Issue 5 - An AMAZING Week of Traffic and Earnings!
Google Search News - November ‘20 9 Risky Black Hat SEO Techniques to Avoid
The week isn't over just yet with the weekend, but this has already been the best week so far with traffic increasing day-by-day. On Tues, Nov. 24th, Site 1 had at 2127 sessions and on Fri, Nov. 27th, it's over 300% of that. I'll explain it all in the November income report, but Black Friday has been a big boost. Even the AWS outage helped drive traffic to Site 1. Site 2 isn't too shabby either with a 42%+ increase in that same time period.
I hope that your week has been great too!
John Mueller does these every once in a while where he gives updates on Google. Last one was a couple months ago, so lots of information here. Some of the highlights:
Rebranding to Google Search Central - No more Google Webmasters and the intro of a new spider bot mascot.
Request Indexing is temporarily disabled - Mueller again emphasizes internal linking to new posts and using sitemaps. In the Wave 2 issue, I laid out my workaround steps to get indexed within 24 hours. Give it a try if you've been having trouble getting indexed. Another tip, some caching plugins will cache your sitemap, so be sure to exclude your sitemap from being cached.
Page Experience Ranking Factor Update in May 2021 - This is all about Core Web Vitals and page speed. Start prepping for it early, because improving speed can take longer than you anticipate. He shared a Google Sheet made by Aleyda Solis that lists many free tools, guides, and case studies to help.
Off the Record Podcast - Go listen if you want to geek out with the Google team.
Do you wear a White Hat or a Black Hat?
Black hat SEO are tactics that are used to rank a website that violates search engine guidelines. White hat SEO is the opposite, only staying within the guidelines.
SEMrush lays out 9 black hat tactics that you should be aware of. They all violate Google's guidelines. To avoid manual action penalties, you'll want to know what these tactics are.
Automatically Generated/Duplicate Content
Misused Structured Data and Rich Snippets
As for me, whenever I hear White Hat and Black Hat being compared, I always think to one of my favorite comic strips - Spy vs Spy.
Black and White Spy were always trying to defeat the other, often with crazy tactics led to many explosions. There wasn't an overall winner between the two. But there was one person who would defeat both Black and White Spy consistently - Grey Spy.
I'll leave it there for you to derive where I lean when it comes to SEO tactics :-)
Hypothesis: Google reads everything in a title even if some of the title text is clipped by an ellipse (...) and the text is not visible in the SERPs
When creating your Blog Post titles, are you staying within the character limits of what Rank Math or Yoast tells you?
Does it matter if your article's title is long and will cuts off some words? If the title is cut-off, will Google still index and rank the cut-off words?
The team at Page Optimizer Pro put it to the test. The result?
Yes! Google reads everything and you don't have to worry if your keyword happens to be at the end of the post title and is cut off from being seen in the SERPs.
I'm still going to fit the title within the viewable area for SERPs, but it's good to know that there's no actual character limit where Google stops 'reading.'
With Q4 and the Holidays, traffic and revenues are on an uptrend. It's not a good idea to move your site's servers right now, because Googlebot will need to relearn how to crawl your site. This is from a Tweet by Google's Gary Illyes.
Fun fact: changing a site's underlaying infrastructure like servers, IPs, you name it, can change how fast and often Googlebot crawls from said site. That's because it actually detects that something changed which prompts it to relearn how fast and often it can crawl.
What's your strategy when it comes to content for your blog? Do you just put out as much content as possible? Do you blog more strategically around keywords? Do you go multimedia with your content?
Jon Dykstra offers up 3 main blogging strategies:
Crank n' Bank Blogging Strategy - Put out as much content as possible without the need for perfection. He said most content is from mediocre to good. The content is being put out en masse for low search volume keywords. If he publishes 50k articles and each article gets 3 visitors per day, that's 150k visitors per day. This strategy doesn't lend itself to affiliate revenue as much. His goal is to stake claim to the URL to start ranking for as many keywords as possible.
