You Down With N.L.P.? niche surfer Wave Issue 185

NLP-friendly Writing Style; What is Topical Authority; SGE Impact on Local SEO; Link Taxes; Meta.AI Chatbot; Adobe Video AI; Email Open Rates; and Much More!

You Down With N.L.P.? …

How complex is your writing?

This past week, I talked with my writers about complexity and readability, especially for algorithm bots.

Since natural language processing (NLP) systems are the basic foundation to any system, it’s important to write in that style.

Who’s Down With N.L.P.?

A couple of them can write very creatively and if they wrote English essays, I’d give them an A. But if I were grading them on NLP-friendliness, I’d give them a C.

When it comes to publishing online, we want to make everything easily readable - for people and bots. Unless you’re writing a highly technical article, there’s no reason to write at a college level.

Remember that the people reading your article are probably reading it quickly. The more convoluted your writing, the faster they’re going to click the ‘back’ button.

What if I were to write a very long run-on sentence that meandered through a variety of tangent topics and didn’t ever seem to end and didn’t really ever talk about anything important but it was good to include because it seemed like I needed to show that I could write extensively about something even though it ended up being a loquacious writing style that should have been condensed down into a handful of words but I wanted to use large words as much as I could possibly egregiously but at least I did not intersperse emojis throughout and purposely cause you to pause at a smiley face which is actually a good idea because it will get you to spend more time on page but it only helps if I have display ads running here  😏 

Would you stick around if I always wrote like that?

If you ever looked into NLP-friendly writing, you’d know that the writing is pretty simple and straightforward.

Straightforward, NLP-friendly writing is a necessity nowadays.

This Week’s Homework:

Take a few of your articles and ask AI tools like ChatGPT-4, Claude 3, or Gemini to make them more NLP-friendly.

Don’t hand over the whole article at once to avoid excessive paraphrasing and summary overviews. You don’t want that. You want to see how they would rewrite, combine, split sentences and the ideas.

Give them three to four paragraphs at most to start with. If you have larger paragraphs, then give them fewer.

Use this prompt:

I have this article titled: "ARTICLE TITLE"

Here is a section from the article: 


Do a paragraph-by-paragraph rewrite for NLP-friendliness and reading level friendliness. Show my original writing, your rewrite, and an explanation of how your rewrite is better.

That will give you a lot of insights into your writing style. Use what you’ve learned to try rewriting it yourself

Then in the same conversation you had, use this prompt:

How does this new version compare to my original and your rewritten versions: 


That will give you a collective comparison of all 3 versions and key insights into your writing style. Use that to improve your writing for humans and algos.

Your high school English teachers might not approve, but they also wouldn’t be able to explain this to you either 😂 

p.s. if you know the reference from the title of this section, you get a high-five✋ 🌊 


I dive into topical authority and how it powers your site’s trust and search rankings. The guide offers strategies to become the go-to expert in your industry, leveraging smart content creation, internal and external linking, and topical maps to solidify your authority. Some of the key takeaways on building topical authority:

  • In-depth, quality content creation is essential.

  • Effective internal linking helps structure your content and guides search engines.

  • External backlinks from reputable sites affirm your site's credibility.

  • Topical maps are crucial tools for organizing content and demonstrating expertise.

  • Regular updates and semantic optimization keep your content relevant and authoritative.

Eric Lancheres offers a massive, thorough exploration of Google's recent algorithm changes aimed at addressing low-quality AI content in search results. He uses a combination of data analysis, personal insights, and practical advice to guide web publishers through the update.

First Google SEO Office Hours in a long time (December 2023). Wonder why 🥵 Some of the questions covered:

  • Is it likely my rankings have dropped because Google found out I have two websites?

  • If we switch to another website hosting provider, will this have a negative and lasting effect on our SEO rankings?

  • Google is indexing URLs from my website which seem to have been created by a bot in Chinese.

  • How can I fix fake 404s hitting my site from an external source? Is it related to a ranking drop?

  • When linking to a URL with a highlighted text feature, does the PageRank flow to the page in the same way?

Jeff Riddall highlights the impact of Google’s SGE on how businesses can optimize their online presence for enhanced visibility, traffic, and revenue. He emphasizes understanding the intent and nuances behind user queries, urging businesses to focus on solving problems through content. He suggests local businesses can benefit from featured placement in SGE's "Places" module by maintaining robust Google Business Profiles.

