Top SEO Mistakes; Google Update Early Findings; Content Types; Footers; Personas; Wirecutter Case Study; and Much More!

Issue 2


There's so much craziness going on with the Google Update. This is one where there seems to be less rhyme or reason than updates in the past.

For every person who says the update is affecting A, there is someone who says A is helping their site.

There are also a lot more people complaining of sites losing all their featured snippets than in past updates.

While the update is still going on, there's not much you can do if your site has been hit, except to review your sites as objectively as possible right now. Look to see what can be improved.

If you think there's nothing that can be improved, then you're not looking objectively. Ask someone else to take a look at it because they'll be more objective. But be sure to ask someone who's more experienced and knows how to audit sites.

If you don't have someone else to ask, then ask me. I'm happy to help and give my thoughts.

As hard as it is, don't freak out. Wait for Google to confirm that the update is complete. Then take a look at your site and see what's been affected. See if there's anything that you can do to fix it or ask someone to help.



This week's two Niche Creators are very active in sharing their knowledge. They share their journey on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter with loads of tips.

Check out their interviews:

This week is also the start of interviews with SaaS creators who started out building niche sites.

Ben Adler started out building niche sites and that led to his creation of the popular Keyword Chef to easily find low-competition keywords.



Will James at Niche Pursuits covered the early May 2022 Google Core Update findings by Malte Landwehr on Twitter. Here are the findings from Malte so far with so additional discussion about what they mean in the article:

  • Video content (and short-form videos) should definitely be added to your content plan.

  • Focus on strengthening your brand and expertise in your niche.

  • Always try to match search intent by any means necessary.

Marie Haynes put together some early findings from others on Twitter. Do take it with many grains of salt. But it's interesting to see nonetheless.

I'm not a fan of these early findings and hesitate to share it, but I think it's more of a good example of no consistency, even though there are a couple instances where something happened. The sample size just wasn't big enough.

I just don't want anyone to make any major adjustments based off of findings out there. The Update isn't over yet, so it's all guesswork and findings based off of sites that they know intimately. My findings will differ from someone else's.

As I mentioned last week, it's still too early for others to come to conclusions. There are always people on the other side of what someone says. Then there are also sites that got hit that are baffling. Here are a couple:

  • Alexander Vasyov reported that his two year old informational website, with no link building done to it was hit. He said, “Been growing steadily (up to 125k visitors per month). Have never been hit by previous updates. No idea whatsoever why the website got hit so hard. No technical issues (GSC is green for Page Experience, CWV, etc.).”

  • Eral Kadrija said, No YMYL content, all information written by a native expert (310+ posts, 10 month old site and a normal back link profile. Lost 70% of the traffic last night. (May 31).

Of course I have my own 15 month site that got hit. 90% info content, the best content yet out of all my sites, good backlink profile...but still got hit majorly.

What's weird is it's a select group of articles, not even separated by category/topic because a couple topic clusters were split. One portion of the articles in a cluster were hit, while the others weren't.

The only thing I can see so far is technical issue with Core Web Vitals. These articles were considered "Poor" in GSC around May 26-29th and then the site was hit with the Update tweak on May 30-31st. Haven't been able to find any other potential issues so far.


As the Google Update continues, Si Quan Ong at Ahrefs offers up his top 10 list of SEO mistakes to avoid making:

  1. Not doing keyword research

  2. Not matching search intent

  3. Targeting keywords that are too difficult

  4. Not building enough backlinks

  5. Breaking Google’s Terms of Service when building links

  6. Missing internal link opportunities

  7. Not letting Google crawl your content

  8. Not letting Google index your content

  9. Having an extremely slow site

  10. Treating SEO as a one-time thing

Olga Zarzeczna at SEOSLY offers up her top 100 SEO mistakes from the SEO audits that she does. Many of these are often overlooked and I can find myself making sometimes if I'm not careful. Here are the first 10:

  1. Low-value links

  2. “Load more” instead of pagination

  3. No internal linking structure on top of “Load more” & “Continue reading”

  4. Homepage content invisible to Google

  5. Random/unrelated text in headings

  6. The corrupt and/or overly complicated structure of headings

  7. Random or no ALT text

  8. Canonical links pointing to non-indexable pages

  9. Duplicate homepages with incorrect redirects

  10. Menu links pointing to staging URLs


ContextMinds - Topic and keyword research tool meets mindmapping. This looks like it'll be more useful for topical maps and not so much for outlining individual articles.

