What Google Generative AI in Search Results Means for Bloggers + Faceless YouTube Earnings and 2 Weird Niche Sites
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Curious how Google's upcoming AI search engine may affect site owners?
Today's episode of Niche Pursuits News has you covered with an in-depth and wide-ranging discussion between hosts Spencer, Jared, and guest-host and MarketMuse founder Jeff Coyle about Google's recent unveiling of Magi.
The guys consider how this new generative AI search feature will account for:
- Learning curve
- And more...
And, of course, they brainstorm how these changes may impact site owners and the display ad networks that so many rely on for income.
The discussion then goes to the increasing importance of brand and community building through various channels, such as email and social media marketing. And the benefits these technological evolutions bring for those willing to persevere.
And as a special bonus, listeners can sign up for MarketMuse using promo code 'niche20mm' for a 20% discount!
Spencer also shares an exciting update about his faceless YouTube channel and how it's now consistently earning over $100 per day - far exceeding his expected earnings of $80 in the entire month of May.
And Jared discusses how he recently launched a free tool during his latest interview on the Niche Pursuits podcast, which has had some excellent results.
The discussion then gets into weird niche sites where Spencer shares a super niche site called Western Mining History with a DR 59 and monetized with both Mediavine ads and a membership option.
Jared then shares his niche site find PenVibe.com, which focuses on pens and related products. The site has a basic design and appears to have quite an interesting history, but it started picking up traffic in 2018, with a surge in March and April 2023.
Overall it's a fascinating discussion with lots of nuggets of wisdom forecasting the future of blogging and search in the age of AI.
So make sure to listen to the full episode to learn more!
Watch The Video
Spencer: Hey everyone. Welcome back to the podcast, Spencer here. And we've got another week in Niche Pursuits news, and not a week goes by and there is like monumental news just all the time. And of course I've got Jared, my co-host here with me. Jared, another big week of news, isn't it? I mean, there's
Jared: big weeks and then there's this week I think.
Yes, as we get into the news this week, I mean, man, it's gonna be it's gonna be it, it's a week in news, let's put it that way.
Spencer: Yeah, absolutely. And it's so big in fact that we can't handle it by ourselves, so we had to bring in an expert. We've got Jeff Coyle here with us from Market Muse. Jeff, how you doing?
Hi Spencer. Hey
Jeff: Jared. Looking forward to talking about this wild and wacky week, which has kind of become the norm now and it's
Spencer: kind of scary. Yeah, yeah. Every week when we record we think, ah, there's not gonna be big news next week though. And sure enough, here we are. And so side note Jeff and I were just hanging out in Costa Rica just a couple of weeks ago, so good to see you back in, in the us.
Jeff, another one of that.
Jared: Good looking.
Jeff: Yeah, we're working really hard. Okay. That's right. That's, it was a lot of work. We got a lot done. I, I did a lot. I got a lot done that week. It was amazing. I think it's just getting sleep regular for a while was just has such a huge impact, so
Spencer: Yeah. Yeah, we were, we were definitely busy.
You must have got more work done than I did, but I, I will say I was busy having a good time, so look, beautiful. It was a lot of fun. Yes. Yeah. Costa Rica highly recommended. So with that, let's jump into the news. So this week, just yesterday was the big Google IO event where they announced all their latest technology.
All their new changes, things that they're coming out with. So there's several things that maybe aren't directly applicable to you know, search engine results and, and bloggers. But let's focus on specifically what was announced and what was shared as it relates to sort of AI search results. And they did finally announce that, hey, there is new Google search generative experience.
And so let me just share my screen here real quick. We always do this and it's all right screen. We have got, yes, this is just an article on search engine land, the new Google search, generative experience. Here's what it looks like, right? So Barry Schwartz always covering all the search engine news for us.
And he provided, you know, a couple of screenshots so we can kind of see this here on the screen. This is what it's gonna look like very soon, apparently. You do a search and then at the top here in the green here is the generative ai. It gives you an answer it looks like down below it's got some follow up questions that can go on and generate more AI-based results.
And then it does look like it has at least in this example, three links that you can click on and, and go over to some blogs and read more details. And then below it looks like your standard search engine results pages. So, With that, Jeff, let's, let's bring you in. What are your thoughts on this change?
How does it impact bloggers? Well,
Jeff: I have to say something snarky to Stark when you're looking at search results, cuz you know, we're looking at a Barry page and, you know, the snark comes when you look at that first change. But first thing I think about is you know, there's the field of information retrieval, right?
Is about finding stuff out of a database, right? But we're not looking at information retrieval. We're looking at someone typing in a wildly complicated query, right? And getting, and getting back kind of a book report on that query. And so it's, this is a whole different interaction. It's not about someone searching for something and Google providing the, they're saying the intent of this query is likely simple.
So I'm gonna provide a simple response. Like a featured snippet or an instant answer. Right? So what is the capital of North Dakota? Huh? Bismarck one. And, but you know, maybe you also want to know a big guide to Indi, to North Dakota. Maybe you wanna know more about it. So I'm gonna provide you other next step opportunities.
This is a different experience. So when I look at this, I think of it's almost training a new behavior. And the big question I would have for y'all, you know what I mean? Is do you think this is the behavior that people want? Right?
Spencer: Yeah. I don't know. I mean, is this you want people typing in, you know, big long sentences all the time and getting back these, these types of results?
Jeff: I don't know. Or are they capable of even typing in that sentence and knowing that that's like, there are they, is that intuitive? So, I mean, just think about the, the counterpart here is Should I go to Bryce Canyon or Arches National Parks? Right. Okay. Now I'm gonna, that's a, that's a, that's a less in less explicit intent.
Now I just type in Bryce Canyon. Mm-hmm. What's my intent? What's the experience of generative ai? If I just type in Bryce Canyon, that's when, that's when this starts to become a product management discussion versus kind of an exhibition of capabilities,
Spencer: you know? Right. So do you think that this type of AI result is, is gonna be very limited, like only certain queries are gonna actually pull up a generative AI result?
Or do we know?
Jeff: I, I mean the tips that I've gotten pre, before Google IO released were that absolutely. It's gonna be intent specific. But. The clarification points on that. I don't know that that's what I'm, yeah. I haven't gotten the, the when and the why, right. In, in in January I believe someone asked me, they're like, do you think Google's gonna win this?
