Google Core Update; Featured Snippet Changes; Top SEO Tools; Internal Linking SEO; Trending Topics; SEO Tests; WordPress 6.0; and Much More!
I mentioned last week how one of my sites took a hit and there was a possible Google update, but they hadn't announced anything.
Well, the Google Core Update is now official. Hopefully your sites are benefiting from the update!
How can you avoid taking a hit by Google? Unfortunately, there's no way to 100% prevent getting hit by Google updates - don't listen to anyone who says that there is.
You can help your sites avoid getting hit by writing good content and following Google's best practices when it comes to content, links, technical SEO, etc. But there's no way to guarantee that your site won't get hit.
I have sites that have never been hit and have benefited, but I will never guarantee My Way works. And anyone who says things like "never get hit by Google updates" is full of it. Or most likely just trying to get your click and money.
Oh and notice the topical map above? It's the beginnings of a new site!
How many of you create a topical map to plan out your site's content?
I always start out with a mindmap version as it helps me to visually plan the site out. It helps ensure that I don't get trapped in a corner for new topics a year down the road. The niche has to have room to grow or I'm not interested in it.
Then I translate it into a spreadsheet, so I can organize the keywords/articles/writers. This is where the real work of keyword research comes. This helps inform me of what topics to go after 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and so on.
This is something that I do with people that I consult and coach.
Are you interested in learning how to create your own topical maps to more easily create a content plan for your site?
Hit Reply and let me know. Let's talk!
This week's two Niche Creators are very active in sharing their knowledge. They share their journey on YouTube and Twitter with loads of tips.
Check out their interviews:
The May 2022 Google Core Update has been announced. Looks like the update that started a couple of weeks ago or so has officially been announced. They usually test updates before announcements, so they can roll back any issues. That's why I (and many others) saw rankings and traffic changes a week before the announcement. It's out there now publicly, so if you're seeing ups/downs, that's why.
Guest host Emily Potter takes you through a few tests that generated unexpected results for her team at SearchPilot, and what those results mean for SEO strategy. Interesting results indeed from their 5 tests:
Using 'data-nosnippet' to force Google to show custom meta descriptions (negative)
Increasing the number of related article links (positive)
Localizing product content on U.S. e-commerce website (positive)
Adding prices to title tags (negative)
Adding keyword-rich alt text (neutral)
Google is testing some significant changes to featured snippets. Both will give searchers a more diverse set of sources in the coveted featured snippet position.
These featured snippets are 1 sentence or less. Check out the examples and you'll start seeing that 2-4 sentence featured snippets are not the norm in this case.
From the web. A typical featured snippet features text from, and a link to, one website. In this From the web test, Google shows brief excerpts from two or three different websites, linking to each source separately. Google also includes the site’s favicon.
Other sites say. There’s also another variation of this featured snippet test where Google groups three sites beneath the typical paragraph-style featured snippet, under a heading of Other sites say.
TOOLS AND RESOURCES
These are some content creation tools to help you become more efficient to pump out content faster and better.
WriterZen - I mainly use this for keyword research and clustering, but they also have AI content generation. This deal ends in less than 3 days.
Squirrly SEO - Alternative to Yoast and Rank Math. Use one tool for keyword research, content optimization, technical SEO, site audits, rank tracking, and more. Deal ends in less than 6 days.
YouPost - Converts YouTube videos into complete articles with text and pictures in one click.
Large list of 110 free SEO tools. I haven't heard of many of these tools myself. Looks like I'll need to find some time to go through many of them!
User experience (UX) is a major SEO factor according to Google, and that isn't going to change anytime soon. This is a good overview of why and what you should do about it.
It's an interesting topic because when I think of content sites that are monetized with display ads, I think of UX. I think of all the ads that take up over 50% of the browser window and crush the UX.
There's the bottom anchor ad, the floating sidebar ad, the video ad, the ads every couple lines in the content, the pop-up ads, and of course the super annoying interstitial ad when I'm trying to click to another page on the site.
But how are we supposed to make money if we don't show tons of ads and actually remove ads??
It's definitely a fine balance between encouraging visitors stay on the page and showing ads to earn money. No matter what, your content needs to be kickass for visitors to want to stay on the page and continue reading.
Just think about what you like and don't like when you're visiting a website and see ads. What you like is what millions of others will like. What you hate is what millions of others will hate.
But when it comes to content, hundreds of millions of people love great content. A handful of people love crap content.
Get an easy-to-follow framework and hands-on tips for writing good blog intros. 4 elements of a great blog intro:
It’s generally understood that external links (links from other websites) are typically more powerful than internal links (links from your own website). But let’s not underestimate the power of internal links. Because indeed, when used correctly, they can be very effective, as the data suggest.
