digital surfer wave 192

SEOing AI Overviews; SEOxPPC; AI Superintelligence by 2030; Perplexity Pages Overtake You; Content Mapping; Diverse and Healthy Link Profiles; and Much More!


Been a long week, so I’m going to make this really short and leave you with this drawing from one of the kids.

I found it in my Apple Notes and it just reminded me that even though there is all this work, stress, and pressure, you need to make time to get SILLY and have fun!

What’s the drawing? I can’t figure it out 😅 

Topical Maps Unlocked 2.0 is coming, so I’m going to be closing off sales to the current TMU 1.0 on Sunday, June 16th at 11:59pm ET.

After that, you’ll have to wait for 2.0 to be released. All current 1.0 students will get the new updates for free.

Some of the lessons I’ll be adding to 2.0:

  • Branding

  • Content Strategy

  • Content Mapping

  • Content Planning

  • Content Briefs

  • Content Creation

  • Omnichannel Marketing

How do they all tie into Topical Maps? You’ll just have to wait and see 🫣 

And if you’re not in yet, get TMU 1.0 before next Sunday June 16th!


Cyrus Shepard’s mini case study on X demonstrates how tweaking a webpage to match AI Overview text can earn a spot, provided it’s also in Google’s top 10 organic search results. He warns, though, that this tactic can be fickle and may affect other rankings like featured snippets.


Matt Diggity shares the art of blending SEO with paid traffic strategies to build successful online businesses. This video is packed with insights on how to generate and sustain traffic, optimize funnels, and ultimately increase profitability. Matt shares his own journey from running a link-building agency to creating high-revenue courses, all fueled by paid ads. He breaks down the importance of knowing your numbers, leveraging email marketing, and continuously refining your approach to maximize returns.

Grace Frohlich gets into the nitty-gritty of integrating SEO and PPC in the latest Moz Whiteboard Friday episode. She shares a practical playbook that helps you align your teams, share data effectively, and sync up your roadmaps for a unified strategy. The takeaway? Less unnecessary spending, cohesive messaging, and sustainable growth.

Wait, didn’t Google say clicks didn’t affect rankings? 😂 


SEO Ripples

  • Google's search ranking algorithm has been experiencing significant volatility, especially over the weekend of June 1st. Barry Schwartz dives into the intense fluctuations observed in various SEO tools and the buzzing chatter within the SEO community.

  • Barry Schwartz dives into the latest BrightEdge data revealing a significant drop in Google's AI Overviews—from 84% to just 15% of queries. This change reflects Google's efforts to minimize incorrect AI answers and reduce operational costs.

  • Google says that starting July 5, 2024, any site that's completely inaccessible on mobile won't be indexed. This doesn't mean non-mobile-friendly sites are excluded, just those that don't load at all on mobile devices. The push is part of Google's final steps towards a fully mobile-first index. Make sure your site loads on mobile, or risk being invisible on Google.

  • Google's recent case study reveals how structured data and optimized URLs can significantly boost search traffic. Vidio, an Indonesian publisher, saw nearly double the clicks and triple the video impressions by implementing VideoObject markup. Roger Montti explains how using stable URLs for videos helps with indexing and user interest signals.

  • Google has made it official: ads are now mixed with organic results on the search engine results page (SERP). This change has been tested over the past year, with ads appearing within the top organic listings or directly below featured snippets. Brodie Clark's article dives into the timeline of these changes, how they impact user experience, and what you should be aware of moving forward.

  • Google's latest update to its coupons FAQs in the original Google March core update blog post targets white-label coupon sites, emphasizing that those designed to manipulate search rankings will be penalized under the site reputation abuse policy. Barry Schwartz explains that only sites directly involved in sourcing coupons from merchants, offering genuine value to readers, will remain unaffected.


Leopold Aschenbrenner, a former safety researcher at OpenAI on the Superalignment team, shares a series of eight essays on his vision of where he sees AI going. He outlines the incredible acceleration of AI technology and its potential to outpace human intelligence by the end of the decade. You can go through each of the essays individually or get a pdf of all of them combined.

My Take: Really interesting stuff if you’re into this stuff. He posits AI will outhink humans by 2027, Superintelligence by 2030 when AGIs will automate AI research, and the AI race by world powers.

Here is the Perplexity Pages announcement showing how to easily transform your research into beautifully formatted, comprehensive content. They show a number of Pages that are popular for content sites:

My Take: There are many citations in these Pages, so that’s nice to see where they get the info. But if these are the first pages to come out of their Pages system, it’s not a good sign for the content sites that are still hanging on. Information gain and unique content are even more needed to stand out and have a chance to thrive.

It’ll be interesting to see what Google does here. AI Overviews would be summarizing AI overviews from Perplexity, so it’s what I’ve said before about the vicious cycle of AI summarizing AI with no new information being created. Will Google manually demote Perplexity Pages like LinkedIn Collabs? Or how will they handle it?

While we all wait for OpenAI’s Sora to be released, a Chinese text-to-video AI was released: Kling. The videos are impressive and they also include a image-to-video feature.

AI Ripples

  • Maxwell Zeff dives into a potential game-changer: Apple and OpenAI teaming up to bring ChatGPT to iPhones. This partnership could shift the balance of power in Silicon Valley, making ChatGPT a core feature on iOS. Zeff's article offers insights into what this deal means for the future of AI and its integration into everyday tech, highlighting how it might redefine user experiences and industry standards.

  • People were in an uproar over Adobe's new Terms of Service because they feared that the company might analyze locally saved files, potentially compromising their privacy. Carl Franzen explains Adobe's response to the recent uproar over their new Terms of Service. He clarifies that Adobe cannot and does not analyze files saved locally on users' devices.


