Welcome back to another episode of the Niche Pursuits News Podcast with Spencer and co-host Jared Bauman, of 201 Creative.
This week they talk about the latest problems for Google, their side hustles, and some very strange niche sites. You won’t want to miss this one!
They kick off this episode by talking about how Google employees recently expressed their dissatisfaction with search results after the Reddit blackout.
In response, Google CEO Sundar Pichai acknowledged the issue and introduced a new feature called “perspectives” to address it, a move that shows that Google is trying to balance AI-generated content with human perspectives.
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Jared and Spencer discussed how bloggers who provide unique human perspectives and hands-on experiences can benefit from this change, highlighting the importance of honesty, expertise, and authenticity in search results.
Spencer also shared his thoughts about Google’s plans with its search generative experience, as it’s clear that people want well-researched human reviews in the search results. Also, the fact that the Reddit debacle has got Google’s attention is great news for content creators and bloggers.
Jared and Spencer then talked about more bad news for Google.
Google is getting in hot water on YouTube and across the web as they haven’t been complying with the agreed characteristics of the ads they display on websites. This is relevant for content creators and niche site owners as they often have ads displayed through Ezoic, Mediavine, or AdThrive.
Tons of companies, large and small, have been paying for video ads and Google has been charging them but hasn’t been complying with the agreed characteristics of the ads and hasn’t been transparent or accurate in how the videos are being displayed.
The big question that Spencer and Jared ask is how this affects us as website owners and content creators. Listen in to hear more about their thoughts on this topic.
Then Spencer shared some reviews of the podcast on Apple Podcasts Reviews and asks people to leave a review and he will read your name and website on their next podcast episode.
In the Shiny Object Syndrome portion of the podcast, Spencer begins by talking about his new WordPress plugin, Rank Logic, which is now available. He talks about the challenges behind creating a plugin and preparing for the launch. Rank Logic offers users a better way to track their SEO performance.
Jared talked about his side hustle using the Amazon Influencer Program, of which he has officially been a member for 30 days. He was happy to report that he broke the $1000 mark in his first month, a trend that will likely continue even if he doesn’t keep uploading videos. He also talks about his daily earnings and the possibilities of growing his income even further.
In the Weird Niche Site portion, Jared goes first and talks about Hire Goats, a site that lets you rent goats and have them come and manicure your property.
The site was created in 2017 and has a DR of 26 although it’s only ranking for 260 keywords. The 7-page site does, however, rank number one for all keywords related to renting goats, and although it’s a very glitchy experience and it’s a directory website, it’s very possible that they’re earning some money from it.
When the hosts click around, they see that the goat landscaping website links to HireSheep.com. It’s a whole world of possibilities!
Then Spencer talks about his weird niche site, Random Word Generator which, as the name suggests, lets you generate random words, numbers, and phrases with certain characteristics. It’s monetized with ads and gets 1.3 million organic visitors per month from Google and potentially 3 of 4 million visitors per month in total.
It has a DR of 72 and has really capitalized on all kinds of random generators, from dinner ideas to Bible verses, and could be earning at least $50k per month. As Jared and Spencer dig a little deeper, it looks like the creator has a whole network of successful sites.
This conversation and Spencer and Jared’s ideas are sure to get the creative juices flowing, so don’t miss this episode!
Spencer: Hey everyone, welcome back to the Niche Pursuits podcast. Today we are recording an episode of This Week in Niche Pursuits News. And I am your host, Spencer Haas over at NichePursuits. com. And I’ve got Jared Bauman with me, my co host. Jared, how are you doing today?
Jared: Very well. Another week, more news to report, and a new location again for me.
So but happy to be here and we’ve got some really fun things to talk about. I’d say this is a… A week, you know full of drama in the news that we’re going to be talking about so
Spencer: excited Yeah, a little bit of drama you’re traveling around you’re on vacation But you’re taking a break to talk about the drama in the search engine news here and It is.
