Sites Hit With October Core Update vs HCU, Growing Google Discover, and a Graveyard Site

Welcome back to another episode of the Niche Pursuits podcast!

This week, Jared plays hosts alongside his guest Tony Hill, a niche site expert with about 2 decades of experience. Come along as they dissect and digest the latest news on SEO, digital marketing, Google, niche sites, and beyond.

They kick off the show talking about the October core update, which just completed its 2-week rollout. Tony talks about how many sites got hit by both the HCU and this update, and Jared talks about whether or not the second update was a rollback of sorts by Google. 

What’s the current status of UCG sites? When do sites generally experience volatility during an update? Is Google demoting content that it thinks users don’t need as much when they have access to AI resources like Bard? Is Google taking a different route in interpreting users’ search queries? Tune in to hear their thoughts.

Watch the Full Episode

The next topic is Mediavine’s assessment of Google’s Helpful Content Update. The ad company reports that just 5.8% of its sites were negatively affected, but would Mediavine site owners agree with that statistic? How transparent is the company’s analysis? And was ad density one of the characteristics targeted by Google in the update? Find out what Tony and Jared think.

Moving on, they discuss an article on Reuters about Google, AI, and its Search Generative Experience. The news outlet calls the search tool a “red flag” in the lengthy relationship between publishers and Google, and quotes experts who confirm that SGE is going to decrease publishers’ organic traffic. 

Jared and Tony talk about the importance of the situation being reported in the mainstream news to create more awareness. They agree that it’s still the very early days and time will tell how it all plays out. Will the lite version of SGE remain? Will the antitrust lawsuit Google’s facing be a determining factor? Listen to find out what Jared and Tony think.

In the Shiny Object Shenanigans portion of the podcast, Jared talks about the Amazon Influencer Program and how it had taken a turn for the worse. His videos weren’t appearing anymore and clicks had plummeted… until a few days ago. Everything seems to have turned around: clicks are up, his videos are back, and his fingers are crossed for 4Q. Stay tuned to find out how it all ends!

Tony talks about Google Discover and how many websites are seeing a boost in traffic, which can happen after updates like the recent ones. He discusses brand new sites getting Google Discover traffic and sites that have been getting traffic for years going down to zero. He also mentions that Google is now considering a desktop version, and talks about his own experience with his sites on Google Discover.

As for weird niches this week, Jared goes first with Halloween Jokes. This seasonal site ranks for just 1300 keywords, some of which are in the top 10. The site is making some ad revenue and would be relatively easy to recreate using AI. They also talk about the possibility of making a series of sites for different holidays as a way to maintain traffic year-round.  

Tony shares a weird site as well, Find a Grave, which is like a Wikipedia with information about people’s graves. This well-done directory contains information that is crowdsourced and contains a lot of relevant pictures and an active forum with more than 47k people. 

They talk about the site’s smart monetization techniques. Aside from ads, users can send flowers to the gravesites in its database, essentially making it very useful. All in all, a weird and clever niche site. 

And that brings us to the end of another information-packed episode. Join us next week when they analyze the very latest in SEO news and bring some inspiration and laughs with their side hustles and weird sites.


Jared: ​Alright, welcome back to another week in Niche Pursuits News. My name is Jared Bauman, I’m in the host seat today, and my co host today is, uh, Tony Hill. Welcome, Tony. 

Tony: Hey, Jared. Thanks. It’s good to be here, man. 

Jared: Spencer is out this week. He’s, um, he’s actually down at FinCon in New Orleans, and, uh, I have to say, I want to give a quick shout out to all of our FinCon attendees that know Niche Pursuits.

I guess, um, Spencer’s been hearing from a lot of Niche Pursuits listeners down there. So, uh, a shout out to everybody at FinCon this week. Hopefully you have time to catch up on the news on your way home from the conference, but the news doesn’t stop. It doesn’t matter if FinCon’s happening or what con in the world is going on.

We’ve got news to talk about and this week is no shortage of that. So, um, Tony, you, um, you had, uh, what were you on? Probably maybe six months ago on the podcast, very successful episode. Just for people who don’t know, give, give a 60 seconds, 30 seconds on 

Tony: you. Yeah. Uh, so I’ve been running my own niche sites for the last 18 years or so.

Um, and enjoy every minute of it. And, uh, yeah, just recently joined Twitter this year or X and, uh, I’ve been sharing the things that I’ve been learning along the way. Uh, and it’s, yeah, I’ve been enjoying the process. So in the meantime, if I’m not working on my sites and I’m on X and I’m hanging out with, with my wife and daughter here in Tennessee.

Jared: Well, welcome on board. Um, today’s going to be fun. We’ve got a lot of news to talk about. I think a lot of topics that you probably have a lot of interest in as well. Um, so let’s get to it. And, uh, of course, for those of you watching on YouTube, I am going to share my screen, which has become kind of the running joke around here in terms of, uh, uh, whether or not I can pull it off or not.

But let’s go ahead and kick off with our first topic of the day. So… Uh, if you’ve been listening for the last couple months, you know that pretty much every week we record, we have what is a Google update happening. Obviously, we had the August core update that was going on, we had the then September, um, uh, helpful content update that was going on.

Then we rolled straight from that into a double update, October core update and the October spam update. Well, we can now report that as of Thursday morning, the October core update… It was finished on the 19th. So just over a two week rollout, Google Search Console reported. I think the spam update is still going on.

I don’t know, Tony, have you heard anything about the spam update? Still going. Still going, okay. So, um, we’re going to talk about the core update. Now a lot of what we’re going to be talking about today has to do with kind of speculation on what was going on prior to it wrapping up. I don’t think I’ve seen any articles out yet about what’s happening since it came out.

But I think a lot of people are reporting a ton of volatility here. I’ve got a um, search engine round table article up here that says, Google search volatility heats up as core update and spam update roll out. Before we dive into some of the, the details here, um, I mean, you, you have access to a good number of sites, obviously your own, but other people you talk to.

What, what are your thoughts on the, on the, the core update specifically, especially for all of those of us coming out of what might’ve been a pretty brutal helpful content update? Yeah, 

Tony: if I recall, it seems to be very similar to the Helpful Content Update in that like halfway through almost is when sites, sites started to get slammed by it, um, and seeing majority of sites that at least I’m aware of that were hit by the Helpful Content Update were also hit by the Core Update, just a double whammy.

There, there were a few, I saw people report they were hit by the Helpful Content Update and then they saw a little bit of recovery from the Core Update. Yeah, Google is just kicking a lot of sides while they’re, while they’re 

Jared: down. It’s interesting because a lot of people were hoping that perhaps this core update getting rolled out so quickly after the helpful content update would be a potential way for Google to roll back some of the effects of the helpful content update, some of maybe the overreach.

I know a lot of people are, you know, frustrated. They’re like, okay, cool. Like we get that you want user generated content to rank, but really like, uh, a post from 10 years ago by someone is not necessarily probably the best experience. And. People were kind of hoping for that. I think it’s, I think I can clearly pretty definitively say that there was definitely no rollback.

Um, it was definitely not a, I mean, I don’t think any, any indication of UGC sites changing or anything like that, so. 

Tony: Nope. If anything, I saw Lily Ray posted on Twitter that, uh, user generated content sites just continue to climb. Like, they even start, they started in the summertime and then have just continued to ramp up through every 

Jared: update.

