relationship between internal linking, site architecture, and topical authority
How can you tell if you have poor internal linking?
Tools to measure your internal linking performance
Internal linking strategies for your industry
A former employee allegedly leaked a Yandex source code repository, part of which contained more than 1,900 factors the search engines uses for ranking search results.
Some of the ranking factors SEOs are finding surprising: number of unique visitors, percent of organic traffic and average domain ranking across queries.
Alex Buraks also has an ongoing Twitter thread analyzing the various ranking factors. Many are what you’d expect to see – PageRank, text relevancy, content age and freshness, lots of end-user behavior factors, host reliability and many link-related factors (e.g., age, relevancy, etc.).
There's a full list of what source code has been leaked in this Github repository. It's not just the search engine algorithm ranking factors that was leaked.
E-E-A-T principles can help you create quality content in Google’s eyes, paving the way for higher rankings and stronger SEO. Even if you know all about E-E-A-T, this is a good article to go through as it shares some good and bad examples.
Qualities of High E-E-A-T Pages:
Good User Experience
Qualities of Low E-E-A-T Pages:
Good overview in Semrush about Hreflang and how to use it for international SEO.
I like that this article also covers localized languages for different countries. Think Spanish for Spain vs. Mexico. This is something that not many people talk about in their articles on international SEO.
Glenn Gabe of GSQi provides the results of a study based on analyzing continuous scroll rolling out in the desktop Google search results. Did the launch of continuous scroll in google's desktop search results impact impressions and clicks?
After the rollout to desktop, many wondered how continuous scroll would impact the visibility of rankings that were beyond page one. For example, for sites with urls ranking on page two, and maybe even the top of page two, the ability for users to easily scroll to additional pages of search results should lead to more impressions, clicks, and conversions. That’s the idea anyway, and something Glenn set out to analyze.
He walks through the process of analysis and in the end, it was inconclusive because GSC wasn't providing reliable enough data.
TOOLS AND RESOURCES
From our guest this week - Dustin Hyle. I asked him what makes Iridium Hosting different from other hosting companies.
So what is Iridium Hosting and what makes it different?
Iridium Hosting is a WordPress hosting company. It also offers WordPress management services that allow a site owner to focus on content instead of being hung up on the technical details.
While there are many WordPress hosts out there. We do things a little differently. We focus on site speed and security. To a level that the big hosts can't or won't.
Sometimes security gets in the way of convenience and workflow. Many hosts will turn off security features that cause complaints and for their help desks to get tickets. We work 1 on 1 to find work arounds for the client or fix the issues instead of just turning things off and lowering the security.
It is a more personal touch. We can't be the cheapest due to not having the volume discounts on software licensing and hardware but can make up for that by offering much more personalized support. There is no book to read a generic answer from.
The management plans are like an IT department for your website. Need to install a new Google Analytics code. Great, just send an email and it is taken care of. Many of our clients have skyrocketed their traffic since joining us because they focus more of their time on doing things that drive them traffic instead of trying to fight with technical things they don't understand.
Slim SEO Link Manager just launched and this is Link Whisper's main competitor, even overtaking LW in my opinion. The features are very similar, but Slim has a few key features missing from LW:
Auto update internal links when post slugs/URL changes
Bulk link updater in content (works well if you need to update an external links in all posts)
Dynamically find link opportunities with keywords when editing posts
They have annual and lifetime plans available. Lifetime may be worth it if you use LinkWhisper a lot. Their website shows a 14-day refund period too.
Use this coupon code for 20% off until Feb. 10th: LAUNCH20
A new AI content detector that says it detects ChatGPT and GPT3 content. It's pretty good in my testing of content. I'm going to continue testing it and see if how it goes, but it's doing well as of now.
Archivarix is doubling their prices on Feb. 1st!
If you don't know what Archivarix does, it's a tool to restore old websites from archive.org. Very useful.
Old Price: First 1k files $5 and $0.50 for every 1k after
New Price: First 1k files $10 and $1.00 for every 1k after
Until then, they're allowing current customers to double any new balance deposits to match the prices doubling.
Use this promo code after depositing more funds: OLDPRICES
My previous high for any website restoration was $5.88. Looks like that's going to be $11.76 from now on. Dang.
Disclaimer: Some people use it to restore content on aged domains until they can replace it with new content. This allows Google to start crawling the domain and get back some of its mojo (yes, technical SEO term) in the meantime. There are copyright issues with this method because it's someone else's content you are publishing.
This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know to create effective content briefs. Ensure your content brief is concise, clear, and actionable.
My Take: Read the WordAgents case study below and see their process for a content brief too. The brief is one of the most important parts of any article and thinking AI can do it for you isn't realistic if you're going after an authority site.