For this study, Zyppy looked at 23 million internal links across 1,800 websites, representing approximately 520,000 individual URLs. They then compared those to data from Google Search Console to determine search clicks for each URL. Key takeaways from the study:
More internal links are associated with higher traffic, but only to a point.
Sitewide/navigation links seem to have a powerful effect mostly on larger, high-authority sites. The effectiveness is less clear on small, lower-authority sites.
Anchor text variety is highly correlated with higher search traffic.
Naked URL anchors don’t seem to hurt, and in fact, are associated with more traffic.
At least some exact match anchors are associated with significantly higher traffic.
Broken link building is one of the most popular link building tactics. Broken link building is where you find a dead page with backlinks, create a similar page, then ask people linking to that page to link to you instead. The idea is that they’ll swap the link because they don’t want to send visitors to a broken resource.
Broken link building is a four-step process.
Find broken pages with backlinks
Vet the backlinks
Create a replacement page
This uses many of the paid Ahrefs tools, but if you don't have Ahrefs, you can at least see the process and find other tools out there.
This is a good overview of internal linking and best practices for Google and visitors. Internal links help search engines and users discover and navigate your content. Learn how to create a spot-on internal linking strategy.
While I always recommend Link Whisper as my go-to internal linking tool, the actual process of linking should be thoughtful. Think about your clusters, what article is linking to what article, and the anchor text used.
No matter what internal linking tool you use, never use automated linking because you could be over-optimizing anchors, as well as linking to articles that aren't as relevant.
The 3rd Google Search Central Virtual Unconference 2022 took place on April 27. The facilitators took notes during the 25 breakout sessions and these are some of the key takeaways:
The organic and paid growth collaborations sessions found that often both organic and paid marketers work towards the same goal, so teams should look at the bigger picture to build better content and relationships together.
Real product reviews from blogs and community sites seem to be a great solution to drive conversions and get new customers at the start of the funnel.
The community around SEO and digital marketing is alive and well: the community seems to be becoming more supportive of one another and sharing more helpful content with each other.
Images still often provide a great way to quickly improve website speed by serving modern formats and the appropriate quality to different devices.
Discover how to establish a strong digital foundation to drive sustainable brand growth. No “hacks” needed. This is a good overview of the 6 foundational pillars of digital marketing:
Up-to-speed website UX
Optimized organic social
Performance-driven influencer marketing
Ultramodern paid media
Each niche site you have is a brand and a company. SEO is not the only way to drive traffic to your site. Traffic should be diversified to survive Google updates.
Ahrefs goes through their keyword list to find the top 100 trending topics. It's an interesting list because I feel like I've been living in a closet.
I haven't searched the top 5 myself, nor do I know why they would actually be in the top 5: who is bruno, kitagawa, harry richardson, 8812 form, and prevnar 20.
Go through the list and see if there are any that you should be covering on your sites.
Google Trends is another great resource to see how popular topics and search terms are currently and in the past. I use it all the time when researching niches and topics.
It's often a good idea to merge two blogs when they are in similar niches, or when the content could as well be presented as a category on that other site. There are several advantages to this tactic that he dives into in this video.
Maybe you're thinking about it for 2 sites you own. Or maybe you're thinking about buying a site. Hear what Morten has to say about merging sites.
Are you wondering how much 280K+ traffic a blog makes? Matt Diggity gives a detailed breakdown of the monetization tactics used for this health blog.
Total Earnings (Last Month)
Affiliate Marketing (Website)
Affiliate Marketing (Display Ads)
Affiliate Marketing (Email Newsletter)
Affiliate Marketing (YouTube)
Plans to Grow Revenue
Say hello to “Arturo” and WordPress 6.0, inspired by Grammy-winning jazz musician, Arturo O’Farrill. With nearly 1,000 enhancements and bug fixes, the second major release of 2022 is here. Here are some of the key updates:
Enhanced Writing Experience
More Template Choices
Additional Design Tools
Better List View
As always, I will wait until 6.1 or 6.0.1 before I update. This allows for the inevitable bug fixes, as well as for plugins to catch up and fix incompatibilities with the latest WordPress update.
LIKE NICHE SURFER?
Be sure to also join others riding the passive income wave in the Niche Surfer Discord group.
Have questions? Reply or email me at [email protected]. I’d love to know what you think and if you have any ideas.
I’d also appreciate it if you shared it with fellow niche surfers.
Have a great week taking your niche sites to another level!