Yeah. Yeah, I, I think you’re right here. I’m going to try to find the, here it is, we can see that, you know, a lot of the volatility hit on October 10th, which was, uh, I believe October 5th was the day the update got announced and, you know, you’re looking at this, uh, SEMrush sensor and really the volatility didn’t hit until five, six, seven days in, which is like you said, pretty consistent with what we’re seeing out of core updates these days.

Normally the first couple of days are a ghost town. It’s like nothing really happened. But then as we get into kind of some, um, Of the details, uh, five days in or something like that. That’s when things start to change Did you see any effects on any of your sites? I mean, I know you let’s see You’ve had a site that took a little bit of a pullback on the hcu.

Um, any anything to report on your side? 

Tony: Yeah, uh, I definitely have seen some traffic drops and ranking drops on some pages Um, I’ve been spending a lot of time, as much time as I can, analyzing that, but also analyzing a lot of other sites that have been, uh, hit from others. Just, I’m fortunate, I was more fortunate than a lot of other site owners.

Um, I have, interesting thing about what I’ve observed is, uh, like for one of my sites, I saw a lot of broad queries that I was ranking. Very specific queries for, for a broad query. So I had like, say, for example, um, I had maybe a, a page about, you know, men’s suits for maybe men in their, in their fifties. Um, and that was ranking for just a broad query of men’s suits.

It was showing that for men in their fifties article. Um, but then helpful content update rolled out and it started to drop all those more like niche or long tail articles from those broad queries. Um, Which is an interesting thing because to me that was telling me that Google was really doing some targeting with the SERPs and bringing in some relevant articles maybe to that particular searcher if they figured out, you know, that there’s someone who lives in a certain area or has a certain age or has a certain interest that they’re, they might Show a little bit more relevant of an article to them, but they seem to have yanked that for not just my site But I’ve heard other site owners report 

Jared: that I will throw a theory at you I don’t know if I saw this I have it on our notes I think it came from Marie Haines in terms of what she reported people saying But there’s some people speculating that Google might actually in this October update be demoting content But it thinks users won’t need as much when using AI like Bard I don’t know if you’ve heard this probably you have and what you think about that 

Tony: Yeah, uh, I can see some cases for that, you know, there definitely are some queries now that I’m avoiding and that I’ve seen a lot of these niche sites that have been hit by the helpful content update are targeting and that is anything that can be answered with a sentence or a paragraph And they’re done.

Um, I see a lot of niche sites that were targeting those kind of queries and they’ve seen some huge drops and that’s the kind of stuff that I can see SGE really targeting in the future and taking a lot of the traffic there. So, um, and I, they’re also looking at bringing in, they want quality results cause they’re using that large language model to then scan the top results.

since you know, they almost come up with some sort of generated response there at the top of the search box. And so they’re trying to probably weed out some of these lower quality sites from appearing, you know, in those results as part of this, when it’s trying to use that large language model to formulate some sort of SGE response.

So that could be a 

Jared: two. Yeah. I mean, so, you know, these types of queries might be like, what color is a mango or what’s the coldest month of the year in London, England, and things like that. Yeah, exactly. Easy to answer, and not really adding a tremendous amount of additional value by answering that 

Tony: query.

And it could be also that Google is focusing a lot on its query interpretation, and maybe less on the interpretation of the content that it’s analyzing. And so there… Uh, they’re just, they’re, they’re better able to understand the intent, the primary intent, and maybe there might be a secondary intent to a query, and it might also depend on what the person searched for previously, and so they might just be doing some different targeting and using machine learning models to figure out how they can better interpret queries, and it’s going to reshuffle the results that are shown for it.

So in some cases, it just might not be that You had a bad website or a bad article. It’s just that Google is just doing a different and hopefully better job at interpreting the intent behind that query and what users really want. Yeah, 

Jared: I saw, I saw Lily Ray share this a couple weeks ago when there was so much frustration about the helpful content update.

And it was clear that Google is changing a bit of how search is being displayed. I think we can say that across the board. Yeah. Um, and you know, her response was, was healthy. Uh, and I don’t want to put words in her mouth, if I don’t have the quote in front of me, I always am careful to kind of say that, like I’m paraphrasing what I remember from three weeks ago, and my memory, and age, and anyways, I digress, but basically that hey, if Google gets this wrong, grossly gets it wrong, that we should see them adjust it because they’ll get metrics back from user patterns, they’ll, their machine learning models will see these sorts of I understand if you’re listening, you’re like, Oh yeah, well, I’m not going to hold my breath.

I don’t blame you on that front either. You know, don’t hold your breath. But from a high level, like Google is trying to deliver a result that keeps their users engaged because that’s how they make money. And if we look at it from that standpoint, perhaps that brings a little bit of interest to the things they’re doing, um, in the service these days.


Tony: exactly. So it’s coming down to that bottom line of, you know, we assumed that there was a separation between Google. Changes that they’re making and decisions they’re making for how they’re controlling the search results and understanding every site and where it should be and scoring everything, but also how that impacts their bottom line and their revenue.

We used to think there was this big separation, church and state, between… Ads in the revenue side and this in the search side, but with this DOJ lawsuit going on has been quite revealing that sometimes those lines have been crossed and it does make me wonder how much, how much have the, as the ad sales side of things have really impacted some decisions that were made on the search side of things.

Jared: You would not be remiss for suggesting such things. Previously to the last couple weeks we… We’d be able to say, well, Tony, that’s awfully speculative of you, but I don’t think it’s that far reaching. And again, if you don’t know what we’re talking about, shameless plug to go back, we’ve been addressing all of this stuff in the past couple of episodes, um, of the news, the helpful content update, what it did, our kind of just look at it from a high level, and then obviously this DOJ case, which is exposing a lot of how Google search might actually work behind the scenes.

Um, well anyways, okay, we’ve got a couple more topics to hit. Let’s keep going here. This is a very interesting one that is, uh, we’ll start with the, the article itself from Mediavine. And the article is Mediavine’s analysis, their own self done analysis of the Google Helpful Content Update. Now, I think this is interesting because on the podcast in previous episodes, we did discuss how, wow, it sure seems like a substantially high portion of Mediavine.

Anoraptive sites seem to have been hit by the Helpful Content Update. Why, where did we get this? Well, I mean, I think at the time of us discussing the podcast, there were over 700 comments in a Facebook group, in Mediavine’s Facebook group, on the Helpful Content Update. And there’s all sorts of other reasons, like the type of sites that Mediavine started with were food sites.

These sites seem to get hit in broad strokes. So it’s really interesting when we read this article from Mediavine that says, the Google Helpful Content Update, what our data shows. And, uh, it, I’ll kind of highlight it here on the screen if I can, I hope everybody sees that, but of the 10, 302 sites represented by Mediavine, 607 of them, or 5.

8%, were identified as being negatively impacted by Google’s helpful content update. We also discovered 1, 170, which is about double, more than double, which saw positive increases to their Google referral traffic coming out of the HCU. Now, I gotta tell you, that doesn’t pass the sniff test for a lot of us.

Uh, certainly that’s been the feedback that’s been getting shared. Um, I will share this, uh, tweet that maybe summarizes a lot of what people are saying. Um, this is from Mike, uh, and, and he really shared this idea that, Hey, you know, um, helpful content update by ad network. How many were hit by the helpful content?

