Who Ruined the Internet? Google Core, Adsense, and Discover Updates & a Weird Niche Video Site

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Welcome back to another episode of the Niche Pursuits News Podcast. This week’s episode is seriously packed with a ton of important and interesting headlines in the SEO, digital marketing, and content creation space. So grab some popcorn, get comfortable, and let’s get started!

Spencer and Jared kick off the episode by talking about Google’s latest announcement about an impending November core update, which started to roll out on November 2nd. We can expect to see the effects over the weekend. They talk about Google’s explanation for the latest update and how there’s also a review system update coming next week.

Watch the Full Episode

Moving on, they share an article in The Verge accusing SEOs of ruining the internet. Spencer summarizes the 8000-word article and he and Jared discuss whether the author ultimately blames SEOs or Google itself for bringing down the quality of the internet. 

What does Jared think about the article? Is The Verge hypocritical for publishing an article like this? What happened to Danny Sullivan, the Google employee who responded to Spencer’s tweet? Tune in to find out!

The conversation then shifts to an article on Detailed, and a tweet, by Glen Allsopp, about product review affiliate keywords. Allsopp shares his findings after analyzing 10,000 search results and he shares some staggering statistics for sites like Reddit and Quora.

The next news item on the agenda has to do with Google’s efforts to fix a bug from the October 2023 update, which impacted Google Discover traffic. Does that mean people who got massive traffic from Google Discover recently will see it disappear? Will people without much Google Discover traffic see it increase?

Continuing with news about Google, Spencer and Jared share an article that shows how Google is inserting paid ads among organic search results. They talk about the implications of this move and how it may or may not affect publishers.

Then Spencer shares an article about updates to Google AdSense, as the network is shifting to per-impression payments for publishers. How will this impact their earnings? Why is Google doing this? Since the network has always been pay-per-click, this is a major change to how it functions. Tune in to hear what Spencer and Jared have to say.

Jared geeks out on the last news item on the agenda, an analysis of Google’s EEAT Knowledge Graph. A recent article took a deep dive into how Google understands what is and isn’t expert content and the importance of getting into the Knowledge Panel and building a brand. Jared shares some good ideas on how to get Google’s stamp of approval, so don’t miss them!

When it comes to Side Hustle Shenanigans, Spencer provides an update on his second faceless YouTube channel, for which the stats are underwhelming. As he is completely hands-off in this endeavor, his advice for anyone looking to do something like this is to be very involved and detail-oriented. Listen in to find out what he thinks about this business model.

Jared reports on his Amazon Influencer side hustle, noting that October was his worst month ever. Why was this? What’s driving all the volatility? What does he expect in the coming months?

There’s just a little bit of time left, and Spencer shares his weird niche site first: Astronaut.io. This fascinating site features videos from YouTube that have zero views. With 105k visitors over the last three months according to SimilarWeb, it seems that some people (mostly in Russia), are enjoying them.

Jared’s weird site is in the celebrity niche, Who’s Dated Who, which offers the dating history of every celebrity you can think of. He and Spencer discuss the site’s ranking system, how it might be getting its data, its use of a forum, and how it’s monetized. This DR56 site is ranking for over 600k keywords, and monthly estimated organic traffic of 1.2 million.

And that brings us to the end of another great episode. Thanks for tuning in for another week and getting the latest in SEO news. See you next Friday!

transcription

Spencer: ​All right, Jared, just, uh, just when I thought I was going to have a relaxing, uh, Thursday afternoon, um, as we get closer and closer to the time to record this podcast, more and more news comes out. Like, I kid you not, it was like 30 minutes before we were to hit record on this. You send me a link and I have another link with a different news topic.

You didn’t even read my link. That I didn’t even read your link. And they’re both like huge news. On top of the huge news we already had. And so, uh, I don’t know if apology is an order, but listeners, we’ve got a lot to cover. Uh, we need to strap up. We need to get through a lot. It’s like six or seven. I don’t know where we’re at now.

Huge headlines that, uh, we need to cover. So it is a lot. It is really important. Uh, and so I hope you’re excited about it. We’re excited about top talking about it here for sure. 

Jared: Few of these were, we literally just saw like 10 minutes ago, so it’ll just be almost reading off the teleprompter sort of 

Spencer: stuff.

Yeah. You know, um, and, and a couple of these don’t have necessarily, um, any deep analysis that could be done because they’re kind of announcements, Hey, this is coming, so be ready for it. And so you’re gonna be the first to know about that. And then, uh, with any remaining time that we have, we’re gonna cover our side hustles, uh, and then definitely gonna save time for the, the weird niche sites.

A couple of good ones, uh, it looks like today, uh, one that I’ve yet. Yeah, well, maybe don’t look 

Jared: at it. Just 

Spencer: wait. It’s, it’s, uh, I’ll just say it’s something that I knew about many, many years ago, and it just again recently popped up on my radar, and it’s just too good not to cover, so that’s a little tease for people.

Okay. Let’s, uh, let’s jump into the news, um, I think I’ve got it all ordered out here, but, uh, the, the big one that I didn’t even see, like, you messaged me, and then I messaged back, and I missed your news, man, Google has just announced there’s going to be a November core update, and it just started rolling out today.

Which would 

Jared: be, yep, Thursday, so when you’re listening to this, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, we talk about how typically these core updates take a couple days to get going. So probably this weekend we’ll start seeing some results from the core update. And one thing to note, they actually told us this so weird, all this communication coming in from Google.

We’ll talk about that later today in the news. Um, they said, why, they acknowledged, why another so soon after the October 2023 core update? We have different systems that are considered core to our ranking process. This month’s, November, update involves an improvement to a different core system than last month.

I thought a core update was the entire algorithm. It’s the core. It’s the core. We have multiple cores now? 

Spencer: We’ve got an offshoot of the core. Dual core? Quad 

Jared: core? I thought the entire algorithm. So now it appears core updates are like sphere updates maybe. Yeah. Quad Quadrant update. It’s a quadrant 

Spencer: update.

It’s a hub and spoke system. Right. It’s not the hub anymore. We’ve got one of the spokes of the core. 

Jared: You and I have been doing this so long now that you and I even have like the same jokes we have. We have when we, when we come off this thing. But yeah, I thought that was interesting, right? That it’s another core update, but it’s a different core.

Somehow it’s 

Spencer: a different core and like I didn’t even look at this entire, you know, update, but basically they’ve just announced that it’s coming out. And when was, when did the October core update finish? Like it was October 19th, I think. Okay. I was going to say second half of the month for sure. So it’s been like, um, 12 days, maybe 13 days, less than two weeks away, like another core update.

So Google is. Man, it’s volatile. It feels like. And, um, you know, is a lot of this in response to, to PR? Negative PR? You know, that sort of thing? Well, I was gonna 

Jared: make a, uh, I was gonna make a joke, Spencer, that, you know, we like to have lots of, uh, news here for the podcast, so they must have gotten your bribery check in the mail, but then I realized it’s probably an off color joke to make, given with the antitrust stuff going on, so I won’t make that 

Spencer: joke now.

That wouldn’t work too well, but, you know, hey, it plays well into my, hey, when Spencer speaks on Twitter, Google listens, right? We got, we got a core update coming. Um, no, I, certain I had nothing to do with this because there were bigger, uh, sort of PR things in the news that, that we’ll talk about here in a sec, 

but…

Jared: We are going to talk about it, folks. Yeah. 

Spencer: We are. We’re, we’re going to mention it. We’re going to broach the subject. We’re not afraid. Uh, but I guess as part of this, um, it also says that they expect to release a review system. update to start rolling out next week, uh, as 

Jared: well. And that that will be the last time they tell us about a review update going forward.

It will now supposedly be baked into the algorithm and no longer be announced updates. 

Spencer: Is that right? Uh, I didn’t get to that paragraph. 

Jared: We could have spent the entire news segment talking about these three things here. The core update in November, the reviews update next week, and the fact that they’re sunsetting official review updates from now forward.

Spencer: Yeah. So, um, you know, watch your ranking, see what happens. We don’t know what impact it’s gonna have, but there’s gonna be two updates next week. The core updates usually take about two weeks to roll out. The review system’s rolling out next week as well. So we’re gonna have two going on at once. Um, it’s gonna be a little bit crazy.

To 

Jared: say the least. They do say at the bottom of the article, they do address it like, Do you feel like there’s more updates happening this year? And then they have a recounting of how there actually aren’t. So, I don’t know. 

Spencer: I like this title. Aren’t there supposed to be no updates during the holiday shopping season?

Oh man, talk about hitting the money. Uh, you know. Uh, we do try to avoid having updates during late November and mid December. No they don’t. They do it every year. Every single year, we’ve seen it happen in, in December, so. Every year, 

Jared: but late November, early 

Spencer: December. Um, okay, we won’t rag on Google anymore in this segment, uh, because the next segment, there’s somebody else ragging on Google quite a bit, so.