It’s a good week. So we, we are going to jump into two things. I mean, Google’s kind of in hot water for sort of two things, if you will. And so we’re going to talk about that and jump into that because it applies specifically to bloggers. But then of course, we’re going to move on to our second segment, which is our.
Side Hustle Shenanigans, where we’re gonna each talk about a couple of side projects that we’re working on. And then finally we’re gonna bring it home with our One Weird Niche, where each of us talk about a weird niche site that we found out in the wild, out on the internet. That may be doing well or maybe not doing well, but maybe we’ll provide a chuckle either way.
You’ve got a really weird one. I, I saw the name, but I, I don’t know what it’s all about. So you guys Your in the
Jared: wild reference was very apropos. Let’s just put it that way. Yes,
Spencer: is. Yes, it is. So stick around if you want to understand that slight inside joke for later. So Let’s jump into it, shall we?
Yeah, it’s funny,
Jared: you know, to kick it off, you say, Google’s in hot water, and I’m sure everyone listening is thinking, I could think about ten things right now that Google might be in hot water over, and we have two of them today,
Spencer: so… We do. And so let’s jump into the news. We have two particular topics all surrounding Google, as you mentioned, that you know, we, we could have pulled, there, there was about a dozen sort of news things with AI and search engines and all sorts of technology happening, but I think we’re going to focus on these two, and so I am going to share my screen here, of course, but basically for this first one Google executives had a meeting where their employees are not happy with the search results after the reddit blackout.
So, let me explain what’s going on here and how that applies to us. So, here we go. So, essentially, if people remember, Reddit had this blackout where a lot of subreddits sort of protesting Reddit and some of the decisions that were made there, decided, hey, we’re gonna go dark and sort of make a statement, make a stand against what’s going on.
And so A traditional search query for a lot of people that has gotten a lot of coverage recently is you type something in, maybe it’s a review of the product, and then you append the word Reddit to it, so, so best microphone, Reddit, right or best, Laptop, computer, Reddit. And people would do this because they get answers from individuals.
You know, people on Reddit. These are truly people with Reddit accounts. They just type in and say, Hey, I bought this microphone. It’s great. And here’s why X, Y, Z. And then there’s a whole thread from, you know, 100 users talking about the pros and cons of the microphone. And so it’s really kind of great content to get real user reviews.
And so that’s why people do that search query. But when Reddit… went through this blackout period the results were gone from Google because they didn’t exist. They quickly became sort of de indexed, if you will. They, they didn’t pull up in Google, and so instead, the first results in Google were, were our sort of traditional blogs and articles, which Maybe this is not a good sort of view of, of us as the niche site world, right?
But, many people that work at Google and many, you know, Reddit users and other people that use these queries were very unhappy with the search results. They felt like it’s spam filled, it’s all these blog 3, 000 words long and just aren’t giving me that answer quickly, it’s filled with ads. Et cetera, et cetera.
Okay. So did I explain that? Well, sort of agitate the problem of what was going on here.
Jared: Totally. I mean, I think that if you are in the niche website community, then you need to know that when people, that people often take your search term and add the word Reddit to the end of it, and it’s because they’re trying to get basically a more authentic result, and then this whole community of people that do that, it really went haywire when, I mean, what was it like?
I mean, a lot of Reddit went dark, as it were, during this protest a couple weeks ago, and many of them haven’t come back online, and so it was a big deal for Reddit, but now we’re seeing the results, we’re seeing it play out in search, basically.
Spencer: Yeah, exactly. And so when Google… Employees are raising this issue.
I mean, there’s sort of this groundswell of, Hey, we need to change. We need to do something. And Google is listening, right? So the CEO, I’m highlighting this quote here. The CEO Sundar Pinchai chimed in to say that users don’t want blue links as much as they want more comprehensive answers. That’s why they add the name of foreign sites like Reddit to their searches.
He had, right. So he, the CEO is aware of this. And so their answer to all of this, well, one of their answers, right, is that we can see this week or recently. And this week they they’ve rolled out something called perspectives, a dedicated perspectives feature. And on search engine round table, there is an article.
