niche surfer - Wave Issue 133

My SOSP Project; April Reviews Update Finished; SEO Keywords Priority; FAQ Tests; Indexing Backlinks; Anchors; and Much More!

FIRST …

The conversation above has sent me down the shiny object hole and I ended up buying a new domain a few minutes later to create a pSEO site on.

That’s why I’m calling the Shiny Object Syndrome Project (SOSP).

It might also be a plea for help - SOS 😅

This is my first time using almost all AI for a site, but unfortunately, ChatGPT's API didn't want to cooperate. So I'm manually creating the content inside the web version of ChatGPT and in the Playground API.

This is one of those quirks where the ChatGPT API with Google Sheets will give you some extra characters and noise. It takes more time to clean that up than to manually copy/paste the prompts and responses from browser to spreadsheet and vice versa.

Luckily, I’m able to run two instances at once with the API playground and web app. I also found that the Plugins Alpha model in the web app doesn’t have a character limit, so it won’t cut off responses, while the Default GPT-3.5 model will.

The topical map for this project is pretty straightforward, with one big cluster and several hundred potential articles. If only the API would create better output, I would be able to publish more than the 100 posts I have planned now after 1.5 days of work.

For those who find it interesting (like me), here’s the core pSEO tech stack:

  • Arielle Phoenix’s Bulk Publishing System’s Google Sheet - easy to create and test quick prompts with the custom prompt settings. Could test davinci, gpt-3.5-turbo, and gpt-4 models quickly and easily.

  • ChatGPT web app and Playground - Run two ChatGPT instances at one time. Playground does use API credits, but GPT-3.5 is cheap.

  • Midjourney - Paid plan to get version 5. I created a custom ChatGPT prompt in the Google Sheet to create a Midjourney prompt based on keywords. I get 4 article images per output and split the grid of images with this free splitter from Pine Tools. Also used Midjourney to generate a logo.

  • Canva Pro - Bulk image editing to create Featured Images for each article that listed the article title in a design template.

Those are the main tools I’m using besides WP All Import and the regular WordPress stuff.

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My Take: I wanted to share my experience with Affi.ai, which I’ve really enjoyed using lately. I transferred a couple of sites that had a mix of AAWP and Affiliatable product boxes, and I have to say, the ability to use shortcodes (like AAWP) and do everything inside WordPress without needing to create product displays on the tool’s website first (like Affiliatable) is a huge plus for me.

I will say that the Affi.ai boxes aren’t the most beautiful things out there, but they offer great value and are really easy to use. I actually reached out to the Affi.ai team to ask about new layout designs, and they let me know that they’re actively working on it. In the meantime, I’ve played around with the CSS a bit and made the buttons a bit bigger because the default ones are pretty thin.

Here’s a plugin tip for anyone else who’s moving from AAWP or Affiliatable: you can use the free Shortcodes Finder plugin to locate all your posts with their shortcodes. It’ll search your site for all shortcodes and display specific ones and their pages to replace. Super handy!

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NICHE CREATORS

Dim shares the latest update on our pSEO site! This one is programmatic, but there is much more involved with building out the templates here than my Shiny Object Hole Project.

96 published posts - 10 templates - 2 clusters.

The site has been continuing to steadily climb, regardless of the recent updates. I’m enjoying getting those Google Search Console congratulation emails on “reaching X clicks in 28 days!”

SEO

Google’s April 2023 reviews update has finished rolling out on April 25, 2023 after 13 days of ups and downs for many sites. This update was notable for the fact that it now affects more than just products.

It’s an algorithm referred to by Google as the “reviews system” that examines webpages that recommendations of products, services, destinations, games, movies and other things.

Lily Ray covers more information on Experience and the recent April 2023 Reviews Update that placed emphasis on high-quality, original, and helpful reviews. Some of what she’s seen so far from the update:

  • Sites that demonstrate real-life experience and expertise in their reviews have seen increased rankings and visibility.