Right? And I said, well, their history has been that they understand intent very well. Sometimes you get a mac pack, sometimes you get a knowledge graph, sometimes you get a gmmb. Google my business profile. Sometimes you get people also ask, you know and the answer for them is to truly know when this intent and when this experience is gonna be the right experience.
And that's what I think is being shown most most uniquely here is them, them saying like, you know, I mean, you know, the long tail better than anybody, Spencer, when someone's going ultra long tail is that this answer? What other intents might they surface? And you just show us another. Example. So yeah.
Spencer: talk through this. Yeah. Yep. Here's just another example that Barry shared, right? You know, Bluetooth speaker for, for a pool party. This is, you know, a little bit shorter of a query clearly but it has shopping results in it, right? So this is what's interesting is that it's, it, it, it actually shows the AI result above some of the shopping results here.
And but still has what appears to be, you know, three blog examples, you know, on the right hand side, sort of the, I don't know what you call that, you know, sort of this pack on the right there. And So, yeah, it, it looks like it, it's gonna look very different depending on the type of query, right? Is it gonna have shopping results in it?
Is it gonna have more ads next to it? I have to imagine they didn't show us where all the ads show up just yet, but there's gonna be ads, right? They gotta make their money here above the fold somewhere, right? If it's not shopping results, there's still gonna be ads somewhere. Would be my thought.
Jeff: So what's your, so here's the question, right?
Are those three posts they're representing smartly by the person designing this one, by the way? The previous one? Whoa, that's a long query. There's, there's a lot there. I don't know about that whackadoodle query, but Yep. This is much more specific, right? So now I've got three posts that exist elsewhere on the web that are representing the buyer journey somewhat.
Right? Right. And I then have the product evaluation part of the buyer journey shown. Right? And that's it. So I guess the questions would be what about the people who provide that experience on their site, right? Currently. So what about the person who has the JBL flip as their best Bluetooth speaker for a pool party?
What if the sources on that top right pack that's all the val, all the value that they provided? So, so that, that becomes the, the, and then, you know, when you click on that JBL flip, is that a refer, is that an affiliate link?
Spencer: Yeah, e exactly. Where, where does this go, right? Is is that going to you know, a shopping pa, a Google shopping, you know, result or, you know, to JBL directly?
Or is it going to the blog post that maybe is pulled from one of these three blogs, right? Like, is it saying, Hey, here's, here's the results that kind of, you know, the internet is recommending. I, so we don't know exactly where these links go. Mm-hmm. Right? How, how that operates quite yet, and
Jeff: who's to blame, right?
So, so this is the, this is the other dichotomy, right? It's like featured snippets. They have a clear source. It's a snippet, right? You're providing recommendations as part of a buyer journey if it comes from an ad server, right? If it comes from shopping or an ad server. The advertiser is clearly to blame.
And then there's a quality standard managing the ad product, right? In this case, if you click on, what is it? Super audio funtime.com, right? Whatever that is, I can't read it from here. And they give you the top speakers for a pool party. The author is, and the owner of that. But what if the JBL flip isn't a great speaker for a pool party, right?
What if it, what if it breaks in saltwater
Spencer: pools? Yeah. And it, it gets even more difficult on for, for Google Right. Potential like PR nightmare in when you start moving a little bit more away from products and, and I, I guess even products, you know, it could definitely, could be some bad recommendations, but more to, to just bad information.
Correct. Right. Especially if you're making decisions based on this. I, I think at least I've heard that, that Google is going to not provide AI results in certain things like finance and health, like medical stuff. Oh, why? Yeah. Probably So. Why, why M y L? Simply because you, you get into some scary territory where people can make real life decisions based on this, and they're basically saying they're not ready for their AI to do that, I think.
Jeff: Yep. And yeah, I guess the expansion of this is like, I love that you can, I love that they kept sources in. I mean, the SEO community was like dying at some of those early specs because they didn't have sources in them. And they're like, wait a second. I mean, you've got some sources in here. It's gonna be very, I mean, this implementation, imagine being an SEO in this situation.
You are fighting to be part of that pack. You want to be in that pack. So, I mean, it's kind of got that similar feel. And then when you draw down that you're gonna have prompts for other, kinda, like a, people also ask, but continuing this education information or learn or buying journey you know, I want to be there.
I wanna write a great article that's gonna satisfy that prompt and that prompt and that prompt and basically do what Google wants you to do, which is build this beautiful cluster of content that covers all the intents. And some people here have built software. To to solve for. That's right. And, and, and, and so that to me, I mean, it's, it's kind of like Google's coaching you even more about what it wants and that's always beautiful cuz it's higher quality.
But what, you know, you see that secondary experience there, right? Right. Yep. So beautiful. How, how do you guys see that, that secondary experience?
Spencer: Jared, what do you think? We're, we're looking at sort of a, a gif here. I can't expand it any further, unfortunately, but, you know, you've got your first result and then you can click, you know, ask a follow up or, you know, it, it gives you a, an additional prompt.
Jared: Yeah. So many thoughts, honestly. I mean, experience wise, I think this is a significant upgrade in the way that people interact with the ERPs. I mean, we know that Google, like, there's been growing sentiment that the experience of a viewer in the SERP has gotten very muddy as Google's introduced so many different.
Things like ads have become so much more prominent and now they're sliding. People also ask featured snippets video snippets you know, rich snippets you know, site links. They're playing. So certainly we know, like if we're just being a reader and a viewer here and not putting our SEO hat on, like the experience in the SES has, has been going downhill.
That's kind of a broad-based statement. So experience wise, this feels a lot better, right? Like it feels more visual. They have a name for it. What's it called? Perspectives, I think. Mm-hmm. Is what they're calling it. And it feels awesome. So you know, from just how it interacts, I think that there's some really good things they're doing there, and certainly depending on how, what kind of query it is.
Kinda going back to Jeff's original point, different queries are probably gonna have a lot different types of engagement, whereas right now your engagement on the srp, the search and result page is probably pretty static. Even if you're doing a. A super high level query, like, what is Bryce Canyon? Or a super long tail query, like the one that we were seeing here, like your, your experience in the surface is probably pretty static.
