SEO Hacks; Google vs. AI Content; Flippa Scams; Evaluate Content Quality; Longtail Strategy Problems; Blogger Insurance; And Much More!
Ezoic's SEO Tag Tester tool is a great tool to A/B test page titles and descriptions. But you may want to delete outdated tests or risk old titles still being pushed to Google.
Yes, if you tested putting in the current year in review articles, you may want to delete the 2021 title tests from the Tag Tester list.
I found the issue when I was looking into Title and Descriptions that show up in the SERPs. I was shocked to see that Google showed "Best *** in 2021" for one particular post.
I double-checked the post on WordPress and there were no indications of 2021. Then I went into Google Search Console (GSC) to see what was going on. I performed these steps:
Inspect the URL in GSC
Test the Page
View Tested Page
Search the page HTML for "2021"
That's when I saw the old page title "Best *** in 2021" was still being pushed out by Ezoic. Everything else was 2022.
So even though the page title test ended over a year ago with the winning "Best *** in 2021" title, Ezoic was still pushing it out.
According to Ezoic's help page on Tag Tester:
Once the test has finished, Tag Tester will automatically change the title to the winning variation with the best “Total Score”.
But there's no "timeline" or other information about how long they will continue to push out the winning title. So even though you update the page itself and clear the cache, Ezoic is still pushing out the titles and descriptions from old tests.
After I deleted the old Tag Tests and cleared the Ezoic cache for the page, I went back into GSC and no longer saw 2021 anywhere in the HTML.
So when the tests are over, make sure you delete the old tests. That will stop Ezoic from changing the title or description of pages - especially if you're testing things like dates and numbers.
I don't know if Mediavine or AdThrive have similar testing tools, but you may want to check their testing tools as well.
Only one Niche Creator interview this week with Matt Seddon. He doesn't disappoint with all the information he shares in his Q&A. Check out his interview:
Are you wondering what SEO hacks actually work in 2022? In this video, you'll get 11 SEO hacks that will get you maximum traffic results with minimal effort.
These are the cheat codes that Matt Diggity and his team have tested that still work. These are all shared in his Affiliate Lab course
Most of these get into the gray area of SEO, so you will want to see what you're comfortable with.
Mass Page Sites
EMD (Exact Match Domains)
Ranking Google Images
Finding Accidental Rankers
Tier 2 PBNs
People Also Ask SERP features have bounced back up near pre-July 7 levels. Seems Google might have heard the outcry from SEOs and reversed whatever made it drop PAA results 50%.
This is also a good page to bookmark if you want to see changes in features in the SERPs.
The number of first-page results on Google has changed from 10 to 8 or 9. In this analysis of 20K keywords, Kevin Indig explain 4 important relationships to better understand the change.
Number of results
Query length and first page results
Search volume and first page results
This gets into something I mentioned before that a "Page One SERP" goal is no long a "Top 10" position for a particular keyword. SERPs have changed and you may need to be in the top 5 to even get clicks. It all depends on your keywords, the search intent, and what Google is now showing in the SERPs.
Here's a good recap from BrightEdge on what's changed over the last two weeks with Google. Google has made several significant updates to Search Central documentation that can affect how you approach SEO.
Google Disqualifies Weapons, Recreational Drugs and Other Products from Rich Snippets
Google Makes a Minor Change to Search Console Information About Anonymized Queries
Google Extends Structured Data Guidance for Courses
Video Indexing Report Is Available in Google Search Console
Google Adds Google Analytics 4 (GA4) Support to Search Console Insights
DuckDuckGo, Ecosia and Qwant Sign Open Letter on User Choice
Google Fully Retires My Business App
W3C to Become a Non-Profit
Google Test Celebrity Rich Cards
This is a summary of the most interesting questions and answers from the Google SEO Office Hours with John Mueller on July 1st, 2022.
PageSpeed Insights or Google Search Console ‒ which one is more accurate?
Does linking to HTTP pages influence your website’s SEO?
Should you delete your disavow file?
Is it better to block crawling with robots.txt or the robots meta tag?
Can you place the same URL within multiple sitemap files?
How to prevent embedded video pages from indexing?
TOOLS AND RESOURCES
A very handy, Free tool to retrieve data from Google Search Console into Google Sheets. Quickly get an import of pages and queries and their clicks, impressions, etc.
Danny Richman shares a cool GPT-3 script that works in Google Sheets. It will go through a list of keywords you give it and AI will determine whether the search query will result in a sale or inquiry for your business.
The script classifies each keyword as having either a “Strong”, “Medium” or “Weak” conversion potential. He says he's tested the tool on many different businesses and keywords, and found the results to be more accurate than assigning the task to a VA. They may not have enough familiarity with the business or its target market to make such determinations.
The only cost is GPT-3 credits. OpenAI provide $18 worth of credits free to new users. This is enough to classify approximately 3,000 keywords. After that, the cost works out at approximately $6 (£5) per 1,000 keywords.
Brand Overflow - They are relaunching their new direction. I've been using BO for a couple years now and it's changed a lot to try and make it more user-friendly. It has its pros and cons, so I will use it for things like a site audit and to see the backlinks profile. They keep their own backlink database and don't use someone else's API.
One big con for me is their keyword tracking tool requires a GSC connection. I can still add and track my own keywords, but I'd prefer not having GSC data in there too. I talked to the founder and they're going to make a way to hide the GSC data, but I still don't like sharing GSC access to tools. That's just my preference though. The pros of connecting GSC are they give you a better UI/UX to read and understand the GSC data.
Seodity - Seodity is an SEO platform packed with powerful tools for keyword research, site audits, rank tracking, backlinking, and more. Does many of the same things as BO and other SEO tools. So you will want to try them out and see if they give you the data you need.
