August Income Reports; Blog Post and Content Brief Templates; Level Up Product Reviews; NLP SEO; Content Pillars; and Much More!

Issue 2


The Google Helpful Content Update is over!

It was more of a non-event until the last week or so with some sites seeing 10-30% moves. Of course, there were still some sites that took heavy hits or had big wins, but the majority of sites didn't.

I have 7 different sites I'm actively working on and one of them increased 15-20%. Another site initially dipped 10-15% a week ago, but has since come back up to where it was before the update started.

Now, are those changes due to the Update or just regular ups and downs of traffic?

For the site with the increase, I feel the Update gave me the boost because:

  • Rankings increased for a variety of keywords across numerous pages.

  • Pages that weren't ranking in the top 100 before were now inside the top 100.

  • Search impressions didn't increase significantly for the pages that were previously ranking well

Have you looked at your GSC lately?

Even if your traffic didn't increase or decrease, you should spend a little time and dig into GSC. Compare if there's been any movement for certain pages or search queries.

Maybe you lost traffic from one of your top pages, but you don't know that because the traffic was made up by a new page.

GSC is your best friend when it comes to how Google is treating your site.

One side not, this is Issue 99!1 more issue and Niche Surfer hits 100!



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This week's Niche Creator is James de Lacey! Ian is actively sharing on Twitter when he's not interviewing big wigs on the Niche Website Builder YouTube channel. I caught up with the host for his own interview:



The Helpful Content Update (HCU) rollout was complete as of September 9, 2022. It started on August 25th and there wasn't much action initially - throughout all of the update actually. There was a bit more movement in the 2nd week, but not as many drastic changes as the past Product Reviews and Core Updates.

Aleyda Solis has a good Twitter thread on assessing your site if you've seen increases and/or decreases in rankings in the past week. She covers assessment and optimization with flowcharts and spreadsheets.

Darrell Mordecai at Rank Ranger covers what Google's NLP is and how it affects your SEO. Natural Language Processing (NLP) algorithms is all about how Google understands your content.

When looking at NLP, it's good to perform some due diligence on tools that say they utilize NLP. Look into how NLP is actually used and if it's their own algorithm or they use Google's NLP API. I've seen tools that claim they use Google's NLP, but in the fine print, they'll say it's their own algorithm based on Google's NLP or something similar.

So are they saying that they were able to reverse engineer Google's NLP algos?

SurferSEO's NLP help page and WriterZen's NLP help page both explain that they use Google's NLP API and that's why they require extra credits for the features.


Good article on creating the content pillars that act as high-level introductions to a topic.

  1. Find the main topic to create a content pillar around

  2. Figure out what you need to cover in your content pillar

  3. Create your content pillar

  4. Create your cluster pages

  5. Promote your content pillar

Tied to content pillars, which are the central hubs of topics, are topical maps. One of the biggest things that topical maps give you is an organizational structure to the topics and subtopics. If you're making or ordering a topical map, make sure you get the structure along with the map, otherwise all you're getting is a list of keywords you can output from keyword tools.

Nice overview of what a content brief should include. They also give you a template to download.

I have a very similar content brief template that I give to my writers. I also give them the outline of H2-H4s, but give them the flexibility to add/edit/remove.

The Helpful Content Update emphasizes the importance of human-created content. But why shouldn't some content be created by AI?

Kevin Indig discusses some use cases where AI content is appropriate, including:

  • Meta descriptions

  • Product/category descriptions

  • Summaries

  • Definitions

  • Transcriptions

Google already uses their own AI to create content, so why isn't it okay for the rest of us?

Ahrefs sharing 4 types of blog posts templates that you can use:

  • List posts (listicles)

  • How-to guides

  • Expanded definition posts

  • Beginner's guide posts

Authority Hacker guys provide 11 useful hints and tips to creating excellent content that pleases you, your audience and most importantly, Google! Their tips include:

  • Comparison Headers

  • Quantitive Factor Scoring

  • Linking to multiple sellers

  • Hands-on Products (and if you can’t do it)

  • Webpages Vs Google Docs

  • Encourage User Reviews


Stephen Hockman shares 35 profile creation websites you can use to build profiles and backlinks to your sites.

It's a good list to reference, but not something that one should worry about for every site you create. I think it's good to create accounts/profiles for the sites that are relevant to your niche site. Other sites may not be relevant at all for your niche.


Jamie I.F. was a Niche Creator guest a few weeks ago and now he's on the Niche Pursuits podcast! Check out the podcast interview here for more of his advice and tips on how to build successful affiliate websites.

Lots of great information on having good website navigation on your site. After all, you want users to stay on your website, remember your site, and come back on their own in the future, right?

This article covers tips like:

  1. Use descriptive navigation labels

  2. Avoid format-based navigation labels

  3. Avoid little drop down menus

  4. Add a call to action to your header

  5. Groups items when there are more than seven

  6. The order of your website navigation is important

Did Google just kill Affiliate Marketing? Don't freak out. In this video, Matt Diggity covers his strategies to thrive in the current SEO industry after all the recent updates. He'll discuss things like:

  • Mega Sites Dominating The SERPs

  • Topical Authority

  • Quality Standalone Articles

  • Commercial Vs Informational Content Ratios

  • Backlink Authority



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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