Did Google “Steal” AI Content? Thoughts on the SGE, a Viral FB Post & 2 Weird Niche Sites
It’s been another busy week in SEO news, and Spencer Haws and Jared Bauman, of 201 Creative, explain it all here!
Don’t miss the latest edition of the best news podcast for SEOs, people in the digital marketing and niche site development space, and everyone in between.
Watch The Full Episode
First, they talk about how Google was recently hit with a class-action lawsuit claiming that it stole data from millions of users to train its AI tools and seeking compensation. Jared points out that we’ll have to wait to see how this all plays out and how we address issues like copyright infringement and content rights and ownership.
They predict that, even if the suit moves forward, it won’t stop AI or make much of a difference in the long run. That being said, lots of people are suing AI tools and there could be quite the legal battle ahead.
Jared and Spencer then move on to talk about how Google has sent out emails notifying website owners of Core Web Vitals and INP issues on their sites, giving them until March 2024 to fix the issues.
Then Spencer talks about how he was invited to use Google’s new Search Generative Experience. By the end of the year, around 30% of all users will participate in a gradual rollout, and the remainder will be provided with access over time. Then Spencer and Jared do a few search queries live and talk about what it looks like, how it seems to work, and what they think of it.
Spencer goes on to share a few podcast reviews before shifting to the Shiny Object Shenanigans portion of the podcast.
He starts by discussing a niche website he created with his kids, who eventually lost interest. However, he’s been working on it for the last 6 months and has been able to build up a Facebook page to +30k followers. His strategy is to post short articles on the website, share them on his Facebook page, and drive traffic back to the website, which is monetized with ads.
Although he hasn’t seen much success so far, he did have an article go viral, registering 48k users in about a week. Spencer’s still wondering what to do with this project and he offers listeners the chance to reach out and partner with him to take it to the next level.
Jared talks about his side hustles, focusing on his experience with the Amazon Influencer Program. He talks about the impact of Prime Day on his earnings and clicks, and how he’s increased his earnings to more than $2k in the last 30 days. He also gives some ideas of unique places to go to get content for your videos.
Jared also talks about the YouTube channel he’s developing with his wife and the progress they’re making, particularly with regard to copyright issues. He briefly mentions a WordPress plugin he’s considering developing. Stay tuned to hear more about it!
In the Weird Niche portion of the podcast, Spencer talks about a single-page website with approximately 3.3 million visitors a month, Sleep Calculator. The simple site helps you figure out when to go to bed and explains the various sleep cycles and it’s monetized with display ads. He and Jared talk about sleep as a niche and the potential it has as a niche.
Jared shares his weird niche site, Dash Lights, which focuses on dashboard warning lights and what they mean. The design is quite generic, it has a DR of just 8, and it’s monetized with ads, but it’s ranking for 27k keywords, 2000 of which are number 1 rankings, and probably gets over 100k visitors per month. Jared’s theory about the success of this website is the great way it has established topical authority, and he thinks it could be earning up to $5k per month.
And that concludes another informative edition of the Niche Pursuits News podcast. We’ll see you next week!
Spencer: Hey everyone, welcome back to the Niche Pursuits podcast. I’m Spencer Haas, your host, and today we’re recording an episode of This Week in Niche Pursuits News, and I’ve got Jared Baumann with me as my co host. Jared, how you doing?
Jared: Good Spencer, good to be here, and good to talk news. Got some more fun stuff this week.
The news never stops coming in.
Spencer: That’s right. Every week we’ve got great topics to cover here as it relates to website owners, SEO, digital marketing, and everything kind of in between as well. So we’re going to cover that and then of course we will also cover our shiny objects that we’re working on, our little projects that are on the side, and then our final segment is Are one weird niche where each of us share one weird niche site that we’ve looked at that maybe is just crushing it, or, you know, maybe it’s just kind of weird and interesting.
So we’re going to dive into a couple of those here today. And then I am going to have something in the middle that, that will break up the monotony as well, that I’ll spring on you, Jared. I don’t know about that. Yeah, that’s right. That’s not in the notes. Nope. So we’ll, we’ll do that as well.
But let’s start with the news. So first up is Google’s in the news. And AI, as it all, you know, is, is coming together here. So, Google was recently hit with a class action lawsuit claiming that it stole data from millions of users to train its AI tools. And so, if I share this article, I, you know, it’s been covered pretty much everywhere.
CNN Search Engine Land, Search and Journal. They’re, they’re all covering this. But the gist of it… Is that I think it was eight different individuals have come together to file this class action lawsuit that basically is saying that, Hey, Google has scraped millions of websites, millions of users, data and all kinds of actually books.
So there was printed books that Google, you know, got access to digitally as well to train Google Bard and to train its large language learning models. And users are saying, hey, that’s not right, that’s copyrighted material, that’s material that you should not have access to, to, to train your tools all on.
And so, they’ve been sued the class action lawsuit I think is going to seek compensation to everyone’s data that was used. So that could potentially be website owners, right? So if you have a website and Google used your website They’re, they’re seeking compensation for that. So, so pretty big.
This isn’t the first class action lawsuit to come against Google or ChatGPT as it relates to this specific instance. But this is one that was filed this week. So, what are your thoughts on this one?
Jared: I, I mean, I love how you phrased it. And I know you’re just kind of, you know, reading the the proverbial notes.
But you know, being sued for potentially taking content. I mean, they literally say… We have gathered this data from perusing and, and crawling the internet. And we’ll get into it in further news later today, as long as we have time about what the Google search generative experience is doing and how they’re referencing this or not.
Which we all know about this because we’ve experienced it. But I mean, we’ve, we’ve known this is coming, right? Like, as soon as any of us started playing around with some of these AI features last year and into this year. You knew that people were going to start suing for blatant copyright infringement of sorts.
And so I think, I mean, I don’t know, from a very high level, don’t we just have to wait to see how this plays out and how the world decides it’s going to approach content rights and ownership as it relates to
Spencer: this? Yep, absolutely. Yeah. We just kind of, kind of have a wait and see you know, attitude here.