It's just gonna be pretty normal. Like what result looks the best for my use case, I'll click on that and if I get the answer I want, I'm there. And if I don't, I'll bounce back. But here, man, it's a lot more immersive. So experience wise, that's kind of my take on it. I, I do like a lot of what it's doing.
Jeff: So, Jared, Jared, just sorry. So the question I had for Jared is, historically Google has, you know, not necessarily had much of a learning curve, right? It's your search, you see, you click. If you don't like it, you go find another thing and click on it. Would you see this as having a learning curve?
Jared: When you say learning curve, maybe expand on that a little bit more.
Jeff: A user. Mm-hmm. Who is having this experience? Is it clear that this is what they're going to get? Right. Is this, you know, is it clear that, you know, some, this is, you know, think about clippy, you know, the intelligent assistant. Think about, you know, going all the way down the road to, you know, ask what as G'S tried to accomplish.
And, you know, the, the historical failures of intelligent agents, that's what, you know, the, the field and chat bots. Do you feel this is for a person who has no idea what the letters SEO NLG mean, and they believe that AI equals chat, G P T, which is the majority of the human race right now. Does this make sense
Jared: to them?
No, no, no. And I'm glad you brought it up because again, let's, let's actually look at chat G p T as a bit of a monochrome for your question Chat. G P T is great, provided you know how to prompt it right and prompting it right. Is a whole nother science in and of itself. Right. And it involves me having to really actually know what I want and what inputs play a role in what I want.
You know, like I was talking to chat g p d this morning, I used talking with your quotes, but, and trying to get it to write an email for me and playing with it, and the level and the depth of information I had to give it to get significant results back was, was pretty high. Now I'm not sure that when I'm Googling something on my phone, as I'm running between appointments, I'm gonna have the ability to utilize this type of experience to the degree I would need to get an answer I want.
Right? And in this fast-paced society and in this fast-paced culture, along with the way that we interact with the web right now, I, I don't know, I gotta be honest with you. Would it be great for certain queries? Yes. Is it gonna be great for the way, like, my wife uses Google right now? No, it's not.
Spencer: Right, right.
It's really interesting because you think about, you know, my 74 year old mother, right? She will have no idea like what's going on behind the scenes, right. Just does Google work, right? Does she get her answer that she wanted? And even when I look at my wife, you know, searching for things she's not tech savvy.
Like she still often doesn't know the difference between an ad and a result and Right, right. So even that, so adding this whole other layer of AI plus additional queries, plus how do you manage, you know, stacking, you know, that that additional queries on top of each other, it's, it's a little bit of a learning curve.
So how easy will Google make it for the, the, you know, basic user? I don't know. And so it, it may be something that, yes, they want it to be very immersive right now, but it may be. It's gonna end up being a very small use case, right? Like maybe it's a very small percentage of queries that actually AI really grabs hold and makes a lot of sense for, I don't know.
Jared: Here's a question I have, I mean, I guess specifically for you, Jeff. Mm-hmm. Is, you know, we've seen this experience word get added to Google's e e a T, and now we see first in their documentation from yesterday's presentation, but also just looking at this, it's clear that they want to incorporate experience in.
And yet at the same time, you know, I I look through those Bluetooth screenshots that Spencer was sharing, right? And there's so much of what, how we interact with the internet and the whole proliferation of affiliate websites in the first place. If we go all the way back is we, we want to know what an actual person thinks of something, right?
And we, we put a significant value on what someone who we've never met before. And we have no understanding of if they're an expert or not. We put so much value on the internet in what they think. That's the whole reason affiliate websites and even niche sites really work, right, and have worked for so long, is because people don't want to hear a computer tell them, or even Amazon tell them what the best product, what the best Bluetooth speaker is for their pool.
They want someone to tell them. And where does AI fail in Google's results with this internal bias that we as humans seem to have a track record of?
Jeff: I think that's the best question anyone's ever asked me about this, and I just had an entire podcast, two of them, about this topic. And, and it it was, it, I I love that question.
And the, my response, thankfully, I've been thinking about this a lot, is I believe it creates what's called an experienced paradox. And it is that the raw materials that Google wants, Exhibit experience and expertise so that they can inauthentically communicate something where they have no experience.
And that creates this odd paradox, right? Because if I took those three pages about the pool party, and I wrote a three paragraph sentence article that said, if when you're thinking about making a pool party, make sure it's waterproof, make sure that it's fun and it's small, I, whatever it said, right? If I wrote that article and then linked to four Bluetooth speakers and then referenced those three articles, what would they call me?
They'd call me a victim of the p r u update, the product reviews update, right? Because I added no value. So they are create, they've created what I'm referencing as an experienced paradox where they want to be the one who does the things they don't want you to do. Mm-hmm.
Jared: And so 10 years from now, where's the buy-in?
Right? Is it air or is it not? And and I think you're, I mean, you're exactly right. Like this is, I, I have other questions if we get to it, like how this is possible in an IP world, right? My own opinions about that how this is machine from a machine standpoint, how they can actually computationally pull this off in a cost effective manner.
I have questions about that. But do people buy in, you know, like Yelp works because there's a thousand reviews on that restaurant and people like to read them. Amazon is mastered getting reviews from people and people like to read them. I'm just very curious, you know, big picture 10 years from now, how this is, we don't know, obviously, but debate,
Jeff: I think you think about the human think you can though, you can think about it from history, you can use some experience and not just speculation because what happens when inauthentic.
Reviews, product reviews become unprofitable. People focus on authenticity. So now Google has to, are they gonna bring forth your authenticity in that summary or are they not? Is it gonna be generalist? The examples they showed were very generalist, I think probably because they don't want to be you know, so scandalous, right?
But is then the opportunity to make sure above all things you are like, going over the top with your authenticity and with your experience. Like I saw an example in this. I, I tweeted about it. Snarly, cuz that's what you do on Twitter, right? Is the query was, I believe it was the best, you know, the first constellations to learn.
Or something like that. And if you looked at the real Google result in your phone, it was like there was a list of five constellations. It was like, oh, cool. That's, and they're what they look like. The example with Bard was like, when you first start on your journey of Constellation finding, the first thing you should do is look into the third.
Like, I don't want that. I wanna see Orion and I wanna see, you know, how to look. And so it was a it, it's comically bad when the experience does not warrant it. So is Google good at figuring that out? Heck yeah. Query deserves freshness, right? News overlap when news should overlap and when it shouldn't.