  • Sites that lack evidence of real experience or expertise in their reviews have seen significant declines in visibility.

  • Travel sites and restaurant review sites are among those negatively impacted by the Reviews update.

An interesting note she gave was of a popular “mommy blog” that contains many reviews of products for babies and children saw a 45% in SEO visibility in the April Reviews Update. But it was negatively impacted by the March Core Update, which may serve as a clue about how the updates use different sets of algorithms to assess quality.

Jamie Reedy from Amsive DIgital discusses eight common website mistakes that ecommerce businesses make in their SEO strategies and provides guidance on how to avoid them. She emphasizes the importance of addressing these mistakes to improve search rankings, user experience, and ultimately drive more traffic and sales to ecommerce websites.

  • Not Thinking Enough About Conversion

  • Putting Too Much Content on Category Pages

  • Not Thinking About E-E-A-T

  • Not Putting the Customer First

Quick SEO Bites:

CONTENT

Zoe Ashbridge discusses the importance to have a goal and focus on ranking keywords related to a specific topic when prioritizing SEO keywords for content creation.

Consider business goals, competitor analysis, and customer research to identify valuable keywords. Balance search volume and conversion focus, create high-quality content, and continuously measure and improve your SEO strategy.

SplitSignal tested FAQs to answer the question: “How would using #ChatGPT to generate FAQs for an e-commerce website that previously did not have any impact organic traffic?”

They found that adding FAQ content marked up with FAQPage structured data resulted in a significant 4.3% increase in clicks to the tested pages.

Julia McCoy covers how to create a good resource page for your site - a curated collection of helpful links to resources, tools, and services. It can be personalized and valuable for your audience, providing solutions to their problems.

You can approach it by using affiliate links, linking organically, or a combination. Organize and update the page regularly to maximize its value and impact on your content strategy.

AI

Great ChatGPT prompts and examples from Descript for a variety of workflows:

  • Speed up your creative workflow

  • Grow your following, get guests, and build an audience

  • ChatGPT for video creators: YouTube, TikTok, Instagram and more

  • ChatGPT for your podcast

Quick AI Bites

  • ChatGPT users can now turn off chat history, allowing you to choose which conversations can be used to train our models. Conversations that are started when chat history is disabled won’t be used to train and improve our models, and won’t appear in the history sidebar.

  • Hugging Face Releases Free ChatGPT Clone: HuggingChat. I only tried a few prompt comparisons, but ChatGPT responses were better.

  • In this Washington Post article (paywall) is a search tool that can help you see if any of your sites were one of the 15.7 million websites used to help train Google’s C4 dataset for Google Bard.

  • Using Microsoft Edge for Bing’s ChatGPT? Edge is leaking the sites you visit to Bing. It’s probably a good idea to disable Edge’s follow creator feature until this privacy issue is fixed.

LINK BUILDING

Matthew Woodward test 14 popular indexing methods with only 3 actually indexing URLs. He tested using 15 brand new domains and generated 200 pages of junk lorem ipsum content.

Matt Diggity explains the importance of optimizing anchor text for better Google rankings. He shares their personal experience and how anchor text impacted their sites. Different types of anchor texts are discussed, including target anchors, branded anchors, URL anchors, topical anchors, miscellaneous anchors, and NA anchors. Some of the key takeaways:

  • Using optimized anchor text can help improve your ranking with fewer backlinks.

  • Anchor text distribution should be balanced and natural-looking. It should vary based on your niche and competition rather than following a cookie-cutter approach.

  • Avoid using the same target anchor text multiple times.

  • Breaking up your keyword phrase into individual anchors can help improve rankings when you're facing difficulty in ranking for the entire phrase.

  • Using synonyms for your target keyword can add relevancy to your anchor text without risking over-optimization.

EDUCATION

Fatjoe takes a look at 10 times when many said SEO is dead, starting with 2011’s Google Panda Update up to the 2022 ChatGPT release. But that doesn’t mean SEO is the same now as it was in 2011.

