How Google Shapes the Internet + Google Debunks Ranking Factors and 2 Weird Niche Sites

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Hello, and welcome to the latest episode of The Niche Pursuits News podcast!

Spencer and Jared are back this week to bring you all the latest happenings in the world of SEO and to break the news down. There’s a lot to talk about, so let’s get started!

The first topic of discussion is the latest article in The Verge about Google

According to the article, content creators and website owners have essentially created their websites with Google in mind, with the result that they all look and feel the same. As a result, Google has shaped how we build our websites. 

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Do Spencer and Jared believe that the article’s premise is accurate? Is there too much homogenization going on? Should we really be preparing people-first content? And what about the use of Reddit in content creation?

They also talk about the response from Danny Sullivan, sharing a particularly thought-provoking tweet from the Google Search Liaison about “chasing the algorithm,” EEAT, and the “perfect” page formula.

The last news item they cover is an article about Google’s efforts to combat spam. There are still a lot of spammy results in the SERPs and Google reports that it’s aware and is working on the situation. Spam is a huge problem, and it’s only increasing with the rise of AI. Google certainly has its work cut out for it! 

When it’s time for the Shiny Object Shenanigans portion of the podcast, Spencer kicks things off by explaining that he’s going to put all of his podcast videos on a new YouTube channel going forward. 

But what are the reasons behind his decision? And is he going to move existing videos to the new channel?

When it’s Jared’s turn, he wants to continue to grow his Weekend Growth newsletter, but he flips the script this week. Instead of talking about his future plans, he asks for Spencer’s input on new actions he can take. They have a productive brainstorming session with several interesting ideas!

As for this week’s weird niche sites, Spencer shares a directory site for dude ranches. His site this week is a little bit different in that he knows the backstory because he discovered it on Twitter. 

He shares the interesting story behind the site, which has excellent visuals and branding and makes money through its paid listings.

Jared’s weird niche site is certainly a sight to behold: Dogica. This DR12 site ranks for 10k keywords, including lots of first-page rankings. He and Spencer agree that the very old-school design might be holding it back, plus it doesn’t seem to be on top of many modern monetization methods, although it does offer a dog rental service.

And that brings us to the end of another episode of The Niche Pursuits News podcast. 

We hope that we helped catch you up to speed on all the latest news in SEO, website development, and content creation. See you next Friday!

transcription

Spencer: Hey everyone. Welcome back to the podcast. We’re going to record another episode of this week in niche pursuits news. And, uh, I have Jared Bauman with me. Jared, how you doing 

Jared: today? Good. Good to be here, Spencer. We got a lot of, uh, fun kind of gossipy news to dig our, sink our teeth into here. 

Spencer: Yeah, it is a little bit gossipy, isn’t it?

Uh, we got, uh, you know, the verge has got an article that we’re going to talk about, and that sort of sparked a lot of discussion. Um, you know, the, the article itself, um, isn’t necessarily newsworthy other than, you know, it’s a large publication covering SEO news, which I guess in it, in and of itself is a little bit newsworthy, but it’s more of the reaction.

A lot of commentary from Danny Sullivan, uh, Google search liaison. And so that leads into like, okay, what does this mean? Is he dropping some hints? Yeah. So that’s why it’s, it’s a great discussion. Just talk about SEO content marketing in general. 

Jared: Yeah, it’s, um, there’s certainly a lot of maybe premonition that comes out of what we’re going to be discussing as it relates to Google and those sorts of things.

But in terms of hard hitting news, it’s really more of the gossip circle than it is, uh, uh, something that’s changing on the market or anything. 

Spencer: Exactly, exactly. So, I don’t know that, uh, you’re gonna chain, exactly, you know, there’s not a new search engine, nothing has drastically changed, but, uh, maybe there’s a little bit of a, a tweak in how we think about things.

Uh, so we’ll see. So, uh, but then of course we are gonna talk about our shiny object shenanigans, which will be a little bit different, uh, today. You know, it’s a, it’s a new year, and so we’re gonna We’ll share, um, just a couple of things we’re working on in our business. Uh, and then of course, we’ve got two weird niche sites.

I was just admiring the, uh, logo from, you know, the 90s or something that, uh, that your weird niche site has. So I think you’re being generous 

Jared: by calling it a logo from the 90s. 

Spencer: Yeah, it’s animated and I don’t know. Colorful, you know, paint is designed in paint. Microsoft paint for sure. Um, but I, I’m really curious to hear what it is.

I, I literally have just opened it. I don’t know what this site is all about. So stick around for that, uh, if you’re listening. So with that, we are going to jump into the news and, uh, you know, I kind of feel like the verge had such a big hit of an article, you know, the last one that they did about, um, who ruined the internet, you know, SEOs or Google.

Uh, we talked about that at length. And, uh, you know, I had a lot of, uh, a lot of things mentioned in that article were a little bit off base. Uh, it felt like they didn’t quite get the story quite right. You know, it was an interesting article. And so we talked about that a lot. Um, and so it feels like The Verge is Tapped into that.

Well, you know, that article, I’m sure it got shared a ton. They got a ton of traffic, a lot of traction. And so they produced another article that’s really about Google and SEO and how Google has changed the internet. Uh, and so let’s, let’s jump into this one. I mean, this is a very long, uh, article. What’s it even called here?

Um, I was 

Jared: going to ask you if you knew the title. 

Spencer: I’m when I hover over this, how Google perfected the web. And I think I’ve seen a couple other. Headlines that maybe they’re testing Google shapes. Everything 

Jared: on the web is the one I actually have. 

Spencer: Okay. Yeah And then the perfect web page appears to be the title on uh the screen, right so It’s all about how the internet internet reshaped itself around google search algorithms and into a world where websites look the same and um So I actually do agree a lot with the premise of this article that, um, we as webmasters, as bloggers, as content creators, a lot of what we have done and built and the way we write, and even perhaps design our websites.

Is always with the lens of what will Google think, you know, Google is certainly whether they’ve wanted to or not has shaped how we have built our website. So, and so how the internet has been shaped is our site optimized for Google. Does it, the site look good on mobile and is it fast on mobile so that it will rank well in Google, right?

All of these things are questions that we ask when we build a website. And so I do feel like the overall premise that the article made. Is accurate, uh, in that regard and boy, there is so much here. I mean, you can just scroll if I just scroll through quickly. They’ve got custom animation, sort of a, um, fictitious website that they designed and talking about.

Okay, here’s how we built our website at first. But now when we think about Google, here’s what we tweak and change. And then at the end of the article, it essentially says now we have a cookie cutter website that we think will do well in in Google, right? I don’t know. Do you want to kick off with any specifics that sort of caught your attention within this article?

It’s so long that people just need to read it to get the full breadth of what it covers. 

Jared: Man, when I saw it come out, I was like, dang it. We’re gonna have to talk about it in the podcast. And that means dang it. I have to read this darn thing. You know, the last one was so. Well, you know, the last time The Verge published an article, which, which you referenced, it used like dated tropes, farcical analogies to kind of build this case that more really that SEO has ruined the internet, although Google was certainly didn’t come out looking good either, you know, and.

I just, I guess I just went into reading this article kind of assuming they were out to get SEOs and all that again. And I agree with you in almost an amazing flip of the script. Um, this time they used pretty justifiable and reasonable norms, you know, like how we do things more or less. Um, I will say they tried to spin it as a negative and kind of like a semi passive aggressive way throughout the entire article.

