Social Media, SEO, Expired Domains, the Shoes Niche, and More in this Issue
You ever have those weeks when things just seem to slow down to a crawl? Or when the days just fly by?
This was a weird week. The week started off with a bang with the highest visitors for one day ever on Site 1 with 1,702 users. Time was flying and I was crushing content. The creative juices were just flowing and I could clearly see the way forward.
Then on Wed, I started hitting a wall and the days were crawling. I kept going, but found myself having a hard time focusing, so I worked on the non-creative tasks like business/financial tasks. I guess it was good because I needed to catch up on some of those tasks.
So the Google reindexing tool is still down too, but I've figured out how to get my posts indexed in less than 24 hours. It's worked on Site 1 and a couple other sites that I'm not sharing publicly. I've listed the steps of what I do below.
A couple prerequisites: Your site must be in good standing with no manual actions and have quality content. If you have automated/duplicated/respun content, or loaded with spelling and grammar issues, this may not work for you.
Before publishing live on WordPress
Ensure you have internal links from 1-2 relevant pages from your site that are indexed and ranking.
Have 2-3 links to other relevant pages on your site
Embed a relevant YouTube video in the post
After publishing live on WordPress
Homepage - If you use a Homepage that lists posts, put the latest post there, so that there's an internal link from your Homepage.
Go to Google Search Console and enter your URL for GSC to inspect. It'll say "URL is not on Google," which is fine.
In the Top-Right corner, click "Test Live URL" and wait for it to finish.
Make sure there're no errors.
If no errors, then you're all set and it's just a waiting game.
The YouTube video is optional, but I've seen it helps index faster. I've been indexing without YouTube videos too. If you try it without a YouTube video and it's been 24 hours, try embedding a YouTube video and redo the steps in GSC.
Google SEO Office Hours from Nov. 10, 2020 -
Will Request Indexing Tool Come Back? (1:23 time mark)
Barry Schwartz asks John Mueller whether Google is taking away the Request Indexing Tool. This has been in responses to a survey that he sent out on Twitter asking users why they need the request indexing tool back - as if Google is contemplating not bringing it back.
Mueller said that while people do use it for good, there're also spammers who're using the indexing tool for their own spammy desires. He also adds that there are complaints of people who say their content is taking a couple of weeks to index and Mueller said that it shouldn't take that long. If it's taking that long, it could be due to content issues.
Btw...Mueller did say that they weren't planning to take request indexing away.
What's Google's View on Expired Domains? (38:33 time mark)
The user's question was whether Google resets the backlinks of expired domains when a person buys an expired domain. I'd say 90% of the reason to buy an expired domain is to take advantage of its backlinks.
Mueller discusses people buying expired domains or transferring old domains will not be going away. He says it's difficult to know whether someone is trying to gain better rankings through sneaky means. He talks around the question and doesn't answer it. But he did say that they have a hard time knowing whether or not someone is trying to game the system.
The result, get good expired domains if you know how to analyze them. Read my Site 3 Case Study as reference.
Google SEO Office Hours from Nov. 13, 2020 -
John Mueller answered a question in this week's 2nd SEO office hours session about duplicate, low-quality content on orphaned pages and whether they negatively affect a website overall. This occurs at the 9:47 time mark.
For those who don't know, orphaned pages are ones that have no links pointing to them from other pages on the site. The only way to reach them is directly, using the full URL.
Mueller's talked about the importance of internal links before, but I haven't seen him speak as definitively as he did here. He said if the orphans are not linked to, and they're hard to find:
For internal linking, I use Link Whisper (affiliate link) because it crawls your site to look for all the internal link opportunities. It'll give you the opportunity to adjust the anchor text and surrounding text to allow for smoother sentences, all without going to the post pages. It's been a big time saver.
Lots of other great info nuggets in this office hours session. He talks about being specific with keywords, don't worry about spellings, posts can be shown within a minute of being crawled (has happened to me many times), there are no specific plans for core updates by the end of year, how Google updates happen, and more.
It's only an hour at 1x speed, so if you play at 1.5x, you'll be finished in half the time.
Yes, Yes, Yes. Keywords are important.
If you're reading this, I'm sure you know that keywords drive your content because you want to rank for those keywords. Those keywords are what drives traffic, which is what we want with niche sites.
Jon Dykstra has said many times he targets long tail keywords and repeats it in his post. He talks about placement of keywords, not just in content, but also in URL, meta descriptions, and more.
I always create relevant social media accounts for niche sites as one of the first steps of creating a website. I don't wait to do it later.
Depending on the niche, the first set of social media accounts is a combination of FB page, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
I may not use them all initially, but at least I have them if I want to. Plus it also tells Google and visitors that my niche site is real. It makes the site more trustworthy. Here are the main things I do for the accounts:
Upload a logo
Fill out the profile and short bio
Enter the niche site's URL
Extra Credit: Post blog articles as you write them. This can be automated or you can schedule them in larger batches at one time. I use Publer.io to schedule the posts. This keeps your social profiles active and Google likes to see more activity. Even though the links from social don't give much, if any, link juice, it still shows there's activity going on.
Matt Diggity's interviews are great, because he just gets right down to meat of it. Ok, there're a few minutes of "get to know you" chat initially, but the rest is meaty.
He knows what his viewers want, that's why his videos are often short. For beginners, his videos are must-see. For experienced people, they're great refreshers, but you still might learn something you didn't know.
The YouTube video is embedded in the blog post, but if you'd rather read, the transcript makes up the blog post.
If you're up for another one, Spencer Haws interviews Diggity a couple weeks ago. Diggity gives out so much great info in this one about how he grows his sites.
I just came across the NextGen Ideas YouTube channel. He has many instructional videos that're pretty good for beginners.
These niche videos are good to watch if you have trouble assessing what niche to go into. These niche-specific videos cover how he researches keywords and their money making potential.
This video is on the Boots/Shoes niche, but he has videos on many other niches like clothing, baby products, beauty, electric scooters, and more.
I published Part 1 of my Site 3 Case Study on building a niche site on an expired domain.
This post focuses on the original goals for Site 3 and the process of setting up the site. That includes picking the niche, researching keywords, choosing the expired domain, creating/optimizing content, and the website's tech stack (which I use for almost every site).
Part 1 lays the groundwork for the next Part 2 where I go through all the mistakes and lessons learned. As you read Part 1, you'll probably start seeing some of the mistakes I made, especially when choosing an expired domain.