Income Reports; SEO Predictions; Upwork Scams; Google Year in Search 2022; 90-Day SEO Plan; Split Tests; Video SERP Changes; and Much More!

Issue 2


ChatGPT - it's been all about this the past week. Every single newsletter has mentioned it (including me right now).

Every other Tweet is about ChatGPT. Every other Twitter thread is written by ChatGPT now (no source, just a guess).

Content sites with ChatGPT-created content are getting spun up (no source). At least the GPT-3.5 content will be easier to read than some of the GPT-2 and GPT-3 content out there. My brain is already hurting less from reading.

Bad and mediocre writers are changing their pants after they soiled themselves when testing ChatGPT (no source).

So what can you do to compete with ChatGPT? Will AI content replace writers and artists?

Well, I did what anyone would do. I went to the source and asked if it will replace creators. Here's what ChatGPT said:

"It's unlikely that AI will completely replace writers and artists. While AI technology has advanced significantly in recent years, it still has a long way to go before it can fully replicate the creativity and individuality of human artists...AI is a tool that can be used by humans, but it doesn't have the ability to completely replace them."

I asked ChatGPT: "Are you sure? I see AI content that's really good. Some writers and artists aren't that good." It replied back:

"While it's true that there is some AI-generated content that is impressive, it's important to remember that the technology is still in its early stages. As a result, AI-generated content is often not as good as content created by human writers and artists."

There you have it. What can you do?


Be an authority. Be a brand.

AI won't be an authority on any topic unless you trained it to be. AI can't be a brand, but you and your site can.

Work on topical authority and increase brand awareness. Create content across multiple platforms.

With the ways things are going, it's gotten me to think more about consolidating into fewer projects to have the bandwidth to build them into larger brands.

Are you going to be making any changes?


For this week, here are 4 more great Niche Creator interviews:

Learn how they got to where they are with their niche sites and brands, along with their top tips.


November 2022 Niche Site Summary I’m forever the optimist, so let’s start this thing off on a few positive notes. Yes, traffic is down this month vs last, but the ... Read more

If you do income reports and want to be listed, just let me know where to go and I'll get it in my feed!


Google released the December 2022 helpful content update, which improves our classifier and works across content globally in all languages. The rollout may take up to two weeks to complete.

Some early results from various countries where the Helpful Content Update has made an impact.

Google is making it easier to drill down or expand on a search by showing you helpful related topics and filters.

My Take: This is a very helpful tool to get an inside look at Google and how they classify topics. They're giving you relevant topics to your search query and helping guide you on what you need to discuss to build out your topical authority.

Vlado Pavlik at Semrush discusses Google indexing for sites. No black hat stuff here with how to index your site and content. He also goes through different ways to find and fix indexing issues:

  • Check Your Robots.txt File

  • Manage Your Noindex and Canonical Tags

  • Improve Your Internal Linking

  • Improve the Overall Quality of Your Site

The SEO Fight Club team takes a look at new things Google is doing with their NLP questions and answers in the SERPs, fact checks, theories on the Helpful Content update and more.

My Take: There's some interesting stuff in here about how Google is trying to grab information from content to show answers to search queries in the SERPs. They dig how/if Google grabs the information from schema, javascript, lists, etc.

Matt Diggity makes 7 SEO predictions and what to do to prepare for these changes.

  1. AI Content will become standard practice

  2. Topical Authority moves from "Secret" to "Requirement"

  3. Backlinks will decide who wins

  4. Parasite SEO will continue on

  5. Google Updates - more specific algorithm updates

  6. Google will reward Fast Answers

My Take: If you get take away just one thing from this, it's topical authority. I've been talking about topical authority for quite some time now. Yes, I have my topical map service so I'm biased, but I have felt that everything Google's been doing and with technology advancements, topical authority will be a "requirement," as Matt says in the video.


What? Google Search Console is testing a "content ideas" feature?

