What’s Going on With Google’s Helpful Content Update? Plus 2 Weird Niche Sites…


Welcome back to another episode of the Niche Pursuits Podcast, where your hosts Spencer Haws and Jared Bauman, from 201 Creative, bring you all the latest news and insight in SEO, digital marketing, website building, and entrepreneurship.

This week the hosts focus entirely on one major event in the space: Google’s Helpful Content Update. As this major update has had wide-ranging effects on the niche site community, Spencer and Jared break it down for us and share some words of encouragement.

The update, which came out a week ago, has really shaken up the community. All across X, website owners are sharing graphics and reports that reflect the very negative impact of the update. 

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Spencer and Jared highlight the change in Google’s wording, where the focus has shifted from content “written by people” to “written for people” and articles that needed to be “written by an expert” now need to be “written or reviewed by an expert.”

They share the stats behind some of their own websites, which experienced both gains and losses and talk about the chances that Google may include a rollback before the update is fully complete.

They also talk about the sites that benefited from the update, such as Quora, Reddit, and other forums; they share their thoughts on EEAT and UGC; and they discuss the impact on Mediavine sites in particular. 

In the Shiny Object Shenanigans portion of the podcast, Spencer gives an update on his two new Niche Pursuits challenges, one where people (135 at the moment) will build a website with AI content from scratch, and the other where participants (73 currently) will add AI content to an existing website. The challenges are about to begin and Spencer will be hosting a kickoff call. Join the community and follow along!

He also gives an update on his Amazon Influencer side hustle, reporting that Amazon has made changes in the way videos appear, which has in turn affected his earnings. He was about to crack the $2k per month, but these tweaks have kept him from reaching that goal. He has a total of 593 videos at the moment and plans to keep at it, at least through 4Q.

Jared talks about his Amazon Influencer side hustle too, sharing that his earnings went off a cliff due to the change in how videos appear. He talks about how he thinks the program will play out in the future and whether it’s worth sticking it out.

Moving on to their Weird Niche Sites, Spencer goes first and shares Apple Rankings, a funny website that ranks apples according to taste. The site potentially gets about 55k visitors a month and has separate pages for different types of apples, which reflects a strong site structure. The site was created by a comedian, and it shows.

Jared’s site this week is Gizoogle, which translates content into “gangster-speak.” They test it out on some Niche Pursuits content with very entertaining results. This DA58 website gets very little organic traffic but has over 14 million backlinks. Although it’s unclear if or how it’s monetized, and even how it works, it’s worth checking out for a good laugh.

And that brings us to the end of another episode of the Niche Pursuits News Podcast. Don’t forget to tune in next week for more inspiration and insight into the world of SEO, content creation, digital marketing, and website building. See you then!


Spencer: ​

Hey everyone, welcome to the niche pursuits podcast. We are doing an episode of this week in niche pursuits news and there’s news so big that we’re really going to just cover one topic today. We’re going to cover the helpful content update. That is going to be all the news that we. Talk about because boy it has impacted a lot of websites and in particular sort of the niche site community here recently and so We’re gonna dive into that topic and I’ve got Jared with me to talk about it the whole way with me 

Jared: Sorry, I was just getting opening my second box of tissues here for the podcast episode.

I’m ready to go Gonna need some stamina to get through this one. This is this is big. This is big so far, so far, we’re a couple days in, five, six days in. This 

Spencer: is big. This is really big. I agree. It feels like we’re mourning the loss of a few niche sites here. But we’re gonna see if, there’s some positive outlook here as well.

But, I’ll also just see how the community is reacting, what everyone is seeing. Because a lot of people are sharing what’s happening to their sites. We’re gonna jump into that. Do stick around for the rest of the episode after the new segment, because we will go ahead and talk about our shiny object shenanigans, and then our weird niche sites it’ll be a little bit lighter towards the end perhaps I’ve got a funny, I’ve 

Jared: got a funny niche site at the end there, okay we’ll add some levity to the end of what might be a heavy first part of the of the pod.

Spencer: I like it. So we’re going to bring it home pretty strong for you. But so let’s jump into the helpful content update. Just to catch people up that maybe aren’t aware the helpful content update, I believe was released, one week ago exactly when we were recording this episode the previous week.

And so basically the helpful content update as shared here by search engine roundtable is of course an update by google that a lot of a lot of website owners are claiming that there’s, very widespread impact that we’re going to jump into here. But what is interesting is that a lot of the SEO sensors and ranking.

Tools are showing that this is like a very ordinary day, not high volatility day. So if you look at SEMrush, it’s in the green. So it’s saying the SERPs are not volatile SERP metrics, right? All of these are actually showing low which we may come back to this here in a second, but on the other hand, when you come over to someplace like.

Twitter, you can see people posting screenshots that look like this all over the place. The helpful content update which I guess I should clarify, and Jared, maybe you can correct me. Essentially, the update coming from Google, initially, I think, to impact or to combat the impact of artificial intelligence content.

Content that is helpful for humans. Originally in the Helpful Content Update documentation, it said they wanted content written by people for people. And in this update, they removed that initial phrase of content written by people. In other words, it just needs to be content written… For people, right?

So they’ve shifted that originally it, it felt like it was all about AI, but in this recent update, it’s like AI contents. Okay. Even, that’s what they removed. So that’s the big thing that people have been highlighting. But these screenshots people on Twitter. If you just scroll through this one particular thread, you can just see screenshot after screenshot of, Okay.

Of sites that were negatively impacted, right? That that, that have just almost been devastated, right? And boy where do we go from here, Jared? I have about five or six different either screenshots or things that, that I could share. But are, what are you seeing on your end?