You kind of found yourself reading it going like, Oh, that’s kind of true. And then the next paragraph, you’re like, Oh, that’s offensive. And the next paragraph, you’re like, well, they’re kind of right. And the next paragraph, like, why would they say that? So it really, it was a, a weird read, but the premise was very true.

We’re like, uh, you know, whether by nature or by nurture, like we’re like a dog to its master. Like, you know, you tell us. Page speed matters, we don’t really care until we see it affect our rankings, and all of a sudden when it affects our rankings, we care about page speed, and et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

UI UX has been the recent conversation. Has it mattered until it matters? Now that it matters, it matters. A lot of truth in that. I think we can start by saying that they kind of definitely exposed some of the, um, what’s the word they used? Uh, oh man, um, I’m, I’m blanking out, but basically how we’re all kind of amalgamating to the same type of content, the same homogenized, and that’s the word they use kind of homogenizing 

Spencer: our websites.

So. Yeah. And, uh, one of the quotes that kind of supports that one that I kind of pulled out here, um, that I’ve got on the screen here, uh, is, uh, but many websites just do what they think Google wants or what’s being recommended by SEO experts, even if there’s no guarantee it will work. Google is both overbearing with manuals and withholding of clear answers.

Give too much away and everyone could game the system. In that void, creators and website operators throw things at the wall to see what sticks. And once they start designing their page for Google, it’s easy for their content to be fashioned for Google too. And so, hence, we all end up with these homogenized looking websites and content creation processes, right?

That, uh, there’s, there’s a lot of valid points, uh, that are To be made with that, um, and, uh, so yeah, it’s, it’s just, it’s, it’s, it was a fascinating read and so you’ve got this push and pull now between, you know, the verge that is, you know, calling out Google and how Google is, has really forced our hand as content creators to.

Change how maybe we would do things originally. Um, and then Google on the other hand is just harping over and over and over again. Jared, what, what are they saying? You know, don’t create a website content for Google people. First content, you know, do humans really want this? That’s what you should create it for.

And, uh, so they’re both shouting with their megaphones, the verge and Google. And who do you listen to? Well, it’s probably somewhere in the middle. Right is, is really, uh, probably where it lies. So any other, uh, quotes or any thoughts that you wanted to pull out of this article? Cause we’ve got some responses, of course, from, uh, Danny Sullivan.

Jared: Yeah. I mean, um, you know, I think that. The, I think that they are drawing these analogies as though it’s, or these, these conclusions, as though it’s bizarre, as though it’s, um, as though people are consciously SEOs, uh, content producers, and even Google, as though this is some conscious effort to, to, to, to do bad things.

But I, I, I mean, I really, I didn’t understand the analogies. In many ways, you know, like I think one quote that I, I highlighted, um, our site has lost some of its personality, but it’s loaded loading faster and has a design that’s friendlier to Google’s search crawlers. And this is just the start of our SEO effort.

And again, it was said in a very disparaging sort of way, in a way that’s, oh, this is awful. And, you know, immediately what I thought of is, well, that’s why people go buy Starbucks coffee. Um, Starbucks coffee is not known as good coffee. It’s, it’s, it’s burnt. It’s overcooked and it’s done that. They do it that way so that it’s a homogenous coffee that you get the same flavor everywhere you go.

And the only way they can do that Is by over roasting it so that they can get a same kind of what many would call flavorless and dull profile. And if you really like coffee, you don’t go to Starbucks. You go to, uh, like a small, you know, uh, uh, an independent roaster that has flavors and a process you like, but.

What do we see? We see Starbucks is very, very popular, right? Because they’ve homogenized the production of it. And they’ve given people a similar experience. And, you know, back to that quote, like Google knows that people like fast sites and so they’re going to reward fast sites. And so people who don’t optimize for fast sites, just as an example, tend to get left behind in Google searches.

So it’s kind of like, you know, what came first, the chicken or the egg, you know, um, but, but it’s interesting to see them almost characterized a lot of this as bad when it’s really just the, the way the world sort of works. I don’t know, am I over? Am I oversimplifying 

Spencer: that? No, I think you’re hitting on a really good point.

Uh, when I think about how people search the web, in a lot of cases we have queries that are either educational or entertainment based, right? So when I come to the internet, am I looking to be educated? And if I’m looking to be educated and I type in a query, I often want that really well formatted answer that just gets to the point in terms of like, okay, here’s your question.

Maybe it’s even like a subheading, right? That has my exact query in it. They really went after headings in this. They didn’t like headings in this article. They did not like it. But here I’m making the argument that. Hey, this is great for searchers that want to be educated. They have five minutes. They want to learn about something.

They can type that in, they get the exact answer. They read the two paragraphs. I’m like, okay, now I know what that is all about. Um, or there’s, uh, entertainment and I almost feel like the examples that the verge was leaning towards is like, man, we want this fun website that people just come to and, um, you know, maybe read this really long story and, you know, it’s got all this nuance and that’s great.

And there is a place for that. Maybe we call these opinion pieces or entertainment, whatever it is, right? These articles that you go to, to read, that is just this story. It’s engrossing. It’s this, um, this great thing that you want to sit down and read for 20, 30, 40 minutes, right? There’s a place for that.

Um, and so. You know, that’s, that’s kind of the way I think about it. And a lot of the, what we do as SEO is a lot of times is, Hey, we’re targeting, um, an education, informational related query. People are doing research. So we format it. The way that we know it’s going to perform well in Google. 

Jared: I have that quote, uh, actually.

So let me quote what you’re talking about in terms of some of the stuff like, but we’ve noticed our competitors format their pieces differently. They chop their stories up into sections with headers that target Google searches. Let’s try adding these headers ourself. They make our story choppy and harder to read, but it signals to Google what our page is about.

That’s now where the verge is overreaching. Like I would say that a lot of what we’re seeing in. Uh, what SEOs are trying to do right now is, is make things easier to read. We talk about readability. We talk about, you know, making it so a seven year old can read it. We talk about holding their attention span, not having walls and blocks of text.

Like these are things that aren’t really SEO focused as much as they are engaging the reader focused. And I think that’s where the Verge is doing what the Verge does best. And, you know, kind of overcharacterizing some of the good points they’re trying to make. So. 

Spencer: Right, exactly. And, uh, you know, there, there, there’s a few good points here.

Um, I’m just trying to think of how much I wanna mention here. But one, one other quote that I will say that, uh, maybe the Verge got got right and sort of doesn’t paint a really good picture of the affiliate marketing industry. That, um, I tend to agree with is, um, okay, here we go. So the, and I’ll read this quote, uh, the sleazy or SEO strategy strategists have already caught on to a lot of the changes and things, um, waiting and hoping for their chance to exploit whatever Google prioritizes.

There are product recommendation articles with titles like best a special machine, Reddit. 2023 and entire websites filled with reviews according to Reddit in quotes that appear to be fake accounts talking to each other. Some subreddits are overrun with affiliate link spam, uh, yada, yada, yada. But, um, and I pointed this out in the past, right?

That, um, by Google emphasizing Reddit. A lot of SEO is affiliate marketers. And I would say the, uh, the darker side of that market, they’re really trying to exploit it. They’re spamming Reddit. They’re putting, you know, according to Reddit in their titles and they’re trying to kind of. Game their way to the top of the search rankings.

