Yandex, Yandex, and More Yandex; OpenAI's Own AI Detector; Faceless YouTube Channels; Slow Ad Rates; Analyze Site Structure; and Much More!
Wow, can you believe January is already over?
It feels like just yesterday we were ringing in the new year! Time has just flown by.
This past month (few months really) I've been so focused on the topical maps course and scaling/training my topical maps team that I haven't had much time for much of anything else. But I wouldn't have it any other way.
After the course launches this coming week, I'm going to focus on marketing and spreading the word of the topical maps service.
I haven't put too much focus into marketing the service myself, but the organic growth has been great. all the marketing I've done is tweet about it and share the updates in my newsletter. Having happy customers make referrals is also a big plus.
The service has grown quickly and reached 5-figures in Dec., the fourth month. January also hit 5-figures. I never expected it to grow that fast, but I'm glad it did.
Only thing is the neglect to my niche sites. So now I've been looking at bringing on people to run the sites. I like to manage and run the sites, but I think it might be time to hire someone to do most of the day-to-day as I spend time more time on the topical maps side of things.
Who knows where this will all take me, but I'm excited to see what the future holds!
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Yandex is all the SEO world seems to be talking about. Everyone's looking for insights into how they can reverse engineer Yandex to beat Google's algorithm.
Rather than share multiple links about the Yandex leak, it's better to share just one and keep them all in here:
Alex Buraks - His Twitter thread is one of the first, if not the first, and has been referenced many times.
Ben Willis - Twitter thread of his insights.
Alton - Twitter thread of his insights plus a csv dataset with full English description and tags already split.
Matt Diggity - shares a video with highlights from the Yandex ranking factors in these areas: Traffic, User Behavior, Backlinks, Onsite Optimization, Technical SEO, and Miscellaneous.
Rob Ousbey - He created a web app to search the Yandex ranking factors by keywords.
Barry Schwarz - SE Roundtable recap article of the above Twitter threads and a couple more tweets.
My Take: Keep in mind that this is all for Yandex. Many of the ranking factors out of the 1922 are actually deprecated as well - 988 deprecated and 244 removed.
One thing that many people have been sharing as a negative ranking factor is too many numbers, non-letter characters, and slashes. I use slashes myself, but haven't seen any negative effects on using subdirectories. I don't go beyond 4 clicks either. But then again, I don't try to rank on Yandex either.
I wonder how many emails and DMs the Google team have reached that start out with: "Does Google have this ranking factor like Yandex ..."
Hopefully you've already created a GA4 property and let it collect data while still using Universal Analytics (or maybe it's just me?). If you don't have a GA4 setup yet, Google will start creating GA4 properties for you if you don't have one for your UA properties.
They will configure one with a few basic settings consistent with the existing Universal Analytics property; this includes certain conversion events, Google Ads links, and existing website tags.
For Universal Analytics customers whose websites are tagged with gtag.js or analytics.js (including through tag management systems like Google Tag Manager), They will create a connected site tag that will reuse existing tags when possible to send traffic to the new GA4 property. If you do not wish to have a GA4 property created and configured based on your Universal Analytics property and existing tags, you can opt-out of it too.
Google has a couple new updates to the video indexing report in Google Search Console:
Video Impressions Overlay - shows the number of daily video impressions over time.
The Search performance report groups video search appearances by property, not by URL, which means that if multiple pages show in a search results, we'll count only one impression.
Sitemap Filter - you can filter the Video indexing report to show only video pages that are present in a selected sitemap
Sam Underwood shares a couple ways to understand how competitor sites are structured to help you with your own site structure and SEO strategy.
Choosing your website's structure can be difficult. Card sorting and user interviews can help, but you may still be stuck trying to decide on the best approach.
Analysing competitors' sites can provide inspiration for what works. If the competitor's site is small, you can inspect it manually. But for large sites with 100,000s or millions of pages, you need a more scalable approach.
Use your competitor's URL structure
Scrape your competitor's breadcrumbs
TOOLS AND RESOURCES
Odys is offering 40% off selected aged domains in February!
Log in to the Marketplace
Filter by SALE
Browse the sale domains
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Ezoic shares their top tips to create a simple faceless YouTube channel that can make you extra revenue.
Pick a “Faceless” topic with a lot of potential content
Make sure you can make your videos as long as you want
Find a sustainable way to create and edit your videos
Figure out smart ways to build your audience
There's even a website dedicated to faceless YouTube channels, facelesschannels.com - talk about niching down!
Matthew Woodward has a good case study on AI content generators and detectors. He compares content from a variety of tools, including CNET's content.
One additional thing he tested was plagiarism with Quetext and it seemed most of the tools failed his limits for plagiarism.
I'm a fan of Frase myself and with their recent change to the GPT3 model (davinci-003) brought it to a whole new level.
Content mapping and internal linking are the primary tactics we employed to see massive SEO success from our pillar pages. Read on to learn how to implement a pillar page content strategy for yourself.
Moz shares interesting data of their 10 pillar pages against their 693 blog posts:
Pillar pages generate 4x the traffic of their blog posts
Pillar pages generate 10x more newsletter subs per page
Pillar pages capture 200x more backlinks and 5x more referring domains
10 pillar pages generated 30% of their total backlinks
10 pillar pages have earned 1,160 Page 1 rankings
OpenAI has launched a classifier (tool) trained to distinguish between AI-written and human-written text. Here are a few of their key notes:
OpenAI's pro-level ChatGPT service, ChatGPT Plus, has been announced and will start allowing people in from the waitlist starting in March.
The Plus plan will start at $20 per month and deliver a number of benefits including priority access and faster response times. It's not the $42 screenshot that was shared ad nauseam last week. Here are the main benefits from [OpenAI's blog post]: http://*GeneralaccesstoChatGPT, even during peak times Faster response times Priority access to new features and improvements
The free tier won't be going away either, so don't worry!
FATJOE is a top link building agency and they get questions all the time about backlinks. They share 9 questions to ask instead of the most common ones that we all ask. Here are some:
What Are My Link Building Objectives? instead of “How many backlinks do I need to rank?”
How Important Are Backlinks? instead of “How many backlinks is good?”
How Do I Analyze My Competitors’ Backlinks? instead of “How to check how many backlinks a website has?”
How Do I Monitor My Own Backlinks? instead of “How many backlinks does my website have?”
How Often Should I Build Backlinks? instead of “How many backlinks do I need per month?”
Your homepage is the most visible page on your website. For most companies, the homepage gets more traffic than any other page.
Designing a homepage and writing the copy is one of the great digital marketing challenges and homepage best practices can be a big big help.
Andy Crestodina, co-founder of Orbit Media, shares his best practices for homepages.
Your display ad rates taken a dive in January?
Ezoic shares their insights into why even the latest Q4 was lower than last year. They compare it to the ad rates since 2016 and share their predictions for Q1 2023 ("note especially promising").
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Have a great week taking your niche sites to another level!