Let me 

Jared: give a little bit of context in addition to yours, and we’ll get it out of the way with. And then we can talk about the results of it, because I think Marie Haynes did a nice little roll up of it. She talked

about how This helpful content classifier, or update, originally was about a year ago that it launched, August or September of 2022. So we’re a couple updates in on this type of update. Supposedly it’s getting baked into the algorithm, so eventually it won’t ever… Have an update. You talked about how they changed the language around it.

They changed written by an expert to written or reviewed by an expert. They changed content written by people to content written for people. They added notes about how please don’t change the date to make your post seem fresher. Maybe because it’s already baked into the rankings now. They did make some vague references about adding or removing content.

Et cetera, et cetera. And so here we are. And I think the first couple of days were pretty soft. I messaged you, I think a couple hours after we recorded last week’s podcast. And I was like, Oh, of course this launched while we were recording. Dang it. Yeah. I think it was this week.

So days four or five when maybe stuff started to fall off a cliff. And when I was looking, it wasn’t doing much, but certainly on a widespread number of my sites that I would classify as niche sites, they have taken a huge impact, anywhere from 20 percent to over 50%. Some people are reporting over 80 percent losses and validating it with screenshots from GSC.

GA these types of platforms. So yeah it’s real and we’ll get into if it’s just real for niche sites or if it’s real for the widespread SEO community, but it’s real. 

Spencer: Yeah, absolutely. And I am a member of the Mediavine group on Facebook. And somebody, basically posted, Hey, did anybody else get slapped by the helpful content update this week with his, screenshot dropping quite a bit.

And there’s 570 comments and I will just simply say that tons of people in the media vine group are saying that, yeah, had a huge drop. All, keywords are down 50 percent drop in a day. Can just go and go, right? And so what I’m seeing on my end. I’ll just share very quickly is that I have one niche site that I was looking at here that here’s my Google search console screenshot.

So I’m in the same boat. This is like over 50% this last day is, not that’s fresh, so it may mean not quite as bad, right? When they update all the data there, but yeah. it could be worse. So I have a niche site here that it’s 10 years old. It’s been increasing in traffic, right?

The last update saw a big bump. And then this one, it’s just fallen off the cliff by 50%. So I’m seeing something similar on this particular niche site that a lot of other people are seeing. Now, on the other hand, it’s, it was interesting because when the helpful content update first started happening, the site that I check the traffic the most is for niche pursuits.

com. And I checked it and I’m seeing like a 15 plus percent, maybe 15 to 20 percent increase in traffic. And so you can see the last few days here where I have a nice bump over, the previous weeks. And I posted a screenshot, Hey, I’m seeing a nice bump for this helpful content update. And boy, I was just met with.

Nobody else was seeing an update on Twitter. And so I have a site that is seeing an increase and then I have a site that is seeing. Comparing these two Niche Pursuits is definitely way more authoritative. I spend way more time editing, formatting, making the content perfect with a team of writers and editors.

It has a very natural link profile. I haven’t done any link building. And yet it has lots and lots of great links. So it’s a great site. And so I would have really been shocked to see a dip on niche pursuits. This other niche site that I have. I don’t do all those things. This is all just content that’s been outsourced.

We hit publish and and there you go. So yeah, this is the site that should have been hit if there was going to be any site that was hit. But what I am finding interesting that I am also seeing here is that. This yellow line, yeah, I was gonna ask, is the average position is actually creeped, crept up a little bit over the last couple of days.

And, when I look at where my traffic has gone down, I’ll check articles that lost like 50 percent of their traffic, I go over to Google, I’m still ranking number one. I don’t know exactly what’s going on I haven’t had enough time to analyze this website. Other than it’s odd. I don’t know if I had a snippet that’s now gone on some of those big keywords or something else.

But it’s just odd and that’s just some broad general observations. 

Jared: So I was going to play the exact same thing as I’m in GSC and I’m seeing the dramatic ups and the downs. My average position has stayed the same. Yeah. I don’t want to go on record. Could that just be. More delayed data than the clicks and the impressions.

I don’t feel like I’ve ever noticed that before, but if we’re wrong about that and we’re not GSE experts on that topic, maybe that’s it. But I’m not seeing, I’m looking at sites I’m looking at a site right now in GSE that I pulled up that had a massive rebound in the August core update. And so I’m looking and I’m seeing a massive increase on Monday, August 28th in clicks and impressions.

To the tune of three X, so a 300 percent increase average position dropped that day in GSC and I’m now seeing about 30 percent loss starting Sunday of this week, average position stayed the same and I haven’t gotten data on it yet because GSC is a day or two delay, but I went and checked AH refs and I checked recent keywords updated today and this site has rebounded The 30 percent it gave up on Sunday.

Oh, really? So lots of, and this probably segues this nicely. We’re gonna bounce a lot today, by the way, I didn’t, we’re just gonna pick I don’t know if you’d ever call Spencer and I really organized to begin with, but today is definitely not gonna be our show. Wherever the 

Spencer: conversation goes.

But, so this 

Jared: will segue nicely into it, it’s just a reminder, especially for those of you who haven’t been in this game for a while, this has all the signs. Of Google potentially doing a rollback or reversal before this update is over. And so I’m already seeing a little bit of signs of that on one site that dropped 30 percent on Sunday.

And then seems to have regained a lot of that, if not all of it today. And they have a past history of doing very extreme things and then having a rollback. I have a site, the site that I came on the podcast and talked about the one that I bought, and that is making nine or 10, 000 a month right now.

During the May 2022 update, that site plummeted. It lost, I don’t remember off the top of my head, 60 percent of its traffic, 70. And then a week later, totally rebounded before the update was over. And a lot of people saw that. Definitely not saying that’s going to happen. Didn’t hear Jared say that.