I kind of agree with that. I, I’m not a huge fan of that approach. Right? Um, I, I would just hate you’ve got a query that you want to target, you know, don’t throw in Reddit just to trick the reader that, Hey, Google should rank and they’re going to be laying on Reddit. I’ll play all sorts of 

Jared: things. I’ll play devil’s advocate to you.

What if you actually were like, well, apparently Google’s algorithms want. Reddit type of feedback. They prioritize Reddit type of feedback. And so, I mean, a devil’s advocate would say, okay, what if now, instead of doing the typical product review that I do about espresso machines, I also go to Reddit and provide, pull feedback from people and comments in Reddit.

And I add that in authentically, aren’t I just doing what. Supposedly Google’s algorithm, which according to their words, they just reward what people want. They’re not there for an algorithm game. They’re there to reward what people want. And if they’re rewarding commentary that has read it, aren’t I doing what 

Spencer: people want?

Maybe so, maybe so if you truly are going to reddit and researching and say hey, here’s what the top 20 comments on reddit say and here’s what I think about that. Sure, I think, sure, I’m okay with 

Jared: that. As usual, you know, I’m picking, poking fun because that wouldn’t be a bad approach, but the part that they’re referencing, which is totally accurate is Perhaps seeding all that in Reddit and then commenting, pulling it from Reddit.

And it’s, you know, so we know what’s really going on and we know that they’re referencing truth about it, but yet in the truth, there’s also the flip side of it that should exist and also doesn’t. So it’s, it’s, it’s a weird, it’s a weird dichotomy. 

Spencer: Yeah. Yeah. Um. And then, any other points that you wanted to make before we jump into some of, uh, Danny Sullivan’s, um, reaction to all of this?

One more, 

Jared: and maybe it’s a transition, I hope I don’t steal your thunder, because it is a Danny Sullivan comment on it. Perfect. Um, and I, so I like this comment from Danny, so, you know, hey. We try to expose the things we like that Danny says, the things we don’t like, the things we think are gray. But I think this is a very interesting and good comment and can probably spurn us into a lot of the commentary and reaction that Danny had on Twitter.

But in the article, he’s quoted, oh, no, it’s not in the article. It’s in his tweet. Should I hold that as a re transition or you want me to? Sure. As we transition over to it. All right. Yeah. Um, so Danny did respond to this in a variety of tweets. And then he referenced a tweet that he said back in November of 2023.

So we’ve got two, two months behind us. He already kind of referenced a lot of what this article was referring to. And he said, perhaps we need to speak more clearly that our systems are actually chasing what people like. So if you chase the algorithm, you’re behind. If you chase what people like, you’re ahead of the algorithm.

I think that’s an interesting. Quote, an interesting way for us to kind of move past this article and into what really matters, which is what Danny and Google think about all this. 

Spencer: Yeah, that’s good. And, um, I’m trying to find that exact tweet, but, um, I’m not sure I’m seeing the exact one. I’m sharing a different one, I think.

I’ll give it, I’ll give it to you. There you go. Yeah. Um, there we go. We’ll get this one pulled up. And, uh, is this the right one? I think that’s the same one. 

Jared: No, go ahead and pull the one up right above that. In, uh, in the agenda there. 

Spencer: Alright, uh, We’ll, we’ll try number three. Number three. There we go. Third time’s a charm.

Okay. Sorry about that. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. 

Jared: Normally, you and I are making up as we go today. The agenda is too long to keep track of, to be quite honest 

Spencer: with you. That’s right. We got a lot of quotes, uh, going on here, but, uh, but I like that a lot. You know, that’s, I mean, that’s a good point is that, uh, yeah, if you’re chasing the algorithm, I mean, Google’s already kind of.

Behind right because they see what’s happening. They tweak their algorithm. And if you then change it, well, there might be a new You know new things that people want. I mean at that point so it’s kind of hard Yeah, 

Jared: maybe that like that makes more sense to me. I’m not saying that this is what they mean by people first content I’m not but mm hmm If that’s kind of down the lines of what they’re saying, that makes a little more sense to me.

Right. You know, um, I was having a conversation with a client just this week and he is, I won’t give away his niche. Um, but he makes, he’s an e commerce brand and he makes products and he makes products that go with another company’s products. You know, they’re like accessories. Right. And we spent the call talking about how there’s this new product being launched by this company.

And he wants to be on the forefront of making accessories for that. How do we write content around that? I’m like, well, this is fun because no one’s ever written content around this because it’s brand new. We got to go where the people are going to go. We have to know our client well enough to go where they’re going to go.

I, I feel a bit like in that moment I was envisioning or I was embracing people first content. 

Spencer: Yeah, no, that’s cool. Um, I think that’s exciting. If you can get into a niche where you’re kind of at the forefront of that and, um, writing about things that are cutting edge or other people haven’t covered in that length.

That’s a good spot to be in. Um, so one of the things that, uh, Danny responded to that. I. Thought was pretty interesting here. Um, on Twitter is in reference to credentials. So one of the, you know, big things that the verge hit on is like, okay, we’re creating this website about lizards. Um, we need to prove that we’re experts at this.

So let’s create an about page. Let’s create these author bylines and lots of pictures of us with lizards, right. To prove that we’re experts to hit that E E A T, you know, sort of, sort of metric. Um, and then Danny sort of respond and said, I know this is simple. Um, but this part of the article is wrong and it doesn’t even cite us saying this.

Uh, but essentially Google doesn’t somehow check out our credentials. It is something that I can get that people misunderstand, but not what I’d expect a news organization, et cetera, et cetera, to do all this. Um, it’s a misc. Uh, conception that, as I shared last November, that we’ll do more to address.

Basically saying that, um, adding an about page and adding bylines isn’t going to make you rank higher. Um, I think, I think is exactly what he says. Uh, if you have an about page, you rank better. Well, you don’t. Doesn’t work that way, which leads to some critical thinking to consider when getting advice on ranking well in Google.

So. Um, so that is, uh, something that we do here a lot is that, Hey, you got to have your author bylines, you got to have your about pages, you know, and we do all of this, uh, for Google. Uh, what do you think about that? Yeah. I mean, 

Jared: it really, I think it really pulls upon, I mean, I get in these conversations all the time at, at my agency, right.

And it kind of pulls upon the fact like around this idea of EEAT and is it a ranking factor, and I would agree with Danny, like there’s no precedent to show that. The concept of EEAT is a ranking factor. It almost kind of sits on top of what you do to rank and what you do, you know, to, to make your, your content X, um, Excel and do well.

And, um, you know, like I think the verge made the same characteristics in their article that a lot of maybe newer SEOs make, or people who are trying to just get a checklist of things that help them rank better and go down the list and stuff. And I think there’s a lot of validity to what Danny’s saying, you know.

Spencer: And, um, just final quote here, author bylines, aren’t something you do for Google and they don’t help you rank better. There’s something you do for readers and publications doing them may exhibit the type of other characteristics our ranking systems, um, find align with useful content. Uh, that’s something I communicate to the verge, uh, editor in chief, uh, yada, yada, yada, but basically.

