niche surfer - Wave Issue 147

GPT-5 is Coming; TMU Course Discount; Happy Topical Map Clients; Case Study Hit; SGE Adds Links and Updates; Amazing AI Videos; Google Discover Optimization; and Much More!


Due to changes in beehiiv’s DNS and CNAME settings, the majority of emails for last week’s issue went into spam!

Starting off this week with a big favor:

  1. Add [email protected] to your whitelist / allowlist

  2. Quickly reply to this email with a “hey there”

That will help let email providers know that you want niche surfer to reach you each week and we’re not spam!

But because of the bad week, I’m going to extend the discount offer for Topical Maps Unlocked for you!

In Q2, Topical Maps Unlocked (TMU) was the third most-watched course on Internet Marketing Gold (IMG), falling just behind two courses from IMG co-founder Kyle Roof.

TMU was available on IMG starting the beginning of June, so it also wasn’t the full three months of Q2 (April, May, and June) either. Who knows, maybe with two more months, it could have clinched the top spot!

source: IMG

So because of that exciting news, I’m offering a $50 discount! 🤑 

Besides the launch discount, this is the largest one I’ve offered yet.

I shared a couple recent topical map client successes too on Twitter yesterday.

The power of topical maps + quality content is unmistakable.

Always have a plan when creating content for a site. Don’t stray from it unless something has changed in the niche or industry that you’re in. When that does happen, adjust your topical map and content plan first before pushing out more content.

Easier said than done of course. I should’ve listen to myself in the case study below…


In the eighth month of our programmatic SEO website case study, our little site took a big hit by an unannounced Google Update.

Since we’ll never know exactly what the algo didn’t like, Dim and I cover some potential missteps that have negatively impacted our site's performance:

  1. Analyzing the Cluster Depth

  2. Link building

  3. Internal linking

  4. Changing landscape They are currently contemplating their next steps, including potentially turning the situation around.

We’re currently discussing what to do next. Do we improve on where we can? Do we let it sit and start a new site using what we’ve learned?

Let us know what you think we should do!

Vote Here: What should we do next with the site after the algo hit?

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Google's Search Generative Experience (SGE) is stepping up its game with three new updates. Making your search results even more engaging, the AI-powered overviews will now include images and videos, and you can expect them to load twice as fast.

Plus, Google is helping you get a sense of how fresh your results are by including publish dates.

Google is experimenting with direct links within the text answers, compared to being confined to the cards at the top right corner. Google is testing these links in various formats, including drop-down buttons and quotations.

Here’s another interesting Search Engine Land read from Mariya Delano about link attribution in Google and its evolution to SGE.

SEO Ripples

  • Google has announced updates to its privacy tools, including allowing users to remove personal contact details from search results, and the addition of a new safeguard to blur explicit imagery in search results by default.

  • Mark Williams-Cook dives into a popular question: Can search engines detect AI content? His 10k page test site say that the answer is: Content quality is what’s important.


Kristi Hines covers OpenAI’s filing of a trademark application for GPT-5. The application spans several categories including language models, artificial production of human speech, and predictive analytics.

The application is now in the "new application processing" stage, waiting for assignment to an examining attorney.

OpenAI CEO, Sam Altman, clarifies there's still a lot to be done before the arrival of GPT-5, with many safety audits to come.

Nathan Lands has been collating AI videos shared on X (still weird to say). But from someone who was in the industry for 20+ years, I have to say it’s really amazing work and I see the potential.

Most of the work is done on Runway with images from Midjourney. Once it gets to the point where videos are more fluid and allows for more flexibility through text, similar to images now, many more people in the film/TV industry will be out of jobs 😢 

Here’s an example of one of the shares:


Gael Breton from Authority Hacker discusses the concept of E-E-A-T (Expertise, Experience, Authority, and Trust) and hwo to get a solid grasp of it to achieve better site rankings. Here are some key takeaways:

  • A lack of attention to EAT may result in lost traffic during core updates.

  • Google rewards sites that reveal information about their publishers, including company details, contact methods, and the creators behind the content.

  • EAT is not just about content; it extends to your site's schema. Incorporating your company's details into the HTML of your pages through schema can boost your trust score.

  • Expertise is crucial and should be highlighted.

  • The use of schema properties like 'sameAs' and 'reviewedBy' can effectively link your site or content creators to reputable sources or reviewers, boosting your EAT score.

Boris Mustapic offers smart strategies for optimizing your content for Google Discover in 2023. Here are the 5 tips he offers:

  1. Create High-Quality Content

  2. Optimize Your Titles

  3. Use High-Quality Images

  4. Showcase Your Expertise

  5. Optimize Your Content for Mobile


Ben Collins shares a list of the many things you can do with Google Sheets and AI tools like ChatGPT and Google Bard, including:

  • AI-Generated Formulas: AI can explain, troubleshoot, and even create formulas in Google Sheets.

  • AI-Driven Insights: Leverage AI to build pivot tables and charts.

  • Data Cleaning: Use AI to help with your data cleaning tasks, making it easier to standardize and correct your data.

  • Data Retrieval: AI can retrieve or complete missing data, saving you time and effort. It can even generate fake test data.