Let’s do Mediavine first. A lot of the comments that came out of that came from like, Hey, why is Mediavine doing their own analysis here? Where’s the transparency? So, you know, I want to keep things in perspective here on the podcast and share all sides, but certainly surprising, I think, for most of us that that few of sites got hit.

But also, um, uh, you know, have to share that a lot of questions were raised about how it was, uh, how the, the, the, the analysis was done. Yeah, for sure. I mean, 

Tony: based on what I’ve heard with their Facebook group, which I’m not a part of, uh, they can be diligent about kicking sites out that are no longer with them.

And so they probably would have had a more effective analysis had they just run a simple Facebook group poll asking their site owners to indicate how much they’ve been impacted by. The helpful content update rather than their particular method. And I didn’t realize that they had over 10, 000 sites. Um, that’s quite a bit.

They’ve grown. Yeah, and to 

Jared: only have… Good for them, because by the way, they’re great at what they do by and large, you know. The vast majority of people you talk to have a very good experience with their sites on Mediavine, you know. 

Tony: For sure, for sure. So, yeah, I’d like to see them come out with one done by a third party.

You can take all that raw data. 

Jared: It would be great to see that, you know, um, there wasn’t a lot of transparency in terms of how they kind of went about it. They did share, I’m not trying to say they didn’t, you know, it wasn’t just like some one liner. Um, you know, I, it just feels like there’s a lot more people that are in the Mediavine and or Raptive community.

I’m not gonna suck. Mediavine, it’s not a Mediavine thing, it’s a type of site, right? Like, that’s really what it is. It’s not, it’s not that people necessarily went down because they had Mediavine in their site. That’s not what we’re trying to say or I’m trying to say. It’s that the type of sites that Mediavine tend to have.

Their ads on tend to be sites we saw by and large, at least take like a 15, 20 percent haircut in traffic from the HCU, if not larger. That’s right. 

Tony: Yeah. They’re going to be, uh, beyond them. I mean, I think they’re, they’re one of the larger networks that will work with medium sized publishers. And then once you get past, you know, I don’t know, like say 10 million visitors a month, you know, that’s when you start having your own internal ad sales and working with some larger and larger organizations that.

Yeah, they’re not, they’re not going to share that level of detail with whether they had traffic losses or not. And generally, those are going to be some really big sites and really big brands who seem to weather through a lot of these 

Jared: updates. They did have a topic they addressed in there, which we’ve addressed on previous podcasts.

So I’ll just read it out again. This is according to the Mediavine article. The header is our higher ad density settings related to the HCU. They said, based on the data we have with more than 10, 000 sites, we do not have any reason to believe that sites running more Mediavine ads or fewer. We’re more heavily impacted by the helpful content update.

The data about ad density in the HCU is pretty agnostic. They would, um, that would fly in the face of certainly what people like Lily Ray and Glenn Gabe have shown. Although, they have shown that, um, nuance is probably important here. They would say that, that data on ad density was, Um, like, uh, man, what’s the right word?

Like, resulting in a poor user experience. And so I think perhaps the separation that could exist, where both of these cases are valid, is Mediavine is saying that, Hey, uh, we’re not talking, none of, you know, we don’t have… Uh, you know, add density that gets so bad that it’s in the way of user experience.

It’s add density is either minimal or, uh, normal or, or higher, but none of those would reach the levels that maybe a Glenn Gabe and a Lily Ray were addressing when they said that add density did have an impact. So, not trying to overcomplicate it, but perhaps that’s where both these sides can’t exist in the same argument.

Yeah. For sure. 

Tony: At the end of the day, I would have preferred to see more data tables and charts than all those words right there telling a story. They’re just crafting, they’re just crafting a big story there. But 

Jared: yeah, yeah, it’s, we go into Q4, you know, it certainly would be interesting if everyone by and large was like, well, I don’t want to risk it.

So I’m going to drop my ad density down. I know I’ve had several clients who have said, Jared, that’s the first and the easiest thing I did was go into my Mediavine settings and bump down a notch or two. I’ve, I can, I can. Count on more than two hands how many people have emailed me and my clients and said that so You know that could have an impact on revenue and stuff So I agree third party would just be a little bit cleaner, right third party would be cleaner But if you want to buy into the data there, then you know, that’s that is hopeful for Website owners in the types of spaces that tend to monetize on media fine.

So for sure Man, I feel like we just keep getting ourselves into these dicey topics here on the podcast. Last week I had to pretty much basically say like, I hope Google’s not listening to this one about, uh, the DOJ case and stuff. That’s right. Anyways, speaking of Google, let’s touch on this article that came out.

We’re moving into the third topic of the day. It’s a Reuters article. And it’s titled, As Google pushes deeper into AI, Publishers see fresh challenges. Now before I dive into Some of the details. I actually have to pull up my screen. Let me turn over to you, Tony, for a little bit. Just give us a high level on this one, and I’ll pull up some of the details here.

Yeah, you 

Tony: know, it was nice to see a larger news organization start to address this issue that publishers are going to be experiencing at some point and in some way. And so to get this further out into the public, I think is good for us in that it’s an article that I’m sure Google is paying attention to.

And so, you know, they did a good job. Um, covering, um, some aspects of how this could affect publishers, primarily large ones. That’s who they reached out to. They reached out to some executives from some really large websites. I’m going to guess from like, say, Condé Nast or Dot Dash, Meredith, uh, and had some private conversations off, kind of off the record, uh, about some things and, uh, ultimately They’re concerned, uh, as well as I think any site owner, especially if you’re a site that relies on advertising to generate revenue.

And so I’m glad this one came out. Um, it’s just bringing, bringing that awareness and hopefully that just continues to put pressure on Google to find a good balance. They keep saying that they’re going to try to find a balance of still driving traffic to sites as, but as well as. It’s still kind of conceding under this pressure that they’re probably feeling of.

We need to start implementing AI into our search and providing some instant results and information. You know, people can either get from us or they’re going to go somewhere else like open AI with chat 

Jared: GPT. Yeah. You know, it’s interesting because this article for a lot of us who maybe listen to the podcast or who are pretty deeply embedded day to day, week to week in the, the marketing, online marketing world we live in.

A lot of this feels very vanilla, right? Like. But this is old news. We’ve known this for a long time, but you highlighted it perfectly. Like, no, this is Reuters. Like, this is an article that’s targeting the general population and kind of highlighting a lot of the things that we probably have been discussing in our small, intricate circles for quite a while now.

And it’s so good to, to see this out there. I mean, it highlights the idea. I think it makes a nice case. To publishers, the new search tool is the latest red flag in a decades long relationship in which they have both struggled to compete against Google for online advertising and yet relied on the tech giant for search traffic.

I think the… The buzz paragraph of all, let me see if I can find it, is a quote from Forrester Research Senior Analyst, Um, uh, is that Nikiolay? I hope I’m saying that right, I apologize if I butchered her name, Um, uh, or his name, I don’t actually know. Um, one way or the other, uh, he, oh, even so, he believes. Uh, so SGE, here’s a quote.

Let’s just get to the quote, Jared. SGE is definitely going to decrease publishers organic traffic, and they’re going to have to think about a different way to measure the value of the content, if not click through rate. Um, even so, he believes publishers reputations will remain strong as a result of their links appearing in SGE.

And again, this is from like a Forrester senior research analysis, so it’s… It’s a little bit different than, you know, when, uh, even some of the most foremost figures in our little industry speak about it. 