Let, let’s do it, I mean, let’s just, uh. Address the elephant in the room here. If you are in the SEO community, you’ve probably already seen this article. It just came out yesterday. Uh, it’s titled lovingly the people who ruined the internet. Uh, as the public begins to believe Google isn’t as useful anymore.

What happens to the cottage industry of search engine optimization experts who struck content oil and smeared it all over the internet? Well, they find a new way to get rich and keep the party going. Boy, oh boy. Uh, 

Jared: obviously. Do you read the whole thing? It’s 8, 000 

Spencer: words. I read the whole thing. 

Jared: It took me three, three goes, but I finally got through it.

Spencer: did read the whole thing. And, um, so it, it, we’re not going to obviously review everything that was said here, but it kind of starts out kind of with that of like, man, there’s these people that just. Spammed the internet and made all kinds of money and now they’re having this big party and she attended a party that these people hadn’t met all these people in person, you know, these, this is the SEO underworld of people gaming Google and just making these search results terrible that everybody’s seeing today, you know, that’s the tone that she takes, uh, And so she tries to investigate and figure out who are these SEO people, how does Google work, and you know, gives the whole history, and yada, yada, yada, goes on, and um, it eventually, in my opinion, and maybe I’ll just give my opinion of this article, it actually, it feels like her opinion shifts.

As she does a lot of research and then shout out to lily ray who was featured in this article Who is the person that this author connected with to better understand the seo industry? She had a very positive opinion of lily ray and helped, you know Helping her better understand how the search engines works and actually Uh, are getting better.

Google’s required a lot more and more, um, of people publishing on the internet. Um, but I feel like her opinion slightly shifted and it, I wish I had the paragraphs, you know, pulled out here, but I kind of lost them in the 8, 000 words at some point where she makes a couple of positive comments or questions of bloggers, SEOs.

really aren’t the bad people that we think they are. Maybe Google has kind of mismanaged, um, you know, people publishing on the internet, right? And that’s her subtitle. If I hover over this, I don’t know if you can see this, but it pops up, it says, the secondary title is Did SEO Experts Ruin the Internet?

Or did Google? And so, that’s more the line of thinking that this the SEOs. Maybe it’s actually Google that has sort of trained people to publish content in a certain way. And now here we are, right? And so that’s my quick take. Happy to hear your thoughts, Jared. I 

Jared: think you got more value out of the article than I did, I’ll tell you that much.

I think it was a puff piece. I was, 

Spencer: I was looking for a silver lining. 

Jared: Man, you really dug deep to find it. I think it was 8, 000 words of No one came out looking good in this, there was just a lot of conversation, a lot of gross exaggerations, it sounds like what someone would say, you know, it sounds like when you, speaking of a party, it sounds like what someone would be ranting on and on about in the corner of a party after having too many drinks, you know, it’s like.

And you’re looking around like, are they ever going to stop talking? And they just keep going and going like, well, they have had a few drinks, you know, and tell me how you really feel. And it just feels like this big deal out of nothing. A lot of this is caricatures of SEO from 15 years ago. A lot of this is, is just.

Even the, the, the swing backwards to Lily, which, uh, you know, Lily did shine a little bit of good light on, but she even, uh, has gone on Lily to say that much of what she said was mischaracterized, and a lot of the positive things that she brought to light were left out. It feels like a piece that’s playing on Google’s negative PR right now.

Yep. From the antitrust lawsuit, and it feels like the verge. Went all in to try to get clicks and, uh, and buzz. That’s, that’s kind of what I think. 

Spencer: A hundred percent. Clicks, clicks and eyeballs. I mean, that’s why it was written. It feels like it was written by somebody that has never understood how search engines work.

Jared: I feel like this person must have worked at BuzzFeed for the previous ten years. 

Spencer: Yeah, very, very possibly. Um, and so, I mean, it’s a fascinating 

Jared: read. It is, and there’s some, there’s some truth to a lot of the caricatures that are made for sure, you know. There’s, you know, behind every joke, there’s a little bit of truth, right?

That’s what they say. So there is some, I’m not trying to throw the baby out of the bath water, but yeah. Yeah, 

Spencer: but, but also you make a good point. Like, every example that she gives is from like 15 or 20 years ago of these people that were spamming the internet and producing crappy content and doing black hat strategies.

All the stories she cites… are really, really old. Um, I don’t think she had any current examples. And in fact, she didn’t even try to share any search results that she found terrible, right? She’s saying, Oh, the Internet search is getting worse, but she didn’t share a single example. I don’t believe in this 

Jared: article.

You read it. She starts by saying, as people begin, I don’t have the direct quote, but as people now begin to not trust what Google has to say, let me give you it. All 8, 000 words about what was going on 15 years ago, versus, I would say, um, a piece like this that was equally as explosive, perhaps, was last year’s article in The Atlantic, which is very much a, here’s exactly what I did, here’s exactly what I got as responses, here’s exactly why that didn’t leave me feeling very satiated, and very, like, it was very helpful, right?

Like, Man, this is so different than last year’s scandalous piece from the Atlantic, which I would say is significantly more valuable in terms of presenting a well rounded argument with facts underneath it 

Spencer: all. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, this is very much an opinion piece, right? And it’s just a hot button because we’re SEOs and you know, she’s saying, um, essentially there’s a bunch of SEO charlatans out there smearing the internet with their, you know, terrible content.

Can 

Jared: you say the same about every salesperson in every industry? Couldn’t you say the same about. I won’t get into all, you know, I mean, it’s basically this concept of Hey, here’s a system and there’s always going to be gain, uh, inside of every system. If you play by certain rules, that’s the world that everyone lives in, even down to like doctors.

And I, you know, it’s just kind of these, these are, you know, 

Spencer: there’s bad, there’s bad actors in every single industry, right? Um, but she does, she paints the picture like, okay, it’s the majority of people is like, somehow it’s 95 percent of people publishing content on the internet. Are these bad actors that are just ruining the serps or something?

Jared: I got a text from one of my college roommates who caught wind of this article. And all it said, all it had was, in the text to me, all it had was a link and he said, I always knew. He was being sarcastic. Of course, yeah. I mean it was just made to, to, to, to, to draw. Uh, attention and stuff, but I will say one thing to comment on, uh, our, our, our, our last week’s subject of the podcast, uh, in many ways, Danny Sullivan behind Search of the A’s, and boy, they made, they made SEOs look bad.

They made Danny look really bad. Yeah, I 

Spencer: feel really bad for the guys. Boy, did they just 

Jared: go to town on him. Talk about They did. Grossly just taking like bits and pieces of a conversation and deciding that that sums up his entire personality and his whole life. 

Spencer: Right, you know, that he’s angry when he responds to people online, or he’s irate, or whatever character, you know, they said exactly, but he’s, you know, militant in his responses, and everybody’s an idiot around him, and I feel really bad, because then she also compared Matt Cutts to Danny Sullivan, and made, like, Matt Cutts is this lovable teddy bear kind of guy, and, you know, Danny Sullivan is this just black hearted, person that, you know, kicks puppies or something, you know, for fun.

Like, no, he’s a great guy, you know, he’s a good guy, he’s trying to do his job. And, uh… I agree, it’d be 

Jared: nice if he communicated more, but that wasn’t really addressed very much in the article. That’s all I care about is, hey, you know, can we talk more about, uh, about search results? But, uh, it’s so funny that that’s what we talked about last week, like how great it was to have Danny talking about search.

No one, no one was analyzing how gruff his response was or wasn’t last week. Nobody cares about that. I mean. No. No. Come 

Spencer: on. Yeah. Yeah. And um, uh, so, so yeah. Definitely a lot of it, um, was, was not accurate. And it got enough coverage that Danny Sullivan responded in, at length. Wrote an entire blog post in response to this article.

You know, basically clearing up a lot of things that were said. Again, the person that wrote the Verge article is not somebody that understands search engines or how articles, uh, rank in Google. Uh, and so she mischaracterized just a lot of very basic, fundamental 

Jared: things. So, here’s a random question for you.

It was clear based on Danny’s response, Lily’s response, a few other people’s, like, I feel pretty comfortable to say they got advanced copies of this. Which is standard in journalism? Like this. Do you think the fact that Danny saw this in advance and saw that he was being painted as someone who wasn’t public enough is part of the reason why you got so many responses last week?

Spencer: Hmm. Interesting. Interesting. Yeah. Here to stir the pot a bit, you know? Let’s let, let that rumor stew just a bit. Not that it matters much. See what happens. But that’s what we do, right? That’s what we do. This is, uh… This is our chance to have those conversations, but, um, you know, there’s some, there’s some interesting quotes, right?