I, I don’t know. I mean, I have to think that unfortunately or fortunately I don’t think this is going to end up being a big deal in terms of, even if the class action lawsuit goes through and somehow a judgment is awarded. Google is going to maybe pay some fee. It’s going to be a very nominal thing, maybe to individuals, right?
You get your dollar 50 cent check. I was about to say that
Jared: that Seinfeld episode where he gets like 24 cent checks comes to mind, you know? Yeah.
Spencer: I mean, that’s exactly that’s a whole other topic that I often do think about is like the only people that make a lot of money is the lawyers that are involved, right?
All the individuals, you know, you get your five bucks and you move on with your life. So even if it goes through, like. It’s, it, I don’t think it’s going to like make AI stop, right? Like AI’s here, people are going to be using data and websites and everything to train their models. So I don’t know that there’s a whole lot we can do about it, but, but who knows?
Right. This is happening. This is in the news. Maybe it will alter the trajectory of where AI and the future of websites go. And it’s,
Jared: it’s worth mentioning as well. I was looking because I, it came to mind. This, I’ll spring on you, not in our agenda notes, but on Monday Open AI sorry, Open AI and Meta were sued for the very same thing.
That was led by comedian Sarah Silverman and two authors. I don’t know if it’s a class action lawsuit. But they sued both Open AI and Meta, alleging that the company’s AI language models were trained on copyrighted materials from their books without their knowledge or consent. So. Seemingly the same
That’s right. I did see that one as well. And so it’s, it’s a lot of people are you know, suing either Google or OpenAI or I imagine other AI models, right, are gonna probably have quite the legal battle ahead and so we’ll keep sharing the news. We’ll keep sharing what happens as it impacts SEO, digital marketers, you know, people that are building websites.
Right now you know, it doesn’t impact us day to day, but it is on the horizon. We’ll we’ll let you know if anything happens that definitely impacts us. So let’s maybe move on to our second segment here that we were going to share and I think up next. I’ve got so many tabs open here, Jared.
Maybe you can help me. What was our second one we were gonna cover here?
Jared: Yeah, so we we have, we have something that involves Link Whisper in the news coming up. But let’s see here, where are we before that? You know
Spencer: what here we go. I found the right tab. So Google, people may have gotten an email from Google.
Basically saying, hey, there’s a Core Web Vitals and INP issue on your website. I know I got this email, I know Jared, you got this email. Yep, I’m pulling it up right now. That basically they emailed out and it says, Core Web Vitals INP issues detected on your sites. So it is kind of a scary sounding email, right?
It’s like, ooh, I better fix that or else my site’s gonna be penalized. And that’s true to an extent. Basically what’s happening is INP, this interaction to NextPaint, is replacing FID, you know, first. Interactive paint or first input delay. So, but that’s happening in March of next year. And so everyone has until March of 2024 to fix these issues on your website.
But Google is notifying everybody right now.
Jared: So a couple of things, and I think that there certainly was some backlash. In the in the client world, because as website owners, we’re a little bit more trained at receiving these types of emails. If you listen to the news here, you would have known that INP was coming.
So, probably might not have hit some people listening here as hard, I, I use air quotes, but But certainly in the agency world my agency, you know, we manage websites a month for different clients. They get these emails and they look so ominous. And so a lot of the drama that unraveled with this was your random generic website owner, someone who’s not steeped in kind of SEO, Google knowledge, got these emails and they look very ominous.
And they’re cryptic, and they don’t explain it very well, and if you do click on the one link they provided, it’s like you know, so I think that a lot of what was behind the challenges this week with this getting launched was the fact that, you know, Google probably should have been a little more clear, like, this is still coming, coming in March, these sorts of things, because that part was not clear at all, so, Anyways, that’s why you listen to the news here.
We we’re here to tell you don’t, don’t stress out about
Spencer: it. Yep. You got however many months that is, eight, nine months to kind of look at this and, and figure it out. And sure. I I’m sure that there will be, you know, agencies popping up that fix this issue specifically. Right. I know there was a lot of like, Core Web Vitals agencies that kind of started popping up or at least added to their, you know, their, their list of services.
Jared: We did that too, all right? I can’t, I can’t I can’t, I can’t say we didn’t do that either. Well, I,
Spencer: I think that’s a good thing, right? I mean…
In all honesty, what I did as soon as I got the email, I hit forward and I sent it to the guy that always fix my, fixes the issues on my website said, Hey, worry about these three websites, go, go fix those. Yeah. Right. And so he’s going to be looking at those over the next couple of weeks. And so we’ll see.
But I got I got nine months. You don’t need to stress too much. So if you got that email that that’s what’s up with it. So just a heads up. And again,
Jared: just as a recap, I N P basically has to do with. Is your page responding, is your website responding quickly to the vast majority of things people need to do on it, you know?
So, it’s I don’t want to boil it down to server response time, but it does have, you know, have parallels to that. Yeah.
Spencer: Yep, absolutely. It’s all about having a fast website, loading fast, and this is, you know, one of the metrics that they’re looking at, so. Alright, so, in, in other news this isn’t necessarily brand new, but it is something that, that is kind of new to me, right?
We’ve talked about the Google search generative experience you know, Quite a bit ever since it was first announced, and it’s been, you know, you’ve been able to test it and use it as a beta user. But just two days ago, personally, as a Googler, right? I got a notification that said, Hey I. I wish I would have saved the screenshot, but essentially said, Hey, you’ve been selected to use Google’s new search generative experience.
Would you like to turn that on? And of course I clicked yes. And so now, just in my normal Google, not beta or anything, I get the search generative. Experience. And from some chatter that I’ve heard on Twitter and Facebook, and I didn’t have time to research this, my understanding is that the search generative experience will be rolled out over time, and that by the end of the year, people are saying about 30% of all users should have access to it, and then 100% of users over time.
I don’t know the exact time frame. So I thought it might be interesting to kind of share some live examples of, you know, just different things. So I, I did this ahead of time, so I’m sharing my screen here where it’s a, you know, I did a search for the niche pursuits podcast, right? And so it gives you you know, this, this summary and it is kind of cool that it mentions us both here, Jared.
It got that. Hey, you Host of the podcast and that you are CEO and co founder of 201 creative. So it’s a, it’s a pretty good summary here. You know, I don’t love that niche pursuits. Isn’t the first website listed here. There’s a carousel of three websites and, and niche pursuits is kind of the third, right?