Matt G. Southern explores Google's response to the California Journalism Preservation Act. Google is limiting news links in California as a test, arguing the proposed "link tax" could disadvantage smaller local news outlets by benefiting larger media conglomerates. Southern details the potential impacts on both Google's operations and local journalism if the law passes.

SEO Ripples

  • Lily Ray noticed that Forbes has lost significant SEO visibility this week. Most of the losses are coming from the /forbes-personal-shopper/ section, which contains Forbes Vetted ("best of" content).

  • Roger Montti explores how a Reddit post soared to Google's top search results within just five minutes - aren’t search engines supposed to be impartial? He covers the community debate over whether Google unfairly prioritizes Reddit, offering evidence and counterarguments from various tests and discussions.

  • Sidra Condron explains search intent and how understanding the 'why' behind search queries allows marketers to craft content that resonates with readers and performs well on search engines. She outlines the four types of search intent—informational, transactional, navigational, and commercial—providing a roadmap for creating highly targeted and effective content.

  • Gary Illyes covers how Google Search actually returns results; technically. How does Search process users' queries and serve relevant results? How they understand queries, entities, and then ranks.

  • Google introduced management of unused ownership tokens in Search Console. It allows users to verify and remove outdated verification tokens, ensuring former owners cannot regain access.


Meta released their chatbot Meta.AI, powered by Meta Llama 3, offering smarter, faster, and more enjoyable digital assistance. According to Meta, this AI assistant excels in tasks from planning dinners to helping with homework, and is now accessible globally across popular platforms like Facebook and Instagram, ensuring it’s a versatile tool for everyday activities.


Adobe shows off how they’re incorporating generative AI into Adobe Premiere Pro. The new tools aim to enhance video editing by simplifying object addition and removal, extending clips, and generating bespoke b-roll. This advancement promises to boost productivity and creativity, offering editors unprecedented control without leaving Premiere Pro.

My Take: After having been in the film industry and involved in VFX-heavy films, this will cut down post-production times significantly. The smallest of changes could often take hours to days. But there’s still an ‘art’ to it, so VFX artists will be needed. Directors will want what they want and I’m not sure any level of prompt engineering could give it to them directly.


OpenAI updated the Assistants API with a new v2 version that’s on another level. They’re allowing up to 10,000 files in their file_search tool now, 500x more than before. Vector_store is also released to help parse and embed all that data.

My Take: I’ve played around with it some and it’s going to replace many of the smaller startups out there that allow you to upload files and chat with them. The low limits before with files is what made the other options more viable, but now with the larger storage, OpenAI is offering a good solution.

For a no-code option, you can create a new Assistant, upload files to it, and chat with them in the Playground. The only drawback is I can’t use any of my fine-tuned writing models with the data.

AI Ripples

  • Tom Capper explores whether you should be blocking AI bots from accessing website content. He gets into the potential impacts on SEO, content uniqueness, and brand exposure. Are you blocking AI bots?

  • Roger Montti explores Brave's new AI search engine, "Answer with AI." This privacy-centric engine uses its own index of billions of pages, becoming one of the largest AI search engines online. It promises a fresh approach to search results, beneficial for SEOs and online businesses.


  • SurferSEO Auto-Optimize - SurferSEO’s new Auto-Optimize tool integrates relevant NLP terms to enhance readability and ranking potential with just one click. Ideal for when your content needs that final polish or a creative boost, it's designed to seamlessly improve your articles while maintaining their original tone.

  • DepositPhotos Deal - This popular deal is back and it’s even better. For $39 you get 100 stock photo or vector downloads, but now you also get an additional 100 AI-image generations. The AI images aren’t that bad either.


Vince Nero discusses effective link building post-Google's Helpful Content update. He outlines updated approaches to creating and pitching impactful content, emphasizing authenticity and quality to secure valuable links. Some of the key tips:

  • Authentic Experience Matters: Use first-hand experiences and original research to enhance the authority and uniqueness of your content.

  • Digital PR is Key: Leverage news and press releases to get high-quality links from authoritative news sites. Focus on creating newsworthy content that attracts attention.

  • Use Ego Bait and Mention Outreach: Mention other brands, experts, or websites in your content. Then inform them about the mention to encourage them to link back to your site.