Right? And then when it goes away, when the news cycle finishes, Google's good at that. So I think they're gonna hit it out of the park. Yeah. But gosh, how many experiences want this? And I, it looks like they're, they're, they're, they're bringing it in soft. It's an opt-in. Add on Cho ch, you know, what, is this a novelty or is this truly an innovation?
Jared: Well, and like you said, and you know, Spencer, I, I think we talked about it at some point in previous episodes, like there's certain queries where this does fit really well, right? Like, I don't need experience, you know, I need to know, you know, the circumference of the moon. I just made that up. I don't know why you would need it.
I'm sticking with a constellation theme, I guess. There you go. You know, I don't need to talk to someone who's been to the moon to know the circumference of the moon. I just, you know, need the answer and we can all move, move along, right? So certainly we're talking about subsets of queries and, and yeah.
Spencer: Nice. Yeah, the oth The other question that I think a lot of bloggers will be asking is, well, what happens to featured snippets? Right? Right. We've already got featured snippets that are giving a lot of these answers, right? Mm-hmm. The circumference of the moon or whatever other short answer, right?
There's already these snippets that are happening. Do we see a reduction in featured snippets? Is I, I think that's kind of what I'm hearing, but I don't know if we know any additional details on that or not. Yeah.
Jeff: My joke this morning was that the not so prominently featured snippets, you know, and that that's the, that's the, I mean, that's really all it can be.
And, and it's to say I like this secondary question. So yeah, if, if they get pushed down, they're gonna be less plethora rights. But the question is, don't featured snippets. Doesn't featured snippet consumption mean this other experience isn't what you're looking for? Because if I said, what's the substance of the moon?
And it's say it's 47. Right? Okay, cool. I got it. See ya. Mm-hmm. Okay. Does you know, so will it be a or B or will feature snippet get knocked down naturally through some of these and or will Google would just be experimenting with it? I think that that's really my, my take on it is I have problems with featured snippets.
I have problems with featured snippets and then instant answers where, you know, answers where the, the answer is just like, shoot you in the face. Right. When they're wrong. I don't have problems when they're Right, right. But, you know, you type in how much, what is art? Timmy Panera's salary and it says $1 million.
Sorry, Google. That's wrong. He made like 10.5 last year. He's a hockey player. I use hockey, lots of hockey analogies. But it, he's a okay. And that's one of a billion instant answers that are wrong on Google. Right. I'm sure I'm making that number up. But So that's I, is that where people will draw the line?
Is it that I'm only pissed off at it when it's wrong?
Jared: How do they know it's wrong? You know, like I don't get a negative feedback loop if I don't know that that's not his salary. Exactly. Right. I, I move along on my day and I think he's making a million dollars and for whatever reason my question came up, it's now been answered.
And I go about my business and there's not a feedback loop that tells me that that's wrong and they should be held accountable and I'm not gonna use them anymore. It's like the dog that doesn't bark almost.
Jeff: It is the dog that doesn't bark. It's exactly that. So it's, it's, it's, it's the difference between accuracy, authenticity and accuracy, authenticity, authority, and you know, Those things are different.
They're, they're, they're different problems to solve for Google. So my question is, are those four teams fighting with each other? You know, it makes, it makes life a lot harder for Google when accuracy authority and authenticness auth auth, you know, whether something's authentic. But it's, it's the history though.
They, you know, e a t I think I always talk about it backwards. It's nice for marketability, but they tried to figure out trust first, and they did it with links. They tried to figure out authoritativeness with site, site section, site and site section, topic, matrixes or matrices, and then expertise through quality assessments and, you know, qrg and, you know, training models and to figure out hypotheses and signals of, of, and now it's, how do you figure out experience is their biggest challenge, but they've, they've walked the dog.
Back up to that second E and then they're probably gonna have to make another letter that relates to user experience.
Jared: Mm-hmm. Okay. I, I have to ask this question and get it out there. Sorry Spencer, if I'm hijacking your next question, but it's all good ads, right? So ads are the sole motivator for Google at the end of the day.
That's where they make their money. They're, when I say sole motivator, I mean everything about user experience, authenticity, all this stuff drives at we want to be X, y, and Z to keep people on our platform to serve ads, and that's how we make our money. I didn't see anything at all or much at all about ads yesterday.
And how do ads work their way into this? Because that's really the primary thing that Google has to pay attention to, right?
Jeff: Well, isn't that even more exhaustively, the experience paradox that I just described, right? Yes. What if the JBL pool, pool thing was a sponsored ad? That's, that would be even worse of a penalty.
Big time. Right? Right. Yeah. So, so and so, yeah. I mean, don't do what Donnie Don did, right? It's that that's what the that's what they're doing. And, and, and so how do they weave ads into that? How do they weave ads into that? Without, without I mean they've, they've created so many potential problems for themselves with this.
And, and so, so has Microsoft. Microsoft said they don't care about creating problems with themselves cause they're just trying to win market share. But this is the big dog.
Jared: I was gonna say the underdog was always allowed to fight dirty, but, you know.
Spencer: Yeah. No, it's fascinating. The oth the other side of that right?
Is Display ad Network. Right? Right. All, all the ads, you know, the bloggers have, you know, media Vine ad send, you know, all these ads we have on our websites. I think the, the question that. People have are, am I gonna get a lot less traffic now to my website? Am I gonna make as much money on display ads?
Is is Google sort of cannibalizing, right? They're not gonna be sending as much traffic to blogs, and so therefore they're not gonna have as big or as active a display ad network. And I, I don't know. I mean, I, at the end of the day, that's, I think what people listening are like, should I keep blogging? Like, is my traffic just gonna be on Google and not come into my site?
They're gonna scrape my site. They're gonna show that, Hey, this is the best speaker that I recommended. Nobody's gonna come to my site anymore. I think
Jeff: casual blogging becomes hard to justify if you're trying to make money on it. Almost like, I know it has been for a while, but you've really gotta take a, a strategic approach, almost superhuman approach to cover, you know, things extremely comprehensively and, and through the lens of expertise and experience.
In order to actually make business out of it. I think that that's the, that's been where the puck's going and that's, I mean, it's, it's really there. You can't just casually blog and expect that that money is gonna make money. You know because what, what you saw for, you saw a wave where there was casual blogs that got layered with monetization, right?