Where people got some screenshots of these perspectives being displayed in the Google search results. So people can see these, right? That when you do a search query, it you know, this query I assume was best AI detection tools or something along those lines. You can see that there’s a perspectives carousel here below that, you know, pulls in.
Reddit quotes or pulls in Quora or Tik Tok or Twitter, or I think it’s going to include, you know, several other places, lots of forums, right, that pull in these answers, perspectives from individual users. So we can see that that is being rolled out and Google is trying to tackle this problem. So having said all that, Jared, what do you think of this?
Jared: it’s very inter, obviously, you know, this ties into the Google search generative experience. We know that is something that’s been getting rolled out and then tested. I found this interesting. I’ll, I’ll read this out. It’s, it’s more like an add on to what you, to what you brought up. Let me find what the correct tab here.
Laura Levin, a Google spokesperson. I a spokeswoman told CNBC in a statement that they believe search satisfies the overwhelming majority of user needs. But a feature like a perspectives filter is now a part of how they’re making sure people continue to find things most helpful So I think it’s interesting.
They’re calling this a filter and I tried to get these results I try to get perspective results on various queries including the one I think that Glenn Gabe was using in this search engine Any article you have up on the screen here? I couldn’t get it to load So but I mean it’s It’s, I think Google, what they’re trying to do, if I could just be overly summarizing is they’re trying to keep you in a Google environment, even though you might want to go to a TikTok or a Reddit by nature.
And so they’re hedging their bets that if they can bring that content into your Google experience, you’ll stay with Google instead of just with this recent Reddit problem, just saying, forget it. I’ll just leave the Google platform and I need to make this search instead of modifying my search and adding the word Reddit on the end of it.
Continuing to use Google, continuing to get Google ads placed in front of me. I’ll just abandon. And they want to avoid that happening. And I think they’re using perspectives, the filter, as they call it, to keep you in Google, but still get to experience say Tik TOK content. Right,
Spencer: exactly. And I sort of highlighted this image that, you know, shows the arrow pointing to the perspectives filter, right?
Almost, you know, where you have. Videos or images, right? You can click on the perspectives and I assume that will pull up, you know, a whole whole list of perspectives, but they’re going to give you probably a taste directly in the serps on certain queries for that. And so another angle that I find very interesting is again related to a I.
But You know, Google is kind of trying to walk a fine line here. And I, I think I mentioned this a couple of weeks ago that Google could have gone either way of, okay, we’re going all in on AI generated content, you know, the Google search generative experience, right? They’re, they’re doing that.
They’re pushing their chips in and they’re thinking they’re going to go all in on that. But now they’re seeing this huge backlash of people want human perspectives. Yes. People want the human answers. And so now they’re like what do we do? Do we give them a search generative experience or do we give them perspectives?
And I don’t know how that’s all going to end up, but I I see this as a good thing for bloggers that do it the right way. If you are providing that human perspective, if you’re truly hands on with your products or the experiences that you’re writing about that’s, that’s how you can sort of beat out the AI.
And so. I think a certain percentage of queries are going to be well served with AI. A certain percentage are going to be well served with the unique human perspective. And so you need to figure out in your business, what is appropriate for that. And so, we’ll see where Google ends up. But it, I definitely feel, after seeing this, I feel even more strongly that Google is not going to go 100% in with this search generative experience.
Like, there’s too much of an uproar, even from their employees. They want, you know, well researched you know, human reviewed type answers in the search results.
Jared: The fact that this Reddit issue is causing enough problems to cause Google to change their approach is such a good sign for all bloggers and content creators.
Because, I mean… Obviously, on a micro level, it’s never good when someone wants to go to Reddit instead of your content. On a macro level, anytime anybody’s adding the word Reddit to the end of a query, what they’re really saying is, I want someone who’s being honest, who’s being truthful, who has experience, who has expertise, and that’s not AI.