  • Engage in Content-led Blogger Outreach: While traditional blogger outreach has become monetized, creating compelling, shareable content can still earn you mentions and links from reputable bloggers.

  • Incorporate Broken Link Building: Look for broken links on other sites that you can replace with your own relevant links. This tactic can be time-consuming but effective.

Joshua Hardwick discusses the decline of HARO, once a beloved SEO link-building tool, now absorbed into Cision's new product, Connectively. He shares his frustrating experiences with low-quality, AI-generated responses and suggests that marketers explore alternative strategies for effective link building and expert outreach. Here’s a quote from the article:

So, I grabbed a cup of coffee and began to work through [the HARO pitches]. It didn’t take long before I lost the will to live. Every other pitch seemed like nothing more than lazy AI-generated nonsense from someone who definitely wasn’t an expert.

- Joshua Hardwick


Kevin Rowe shares insights on optimizing content distribution across various platforms. He discusses the necessity of tailoring content to each platform to overcome the challenges of proprietary algorithms that prioritize keeping users on-site. His guide includes actionable tips on creating audience-specific content that enhances visibility and engagement without the need for users to leave the platform.

Kirsti Lang from Buffer dives deep into the best times to post videos on YouTube after analyzing over a million videos. She shares that posting on Fridays between 3-4 PM can significantly boost your views, along with other optimal times each day of the week.

Sydney Go shares the metrics that define successful email marketing campaigns. She details how email open rates are crucial for gauging the effectiveness of your email marketing efforts. She explains how to calculate these rates and the impact of various elements like subject lines and send times. Some of the highlights:

  • Email Open Rates: Learn the formula to calculate your email's open rates and why they're a pivotal marketing metric.

  • Factors Influencing Open Rates: Discover how subject lines, preheaders, and the sender's name influence subscribers' willingness to open emails.

  • Industry Benchmarks: Compare your open rates with industry averages to gauge your campaign's effectiveness. For example, Communications industry gets 48.8% open rates, while internet marketing industry gets 21.9%.

  • Strategies for Improvement: Explore actionable tips like A/B testing for subject lines and optimizing email send times.


Anu Adegbola explores Google AdSense's new "ad intents" for Auto Ads, a format that integrates links and anchors within site content, driving traffic to Google SERP pages. This optional feature could alter revenue streams and site traffic for publishers, sparking debate on its benefits and drawbacks.

My Take: Um…if you rely on affiliate commissions, wouldn’t this new ad format cut right into that?

Google AdSense publishers are experiencing significant drops in earnings and RPMs since late February, with reports of up to 90% decreases. Barry Schwartz shares feedback from publishers in Google AdSense Forums who are concerned about the sudden decline in revenue without changes in traffic or ad performance.

Monetization Ripples

  • Danny Goodwin reports a staggering $88.8 billion in U.S. search ad revenues for 2023, marking a new record. Despite slower growth compared to other digital ad formats, search ads still dominate with a 39.5% market share.

  • Matt G. Southern explores Google's introduction of "YouTube Select Shorts," which allows ads to be placed alongside trending videos. With over two billion monthly users and 70 billion daily views, YouTube Shorts' new advertising opportunities offer brands innovative ways to engage a vast and growing audience.


Luce Rawlings from SISTRIX explores the impact of recent Google updates on SEO visibility across various UK domains. The analysis highlights which domains thrived and which did not. Some interesting takeaways and insights:

  •'s visibility rebounded significantly after a restructuring of its website following its acquisition.

  • YouGarden's visibility boost was linked to specific product category enhancements and overall site optimization.

  • Missguided and Turner Classic Movies suffered considerable losses in visibility, tied to business and operational changes.


Sydney Go discusses the nuances of pogo-sticking in SEO, differentiating it from bounce rates and discussing its impact on rankings. She provides strategies to minimize pogo-sticking by enhancing user experience and aligning content with search intent, crucial for maintaining website credibility and improving conversion rates.


Nick Eubanks offers expert advice for crafting effective SEO proposals to attract and convert clients. He emphasizes the strategic importance of educating clients on SEO benefits, outlining a clear action plan, and demonstrating potential ROI. He also shares a free template to streamline your proposal process and scale your SEO business.

My Take: The proposal template is easily one of the more detailed templates I’ve seen that’s offered for free.


Get free stuff for referring friends and family to niche surfer!

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

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

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