This one that’s highlighted, you can’t just be the most powerful observer in the world for two decades and not deeply warp what you are looking at. Essentially, Google has warped, you know, how content is published and, you know, there’s, there’s lots more, um, at the end of the day, it’s Google’s world and the SEOs.

Are only living in it, right? And so, you know, that, that’s the thread of like, positivity, I guess, that, that I hold on to is like, okay, her opinion is slightly shifted of like, maybe it’s Google that is the one pulling all the strings, which they are, right? Uh, and it’s not the SEOs that are trying to be the bad actors.

I, I, I would just say that there are less and less bad SEOs in the world today than there was 10 years ago, by far, by 

Jared: far. And from a high level, I mean, look, if you’re worried about SGE, if you’re concerned about having your content not being stolen and ripped off and pushed down, I think this is a good thing for you.

I think this is a good thing for the publishers out there who want their content to long term be surfaced. The more, the more ire, uh, in this case, mostly untruthful ire, but the more ire that gets, Publicly, you know, circulated. It tends to go back to Google and will only, you know, um, intensify the overall view that people have.

We all agree like more, she says it in the article, more competition is really the problem. Google hasn’t had competition. And that’s what the antitrust lawsuit is about. That’s really at the core of what this article touches on. That’s, and that’s what we want more of because more competition means that.

Uh, more good content comes to the top. It’s a very, very, very, very hundred thousand foot look at things. But I think as an SEO, if you take a step back from, as she said, getting some stuff smeared all over you, like there’s some positives that, that this does in the world. Yeah, 

Spencer: I agree. Uh, the other interesting thing that I will just point out is, uh, again, she kind of talks about people that are, you know, almost just publishing content on anything, uh, that they want, you know, just pumping out content, trying to rank, trying to make money off of whatever display ads and affiliate revenue.

Uh, it’s just very. Uh, fitting, you might say, that The Verge, right here, has a whole reviews section, uh, and you can go to their buying guides, their speakers, I mean, they are one of the largest affiliate websites that there are, I mean, they’re coming in, I should find one that’s just like, something The Verge should not be reviewing at all.

I don’t know, cars, tablet, I, I don’t know what’s one that like, anyways, they’re reviewing everything they’re trying to rank in Google. They have a massive SEO team, right? And so if she wants to point the spotlight at anybody, maybe she should be a little more introspective on the verge and look at. Like her own massive SEO team and say, okay, are they doing things properly or not?

Right? She works for a company that’s doing everything she laid out in this article. 

Jared: And it’s worth noting that Danny poked the bear a bit on that one. He, he went directly at the head of, uh, the verges SEO team. Sighting interactions he’s had with them and also note Danny’s response was as Danny, not as his, not from his role at Google.

Just a couple things there, you can read into that what you want, but… 

Spencer: Fun stuff, a lot of good stuff, but it makes the news, right? And it’s a, it’s a lot of fun to talk about. So, um, I feel like there could be a lot more of these types of articles coming out because you said Google is in the news now more than ever, antitrust lawsuit.

Um, all of the movement in the Serbs, everything. 

Jared: It’s newsjacking, right? Like newsjacking is where you take an already established news topic and then you enter the equation with your own opinion, your own, your own news angle, right? And Google’s all over the news and it’s only going to continue until the dust settles on their antitrust lawsuit, among other things.

And so you’ll, you should see lots more of these. I’m surprised it took this long for one to come out, frankly. 

Spencer: Yeah, no, I agree. Yeah, there’s there’s so much going on with Google that that we’re aware of And one of those things that’s kind of comes from somebody that’s been inside the industry for a long time unlike the author of The Verge Glenn Allsopp had a Yeah, yeah, you know, on detail.

com, he had a great analysis on the helpful content update and what’s happened to some of the largest publishers that are out there, how their sites have moved up in the SERPs with some of the recent updates. And so, um, he did an entire article, uh, again on detail. com, um, I’m just, this is the tweet. Um, let me, let me actually share the, um, so people can go, I would recommend going to detail.

com slash affiliate serps, and then you can get this full analysis of 10, 000 product review search results to see who ranks is what this one is. So. Um, and again, it’s a lot here and uh, I’m going to go back over to the tweet because that kind of put just the, the highlights, the summary, uh, in a tweet that we can cover better in a soundbite of a news segment here, right?

Jared: I think a lot of this will sound familiar or at least corroborative to some of the stuff we’ve already been talking about over the last couple weeks in the news. But, um, but, but his findings are more intricate and detailed than perhaps we’ve shared, you know? 

Spencer: Yeah, exactly. And, and more, um, a lot more fact based.

Like, we, we’ve, people generally have come up with these same conclusions, but he really looked at, okay, here’s 10, 000 search results of product review affiliate, uh, keywords. Um, and he says Google’s latest updates caused the biggest shakeup I’ve ever recorded. And that says a lot because he’s been in the industry for 12, 13, I more years, right?

Uh, one site that stood out in particular, it was Reddit. Uh, the numbers 

Jared: behind it are. It’s 

Spencer: really interesting here. Uh, he says, Reddit is now the most popular product review domain on the English speaking internet, and it’s not even close. Now, the, the details of this are really fascinating because Reddit does not rank number one for all of these search terms.

And in fact, I think at some point he says that I don’t know that they rank number one for any of these terms. 17 out of 10, 000, 17 out of 10, 000. Thank you. Right. They only rank number one for 17 

Jared: of these terms. Oh, no, sorry. That’s Cora. I’m sorry. That’s Cora. Just to be clear. Uh, Quarreling Ranks. Uh, let me, let me try to find it.

No, no, it 

Spencer: was, that’s Reddit. Is it? Yeah, that’s what 

Jared: it Yeah. 

Spencer: Uh, you can read the article if we have the numbers off. But it was very few number one, uh, rankings, I believe. That’s the point. Reddit only picked up, yeah, 17 number one rankings. Um, but… They still are getting, uh, how, how, how did he put this? They, they get the most traffic.

They are ranking on the first page. Yeah. For top 10 results. For the most results top 10 results, 

Jared: they rank on the top, in the top 10 for six, 6,699 or 66.9% of the 10,000 cert results he analyzed, which. Insane, considering it’s not actually a product review website. 

Spencer: Exactly, and he says that’s double the number of results as the second place site, which is the New York Times.

I. E. Wirecutter. Wirecutter, ranks for 3680 search results. It’s considered 

Jared: the biggest and best product review website. On the planet, you know, 

Spencer: right. Covering things like best wireless keyboard, best budget laptop, best cordless drill, et cetera, those types of keywords, right? Uh, so in January of this year, Reddit ranked 235th by how many search results they appeared in.

In July, they rose to 160th and now in October. They’re number one. Okay. Uh, Quora also saw a massive jump going from 682nd most popular domain in July to the 10th most popular in October. Alright? So, 

Jared: I don’t mean to cut you off. Going back to last week’s conversation about Reddit potentially disallowing Google from crawling their site.

And they are, this week, the number one product review result. It’s insane. I mean, that story is massive last week. 

Spencer: And what’s interesting, I don’t think they’re going to go forward with that. Anyways, we covered that last week. If you want to listen to it, go listen to last week’s news podcast, but they’re not really making any money off of these.

I mean, they’re reddit themselves is not monetized with affiliate links. Of course they make, you know, add revenue and grow their user base and all of that. Um, but it’s just interesting that they’ve got all these. Uh, rankings now, and they’re not monetized with affiliate links, right? Um, so Reddit showing up a ton.

Um, anyways, here’s some more highlights, right? Forbes appeared in more search results than ever and picked up 29 percent more first place rankings. Amazon more than doubled their first place rankings from 95 in January to 195 in October. Uh, Condé Nast wired was present and 14 per 6. 14. 0. 6 percent more search results than in July and 27 percent more than in January.

Uh, there were more new domains ranking than we’ve ever seen, which is also a very interesting thing. 2, 947 domains from October’s analysis didn’t rank at all in January. Okay. There are new sites showing up, but the big players are all, you know, page one are getting the top rankings. Uh, so many of them. Um, boy, any other high level stuff you wanted to hit on with this one?

Jared: Uh, forums. He did comment number seven there, forums are much more prevalent. I think we know that, but evidence, proof, etc. Um, I think, again, referencing a story we’ve talked about a couple weeks ago with Mediavine and just kind of publishing their own results. Not only did Glenn go to all this great detail to outline how he analyzed, but then he had another industry expert, Cyrus Shepard, double check everything.

So I thought, hey, kudos to you, Glenn. We all trust you as someone who does such great independent work, but then you got it double checked, and um, Cyrus is another great person who does some fantastic data studies as well, so I think we can feel pretty comfortable with this data and these numbers, unlike some other of the uh, core update or helpful content update results we’ve, we’ve seen.