Tony: Yeah, for sure. And like the case with Mediavine, I’d be curious to know where they get where they got that data from.

But I understand what the research firm like that they keep that to themselves. But, you know, is that an average? What kind of sites were they analyzing? I’m assuming they were looking at the current version of SGE, you know, where they where they come up with those kind of numbers. But honestly, like gut check, I wouldn’t be surprised if 40 percent would be an average across the 

Jared: board.

So, I mean, last week we talked on the podcast, which I know it was Spencer and I, um, but, uh, we talked about how there’s really an emergence of SGE Lite, so much smaller search generative experience. We also talked about how it’s not generating, um, it does not seem to be generating results on nearly as many.

You have to hit the button to say, please generate the results here. I mean, I spoke up and said, I would imagine that’s because it’s not working as well, because it’s not getting as much engagement as they originally hoped. If we, uh, certainly over the summer saw Like, huge, full page SGE boxes, um, and so, you know, it’s a reminder that this is always going to be ebbing and flowing, and what we see this week might not be what goes live permanently, and what we see next week might not be great.

Last week I thought, Spencer thought we all agreed, great news, um, hearing you say 40%, not good news, we’re not going to have you back Tony, we want good news here on the podcast. Sorry guys. Round that out a little nicer. No, I’m kidding though. It’s just, it’s a good reminder that this is an ever changing landscape, you know?

Yeah, it really is, 

Tony: and I still think it’s very early days. Uh, Google says that, you know, maybe sometime by the end of this year. Early next year, they’ll have something rolled out more globally, but I would be kind of surprised honestly at this rate They’ve got a lot of the financial components They’ve got to get figured out to make this feasible and to not lose money on it or are they willing to lose money on it for a certain amount of time and I Think maybe part of this right now is they’re also holding their breath with this DOJ Lawsuit going on right now.

And what are the implications of that? 

Jared: There’s so much for them to be factoring in, you know? There’s a lot going on, right? You got all this AI stuff, and you’ve got all this, uh, uh, this is a big case, like, you know, this is not just one of those random lawsuits that just, you know, it makes the news, but it’s just really something that blows over.

Again, I’m not a lawyer, but it really does seem that this is a landmark case in the general landscape of online media. 

Tony: For sure. And what’s interesting about Some of the changes that Google has made. This is one of the things that on our list, I’m just going to touch on real quick is the Omnibox, uh, in Google Chrome, when you do a search, uh, and the actual address bar at the top, that’s called the Omnibox.

I didn’t know that what it was called until it’s been reported recently. And that was because of this DOJ case that it was revealed that this was an area where Google was manipulating the queries. In the Omnibox. Well, just recently, this past week, Google was talking about an update that they’re going to be making to the Omnibox that was reported on the Verge and where they’re going to start sending people more directly to websites as much as they can, rather than to Google search for probably a lot.

A lot of those will be navigational queries. Um, perhaps it could be, they’re going to look at your history, your browser history, like we’ll get pages you were at previously and go ahead and let, let you just go right to that particular page that you were at. Um, and so they’re going to try to predict which site you’re trying to go to and you’re not going to land on the Google search results, which means it’s not going to trigger ads.

The article I saw, I think that there was some false information and that it misunderstood and where I believe I saw in there that a lot of those navigational queries, it said, especially like to go to type in Facebook into Google and that Omnibox and address bar, um, and you go to the search results. A lot of times.

For, for branded queries like that, you will see an ad, a company will go ahead and pay for an ad to make sure they get that click. Right. And that’s revenue. That’s money in Google’s pocket that, so they’re for sure going to lose out on a lot of money. But I just find it interesting that they have announced this change, the Omnibox, no one really even knew about like within weeks of it being released to the public through this.

And I trust what lost you going on. So just kind of, kind of was that, is that a coincidence? I don’t, it could be, but it is interesting timing that they’re making this to change. That is supposed to be a better experience for the users. And it’s exact same thing that they were using to manipulate users.

Jared: I’ll read the, I’ll read the paragraph because I have the article up here that you, that you did have in our notes. Um, and I think the paragraph kind of sums it up perfectly, but now a few things have changed. the mind, has changed that might make Google more am… I’m not amenable. We can’t use it at the day anymore, Tony.

I know. Run out of words. Um, few things have changed that might make Google more, uh, amenable to this kind of feature. First, it’s embroiled in a landmark, oh, look at that, that’s the word I just used, landmark antitrust lawsuit that alleges Google is a search monopoly and abuses its power at consumer’s expense.

Second, as Google embraces AI through this SGE, which the CEO has said in no uncertain terms is the future of search. Every query has become literally more expensive for Google since it has to query its large language models to get the answer. Many of these navigational searches don’t have ads anyway, so Google might actually be happy to get people off of its search results page for a change.

Well, there’s an interesting concept. Ultimately, maintaining Chrome’s dominance, which keeps Google as most people’s main search engine, is probably worth a few small feature trade offs.

Yeah, we’ll see. It’s all wrapped up. I think you’re exactly right. It’s all wrapped up. Um, I’m glad, just going back to that Reuters article, one more thing I wanted to point out, we’ve been talking about this in the podcast, if you’ve been listening, we first reported when it was over 10%, but according to Reuters in this article, um, we’re now at, uh, 27.

4 percent of the top websites blocking ChatGPT’s bot, including the New York Times and Washington Post, but, and this is what’s interesting, that’s only compared to 6 percent that are blocking Google Extended, which if I’m summarizing correctly, is Google’s ability To use your content for their 

Tony: AI for their training.

Right. Yeah. Training model. Yeah, that’s right. But then, but then there’s a separate opt out if you don’t want to be included in SGE. Uh, but if you opt out of that, you’re also opting out of the entire index. Exactly. 

Jared: It’s, it’s, it’s all or nothing. Yeah. Oh, okay. Well, uh, Tony, well done. We’ve, uh, we’ve navigated the news with you.

Um, get used to having to have these kind of. bipartisan takes at some point. I think you did very well. We, um, uh, we, I didn’t even tease the beginning at the outset. I should have, um, that we, we still have a bunch of other topics we want to hit upon, which, uh, you know, blend over away from the news and into some of the more fun.

Um, we have our shiny object shenanigans, which is where we kind of share what’s going on in our side hustle world. Uh, not, not the main areas of our business. Uh, not what we focus on with 80, 90 percent of our time, but the stuff we’re having fun with, we’re dabbling in. And, um, I have some stuff to share. I know you have some stuff on the agenda to share.

And then, hey, Tony brought a weird niche to the table. Um, all I’ve seen is the URL. I’ve seen nothing more. Uh, and, uh, I put my weird niche in the, in the agenda. And you asked me, is this a joke, Jared? I don’t know if you’ve been to it yet or not, but… I have. Oh, you did. Okay. I cheated. You snuck a peek. That’s fair.

That’s fair. I get it. So, we’ll come back to that. We’ll come back to that. But let’s, um… Let’s transition into the shiny object shenanigans. I guess I’ll go first, as kind of the old veteran here. Um, let’s see, last week I shared that I had released a, basically like a helpful content, um, helpful content update analysis spreadsheet.