Nicolas Ockier noticed his GSC dashboard had an experimental Content Ideas feature and posted a screenshot about it on Mastodon.


Ahrefs shares a beginner's guide - Link Building for SEO. This guide will teach you how to get quality links that move the needle without risking a Google penalty. We created it with absolute beginners in mind and made sure to pack it with plenty of actionable advice that you can start implementing right away.

  1. Link building basics

  2. How to build links

  3. What makes a good link?

  4. Best link building strategies

  5. Link building tools

While you may not like the direction they're moving with their pricing plans, they still put out great beginners guides.


Dr. Peter Meyers goes through YouTube and Video SERP changes from the last couple months. Video results are now split into at least three distinct types (depending on how you count).

  1. Video packs (simple & complex)

  2. Branded video carousels

  3. Single/thumbnail video results

  4. Bonus: Mega-videos

  5. Bonus: TikTok results

More and more people are creating videos and it's good to know what's showing up in the SERPs.

Andrew Hardgrove covers different types of Google penalties and a few steps you can take to avoid a Google penalty:

  • Remove any backlinks you have that are in violation of Google’s guidelines.

  • Remove any duplicate content that is of low quality.

  • Remove backlinks from websites that are irrelevant to your topic niche.

  • Remove unwanted or spammy comments or forum profiles.

  • Consider updating old, outdated posts and replacing them with fresh content.

Upwork scams are just part of the gig when you're working or hiring on their platform. Brady Cook covers how to spot scams both ways so you can steer clear of trouble.

As a freelancer, here are 4 things to check for to avoid getting scammed:

  1. Verified Payment

  2. Hire Rate

  3. Reviews

  4. Budget

As the client, here's how to protect yourself when hiring freelancers:

  1. Keep All Communication on Upwork

  2. Always Accept Payment Through Upwork’s Escrow Service

  3. Be Wary of Third-Party Links


Let's say you've got money to spend and want to kickstart a new project. That's great and all, but how exactly do you spend that money, and what do you do to start your new project off the right way?

Mark and Gael from Authority Hacker go through their step-by-step guide for nailing the first 90 days of a site as-if they purchased it.

It's good insight into some of the things you can do to increase traffic and revenue after you purchase sites.

SplitSignal tests changing title tags on by adding "Best" and whether it would increase organic clicks or not:

  • BEFORE: 60+ Christmas Gifts

  • AFTER: Best Christmas Gift Ideas

The majority of their Twitter followers guessed correctly that organic clicks would increase. Clicks increased 38.4%! Big improvement.

Income School is creating a new niche site that will be earning money for charity. You can follow along with them on the steps to creating a site.

This first video shows them getting to a short list of niches that they put out to the community to vote on. The Final Four of niches they're putting out to votes are:

  • Baking

  • Dancing

  • Off Roading

  • Pianos


Lots of different online and offline business ideas here. The majority of these are things that AI won't be able to compete with because they require you to brand the business and create original content.

One idea that you don't hear too often is to "become an online tourist guide." The example they give is that focuses on East Tennessee - not in any Top 20 US attractions list that I've seen.

This local travel blog is projected to earn $500k in 2022. Crazy numbers from a site that covers local closures, openings, and travel opportunities, posting them on their website and social media.

Semrush did a feature on them and learn more about how the site grew.


Google takes a look back at the moments and trends that defined 2022 with Year in Search.

My Take: This is a lagging indicator of trends, but it's important to take a look at the trends for your niches. Get ideas of what you may be missing on your sites for your users. For example, if you have a recipe site, you'd know that the top 5 recipes this year are:

  1. Paneer pasanda

  2. Bolo caseiro (Homemade cake)

  3. Tuzlu kurabiye (Salt cookie)

  4. Overnight oats

  5. zimtschnecken (Cinnamon rolls)

Do you have those on your recipe sites?



Have questions about building niche sites? Find me and others in the Niche Surfer Discord group.

I’d also love to know what you think and if you have any ideas for the newsletter. Reply or email me at [email protected].

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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