Getting ready for writing your next blog post? Matt Diggity covers his step-by-step process of how to write a perfect blog post.
Choose the Right Topic
GPT-3 was able to pass the final exam Wharton's Master of Business Administration (MBA) program!
Professor Christian Terwiesch, who authored the research paper "Would Chat GPT3 Get a Wharton MBA? A Prediction Based on Its Performance in the Operations Management Course," said that the bot scored between a B- and B on the exam.
Keith Mint shares how to add a "Last Updated" column in WordPress so you can see when articles were last modified - and he used ChatGPT to help him get the code to do it.
This data is extremely useful to help you know what content hasn't been updated in a while. You'll always want to keep content updated, especially if you're in a niche that's always changing, like technology.
Large Language Models (LLMs) like ChatGPT train using multiple sources of information, including web content. This data forms the basis of summaries of that content in the form of articles that are produced without attribution or benefit to those who published the original content used for training ChatGPT.
Search engines download website content (called crawling and indexing) to provide answers in the form of links to the websites.
This Search Engine Journal article takes a look at some of the ways LLMs are using content on the web and how to use robots.txt to block some of the AI crawlers out there.
Google has created an AI system, called MusicLM, that can generate songs given detailed text descriptions. But it won't release it for fear of the risks.
MusicLM is perhaps the first that can. Detailed in an academic paper, MusicLM was trained on a dataset of 280,000 hours of music to learn to generate coherent songs for descriptions of — as the creators put it — “significant complexity” (e.g. “enchanting jazz song with a memorable saxophone solo and a solo singer” or “Berlin ’90s techno with a low bass and strong kick.”
My Take: They're probably not going to release it to the public until their liability is clearer. I'm sure they want to avoid lawsuits that are similar to the AI-image generation ones out there.
FATJOE article on how to find and analyze your competitor backlinks to build your own and beat them out.
Step One: Identify Keywords
Step Two: Find The Websites That Are Competing For Your Keywords
Step Three: Compare Your Backlinks To Theirs
Step Four: Analyze The Quality Of The Domains
Step Five: Analyze The Quality Of The Links
Vincent D'Eletto and the continuation of their Authority Site Case Study that [TopicalMap.com] created a, you guessed it, topical map for. Love seeing how people put a topical map into use and Vin is definitely doing that.
This update talks about going from topical map to content briefs. He also does a fair bit of testing of the topical map and seeing how accurate it is. He tested the target keywords:
Identified the competitors for the target keyword provided by TopicalMap.com
Identified which target keywords each competitor used for their article on the same topic
Checked the SERPs for each competitor target keyword against the SERP for the topical map target keyword
"Lo-and-behold… TopicalMap.com came through in a big way. Each competitor target keyword SERP matched the SERP for the topical map target keyword...So, now I know I can target the topical map target keyword to obtain rankings, traffic, and topical authority rather quickly...This gave me A LOT of confidence in trusting this map going forward. "
And I love the thoughtful process that he goes through for his content briefs. I put a lot of time into my content briefs for writers and it seems that Vin does too.
If you want an authority site, it takes time and effort. ChatGPT won't be able to give you that.
Maybe if (when*) Google comes out with their own version of ChatGPT and it's model uses real-time SERPs, it'll be able to compete. But even then, there are still a lot of nuances that that a machine won't be able to get.
I love these lists that Glen Allsopp and others do that take a look at the SEO industry to see how various agencies, services, products, and SaaS tools are doing.
31 are shared here in this continually updated list.
Lily Ray highlights the domains and sectors that lost search visibility in 2022 after all the new SERP features and updates. Many different types of sites covered:
Publisher & News Sites
Product Review Sites
Dictionary & Translation Sites
Travel, Hotels & Airlines
Matthew Wallace from SALT.agency takes a look at the car insurance industry.
If this is a niche you're in or considering, you'll definitely want to take a look at this huge industry.
The leading air fryer domains and some examples of the tastiest content.
Which sites are doing well for one of the hottest culinary trends, and what can we learn from them?
Ahrefs shares updated blogging stats that they've collected. It's not just for the individual bloggers, but also for companies that do content marketing. Here are some interesting ones:
71% of marketers report that content marketing has become more important to their organization in the last year.
There is a strong positive correlation between word count and backlinks, but only up to 1,000 words. For posts longer than 1,000 words, there is a strong negative correlation between word count and backlinks.
80% of bloggers report that blogging drives results.
The bloggers who publish two to six times per week are 50% more likely to report strong results.
Bloggers who use 7+ images per post are 2.3X more likely to report strong results.
WordPress powers over 43.2% of the internet.
The average page in the top 10 is 2+ years old.
Only 32% of bloggers regularly check their blogs’ traffic analytics.
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Have a great week taking your niche sites to another level!