It was a 124 questions that you can ask yourself about your site, and it helps give you a barometer of how it’s doing, uh, in relation to the factors that most people are sharing might have. Something to do with that update. You know, it’s definitely a new update in terms of what it was targeting. And, uh, by, it’s not a checklist of things to do, but more of questions to ask.

So that was, um, man, that, that, that ended up going really well. It ended up at just shy of 2000 downloads. Um, it is still available. You can go buy it for the extremely large fee of 10. Um, I’m being somewhat tongue in cheek, but you know, at the same time, if your site was hit, maybe 10 is, is a lot at this point.

So you maybe got to be careful about that. Right. But, um, uh, you know, you and I had a, a fun, we, we decided to do a spaces together. So it’s actually our second time kind of doing one of these in the last week. I know for you, that was something that, that you had looked at it and thought that it was helpful, but, um, yeah, we got a lot of people listening to that as well.

So anyways, that was fun to do and kind of, um, took off. I talked about it last week in the podcast and I think it’s, I got a lot of feedback that was positive. So that’s really cool. Kind of launched that under my side hustle brand, the weekend growth brand. Um, Um, and then, hey, I got to talk about this. I think I might be one of the first people to talk about it.

So we’ve been talking for over a month now about how Amazon Influencer, and a lot of people know that both Spencer and I are doing this Amazon Influencer program. And I started in May, Spencer started slightly before that. And the last month, the two have had really not great results to the point where Spencer has shared, like, I don’t really know if I’m doing this past this.

Um, I, I saw him share on Twitter this week that hey, I, I’m definitely not ROI positive at this point and I’ve been getting really, uh, bummed out a lot and as I shared last week, a lot of the, um, the, the influencer videos have just disappeared from the carousel and there was hope that when we entered Q4, so October 1st, okay, that’d reappear, maybe that was just September, they’re testing, uh, cause they do test a lot in this, October 1st hit, they did not reappear.

Uh, then it’s like, okay, this Prime Day Deals is coming, maybe, We will see them reappear for that. That’s going to be the kickoff to the Q4 season for them. They did not reappear. And lo and behold though. Uh, two days ago. All of a sudden, I log in to my account and the clicks have just about tripled. And so I pop back over, I do a couple Amazon queries and bam, there we are.

We’ve got the carousels back at the bottom. And so we’re only a day or two into this. But clicks have gone back up two to three X per day. And usually, you know, uh, commissions follow that in the subsequent days. So, man, fingers crossed if you’re seeing me on the screen. I got both fingers crossed that this is a start and continuation of Q4 goodness on the Influencers program.

Tony: That’s awesome. Do you know, is there like a Facebook group for that program? Where there’s other Influencers in there? And have they reported a similar thing with videos 

Jared: being dropped out? There might be a Facebook group. All I have is a few Twitter DMs that I, I DM with other people, but everybody who I talk to, which is a very small sample size, mind you, is saying the exact same thing.

I did message Spencer while he’s at FinCon. I’m like, Hey, um, you know what, what’s going on for you? And he said exact same thing. I messaged Thomas who was on the podcast a couple months ago talking about the influencer program. I said, Hey, are you seeing this? Actually, I think he messaged me first. He’s like, dude, are you seeing this?

So. A lot of our graphs look very similar, so hopefully that does mean it’s not, you know, it’s, it’s rolling out to everyone in the influencer program, hopefully. 

Tony: Okay. And, and the video care cells, they look exactly the same? Can you tell that? Did they maybe, like, do some sort of feature upgrade to it or anything?

Jared: That’s, no. It’s literally like they just turned it off and turned it back on? Yeah. Okay. Yeah, I mean, there’s a, I mean, I guess the only theory we could come up with is it’s still a fairly rudimentary, seemingly just from the experience you have when you’re, Using the influencer program, and when you see it, like, it does not appear.

Uh, and, and there totally could be, but it doesn’t appear like there’s a lot of, like, science behind which videos end up staying in the carousel and not. Um, you know, like, I can have some really, uh, high performing videos, and I know that because, like, they, they have long average watch times, but yet they’ll bounce out of the carousel, and then some of my lower performing videos, i.

e., shorter watch time, stay in carousel, so I’m not sure there’s a whole lot of science behind this. Uh, I mean… I’m not saying there won’t be a lot of science behind it, or maybe I’m just too dumb to see the science, you know? Um, I’ve admitted, like, I don’t spend a lot of time noodling over the analytics of all this, but it doesn’t feel like there was a lot of improvements made.

Um, it felt like maybe they were just kind of testing what it looked like with them off, and now testing what they look like with them on, so. There you have it, my analysis. It’s worth every price you paid for it. 

Tony: Nice, well I’m 

Jared: glad they’re back. Yeah, I’m so glad because um, you know, like, I do enjoy that side hustle and um, I think at the end of the day, not only for myself, but I know Spencer the same, we just really want to see what it really looks like during Q4 with like a good showing.

Like, what does it look like to go through Q4 The number of videos we have uploaded, like what, because that’s really when the payoffs hit is Q4. That’s when everybody who’s on Amazon for whatever they have on their pay, it pays off. So let’s just give it a good run so that everybody, you know, to some degree, because we’re talking about it so much in the podcast, so everybody can kind of see not only what it looks like maybe in up and down months, but what does it look like at its best performing months?

And I’m just, I’m hopeful that we’ll get to just give it a run out for the whole Q4 season of the next two plus months. And then we can all kind of decide. Maybe going into the next year or two if people want to do it based on that, that run of results. Awesome. Cool. Well, that’s my shiny objects. Let’s turn it over to you.

I’m excited to hear about what you’re working on. Yes. 

Tony: I don’t know about your Twitter or Xfeed, but man, mine has been filled with Google Discover stuff. Now, I recognize I, I tweet a lot about it, um, I’ve been emailing a lot about it, but, uh, I’ve been getting a lot of DMs on there and I’ve been seeing other people talk a lot about Discover.

And there’s, there’s a lot going on. So it’s just taken a lot of my attention and I think it’s become a shiny object for a lot of people. Uh, because with this Google core update that just happened, uh, it, a lot of sites have entered into Discover for the first time. Yeah. We look at, uh, so like, uh, Mitch twins.

They, um, they, they got into Discover with their, uh, local site that they have launched recently. Um, and one of the articles that they wrote, and that was just one of the first ones that popped in my feed. But then other people had started to say, and show me screenshots like, Yeah, all of a sudden I’ve shown up in Google Discover.

Uh, I’m not surprised especially with core updates like this. That’s when things happen and that’s when sites also get removed from google discover And so i’ve had a lot of dms and comments that people show me screenshots of all their discover traffic tanking from it and uh, so it’s unfortunately Just a revolving door whenever they run a core update and potentially a helpful content update So, the two systems are connected to Google Discover.

Oh yeah, there you go, you got the, you got that tweet pulled up right now. 

Jared: I think I deserve a round of applause. Everybody who listens to the news every week knows that, um, this is not my skill set, pulling stuff up on screen. But I got that up while you were talking about it, I feel pretty, uh, Yeah. Let me, you know, you also had an error, and let me get Spencer’s tweet up, because he also shared some really good stuff.

Yeah, that’s right, Spencer had one. He did, didn’t he? Let me get that up real quick. Really viral on there. Let me ask you while we’re pulling this up, I mean, You know, you kind of surfaced and maybe give people a little bit of a refresher since we’re talking about but like Google Discover Do you have to have like a certain amount of um, call it?