Brand Overflow comes with a 30-day refund period and Seodity has 60-days through Appsumo, so you have plenty of time to test them out.
Nice conversation here with SEO Fight Club on Google and AI content. Lots of interesting info here. These guys are always on top of everything Google.
Google is authoring MUM, built on T5 and does content rewriting. T5 source code is out there too on Github, so they may push out a rewriter themselves.
They also get into GPT-3 Content Prediction Basics and how AI content detectors work. It's really interesting stuff, but can get a little technical. But it's not just about "non-sensical" content that AI writers output. AI writers have gotten better, so they can writer fluid sentences. But what detectors do is look at sentences and words, and what the next expected word is.
There are also discussion on tactics for how to change content to avoid detection as AI content. "For every 6-10 words, throw in a $10 adverb."
In the end, it's still the same conclusion that I've been saying: Google isn't able to consistently detect AI content (for now).
Anne Moss has been around for a long time, so she's seen how the industry changes from year to year. Here, she discusses the longtail keyword strategy and the challenges it faces.
Finding decent queries (very low competition yet enough potential traffic) is getting harder. Still doable – the queries are out there – but I have to spend more time looking for them.
She shares what she thinks about the future and explains why she's doubling down on longtail content production - even though many new publishers have the same longtail strategy.
If you missed it, you can read Anne's Niche Creator Q&A here.
Mushfiq discusses what to look out for when evaluating content quality for niche sites.
A checklist of 10 key questions for evaluating content quality
8 additional content quality factors to consider
Note here that quality is subjective and based on the person reading it. So take the article with a grain of salt. But generally, the article and checklist of factors to look out for are objective.
This is an important article to look at if you buy and sell niche sites.
Mushfiq has actively bought and sold over 152 transactions on Flippa since 2010. He shares the Flippa scams and red flags on the platform in 2022 that he's experienced.
Fake revenue screenshots
Fake P&L numbers
Fake (purchased) traffic
Google Analytics data missing
Selling at a “low” price (multiple)
Listing description is “Too Good To Be True”
Seller is not answering questions in detail
Random (and sudden) spike in revenues
Can bloggers get sued? Yep, you might've heard stories before. If you outsource content, it's double-checking plagiarism and image sources are one of those things that you or your content editor should do.
Carl Broadbent shares his situation with a trademark of a particular fruit. He wrote an article about growing a certain fruit by a grower. Apparently the fruit name was trademarked and a lawyer contacted him to take down or change the post.
Always good to think about the content you're putting on your site, whether the copy, images, and/or videos. Don't copy and steal content from other sites as it could be more trouble than it's worth.
Blogger insurance might be something you may want to look into for liability insurance if you're publishing a lot of content.
Discover how URL parameters impact your SEO. URL parameters or query strings are the part of a URL that typically comes after a question mark (?) and are used to pass data along with the URL. They can be active parameters that modify page content or passive parameters that are mostly used for tracking and do not change the content.
They are made up of key-value pairs, where the key tells you what data is being passed and the value is the data you’re passing, such as an identifier. They look like ?key=value but may be separated by ampersands (&) like ?key=value&key2=value2 if there is more than one pair.
The Google May 2022 Broad Core Update – 5 micro-case studies that once again underscore the complexity of broad core algorithm updates
Glenn Gabe of GSQi provides five micro-case studies that underscore the complexity of Google's broad core algorithm updates.
Case 1: Financial site surges (YMYL with UGC)
Case 2: e-commerce site drops (but only fringe blog content)
Case 3: Health and medical site surges (with heavy UGC)
Case 4: Entertainment community site drops – games, and more.
Case 5: Product reviews site heavily impacted by broad core update tremor.
Niche Pursuits discusses 17 of the top website brokers out there if you're looking to buy or sell a niche site. Do your research on them and see what is best for you.
Thinking about the Electric Bike niche? Or maybe you're in it now.
Sistrix does the majority of the industry and competitor research for you here.
Which domains are winning the share of search for ebikes? They look at two different types of users and expose the winning domains and content.
The Wordfence Threat Intelligence team has been monitoring a sudden increase in attack attempts targeting Kaswara Modern WPBakery Page Builder Addons. This ongoing campaign is attempting to take advantage of an arbitrary file upload vulnerability, tracked as CVE-2021-24284, which has been previously disclosed and has not been patched on the now closed plugin.
This is a good reminder that plugins are a source of vulnerability for attacks. Some security tips that I do all sites:
Change login page from /wp-login.php to /anything-else (I use WPS Login Plugin)
Stick to large plugins that are consistently kept updated
Install Wordfence - Rate limit, block specific URLs, and use their general best practices
Instagram’s latest ecommerce feature lets creators and small businesses take and track orders via direct message. The post came with an example DM session between Jaw Surfboards, a Maui-based custom surfboard maker, and a customer, where the customer pings to ask which of the company’s boards are best to do a 360 flip. Jaw recommends a type of board, the customer confirms it’s hip to their jive, and Jaw sends them a $300 invoice, still via DMs.
In his post, Zuckerberg said invoices can be paid using Meta Pay, aka Facebook Pay.
Google has started a new collection in their blog: Humans Behind Search.
These are profiles on some of the people behind Google Search. These can be interesting reads and it's possible to learn more about Search. Here's a nice example from a profile on Catherine, an Engineering Director for Search and a Tech Site Lead in the Google London office.
What do you think is a lesser known, but really useful fact about Search?
We’ve got a newish feature called ‘About this result’. When you’re searching for something, you can click an icon that then tells you more about how our systems determined a result might be a good match for your search. You can also find important context about a source or topic, before you visit a website. We’re trying to help people develop information literacy skills — so they can have more context about the sources of their information and understand how Search works.
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Have a great week taking your niche sites to another level!