niche surfer - Wave Issue 140

Hours to SEO Greatness; Topical Map Awesomeness; Search Intent; Canva Content; Content for People, Not Robots; Affiliate Marketing Recipes; and Much More!


Last week, we talked about the importance of exploration, learning, and testing things yourself.

This week, let’s dive a bit deeper into learning and practicing.

niche surfer Greatness is Built Hour by Hour

I sometimes get feedback from subscribers who decide to unsubscribe, saying there's "too much info."

It’s funny because you can’t distill down “success” to 5-minute newsletters. Maybe if I wrote every day, I could do 5-minute newsletters. But that’s 7 days x 5 minutes = 35 minutes a week.

Right now, niche surfer takes about 10-15 minutes on average to read each week, which I believe is a reasonable time investment if you're serious about your journey and success.

It’s been a while since I was in any math class, but I think 35 is greater than 15 😅

I also get messages from people who are clicking, reading, listening, and watching various resources each week.

They're investing more than just those 10-15 minutes - they're going the extra step to delve into topics more in-depth, to really understand and learn different things.

In fact, about 22.67% of you (based on my subscriber statistics) are regularly clicking the links I provide to learn more.

More than 1 in 5 of you are taking this journey to greatness seriously. You can’t achieve great things without learning and practice.

One of my favorite books is Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers, where he says:

“Ten thousand hours is the magic number of greatness.”

Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers

5 minutes of reading time might be okay for a quick news recap email, but not if you want to achieve greatness in any subject.

Have you heard of Warren Buffet? He estimates he spends 80% of his day reading. Everything he reads builds upon his foundational knowledge to make amazingly profitable decisions in the market.

I don’t spend that much time reading, but I do spend 1-2 hours each day reading, listening, and watching. Sometimes, it’s even more if I binge interviews while I work.

Let’s do a little math on how many hours I’ve spent consuming and learning for this newsletter that’s on issue 140.

  • Me: 140 weeks x 12.5 hours average = 1,750 hours

  • Clickers: 140 weeks x 25 minutes avg = 58+ hours

  • Subscribers: 140 weeks x 12.5 minutes avg = 29+ hours

  • Others: 140 weeks x 5 minutes avg = 11+ hours

The ones who click to learn more have a 2x leg up on the regular subscribers. And more than a 5x leg up on the 5-minute readers of other newsletters!

So, here’s my challenge for you this week:

  1. Click any link below and learn more about a topic.

  2. Put what you learned into action.

  3. Monitor the impact, especially if it’s quantifiable, like positional rankings.

The 1-2 hours you just took to learn and take action will help you build your foundation of knowledge to help you achieve greatness on your journey.

Greatness is built hour by hour - Let's get started!


My lovely little topical maps course gets a shout-out from Clint Butler at the 25:40 minute mark of his latest stream. He does mention it earlier, but this is where the meat is.

I reached out to him due to his disappointment with the Topical Authority Course from Koray. Wanted to get his private feedback on my course, so I might get tips on how to improve my course from a seasoned guy like Clint because I’ve seen and shared a number of his videos in past newsletters discussing entities, internal links, topical authority, etc.

I just wanted to get his thoughts privately so he didn’t feel an obligations, but I’m glad he’s sharing it publicly, whether it’s good, bad, or ugly. Seems good so far:

“All that stuff missing from Koray’s course, is all right here…Here’s the 40 [videos] I wish I had…to bring everything together and I would have been able to turn something into awesomeness.”

Clint Butler


Lazarina Stoy dives into search intent and its impact on content creation. Search intent refers to the underlying goals and motivations behind user search queries, and understanding it can revolutionize your SEO strategy.

Whether you're focusing on SEO, niche sites, digital marketing, or online businesses, this topic is crucial for optimizing your content and driving organic traffic.

Immersive View in Google Maps

SEO Ripples


Sean Markey does a great breakdown of Canva’s “Forest Green” page and how they’re doing a great job on content creation. The key takeaways:

  • Cover the topical map entirely (*cough* Topical Maps Unlocked *cough*)

  • Write useful, straightforward content that are well-structured

  • Focus on internal linking

  • Incorporate semantically-similar keywords for topical relevancy

  • Don't be afraid of shorter content

Jennifer Harmon discusses content atomization which involves breaking down a big piece of content into smaller, bite-sized elements and repurposing them across various marketing channels.

It’s a good look at how to make the most out of your content investments by extending reach and engagement.