Yeah, it’s just saying, hey, if you’re thinking about doing these things because you think your readers will get value, you may also be thinking about other things that are not author bylines or about pages that would be helpful for end users. Those are the kinds of, you know, websites, those people exhibiting those characteristics that Tend to do well in Google because they’re thinking about all these other things and not just the one checkbox There’s you know, 20 other things that you should be thinking about for users According to danny here, 

Jared: you know, I used to I used to be a wedding photographer spencer That was my first career and we heard a lot of wedding speeches heard a lot of vows Heard a lot of things and you know, you never hear someone get up and say well I’m marrying you today because you always called when you said you were going to call and because you always did what you said you were going to do and because You know, you treat your parents right, and you’re, you know, you have a dog, and you treat the dog right, and you hear them talk about how much fun they have, how much they make me laugh, how sweet they are, the nice things they do, how good of a connection you have, and, um, but, but you don’t, you don’t marry someone you have a good connection with, but then breaks your trust all the time, and you know, that never does what they say they’re going to do, and it’s a very loose analogy, but like, you The ranking factors are the things that we know it’s good content.

It’s good links. Uh, it was all pre HCU now who the heck knows, but it’s all those things. Right. And, but, but there is an element of trust and authority that you need to have on top of all that so that Google can go, yeah, this is a real person. Yeah. This is a real website, but we can trust this website. And, and so you need to do both, but they don’t necessarily always play themselves out as a ranking factor.

Just the same as you don’t necessarily. I kind of hear people talking about the little things like that when they’re talking about, you know, who they want to be around, and what delights them, and what makes them happy and excited. It’s important, but You know, the verge article kind of touched on a fine point, which is it’s hard to check 20 boxes for, uh, things like trust and authority and expect to rank better just because you check those boxes.

Spencer: Yeah. And so, um, speaking of kind of checking boxes, you know, we often do this when we use, uh, SEO tools, right? Surfer, SEO, market muse, any other content optimization tool, SEMrush, uh, that was referenced in, in the article in the verge article is, uh, we’re trying to create this. This perfect page, you know, making sure we got all these check marks.

And, uh, this is maybe the final tweet, uh, from Google search liaison, Danny Sullivan, um, just a couple of days ago, he says today, I wanted to share about the belief that there is some type of perfect page formula that must be used to rank highly in Google search. There isn’t, and no one should feel that they must work.

Uh, to some type of mythical formula. It’s a belief dating back to even before Google was popular, as I wrote about when I was a journalist in 2000 in the article below, as was the case then. So it remains true. Now there’s no perfect formula to follow. And then he goes on to reference third party SEO tools that give advice, you know, that you need to mention a certain number of keywords, uh, it needs to be a certain content length and somehow constructed in a particular way for success.

Um, and he basically goes on to say that, you know, that this is, this is not the case, right? There is no strict formula for if you’re trying to rank for this keyword, you need to mention it 10 times in your article and you need to have, um, you know, five related keywords that you mentioned this many times and it needs to be 2, 500 words long.

Um, you know, he’s kind of taking a shot at third party SEO tools a little bit and saying, you know, that’s really not the case to create a perfect webpage. 

Jared: So then how is Kyle Roof able to rank Lorem Ipsum content repeatedly over and over again? 

Spencer: He’s a genius. He is, frankly. He’s a genius. 

Jared: That’s a good point.

I wouldn’t say there’s a perfect page formula, or there’s an exact formula, but some of this exists. And, um. Um, there’s too much data to, to argue against it. Um, does it exist less today than maybe two or three years ago? Yeah, I would say so. I would say that we all use market muse and surfer and pop a lot less than we used to, or at least less effectively to some degree, you have to admit like some of this does exist, right?

Spencer: Oh yeah, I think so. And, and you know, I’ll come out and say that I still use some of these tools, you know, um, and niche pursuits is doing very, very well, , right? Um, so I, yes, there is still not a perfect page. ’cause I cannot guarantee that I’m, I agree. There’s so many, so much mystery. But just like, um, one of the very first things that I learned about SEO that finally the light bulb clicked.

Is that, Oh, if I want to show up on the first page of Google for a specific query, I need to mention that query in the title of my article, right? Um, I know that’s so basic, but that still rings true to this day. And so it just makes sense that you have to say certain words so that, yes, human readers can understand what it’s all about, but so that Google can understand, hey, you’re trying to answer this question.

You’ve mentioned these exact phrases. It, it needs to all be there. But, um, Danny, Danny makes a good point that boy, I have seen a wide variety of ranking pages that some are 500 words long and some are 3000 words long. They’re all on the first page of Google. I don’t know why it’s not word length. It’s not number of keywords, but it’s, they all have similar, you know, keywords.

They’re trying to rank for the same thing, but there’s no exact formula. 

Jared: Totally agree. No exact formula, but there is a, a loose formula that’ll vary by query. Yeah, 

Spencer: so, um, so there you go. There’s a Can I ask you one more thing 

Jared: about this? Yeah. What does The Verge have against reptiles? Last time we had an alligator party, this time we got lizard websites.

What’s it gonna be next? 

Spencer: I don’t know. Go on to amphibians? Go frogs? I, you know. Yeah, seriously. I don’t know. Yeah. That’s a good question. I mean, well, you know, in this case, they love lizards. 

Jared: Well, their homogenous lizard website, they didn’t seem to love too much at the end. That’s 

Spencer: true, they’re ready to give it up at the end of the article, I think.

Or too 

Jared: excited about it by the time they got done Googling it up and down. 

Spencer: That’s right. Uh, yeah, it makes for good examples, right? 

Jared: Oh, I just hope they They take a break because I can’t get through these 9, 000, 10, 000 word articles every week like this. 

Spencer: I know, I know. Let’s, let’s maybe all agree that if the Verge puts out another SEO one, we’re just not going to cover it.

Jared: We’re going back to search engine journal articles that are 300 words, maybe 500 words at best. 

Spencer: That’s right. You know, Barry Schwartz does it right. We’ll just rely on whatever he says. Um, all right. Very good. Maybe. We’ll cut the news off there, uh, unless I miss something, but I think, uh, I think we pretty much hit on everything we wanted.

Do you have one 

Jared: other item on the agenda? I can’t tell if you’re truly, uh, uh, uh, missing it or if you want, if you want to ignore that. That was your subtle way of saying we’ll move 

Spencer: on. No, let’s go ahead and cover it. I forgot that we had this other one. Speaking of the search 

Jared: engine roundtable. 

Spencer: Speaking of search engine roundtable.

Yes, with Barry Schwartz. So here we go. Um, let’s do cover this one. So it’s only 200 words here. So it’s super short. Yeah, we could probably just read the whole thing and take less time. But, uh, Google reiterates That they have changes coming that are going to deal with certain types of spam. Um, Lily Ray on Twitter shared a couple of examples of just spammy, uh, websites.

She mentioned here, best weight loss gummies. Um, there’s rampant spam everywhere. Um, and then other. edu sites were ranking that redirect to spam websites. Right. And then, uh, Danny Sullivan basically said, Hey, um. I’ve talked about these situations previously, and we do have fixes in the work for this type of spam.

However, you know, their algorithms, their system, it takes a lot of time to test and work out some of the kinks is what it kind of sounds like. And, uh, so they’re, they’ve got some systems in place to deal with this, but they haven’t rolled it out with. Rolled it out just yet, but it’s in the works and you can see fixes for this type of spam, uh, really soon.

Jared: Fair play. I, you know, we were talking a couple of weeks ago about the parasite SEO problem and exactly how do you solve it? And we were like, we kind of came to the conclusion, like, boy, I don’t know. Someone’s got to get in front of a whiteboard and just start brainstorming which idea is the least bad.

And so fair play. I, I don’t envy them trying to solve these problems. 