You know Like I hate to say DR But like you have to have a certain authority level because Mike from what I understand like his website’s pretty darn new So you’ve got Mike showing up in Discover here You got Spencer saying that he’s had the best four days ever from the sleds on niche pursuits and he had a massive spike in Google Discover traffic, so Like, is there, are there thresholds, or are these thresholds kind of being broken apart now that we have this, these core updates?

Tony: Man, based on what I’m seeing from this particular core update, they had a big shuffle with their algorithm on, I’m sure they have a certain algorithm that first decides, is a site eligible for Discover? And then they’ve got one on, on whether or not they’re going to include in particular, uh, pieces of content into it or not.

And I think they made a big change to the type, uh, into the particular algorithm that decides. Which sites that they’re going to pull into discover, um, because I’ve seen brand new sites come in and get instant Discover traffic and then I’ve seen some well established sites that have been getting millions of clicks a month for years go down to zero Overnight, it’s crazy.

I have never seen anything like it with this particular discover update or core update. So It’s great. You know, I think Google is It’s surfacing, probably better, more relevant, more interesting content for people, especially if they kind of, they can figure out how to lower, lower the barrier to entry, but still be able to, to be able to source cool content.

Uh, and that’s, that’s tricky. I wouldn’t want to be responsible for that, but yeah, it’s, it’s great. So it’s still, you know, kind of a black box to figure out exactly how to get into Discover or how to get back into Discover if you’ve been dropped, but I think it’s worth. The time and, uh, to really figure out and test and dive into it and learn as much as you can to see the potential, especially because there’s a, there’s a rumor that, uh, Google is testing a desktop version of Google Discover.

Jared: Ah, good. I’m glad you brought it up. I was going to ask you about that. I mean, Discover’s always been mobile only. Now mobile traffic certainly makes up a lot. It’s not majority of traffic, but desktops still huge, right? Like it’s a huge segment. It just kind of seemed to get unlocked recently, right? 

Tony: It reminded me of, uh, if you’ve ever, if you’ve been to msn.

com in the last decade. No. Yeah. It’s still, 

Jared: it’s still like an amusement park or, you 

Tony: know, do you remember what it is? Microsoft msn. Yeah. 

Jared: Dot com for me to even realize 

Tony: what you’re talking about. Yeah. Um, it is still around and I think that site is still crushing it. with the traffic that they’re getting because MSN is set as like a default web page for a lot of people who get a brand new Windows computer and Generally, it’s an older demographic that They don’t even know how to change the default search engine or web page for their browser.

And so they just leave it on MSN and, uh, basically, you know, MSN is a version of Google Discover. And so I know Microsoft has been milking that for a long time with, with, they’re just syndicating content. They’re throwing ads on there. And then for a long time they had editors, but they eventually got rid of their editors and they, they’re running, they’re letting AI run the show on choosing the content that’s going to feature.

Uh, but I know they’re crushing it for desktop. And so I’m surprised it’s taken this long for Google to consider doing discover for desktop. Now it’s not going to make the default homepage of Google look nice and clean with that, you know, white canvas and search, simple search box. That’s going to go away, but there’s already a big culture shift going on with Google.

They realize they need to adapt, and this could be a way for them to make up, um, some of their lost revenue with their search results, right? That with this DOJ lawsuit going on and changes that they’re making there and with SGE, I’m not surprised that they’re testing this because I think there’s a lot of money 

Jared: in it.

Well, you, you have a long track record of getting traffic from Discover. Have you seen a lot of positive effects in the last couple of weeks from this? 

Tony: Yeah, so one of my sites got knocked out. Uh, within like five or six days of the core update. Um, but then it came back in. So there’s a test. I’m testing some things and someone kind of gave me an idea of something to test out to see if I can get back into Discover.

And I tested it and I was back in the next day. Uh, it could, it could be a coincidence. I’m still testing it. I’m working with some other people, uh, to see if it, it will work for them as well. But that was just a case of getting back in Discover, not getting into it for the very first time. So I’m happy to be back in for now, but you just never know and that’s something that Google’s made very clear Like you can’t count on the Google Discover traffic as consistent traffic like you can with Google search But the hard part is is for many sites Google has been consistently sending traffic from discover to these sites for you know years and millions of visitors and then all of a sudden they just turn off the Faucet on them and that’s that’s hard.

I mean it just goes to show the power and influence that Google has over the web And the whole ecosystem, you know, and so that’s where, you know, that article like Reuters there that, uh, I was talking about. Um, the influence Google has with SGE and how it’s going to affect publishers. And, you know, there’s, I just kind of want to make a quick little plug to Ann Moss.

She’s, she’s working on, um, spearheading a web publishers association, and it’s an organization that could be featured in articles like what we saw on Reuters or other national articles that’s talking about Google and how it relates to publishers and their search engine and influence they have. And I’m just having a voice for that.

And so I just encourage people to, um, just. Look up Anmoss on Twitter or search Anmoss and Web Publisher Association and that will pop up or I’m sure we’ll have a link in the show notes and something to check out for yourself. Because right now, reporters can only interview large executives at large publications anonymously, right?

So it would be cool if there was an organization because Google has a lot of influence and power and that might be holding us back in some ways. As much as we love 

Jared: them, love and hate. Right. It’s, and that’s, you know, that’s, that’s kind of the way this, this game goes. Uh, obviously, you know, it’s that way wherever you go.

Like if you make a killing on Facebook and you get Facebook traffic, like doggone it, you’re, you have the same challenge and, and, and, and, uh, I feel like a lot of us went through this years ago with Pinterest. Right. Um, and you, you, you, you have a lot of experience in Pinterest and stuff, so it’s, um, it’s a challenge.

I mean, Google discovered it does when it turns on, man, it feels like a. A faucet just went wide open, it’s like a fire hydrant in one, one swoop, you know what I mean, like, that’s not the way organic traffic typically, well, almost ever works, but with Discover, it’s like crickets to fire hydrant levels of, uh, amounts of, of, of search volume.

Tony: Yeah, it’s crazy. Yeah, to go from, yeah, maybe like 5, 000 people on, on your site in one day to all of a sudden, it’s like 50 or 100, 000 

Jared: people. It’s crazy. And you get ad revenue on all that, but better hope you have ads on that one on that day. Usually it’s not an affiliate article, I’ll tell you that much.

Hey, you’ve been talking about a lot with your newsletter. Share, share how people can get signed up if they want to, you know, that’s been like the theme of your newsletter for the past couple weeks I know. 

Tony: Yeah, tonyhill. co. Uh, you can sign up for my free newsletter right now. I’m emailing mostly about Google Discover.

I’ve just kind of taken on that particular topic right now. I also talk about SEO and Pinterest and other sources of traffic, but yeah, Discover right now. Just some of the things that I’m learning, not only from my own sites, but also As I’m, I’m currently coaching some other, other sites to help get them to into discover or if they’re already in there, you know, how do we leverage it because it’s a very different approach to content a lot of times compared to search.


Jared: So it reminds me of the difference in, at my agency, we work with local clients and we work with, for the lack of better term, like non local clients, like we work with local clients and like, that’s just different. It’s not. It’s not better or worse, it’s just different. Whenever you add a location on the end of it, the whole way you do search engine optimization changes from, say, trying to rank for, you know, um, the best Bluetooth speaker or something.