By spreading your big idea across multiple smaller formats, you increase your brand's visibility and attention.

Ahrefs also shares 13 ways to repurpose content this week.

In case you haven’t heard them say it, here is a reminder of their mantra of “helpful, reliable, people-first content.”

And @tonythill says what we’re all thinking:

“If you create a search engine, a reminder: create your search engine for people, not robots, for success in search.

If people create content you don't like, change how you rank it. Don't expect people to create content that can't rank because your bots don't like it.”

Content Ripples


OpenAI has made exciting updates to its API models, bringing more possibilities for developers. The latest improvements include:

  • Function Calling: Developers can now describe functions to the gpt-4-0613 and gpt-3.5-turbo-0613 models.

  • Updated Models: Both gpt-4 and gpt-3.5-turbo have updates.

  • Extended Context: A new 16k context version of gpt-3.5-turbo allows it to support approximately 20 pages of text in a single request.

  • Lower Prices: gpt-3.5-turbo have been reduced by 25%. The embeddings model was reduced by 75%, now priced at $0.0001 per 1K tokens.

AI Ripples


Tired of shying away from link building? It’s time to put that fear aside. Mark Webster from Authority Hacker breaks down 7 different link building methods:

  1. Shotgun outreach: Send 100 to 300 personalized emails per day to low to medium authority sites, asking for a guest post.

  2. Sniper outreach: Send 5 to 20 highly personalized messages per day to high authority sites, targeting authors, editors, or content managers.

  3. Linkable assets: Create industry-specific original research or data to naturally earn links over time.

  4. HARO: Respond to niche-specific questions from journalists to get links from big newspapers and high authority publications.

  5. Digital PR: Create attention-grabbing content or stories that appeal to journalists for high-quality link acquisition.

  6. Compound link swaps: Offer to build links to other site owners' sites from your guest posts in exchange for links to your site.

  7. Combination strategies


Gael Breton from Authority Hacker shares their proven SEO strategies for affiliate marketers. Key things he covers in this comprehensive article to get started with affiliate marketing:

  • Choose the right niche

  • Choose the right domain name

  • Plan a website structure for SEO and users

  • Optimize your internal linking

  • Conduct keyword research


Jacky Chou spent $10,000 on across various types of link vendors, including niche providers, PBN providers, and guest post providers. There were 10 different vendors and 10 different domains that were aged exactly 12 months.

The target was the same 800 informational keywords across all 10 sites. The articles were generated using an AI-powered auto-blogging service. Here are the results:

  1. (PBN)

  2. Rhinorank

  3. Indexsy (Jacky’s agency)

Oooh the disavow tool. Whichever side of the fence you’re on, Glenn Gabe from GSQi, shares a case study of a site owner's decision to remove a massive disavow file containing over 15,000 domains that resulted in a very nice recovery.

The site went through a domain change that ended up with a 70-80% drop in traffic. After working with Glenn for months on improving the site and going through updates without increases in traffic, the site owner finally listened and removed the disavow file. Then it surged up with the April 2023 Reviews Update.

He adds he’s not saying they surged back due to removing the disavow file. He’s just making the point that the disavow file wasn’t doing anything (in his opinion). They surged back from the dead without the file in place.

Glenn is firmly on the side that it’s not needed: “Unless you actively set up unnatural links to try and game Google’s algorithms, then you should never, ever have to touch the disavow tool. That is one reason it’s literally buried in the GSC user interface.”


Glen Allsopp reviews the recently released The Independent’s revenue numbers for the financial year ending September 2022. He noticed a significant increase in affiliate income for The Independent, which grew by 44% thanks to their IndyBest platform.

The IndyBest platform offers reviews on various products, such as laptops, BBQs, and kid's backpacks. The revenue growth can be attributed to "bigger commercial partnerships," suggesting improved commissions or paid product reviews.

Glen also has another article on TIME Stamped, announced 2nd of May, already taking over personal finance search results and reaching up to an estimated 450,000 visitors per month from search, according to data from Ahrefs.

Another powerful domain taking over the SERPs in areas they didn’t cover before.


Squarespace acquires assets of Google Domains, which includes approximately 10 million registered domains hosted on Google Domains

Who expected this??


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


My partner-in-crime in the LowFruits Case Study - Dim Nikov - started a newsletter! He’s going to be sharing a lot of great info, so you definitely don’t want to miss out on this.


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