Spencer: Yeah, exactly. So yeah, verified results. Um, you know, a lot of interesting charts and graphs and other things, right? I’m just kind of going over. If you want to look at all of this data that Glenn has provided again, go to detail. com, um, slash affiliate serps and, uh, check out this analysis. There, there’s a ton here.

It’s, um, but yeah, the, the big picture is that sites like Reddit, New York times, Forbes. Quora, uh, other sites have seen a massive boost, unlike anything ever seen before, uh, since the beginning of the year. They’re, they’re, they’re dominating, right? We’ve seen this, but, uh, this data backs that up quite a 

Jared: bit.

Not great news for us, a smaller, more independent publishers, obviously, but, um, uh, you know, you can’t, you can’t help but feel that way, right? Um, and, uh, I probably not our place to speculate into what this means going forward, there’s so much going on, but… You know, um, the bigger getting bigger, I think the big surprise of the year is the user generated content, the forums, the Reddits, the Quoras, and it’s not just informational articles where you, you know, you kind of feel like that might have a better place, but it’s, it’s the product reviews, and like you said, unmonetized product 

Spencer: reviews.

Mm hmm. Yeah. Very fascinating. So… 

Jared: It’s hard to even call them a product review, for goodness sakes. It’s like a… An op ed almost. 

Spencer: That’s right. So, um, a lot of interesting things there. Uh, but let’s move on to our next item here. Um… Let’s see. I think the next, I may have lost my order here, but I think we’re going to go to a bug that Google fixed, um, is what I’ve got.

So, uh, there was a bug in the October, 2023 core update and it impacted Google discover traffic. Now, this is interesting for a number of reasons. Uh, one is because I saw record traffic days on Google discover, apparently while this bug was out, right from like October 15th, October. I don’t know, 17th or whatever.

There was about a week period around those dates, um, that I had record traffic days because of Google discover. Um, and then in their, um, their status report that they gave, uh, it basically said, Google says on October, on October 5th, we found a bug with how our October 2023 core update was applied to discover as of October 31st, we fixed the bug.

Some sites. may see an increase in discover related traffic as a result of this bug fix. So, they saw it, it took them three weeks to fix it, but it’s now in 

Jared: place. I couldn’t tell, and I think there was some confusion online as well, because I went digging a little bit. It implied that the bug negatively impacted sites, so sites that used to discover traffic were impacted by the bug and hopefully will start seeing it return.

I couldn’t tell if the bug applied to people like you, who started getting an increase in… Discover traffic. Does that now mean that spigot you got access to is now returned to its old status or not? I’m not sure. I’m not saying you know the answer, but it, it, people saw a sharp increase in Google Discover traffic.

A lot more sites are getting Google Discover traffic. And then a lot of sites that used to get Google Discover traffic got it shut off. And we, we know the latter is due to the bug. Not sure about the 

Spencer: former. Right. Exactly. And that’s, of course, what I’m wondering, right? Is did I get so much traffic because there was this bug?

Um, I, I, I don’t know. I mean, I’ve, I’ve gotten lots of Google discover, discover traffic in the past, right? Some articles take off. So I think that was probably just one of these cases, but it’s possible, right? That if all of a sudden the only time that your site has been getting positive Google Discover Traffic is for the month of October.

That’s maybe, maybe that’s because, you know, there was this bug. Um, yeah, hopefully that’s not the case for many people out there. Hopefully it’s good news in that people that, like you said, there’s been a number of reports online of people that have seen a dip in Google Discover Traffic over the last month.

And this very well is likely the reason that’s, that’s changed. Um, I’m just showing the Google status, uh, dashboard here that kind of shows, hey, they fixed it as of, uh, October 31st. We 

Jared: have a, uh, a larger, uh, international news website that we worked on before at our agency and they reached out, uh, in early October saying, what the heck?

It’s our discover traffic is gone. We get it every day and it’s now gone. I feel like I came out looking like roses right now, and I told them, Hey, wait for the dust to settle on the core update, call us back in November. And, and, whew, I, their Discover Traffic was turned back on yesterday, so. Oh, is that right?

Yeah, yeah, it’s back 

Spencer: on, so. Oh, that’s, see, there you go, you’ve got some direct evidence, uh, for 

Jared: the client a bunch of money, um, I haven’t talked to them, but I’m guessing they’re happy as clams now. 

Spencer: Yeah. I imagine so. I thought you were going to say, well, keep waiting until after the November core update now and then wait till after the December core update.

Jared: mean, I did just, I did check. I haven’t like validated the results. You know, GSC is a couple days removed, right? So, I just barely, I saw a little trickle of it on the graph and I was like, okay. This was announced. I see some trickle on the graph. I think that’s going to be the, the, the, the solution there.

So 

Spencer: that would make sense. That would make sense. Okay. So Google discover very interesting, uh, topic, of course. Um, 

Jared: we’re doing well here. We’re, yeah. Oh, we’re 32 minutes and nevermind. It felt like we’re only 10 minutes 

Spencer: in time. Time flies when you’re having fun. Um, We’re

going to make them quick. Jared, we’re going to make them quick. Those were the meaty ones. Those were the meaty ones, right? Because anytime Google adjusts how they do ads, that’s not a big news, right? I mean, that’s only where they get all their money. Um, so that’s not a big topic. Um, so Google testing ads between organic results, right?

Um, some people have spotted… Uh, ads within the organic positions of Google, you know, between, it says the third and fifth organic positions. And so there’s a couple of screenshots here on search engine land, right? You can see sponsored here after a few results on that screenshot. Uh, and then, well, there’s a video, but, um, basically same, same deal.

There’s, um, people are sharing a couple of screenshots. Let me see if I can get a better one. Uh. If I share this one, right, you can see, hey, here’s a Sephora ad that’s sort of in the middle of the SERPs, uh, as well. And is this all happening on mobile? Is that kind of, um, where people are thinking they’re seeing this?

I only see mobile, um, search results on this, so.

Jared: Shocking to me, they’re doing this in the middle of their antitrust suit when this is some of the stuff that, that they’re getting hammered about. But, um, man, this would be, uh, I suppose you could say that… Uh, traditionally not a lot of clicks go to spots, you know, say five or six anyways, so the impact on, uh, uh, SEOs might be more minimal than if they tweaked, you know, above the fold stuff, which is normally the, the, the area they live in.

I suppose that’s the silver lining there, but the landscape of the, of the SERPs just continues to get worse and worse for organic results. 

Spencer: Yeah, you know, it, uh, you always wonder what are they going to add, what are they going to take away, and I guess they’re always testing things, right? Um, SGE maybe is not going to be a very big impact at all, and, um, now they’re seeing what, what will happen if they add more ads in the middle of the results.

So, what’s that? Plan B maybe? Plan B, mm hmm. Yeah, um, always testing different things. So just, that’s one of those things, keep your eye on it. It’s kind of, um, uh, not rolled out to everybody. I haven’t seen it everywhere, right? But they’re, they’re testing that, so keep 

Jared: an eye on that. And they test a lot, you know, just if you’re new to this kind of genre, like, just because it ends up in the SERPs and someone sees it does not mean it’s going to stick.

Yeah, but it definitely means it’s on their minds. 

Spencer: Yep. Absolutely. Money is always on their mind. Uh, and in fact, the other side of the coin here is, uh, they’re making an update Google AdSense. And this is near and dear to my heart because This is how I first monetized my niche websites when I started online back in, I, I think, I don’t know, 2007 was probably when I got my first Google AdSense click, um, right, so, so many years, so, so for several years, that’s how I essentially made all my money, um, before I got serious, uh, was with Google AdSense, and it was always like, man, you get paid per click, just somebody, one click, and I made a Dollar, you know, sometimes usually it was 5 cents or 10 cents, right?

But sometimes there’s a dollar, 2 right per click, but they had to click. Uh, now they’ve just announced that, uh, AdSense is updating its revenue share structure and moving to per impression payments for publishers. So that’s big news. Um, because well, one, they’ve always done it on a pay per click model. Uh, but two, we don’t know how that’s going to impact.

Publisher earnings like I don’t think there’s any evidence to say. Oh, you’re gonna make more money now, or you’re gonna make less money I don’t know the answer to that. I don’t know the answer 

Jared: This could yeah, it’s been an entire hour talking about this I mean, yeah, I guess there’s not much except to theorize on but Um, when they say that this update will provide a more uniform way for paying publishers for their ad space across Google’s product and third party platform, What could be more uniform than just paying when something gets clicked?

I’m not trying to even be facetious, I’m actually, I, like, I, Impression seems to be a wildly disparaging, um, impact on everyone. Google, Publishers, and Advertisers. So, I’m fascinated by it. It doesn’t feel like something they’re doing, um, uh, you know, ad hoc, right? Like you said, like, they’ve always been pay per click.