Spencer: Yeah, not easy when you have so much money behind ranking at the top of Google and so many people all over the world, like, Hey, I’m going to rank for best weight loss gummies, uh, or whatever they will try anything right to game Google.

And so. Spam is a huge, huge problem, especially with AI and the ability to, you know, push a button, one click article, uh, and get it out there. Usually, you know, Google does a good job of those types of articles just don’t rank, but when you start throwing EDU and yeah, this parasite SEO problem. You know, they’re taking their time to make sure they get it right.

So we’ll see what happens. Uh, but it’s in the works, you know, how quick that’ll come next month, two months, six months. I have no idea. We’ll see. 

Jared: What a fun, um, what a fun 20, 30 minutes on the news this week. Yeah. Like I always fun. I feel like I had to get my, uh, my gossip corner hat out and yeah, we did it.

But, um, yeah, some interesting points, you know, certainly it was a much better article and approach from the verge than the last one. Led to some more productive conversations and, uh, than the last one. So. 

Spencer: Yeah, no, I agree. Um, you know, the, the sort of rumor or gossip angle isn’t going to stop in terms of what we’re going to cover next.

You know, these are some things that, uh, we’re working on some things that, uh, may or may not come to fruition exactly how we, we foresee. But, uh, we have a couple of things that, uh, we, we both wanted to talk about. Um, we’re going to get away from Amazon influencer just a little bit. We’ve talked about that for the last couple of months, certainly at the end of the year.

Uh, and so I just thought I would share one thing that I’m planning on doing, uh, in my business that. It will impact everyone listening to this podcast as I take a short, uh, drink there. 

Jared: Is that dramatic pause? I was like, this is a dramatic pause. Should I get a drum roll going? Do we have a sound effect?

Spencer: Uh, it’s maybe not quite worth that much. Uh, okay. Just a dramatic pause. Just a dramatic pause. Um, no, I, after talking to a lot of different people, uh, and looking at my YouTube channel, I have decided to put the niche pursuits podcast on its own YouTube channel, right? So if you’re just listening to this audio, you know, Spotify, Apple podcasts, everywhere else, the audio podcasts are played.

Nothing changes for you. You’re going to continue to get the podcasts. Um, however, if you. Only view these on YouTube starting next week, all of the new episodes for the niche pursuits podcast will be on a new YouTube channel and it will be called drum roll. Uh, the niche pursuits podcast, YouTube channel, it’s podcast, right?

Um, pretty simple, right? So I’m going to have my main niche pursuits, YouTube channel, where I am going to put all of my well produced, where I put a lot more effort into, you know, visual effects. You know, music, you know, a lot more editing, you know, goes into these 10 to 15 minute videos. Um, that is where all of those videos are going to live, where I, you know, I’m sort of the face of that YouTube channel and, um, I’m.

Anyways, I’m, I’m hoping that that, that helps I’ll explain why a little bit, but all of the interviews that Jared does, all the niche pursuits news episodes, like you’re listening to right now, they are going to be on the niche pursuits podcast, YouTube channel, uh, going forward next week. And of course I will email my audience, I will share on social media.

You know, I’m going to make sure that people can find that new channel, even though from day one, it’s going to have zero subscribers. So it’s a little bit scary, but, uh, that’s what I have going on. Um, I will just briefly explain why I’m doing that. Um, I’ve talked to a couple of people. That have shared that this is really what needs to be done if I want my, um, well produced YouTube videos to do better to gain more traction.

Um, and they’ve explained. And from my research, I believe that this is the case that I’m confusing YouTube a little bit in terms of, um, what does my audience really want? You know, I put out this 10 or 15 minute video that is. I think it’s amazing to put in lots of editing and B roll and music and captions and yada, yada, yada.

Uh, and then I put out an hour long, uh, interview, which is still great. Is kind of this education versus. Entertainment almost, uh, thing, right? When people are in a mode and, hey, they want to listen to a podcast, they just want to listen, you know, get educated, hear the full story, where if instead they watch a 10 or 12 or 15 minute video, they want some of that entertainment aspect.

You know, they have a shorter attention span. Yes. Maybe they’ll still get educated, but it’s a, it’s kind of a different audience. And so because of that, perhaps the YouTube algorithm is confused, right? They start showing, um, everybody podcasts. And not as many people watch the other videos or vice versa.

So by dividing the channels, hopefully the audience was, will be aligned and they’ll see the content that they want to see. 

Jared: Yeah. It makes sense. Um, I’ll try not to get offended by your comments of, you know, uh, you know, we’re going to move all that stuff. That’s not very well produced over to a new channel and, you know, Uh, I’ll try not to get offended by all that, but I understand.

Spencer: Yeah. Yeah. Produced in a different way, right? It’s, uh, it’s, it’s audio it’s produced anyways. Well, we’ve 

Jared: long talked about how. YouTube is in no way, shape or form designed for hour long talking head videos, you know, like podcast platform that’s been around for 10, 15 years. I mean, how long has it been around 12 years?

I think, you know, pretty clear. Yeah. 

Spencer: I think 2012, 

Jared: 12, yeah, 12, 12 years or something like that. I mean, I don’t think I’m going out on a limb by saying podcasting is older than at least the YouTube we see today. And the YouTube we see today is. 10 minute videos max in terms of what the algorithm typically rewards.

Uh, you know, with, with some exceptions, of course, but certainly different content type, different medium type. And I think really what you’re trying to say is like, whether or not you enjoy this content on YouTube or not, it’s really. Designed for a podcast audio style medium. And, uh, there’s lots of advantages listening on YouTube.

It should kind of belong in a channel that kind of supports strictly 

Spencer: that. Exactly. So at the end of the day, hopefully both channels do well and do better. And, and you know, people that subscribe to one may not subscribe to the other channel and that’s okay. They see more of what they want. And that’s the idea.

Um, I do feel like. Uh, on YouTube, there is a larger audience because it is YouTube. It’s a visual medium. There’s a larger audience for my well produced videos. And so I want to make sure to capture that larger audience. Um, you know, by not scaring them away with our long podcast interviews. Um, even though my favorite thing to listen to is, is the podcast, of course.

Jared: Well, what’s going to happen to the. I don’t know how many we don’t, I don’t, we don’t keep track. How many episodes are there? What’s going to happen to all of them on the YouTube channel? 

Spencer: For now, I’m going to keep all the old podcast episodes on the existing YouTube channel, because that’s just a monumental effort to go back and switch URLs from, you know, the blog or anywhere else that I’ve shared.

Um, I’m, I’m hoping that that’s enough. And I, I’ve talked to a couple of people that essentially by not doing new podcast episodes, that gives your new YouTube videos. A better shot, you know, more, more time, you know, so instead of, um, two podcast episodes a week coming right after one of my YouTube videos, you know, I only have, um, one or two YouTube videos a month and that gives them a lot longer to kind of show to the audience, show to existing subscribers and hopefully reach a broader audience.

Yeah. I’ve, 

Jared: I’m, I’m not a YouTube expert, but spend time in YouTube and I’ve never in my circles heard of people going back and like deleting content from their YouTube channel, no real value to it. Nothing gained from it. I don’t think so. You know, people actually joke about how bad their first YouTube videos are on their channel compared to where they’re at now.

Yep. Yeah. Kind of fun. You get to go back and see that. 