And so to your point, I mean, and as we go, probably what’s going to happen. I say probably with a healthy dose of air quotes, but since we have to have some opinion on here. Like we know, we know their machine learning has been very prominent in identifying what search intent is thus far, right? And so what gets ranked and the type of query, you know, a product page versus a blog article versus a review post is very machine learning dependent.
And so to your point, I think a lot of queries are going to still need and necessitate based on what Google learns from machine learning, a human answer, like a perspectives and what they pull from. It also speaks clearly to when you look at what’s put in perspectives, it’s very much video focused, it’s very much forum focused, it’s very much user focused.
So how can we learn from that as niche students? As content creators, like what can we learn from that? And probably the big perspective, sorry to borrow that term is we do need to be putting an emphasis in our social media content in our video content and other ways of delivering content other than just a standard blog
Absolutely. And I will add one more thing. I think direct answers are. Even more important users want less fluff. I, I, that’s, that’s a big thing that people are saying that they don’t get on Reddit. They, they go to Reddit because they get the direct answer, right? It’s, it’s, it’s there. Where they go to a blog post and it’s 3, 000 words and the first 1, 000 words are not saying anything.
Right? And so maybe historically Google has, Ranked some of that, but Google I think it was even this week. There was I don’t remember who said it, but word count does not matter. It is not a ranking factor. You, there you go. Thank you. John Mueller said that word count is not a ranking factor.
And so maybe make your content as. Concise as needed to fully answer the query. And this goes to a recent interview that you had with Oh, no. Tony Hill. Tony
Jared: Hill. I was gonna bring it up. I’m glad you did. I was gonna go straight there. I did a, I did a question on Twitter this week and Tony Hill responded by saying the exact same thing.
He’s like, Here’s what I’m doing. I’m bringing the answer right up to the top. And he talked about that at length in the podcast.
Spencer: So Tony Hill’s been doing that. I started doing that gosh. It’s been several, you know, eight or nine months ago. I had a very sort of direct discussion with my authors of like, we gotta get rid of this fluff in, in the intros, right?
We got like three, four hundred word intros. It’s like, could be a sentence. Just say, let’s do this, right? Like, just list. Here’s the answer. And so I’ve been doing that. And anyways, that’s something that I think ties into all of this that people should be thinking about. Totally
Jared: agree. Yep. Totally agree.
This is a big news story. If you read into what it means and you read beyond just the perspectives and Reddit side of things and you really look
Spencer: at it. Exactly. Exactly. Very good. We have got another big story. Google again is in some hot water, and so let’s, let’s cover this. Let’s see here. I am going to, so there was a big study done by Analytics.
Some sort of analytics company. Where they looked at all the money that big advertisers are spending on video ads. So it starts with YouTube ads. And a lot of those ads can then be displayed on what’s called the Google Video Network. I may be getting that phrase wrong, but it’s like the Google Video Network kind of like the Google Display Network so that your, your videos can, your video ads can be shown on other websites, not just YouTube.
Adalytics, here’s the big article, did Google mislead advertisers about TrueView skippable, skippable in stream ads for the past three years? And Adalytics claims that yes, they basically misled advertisers, made them spend way more money. Advertisers didn’t know that all their video ads were going to be on these websites in a certain way.
So let me explain, TrueView is a… Google product essentially, right? It’s the skippable in stream video ads that appear on our websites, our blogs, right? So this is the tie for niche website builders. If you’re using Mediavine, Adthrive, Ezoic, any ad platform that displays video ads. This is what we’re talking about.
And so true view is Google’s propriety, proprietary cost per view choice based ad format that serves on YouTube’s millions of apps. And across the web, so it’s the apps and across the web where Google’s getting in hot water. And they give a good breakdown. Let’s see if I can find exactly where it says that.
Basically Google promises, and now I’m not going to find it, that your ads… Yeah. need to be from memory. It’s somewhere basically that… Go up to the
Jared: top, it’s at the top of the article there, almost, just a little bit
Spencer: below the fold. That they need to be. Okay. True view. Advertisers only pay for actual view of their ads rather than impressions.