And that, that world's that world because what was monetization was like light product reviews, affiliate links. And yeah, it, it's not something that's going to progress and have longevity. So you do have to have kind of a purpose driven intent to, to build. You know, and then to your other point about AFC afs Sense for search, add sense for content huge display net, you know, display network, programmatic not a lot of talk about those things.
But you know, you're The, the, I call it light arby and Dark Arby. The light arby is, you know, display network. The dark arby is multi click multi click parking pages. I, I think the people who are probably shaking in their boots are the dark arby right now. Mm-hmm. So if I was in dark arbitrage where, you know, I'm dependent on multi click sequences where one of those clicks in the middle was a Google ad link.
Mm-hmm. You know, I, I don't want to be your bank, your banker right now, right?
Spencer: Yeah. Yeah. So there's there, there's certainly a lot of changes. Here, here's, here's my thoughts, I guess for, for, for bloggers because I know people that are like, I'm quitting blogging, like AI's here, like everyone's gonna have their own AI assistant.
Google's kind of moving one step a little bit closer to that, right? Mm-hmm. And then of course on the other end, oh, nothing's changing. I. Thing, things are changing, evolving, but from what I'm seeing right now, it, you know, based on, my best guess is that, hey, there's probably gonna be less featured snippets now.
They're either getting pushed down or, you know, it's just gonna be an ai you know, result, assisted answer. But kind of the more we talk and what I've, what I've heard so far, like there's gonna be a lot of queries where just AI is not gonna be involved. Great. Right? I, I don't know what percent that is.
Hopefully it's a high percent and your niche is in a niche that, hey, you just don't need to maybe worry about this right now. Yeah. But, but always, and this has always been true, but it will continue to be more and more true, is that you need a multi-prong approach. If the only place you're getting traffic is Google you know, that's troublesome.
You need to implement email marketing, you need to implement social media all these other strategies of where your audience is, you need to be there. You need to be providing content. And then you get loyal active followers that are on your blog. You, you still will blog. So I don't know where that needle is, but that's sort of some of my thoughts.
Jeff: Yeah, I think you, you nailed it. That the, the, the, the most, my mo, my perspective is that the most important person in the room now, if you are thinking about quitting blogging, is the subject matter expert editor. You can, some of those manual tasks that might have made your business run worse. Are now fast, trackable.
So you can, you can speed up a lot of your efficiency, dead death and your mm-hmm. So Id ideation with data, real data to power that ideation you know, development of common content operations, holes, things, outline generation you know those types of concepts. Giving you ways, speed all those up.
Keeping the human in the loop to make sure that you're putting out the best product possible. That was always the goal of NLG from an editorial perspective. It was to say, I can put a natural language generation I can put, I'm an acronym salad if I don't catch myself. So the the, it was to say today I can publish six articles that I believe are beautiful.
Well, tomorrow, if I can publish eight articles that I believe are beautiful, right? That's an improvement. If I publish 10 mediocre ones, it's not an improvement. So make sure you have your eyes on that. The end result needs to be. If it's more, it's more at or better quality. And then you can really, really make a business justification.
And that's where I think, I think but if you're AI resistant, you're a, you're obsolete. You're already obsolete. And if you don't wanna play in this game, you, you should find other work.
Spencer: Yeah. I I I love that you brought up the other side of the coin, right? Is that, yeah, AI is scary, but it can also be very helpful, right?
So if you're willing to embrace it as a blogger, it can speed up a lot of the processes, right? Mm-hmm. That, that you mentioned, and I know of course, market Muse, your tool is implementing a lot of these, these ways to, to help people do some of those things. So,
Jared: hey, Spencer, do you remember when the penguin Update came out?
Spencer: I ever? Yeah. Yeah. I remember a
Jared: famous blog post from you on that.
Spencer: Ah, yes. Yes. Back in the day, link billion,
Jared: as we knew it forever changed. Links forever changed, right? And we thought, We, I mean, the days of EasyLink building
Spencer: were gone, right? I mean that was what, 2012, right? 10 years ago, over 10 years ago, 11 years ago that it was like in droves it felt like people quit.
I'm out, I'm going back to the, to the workforce. So it's over. Yeah.
Jared: Website buildings. We know it is over. I remember those days. Right.
Spencer: And website building as we knew it was over, was over. Exactly. The game
Jared: changed and the game got harder and some people packed their bags and left and others knuckled down, figured out and grew bigger businesses than ever before.
And we got rid of a lot of the spammy people who were just taken advantage of easiness and kept some of the people who still knew how to do spammy up, but also kept people who were able to work hard and figure it out. Right. And I'm not equating AI to Penguin before the comments go nuts, but we, we never there's a great quote by Bill Gates, like, we always underestimate.
The change that's gonna happen in the next 10 years and overestimate the change that's gonna happen in the next year or two. Right. And so, you know, it's, it's healthy to remind ourselves, we've had landscape changing moments in search and in seo, and this is certainly one of those is blogging as we know it.
Dead high level, you know, obviously not. But is is is writing about the circumference of the moon dead, may maybe be
Jeff: early stage awareness content if you live and breathe by early stage awareness content. And this is coming from the guy used to manage what is.com. Early stage awareness content is in deep, deep trouble right early stage awareness content that doesn't add a unique value add, unique value.
You know, if your article just says the word Bismark on it for what's the capital of North Dakota Yeah, it's not providing value and you're not, you know, those pages are so at risk. Right. And publishers need to really take note about that, that they actually need. The sad part about this is because of the way Google works, they actually need to write that article with the knowledge that it likely won't rank.
Jared: gonna ask about that. So sorry. Or won't get
Jeff: traffic Won't get traffic. It will run, right? Yeah. They have to build it. They have to build that part of the cluster. It likely won't yield the same KPI as it used to, or that is their KPI for their business. And man, that's hard to convince a client to do is Yeah, you have to spend the money to write that.
And if you don't, you have gaps. And that's then the, the same story Google goes down the funnel, right? So they're gonna go down the funnel into buying behavior with, like you saw. So now you gotta write your own top Bluetooth speakers for the pool party and. But it might not get as much stuff. Okay, then what's next?
Right. I thought the most important slides from that presentation were the palm two fine tunings ones. And if you don't know what fine tuning is, basically you take a large language model and you tune it to know more about some specific thing. They showed two examples, one with medical knowledge and one with, I forget what the other thing was.