This is really interesting. 

Spencer: Very fascinating. And, uh, two, two things that, that I do wonder. Uh, well, one is, will advertisers now that advertise on the Google Display Ad Network, Google AdSense, right? If you want to buy ad space on somebody’s website through Google, are you now paying on a per impression basis?

Um, right. Because in the past you’ve, you’ve paid per click as an advertiser, right? Um, so I don’t know that answer. So does the model change for advertisers, uh, as well? Uh, and then the other interesting thing is that. Mediavine, Raptive, uh, Ezoic, you name any other ad platform, they all pay on a per impression basis.

Um, right? And so it almost, I, I don’t, I don’t know. Is that just now become the industry norm? And AdSense has been dragging their feet for 20 years? Kind of like, hey, we were the first. This is how we did it. But now there’s so many other ad networks. They’re all doing it on a per impression basis. And Google finally is the gorilla that’s moved over.

Jared: Yeah, I just was thinking about it from the publisher’s standpoint in terms of the, sorry, the advertiser’s standpoint, not the publisher’s standpoint. And, um, those are some good points. I mean, certainly, as a publisher, we’re very, we’re not used to, I’ve never, you know, I don’t really worry on Mediavine how many clicks my, the ads on my website get, right?

We don’t think about that. We could care less about that. That’s up to them to figure out with, um, we’re really up to the advertiser to figure out. Um, yeah, maybe because we get paid for Mediavine and Raptive and all of us get paid on that level, maybe the Google’s just… Deciding that that’s the way that they have to use.

I mean, do you think their hands been forced here? 

Spencer: I don’t know. I don’t know um I was just looking at how they’re kind of doing the revenue share structure to see if that would offer any any insights But so I will read this paragraph because it’s kind of interesting and maybe it’s related to that question Previously, the Google AdSense network processed fees with a single transaction.

We are now splitting the AdSense revenue share into separate rates for the buy side and sell side. For displaying ads with AdSense for content, publishers will receive 80 percent of the revenue after the advertiser platform takes its fee. Whether that be Google’s buy side, Or third party platforms, you know, honestly, we probably just need to bring in an advertising expert that is more familiar with the buy side, sell side and how the networks all work to really get some answers on that question.

Yep. 

Jared: Uh, one thing to note, we expect these updates to go into effect early next year. So 2024, so we won’t see any of this in Q4. 

Spencer: Yeah. Okay, well, there we go. That’s what we have to say about that. If this does impact you, if your site is monetized with Google AdSense, read up on this even more. Uh, or if you’re an advertiser, you know, be aware of this.

Don’t 

Jared: forget, uh, Google’s, you know, very altruistic, of course. Uh, they have a, a wonderful line here at the bottom that reminds us that advertising technology helps fund the creative and diverse content we all enjoy online. No mention of the 150 billion that it also puts in their pocket, but I digress.

Spencer: That’s right, that’s right. You know, just buy some Google stock, Jared, and you’ll be good on either of these. I own some Google stock. Okay, alright, good. I do. Maybe we need to put a disclaimer. We are Google part owners. Good point. Uh, you know, so take everything we say with 

Jared: a grain of salt. Don’t worry, I don’t own, I don’t own enough to keep it, to let it keep me up at night.

They’re 

Spencer: not answering your calls yet. No. Okay. Um, all right. This one, I think the last news topic that we got to, I think we did pretty good. We moved through these a little quicker than I thought these last few anyways. Um, and to be honest, I’m going to basically let you take over and kind of geek out on this one.

But yeah, this one’s yours. Digging deeper 2023.

Update. If that doesn’t sound exciting, I don’t know what does. Oh, this 

Jared: is the stuff. I, I, I really do geek out on this. And this article that was published on the 30th of October. It’s on Monday by Jason Barnard. And I was telling Spencer off air how much I just look up to what Jason has done over the… I think he’s probably been in this industry 20 years now, to be honest with you.

I think his claim to fame is he had a website that was live before Google was live. Oh, nice. Yeah, I think that… Old school. That’s super old school, right? But, um… You know, Jason’s behind a lot of what goes into the knowledge panel, the knowledge graph. You can kind of look into it, KubeCasa, all that kind of stuff.

But he picked up on a massive shift in what was going into the knowledge graph in July of 2023. And then he noticed and analyzed a lot of results as it related to the helpful content update. And how they almost reprioritized the way that a lot of things were being done. Now, I… Would highly recommend everyone go read this, because it’s incredibly important as it relates to helpful content update in my opinion, and in Jason’s opinion, and he’s a lot smarter than I am.

But it, it, it really has to do with, um, tying in how Google understands what is expert content versus what isn’t, and what is EEAT and what isn’t. Um, and so some of the big findings he shared is the percentage of personal brand SERPs with a knowledge panel, and personal brand SERPs are like non, uh, company.

Branded SERPs. So personal brand SERPs of the knowledge panel increased from 38 percent to more than 50%. After the helpful content update, uh, there it is, you’re right about to get to it on screen there if you keep going down a little bit. It’s those charts right there, there you go. There we go. Um, and this, so he says, this is truly a person update.

Corporations and organizations. It stayed the same at about 40%. So now the percentage of personal SERPs of the knowledge panel increased over 50%. This is putting a massive increased onus on what Google understands in their knowledge graph and their knowledge panel, which is a collection of trusted websites, in other words, getting sourced or cited on this collection of trusted websites.

And you do that enough, Jason actually says about 30 times, you can actually get in the knowledge graph, whether it’s you, whether it’s an author on your site, whether it’s the brand itself, this stuff is becoming more and more important for EEAT, helpful content update, etc, etc. Uh, he goes on to say, we know that helpful content updates focus on improving Google’s ability to deliver the best solution for the most credible source.

Google’s 2023 July Knowledge Graph update added a layer to the September helpful content update. Uh, Google talks about an improved classification. He goes on to talk about N E E A T, which I think he has talked about notability and transparency. But basically, he says at the bottom, and so I’ll just read at the very bottom here, for writers or author entities, if you are in any of these three situations.

You know, basically it’s time to build your personal brand and get your Google stamp of approval in the form of a knowledge panel. It’s time to work on the knowledge panels for your key person entities to leverage as much E E A T goodness as possible. Um, and over one third or, you know, a huge increase in that that came out of July and now the helpful content update.

Spencer: So the number of people with a knowledge panel or brands has increased by one third? Is that what you’re saying? The visibility 

Jared: of the SERPs with knowledge panel. Entities has increased by one third. Okay. 

Spencer: Got it. 

Jared: So kind of reading way way too far on that Like if you have a knowledge panel associated with your website your visibility went up by quite a bit In the helpful content update one could say a third.

Spencer: Yeah, and so, um, What what’s a takeaway? What do we do? Right? Um, clearly this is intertwined with the helpful content update What’s something that people can do? To, um, yeah, kind of, uh, that will help their website now that they’re aware of this sort of big update that came out as it relates to the knowledge graph.

Jared: Get yourself in the knowledge panel. If you can’t get yourself in the knowledge panel, start working with people on your website that are in the knowledge panel. It just became 33 percent more important. 

Spencer: And how, how do people do that? What’s some, what’s some takeaways there, right? 

Jared: So search for authors in your niche that are already in the knowledge panel and get them to write on your site.

Even if you have to pay 500 bucks an article. Get them on your site, get them to write three or four articles, get them to have an author bio. That would be a great place to start if you ask me. Yeah. 

Spencer: Yep. Getting well known people, industry experts, right? To, to write for your site and kind of, kind of puts a stamp of approval on your site in a way, right?

Or, you 

Jared: know, get someone, keep writing all your articles and then maybe pay someone by the hour to review them, right? And so you don’t have to pay as much to have them write it. But have them come in and stamp they’re reviewed by this knowledge panel person. And, and then maybe you’re actually getting more bang for your buck because you’re spreading that.

Authority across more pages on your site. Again, I’m thinking outside. I’m just thinking out loud here. Yeah. Yeah. 

Spencer: So is there a list of sites that Google has publicly listed? It says, Hey, if you are an author on these sites, that’s going to get you listed in the knowledge graph. 

Jared: Not that Google’s listed, but could be Casa has.

Spencer: Okay. Where do we find that? 

Jared: Uh, I think it’s kubicasa. com. Let me see. 

Spencer: Hold that thought. There you go. Cause, uh, you know, it sounds like, hey, if, for example, if I’m going to go out and say, you know what? I want to, uh, write an article for, uh, Business Insider or, you know, I want to pitch Forbes, right? Maybe I find my targets of who I want to go out and pitch article ideas that, hey, I’m knowledge about, knowledgeable about SEO and I want to write a.

