niche surfer - Wave Issue 149

WP Sites in 60 Seconds; SGE While Browsing; GPT vs Claude; Prevent Cannibalization; YouTube Shorts Algos; and Much More!


Stepping up my SEO and niche site game to the next level…

One of the hardest things in this crazy game we’re in is to see what others have achieved and try to replicate their success by copying their:

  • sites

  • products

  • services

It's tempting, especially when their success is right there, shining in the spotlight. But that’s not the path to success.

I’ve been there (many times) and been caught up in those feelings. I’m sure you’ve felt it too. It’s human nature.

What’s important is how you channel those feelings to find your own success.

Success isn't one-size-fits-all. It can’t be copied like a blueprint.

Your path to success lies in your unique journey through learning. Soak up insights and infuse them with your voice, your niche, your personal touch.

While learning from others helps pave the way, SEO success is rooted in innovation, not imitation.

If I had copied what others were doing in the SEO consulting space, I wouldn’t have developed my productized topical maps services at, nor would there be copycats.

This also means there wouldn’t be a Topical Maps Unlocked course.

It’s one thing to offer topical maps similar to what I offer. I offer the course and it’s fair game to use what you learn. It’s another to directly lift my landing page copy and images.

Copying might offer a temporary boost, but genuine, sustainable growth comes from understanding your audience, tapping into their needs, and continually refining your approach.

I don’t get repeat topical maps orders from clients because I offer the same thing others do cheaply. It’s because the topical maps they receive hits on their site’s needs to succeed.

I can’t copy one site’s topical map and give it to another client, even if they have the same seed keyword.

Why do you think the answer to any SEO question is “It depends”? 😂 

So, let's not get lost in the shadows of others. Focus on lighting our own path, one unique step at a time.

I was about to delve deeper into my journey with Topical Maps, but it quickly grew longer than an "intro" should be.

So…I’m going to try something different. If you want to read that story, I’ll send it out Thursday as a one-off.

Click the button to be added to the list by Tuesday.

If enough people find it interesting and want to read more about my personal experiences and discoveries, maybe I’ll continue to do that separately.

That link will take you to the past newsletters, but you’ll be tagged as wanting to receive the journey email.


Google's been making more changes for better and worse - depending on who you are 😅 Here are the key updates:

  • Learn on the Go (gif below): Google's new "SGE while browsing" feature uses generative AI to offer key points and insights from freely accessible articles.

  • Define with Ease: SGE now lets you hover over words in AI-generated responses to preview definitions and related visuals.

  • Visualize Learning: SGE's new enhancements include more images and videos in overviews.

Source: Google

My Take: The biggest change is “SGE while browsing” because it turns that big article you have into a few key takeaways for the visitor.

With that summary, are they going to read the summary and bounce? How will your ads work? Will ads still work? Is this karma for all the lazy publishers out there who tell ChatGPT to “summarize these 5 articles into one amazing article” and then publish that ‘amazing’ article? Everything’s a guess until it plays out.

Miriam Ellis gives a quick dive into the top local SEO insights fresh from MozCon 2023:

  • Link Categorization Magic: Amanda Jordan's talk showcased how link categories like local, topical, citations, and more actually determine visibility.

  • AI: Friend or Foe?: Wil Reynolds gave tips to understand how AI affects your generative search coverage and connect with your audience better.

  • Real Human Connections Rule: Andi Jarvis says to embrace your brand's personality and talk to customers. Don't replace real interactions with automation. Be authentic and build relationships that stand the test of time.

  • Video SEO Magic: Crystal Carter from Wix spilled the beans on on-page video SEO. Videos are golden, and YouTube's your best friend. Did you know Google indexes YouTube videos within hours?

  • TikTok for Businesses: Carrie Rose shared quick tips for using TikTok for your local business. Start strong with focus keywords in the first 5 seconds, add them in the caption, and keep hashtags simple.

  • Low-Quality Local Landing Pages: Lily Ray says it is one of the top 3 reasons your site might be negatively impacted by a Google Update. Don’t waste your time or money publishing sub-par local landing pages programmatically at scale if they’re low-quality.

SEO Ripples

  • Google SGE won’t trigger for navigational search queries.You can still trigger SGE, but by default, it probably won’t be generated.

  • Google may soon allow businesses and organizations to manage their social media links that show up on their local listing within Google Search and Google Maps.


Query Hunter now has AI to write the sentences, paragraphs, and snippets for you! QH will use your Google Search Console data to tell you what keywords you’re ranking for, but missing from your content. You can then use those keywords in your content and/or as anchor text.

The new QH Pro version will now let you connect your OpenAI API Key to generate text for specific keywords or all the keywords at once in one big paragraph (not recommended!). Check out the QH Pro Lifetime deal here.

ZipWP is a new tool that creates a WP Site in 60 Seconds. It’s not launched yet and only a video of it in action by the Founder, Adam from WPCrafter. The tool lets you describe your idea, and watch the website being built before your eyes. Sign up for the waitlist at ZipWP.