So, uh, or, you know, a SaaS product or an e comm SKU or something like that. So discover, it’s just a different set of, um, of criteria and things you’re trying to, trying to go after. 

Tony: For sure. Yeah. And it’s weird because all that content is still going to be indexed by Google for their main search engine, right?

So how do you play it so that it works for Discover and Search? Yeah. But there’s some sites out there. They just focus on Discover content only. And they’re 

Jared: killing it. Well, many of you who are on Twitter, the Niche Pursuits brand got kind of pulled in to many different members of the community saying, Hey, this was a really good episode.

On Google Discover traffic, can we bring this person back and I’m happy to report if you’re reading the tea leaves and you’re hearing it here first, we’re going to get him back on for a part two of Google Discover on the interview side of the podcast that will be coming, I don’t know how soon, it’s mid October right now, but we’re going to get some Discover content on the interview side on the Wednesday podcast episode coming up, so stay tuned for that.

Well, okay, hey, part three here. Yeah. Welcome to Weird Ditches. Um, I like the one you’ve picked. I will tell you this, yours was on my ongoing list, which is why when you messaged me and said, hey, I just want to make sure my Weird Ditch hasn’t been done before, I was like, oh my goodness, I think it has. I had to go back and look, hasn’t been done before.

It was on my list, which means I lost another one to, uh, but I have fair play, but I’m going to go first here. Uh, I’ll share my weird niche first, but, just a little tease, I, yeah, I totally had yours on my list and I think it’s a great one. Um, my weird niche, and I’m gonna go ahead and share the screen here.

I think my weird niche, this is probably the first seasonal niche we’ve ever had in the weird niches. And I am sharing with you today, HalloweenJokes. com The, uh, uh, as, as many people have, have come to know, most of the sites I tend to share are weird and not necessarily performing all that great . This one is, uh, no exception here.

Halloween jokes is, uh, that the kind of, the, the tagline is Halloween jokes, Halloween puns, Halloween Halloween humor and riddles. And it’s just full of like random articles about Halloween. Um, here we have 101 Spooky Halloween jokes. Um, why, uh, here, here you go, I’ll ask you, I’ll ask you this, uh, question.

Tony, it’s on the screen, so 

Tony: you can cheat. I, I can’t see it, the font’s too small, so you’re good. Why, 

Jared: why did the witch blow up 20 mice like balloons in the morning? Wow, that’s, I don’t know why. So her black cat could eat mice bubbles. What did, why did the vampire keep a blood hat around at all times? It was his watchdog.

Uh, yeah, they’re as cheesy as you expect. Um. It does not appear that the site has been updated in over a year. There’s a big banner that says, uh, happy Halloween, 2022. Um, and, uh, I mean, it’s just kind of your classic, like endless scroll of content. It looks like somebody is putting a lot of content up in September of 2021, like 10 posts a day.

Um, and it’s a classic example of where it looks like this site kind of spanned. Uh, across and into, um, you know, other, like, cartoon pirate jokes. I’m not sure how related that is to Halloween. Um, you know, I guess you could dress up as a pirate for Halloween. But, you know, I’m gonna, I’ll just let it go there.

Um, in terms of, uh, traffic, it gets hardly any traffic at all. I had Ahrefs pulled up, but I’ve since gotten logged out since we started the podcast. So I’m not gonna try to go back up into it there. But it was ranked in, like, what’s 

Tony: that? It was tumbleweeds. There’s nothing 

Jared: there that it really ranks for. I don’t know if you have it up.

I think it was like 1300 keywords and stuff. But it does have some top 10 rankings. And so that was maybe one thing to share. Like, there are some rankings still. Like, I think werewolf jokes it was number 3 or something like that for. Which, um, you know, this feels like one of those sites that even if you’re ranking number 3 for like Halloween jokes, I mean, you’re…

There’s such a seasonal component to this, like you’re probably getting no traffic even at number one or very little traffic at number one and you’re just getting an explosion of traffic for maybe, I don’t know, two days, right? And then that might be it. I don’t know. Do you have any experience with seasonal niches?

Tony: Uh, no, I never did it. Um, I thought about it. There was one I was going to do about trampolines. Um, and I thought, yeah, that’s, there’s going to be a summertime thing. And then after that. It’s going to die down. It’s just not worth, worth the time. But otherwise, yeah, I try to stick to evergreen topics as much as I can.

Jared: Well, and, uh, my, my screen is kind of freezing up right now. Never a good sign. Could be the internet, could be the site. Um, I mean, uh, you know, as we look around here, like, it is something that is, um, It does have ads on it. I’m not sure who is running these ads. Um, so they are making some ad revenue. Uh, we always like to pop over to the About Us page, but it’s, uh, it’s a very, you know, generic About Us page.

Um, so we can’t really learn much about it there. Um, you know, I think it’s just one of those sites that, uh, to their credit probably didn’t take them a lot of time to set up. Um, and certainly nowadays with, uh, AI, right? Like we, I mean, you could probably put this site out in a matter of minutes if you really wanted to.

So, um, they do have a Contact Us page and you can submit a joke if you’d like. Um, uh, and they have an email address. They have a Facebook page. Let’s see what the Facebook page looks like. They also have a Twitter handle. Tony, that could be your next follow. 

Tony: There we go. I’m 

Jared: not logged in, so. I got logged out of everything when I started doing the podcast here, but.

Um, yeah, so, you know, I, I think seasonal niches are, are interesting. And I thought it’d be fun to, to, to put one in for today. Um, because, uh, I mean. We talk about the seasonality component, but with, with AI, like, I don’t know, you could probably make a pretty good go at it at a site like this. There’s probably pretty little competition for it, and, uh, yeah, it’s not making much, um, throughout the year, but, you know, you might be able to just hit it big.

And then, what about a Discover play? Perhaps if they’ve lowered these requirements for Discover, you could maybe get some Discover content around that time of year. 

Tony: Yeah, for sure. But so if you create one of these sites then for every holiday, then you can just kind of ride the wave 

Jared: all year long. That’s exactly right.

Like, you know, maybe you just, uh, you know, do like, uh, Fourth of July here in the United States is big in the summer. And, and then, you know, you roll right at, what’s the next holiday after that? There’s really nothing. But you roll after that right into, you know, you got a couple here where you got Halloween and, uh, certainly Thanksgiving in the United States is in November.

And then you’ve got Christmas and the various holidays around Christmas. Um, you know, there’s all sorts of other themed, uh, seasonal type of websites you could make. But, you know, AI certainly has made this kind of a site easier. Although you have the helpful content up there, I wonder how it would fare in that.


Tony: I don’t know if this one would, uh, would do 

Jared: fairly well here. Not advice to go into, just exploring the weird niches. Um, but if you are looking for something to do on Halloween… And you, um, or perhaps you’re looking for instead of, uh, saying trick or treat to people who come to your house, perhaps you pull up halloweenjokes.

com and, uh, put the site to use, give them a little bit of traffic, because we know that’s probably the only day of the year they’ll get it. Alright, Tony, over to you for yours while I pull it up here on the screen. 

Tony: Cool, yeah. I found this one somewhere on Reddit. And it was shocking, uh, which I thought it was also a fitting for the month of, of October and Halloween.