A guest, um, article, right? A contribution? I can sort of narrow my list down to some of these sites. By the way, 

Jared: I’ve been saying it wrong. It’s CaliCube, not KubiCasa. CaliCube. CaliCube. Man. Okay. This is what happens when you have eight news articles. Um, Yeah, you might be able to pick up on some client work I was doing this morning from that.

We’ll just go ahead and strike that from the record. CaliCube! 

Spencer: Yep, I see it. K A L I Cube. CaliCube. I 

Jared: have a couple of these a week. That’s probably my… My biggest faux pas on the podcast that I can think of yet. Yeah. It’s Cali 

Spencer: cube. It’s all good. So people can check that out. Yeah. If you go 

Jared: to Cal, I think it’s Cali cube.

com. It is in the article. Um, and, uh, you know, Jason is with Cali cube, right? And so, um, Uh, many know him to have had a significant role in the Google Knowledge Graph and Knowledge Panel from many years ago, and so you can kind of, kind of go through there. They have a pro offering, but I think if you just, you know, there’s a lot that he publishes on CaliCube that you can glean from.

For example, he talks in this article right here about how CrunchBase is now a much more important role, has a much more important role in the Google Knowledge Panel than it did before, and so he has a lot of great insights you can, you can learn from. 

Spencer: Interesting. Good takeaways. Yeah, people can check that out.

CaliCube. com. Uh, no association for me, so, um, use at your own risk. Exactly. Uh, uh, so, okay. I think we did it. Should we just shut it down, or should we go ahead and cover our side hustles and, uh, weird niche sites? Man, I guess, I guess we better cover it. 

Jared: I already just stuck my foot in my mouth once, so who knows where this is gonna go for the remaining bit of time.

Spencer: You know, we said we’re gonna do it, so we better do it. Alright, I can be quick. We’ll, we’ll, we’ll make these quick, um, for sure. So, yeah, side hustles, um… I mean, look, let’s be 

Jared: honest. You just got back from FinCon and people were raving about weird niches. We can’t leave that one off the 

Spencer: table. Exactly, exactly.

So, uh… Got, gotta keep the people happy. Gotta keep the listeners happy. That’s what we do. So I have been working on, and I’ve mentioned this in the past, um, I’ve been working on a, um, faceless YouTube channel. And so I thought I’d provide an update. It’s been at least a couple of weeks since I’ve shared an update on that particular project.

And, uh, like I do, I share both the good and the bad. And, uh, I just want to look at my stats and they don’t, they don’t look great, uh, if I’m honest, uh, so, um, But this is what I, this is what I gotta do. I gotta share it. So this is a second Faceless YouTube channel. Starting, starting to make me wonder about the power of faceless YouTube channels.

Um, this particular channel. Yeah, yeah, it’s kind of going the opposite of hockey stick growth. If you’re listening to 

Jared: the podcast, just think of the opposite, the way you want a graph to look. 

Spencer: Yeah, yeah. No, exactly. So, um, my channel’s gotten 17, 114 views in the last 28 days. Which Not bad until you see what it’s done in the last week.

I, I don’t know what that number is, but it’s well under a hundred views a day, uh, is what that graph looks like. Um, and of course we’ve only put out one video in the last couple of weeks. But, uh, yeah, kinda just… Um, figuring out what to do this channel. I, this is 100 percent outsourced. I’m not doing any of the work, so I can’t complain, um, for, for what’s happening here.

I mean, I can complain, but, uh, I can also say it’s not my fault. Uh, other than, you know, I outsourced that I picked somebody to do it. And this is the results that we got so far. Not what I love seeing, but definitely we’ve got a bunch of videos in the works. We’re going to start publishing them. We’ll see what happens and.

I do what I do. I’ll share if it goes up or down. Uh, but this is what I had to have. So, uh, if you’re going to do a faceless YouTube channel, you probably need to be very involved. You need to make sure that the right decisions are being made. The thumbnails, the titles, uh, everything, right. It, it’s a lot of work, like anything, like there’s very few businesses you can truly just start and outsource and see a ton of success.

And so maybe that’s just what I’m seeing 

Jared: here. Let me ask you. Uh, let me ask Hot Take Haas what he thinks, 

Spencer: uh, just from a high level. I thought we were going to let that die last week. I thought it was a one hit wonder. Um, not so much. Okay, 

Jared: I get the hint, I get the hint. We’ll just go back to Spencer. Uh, is it, like if you had, and I know I’m making a gross exaggeration in this question, but is it the model or is it the execution?

Because I know a lot of us are fascinated by this idea of… Faceless YouTube channels. You’ve done a couple now that have had different reasons for not succeeding, right? Like you had the, the copyright strike on one of them. Now you’re having just poor performance metrics. Like, is it the model that doesn’t work or isn’t working?

Or do you think it’s, no, it’s, it’s a good model. It’s just we haven’t executed properly maybe. 

Spencer: Yeah, I think it’s execution. Uh, right. I, I do think, because I do see a lot of channels, and there’s different levels of this, right? Um, like the, the spammiest channel you can think of that’s just all AI content, AI generated, right?

That’s, that’s kind of very low level content, and that’s not gonna work. I’m, I’m definitely a step above that. Uh, our, our channel is. Um, and it provides interesting content, but maybe it needs to be executed better, at a higher quality level. I think that’s part of it. Uh, but then I do see channels out there, that just do an amazing job.

That is, you never see the face of the owner, right? It’s, it’s clips or commentary. Um, I, I think if you have the right niche and the right angle, this, this model can definitely work. Like, I, I wouldn’t say give up on YouTube, or faceless YouTube. It’s just… It’s a lot of work, right? It can’t be hands off. So it’s an execution problem, for sure.

Okay. Am I up? What do you got for us? Yeah, I’m gonna let you go now. 

Jared: Okay, uh, I’ll give an update on a couple of things. So it, uh, let’s see. I’ll start, I’m gonna go out of order here, Spencer. Uh, I’m gonna start with Amazon Influencers. October’s done and in the books now, at the time of recording. And October…

Was my worst month since the very first month I started. Is that right? Now, I want to walk everyone through a month in the life of an Amazon influencer in terms of the results. Just to paint a picture of exactly how volatile it is. And, you know, again, Spencer and I both committed like, We’re in, we’re in it until the end of the year and then we’ll kind of reevaluate.

And who knows, November and December, I still am just as… Bullish on it being amazing as I am on it being terrible, right? Like I’ve literally, if, if, if anything, this last month, we’ll show you why I have no clue. It’s coming. Um, so I made 1, 760, which is below the 2, 000 mark for the first time since my first month on the program.

Now. If you remember, Spencer had been talking about how September and early October were really, really poor. They had actually pulled all the videos out of the carousel, which resulted in really low clicks. So, in October, the first nine days, the first of the ninth, were super low clicks, super low earnings.

The 10th we had prime deal days, which I presume, even though there were very few results, the sharp increase of traffic led to an increase in clicks, a good sharp increase in clicks, and a good sharp increase in revenue. But then as soon as those two days ended, Bam, the 12th, the 16th were back down to super low clicks.

Now looking back at it, the 16th of September was when we stopped having good clicks, and that dropped off a cliff. The 16th of October was when it went back. Exactly one month later. Not exactly Einstein here, but you know, 30, 30 days later. So from the 17th through the 26th, clicks were back to normal. We were all celebrating.

Last week in the podcast we were saying, this is great, and then I get a message from Spencer on Sunday morning, I think it was, and you’re like, Dude, have you checked your results? And I’m like, no I haven’t. They were zero. There were no clicks. And I’m like, oh my goodness. So I, you know, we all start messing around.

Um. Long story short, uh, I don’t know if Amazon and Republican came out or if there were screenshots of, of specific messages, but basically they confirmed like, whoops, we got an error going on now. Now we got a reporting error. And so from the 27th of October through the 30th of October, there was nothing.

There were no, virtually no clicks and virtually no income. And then by the 31st, we were back to normal. Back to being at normal clicks as we go into November. And so that’s just a one month snapshot of a life in the Amazon influencer program. It is great because you could still say that I uploaded hardly any videos in October and made 1, 700.

Yeah. And yet it is so volatile, man. It’s like a rollercoaster ride every week. 

Spencer: It’s so up and down. I’m just looking at my graph right here and it’s, yeah, you explained it well. It’s three or four like big ups and downs in, in a period of one month. It’s insane. 

Jared: So, so, you know, I just thought I’d share the volatility.

I think that’s probably the most volatile month we’ve had, but I mean, I, they’re so pretty volatile now. I, I share one more little thing. I never would’ve considered this a side hustle, but I realized that, um, you know, I, I, I guess in, in, in almost on accident, I have a little side hustle. So remember a couple weeks ago.