Nifty - Communicate, collaborate, and manage your projects in a single platform. This is project management platform that I use with my team. I find it's the best out there and I've use ClickUp, Asana, and Monday. It offers the better combination of organizing tasks, messages, Google Doc files. And it's a lifetime deal.

Paced Email - Bundle emails into a single digest to declutter your inbox. I use this for 'throwaway emails' when I don't want to clutter up my regular email inbox.

NeuronWriter - Another SEO optimization and AI writing tool. Has SERP analysis for optimization suggestions and GPT-3 for writing.

AppSumo has also put together their collection of tools for those who publish videos and podcasts:


Theodor Porutiu at Authority Hackers covers the best AI content generation tools. I can't say I agree with his findings, but of course it all depends on the niche and their underlying AI, like GPT-3.

He finds Jasper as the best overall, but I feel it's expensive and the AI isn't consistently good enough.

AI writing is never consistently good, so I always look for unlimited content creation to cover those times when the output is unusable.

Jasper used to be the best for me, but then others got better. I started using Closers Copy, which is on-par with Jasper because they both use GPT-3.

I mostly use Frase now for content briefs/outlines, writing, and content optimization. Their AI is in-house and I consider it better than others, especially for lesser-known niches because it's the most updated that I've seen. If the AI is GPT-3, the data that it has won't be as recent.



Michal Pecánek at Ahrefs takes a look at the "Wirecutter effect" - describing recommended products selling out quickly once the review goes live.

  1. Send great E-A-T signals throughout website

  2. Provide great user experience

  3. Leverage your category pages

  4. Keep your content up to date

  5. Have a solid content distribution plan

These are the same things that everyone says about building a niche site, but you can see them in action with Wirecutter.


Website footers aren't talked about that much, but they can be a big part of how visitors and even Google perceive your site.

Amy Derungs at Niche Pursuits loosk at the design, best practices, and 21 great footer examples.

I usually start out with simple footers initially and then expand the footer as the site grows and gets more traffic. With more content, footer menus will help your visitors navigate your site. I like to keep the top menus as simple and lean as possible, then expand in the footer.

This is a good strategy that I like to employ actually. It's offering a structure to all your informational content, rather than a bunch of articles that aren't very connected.

This will actually help guide your visitors through learning about a topic, while keeping them on your site for a longer time. You can then turn that same content into an email course, online course, and book.


Unsure which types of blog content to create? Here's a list of 31 blog post ideas to choose from that your audience will love. Here are 10 of them:

  1. Listicles

  2. How-to/tutorial

  3. Question Post

  4. Ultimate Guides

  5. Case Study

  6. Product Review

  7. Review Roundups 8.comparisons (X Vs Y)

  8. Blog Roundups

  9. Guest Posts



Sam from Ahrefs offers up an overview Advanced Link Building series that will include:

  1. Fundamentals of Advanced Link Building

  2. Link Prospecting with Lookalikes

  3. Vetting Prospects with a Blitz List (current one this week)

  4. Outreach with 3 approaches

  5. Team Building, Systems and Workflows

Start with this first overview video in the list as there are already 10 videos in the series playlist.



Amanda Natividad at SparkToro gets into how buyer personas have grown into multiple personas that focus on purchase decisions, not just demographics.

She discusses multiple Audience Personas and how they serve as various “ideal customer profiles” across your marketing functions. Marketing stakeholders within your organization would use these personas, helping them to map ideal “customers” to their marketing objectives.



Neil Patel's NP Digital acquired one of the industry’s most popular search marketing tools, AnswerThePublic, which listens to autocomplete data at search engines such as Google.

NP Digital's Ubersuggest has already built upon components of AnswerThePublic technology to meet the specific needs of the Ubersuggest customer.

As you can see from the photo, one of Neil Patel's first steps is to put his stamp on the site.


Ahrefs has been crawling and storing data about the web for 12 years to provide its customers with its core product: an SEO toolset.

But they've been expanding and spending $60 million so far to build a search engine! The name of it is is also "Yep."

I guess this is one way to take advantage of all the data they've accumulated from scraping the web. They also claim they want to share 90% of the ad revenues to the content creators themselves.



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!

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