But, this one has a lot of the signs of what they’ve done in the past. Where they’ve tweaked the algorithm. They’ve turned the dial up on some things. We’ll, I think we’ll talk, actually I want to talk to you about it. Experience. We’ll talk about that in a little bit, but they’ve seemed to tweak the down experience and they might look at the results and go, Oh, got to tweak that back and turn it back.

So if this is your first time going through something like this, just know that, we might see a rollback. 

Spencer: Yeah, that, that would make sense from our perspective, from what we’re seeing, but we don’t control the Google dials. We can only hope and see what’s going on but there is some, a little bit of data, like you pointed out, like I said, from my site.

I didn’t check yesterday where some of these keywords were ranking. Maybe they were lower. But when I checked today, they’re all number one for the, the articles that lost like 50 percent of their traffic. It’s there’s nothing above me, so I don’t know where all this traffic went.

So maybe that just has come back today. I don’t know. All right. So who has benefited from this update? There are definitely a couple of sites that have seen increase in traffic. A lot more than just my site. So if you take a look at a couple of people have tweeted about this and tools are showing this, right?

Marie Haines. on Twitter here. If I got the right one. Yeah, she’s she basically just says that seeing forum posts, Reddit, Quora, elevated with this helpful content update is not expected. She says that UGC is real world experience. We’ll talk about that a little bit. But the tools are indeed showing that Reddit, for example, is seeing massive growth.

Right here is a a screenshot of Reddit is off the charts. Doesn’t even fit on the chart anymore. If you’re 

Jared: listening to the podcast, it is a picture of a graph that doesn’t even fit on the graph anymore. 

Spencer: It’s a straight up line, right? It’s a cliff that you just go straight up and so Reddit is seeing big gains.

I know a lot of people are seeing Quora in the search results now, a lot of forums are being seen in the SERPs. So when people are querying, basic sort of niche keywords, they’re now seeing these websites, and so they’ve seen a huge boost from the helpful content update. And are you seeing that quite a bit in your niche as well, Jared?


Jared: I, I did I, I tweeted something yesterday. I’m seeing it everywhere. It’s just constant f Reddit and Quora are the ones that are winning, but they’re probably the largest repository of of UGC type content. But, every query I’m doing, I’m seeing a lot of… niche relevant esque forums as well.

So you’re getting forum and forum. I did, I tweeted this yesterday. This isn’t in my niche, but it came up in conversation, and so I was trying to find a good example of this to share. I googled, should I change a scroll saw blade while the saw is running? Which, first off, you’d think that SGE would answer that.

Because it’s pretty obvious. Second off, that’s one of those topics that you probably don’t want some random person answering. You would think that even with UGC coming in vogue in this update, that it would still turn to somewhat of an authoritative website to answer. What involves, human ri limbs being at risk?

What, what ranked? In this order, four YouTube videos, a forum, a YouTube video, a Quizlet. com article, a Weebly. com article, a forum, a website, and then 

Spencer: Quora. Boy, I haven’t seen Weebly pull up for many things lately. Weebly, man, 

Jared: I feel like I’m, I was back in my high school days there.

Spencer: Yeah, good ol free website. 

Jared: That was one example, but pretty much everywhere I go and everyone I talk to sees the same thing, just lots of really random forms. And, by the way, not often are they fresh forum posts, very often times ten year old posts. The dial has been turned up for UGC.

Maybe it’s time to ask you my first question on all this. Obviously the EEAT is all the rage with Google and what they’re talking about. It was EAT. I looked it up about nine months ago. They added the second E for experience and it feels like 2023 has been the year of trying to figure out how to prioritize experience.

User generated content certainly triggers the experience checkbox in one way or another. Do we have this wrong? We’ve always thought that the A and the T were authority and trust for your website. Perhaps, I’m being somewhat tongue in cheek, but trying to actually interpret this. Perhaps, we need to show real world experience, but it has to be on…

Somebody else’s authoritative and trustworthy site? 

Spencer: Yeah, I don’t know. That’s what it sounds like, right? They want this user generated content, hopefully coming from experts. I don’t know how they’re verifying that. Random users of Reddit and random users of forums are on an authoritative website, and so Google’s ranking it.

But I do like this tweet from Lily Ray, which echoes what we were saying a little bit earlier here, is that that her guess is that the helpful content update is trying to target low quality niche affiliate sites. That lack actual EEAT, but maybe they went a bit too far on certain signals, so undeserving blogs are getting hit.

And then she says the update is still rolling out, and it’s totally possible they’ll tweak or reverse things. And I hope that’s the case. I’d like to echo that same sentiment from what I’m seeing in the Mediavine Facebook group, if there’s that many people in Mediavine. And the reason that I point out Mediavine is because these are people that have websites that are doing really well.

You can’t get into Mediavine unless you have at least 100, 000 visitors a month. And really it started as the first hand. Doer of whatever the blog is about, recipes, crafts parenting, other things. That’s kind of Mediavine’s core of the types of blogs they initially were monetizing.

And so these are people that really are the experts at whatever they are doing. And so if Mediavine sites are getting hit, like that’s a big reason why I think, yeah, the dial was just turned too far. On this particular update, and then I like Tony Hill’s response to LilyRay here is that, he agrees he’s looked at a lot of drop sites, some deserve it, and some didn’t, there’s a lot of collateral damage on this one, he hopes they dial it back a bit as well so we’ll see what happens there, but yeah, I I think the EEAT is the core of what’s going on and Google’s just trying to figure out how do you tell if somebody is an expert or not.