I shared about a little helpful content update spreadsheet that I made. Yes. Put up on Gumroad and made it free. Um, I had it up. I said, I’m going to keep it free for four or five days. And I just posted on Twitter, talked about it here. Ended up getting almost 2, 000 downloads. Holy cow. Almost 2, 000 downloads.

And guess what? You could, people could, uh, I left it open. I didn’t even realize I could do that. But I guess by default, you leave it open to people being able to donate. Oh. And out of the almost 2, 000 people, now I did go on to raise the price, and I did make a little bit of money. But I ended up making, so far I’ve made 809.

95 off that. Is that right? And I looked it up, over 75 percent of that has come from donations. 

Spencer: Really? Yeah. Just out of the goodness of people’s hearts. 

Jared: So, I mean, it took me a couple hours to put this together. I put it together for myself and thought, ah, I might as well share it with people, you know?

Like, I’m, uh, I just decided to do that, and I shared it with people. And I do charge for it now, because it was popular, and I’m like, this does have value, I’m gonna charge for it now. Uh, but for a period of time, it was free, and I’ve made almost, I think over 600 on donations. And the, the, the, the, the, the spreadsheet is made over 800 now.

So anyways, man, got me thinking, great side hustle there for people who like to crunch data and produce. You know, these kind of things like, um, that, I mean, you know, I’m not going to retire on that, but that’s, um, that was just, uh, for a couple hours of work, to be honest with you. 

Spencer: Yeah, that’s pretty good. Um, and so that’s, I mean, that’s a pretty significant influx of new email subscribers, right?

Just, uh, the, the 2000 email subscribers are more worth more than the. 

Jared: There might have been a reason why I decided to give it away for free. 

Spencer: Yeah, yeah, I may have hit on that. 

Jared: Uh, you may have, you might have hit on that, yeah. Um, yeah, it certainly, uh, I think everyone’s winning there, right? Because a bunch of people got a new spreadsheet to use, and they get access now to my wonderful weekly emails at Weekend Growth.

Who’s not winning there? 

Spencer: That’s great. Well, it also speaks to the power of this podcast, right? We got lots of listeners. It’s not all of it, right? You mentioned other places, but you know got a little influx, you know, it didn’t didn’t hurt and so I’ll give a little tease Uh, I wasn’t planning on doing this, but I am releasing a video on Monday on YouTube, uh, one of the first, like, truly produced videos on YouTube.

And there will be a mention of a free download that you can get during that video, uh, that it’s completely free. And so, uh, people, people be on the lookout for that video and the free download that I will be giving during that. So there, there you go. I’ll take donations if you want, but, uh, I don’t have that on the landing page or anything.

So. 

Jared: It is an interesting idea, and I just, I, I, there’s this, there is this thing in marketing called reciprocity, like where the idea of giving something to someone does create almost a, a reciprocity in, in us, a reciprocity effect, I’ve never experimented, experimented with the donation side of things. And to be fair, I didn’t know that was a gumroad thing.

I didn’t even know I didn’t turn it on. It just defaults to being on to my knowledge, but it’s an interesting model. Like, you know, kind of saying to people, I know that that’s the old carwash strategy I did when I was raising money back in high school for my church. It’s like, you don’t charge for the carwash.

It’s a free car wash, but we’re here to raise money. Donations are accepted, right? And we’ve taken that into non profit on the board of directors. I’ve, um, when I’ve been on for non profits as well. So, duh, I’ve known about this model for a while, but it’s very interesting. I didn’t realize and to see it playing out.

But anyway, that might give people some different ideas. Yeah, 

Spencer: no, that’s a good one. People might be able to run with that. So maybe your 

Jared: video on Monday, a little 

Spencer: donations accepted at the bottom. There you go. Add a little Patreon link down at the bottom. So, uh, okay, let’s, let’s do our weird niche sites because I know people have been hanging on the edge of their seats since we started this podcast to do it.

And we don’t have much time left, but don’t worry, we’re not going to cut it short. We’re, we’re going to do a analysis here of the weird niche site. So. I have one that, uh, I, I haven’t known about this particular site for very long, but I’ve known about this idea for a very long time. I don’t remember how many years ago I read an article.

It was all about a niche website that showed you videos that got. That have zero views on YouTube. They’re not popular videos. They’re so unpopular. In fact, not a single person has watched the videos and it was a website that would source these videos for you. I, I don’t know if that website I originally read about so many years ago is still around, but I found another one that is around.

Uh, it is called astronaut. io. And so I’m going to just share this. Um, It’s just such a fascinating idea to find videos, uh, that have not gotten any views at all. Um, oops, I’m sharing the wrong, there we go. I think I got the right tab this time. And basically it says, okay, uh, today you are an astronaut. You are floating in inner space 100 miles above the surface of the earth.

You peer through your window and this is what you see. You are people watching. They are fleeting moments. These videos come from YouTube. They were uploaded in the last week and have titles like… DSC 1234 and image 4321. They have almost zero previous views. They are unnamed, unedited, and unseen by anybody, but you, right?

Anyways. And so you hit go and it just randomly shows you videos that nobody else has watched. And it’s so funny because they’re all titled, you know, image 0032. Um, this one’s image 0133. I don’t know what this is a sped up angry birds 

Jared: video, a lot of angry birds. 

Spencer: And then somebody else. Uh, yeah, I don’t know, movie one oh, and so what I’ve done is I’ve clicked on YouTube and this will take you over, um, to YouTube, and this shows that it does have, sorry, I’ve got sound going on two speakers now, um, this has been viewed like two times, right, but that’s it, right, it was uploaded, um, four days ago, right, and I don’t know that it’s a great video, probably not, right, but here’s another guy, Christmas, Doing a, um, okay.

I got to hit pause cause I got sound coming through my headphones, but basically that’s, that’s the whole website videos. So maybe I will stop sharing that, but, uh, you get the idea is that. Um, all of these videos have not been viewed, uh, any times at, you know, essentially at all. Um, this site does not get hardly any search engine traffic.

Jared: was going to say, plain views, videos that people don’t want to watch, seems like a recipe to not get many views on your website. 

Spencer: Yeah, but I find it fascinating. For me, it’s just like peering at the… I don’t want to say underbelly, but just kind of like this, this deep, long tail of YouTube, right? There’s all these videos that get all these watches.

We all watch Mr. Beast and all the popular videos. But there’s like this long tail of millions and millions of videos that, you know, Grandma didn’t know she was uploading this video to YouTube, maybe, and just other things. I find it super fascinating. I’m going to probably watch a few more videos, uh, later today, but, uh, the website, according to SimilarWeb, does get 105, 000 visitors a month.

Oh, geez. That’s, uh… So there you go. That’s noteworthy. I mean… Actually, I take that back. I think that’s over the last three months. July to September 35, 

Jared: 000 ish. Yeah. Well, that’s still… 

Spencer: And everybody’s coming from Russia. I just noticed that. 63 percent are coming from Russia. Uh, so it must be a Russian website.

Um, and it’s, I, uh, most of the people are coming from boardbutton. com. That’s the top referring website. Uh, anyways, so… 

Jared: We talk a lot about how bad content never even gets indexed by Google nowadays. You brought up such a good point, like… My gosh, YouTube’s paying so much money to store all these videos that never even see the light of the day.

Yeah, I’ve never heard of YouTube getting rid of videos. Imagine if YouTube was like, if your video doesn’t get a view in the first 30 days, we’re just getting rid of it. It’s too much bandwidth. It’s too many gigabytes. 

Spencer: Yeah, and so it’s, I don’t know, it’s just fascinating. I mean, just, if you want to see what real people are like in the real world, this is gonna be, you know, pretty close to what you’re gonna see.

It’s just somebody took a random video of doing something, rummaging through their garbage in their backyard, and that’s it. Even better, 

Jared: if you want to feel better about your videos that you’re starting to publish on your YouTube channel, I was moaning about how hard YouTube was last week. You want to feel better about your videos, uh, just go watch some of these you’ll you’ll feel better I’m just looking at a few of them on my other screen right now.

So the sound doesn’t come through and 

Spencer: Yeah, it’s good to, you know, uh, if your video ever shows up on Astronaut. io, I’m sorry, you know, I apologize. That 

Jared: also would be true. I was gonna make a corny joke like, oh, you’ll probably see one of my videos up there pretty soon, cause I am struggling with getting a lot of views on 

Spencer: YouTube.

That, that would be funny if you randomly said that. No. Saw somebody, you know. No, it wouldn’t, um, I wouldn’t ask. You might chuckle about it. Alright, so that’s my weird niche site. I don’t know that they’re making any money. There might’ve been display ads on there. I didn’t really pay attention. I didn’t see anywhere.