Rank n' Bank Blogging Strategy - While Crank n' Bank goes after low search volume keywords, Rank n' Bank goes after "lucrative keywords (high traffic and/or high buyer intent)." The articles take more time to write and rank, because the keywords are highly competitive. In return for the time investment, the affiliate sales and display ad ePMV will be higher.
Influencer Blogging Model - "The influencer strategy cares not for Google. Instead, it’s all about attraction via personality. It can be highly effective across multiple platforms such as blog, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and even Facebook." While the previous strategies don't necessarily focus on building a following, the influencer strategy is all about building a following.
I employ all 3 strategies now that I have my blog at yoyao.com and this newsletter. I can work in spurts with both the Crank and Rank strategies, taking long breaks whenever. That's the best part, earning money more passively.
The 3rd strategy takes up the most time and requires constant attention, but it's the most fulfilling. I feel like I can help others on their affiliate marketing journey (that's what I tell myself anyways!).
What about you, what blogging strategy do you use?
NO NO NO! My site's rankings are dropping!
How many times have you yelled that? Or how many times has it been your inner voice yelling that?
Bruce Clay is one of the most knowledgeable SEO's and he gives 5 areas to look at for reasons why your rankings may have dropped.
Competitors change - Just as you research how to outrank your competitors, they're researching how to outrank you. You'll have new competitors who appear and have the freshness advantage. Remember to continually keep an eye on the competition .
Algorithms change - Stay on top of algorithm changes. A big part of how you do that is to use proven SEO strategies. One of the best ways to weather algorithm changes is to ensure you have a sound website.
Expectations change - Stay up to date with search trends and search intent, because they evolve over time. Current events (e.g., COVID-19) will change search trends and a user's expectations.
Websites change - Changes to your website can affect your rankings positively and negatively. We all know technical issues can cause ranking drops. Refreshing content can cause a drop in rankings, but leaving content to become outdated can also lead to a drop. Damned if you do and damned if you don't. So what do you do? Make small, incremental changes to have better control over how they'll affect your rankings.
Other things change - Some of these are more external factors like customer service affecting brand sentiment, environment effects, and of course the good ole' Google penalty.
Ads.txt - If you run ads or you're preparing to, you'll know that you need to have the ads.txt file on your site. But what is it exactly?
Did you know "ads" doesn't stand for "advertising?"
"Ads" is actually short for The Authorized Digital Seller (ADS)?
Brands and advertisers looking for websites to advertise on look for the ads.txt file because the file contains the list of approved ad sellers for the site.
For example, if you allow Google Adsense ads on your site, you'll have "google.com..." listed in the file and that tells Brands that you allow Google's ad network. Brands will then purchase ad space from Google in order to display their ads on your site.
The file gets pretty long due to the long list of ad networks. Try it out yourself. Go to your website or any site displaying ads, and add /ads.txt to the end of the domain to view that site's file.
There's a hard way and an easy way to create the ads.txt file. The hard way is to do it manually. The easy way is to use a plugin like Ads.txt Manager.
If you like a good case study, Matt Diggity started a new one that he's calling - Project Cashflow.
He purchased an education micro-niche site for this case study, and he lays out his criteria for how he analyzes if the site has potential or not.
The site's average monthly profit for the last 12 months was $914 and he paid $31k for it, a 33.91x multiple. He says that successful sites in the niche are earning mid-5 figures each month.
It's a good read if you've thought about buying or selling a site. If you've thought about selling sites in the future, you'll want to keep an eye on factors that he looks out for when evaluating sites. That's going to help give you an idea of things you need to work on.
For example, How many of you maintain Profit and Loss (P&L) statements? I went to Georgia Tech, so I love my data and numbers. I shared a portion of my P&L statement in the October 2020 income report. If you're interested, maybe I'll share a P&L template with the numbers I track to show growth or declines.