Jared: I’m glad you pointed it out because, we’ve been told for so long now that what showing expertise looks like. We’ve been told what a good affiliate post looks like. We’ve been it’s been very well documented, I think for the first time, certainly we’re at. We’re getting more information about what affiliate content is supposed to look like than ever before from Google.

And this, obviously this update flies in the face of what we’ve been told. Now, look, I don’t think anyone here is going to hide behind it. Very often Google does not do what it says. That miter might not be there by intention, by the way. It’s good to remind people that this is not, some dude sitting in a room going, Okay, what are we going to do to the algorithm today?

A lot of the algorithm is governed by machine learning and there’s an element that you don’t have control of when you’re relying on machine learning. And then, Glenn Gabe talks about this a lot, different algorithms actually playing against themselves sometimes in Google’s main algorithm. We talk about Google’s algorithm, it’s really best believed to be a whole collection of various algorithms that work together.

And without, cutting to the chase too much, a lot of what Google tells us is what they’re hoping the algorithm does. And when they release an update, a lot of the times they really don’t know how it’s going to react and how it’s going to respond. 

Spencer: And the bottom line here is that if you can truly be an expert in your niche like that, eventually Google is going to figure out how to recognize you.

I truly do believe that, and I do feel like they get it wrong some of the times. And this may be one example where they are currently getting it wrong. There was an example, and I wish I had it pulled up here on Twitter, of somebody sharing an example of sort of a niche site. Creator, a niche site spammer, I think is what they were called.

They were trying to game the system. They were trying to manufacture EEAT. They basically said, Oh, I created an avatar using artificial intelligence. So I’ve got all these images of this person, this expert. I posted that, I had ChatGPT write a profile about this person. And, went through all these other hoops.

You can manufacture addresses and phone numbers and all these signals that don’t really exist. You can create all the social profiles and link them all together and make Google think you’re a real person. And then they went out and got some backlinks, right? It probably paid for some and to manufacture, Oh, this is a real person.

And they just feel I’m at the top of the game. That’s the kind of person that Google is trying to suss out and trying to Probably hit and deservedly so if you are trying to manufacture expertise, like that’s a problem, but if you’re a real person like Jared and I, like we’re really talking about niche sites, we’re really, putting out podcasts.

We’re really putting a lot of effort and this is what we do. You as a listener know that, Hey, you come to this podcast because we really have been in the game for a long time. But if we were really just making all this up we’re the kind of people that you shouldn’t listen to anyways, right?

And Google would figure that out if we were just a blog instead of a podcast. So thank 

Jared: goodness you and I are real people. 

Spencer: As far as I’m aware, I was going to say we, 

Jared: we’ve met once. We did 

Spencer: meet in person. So I believe Jared’s real. I believe in him. It was just once. It was a few years ago, but he looks, you look pretty, pretty similar.

Jared: do. I do. Yeah. No, it’s a fair point there’s a wonderful screenshot that goes around sometimes. I’ve shared it once or twice on, on my Twitter, but we take a step back and we look at the growth path of a business and we just see it as one of these, but then when you zoom in, it’s like a, and Google, we’ve talked about a lot in this podcast. Google is in hot water on so many fronts. From antitrust to AI to their to people not trusting their search engine, to ad spend decreasing, to, I could just go on and on. And We shouldn’t be surprised that things are getting shaken up because Google has an objective and that is to satisfy their shareholders.

And they’ve got to for lack of a better term, they’ve got to keep people engaged with their search engine and they’ve got to keep brands spending money to advertise on their search engine. And I don’t want to say desperate times call for desperate acts, but, I’m not surprised to see things getting shaken up, given what we know when we take a step back and look at Google.

Spencer: Yeah, there’s a lot going on ever advancing AI technology, they want to be at the forefront of that, they want to, yeah, keep the returns coming to the shareholders everything. So that, they got a lot going on, and there’s a lot of people turning a lot of different dials, and so we’ll see what happens.

At the end of the day you can also just take a different perspective. If you take Keith with Minted Empire I love this. It just says, ah, that’s better, right? And for those listening, he basically took his graph and flipped it upside down. And so now it looks like everything’s increasing.

Maybe take a step back get a different perspective. But let’s wait this one out, a few more days or another week until it’s finished rolling out before we drastically change. Any strategies or things that we’re implementing. I’m not going to go back and rearrange all my internal links and update content.

I’m going to just chill here for a week and see where everything shakes out. That’s what I’m going to do and 

Jared: to piggyback on that. Spencer and I are certainly not. We’re very far from mental health experts, if this is stressing you out, there’s nothing wrong with just taking a walk.

Maybe even taking a day off and just don’t check. Just don’t worry about it for a day or two. These worries feel so big for many of us right now. And not that they aren’t big, but there’s nothing wrong with just taking a step back. Maybe not checking analytics as much as you normally do.

Maybe just doing something else and getting your mind off it. Checking back in. Whatever it is, a couple of days, a week, something like that. And taking a more long term approach to it. 

Spencer: Great advice indeed. So maybe we’ll leave it there. That’s the helpful content update. A lot to think about. We’ll be following it and I’m sure we’ll talk about it more on next week.

So be sure to stick around for that. And 

Jared: if if trends follow as they have the last two weeks, something massive is happening right now while we’re recording. 

Spencer: That’s right. There’s probably some other Google update happening right now. Let’s go ahead and jump into our shiny object shenanigans. A little bit more fun things.

Again, these are just side projects that we’re working on where maybe we’re only spending 20 percent of our time or some other amount of our time that just something fun to do on the side, maybe make a little bit of money. I’ve got a couple updates that I thought I would share. One is this side project as part of Niche Pursuits.

I challenged people to build a website from scratch. Using artificial intelligence or nice transition there. Yeah. If we can’t beat them, join them, right? Let’s see what can happen. It’s actually interesting because a lot of the AI content on niche pursuits is what’s seeing the biggest increase.