No matter the latest thing that’s killing SEO, this is a great reminder that “SEO will merely adapt, evolve and survive as it always has.

Pat Flynn is an OG, one of the most well-known online entrepreneurs and this interview is jam packed with great information. He discusses how he started his Pokemon-focused YouTube channel Deep Pocket Monster in January 2021 and, within a year, had 100k subscribers. OH…and the channel makes $35-50K per month in only YouTube ad revenue.

Bill Widmer speaks with Examine.com’s co-founder, Sol Orwell to see how they reach over 1 million monthly visitors from Google search results. And they did it without any manual backlink outreach or even having a focus on SEO.

CASE STUDY

The Authority Hacker guys take a look at 7 successful Amazon affiliate websites to help you learn how to boost your own online income potential. The sites they review: The Modest Man, Outdoor Gear Lab, Versus, Pack Hacker, Epic Gardening, Swim University, and Retro Dodo.

Key takeaways include diversifying income streams, optimizing for international visitors, leveraging tools for conversion rate optimization, and building a strong brand. Scale with programmatic content and go the extra mile to provide a unique and user-focused experience

Andy Crestodina and Orbit Media survey over 1000 consumers to get some interesting results when it comes to Human vs AI involvement for different services. For each type of service (with one exception, hair stylists), the majority of respondents want providers to use AI to some extent.

  • Consumers want their service providers to use AI to help them do their jobs.

  • Marketing Services: Lowest percentage of all human involvement with only 29% saying they don’t want AI involvement.

  • Healthcare: Majority of respondents want AI involved in their healthcare decisions. 7% prefer “All medical decisions are driven by AI.”

  • Hair salons: 64% prefer human stylists without AI involvement.

  • Rideshare apps: 5% prefer self-driving cars.

  • Airlines: 5% prefer 100% AI piloting.

Your “Direct” traffic in Google Analytics could actually be “Referral” traffic from social media. A number of major social networks obfuscate their referred traffic, and a significant, additional set obscure referral data at least some of the time. Some interesting stats:

  • TikTok, Slack, Discord, Mastodon, and WhatsApp mark all visits as "direct" without providing any referral information.

  • 75% of visits from Facebook Messenger also lack referral information, regardless of browser choice, device type, or web vs. app usage.

  • Instagram messages (DMs) and public LinkedIn and Pinterest posts miss substantial portions of referral data (30%, 14%, and 12% respectively).

  • Reddit posts, LinkedIn messages (DMs), and Twitter DMs attribute a smaller amount of traffic to "direct."

  • YouTube, public Instagram profile links, public Facebook posts, and Tweets generally provide referral data.

MARKETING

Erin Jones covers best practices for managing your online reputation so you can set your brand up for success both online and in the real world. Learn best practices for managing your online reputation so you can set your brand up for success both online and in the real world.

ONLINE BUSINESS

Put together by Thomas Frank, this Notion template is a great resource if you’re looking for any payment provider (which many of us should for alternative revenue streams). This is probably the best resource I’ve seen.

REFER NICHE SURFER AND GET REWARDS

If you’re enjoying niche surfer, I’d love it if you would share it with your friends! I’ve put together some rewards as well:

  • Refer 3: Get a Twitter Shout-out

  • Refer 5: Get featured in an issue

  • Refer 10: Get One Ask Me Anything Question

  • Refer 50: Get 50% Off the Topical Maps Unlocked Course

  • Refer 100: Get a Free copy of Topical Maps Unlocked

  • Refer 150: Get a 1 hour SEO 1-1 Coaching session with Yoyao

SURF WITH OTHERS

I’ve followed Richard Patey’s newsletters for quite some time now as a great resource for staying up to date with acquiring and investing in digital assets.

Acquire The WebDigital media asset deal flow from the main marketplaces every Monday
Digital Asset InvestorYour weekly roundup of digital asset news & deals: websites, domains, newsletters & communities

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