I would think that would be the first one. Instead pod news and owl tail, which I don’t know either. Are those
Jared: just repositories?
Spencer: I, yeah, I don’t know. You know, if you, as you look at the natural results I don’t think any of those, oh, I guess Pod News does show up, you know, six or seven here, right? And then OwlTel is, you know, number ten or something.
So I don’t know why, you know, these, these websites are selected up here. I, I shared on Twitter, you know, I did a search for this and you know, when I search for link whisper, it didn’t even share link whisper. com. It looks like I have to hit generate on this one. So not all of them come automatically.
Sometimes you got to hit generate, right? And, and link whisper. com is not even in the three site pack here, which I’m like, Oh, that’s odd. Right? So I thought maybe we could have a little bit of fun here, Jared. Maybe there’s a couple of search queries that we can do here live. And just kind of see what the results look like and, you know, maybe comment on it for a couple of minutes.
So I don’t know anything that you want to search. It doesn’t have to be. You know, a brand like I was doing, it could be anything.
Jared: Those are branded searches and it kind of got one. Well, it, I mean, to be clear, it got link whisper, right? It’s just the sourcing is. Terrible. And I do see, I’ve seen similar feedback on Twitter this week from people who like, I don’t have access.
It hasn’t given me the access to it, like you, but from other people are sharing very similar things. So those are branded searches. Let’s try, it’s summertime, let’s try maybe like barbecue ribs.
Spencer: Barbecue ribs. Let’s see what happens. Well, this one doesn’t even give me the option. Doesn’t even give you the option. For the generative experience. So, interesting. It’s interesting,
Jared: okay. How about we go with maybe an informational query? What do you think about
Spencer: that? Yeah. How about Oh, another summertime activity.
Best swimming, Lakes and Washington, that just pre populated for me, so let’s do that. There we go. Okay, well there we go. We’re gonna get something here. Okay, so this is actually more of just a straight list. Oh, but of course, oh no, you can click. Oh, it just clicks the image. It just
Jared: goes to the image, doesn’t actually let you, well…
I look somewhat like it’s referencing in the way Google Images used to. Mm hmm. Or you can click in.
Spencer: Yeah. So, okay. So that’s interesting. So I could click over here and get to the image. You’ve
Jared: got three sources over there. They look to all kind of be travel sites. They look to be your classic roundup, which is what you would expect to find in the old Google search.
Spencer: Yup. And as I compare, right? Outdoor project. com and highway. co rank, you know, first, but they don’t rank here. I’m finding that that’s quite interesting. So, I, it, it’s going to be quite the mystery I think going forward to know why is your site getting pulled in this three site carousel in the generative AI experience.
And, you know, even though you rank, maybe don’t rank on the top, top page here, so. Looks
Jared: like only in your state was about fourth or fifth, but I didn’t even see the other two. Yeah, I mean. How do we optimize for, for the SGE
Spencer: if you will? Yeah, I don’t know. Should we try one more? Let’s see if we can try one more.
Jared: how to teach a kid how to swim think in summertime, right? Yeah. I have a two year old, it’s on
Spencer: my mind. Okay, so it is going to generate a response here, and what I’ve noticed that I really don’t like is how slow it is. I know that was only, you know, three, four seconds that I had to wait but it, it feels a lot slower.
I, I want, you know, I’m used to just like instantaneous results, so I’ve found myself not waiting and just scrolling quickly when it’s, when it’s things that I know I can get the answer. You know, really quick like that. I mean,
Jared: this feels like a query and I haven’t seen it yet. We have only done three or four searches, but we haven’t seen one featured snippet that still even remains in the the, or the regular old Google search.
Like, I would expect to scroll down. This feels like a snippet topic, right? This feels like a topic that would have a snippet and it’s not there. And I’m wondering, are they pulling snippets off of the old Google results when you use SGE?
Spencer: Right. It kind of looks like that. I’m thinking, I’m trying to think if I’ve seen any snippets since I’ve had this in the last couple of days.
And I can’t think of any. And I wish I could remember like a snippet for sure that I was ranking for like with niche pursuits that I could check here. Let’s go with a
Jared: classic snippet one. Like what is the weather in London
or wherever you
Spencer: want to pick? Yeah, no, this is great. So no, okay. Okay. It is like the weather snippet. Of course, this is a Google, you know, get an AI
Jared: powered overview Is that the SGE
Spencer: there? Because it’s a different color. Yes. Yeah, it’s a different color, but it’s the same. It’s the same thing. Cool Okay, right So.
Okay. Huh. All right. All right. So there you go. You know, I’m, I’m using it. We’ll we’ll maybe, you know, keep testing it out and it’s been available and people can, can access this in beta form on their own, even if they haven’t been given access, they can, they can go use this. But you know it’s still too early to know if this, how this is going to impact traffic.
That’s mostly what I’m concerned about are people are still going to be coming to my website, but some Personally, I’m not a fan. I would prefer to have this off. Like, if I’m being honest. I, I prefer the old just quick snippet or, you know, search results. Maybe that’s just because of habit. Maybe I’ll get used to this.
But right now I’m finding it slower not quite as good of results. And so anyways, that’s, that’s where I’m at. I mean, you know,
Jared: it’s prettier. And another thing, by the way, that we haven’t done yet at all, and I’m just thinking of this, so we don’t need to do it now, and I don’t even really know how we’d pull it off if we could sometime, but I have personally not spent much time in this search generative, search generative experience on mobile.
And how does all this play out on mobile? Because that’s where most searches happen these days. I know if you pull up your website, for the vast majority of clients that we work with, and our own niche websites as well, like 50 70% of traffic is typically in that mobile range. And so where does SGE play in with that?
And how much of these new updates how do they play out in mobile as well?
Spencer: Right. Yeah, that’s going to be a big thing to look at. I think I am seeing it on mobile. I’ll maybe won’t pull it up right now for sake of time, but Next week we can try to touch base. That is definitely something to consider is you know, the, the speed and, and look and interaction on mobile.
I mean, does it like load
Jared: mobily like we just saw, like kind of spiral down, it’s kind of processing and parsing on mobile the same way? Yeah.