Um, but yeah, findagrave. com, uh, it is like, uh, it’s like a Wikipedia. way of being able to get information about people’s graves. Uh, they basically crowdsource people to go around to different graves all over at least the U. S. I, I didn’t see if they went outside the U. S. and they just go to, to, uh, Edgestones or gravestones there and take a picture of it and they blog, you know, who did it, who took the picture and where, which cemetery they were at and which city, et cetera, and the names and they even get, they give them an ID number and they just, they fill in as much information as they can.

And, and you can go in there and search for family members. So you can search, they’ve got celebrities in there. Um, it’s a whole thing. So it’s, people are really passionate about it. They feature, they’ve got, they’ve got a company blog where they feature. Um, contributors every month, um, do a little write up on them because people are just really into going to, uh, some of these cemeteries and taking pictures of graves and expanding their database, 

Jared: much like Wikipedia, man, it has so many threads of Wikipedia.

Look here at the bottom. I’ve got the screen here. I try to make it bigger. I realized it’s probably a little small, but look at the breadcrumb trail they have in terms of straight structure. I mean, it’s literally mimicking like a very well done directory. Yeah. I’m impressed with it. Look at all the pictures, like these are very much user generated pictures, or submitted pictures, right?

But like, you’re right, people are very, I mean these are, I mean they’re not awesome pictures, but they’re clearly, you know, relevant pictures, and they’re tagged, and, and, wow. This is very interesting, how many pages is this site? 

Tony: Oh man, that’s a good question, I didn’t look to see, I bet, I bet it’s millions.


Jared: have a forum, look at this, they have a forum. Oh, I didn’t see the forum. That’s been all the buzz these days. Look at the forum, man. I mean, ask the community, it has 47, 500 posts. Jeez. 

Tony: Did you open it up in a new tab? Because I don’t see it. Oh, I’m 

Jared: sorry, I did open it in a new tab. Sorry, let me, let me, let me switch.

Have it. Whoops. And I just exited out of the entire thing. 

Tony: That, you had to make a mistake at some point. There it 

Jared: is. Hopefully most of the people who are my biggest critics have dropped off by now. Here, let me, here we go. Here’s the forum. Alright, those of you on YouTube, you got it. There it is. Um, yeah, ask the community seven, uh, 47, 500 last post 38 minutes ago by Ron.

Um, uh, man, I got like a whole report site issues at 1600 posts. People do care about this. 

Tony: Wow. Yeah. I totally missed that part. I’m sure it’s doing, doing pretty well with their revenue. Now monetization. It’s really smart. I don’t know if you paid close attention to how they’re doing it, but not only do they have ads.

They’ve got some really great affiliate links. Uh, one is, you can send flowers to, uh, a grave. So, when I first went on this site, I was like, alright, who’s the first person I think of that I, that I know has passed away? And I just thought of my grandpa. So I typed in his name, put in the city. And found him.

Found a picture of his gravestone there, and it was, it was pretty cool to see, like, now, once I saw that picture, I was like, ah, that’s my grandpa’s name, my grandma’s name is right under his, um, it had a, it had a very personal connection with it, so I can see how people who do, like, Ancestry. com, um, can really get into it, but, anyways, I can send To my grandpa’s grave right now if I wanted to straight from the site They’ve got a couple of different buttons there and options like on the page.

You got pulled up to send flowers there So that was a cool play. I don’t think that that’s their business But it looks like it would be an affiliate link right there that they’re doing. It definitely got some sort of integrated partnership because yeah Or it could be, maybe they rolled that out into a separate business, but maybe owned by the same company.

That’s a smart 

Jared: move. It’s very integrated. Either way. Because it took me directly to buying flowers for Benjamin Franklin’s grave. That was the one I pulled up. And, um, uh,

you know, the title of the page was coordinated with, um, with the website. And with, uh, Find a Grave. And so it does seem to be a very strong affiliate play. Or even perhaps more so, right? But, um, uh, wow, I mean. The flowers aren’t cheap. So I’ve got to imagine that, you know, there’s a healthy affiliate margin built in there.

Um, not to mention the traffic that you said it’s getting. Do you have any traffic numbers on it? I didn’t pull it up on, on, I got logged out of Ahrefs, of course, but I, do you have any similar web or Ahrefs 

Tony: traffic numbers? Nope, I pulled it up and then I closed it. I just assumed you were gonna pull it 

Jared: up.

I, well, I, I had it to pull up. I had to pull up, but I got logged out. Um, and, uh, and, uh, you know, I don’t want to 

Tony: drag it. I bet, I bet they get a lot of direct traffic. I get that a lot of people will bookmark that page, um, and 

Jared: go to it. Yeah, I think it’s really interesting to think about the possibilities.

I mean, you know, not to overdo it, but to kind of close on it. Like, it seems like a very helpful site. Like, you were able to discover your grandfather’s grave. And, I mean, it’s not just like, here it is, but it actually gives you a picture. It gives you a picture of the grave. Potentially, if someone has added that, it tells you.

And I mean, it’s, it seems like a very helpful site and I know my mom’s really into kind of connecting all the ancestry. So it seems like it touches upon a felt need in a community that is a very, you know, very, uh, tight niche really. Yeah. 

Tony: Did you see the affiliate play with ancestry. com on that site? So I was on a page and, uh, a particular grave and on the right hand side, it showed an ad for ancestry.

com and it was listing family members that they found. connection to from ancestry. com on the actual page that you’re on with findagrave. com. So you can just click on that and you start exploring the family tree. That was a smart play. I don’t know how they did it, but 

Jared: I saw another one at the bottom where you can search an online newspaper for your family name.

Uh, I didn’t see that. That’s gotta be, I’m guessing some sort of affiliate play there. You know, when you do the search, you know, I can search my, my last name and kind of go there. Um, 

Tony: or an ad. Yeah. But it’s a whole thing, man. There was one person recently in the last year or so that, uh, I had this conversation with about Ancestry.

com and he just went on for like a good hour about it. He was passionate about it and I had no idea this was a thing, but once I had that experience with him and then I see this site and I’m like, okay, like this is something that people get really passionate about. And what a great, what a great 

Jared: niche website to build.

What a great, I mean, certainly there’s sub niches inside of all this that have probably not been. Explored and and are available. You know, again, that’s a good reminder. We like to have fun with the weird niches, but really, there’s so many ways and I think what we’re trying to always showcase is there’s so many ways and so many ideas, but also Just perusing through all the different monetization methods, all the different traffic methods.

Um, we didn’t even explore like, the whole, like, there, there could be a whole blog side of their, um, that I didn’t see, but in terms of content that they can create and, uh, around that, you know, it’s certainly, um, as it relates to ancestry and all that, but they’re, just really gets your mind going, you know, I typically leave one of these going, Oh, I’ve got another side project I could start.

I just tell myself, no, I’ve got enough of those. 

Tony: Don’t do it. Don’t do it. 

Jared: Well, I think that that brings us full circle here. Um, Tony, thanks for filling in. Um, you were great at the news, obviously a lot to talk about. We had the wrap up of the core update from October. We had, um, some helpful content update, uh, data coming in from Mediavine.

Reuters shared with the world about what SGE might or might not do. We talked about some changes as a result of Google’s antitrust lawsuit. And of course, Google discovered side hustle. Amazon Influencer seems to be back. A couple weird niches, one seasonal, one a bit morbid, but very helpful all around.

Awesome, yeah. Everybody, thanks for coming by, have a great weekend, and we’ll see you again next week right back here. See ya, everybody.

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