Over the last couple of days. So I don’t think it’s the AI content is the helpful content update. I think it’s everything surrounding that. And then I had a second challenge of people that would want to take an existing website. Again, just challenging them to try out AI content and see what happens.

And so as of today, I’m actually closing the applications tomorrow morning, I’m doing a kickoff call for the, both of these challenges at 10 o’clock Pacific time. There’s going to be YouTube live if people want to watch it they can join in, but there has now been as of right now, 135 people are building a site from scratch.

They’re starting a brand new site. Officially, it started yesterday and then an additional 73 people. are going to try and grow their existing site and join that challenge. Over 200 people total, between the two challenges way more joined than I expected and they all sent intro videos to apply.

I confess, I have not watched them all yet. But they’re the ones that I have watched are Quake, quite intriguing. Just very real people trying to build sites, trying to make, build a site income, trying to do something interesting and see what happens. So as a group, I think we’re going to learn a lot through this experience.

And see what does well in Google, what doesn’t. Are there any sites that take off or is everyone just crushed and nobody does anything? It should be a lot of fun. So if people want to join the kickoff call they can do that. There’s going to be YouTube live that’s going on. So I’m going to be working on that over the next, three to six months and should be a lot of fun.

A lot of fun. Sounds like you’re 

Jared: going to be working hard. You got a lot of people to reign in there. 

Spencer: I do. I do. And I’ve created a whole community. The niche pursuits community, which actually is funny. I just learned yesterday is indexed and is starting to get traffic. The forum that I just created for, why would it exactly.

There you go. Manufacturing authority right there. Just to be clear, 

Jared: by the end of this helpful content update, I predict that the Niche Pursuits forum will be outranking NichePursuits. com. 

Spencer: It might. It might. We’ll see. And then, okay my other update, I did want to give a little update on the Amazon Influencer Program.

Okay. I don’t remember if we shared this last week, but Amazon also appears to have adjusted their algorithm or where they’re showing their Amazon Influencer videos. And so my earnings, or my clicks, have taken a nosedive in the last week. Jared, I know you’ve seen the same. I think all Amazon Influencers across the industry are seeing this.

They’re saying that the videos I don’t know what you call it, the carousel below. The reviews or above the reviews is gone. And they’re testing, removing that or something. And so that’s, cut the clicks in like half. And so my update is that I was just about to break the 2, 000 a month mark.

I was I think I was like yesterday for the rolling 30 days, like 1, 985. And then that update happened. I don’t know if I’m going to crack that 2, 000 mark until they like, hopefully adjust that and bring it right back. And have been uploading a ton of videos. If I can find it, I can at least give my entire number.

of videos that I have. 593. Oh, that is 

Jared: a big 

Spencer: spike. I can’t remember if I was over 500 last week. I was either just over or just under, you were just over 500. Yeah, probably 80 ish. 80 to 90 videos uploaded in the past 7 days, and should have quite a bit more over the next week.

Jared: Out of the 8, cause you had 6 people over the house. Mhm. Trained them up. Out of the 80 you got last week. I’m just curious, is it one person pulling most of the weight? Is everybody kind of doing 20 each, or whatever, 15 each that works out to be 

Spencer: definitely one person did the most, maybe 50%.


Jared: sense. Of those, we’ve all hired enough people here. 

Spencer: And then three of them. Did some even amount. I don’t know what that is. And then the final two really almost did nothing. So yeah, that’s the way it’s gone. And so we’ll see how long that goes if they stick with it.

I may get rid of the bottom two that aren’t doing anything. I don’t have to get rid of them. They just aren’t doing anything. So I guess they got rid of themselves. But yeah. So it, it’s been interesting. It’s been fun. I’m gonna keep doing new videos, I’m gonna stay strong. And through at least Black Friday through the fourth quarter and see what happens this fourth quarter.

That was a very 

Jared: melancholy tone you took to that. 

Spencer: Yeah. I was on such a high of Oh, earnings are up, clicks are up, and then Amazon changes, and that’s why I always say I don’t know if I would make Amazon Influencer my primary business, but as a side hustle, I’m okay with the roller coaster.


Jared: yeah. That’s a good transition. I’m all focused side hustle wise on Amazon Influencer through Q4. And just like you, I think you and I messaged each other, did because I don’t check it every day, but I think a couple of days had passed and I logged in. I’m like, is there an error?

What’s going on here? So I think I, am I loading the wrong? Am I in 2022 here? What’s going on? And so it just, it nosedived. I think 50 percent is being generous. It went off a cliff, something like a week ago. And I didn’t know that it was because of them removing carousel videos or something like that.

But I do know from messaging a few other people that I’ve become friends with everyone’s experiencing the same thing. So it’s not something to do with my videos. It’s too dramatic to be seasonal. To be like, oh, something happened with the way people buy, the buying patterns. It’s clearly something in where they’re displaying them.

Clicks dropped in kind of equal proportion to earnings and stuff. So very clearly something changing about it. And like you said, it’s a great reminder. We’ve been talking about all the positives of Amazon influencer, right? Like most of the time we get on this show, each week we talk about how cool it is, how quick you can make money, how easy it is to make these videos.

You don’t have to be an expert. You just have to share and all this stuff. There’s some downsides to it. And I have to say, boy, couldn’t they couldn’t, the people at Amazon have talked to the people at Google and not done this on practically the same week. 

Spencer: Yeah. Talk about mental health issues.

Come on, you guys serious? 

Jared: It’d be a lot nicer, as I go to bed at night, if I could say, Ah, man, Amazon’s killing my, my, my content, but at least my Google, my websites are doing really well. Or, if I could say boy, what an awful helpful content update, but, Hey, this new Amazon Influencer thing, at least that’s going well, I can still be positive about that.