Si Quan Ong from Ahrefs dives into the art of guest blogging with this comprehensive guide. Unpack how this popular link building strategy can boost your SEO, foster new relationships, expose your brand to a new audience, and solidify your reputation as a thought leader. Key takeaways include:

  • Guest blogging is still a highly effective SEO strategy, used by 47% of SEOs according to Aira's State of Link Building report.

  • Benefits of guest blogging extend beyond building links, including brand exposure and networking opportunities.

  • Develop engaging guest post ideas using techniques like the Copycat, Refresh, Robin Hood, Splintering, and Perspective techniques


ConvertKit's 2023 Creator Economy Report is available for download and offers a wealth of insights into the current state of the creator world. The creator economy is surging, with many shifting away from 9-to-5 jobs.

source: ConvertKit State of the Creator Economy Report

Key takeaways:

  • A new wave of creators: Almost half of the surveyed creators have been building their audience for less than two years, and 39% of them are now full-time.

  • Income growth is key: For the first time, more creators (33%) are prioritizing income growth over audience expansion (25%).

  • Creator collaborations on the rise: A total of 60% of creators view collaborations as a top way to engage, and 22% reported it as a significant income source.

  • AI usage among creators: Around one-third used AI tools last year, and 51% want to try this year, but there's still some hesitancy.

  • Blogging remains king: Despite the rise of social media, blogging is still the most popular form of content creation.


Olga Zarr at SEOSLY debunks myths surrounding disavowing backlinks. If you're considering a disavow for those toxic links, think again. The process might actually harm more than help in most cases. Her guide dives into:

  • Disavowing backlinks should be done only in the case of a manual penalty related to unnatural links.

  • Misuse of the Disavow Tool can harm your website's ranking.

  • Some low-quality or "toxic" links are expected and not necessarily harmful.

  • Beware of SEO agencies selling unnecessary "spammy link removal" services.

  • Disavowing good links can have long-term negative effects, even if the disavow file is later removed.


Mike King offers a super informative piece on how iPullRank would approach migrating to after announced its acquisition of the latter's name, trademark, and domain. It's a goldmine of insights, especially for SEO enthusiasts. Here are some of the top takeaways:

  • Website migration isn't as tricky as it sounds, just tedious.

  • Google's index works like the Wayback Machine, storing multiple versions of pages long term, so it knows whether your 301 of a domain/content is irrelevant 😶 

  • The best way to maintain rankings and traffic during a migration? Moving identical content from one point to another and implementing a 301 redirect.

  • Overstock could ideally "lift and shift" its content to, then implement 301 redirects. Keeping pre-existing content live on its URLs could capture existing link equity.

  • Using Dense Vector Embeddings can aid in redirect mapping, preventing potential Soft 404s by mapping redirects using semantic similarity.

Originality.AI has recently released a guide to help users understand the accuracy and efficiency of AI content detectors. Even if the study is too technical, reading the overview of AI detectors and how they work is interesting to help you understand the potential limitations of these tools.

Key takeaways include:

  • Originality.AI has improved their AI content detector, leading to a 4.3% improvement in detection accuracy and a 14.1% decrease in false positives.

  • They tested their latest version against 4 different datasets and emerged as the most accurate and effective detector in each case.

  • An open-source tool and benchmark dataset have been developed and released for public use by Originality.AI.

  • Their commitment to transparent and accountable AI detector development and use was highlighted.

  • The FTC's warnings against unsupported AI content detection accuracy claims underscored the importance of transparency and accountability in this field.


One of the top digital marketing agencies, FATJOE, provides a comprehensive guide on how to start a digital marketing agency in 2023. They delve into different agency types including SEO, Social Media, Content Marketing, PPC, Email Marketing, and Full-Service Digital Marketing Agencies. Key steps include:

  • Identifying Your Niche: Define the specific services your agency will offer and the target market it will serve.

  • Developing a Business Model: Create a clear business model outlining your offerings, pricing structure, and growth strategy.

  • Setting Up Digital Presence: Establish a professional website and social media presence to showcase your expertise and attract clients.

  • Estimating Startup Costs: Plan for initial costs such as equipment, licenses, SEO tools, and possible hiring costs.

  • Building Your Client Base: Networking, email marketing, and content creation are crucial strategies for attracting clients.

FATJOE also has a good article on the Top 10 SEO KPIs to track. It’s useful whether or not you have an agency managing client sites or you’re tracking your own site.

For those who don’t want to start a whole agency, Marilyn Wilkinson provides comprehensive guidance for aspiring SEO freelancers on the Semrush blog. She underscores the importance of technical expertise, communication skills, and project management abilities in the field. Here are some key takeaways:

  • Deep understanding of SEO concepts, analytical tools, and the ability to communicate complex SEO strategies effectively.

  • Excellent project management skills are vital as freelancers often juggle multiple projects.

  • Continual learning and adaptability are critical in the fast-paced, ever-evolving field of SEO.

  • Proficient in basic web development languages and content management systems. Those with coding skills often earn more.

  • Effective sales and marketing strategies to acquire clients.


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


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