Spencer: Yep. So that’s what’s going on with me. I’ll, I’ll let people know how it goes. Um, you know, I’ll probably keep reminding people that, Hey, if you want to subscribe, go to niche pursuits podcast on YouTube and you can subscribe there. 

Jared: Can we get a link? Do is a, is a new YouTube channel like we get a link in the, in the show notes here 

Spencer: for people to go.

Yeah. We’ll put. We’ll put it in the show notes. It’s, it’s real ugly right now, but it’s, you know, it is, it is alive. It does exist. It’s just YouTube slash at niche pursuits podcast. Okay. Well, but we’ll put it in the notes. You got 

Jared: a, a subscriber goal you want to get to, you know, 

Spencer: I don’t yet. Um, gosh, what do you think is a good goal?

Um, how maybe, maybe let’s think how long, uh, it’ll 1000 subscribers. 

Jared: Right. Oh, I think you’ll have that by this time next week. 

Spencer: Wow. Oh, I don’t know about that. Uh, that’d be cool. That’d be cool. I mean, I’m going to do my best. 

Jared: Well, come on folks. If you’re listening, like, don’t make me look bad here. So at least there you go.

I think we can do a thousand. We’ve got, uh,

Just shy of 37, 000 on this YouTube channel. So we ought to be able to pull a thousand of those folks over to the podcast episode. 

Spencer: Alright, let’s do it. I like it. That’s not, um, that’s faster than I was, you know, thinking in my head. But, uh, You’re going to email about it too, right? Oh yeah, I’ll, I’ll email it.

Yeah, we got it. Yeah, yeah. Share it on social. Alright, 1, 000. You heard it here first, guys. 1, 000 subscribers in the first week of the YouTube channel. I like it. Then I can, you know, post some big thing, how I got 1, 000 subscribers in one week. Uh. Yeah, 

Jared: exactly. That’ll be your first video on this channel, once we, uh, stop.

Spencer: Exactly. It’s, it’ll just, it’s an engine that’ll just feed itself. I see it. I get it. I see it. Very good. Alright, Jared, what are you working on? 

Jared: So, um. I shared a little bit last week about the various side hustles we’ve kind of all embarked on, but the side hustles I was a part of in 2023. And yeah, it’s so funny.

I definitely got a couple of messages after that of people talking about, Oh yeah, I first signed up for your newsletter on weekend growth. And then that led me to this and that led me to that. And then I got a website review and. Then I referred you to this person who’s running their e comm store. And I don’t know if you know the connection, but they’re now one of your clients.

And I, I got more than one of those messages and you know, anyways, it just reminded me how valuable that newsletter is. And, um, so, uh, I think, um, I don’t have any strong plans yet for what I’m going to do besides continue to do the same things I’ve been doing for the weekend growth newsletter. Publish an email every week, try to make it as kind of detailed and insightful as I can.

Something sharing something that’s working, whether it’s at my agency, whether it’s on a side house or something like that. But, um, I definitely need to put some effort towards growing that list. And I thought I’d kind of flip the script a bit. Instead of telling you what I’m gonna do to grow the list here, I thought I’d ask you for what you think I can do to grow that list.

You’re certainly no secret at growing and building email lists. Um, we talk about it a lot here on the podcast, actually, um, whether it’s here or whether it’s in the weekly interviews we do, but. Um, what would you do? Let’s let’s do a little, uh, let’s do a little kind of role playing here live. What would you do to grow that list in 2024?

Spencer: All right. Well, just off of memory, let me quickly review the assets that you already have. You’ve got your website, you’ve got YouTube, uh, and you’re active on Twitter. Any other social media that you’re kind of, uh, okay. So did I, any, any other, well, I mean, you have your existing email list. Yep. Um, of course that’s, um, you know, grown and done well, but that’s, that’s the three main channels, right?

Those are the channels. Yeah. Um, so you want to be able to give something away. Uh, for free would be ideal. So, um, some sort of strategy playbook or, or guideline, some incentive to get people to join your email list, right? Um, hopefully, okay. Hopefully that aligns with what your core offering is, right?

You’re an SEO agency, you know, it’s kind of the, eventually the back end, right? A lot of people may want to, you know, hire you for services there, right? So you want to. Create something that is going to have an audience that opts in that might someday be interested in that, right? You don’t want to just give an iPad away for an example, right?

That would be a terrible giveaway because then you’re going to just get moms that don’t even know about SEO, right? So you want to do something SEO related, some playbooks, some tutorials, 

Jared: some, so what do you think about that HCU spreadsheet checklist? Yeah, I charge for that now. Uh, you do? Uh, it does. Okay.

Not great. Uh, you know, but I, I, when I launched it for free, it, it, it got a lot of interest. Right. And we talked about it in the podcast actually. It got a lot of interest. So that could be something that people were 

Spencer: interested in. It could be, and could you create a mini version of it? Maybe it, maybe you give away 50% of it.

Right. And so you can still sell ’em the full version if they really like That’s true. The first 50%. Right. I, I would maybe consider. Instead of just scrapping the paid version completely, maybe at first try, Hey, here’s 50 percent for free or whatever. Um, and I don’t know how you could divide that out. You know, maybe there’s some like, here’s all the on page things you could do for helpful content update or something, right.

Versus off page or whatever. Um, and then I would, I would get really active on Twitter. Um, that’s going to, I feel like have the opportunity to grow a little bit faster. Um, Whatever that is. I mean, and it’s hard to think of content ideas on the fly, but sharing things that are going to get a lot of likes and retweets.

Right. And maybe it’s a contest. Maybe it’s like, Hey, I’m giving away 200 copies of this, uh, today. If you like, and comment, that’s all you gotta do is like, and comment, and then I’ll send you a private message and you get a download link, right? That could, you know, that could, that could potentially go viral.

So I would think of some things you could do on Twitter, social media that could grow, um, Those are some of my initial thoughts in the longterm. It’s all about the SEO. Like what are some things you can actually write about on your blog? That’s going to get some longterm traffic and just get that evergreen, you know, subscribers every 

Jared: single day.

I, as I look back and think back to some of the stuff that’s done the best, both socially and. On the emails. A lot of it is drawing little success stories or things out from client work. We’ve done, you know, cause, um, that’s probably something that also helps differentiate me or make me unique is that a lot of my audience are the same people that kind of listen in here.

They’re. There are people who are running their own website or side hustling, but they’re not like CMOs at a marketing agency or at a website or at a brand. Right. Or they’re not trying to grow a local business and stuff. But, um, you know, a lot of the things that we get, get the chance to work on with clients are cool little stories that make action packed, helpful pieces of content that maybe people wouldn’t be able to see on their own sites.

Um, and unless you’re looking for those, you know, like you kind of put on your, your client hat and you’re working for your clients and then you put on your weekend growth hat and you’re just kind of writing an email unless you kind of start looking for those, they can go, they can fly by the wayside.

Yeah. 

Spencer: And I think if you couple like sharing an in depth success story and then make some sort of. Offer, right? Like, Hey, I’m going to give a free website valuation or whatever, you know, like we did XYZ person. Um, you know, if this tweet gets over, you know, so many retweets or I’m going to pick somebody randomly, you know, or, you know, encourages people to like and comment and share that.

And then you, you know, it’s an extra hour of your time. Maybe you got to give a free one away, but yeah. Maybe you get tons of inquiries from that email subscribers, um, after that. So cool. Those are some of my ideas. 

Jared: So next week I’ll report back on some of the tactics I’ll be taking in 2024 to, to grow that list.