And that becomes a little bit, you know, like, okay, that's where the, that's where the puck's really going is Google is going to think about ways that they can fine tune models. Maybe they fine tune the way that local works, or maybe they specifically focus, you know, local pack tuning. Maybe they have a separate model for each region or each state or each city.
Like it. The, the, the possibilities are, are endless of how this is gonna be tuned or how this is gonna be. You know, shown to you. And that to me is what my takeaway is, is really focus on subject matter expertise. Really focus on optimizing your operations and making great decisions. Cuz if you, if you build a hundred articles that, that have no chance of performing, I don't care how fast you did it.
Spencer: Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, so many fascinating changes, updates coming out from the Google IO event yesterday. And lots for people to think about as affiliate marketers, as bloggers and then just users of Google, you know, we'll be watching how that impacts how we do our searching. But Jeff, I want to thank you for coming on.
You've got a wealth of experience and knowledge in this area, so Jared and I just felt like, you know what, we need a real expert to kind of unpack all of this and you've done just that. So thank you very much. Thanks
Jeff: Spencer. Thanks Jared. It's been a pleasure. I. Defense Niche pursuits does such a good job with so many different things and, you know, just showing people the way, showing people the how to, and then, you know, f you know, backing it up.
So I always appreciate working with you and Jared. It's been, it's been really a pleasure. Go check out Market Muse. We have a free offering right now. It's actually on a reverse trial. So you get seven day access to our standard offering for nothing. Then it goes downgrades to free, so go check that out.
Awesome. There's a 15% code on the site as well. So don't miss that opportunity while it lasts. As many people have said, sometimes those deals disappear. And, but it's, it's really awesome. We have a site level cluster analysis feature inside the standard offering right now that, I mean, it's 10 hours of work every time you hit the button.
And that to me is a, a beautiful thing. So thanks to Ken, Jared and Spencer. I'm gonna sign out and go build some content plans. See ya.
Spencer: Sounds good. Thank you, Jeff. Bye. All right, awesome. That was great. I mean that was a, such a good discussion with with Jeff. He's brings, like I said, a wealth of knowledge and, and just knows so much that's going on as it relates to search.
I had a
Jared: couple of AI acronyms ready to go, but I would not have been able to keep with his level of AI acronyms. So I'm, yeah,
Spencer: his work. And he's, he's really just getting started. I bet you know, there's,
Jared: I can only imagine what Costa Rica must
Spencer: have been. Let me tell you, late, late nights. Yeah, no, a lot of fun.
So let's, let's maybe move on from the news to something a little lighter, you know, as we do. So we're gonna cover two final segments here in the show and we'll maybe make 'em a little quicker cuz we've already you know, spent most of our time. But quick side hustle updates got our shiny object shenanigans and then weird niche sites.
So if you don't mind, I'll go first with got my update.
Jared: I, I, I, I saw a little tease your update. It's, it's it's very exciting. I'm, I want, I wanna talk more about it. Go.
Spencer: Yeah. So I'm gonna talk about my YouTube channel. So this is a faceless YouTube channel that I've done. I'm basically working with a partner.
He does all the work. I'm investing some money and it's done really well. I, the last update, I don't remember, we had, we had hit a thousand subscribers. We had gotten monetized. I don't know that I had shared much beyond that. But now and I'm gonna share my screen. I got some screenshots.
We got monetized. We had paused creating videos for a while to get the monetization all figured out. Did a few different things and I think this is gonna be the right one to share. Yes, here we go. Look at these earnings. The last day that it's showing here earned $143 and 92 cents, which is actually slightly down from the previous day.
I think it was just shy of 150 or maybe just over 150. So we've now had three days in a row that earned over a hundred dollars for a day. The total subscribers is now something like 1800 almost 2000. And we are now back to publishing about one video per day is what we're gonna do. And let's see.
I've got, One other screenshot that maybe people would find interesting. So most of the views and the earnings is coming from one particular video that is just kind of going, going viral. It's an older video believe it or not, one that we published maybe a month ago. And it's really just caught fire.
But the new videos that we are publishing are actually doing decent. So this just shows, you know, May 9th, right, which is two days ago. It's already got almost 3000 views, May 8th, almost 2000 views. You can kind of see. So some videos are doing decent. Others, you know, not so much. You know, one that was April 28th only got 300 views so far.
But so one video is definitely accounting for 90% of the earnings so far, but we only predicted, we did some projections. We only expected and hoped that for the entire month of May, we would make $80. That was the, the plan, right? We had these projections that by the end of the year, maybe we're making $3,000 a month, and we'd be happy with that.
But clearly in the month of May, you know, it's like 500 bucks in earnings already. So, absolutely thrilled. It's going well. We've published 32 videos, I think, and got another about 30 in the hopper that'll start coming out about once a day. And then hopefully by that point the channel is self-sustaining.
All the money we make, we'll just get plowed right back into videos. Are
Jared: these, we'll call it current event kind of things. Are these can you talk about a video going viral? And I think like, is it something that's very timely or are these videos, you know, more something that you'd expect them to continue to get views over time?
Spencer: These are not news or current event type type videos, so absolutely these can give views over time. The one that's going, you know, viral, you know, getting all the views is no, it's not newsworthy of, of any kind. That's encouraging.
Jared: Yeah. I mean, the question I would have if I'm listening right now and so I'll ask it, but you know, it might be the subject for maybe a future podcast episode.
Like, man, I'm down to know like the costs of how these videos kind of plays out and Yeah. You know, how long are they and yeah, I mean, I saw on the right of your screen share just now, like you're getting. Likes a hundred percent ratings. You know, like these aren't the things we think of when we think of a faceless YouTube channel.
We think like, well, it'll get the job done. And, you know, so I, I just have so many questions about how much it's costing and how you're doing such a good job with, with, with making people engage and like it. So it's just, it's really, man, there's so many like, detailed questions. Yeah.
Spencer: Yeah. No, and happy to share.
I don't know. At some point I probably just need to do a whole video. I'm actually getting a lot of questions about this. Just need to do an hour long type thing. Cuz it's getting interesting now. I didn't think it would interesting get interesting until like, you know, six months from now. But hitting a hundred bucks in a day is like, oh, okay, something's going well.