Spencer: Yep. Yep, and I think that’s where I’m seeing it to be a little bit slower.
Jared: That’s not good. Yeah. I mean, that’s just… Sorry, I don’t even have to see your screen.
That’s just not a good
Spencer: experience yet. Exactly. Yep, exactly. So, alright, so here’s the slight curveball I was going to throw at you, Jared. Don’t get too worried though. So, what I’m going to do is read some reviews from the podcast. We got some new reviews. From people that have been listening to the Niche Pursuits podcast.
And as mentioned, the last couple of weeks, I would read these in and potentially get to read in their website. And so we do have a review here, and I thought this is one that I would read because it’s in the same niche as a website we read in last time. So, it’s like we got some competition here in the same niche.
So I will probably mispronounce the person’s name. I don’t know if it’s a username. It’s A J S I L. A J S I L. I have to assume maybe that’s a username. But five star review. Great podcast. Niche Pursuits is a great podcast. I love listening to it. On my long runs. I think we’ve run over a hundred miles together and it helps me come up with new ideas and strategies to bring back to my business.
I’m always learning something new and I really appreciate the information. I’ve been able to grow my website, champagne and coffee stains. com organically because of the lessons I’ve learned from the podcast. And I’m so grateful. Keep up the great work. So ChampagneAndCoffeeStains. com I guess it’s not exactly the same niche, but last, last week we had a coffee website.
This one, I guess, is more about cleaning up.
Jared: I thought they were going down the marathon running track when I first heard that with you. And with another website we have reviewed, the Marathon Gossip website, basically.
Spencer: Yeah, that’s right. We have covered that one. So, anyways, thank you for the five star review.
I appreciate it very much. And, you know, one thing. We also, I also learned is that I mean, I, I guess I knew this, but Apple podcasts, they have a different sort of country for, or yeah, a different landing page for every country that. It has, you know, Apple, right? So you can go to the Great Britain niche pursuits page.
You can go to the, you know, Japan or Canada or wherever. And so there’s all these other reviews that I haven’t been noticing and reading because I just go to the U. S. Website. So somebody in the U. K. reached out to me and said, Hey, did you know you’re getting reviews? You know? So. Haha. And so I’ll read one.
So brown bunny B Tim, Tim Brownson left a review here and his website is the fully booked coach. com. He says, excellent show for people serious about marketing. I’ve been listening to niche pursuits for just a couple of years now, and it’s one of. The only four or five marketing podcasts where I listened to every show.
I’m more of a big picture strategy guy with my marketing, but SEO is a pet love of mine and I get a lot of tips and advice from Spencer and Jared when it comes to that and I love the regular updates on AI and hearing about their side hustles. A word of warning though. I usually listen to podcasts on 1.
5 X and even at that speed, Spencer sounds fairly laid back for the fat for this fast talking Brit. So, when I started an episode recently on Normal Speed without realizing it, I thought for a moment Spencer was stroking out. Happily, he wasn’t. So there you go. I don’t know if that’s a dig at me or a compliment.
I am very laid back though. So, thank you Tim Brownson of thefullybookedcoach. com. So I don’t know if I need to… Talk faster or just, you know, talk normal. Well, I’ll
Jared: throw two, I’ll throw two at you, then, to surprise you. But one person did I don’t know if they shared it with me or, I don’t remember how I find these things.
But somebody said that I these episodes are the first time anyone’s ever heard you laugh.
Spencer: Oh, wow. The first time I’ve laughed. Apparently you’re not
Jared: very fun, easy going guy when you’re doing the interviewing or something. I don’t know.
Spencer: I’m locked in. No laughing.
Jared: That’s right. Focused. Somebody else messaged me, and I don’t, I, again, I could just tell you this on the side, but I, I’m, I’m opening it up because I thought it was a good conversation.
Somebody said that they listen on Audible. And and and, and we should read their reviews on audible or something like that. Or they’re saying that there’s reviews on audible, but that we don’t publish to audible. Did you know you can publish the podcast to
Spencer: audible? I not sure I knew that
Jared: you’re saying get the podcast on audible.
But there’s already reviews there. So a little feedback it just out of curiosity if you’re listening And you do want to comment in the YouTube if there’s places Where podcasts are published and we’re not publishing there let us know Spencer and I am you know We’re so laid back and easygoing. We don’t always know about all the places to publish these things.
Spencer: That’s right We just you know, I publish on Libsyn and let them distribute wherever they distribute, right? That’s good to know. I’ll look into Audible and other places, but that’s good. There may be reviews on Spotify and all the other places that we publish. And I know on YouTube there’s always lots of comments and I could potentially read some there, so.
Hey, just out of
Jared: curiosity, because this is what I’d be thinking. Cause there’s show notes that go along with these. Are you putting a backlink to you know, champagne and coffee stains in there? Is that, is that, or is it just kind of an on air sort of
Spencer: read? It’s just an on air at this point, but You never know when things can change.
Maybe, maybe I need to do that, right? So we’ll see what happens. On air,
Jared: that’s pretty good. We got a lot of listeners. So that’s, that’s
Spencer: still pretty good. Okay, so let’s move on to our next segment of the show, which is our shiny object shenanigans where each of us share a side hustle that we’re working on and kind of share, yeah, either what’s working or what’s, what’s not just kind of, kind of what’s going on on the side.
I’ll go ahead and start here and I have a brand new one that I have not shared. And Jared, I don’t even know if you knew that I was working on this. It’s something that’s been around about a year and I can’t remember if I mentioned this on the podcast, but this originally started as something I, I began with my.
children, my two teenage children, as a summer project to start a niche site. And so we started a niche site, but they quickly lost interest by the end of the summer. And I was left with a website that had been started, and children not doing any of the work anymore. And so I kind of picked it up, and I was like, ah, I kind of like this niche, I’m gonna keep…
Keep running with it. And a big part of it was a Facebook page. And I decided to go all in on that and decided, you know what? Other people are doing well with Facebook traffic. Let’s see what I can do. And so over the last, you know, 12 months, I mean, really just in the last six months, I’ve kind of been putting a little more effort into it is trying to build up the Facebook page and it now is just over 30, 000 followers likes on, on the Facebook page.