And you know, it was, uh, it, it reminded me looking back and like, What did, what did I do out of the gate? I said, okay, let my, my, my side hustle I’m going to be talking about is, is the weekend growth newsletter. And my goal is to, that’s kind of why I gave you a hard time about the goal for subscribers for the YouTube channels.

Cause this was on my mind to talk about here, but my goal, if you remember correctly, was really clear. It was 12 weeks or three months, 1000 subscribers. Yep. And so I think I need to sit down and kind of set a goal for 2024. Cause I. I definitely eclipsed that. I think I’m at like 4, 500 subscribers now, which I got, it’s still been less than 12 months, but in the calendar year of 2023 hit about 4, 500.

So you need to come up with a goal for, for, for 2020, uh, 2024. Yeah, 

Spencer: no, I’m a big fan of goals and shooting for things, making you stretch a little bit. So good. 

Jared: Yeah, I’m thinking, I’m thinking 10, 000 sounds like a good number. Maybe I could do better than that. Maybe I should shoot higher. 

Spencer: You could totally do that.

Yeah. I mean, if you did 4, 500 last year, you want to grow a little faster this year. Yeah, 

Jared: I know, but it’s a little faster. 5, 500 this year, a little faster. I give myself a wide berth here. 

Spencer: All right. Well, we’ll keep you accountable here. There you go. All 

Jared: right. Yeah. I mean, I think that, you know, and I know there’s a bit of a, to kind of put a wrap on it, I know there’s a bit of a different segment.

We’re not really reporting on what we did as much as we’re talking about what we’re going to do, but. That’s kind of the spirit of January, isn’t it? You know, this is our first January podcast with the news episode and the news segment, it feels very January of us to be planning our work rather than necessarily reporting what we’re doing.

So I don’t know. I feel like it fits all 

Spencer: right. Yeah, I think so. Hopefully people listening in, you know, kind of they’re in the same mindset and maybe they can take away a couple of things that we’ve said, or they can think about what goals or, you know, how they’re going to grow their business or email list and, and that’s helpful.

So, all right, let’s, uh, let’s wrap up this show with, um, a couple of weird niche sites, um, you know, we’ve each gone out, we found a couple, um, I will say that the site that I found, um, was, uh, on Twitter, I saw somebody share a success story that they had. And, um, you know, it was, it was so fascinating that I had to look into it a little bit further.

And fortunately they had an entire writeup. Uh, that they had done previously, uh, about this site, um, that, that they built. So, uh, I will go ahead and just share, uh, this site here. 

Jared: I just pulled it up the first time. 

Spencer: Yeah. So the website is dude ranch. And it’s essentially a directory of, of dude ranches. You can go if you want to go visit a dude ranch, go on vacation.

You can, you know, select all the different activities that you might be interested in when it’s open, the price, etc. And, uh, this site makes money through a lot of paid. Ads, paid directories, listings, right. To be included on the dude ranch. com website. That’s kind of how they make the money. Now, uh, the person that, that started this site, he shared on Twitter, how.

He bought this domain and maybe let me back up. I was 

Jared: going to say this, he dude ranch. com, like what a great domain. He had to have bought this one age. Like I was about to, I was going to, I’ve got my notes to mention. 

Spencer: Yep. Yep. He did. He bought it aged and his name’s Peter. Ask you, um, so people can, you know, Follow him on Twitter or look him up, but he wrote, um, an article here on deep south ventures.

com, you know, that explains the, you know, the dude that built dude ranch. com and, um, it’s just a really fascinating story. And I’ll just highlight a couple of things, but basically he has always said that, um, let’s see if I can find the quote here. He basically says he doesn’t like to come up with an idea looking for an audience.

Instead, he likes the idea to be presented to him, right? And so he’s always done that by looking at Domain names. And he just scours the web for domain auctions, looking for that domain that just speaks to him, you know, and then when he hears that domain, he goes, that is the idea. I understand it. I know the business model and it’s an awesome name.

And so apparently he’s done this a long time, he’s bought a bunch of domains, uh, but back in like, this is old, like 2009, 2010, something like that. He was looking for months for the perfect domain. And when he saw dude ranch. com, he couldn’t resist. And, uh, he started an auction. Yada, yada, yada. He was willing to spend 50, 000 on this.

He ended up getting it for, I want to say 18, 000, something like that. But when he saw the domain, he just knew it was the perfect, you know, directory he could charge for listing and build a great looking website that, um, you know, you can book, do branches through and he’s, he’s delivered on that. 

Jared: It’s such a good site.

I mean, it’s a great site, five minutes, but it’s such a good site. It does everything textbook, right? 

Spencer: It’s on theme, like the design, um, 

Jared: the site layout, the site structure. That, uh, it’s on 

Spencer: point. It’s good. It’s on point. It’s very well done. It’s very well done. Um, I don’t know how much money it’s making. Um, but I do know that through his story, he built it up.

He found a partnership. Um, and uh, he, he ended up selling dude ranch.com a few years ago to one of these partners. They ran it for three or four years. And then he recently bought dude ranch.com back. Oh, he bought back. So now owns, he bought it back. He loves it. Um, usually 

Jared: that’s because he got tanked . I don’t know that by the 

Spencer: way.

I don’t know that. I don’t know. I don’t know. But, uh, he’s happy with it. Um, he’s got dude ranch back and a h refs. Um, if we take a look at that, you can see that traffic is, is done pretty well here. Um, he does mention in his article that towards, um, January, the early, early part of the year, people tend to book their summer vacations, which tend to be do ranch vacations.

Um, so that’s part of that, but, uh, this has been increasing for a few months. So, um, so very well done sites done well. I mean, if you look at the keywords, as you can imagine, it’s ranking for. Dude ranch near me, dude ranch vacations, and then a couple of names. Apparently there’s a Malibu dude ranch. Oh, yes.

I could go visit that one. I mean, fun. 

Jared: You know, we had, uh, Kai, we’ve had a couple of directory conversations recently. Obviously the interview that was such a good interview with Tim, um. I don’t remember his last name. Uh, Stoddart, I believe. Stoddart. Thank you. Yep. And man, I feel like if you put this site up as a visual while Tim was talking, like they have so much that I’m seeing aligned with what Tim talked about.

And so it’s just another example of like a really well executed, um, directory type site. They don’t have to look and feel like you think of with those old school. Really terrible UI directories. Like this is a really good user experience. And like we, like you said, like the visuals are on point, the branding is on point, like, but it’s, it’s basically a directory.

Spencer: Yep, exactly. And it’s, I mean, it’s such like a niche thing. I’ve never thought of an entire site just for dude ranches, but there’s enough here that I’m sure he’s making thousands every year. You know, I don’t know if he’s making a ton of money, but I’m sure it’s, you know, profitable for the amount of effort he probably has to put in.

You know, he gets the listings, make sure they’re happy, ranks the website, and they probably just keep booking year after year. 

Jared: And these types of sites. Historically don’t require quite as much upkeep and, you know, ongoing work is like a classic content site, you know, right? That’s a broad stroke kind of statement, but you know, like you said I could see the site purring along quite well 

Spencer: Yeah, so, um, I haven’t actually reached out to peter But if he’s listening or if somebody knows of him, he’s welcome to come on the podcast We’d love to hear not just about dude ranch.