TrueView asks users if they want to skip, okay, this isn’t what I wanted. Basically I’ve got it if you want. What’s that? I’ve got it
Jared: if you want Here, you
Spencer: can read it out. Yeah. I assume you know what I’m talking about. Yeah. Yeah. So
Jared: true view. I’ll just go through the bullet, the bullet points they’re promised, they pay a lot of money for ads.
It will play on high quality sites. They will play before a page’s main video content begins. They’ll play only with the audio on and it will play only after a viewer initiates it, and they will only have to pay for ads that aren’t skipped.
Spencer: Thank you. That’s exactly what I’m looking for. Right? Yes, so basically, can’t be muted, don’t autoplay without the user interaction.
That, that’s kind of the big ones, I think. Yeah. And so, as you know, like, I could pull up lots of websites And those ads, they do autoplay, you know, they’re in the bottom footer or sidebar or whatever. They autoplay, we’ve seen them all. And they are always muted, at least in my experience. And so those are two, two big things, right?
And they, so they all happen without user interaction. And there’s a ton that, that analytics, you know, covers here, a lot of data, right? The distribution of where everything’s happening. And they’re saying, Invalid true view is happening 51% of the times. Okay. And then, Oh, and then on mobile 22% of the time, right?
So that’s a total of 73% of the time it they’re saying it’s an invalid, you know, sort of view that advertisers have been paying for. And then they list out. Here’s a bunch of huge companies that over the last two or three years, you know, have been paying for these types of ads. Wall street journal, the United States government, the European parliament, Johnson and Johnson, HP, Ernst and Young, Bayer, Newark, yada, yada, yada.
The list goes down and down. Basically all large companies and tons of small companies have been paying for video ads. Right. And then. Let me go into Google’s response to this. So Google immediately responded, you know, sort of the day after this big case study, or this article was written, and said, you know, transparency and brand safety on Google Video Partners.
And they go through and basically say that Google Video Partner Network is effective. It’s a compliment to your YouTube campaigns. Advertisers are totally in control. Ad inventory across the Google video player partner network is more than 90% viewable, which is well above industry norms, right? So they say all these positive things, but I noticed in reading this, they did not address the fact that videos do autoplay and they are on mute Google.
Google. Unless I’m missing it, did not respond to those two big things. So, what are your thoughts on all this, Jared?
Jared: Well, first off, their response sounds like a parent asking their kid, Why did you get a bad grade in the test? And their response is, Well, I’ve gotten good grades before. Yeah, yeah, but what about this test?
The one you got an F on? But I’ve gotten good grades on previous tests. I understand that, but this is the test we’re talking about here. And like their response was very much like, well, we’re the best in the industry. We use a third party company to verify our ads and 90% of them are viewable. And it’s like, yeah, but you didn’t actually respond to what you promised advertisers, which is, Hey, you won’t get charged unless your ad meets this set of criteria, which is a high bar, but we’re going to charge you a lot of money for it.
Anytime you’re selling a premium service. You need to deliver and you need to have transparency on that delivery because people are paying a high price for it. So I totally agree with you in response. I do have some questions I want to ask you, by the way, but we can get to that. But in terms of their response, that’s exactly how I felt was.
Are we talking on two different wavelengths here? Cause they didn’t respond to any of the things that actually mattered with this
Spencer: claim. Yeah. Yeah. That’s pretty much how I felt as well. I mean, they do point out, you know, it’s a strong platform and you can get tons of coverage and exposure to your brands by using the Google video partner network.
Right. But the idea is just have they truly been transparent and accurate and how these videos are being displayed. Right. Is, is sort of the, the thing, and then there’s a good summary article here on search engine land as well. That kind of covers some of the, the high level points. Yeah.
Jared: Yeah, I mean, I, I guess not to get too niche, not to niche down on it too much, but one of my questions for you was, how does it affect people like us, publishers?