And essentially the strategy is, hey, just post articles on Facebook, you know, publish them on the website, short little, you know, articles, not super SEO friendly for the most part, to be honest, I’m just going with the viral Facebook strategy, and then post that on the Facebook page, and hope that some of these get lots of likes and shares, and people then go to the website, and I make money with display ads.
Okay. And so this hasn’t worked out extremely well. I don’t get a ton of posts that get a ton of traffic. And it’s so hands off. You know, I’m not really doing anything. I have a writer that’s, you know, writing these very short articles and then just hit and publish on Facebook for the most part.
But I did have an article about a week ago. Maybe a little over a week ago. Go viral on Facebook. And I will share my screen here. I removed. My website, so people can’t see that but it got nearly 50, 000 visitors. Let’s see, 48, 000 users over a period of three or four days. Something like that.
Yeah. Which was awesome. And. You know, because I check my stats every once in a while, and I’m used to seeing like 30 or 40 visitors a day on this website. All of a sudden, it’s like 25, 000 or, you know, nearly 25, 000 in one day. So that was just one Facebook post that just took off and truly went viral.
And so it’s fun to see I have had a couple others that have gotten like a couple thousand visitors in a day, but it’s like maybe once a month I, I do that, right? Like I get like a little spike of a thousand visitors or maybe two thousand. This is the biggest by far, getting, you know, nearly nearly fifty thousand visitors over a week period.
So it’s a lot of fun But I’ll be honest, I’m still not sure what to do with this project. It’s not a big money maker. I mean, this only made me like, 400. Right? Because it’s very low level Ezoic and I haven’t optimized anything. So… I don’t know. I’ll kind of leave it at that. Happy to, to sort of answer any questions that maybe you might have, Jared, or you think users might have about that, but it’s just, it’s one of these side projects that’s out there, you know, it’s kind of had some signs of potential, but nothing consistent.
Jared: There’s been a lot of chatter about how both Facebook and Pinterest are back to driving traffic again. And you know, this would only… Well, I won’t say it will support that because you’ve had mixed results, but just out of curiosity, are you posting this to a, a Facebook page or a Facebook group consistently?
Spencer: It’s a, it’s a page. Facebook page.
Jared: Okay. Okay. And have you been like trying to build that page in terms of followers and like that, or is it just posting and hoping that it gets caught up in the ether of of the organic social play?
Spencer: Yeah, so I’ve been trying to build it up. So I did run a likes campaign, you know, where essentially I can get likes for anywhere from five to 10 cents.
I don’t remember what my average is, but it’s somewhere in between there, seven, eight cents, something like that. And that’s, that’s mostly where I’ve gotten all the followers, you know, 30, 000 followers on the Facebook. Which is the, the idea and the strategy from the beginning, right? Is, okay, build up the page and I’m no longer, you know, paying for, for likes.
I do get, you know, some natural followers as well. But now that I’ve got that core, I’m just sharing the content on the page and hoping it, it goes viral. The,
Jared: I mean, it’s, it’s so interesting to think also just about. What additionally you could do to it. And again, since it’s just a shiny object section, we can kind of just shoot the breeze and brainstorm about it, but like, I’ve got to imagine that if you wanted to put more effort into it, right?
That the ability to go now and market to those 30, 000 people that are on that that are on, you know, that are likes of your Facebook page and and continue. I guess my other question would be like, do you notice any anything stand out about this one? Posts that went viral and usually it’s hard to figure out so I get it.
You’re probably like no but I don’t know, anything that did stand out about this one post that, I mean, literally went crazy viral.
Spencer: Yeah, so what we’re trying to replicate, because we did have another one, you know, a month ago go semi viral, not this big, but you know, a couple thousand visitors in a day.
And it was involving celebrities. We kind of took, took my niche and like, celebrity involvement with that niche. And that post went viral. And so we’ve been doing a lot more of that. And that’s what this post involves. That sort of combination, my niche, with like a celebrity involved. And so we’re thinking that’s part of it.
That’s what we’re trying to replicate. Because our other ones where we’re just sort of sharing the news specifically for the niche wasn’t gaining as much traction. And so when we add a big name to it, right? That seems to be what’s working, but it’s, it’s so intermittent that, like, we post something every day, right?
So maybe 1 in 30 are hitting at this point. We’d like it to be, you know, 1 in 10 or 1 in 5 would be great.
Jared: Last question, because I know we’re on a time limit. Does, would this work for Discover traffic?
Spencer: Potentially. Yeah. Definitely. This, I wish I had the switch where I could say, Hey, get these in Discover.
That’s what I’m trying to do. I would like these to be listed in Google Discover. It is in that vein of stuff that could be, you know, it’s kind of newsy you know, kind of relevant stuff that could be in Discover, but at this point, really, there hasn’t been any Discover traffic. And so, I will I wasn’t planning on doing this, but I will just say if anybody’s listening and they would like to potentially get involved in this business, I’m opening that up to pitches, right?
So if you want to, like, maybe become a partner on this thing, like, I just don’t have time to run it. I think it has potential. I think it’s super interesting. But if somebody wants to put in some hustle and some time, like I’m open to like giving you. part of this business, right? Let’s be partners.
Maybe we can figure out something. So if anybody’s listening and they want to reach out, please do that.
Jared: Well, and while we’re pitching, I was going to say, I really think, I think it’d be great if we could have somebody in the podcast who is an expert in Google Discover. You interviewed someone with the Disney blog.
Spencer: Kurt Schmidt. Yes. Kurt. Yes. Inside the
Jared: magic. That was fantastic. But he was successful on a lot of fronts, and I would love to get someone on board who’s like, found a way to almost replicate Google Discover success across a couple, you know, projects or platforms. That’d be a great person to have on, so,
Spencer: if you know…
I agree. Anybody listening, yeah. Knows of somebody, or if you are someone, let us know. We’d love to have you on. There you go. Alright, Jared, what are you working on these days?
Jared: I feel like I feel like I have the most shiny objects I’ve ever had in my life, and I still am like, every week coming in… A paling in comparison to the number that you have, but it’s okay.