Man, it’s it’s a double whammy right now, I’ll tell ya, but. Anyways I I digress. I’m like you. I’m gonna keep going strong on it and have faith that that Amazon, from all intents and purposes, is probably testing, because we’ve seen a lot of signs that we’ve shared over the past couple months that they are really, they are investing heavily in this program and that they do want it to be here to stay.

They do want to encourage creators, not discourage them, hopefully some just so hopefully Amazon and Google are just testing 

Spencer: this. Yeah, I agree. And somebody that’s gone through a lot of Google updates, right? I think about Panda and Penguin and I survived, right? That was over 10 years ago. And so similar, thoughts are happening now or with any update, it’s you can survive, to take a deep breath and people.

that have been through the Amazon influencer program over the last two, three years, they’re saying something similar. Amazon tests things all the time and then they reverse it just as quickly. And so now 

Jared: one thing to point out, I was messaging with Thomas who came on the podcast a while back to talk about his longstanding success with influencer programs.

And when I have a question, I just messaged Thomas and he’s putting out something very interesting. He’s Hey, I don’t know if you’ve checked. The relationship between the helpful content update and Amazon influencer. And I said, what do you mean? He’s look at the visibility index for amazon.

com and the serbs. It’s fallen off a cliff and helpful content update. Oh, interesting. Yeah. I don’t know if that’s part of it, but they are tied together. They’re happening around the same time. And then he sent me a graphic. I wish I would have brought it over. Sorry. I didn’t put it in the show notes, but the visibility index for Amazon has gone off of a pretty good cliff there.

Spencer: Wow. Interesting. Yeah. So a lot going on there. So if you’re in the Amazon Influencer Program, we share your pain. We know what you’re going through. Don’t worry about it. 

Jared: I was telling on our team meeting this morning, I was like, man, pour one out for for Google and pour one out for Amazon.

It’s a double whammy week. I did just an update on my end, since I know I did make videos this week somewhere around a hundred. I didn’t get the exact number. I’m not the most organized people. I am organized, but not terribly organized. The theme of the podcast this week, but somewhere around a hundred or so.

Caitlin chimed in a bunch of this week. She did a bunch this week, so I did not do it. I probably did about 50 of those. She probably about 50 of those. We hit somewhere near a hundred. And again, just try to make that push because. I’m still bullish on Q4. And so here’s what I’m going to do this weekend.

I’m not saying I’m going to film this weekend, but I’m going to get down all of the Thanksgiving and Christmas stuff from the rafters. And I I had, I look back now and realize I had so much success with summer seasonal stuff. Now that I see it, it wasn’t that some of those products did really well because I was necessarily ranking really well in the Amazon Influencer Program.

A lot of it. Seems to be tied to the seasonal aspects of it. People buying barbecue stuff in June. People buying, back to school stuff in September and stuff. Trying to think ahead about the seasonal content for Q4 and Thanksgiving and Christmas. These are big holidays, at least stateside, for people in the fall and the winter.

So I’m going to get that down and then just get it ready to start filming over the next couple weeks. 

Spencer: Sounds like a good plan. Before we transition into our weird niche sites, I wanted to just read one podcast review that we had. I had a new review come in, and I think I’ve missed the last few weeks.

I keep forgetting to check, but Had a nice review here that says always eagerly awaiting the next episode. And this is a username the real B1GK. I get so much value from this podcast as someone who just launched my own niche site and e commerce store in the health and wellness space last month.

Nothing about what we’re doing online is easy, but hearing. Of other success and learning the steps they took to get there is the inspiration we all need to keep grinding. So thank you very much. The real B1GK appreciate the review. And if anybody else listening wants to leave a podcast rating or review, they can go over to iTunes and do that for the niche pursuits podcast or anywhere else that you listen to your podcast.

We’d love to see those ratings and reviews. So thank you very much. 

Jared: How many fake B1 GKs are there out there that he needed to establish a real one? 

Spencer: Yeah, he is the real. I don’t know. It’s a good review. Absolutely great review, so we appreciate it very much. Let’s jump into our weird niche sites. So I will confess that this one that was found was suggested by a reader.

Somebody actually reached out to me on Twitter via private message. So they wanted to make sure I had it, Jared. Mine, 

Jared: somebody reached out to me and sent to me via private message. They wanted to make sure I had 

Spencer: it. Alright, we all have our favorites. Maybe it’s the same person just wanted to give us each one.

Wouldn’t that be great? That would be awesome. So that’s great. Let’s see how the readers did. And actually, Jared and I appreciate it so much when you guys find a weird niche site for us because after, I don’t know how many months we’ve been doing this. It’s a little bit harder. We have to dig deep.

Speaking of grind. That’s right. Each Thursday morning, I got to find my weird niche site. So yeah, this, and this one was pretty good. I actually, it was so good. I showed it to my wife and that’s saying something. And so it is, it’s so simple. It is just Apple rankings. Dot com, apple rankings.com.

And I showed this to my wife because we happened to go to a farmer’s market on Saturday and we bought some apples and I was like, Hey, that reminds me so and so just shared this weird niche site with me. Let’s go find that Apple and see what apple rankings.com. Like literally all the website does is it lists the best apples in order and gives them a score from zero to 100, right?

And writes a little. Sweet Tango Apples, by the way, have a 97 rating. They’re nearly perfect. They are the holy grail, right? And Envy Apples have 86. They’re the guilty pleasure, right? 