But just big picture wise, the initial plan was to invest $10,000 into this channel. You know, we will have Probably 90 videos with that $10,000 to give people a rough estimate of, of cost. There. Hundred bucks a video did, right? Yeah. Ish. On that. And so, you know, we're good for a couple of more months of just publishing it about a, a video a day.
And at that point, like I said, it, it should just grow on itself. But more than happy to, to share. I won't share the channel itself, but other than that I'm a pretty open book. So I, we'll, we'll, you know, keep chatting about it on these, or maybe you'll come back for, for another. So
Jared: like we said, at some point our shiny objects have to move their way into full fledged businesses, and I think both of ours might be nearing that point.
Spencer: Yeah, absolutely. So let's, let's hear about yours. What do you got going on, Jared?
Jared: Launched a free tool within the last week. That's the kind of biggest update. Email's still going out. We're on week 10. I'm now tracking it because I said 12 weeks to hit a thousand subscribers. I think we're up to like 1,250 or 1300 subscribers now, so that's kind of going on its own now, you know and it's starting to get followers or subscribers from other channels other than just Twitter, so that's great.
But the, the big thing this week was launching a free tool and I'll kind of spill the beans. I've only launched it on my Niche Pursuits podcast, so I haven't actually sent it out to anybody on the email list. I haven't shared on Twitter yet. The only way you can find it is by listening to the full hour.
Of my interview with you on the Niche Pursuits podcast. So but it's already gotten several hundred downloads just from that alone. Fantastic. That's, you've, you've talked about it over the years, a lot, like probably the best lead generator you've ever had is it's some sort of free tool. I think you've, you've said many times and mm-hmm.
That's, you know, clearly playing itself out. Like I've, I've tested with a case study that did well, but it didn't really pick up any steam on its own. And in this case, the free tool has so far been. In terms of conversion rate the highest. And so I'm looking forward now got some feedback, hopefully working out some of the kinks, and then looking forward to kind of sharing that on a larger platform in the coming weeks into the email on Twitter and in other channels as well.
Spencer: Yeah, I I, I love it. It's like a win-win here that we can mention not only is your Preto doing well, but if you want his free tool, you gotta go listen to his podcast interview. Yep. Which helps out, Jared helps out Niche Pursuits podcast. So go listen to that episode. And you can get his free tool there.
So that, that's fantastic. I, I love hearing the results that are coming from the podcast because a lot of times it's very hard to track results from the podcast. Even though I get download numbers, I get view numbers. You don't always see how many people are actually taking action and going do that because it's hard to track a link sometimes unless there's a free, you know, download or something like that.
Jared: Yeah. And like you said, I don't I am literally just the host of the podcast. I don't know the numbers on how many people listen or watch to different things. I, I'm sure if I asked you, you'd, you'd, you'd tell me, but I don't know how many people have have listened or watched the podcast, but several hundred opt-ins to a free tool from something that's a week old.
An interview seems very good, right? Like, so clearly it's an engaged audience. Yeah. And you know, you talk about product market fit, like it certainly seemed to apply to a lot of the people that were listening and stuff. So, yeah, it's it's nice to see a equals b like causal action reaction results from something like that.
Spencer: Yeah, that's fantastic. Very good. So we got what maybe another 10 minutes here. Hopefully people have stuck around this long because this is where it gets a little weird. We we have our one weird niche where we talk about a weird niche site that we've come across recently. And I'll go here.
This one is again, just sort of fascinating with how niche it is. So let me share my screen so that people can see it here. And this one is Western Mining History. So it's not a site about mining, it's not site about just mining history. No, it's only the Western United States. Mining history.
So here's a map on the homepage, right? It just covers, it looks like, you know, these five or six states, Utah, Nevada, Wyoming, Idaho, and a couple others. Which, you know, back in the wild west there was a lot of old mining towns going on. And this website covers all of that. The content, the maps, the the stories, anything that goes along with western mining history.
You can find it [email protected]. And so if we look at a rs you can see that, you know, it gets a little bit of traffic through Google search. Yeah, right. It's not like crushing it or anything, but if we look at, look at that Dr. There. Yeah. Well sorry, as soon as you said that, of course I changed.
Jared: Dr. I think I said 59. You know, I mean, that's For a Western Mining history website, that's a pretty powerful
Spencer: Dr. Yeah. Not bad at all. So it's got some legit links pointing to it and then, you know, it's, it's getting traffic for, from some keywords, you know, that people can see on the screen here.
You know, a lot of things related to probably old ghost, ghost towns, mining towns, things that are related to that. But if we take a look at SimilarWeb, we can see that overall the site is getting approximately about a hundred thousand visitors a month. You know, it says 81,000 here, so It, it may be getting up to, you know, a hundred thousand visitors a month, which is not bad.
It's, it's getting enough traffic clearly to, to be monetized with media vine ads, which I see the little media vine logo when I look at the ads down here. Yep. And the other thing that I found fascinating about this site is that it charges members. It has a members area and you can become a member.
You can get, you know, become a gold member. You can get the website free of ads. You get to access to members only content. You get members' journal monthly newsletter, access to Minds Explorer Pro, which I don't know what that is. Maybe it's a software tool or something similar. So, gosh, you know, it's a really fascinating niche.
There are a lot of people that. Still go out and either do metal detecting adult ghost towns, right? Or just like to follow the history, do research and I don't know, do people vacation and visit old mining towns? Maybe
Jared: I, I bet there's mining trips and tours and, you know, all that kind of stuff.
I, I can only imagine.
Spencer: Yeah. So, so there you go. That's my weird niche site is Western mining history. I wonder
Jared: how many people are in the membership, right? We don't, I didn't see a ton of information on pricing, but I think it says starting at $5 or something and
Spencer: Yep. $5 a
Jared: month. They have more, but I mean, you know, at a hundred thousand visitors a month, oh.
Currently there are over a hundred members only articles. Oh, that's a number of articles. Oh, just the number of articles. Yeah. Yeah. So volume five of the Members Journal was published in March, 2023, so maybe it's a new sort of thing, you know, but man, I coming off the back of that whole AI conversation, I mean, this concept of building a brand memberships community, like, you know, I mean, without, without trying maybe for you to do that, you really brought a good example for us to kind of think through all the information we just
That is a great point. Absolutely. Community is Always gonna be important and more and more important going forward. So,
Jared: well, my niche site, I don't think you can build a community around, but we'll have to see if you think otherwise.