I’m confident and secure in the number I have, and it’s okay. Hey, so let’s talk about Amazon Influencer. You know, we’ve had a couple weeks of interviews on the podcast about it. If you haven’t checked those out, you are missing out. Two weeks ago was Matt Donnelly. I mean, fantastic overview of how to get involved.
This week was was Tom Smith and he also went on some overview, but really kind of deep dove it in the last 20 minutes were so fascinating. I, I mean, I’d love to get your take on it someday, what he’s doing with taking the influencer videos and. With Python and AI publishing them to YouTube and building an entire website that’s getting like 20, 000 visitors a month.
Spencer: It’s insane. Yeah.
Jared: So anyways Amazon influencers, I would guess something to talk about on my platform this week because we had Amazon prime day on Tuesday and on Wednesday, and I was very curious to see. How Prime Day would go, because Prime Day has never been a big hit for me with my affiliate marketing.
And that’s because most of the buzz and the buying craze that happens is inside of Amazon. And if, if you’re not sending people to Amazon, you’re not making commissions in the standard affiliate program. The influencer program and shoppable videos, your videos are sitting right there as people are flooding Amazon to buy on this frenzied sale two day period.
So I was really curious about it. And, and the good news is the results are in. It was Tuesday and Wednesday. We record this typically on a Thursday. And so it was very interesting. A couple things for starters. The earnings weren’t dramatically up. They were up. I’d say the earnings were up about…
Maybe a hundred percent. So maybe double a typical day’s earnings, which is nice. Nice little bump. They were like 140 bucks for me on Tuesday, about 150 bucks yesterday. What was really interesting though, is the number of clicks on the first day of prime day. Was up 4x so neat for me nearing around.
I think it was 2000 or so and then dropped back to normal yesterday. So I don’t know if everybody does their shopping on prime day on day one and just skip stay too, or if that’s just the way it played out. And then so I did post that on Twitter and Tom responded and said. That it’s actually pretty typical to see a five to six day period of higher earnings from a prime day.
And then I’ll tease everybody with this cuz I thought this was interesting. He said, by the way, wait till Q4 because every day is like prime day in Q4 when you’re on the influencer program. Wow. Okay. So anyways, that’s a prime day update for anybody who was wondering. And, and, and, and again, started this really honestly about 45 days ago.
And at the 30 day mark, I was up to 1, 000 in earnings, and we just passed 2, 000 in the last 30 days. Did you really? Wow. Yeah. So now it’s up to 000 mark. And obviously, hopefully that’ll continue. Got some videos live this week. Over 300 now, so hopefully that’ll continue to grow and stuff. And I finally did it.
This is my third and final update on the Influencer Program. I went over to my parents house. On Monday evening, so I brought the kids my mom made dinner, and I, I went out to, I decided to start in my dad’s workshop, where he does a lot of his projects, he’s retired, and yeah, I mean, it was, it was a treasure trove of stuff, so you know, if, if if you’re thinking about, I don’t have that much in terms of products, maybe I shouldn’t bother joining, Man, the world has definitely opened up in terms of thinking about other places you can go to get content for these videos, so.
Spencer: Yeah. Oh, that’s huge. No, that’s great. That you’re doing so well. And I saw something similar on Prime Day. My clicks were up. I didn’t measure, but it looked like about a 4X spike. It was huge. Clicks were down a little bit, but not back down to normal. They’re still higher for me for yesterday. And, yeah, it’d be cool to see, you know, the next five or so days have, have higher earnings. So congrats. That’s cool to hear that you’re, you’re still cranking the videos out. Do you plan to start posting some of these to YouTube or do something that, that Tom mentioned, right?
Jared: Man, I, I, I mentioned the interview.
I just wanted to stop recording and go work on that right away. Yeah, down the road, I think I thought about that since the interview and I, I think, and Tom alluded to it a bit, like I, I think that the videos that we post on the influencer program would be better if you added a little bit more to them because you’re not allowed to call people to take action.
You’re not allowed to mention anything like price or anything like that. So I think if you just straight posted them to YouTube, you’d be doing yourself a little bit of a disservice. It’d be nice if. Where you add a little bit more to the end of the video and say, you know, Hey, for the price, this is really good, so go take a look.
I’ve included a link in the notes here or something. I think you’d make more money if you did that because really when you go to YouTube, there’s a variety of plays, but hopefully you’d be making money on the affiliate commission there. So I think holding off for now and not going to put time towards that.
But I think it’s so compelling. If you listen to Tom’s episode, he outlines all the reasons why it’s compelling. Yeah.
Spencer: All right. Now did you have a couple others you wanted to give an update on? ?
Jared: You are just teasing. Okay. Talked last week about the YouTube project for the summer, potential copyright issues.
My my wife and I came up with a, a great plan. We, we talked, we talked about it. So she has already emailed over 40 publishers to ask permission to read their books out loud. We thought we’d start with that. Not saying that we aren’t gonna read books that. We’re not, we don’t have explicit permission on, we talked about that last week, if you want to know why and all the intricacies of your YouTube project and copyright infringement and all that, go listen to last week.
But we’re going to start by emailing and asking for permission from a variety of ones that it looks like in research. Have given permission previously. Shout out to chat GPT, big help in kind of pulling out some ones that look like they have given permission in the past. So our good friends there at open AI helping out for the win, but she emailed Tuesday, Wednesday, I actually, I should’ve asked her before we got on recording, if she’s heard back at all, it’s through her email account.
So I don’t know, but hopefully we’ll get some permissions this week, even if we just get two or three, we’ll start recording next week.
Spencer: Cool. Well, that sounds great.
Jared: So final update is that I have a, I have a new idea for a shiny object. And you know, since we’re in the, you know, you’re asking people for partners on this.
I I did reach out to you Spencer about partnering on this and I haven’t heard back yet.
Spencer: Really? Oh, I better check my messages. I think I,
Jared: I think I messaged you. It wasn’t even an email. You know, so it should be right at the top there, but I don’t know, I’m giving you first dibs on this new project.
If you don’t want it, it’s fine. You do have a lot going on. But
Spencer: yeah. Yeah, no, it does sound interesting. I did see your message. Okay, okay, you saw it. Good. Yeah, no but yes, I was going to consider it and I haven’t had a chance to respond and Get back to you. I think, I think it’s a good idea with all the shiny
Jared: objects you have.