Jared: I love how they… I had to… 

Spencer: Yeah, I won’t read all of these. They are hilarious. The further down you get…

Oh, here’s one. The Jawbreaker. Ever Chris Apples. The Jawbreaker, right? I had to 

Jared: go look for Red Delicious, because I think they’re absolutely disgusting. And I don’t know how they ever sold. 

Spencer: That is exactly… My wife said the exact same thing. She’s we gotta check out the Red Delicious Apples.

They’re the most popular supermarket apple. I don’t know why, but they’re near the bottom. Good. And they get a 25 rating. They are coffee grinds in a leather glove. Oh, that’s so gross. That’s actually a pretty good description, right? The nice thick peel that you gotta bite through. And Arkansas 

Jared: Black Apples, a teeth shattering oddity.


Spencer: Yeah, the golden russet apple, a putrid corpse, right? There, there’s some good ones in here. So check it out. And we are, we’ve never tried the sweet tango apples. And so now we’re going to try it whenever we can find 

Jared: it, right? That’s interesting because everyone I feel like has heard of the honey crisp apple.

For sure. Again, I don’t know my apples. But I feel like that’s everywhere. It’s all the rage. They certainly are super expensive. I know one time. Like sometimes we’ll buy them on purpose, but sometimes they will they will end up in our shopping cart.

We’re like, how much did we end up paying for apples? Cause they’re so expensive, 

Spencer: yeah, there’s a few on here. I was trying to think, Oh, gala apples, of course that we see every once in a while, the pink lady apples, my daughter loves, they get a pretty good rating, but we have never tried the sweet tango apples.

And so we may do that. And then of course, yeah, it gives information. How are the apples ranked, right? There’s different categories. But how much traffic does this site get? According to SimilarWeb, AppleRankings. com gets about 55, 000 visitors a month, which is not too shabby for a niche site.

And let’s see where the traffic sources are coming from. Let’s see, maybe it’s not populated here. Not enough data to display is what it looks like. We can go over to Ahrefs and at least see what it’s search traffic looks like. And it’s doing pretty decent. It looks like that is probably where most of its traffic is coming from.

18, 000 visitors a month from organic search. Which, as we, might mean that it’s getting quite a bit more from search than that. And the type of keywords, of course. Are going to be Apple keywords. And so Envy Apples, Cosmic Crisps, Apple Opal Apple, right? All the different varieties of apples are essentially what they rank for.

And they do have, it looks like individual sort of pages for all the, these apples, right? They, yeah. I was going to bring that up. 

Jared: Yeah. Talk about hub and spoke, like creating category. Cornerstone esque type pillar 

Spencer: content. Yep, it’s perfect, right? You’ve got the main chart on the homepage, and if you click through on any of the individual apples, you’ve got, just a nice paragraph about it, how it categorizes and tastes flesh, beauty, branding, intensity, crispness, right?

So it’s not the most beautiful apple, apparently, the opal apple, but it’s delicious, right? 

Jared: Can I just read you the first three paragraphs of how apples are ranked? I’m literally sitting here laughing out loud. Okay, yeah. Sky, and again, we talk about bringing personality to your website, so I’ll come at it from that standpoint.

For decades, the apple has been on a relentless descent into the fiery pits of hell, desperately lurching towards its biblical namesake as Satan’s fruit. With the rapid degradation of the once mighty Red Delicious and the intentional impotence of apple farmers across the world, we were faced with the unthinkable.

The rise of the pear . Thankfully, in the early two thousands, due to the emergence of a class of idle yuppies, willing to show out disproportionate amounts of disposable income at organic grocery stores, it became economically viable to invest in the development of what I did what I termed design apples.

As a result, a Disney array of new apples hit the shelves and continued to do so year or year after year. , it goes on, it goes 

Spencer: on. Oh, So good. Somebody cares deeply about their apples here, clearly. And has a lot of fun with it. He says, 

Jared: I have no children. This rating scale is my only hope to keep my namesake alive.

Spencer: I love it. I love it. If I look at the about, here it is. There he is. Brian Frange is a comedian and writer who has been yelling about apples for years. Okay. And 

Jared: Spencer, the telltale sign of all these weird niche sites we seem to see. Go to the footer and you will see a link to… His actual website.

Spencer: There you go. It’s just Brian French. So he’s actually famous here, right? He’s been on comedy centrals, not safe with Nikki Glaser, co host of the not safe podcast, right? And he had the app list Tumblr blog review blog. Oh, I love it here. Since then he’s yelled about apples and stayed on stages across America and radio shows across the world what started as a a bit revolving around his love of apples has now become a full time job where brian makes 700 million dollars or is that billion 700 billion dollars per week providing apple advice for Wealthy fruit enthusiasts.

So there you go. Quite the wealthy man 

Jared: apple community apples Is he talking about Apple the company or Apple’s the fruit there? It can be 

Spencer: so alliterative. 

Jared: It’s about Apple’s probably market cap these days. 

Spencer: Anyways, fun niche site. Go check it out. AppleRankings. com 

Jared: mine is again, I really, I knew this was going to be a tough podcast.

And I was really glad when I had someone, thank you, send me a a website that was, that had levity to it, right? And what we are going to be looking at today is thegazoogle. net. And so this is a search engine of sorts. It’s basically, and again, I’m going to have to, be a little tasteful here, Spencer.

I think we might have some language introduced here on the screen. So I’ll have to parse that out. Basically, it’s it translates the internet into gangster talk for you. Now, I don’t know if I’m dating myself here, but I seem to remember a site like this a long time ago called the Shizzolator.

That translated the internet into Snoop Dogg language. And I remember getting a good laugh out of that, sitting around with my coworkers at my photography studio. Which does date me, because that’s 15 plus years ago. But this does something very similar. So Spencer, I gave you some links, and why don’t we go gazoogle.