Spencer: All right, here we go. Let's share your site now,
Jared: penn vibe.com.
If you're wondering, that is a website all about writing pins.
Spencer: Pen vibe. I love the name because you know,
Jared: when you think of pens, vibe is c clearly the word that you associate with
Spencer: pens, you know, does it vibe with your personality? You know, you gotta have the perfect pen.
Jared: So at first glance, this is not a good looking site.
It's it's the most basic site you could have. I mean, I didn't check, I didn't have time to check, but it looks like you're outta the box. Gutenberg like generate press without a, a theme really even added onto it, right? It's like just a standard. Oh yeah. I recognize that looks like a standard generate press.
Yeah. Real basic, super basic right? With nothing else. You know, if we go look over in like an H refs, right? It gets say what did I, what did I say it? It was a DR 32
Spencer: here I'm sharing. Yeah, it looks like a DR 32, 7,000 organic traffic.
Jared: I mean, you look at a side like that, but I mean, it just recently surged in the march and the April, 2023 updates, right?
So, yes, it did you know, almost doubled its traffic. And again, it wasn't like a keyword change. So Google just all of a sudden said, Hey, what they've been producing, we used to rank 'em on say page two, and now we're sh we're cramming them right up to the top. You know, they have the featured snippet for how long is a BIC pen?
Speaking of search queries, that might not exist any longer, but I Why would anybody want to know that? Well, it's a pretty's that's, I'm trying to figure out. Yeah, and you, in what world do I need to know how long a BIC pen is? I mean I don't know, but it's a pretty popular search term. They, they've nailed the, the, the feature snippet here.
Some of them just it's monetized by ads, so we see that. I, I I, I, you know, certainly there's lots of buyer intent, like best pencils for writing. They're ranked number five for best permanent marker for outdoor use. They snag the featured snippet in the update. They are now number one for best permanent marker for outdoor use.
Hey, when I work around the house and I have to go out and mark stuff to make cuts or something, I'll admit like, you know, the standard sharpies aren't always, aren't always doing it. So, you know, pen vibe.com is my source for the answer here. Yeah. But yeah, so I mean, it's kind of a standard affiliate play.
They got a zoic ads, they've got some buyer guides. They've got some really, but again, it's, it's it's bare bones. It's nothing elegant and so one thing I wanted to point out is if we start kind of poking around at this site's history, because when I first landed on this site, actually I landed on a URL that was let's see, I have it right here.
Pen vibes.com. Pen vibe.com/three 70.
Spencer: Yeah. Which I think I'm sharing that right now. Is that the one that's up right now? Yeah. Yes it is. Yeah.
Jared: And you know, it says at the top there that that article was released on October 1st, 2009. Oh, wow. My first thought was like, and again, when I was looking for this niche site, this is the article I found.
So it's in the ERPs, it's ranking. Mm-hmm. And it's nine unusual pens for those who aren't able to see the screen or listen on the podcast. And so, I started thinking about an article that's been around since 2009, like, you know, sends me down the rabbit hole right? As we do. And so I, first, I went back to age reps and I looked, and I saw that this site didn't start picking up keywords until, from what we could tell 2018.
I went to archive.org. And if you go to archive.org and kind of look at the site's history it really didn't start picking up traffic until much later on, right? It didn't, yeah.
Spencer: Until 2023 first blip. Yeah.
Jared: But this article says it was out in 2009 and so I'm just very confused by this site's history.
I'm sure that, you know, we, we do deep dive stuff like this at our agency, but I, I know from having done that a lot, this would require some hours which I didn't have for the podcast analysis, but some interesting history to this site. Maybe somebody who ha has a b is bored on a Friday afternoon and wants to, to deep dive it and post in the comments might be able to tell us what's going on with this.
But I thought that was interesting as well.
Spencer: Yeah, the only thing that I can think here is archive dot org's pretty good. So I don't think it existed, you know, and before, I guess 2021 is the earliest it shows up.
Jared: Could they have just messed up and put 2009 instead of 2019 or something on the date
Yeah, that's what I'm wondering if they tried to update a post and like typed in oh nine instead of Yeah, I don't know what they were trying to type. Why last
Jared: looks, it feels like an old website was kind of maybe brought onto it or something. I mean, it just has all these weird things
Spencer: going right. Yeah. A lot of weird stuff going on.
You're right. Maybe. Maybe there was a redirect from an old website that was written in 2009. Right? Right. And that site of course would've been on the way back machine, but not this one. You know, I mean,
Jared: yeah. Lemme look up really quick. Who knows? Right. But you know, and really again, half the reason Spencer and I just kind of spitball with all this stuff here.
By the way, it does have a redirect pointing to it, tiger pins.co.uk. Hmm. So maybe we should pop that into archive.org. Tiger pins.co.uk. Half the reason Spencer and I spitballing this kind of stuff is, again, we've said it before, but like, hopefully it just gives you
Spencer: idea. There it is. I think you found it goes back to 2009 sometimes.
Talking it out just helps, right? Yeah. Oh, I think that's it.
Jared: So there it is. Yanked the content from Tiger pens.co.uk and pulled it over. As you can see, that site goes dark in. 2023, which is when penn vibe.com hit the market. That vibe. Yeah. Anyways, half the reason we do this is, you know, these might be things that help you out as you're exploring niches or analyzing your own niche site.
And sometimes you're like, I never thought about looking at it from that standpoint. I never, I never thought about that angle, or I never thought about asking that question. So we, we do it for you probably for most of you're thinking why bother? But, you know, hopefully for some people it helps kind of spark some interest or some different things and different ways to look at niche sites, you know?
Spencer: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Now you got me looking at this site, you know, I'm looking at all, all everything. But yeah, no good example. We got a fun little redirect that unexpectedly we had to research and, and hunt down. So Great example here. And yeah, I agree that we bring these up. You not only are they fun for us, but hopefully for listeners to either learn something or just spark new ideas.
Right. For, hey, you can create a niche on just about anything that's out there. A nicheing. Yeah, there absolutely is. So thank you Jared. Thank you everybody for listening. This has been a big one talking about all the Google AI updates. I'm sure we'll have more to talk about next week, so stick around for next week's podcast on.
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