I can see why you wouldn’t have time to consider or to think through some of these other ones, but I, all that to say, joking aside, I I’ve been noodling over an idea for a WordPress plugin for a couple of months now that I think would actually solve problems for people. So we’ll see if we can get it off the ground.
I should know more by next
Spencer: week. Sounds good. So we’ll just tease people with that. I’ll read it back. Yeah, yeah. You’ve seen it? You thought it was a decent movie? Yes, I do. I think it’s a good idea. You can say it’s not. I’ve sent you some bad ideas in the past. Yeah, you know, I don’t do everything that comes to mind.
So no, very good. So you’ve got lots going on. I’m, I’m sorry to be like, I don’t know if I’m a negative influence on you. Like you keep adding to your projects, right? Like, shouldn’t we be focusing more? So no,
Jared: no, I’d say you’re far from that. I’ll continue to give you, I would never even looked at the Amazon influencer program and.
I mean, at this point, like, we’re near, we’re over two thousand dollars in a rolling month and, and only going up. I couldn’t be happier, so. Yeah. Far from the, far from it.
Spencer: Yeah, I mean, I, I, I could talk for, we could do a whole episode on why I think having your own side hustle is is a good idea, right?
And I do like the 80 20 approach where you’re still putting 80% of your time on your main thing and maybe allocate 20% on onto a side project because it allows you to have a little bit more fun, express creativity. You know, do think, take some chances. And some of those chances that I’ve taken have turned into very big businesses, right?
Jared: That’s what’s interesting is It’s not just a passion play, although it scratches that itch you never know when, you know, again, the analogy is throwing spaghetti up against the wall to see what sticks, like, you kind of never really know what’s gonna
Spencer: stick. Right, exactly. So, that’s why we do this segment, that’s why we’ll keep doing this segment.
Jared: as a host, I just have to keep coming up with shiny objects.
Spencer: That’s right, now you’re required. Part of my job. Part of the job, man. So, it’d be a quiet podcast if we weren’t working on anything on the side. Imagine if my answer was,
Jared: I have nothing this week.
Spencer: How boring would that be? Yeah, I’m sure we’d find something out there, you know.
We’d find other people’s shiny objects. There you go. Speaking of other people. Other people, yes. We talk weird niches. Let’s jump into the one weird niche where each of us share one weird niche site that we found. Maybe I’ll go first since you just wrapped up your, your shiny object there. I’ve got one here that boy, it’s, it’s crushing it.
It’s a single page website. That is getting like 3. 3 million visitors a month, according to SimilarWeb. One page. One page website. And it literally, like, I’m looking at it right now. I’m going to share it here in a second. You’re just teasing the share here. There’s, there’s no other links to click on.
There’s like not even an about page or, like, it’s, it’s one page website. So, without further ado. Let’s share this weird niche site. It is sleepcalculator. com. So, we’ve shared calculators, I think, in the past. I’m always shocked at how much traffic some of these sites get. But sleepcalculator. com, according to SimilarWeb, gets 3.
3 million visitors a month. And all it is, is it asks, what time do you want to wake up? That’s it, right? So if I want to get up at 630 a. m., I can calculate my bedtime. And so it tells me that I should go to bed at either at 9. 15 p. m. or 10. 45 p. m. And explains the different sleep cycles, kind of, you know, what happens.
You should try to get, you know, five to six complete sleep cycles throughout the night. And that’s, that’s pretty much it. There’s display ads on the website. And you can’t really do much else.
Jared: Is it casually recommending there in smaller print that you go to bed at 4. 45 AM?
Spencer: I You know it’s… I I I I I
Jared: I I I I I I’m just joking fun.
I think it’s really cool.
Spencer: Yeah, I I I’m not quite sure. I think it What it’s saying is this This is your sleep cycles, right? This is, kind of
Jared: Ah, those are your sleep cycles. This is So it’s not actually saying to go to bed then. Same. Those are when you’re in your deep sleep cycles or whatever they call it.
Spencer: night. Yeah. Yeah. Either your deep sleep or when you’re going to kind of coming out of that. I, you know, I looked at this for 30 seconds, but it’s something like that, right? It’s
Jared: great. I was, I’m going to pull something up while we’re talking here. If you’re looking, if you see me looking off screen, but yeah.
It’s just got one display ad, too. So, but because it’s just a one page website, you’ve got to imagine that display ad probably does really well.
Spencer: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. I mean, that’s all there is. The only other option on the site is, if you want to go to bed now, calculate your wake up time. Right? So…
Jared: Alright, I had a hunch, and that was, this is I’m looking at this in Google Trends.
And if you want to go to Google Trends and look up sleep calculator and again, there’s probably a variety of searches. And I was gonna say that this concept of kind of calculating your sleep was in the news last year. I remember seeing a ton about it. There’s been a lot of resources, a lot of apps, a lot of things about it.
And so it did spike last year. That’s the past day. Go back to like maybe five years there in the dropdown. Ah, yes. And it was like last year that it spiked. Oddly enough, the graph looks very similar to what you have right there. And and there’s that spike there. But. It’s since settled down a bit, but it is at an upper, it’s still an upper trim.
And I was going to bring up like, I feel like calculating your sleep and kind of sleep hacking is kind of, you know, all the rage right now.
Spencer: Yeah. Yeah, it is. Now that’s actually a really good niche if somebody wants to go into that to build out content. Right. There, there’s so many. Yeah. Sleep hacks. So many sleep calculators.
There’s so many sleep products that people could be reviewing. It could be an excellent niche that somebody could go into.
Jared: I mean, even sleep, the general term sleep for the last five years is going up, which is so odd. Like, it’s like breathing. It’s like what we do. How could that be more popular now than, than
Yeah. Interesting. So yeah, I’m just sharing similar web, right? 3. 3 million visitors. Let’s see. Let’s see. Does it show? I’ll show similar sites. Here we go. Organic says it’s 50% of its search. And direct traffic is essentially the other 50%. Right? And so yeah, kind of a cool niche. Probably making quite a bit of money.