I, I didn’t see, yeah, I bring up, I didn’t, I didn’t see any ads, so, so maybe we won’t dive into that too much because you got yours and we won to leave it a little time, uh, for that as well. 

Jared: Well, I seem to have cracked the code here. I, I don’t know if I just sound desperate now, but I’m, I’m starting to get many people reaching out to me with some weird niches, so, whoa.

Thank you. It’s working. Yeah, it’s working. Desperation. I think people heard it in my voice. They heard the plea. Uh, this is another one that a listener sent over and thank you so much. Um, this is, uh, let’s see. Who’sdatedwho. com. Navigator of the world. And here it is in all its glory. And now I, I know I did a weird niche many months back, uh, on some bachelor gossip website.

So I feel like this one’s kind of Bachelor Pete Reality Steve, I think. That’s him, yeah, Reality Steve. Bachelor Pete, Reality Steve, you can tell how much I watch this stuff. Bachelor Pete. 

Spencer: You’re back in the celebrity 

Jared: niche. I’m back in the celebrity niche, though, I can’t get away from it. So, this is pretty fun, to be honest with you.

It’s basically like the Wikipedia of Hollywood dating. 

Spencer: Yeah, so why are people trending? I don’t know why people are trending. What does that mean? 

Jared: So there is some like, ranking system, like they’re ranked number 68, as you can see right there, Louis Partridge. Um, I don’t know what the ranking has to do with, I was hoping maybe you could help me out here.

They have big banners across the people’s image, like single, or in a relationship. Um, you can get. The dating history of every A, b, and C and D list, celebrity you can think of. Um, there you go. Taylor ranks number three. Uh, number three, overall, I click on Taylor Swift. I don’t know who could be higher than her at this stage, but 

Spencer: I don’t if she went down to over the last down she dropped.

I don’t. I don’t know. I don’t know how to see the leaderboard. I’m not that familiar. Can’t you just click on it? Uh, well, I clicked on it. 

Jared: Just search for it up in the top bar there. You can search for anyone you want. No, the menu bar up there on the left. Well, let’s, 

Spencer: let’s browse popular. Am I not sharing?

Oh, okay, there you go. There we go. Uh, oh, number one is Matthew Perry. Okay. You know, news, of course, recently of his passing. So that’s why he’s, uh, he’s up there. But I don’t even know who Joel Lemongun is. I don’t either. Sorry if I’m… Like missing out on all the filipino film director 

Jared: Wow, he’s skyrocketed from number nine to number two.

Spencer: He’s in one relationship Um, Jim. Okay. J to Jim P Poko. Mm-Hmm. . Jim 

Jared: Poko. There you go. Must And they have all information there. Be new. Yeah. Maybe that is new and that’s why it’s trending up, obviously. Yeah. I would expect, I assume Taylor Swift with her. Uh, you know, even I am enough up in my celebrity gossip to know what is going on there.

Yeah. But, um, I mean, if you click in on one of ’em, let’s, let’s look at it really quickly and then I’ll give you some of the metrics on it. Click on Taylor. Okay. Okay. 

Spencer: Let’s look at Taylor Swift 

Jared: here. My sisters, everybody here will know Taylor. I feel like him. Yeah. So Taylor Swift is, she’s had 14 relationships in total.

We’ll walk you through every single one of them here. Um, apparently she’s dated someone as recently as Matthew Healy this year. Um, uh, so, you know, if we start to look at the mechanisms of this, there’s definitely a programmatic play here. I don’t know where it’s getting its data. I will say that last week, one of the sites we reviewed, as soon as Spencer and I hit the record, stopping record button, I realized that they pulled their data from Wikipedia.

Spencer: Oh, yeah, that’s right. 

Jared: What site was that? That was a history 

Spencer: one? Yeah, the history… I don’t know. So, but there’s 

Jared: clearly a programmatic at play here. Um, uh, Their traffic, so if we go over to, um, Oh, at the bottom, sorry, let me stick with here. At the bottom, they do have a forum. It appears to be, I don’t think it’s their forum.

I think they’re like almost API ing in, maybe? It’s, it’s called the Famous Fix Forum, but it is located on every single page. 

Spencer: Mm, yeah, yeah, I can see the comments down there, Discussion Forum, there’s 2, 788 on Taylor Swift. 

Jared: So, join the Famous Fix Discussion Board, I don’t know if that’s theirs, but… 

Spencer: Right, maybe 

Jared: so.

It’s littered with sponsored content, and it’s that kind of content that like, is meant to be, speaking of BuzzFeed, like… Very tailored to a celebrity, gossip, Taylor Swift kind of, um, thing here, you know? Yep. Um, and your photos, these grandchildren look exactly like their celebrity, blah, blah, blah. Right. Um, so that’s kind of stuff.

And those are, those actually, on sites like this could pay fairly well from my understanding. Um, so a couple things if you go over to Ahrefs, um, which you don’t necessarily need to pull it up on screen, but there are some interesting things there. Uh, they’re a DR56. They have over 600, 000 keywords, so finally, Spencer, I’m bringing a site to the table that actually gets a lot of traffic.

1. 2 million, uh, estimated monthly organic search traffic from Ahrefs. I’m sure SimilarWeb would be much higher on this. Um, the traffic’s at an all time high for the website, actually. They did take a little bit of a bump, a downturn, on the October core update, but that was less than 10 percent from what it looks like.

Other than that, if you kind of come back, the traffic’s at an all time high. And hey, you posted about this Spencer this week on Twitter, but look at all that branded traffic they’re getting. 

Spencer: Oh yeah, who dated who? Uh, 7, 000 search volume, which means they’re probably getting a lot more than that. Just, you know, variations and everything.

And 

Jared: variations of that, uh, equaling like, you know, up over like 20, 000 really in the end. And, you know, those are keywords that show up in Ahrefs because people type them in because they’re branded searches basically, right? Yep. Like, they’re looking for this website to kind of go see the latest gossip news as it relates to this.

And, um, you know, they rank really well for just… These super generic terms like Michael Jordan relationships, and you know, Sabrina Carpenter boyfriend, and they rank for a ton of them, over 600, 000 of them. 

Spencer: Oh man, this is uh, this is crazy, it’s a fascinating website. It’s not a website I’ve ever visited, but I have to imagine there’s a lot of…

Housewives out there that spend a lot of their day doing this sort of thing. Oh, come on, Spencer. 

Jared: You knew a lot about Reality Pete there. Tell me you haven’t heard of him. Reality 

Spencer: Pete? I feel offended. That’s, you know, that’s how close I am with all these celebrities. Mission accomplished. 

Jared: I haven’t finished you twice in the last ten minutes.

We got hot take on, we got Reality Pete. Oh 

Spencer: dear, it’s back. We’ll bleep that out. Um, no, this is a cool website and I mean, it’s got to be making quite a bit of money with the amount of display ads and everything. And it clearly is done well throughout the helpful content update. Like you said, it’s got a lot of branded traffic, maybe that has something to do with it.

I mean, didn’t 

Jared: have time to check out their social media. I mean, can you think of all the social media content you could create with this? A 

Spencer: ton. A ton. Um, yeah, that’s true. I mean, they might have huge following on Facebook or Twitter or wherever. Instagram, probably. You know, a lot of images. You know, 

Jared: it’s a DR56.

It’s not like a true authority site. But what have we been talking about? The helpful content update. Branded traffic. Forums. User generated. Right. Like, you know, kind of got a lot of those components, a lot of ads, by the way. Uh, you know, it’s interesting. Thought it was kind of something to 

Spencer: think about.

Interesting timing there. Right. That’s a good one. That’s a really good one, actually. Um, so yeah. Thanks for sharing that one. Thank you. Listener, whoever brought that up, shared that with Jared, uh, he got a good one today. So, and that one, yeah, is definitely probably making a lot of money, so. I, I 

Jared: mean, if it’s at over a million page views per month, just from organic, I mean, that alone is probably…

Celebrity does not pay as well in the RPMs, I know. Um, from, you know, but even that probably at least, I don’t know, 50, 000 a month in, in ad 

Spencer: revenue. I would think so. Probably. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. I would. Yeah. 

Jared: So, and then you got all the social traffic on top of that. So. 

Spencer: Yup. Nah, good, good site for sure.

Well, thank you everybody. If you are still listening at this point. Thank you for sticking around for the entire episode. This has been hopefully a good one. So much news to cover. Um, a couple of good weird niche sites, uh, in there. And then of course our side hustles in between a lot of fun to record.

Jared, as always, uh, being with you here. And, uh, you know, if you have time to leave a comment on YouTube or review, wherever you’re listening to your podcast, that will help. Other people find this news episode and kind of join the niche pursuits community. So thank you everybody so much for listening. Uh, Jared, appreciate everything you’re doing here.

Jared: Have a great weekend, everyone. Thanks so much.

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