Or translate the nichepursuits. com website into Gangster Talk here and and bring it up on screen there. 

Spencer: Yeah, let’s let’s do that. Okay. Share this tab, Niche Pursuits. This is the article that you had. 16 SEO Content Freestyle and Skills That’ll Help Drive Traffic and Improve Your Crazy Rankings.

And the whole article… 

Jared: The best SEO content, freestyle, and skills to use. 

Spencer: I love it. And it’s man, it’s changed how my website even looks. It’s, 

Jared: again, I wish somebody could see the tech on, or somebody could explain the tech on this. I don’t understand a lot about the tech on this. But it really, it’s gone in it’s done the whole nine yards.

It takes it’s somehow doesn’t really tend to do brand names. It’s really 

Spencer: amazing. Word agents can optimize just about any bit of content from existing content to freshly smoked up snoop bloggy blog articles, landing pages, thing, descriptions, and more. WordPrage, 

Jared: Word agents is one of the dopest content agencies up there.

So peekaboo clear the way I’ll be coming through for sure.

Spencer: There you go. Not so not only is it a search engine, like it will pull up the website and will alter the content of the website. 

Jared: I didn’t actually do serp, so I didn’t search something. I just popped in niche pursuits. I also popped in a link for weekend growth to see what it would do with my little website.

I didn’t do a search result. I wonder what it would do with a serp, like a query you know how to make sure you don’t cut your hand off with a skill saw or whatever. That thing I said earlier, . 

Spencer: And so here’s your here’s weekend growth. 

Jared: Real ghetto growth strategies for da hard working side hustler.

Get strategies dat work. Short circuit yo growth. 

Spencer: Oh man. 

Jared: So a couple funny things about it. I don’t know how this site would make money. Could it be a classic Google style with display ads? They do have display ads. At least on the search engine. But then it does translate. into your website.

At that point, are you getting nichepursuits. com impressions at that point? I don’t really know exactly how that’s working. Here’s the funny thing about it. From just a straight website, it’s a DR58 with over 14 million 

Spencer: backlinks. That’s insane. That’s crazy. 

Jared: I have no clue how this monetizes. If it does really well, it ranks for under 100 keywords.

In theory, it gets very little organic traffic, yet with that sort of… Backlink profile. It’s really interesting. I don’t, I am really, I think every week we do a pretty good job trying to figure out roughly what that site is or isn’t profitable in and some opportunities for it.

I’m really in the dark on this one. It sure is funny though, man. Put your website in, put your niche site in if you need to laugh a little bit, it’s been a rough week. This is 

Spencer: something for a Friday afternoon. That’s right. Yeah, spend your time this weekend doing that instead of looking at your stats.

If you come over to SimilarWeb, it gives a rough estimate. 32, 000 visitors a month. That’s what it, what it says. Yeah, it’s a fun a fun, weird niche site. I think, and it doesn’t display where anything’s coming from. But this website fits perfectly into the category of this is a weird off the wall niche site.

Somebody in their spare time Put a lot of time into building this. How is it, how do you 

Jared: think this is working? This is AI, this is an AI, is it, code better 

Spencer: than I do. What do you it feels like it’s more like an article spinner than AI, right? I think they’re probably taking.

Certain words, they’ve got a database of okay, if this word shows up, here’s three variations you could do, or if these phrases show up, here’s a few variations, right? And so then you just get this gobbly goop of, what’s 

Jared: that? That’s a lot of work to put together that database, I feel like. 

Spencer: Yeah. Yeah, probably.

Someone’s passion project. Someone 

Jared: needs to see the world speak more in gangster talk. That’s right. 

Spencer: They’re on a mission. So it is gizugle. net gizugle 

Jared: g i z o g l e dot net Yeah, gizugle I think is the way that you should probably pronounce that. Something like that. A pretty blatant rip off of, a pretty blatant rip off of the Google logo.

Yep, for sure. A pretty blatant rip off of everything Google, actually. Clearly an ode to the search engine that is the topic du 

Spencer: jour of today. That’s right. Good find. Yeah. Listeners, keep those weird niche sites coming, feel free to direct message us. We love it. Not us. Me. 

Jared: Just feel free to direct 

Spencer: message me.

If you’ve got two, you can share. Yeah. It’s true. 

Jared: Yeah. Find two and just message each of us 

Spencer: individually. Here’s maybe the next competition that I need to do speaking of challenges is like, Hey, who can find the weirdest niche site? We need to have a leaderboard and have the community vote on it and whoever, found the weirdest niche site, gets to come onto the podcast and, pitch everybody something.

I don’t know. I like the idea. So that’d be fun. That’d be fun. 

Jared: Cause I do agree with you. I’m not, definitely not complaining, but but it, for whatever reason, it’s getting hard to find some of these that are, you don’t want to bring a dud to the podcast. I probably brought a few that were.

Barely good enough, but you don’t want to bring a dud. So it takes some time to make sure you got a good 

Spencer: one That’s right. That’s right. So got to keep the show going but Thank you everybody for listening in that’s gonna wrap up the show. I mean we talked about obviously the helpful content update We’ll cover it again next week, of course to provide any updates that are going on we covered the side hustles.

We covered the weird niche site. Yeah, so that’s about it. Anything else Jared? I think 

Jared: next week’s gonna be Potentially another big podcast where we have potentially either a wrap up on the helpful content update, a reversal on the helpful content update. I think we’re gonna have a lot more maybe information to talk about in terms of the permanence of what this week is, because right now we’re really just sitting here waiting for the storm to blow over and see what things look like when it moves out.

Spencer: Yep. So everybody stick around and listen in for next week. Really appreciate it. You have a good weekend. Bye bye.


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