Jared: And again, you know, we always like to do it, but think of the possibilities. Of, you know, like, they could make, again, I am literally just spitballing here, so I don’t, I would have to really research it to validate this, but I’m thinking, like, they could have a page for every age group, you know, because I’m guessing different age groups need different amounts of sleep, or…
Or, you know, for for they can have a special page for like night shift workers and different, you know, I just, you know, I know I was on a plane recently and I was chatting up with a flight attendant and they were like, oh, yeah, like we have this whole weird sleep that we have to go through because we work these really weird hours and different time zones and stuff.
So, I mean, there’s a lot. They’re doing great, obviously, but there’s a lot more potential if they want to expand beyond the one page
Spencer: website. Yeah, I agree. So, anybody listening wants to jump into the sleep niche, maybe that you know, is kind of a springboard. You can kind of take some of those ideas and run with it.
So, maybe we’ll leave it at that, and we’ll let you share your weird niche site. Well, this was actually
Jared: submitted by a follower of the podcast, so thank you very much. I didn’t write down the name, I apologize. I did at some point, but it’s, it’s lost in translation now. But you know who you are. This website is dash lights dot, well this is actually hard to say out loud.
It’s dash lights dot com with a dash in the middle. So dash,
Spencer: how do you, how would you say this out loud? Dash, dash lights.
Jared: Yeah, so dash, then an actual dash. So dash spelled out and an actual dash lights dot com. Just follow the pod on YouTube. That’s all I can say. Anyways, it’s a great website to go over.
It’s, it’s not really a weird niche. It’s it, it’s. When they say dash, I think they mean dashboard of a car, because it’s a car focused website. It’s a website all about dashboard warning lights. And what they mean. And this reminds me right out of the gate of the interview we did with Michael Donovan.
And I don’t know if his website, well actually I do know his website, but it doesn’t matter. The analogy he gave… On on the podcast was about writing content for different cars and how you could rank for various manufacturers for kind of a similar concept. This reminds me so much of that podcast interview because they’re basically writing what each individual dash light or code means for almost every car you see on the screen there.
I mean, they probably almost have almost all the popular car models there, right? Right. Couple things about this that I want to point out, then I want to get your take on it. Not a, so DR eight not a good looking site. They have the basics, but it’s definitely a generic stock kind of, you know, generate press sort of theme loaded with ads.
I would argue not the best user experience, but certainly monetized via ads. But even at that point, I mean, 27, 000 keywords that it ranks for including almost 2000 number one rankings. 32, 000 estimated organic traffic by AH refs. I mean, they ranked number one for Toyota master warning light.
Not a crazy high search volume, but. Certainly they’re probably up against YouTube in a lot of these because these are, you know, pretty popular YouTube terms as well. But here’s what I wanted to mention. So, you know I actually sent an email out from Weekend Growth a couple of weeks ago about this sort of topic, which is building out topical authority through the way you publish content and the way you internally link.
I included a link there in our notes, Spencer, if you, if you could boot, boot that one up, but basically boot up the Silo one if you can, the Toyota Silo and while you’re bringing that up, they have done such a good job for a very basic, poorly user generated website not user generated, for basically a poorly displayed website.
They’ve done a great job of building topical authority. So they have a page all about Toyota. And then from there, all of their Toyota warning lights articles are nested in there. And then if you go through each of these individual articles, they properly internally link about. They could do better, but they still link around and they all link back to the main Toyota page.
So again, if you’re just kind of looking I think that’s probably why this DR8 is doing fairly well, to be quite honest with you. Because they’re. The articles aren’t brilliant, but they’re doing a great job of establishing topical authority through the way they silo and internally link their content.
They’re, they’re ripe for for link whisper, right? They could probably use that.
Spencer: Yeah, no, those are great examples. They’ve got, yeah, good, good site structure of everything that you mentioned there. And it’s such like a, it’s a It’s just off the beaten path. It’s not one that I would think of you know, if I’m trying to come up with a niche idea is you know, dashboard warning lights.
And so good find here in figuring this out. And you know, it gets, what did, what did we say? 30 something thousand? Yeah, over 30. Yeah, 32, 000 organic visitors a month. So it’s, it’s probably getting over 100, 000 visitors a month. You know, for sure. So it’s probably growing. It’s, it’s a couple of years old, but it looks like it’s grown quite a bit in the last few months.
Jared: I mean, you know, a hundred thousand page views, depending on where you’re, you’re, you’re, you’re, you’re putting ads and all that, they’re definitely very ad heavy. I mean, 5, 000 a month
Spencer: from that. Yeah. Yeah, I think so. I mean, just a very basic looking website. And yeah, good, good find. I like it. So even got some comments here.
Me too. Yeah, I saw that too as well. So it looks like, you know. People are people are active on the site itself. I didn’t check
Jared: for social profiles. I’ve got to imagine I mean, what kind of social play can you make with this?
Spencer: I don’t know And that’s okay some niches, right? It’s just it’s kind of a dry niche and maybe there’s not gonna be a huge social following and I remember that’s okay
Jared: We looked at a we were helping that somebody hired us to, to look over a toilet website.
Ah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. They asked me, they’re like, do you think we should do social media? And I, I mean, I’m like, in general, social media is good, I just don’t, maybe, you know, think that through. I don’t know the social play here.
Spencer: Yeah, exactly. You got to think outside the box for, for niches like that or like this to do that.
So. Very good. Thank you, Jared, for sharing that. I think that gets us through everything that we wanted to cover. And so… Every
Jared: week, we tease that we’re gonna go go shorter on you. Less time, less time. I’m looking at the clock right now. Yeah, another, another week full of news and side hustles and, and weird niches.
I mean, I, I, I’m beginning to think this is a one
Spencer: hour episode. It is we we can’t seem to keep keep our mouths shut long enough to make it any shorter than about an hour. So thank you everybody
Jared: for I’ll just say for those of you who don’t want it to be an hour Apparently the play is to just put us at
5 x There you go. I talk slow enough that you could still understand me at 1. 5x, so no worries there.
Thank you everybody for listening. It’s been a good episode. I think always news, always interesting things to cover. So hopefully people have gotten some insights, things that they can you know, implement into their own business. And Jared, thank you for your time. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. We’ll see you next week.