YouTube is making it easier to engage with your audience. You can now create posts directly from the YouTube mobile app or desktop, and experiment with polls, quizzes, GIFs, text, images, and videos. This new feature helps you deepen your connection with viewers and keep your community engaged.


Brooke Osmundson shares practical strategies to boost Google Ads conversion rates. From refining your keyword choices and crafting engaging ad copy to optimizing landing pages and leveraging negative keywords, she offers actionable insights that can transform your PPC performance.

The Backlinko Team shares the current trends and statistics shaping the ecommerce landscape in 2024. They provide a comprehensive overview, from global sales figures to consumer behavior insights. With ecommerce expected to capture 41% of retail sales by 2027, this piece is packed with valuable data for anyone interested in the future of online shopping. Some of the takeaways:

  • Worldwide retail ecommerce sales are projected to reach $6.33 trillion in 2024, marking an 8.76% year-over-year increase.

  • In the US, ecommerce sales hit $1.1 trillion in 2023, with Amazon capturing 40.4% of the market share.

  • Mobile ecommerce is booming, accounting for 57% of global online sales in 2024.

  • Free delivery, discounts, and easy returns are top motivators for online purchases.

  • Over 50% of US social media users have made purchases directly via social channels in 2024.

Marketing Ripples

  • Instagram is shaking things up with a test for “unskippable” ads that you can’t scroll past. Emma Roth reports that these "ad breaks" will pause your feed, forcing you to watch an ad before you can continue scrolling. Instagram's goal? To drive more value for advertisers. It’s similar to YouTube’s 30-second unskippable ads, and it could change how we interact with our feeds.

  • Val Razo shares tips on leveraging social proof for small businesses on Instagram. From repurposing customer reviews to collaborating with influencers, Val highlights strategies that boost credibility and engagement, and help you build trust and drive growth on Instagram.

  • ConvertKit’s big news this week was that they’re rebranding to just “Kit”. Reminds me of another company who shortened their name and un-rebranded. Woocommerce → Woo → Woocommerce. As they cut away the fat in their brand name, their free plan gets fatter. You can have up to 10k subscribers now!


Adam Heitzman shares how to use content mapping to kick your SEO strategy game up a notch. He outlines a step-by-step approach to developing a content plan that guides visitors from initial interest to loyal customers. Discover how aligning content with the buyer's journey can boost relevance, user engagement, and keyword optimization, ultimately driving more conversions.

My Take: Content strategy, content maps, and content plans will all be a part of what I’ll be covering in Topical Maps Unlocked 2.0 when released. Why? It’s because a the topical map is the foundation. If you’ve taken my course, read this while thinking about how topical maps can guide you throughout the process 😀 


In a recent study by Jim Boykin from Internet Marketing Ninjas, the relationship between backlinks and search rankings was scrutinized. Despite Google's recent claims downplaying the importance of backlinks, Boykin's analysis of 200 commercial search phrases and 1,113 websites revealed that backlinks are still crucial.

The findings showed that 96.3% of top-ranking sites have over 1,000 unique domain backlinks. This suggests that while Google might say links are less critical, the data tells a different story, emphasizing the ongoing significance of a strong backlink profile.

Vince Nero's latest piece dives into 23 actionable digital PR strategies backed by real-life examples. From keyword-driven campaigns to eye-catching visuals and compelling data studies, Vince shares how to leverage content-led link building to build your brand and rank better. Some of the strategies include:

  • Keyword-Driven Digital PR

  • Visual-Led Content

  • Newsjacking

  • Creating Pitchable City "Index" Studies

  • Microsites

  • Getting Regional Coverage

Andrew Dennis discusses building a diverse and healthy backlink profile with a user-first mindset. You'll learn actionable tips on diversifying link types, balancing anchor text, and optimizing your followed vs. nofollowed links ratio. This guide will help you avoid overoptimization, discover new audiences, and boost your site's search performance.


Want to check multiple search queries and see if AI Overview pops up? And then analyze the results to get things like source articles and domain commonalities? Oh, and then download those results into a spreadsheet?This is the extension for you.

Loren Baker shares a comprehensive guide to Google Search Console (GSC). He breaks down how to use GSC to monitor site performance, diagnose issues, and improve rankings.


Sam Parr talks to Kevin Espiritu about his incredible journey from starting a gardening blog as a hobby to building a $45 million-a-year business, Epic Gardening. He dives into detailed strategies on how he grew traffic, acquired companies, and validated market demand through content. Kevin's transparency about his revenue milestones and the challenges he faced along the way.

Jason Paul Hendricks interviews Glenn Allsopp from Glenn, one of the biggest names in SEO, shares valuable insights from his 15 years of experience. They discuss the importance of quality over quantity in content creation, managing diverse projects, and venturing outside your comfort zone.

Joe Davies shares the strategies he used for scaling the FatJoe SEO agency with Craig Dewart and Josh Peacock. The key takeaway? Stay lean and systemized. Joe emphasizes the importance of cautious hiring and robust internal processes to weather economic and industry changes. He also highlights the benefits of productizing services and niching down to streamline operations and build expertise. For those looking to grow their agency, Joe suggests focusing on creating predictable, scalable systems and leveraging both PPC and SEO for client acquisition.

Raptive is urging readers to sign a letter to protect high-quality content and the livelihoods of human content creators in the age of AI. By signing the letter, readers can show their support for these principles and help advocate for the rights and interests of content creators. The page doesn’t describe what the plans are with the signatures though.


MozCon 2024 went on for two days in Seattle with loads of presentations exploring the latest trends, challenges, and opportunities in the industry, touching on AI's increasing role, algorithm changes, and performance measurement. Too many to present here, but the recaps below give a great summary of each one, plus some of the presentation decks:


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