I know he knows it Owns a couple of other websites that are also interesting, um, that he might be a fun one to, to interview. So we’ll see if we can connect with him in the future. But, uh, having said that, uh, Jared, what’s your weird niche site? 

Jared: You know, my, my weird niche site was going to be weird no matter what, but now it feels really weird coming off of a.

Very nice looking website. Oh my goodness. This is a site. 

Spencer: It’s something. It’s a site to behold. 

Jared: Um, I’ll tell us. I found this site of my own to be clear. So I do get a lot of sites. I already have one for next week. Thanks to a listener, but I had a gap here and I was looking for a weird niche site and I stumbled upon dogica.

com 

Spencer: dogica. Okay. And yeah, just the flashy animation logos. Wow. 

Jared: My wife and I were talking about something as we were planning a trip. Um, and I won’t say what it was cause it’s kind of, you know, kind of embarrassing, but we were talking about like, could you rent this something to make yourself look different?

And so, um, They’re like, oh, can you rent that? And it kind of got me going on the, the, the trail of like, well, what can you rent ? And I landed on doca because doca has a whole page dedicated to renting a dog. You can rent a dog . Is that right? Yeah. I included that U RL in the show notes there in the, um, in the agenda.

Yes. This website is absolutely a blast back to 1998, Microsoft Paint, GeoCities sites, every single thing that you imagine from that time period, this website is all about. Um, I’ll talk about some of the things it does and whatnot. First glance, Spencer, what was your, what was your impression? 

Spencer: I mean, pretty much what you just said.

I mean, it’s like, we’re opening the history books of like, wow, this is what the internet used to look like. And I didn’t really look at it much. I’m just noticing the wallpaper in the background. It’s like, it’s a nice touch. It’s just, um. Yeah, it’s an old school design like like, is this still getting trapped?

That’s my question. Yeah, is this still alive and doing well? Is it active? 

Jared: I mean it’s as thriving as a site like this can possibly be if you ask me We’re not yeah, we’re not talking crazy numbers But the fact this site still gets indexed is frankly amazing to me given how it looks and how old it must be It is a dr 12 It ranks for 10, 000 keywords.

Spencer: Okay. All right. 

Jared: Um. It’s on the board. Lots of first page rankings. Um, not, not tremendous search volume, but it does, according to Ahrefs, get an estimated 2, 000 monthly organic traffic. I doubt it gets a whole lot of social traffic, although you could check on similar web if you wanted. But yeah, you got it up on screen there.

I mean, Rent A Pet, it ranks number three for, um. Uh, dogs with beards. I mean, you know, why wouldn’t you search that? Uh, dog prescription glasses. I just saw that for the first time. You can apparently buy prescription glasses for dogs. Um, Uh, dog color chart. It ranks number number one. Oh, that could be the image there.

But um, dog rental service number two again How I landed on this was looking up. Can you rent a dog? 

Spencer: Sure enough you can sure enough. You can mustache. They part with no neck. Yep 

Jared: dog with no neck um Uh, dogs with pointy ears, you know, it looks, I don’t know. Um, I there isn’t a whole lot to say about this site.

We could talk about its monetization other than just when I saw it. I was like, oh my gosh I’ve got to share this. This is like going back to 1998 

Spencer: This like this is one of the weirdest weird niche sites we’ve had in a while. So kudos to you Thank you. Kudos. 

Jared: I found it on my own. I’m so impressed with 

Spencer: myself.

Yeah, that’s good. So so how’s it making money? 

Jared: Yeah, well Um, I would, I was, I was, so go back to that dog rental, uh, URL there if you can. Um, and yeah, so, so I, I immediately thought like, guy, there’s gotta be an affiliate play, right? Cause I don’t see any ads on this site. Um, Oh, I do see an ad. It’s not a programmatic ad.

It’s got a big advertisement and it says, Oh yeah, put your banner here. So if you scroll partway and keep going down, um, yeah, you can like. That they’re trying to offer. I don’t think anyone’s informed them that programmatic ads exist. There it is. And that like, there’s companies that can do that for 

Spencer: you.

Yeah, they’re trying to get an ad. 

Jared: Yeah, in 1998, I mean, I don’t think Mediavine existed, right? Nope. But, um, it’s like, right below that, it’s how to rent a dog. And proudly presented by, uh, I don’t know what site that is. I don’t think I’d click on it, you know, but anyways, suffice to say, I think that back in 1998, they decided like, yeah, this, this has potential to make money and I just don’t think those opportunities existed like they do now.

But it’s got all the, all the earmarks. Pun intended of a site that could make some money. 

Spencer: That’s right. It’s ready to go. It’s a business in a box ready for somebody to just take it to the next level. 

Jared: I mean, they are partnered up with, so here’s FlexPets, charges about 1500 a year and insists that renters have the dog of their choice a couple times a month.

Seems pretty steep to only have access to a dog a couple times a month. They also have a class where you learn how to handle the dog you rent and dogs in general, which has to be paid for. And Spencer, there are late fees if you return a dog late. The current late fee is 75. Which, as they say, can add up for sure.

Spencer: Absolutely. 

Jared: Yeah. At first I thought maybe it was just a joke, but they have enough information here that I feel like there really is a way to rent a 

Spencer: dog. I think there is. I mean, they have enough websites. I mean, you can’t actually do it through Doggyka. You gotta do it through all their partners here, it looks 

Jared: like.

Oh, here you go. Take borrowmydoggy. com Yeah, there we go. There you go. Oh, they even have a quote from Borrow My Doggy founder, uh, Ricky.

Spencer: And, and borrowmydoggy. com looks a little bit more modern. Yeah. This looks like it could actually happen. So that’s a thing. That’s, it’s a real thing. So that’s a good one. I 

Jared: mean, on that note, like, are there monetization ways? If you have a site that ranks for dog queries? Yes. More than, more than definitely.

Lots of people. Uh, yeah. Lots of ways to monetize pet, pet type traffic. 

Spencer: Oh yeah, absolutely. Yeah, a lot could be done with this site, for sure. 

Jared: You look a healthy mix between creeped out and very intrigued right now. 

Spencer: Yeah, that’s probably a good way to put it. I’m just like, even if you were going to revamp the site, would you?

I mean, it’s like taking this old, ancient treasure, and do you want to really get rid of it? It’s like if you 

Jared: buy a site that’s, uh, part of the historical society, right? Like you’re not allowed to remodel certain things, like I kind of feel like that’s what should be observed here. 

Spencer: I feel like, yeah, maybe it’s more valuable to just leave it alone for the education of the world in the future.

I think it 

Jared: belongs in the Smithsonian. 

Spencer: So, um, so anyways, this is a super fun, um, Super fun, uh, weird niche website. And, uh, anyways, thank you for sharing. So, uh, with that, we’ll maybe kind of wrap it up. Uh, we’re at our hour here, so I appreciate everybody for listening in, sticking around to the end.

Hopefully you enjoyed some of the news, some of our side hustles that we talked about and, uh, the couple of weird niche sites, but I appreciate you all listening to the podcast and. Be sure to subscribe to the new YouTube channel. If you’re following on, on YouTube next week, the episode will be at youtube.

com slash at niche pursuits podcast. So there you go. Normally I 

Jared: say we’ll see you next week, but if you’re back here, we won’t see you next week. Come join us at our new, our new speaking of new homes. 

Spencer: That’s right. We will still be recording. So come follow along there. So thank you everybody. Thanks Jared for hosting and helping host the podcast here.

Have a great weekend.



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