Ever wondered why your awesome content suddenly drops off page 1 of Google? Jon Earnshaw from Pi Datametrics dives deep into the world of cannibalization in his recent Whiteboard Friday session at Moz. Key Takeaways:

  • Cannibalization is when similar content on your site competes with itself, causing ranking drops.

  • Three types of cannibalization: internal (content conflicts within your site), international (dealt with by hreflang), and subdomain (content on subdomains competing).

  • Fix it: Identify cannibalization at keyword level and choose a primary "doorway" content to avoid confusion.

  • Merge old and similar content, tweak titles, reorganize internal links to boost authority.

  • Prevent it: Analyze your ecosystem with a site operator search before adding new content, ensure it complements existing content and builds authority.

  • This issue can account for a significant loss of visibility, around 40% of content on page 2 and 3.

Anne Moss compares ChatGPT and Claude, diving into their capabilities, styles, and performance in a writing competition. She tests GPT-3.5, GPT-4, and Claude.

In the end, Anne says that GPT4 still comes out on top for its writing depth, structure, and accuracy - despite GPT-4 not producing as high quality as before.

My Take: I definitely agree that GPT-4’s quality isn’t what it once was. But that’s what happens as OpenAI has tried to get it faster and cheaper. In business, you’re only able to pick 2 out of 3: Better, Faster, Cheaper.


Hootsuite has gathered 74 insightful AI stats that reveal what businesses and consumers really think about AI tools. From top use cases to perceived value and emerging concerns, this will help you navigate the AI landscape in your own workflows. Key highlights:

  • ChatGPT, the fastest growing app ever, has reached 100 million users quicker than any other.

  • More than 20% of Americans will use ChatGPT monthly by 2024.

  • 46% of U.S. adults think AI systems are being developed too fast.

  • The global AI market is projected to reach $407 billion by 2027.

  • Businesses are investing in AI due to its potential positive impact on job growth.

  • 96% of executives say generative AI is a hot topic of discussion with their boards.

  • 49% of employers expect AI to have a positive impact on job growth. By contrast, only 23% expect the impact of AI to be negative.

  • 28% of U.S. adults said their employer is using ChatGPT or similar chat-based tools. 19% said their employer is using AI image generators, 30% said their employer is using AI for data analysis, 21% said the employer is using AI tools for video generation, and 17% said their employer is using AI for HR and recruiting.

AI Ripples

  • AI detectors are under scrutiny for wrongly accusing international students of cheating, in a recent Stanford Study. These tools, used to spot plagiarism and AI-generated content, have shown a clear bias against non-native English speakers.

  • Amazon adds AI-generated customer review highlights to streamline the review process. They provide a quick overview of product attributes and customer sentiment, aiding shoppers in making informed decisions.

  • Amazon is testing an AI tool that generates titles and descriptions for product listings. Ecommerce platforms like BigCommerce, Shopify, and Wix have also announced similar AI-powered features.

  • Meta's gearing up to launch a new open-source coding tool named 'Code LlaMA,' drawing from its language model LlaMA 2. This AI-powered system is designed to aid developers by suggesting code while they type.


Mateusz Makosiewicz from Ahrefs provides a guide to understanding backlinks in SEO, emphasizing their significance for search engine rankings and content discoverability.


Colleen Christison explains how the YouTube Shorts algorithm predicts what users want by analyzing their behavior and video topics. She also answers common questions, such as whether you should make a separate channel for Shorts (Answer: It Depends!).

Here’s a separate guide on How to Quickly Create Quality YouTube Shorts by Anna Sonnenberg.

Natalia Zhukova from Semrush breaks down conversion funnels and its three stages: ToFu, MoFu, and BoFu. She covers the tailored strategies and content at each stage to capture, nurture, and convert users to customers.


Dive into Backlinko's ultimate guide on SEO Competitor Analysis and how to outsmart your competition and deliver value where they fall short. They cover:

  • Uncover Strategies

  • Benchmark Your Efforts

  • Know Your Foes

  • Niche Wisdom

  • Spotting Opportunities

The Backlinko team dives into Google Analytics 4 (GA4) with this ultimate guide. It’s a great primer to getting to know GA4. Here is what’s covered:

  • GA4 vs. Universal Analytics

  • Revamped Dashboard

  • Event-Based Data Model

  • Cross-Platform Analysis

  • Advanced Attribution Modeling


Choosing the right niche is crucial, and Bill Widmer has got you covered with advice on finding, researching, and selecting the perfect niche. He shares how to discover a niche tailored to your interests and skills. Here's a sneak peek at what you'll learn:

  • Three ways to find a niche: Explore methods like browsing existing businesses, using Google Ads data, and applying the Ikigai concept.

  • 10 niches to consider: He talks potential niches, including vacuum cleaners, ebikes, woodworking, and more.

  • Vetting your niche: Discover how to analyze competition, traffic sources, and ad spend to ensure your niche's viability.

  • Choosing your niche: Explore the balance between passion and profit, competition levels, and niche breadth.


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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