Do we get paid? Are we, have we been getting paid for these I will say inauthentic ads that are video ads that are being served. Are we getting paid because the vendors getting paid? Does this now change what we get paid for? Does this change how video ads load? Does it change video ads? Effective effectability going forward.
If there are any changes from a Google perspective, if advertisers. You know, see this and feel the effects of it. Do they stop spending as much on ads here and do our say RPMs drop? So these are some of my big level questions. Does it affect us at all?
Spencer: Right. That is exactly where my head’s at as well. And of course we don’t know, but I think it comes down to the bottom line of Google, the dollars.
At the end of the day right now it’s, it’s sort of a PR nightmare for them. They’ve had to respond quickly to this and say, Hey, you know, like we explained we’re, we’re doing well, but we, maybe we’ll find out over the next or Google will find out over the next few weeks. Do they see advertising dollars retract?
Are people now opting out of the Google video network? And if they start seeing that happening more and more, they’d be like, okay, whoa. We need to change how we’re paying that out, where we’re displaying things. Maybe ads no longer are autoplay and they make sure you do a user does have to click play on your website, you know, to watch that video.
And that could definitely change. The payouts, right? That, that we’re getting, right? If, if we were getting paid on that autoplay muted video, but now they have to click play, I imagine your RPM is gonna be much lower. So we don’t know, but the ball is rolling in that direction that maybe changes do need to be made.
Jared: mean, I will say that, and this is, goes across all the, I mean, I have websites on all three of the big networks you’ve already referenced AdThrive, Raptive, I use both because I never know who, you know, yeah, for a year or so and they’ll just sunset AdThrive, AdThrive, Raptive, Mediavine, Ezoic, I’m always amazed by how well the video ad component pays and so I just, I do wonder how much of that has to do with some of these things that are happening that maybe a brand like an American Express or something doesn’t really realize is happening, you know?
Spencer: Exactly. I agree. So. We’ll see, you know, this is early on. It’s news. That’s why we cover it. It’s sort of brand new, right? And so we will find out and and we’ll let everybody know What what is happening? What is happening in the industry and we’ll see if That is going to change Anything for us as niche website creators never
Jared: a dull moment here with Google.
I’ll tell you if it’s not AI we’re talking about It’s our industry’s version of scandal.
Spencer: Exactly. This is, this is as scandalous as it gets, I think. So so let’s move on to our next segment now, before we do actually, I want to do something a little bit different. You know we’ve been doing the podcast for many years and we’ve been doing niche pursuits news here for a little while and we do get some reviews in different places.
People seem to enjoy the podcast and one place, one of the best places to leave a review is on apple, you know, apple podcast. That’s where a lot of people can discover the niche pursuits podcast. And so I thought I’d take the opportunity to read a recent review. So
Jared: this. If it’s about me, can we skip it?
I don’t want any disparaging, ruining my Friday here, you know.
Spencer: Well, it doesn’t mention you by name. And so you’re in luck. This is a five star review. And again, this is just… This is just the most recent review that I’m going to read. I don’t even know the person’s name other than it’s D smore one.
Okay. And they say that the podcast is helpful and incisive. You always get valuable tips and perspectives from every single interview. Great resource. And thank you. So a five star review on Apple podcast review. So. I’m gonna put out a call for people listening to leave a review. Whatever you’re doing right now, why don’t you pull up your phone.
You’re right. Unless you’re in the gym, maybe in the middle of lifting weights or washing dishes or something. But go ahead and pull up your phone. Leave a review. Go over to, to you know, apple Podcasts. Leave a review and I will read your name and website. If you leave your website. On our next podcast, right?
How’s that sound? I, I can’t do everyone, but I will read a couple of the recent reviews that we get on our next episode.
Jared: I mean, the podcast thankfully has been, has been growing, but we do a terrible job reminding people that. One of the number one ways, one of the number one of the ways, one of the top ways that people find these is, is because of a large number of positive reviews.
So reviews really do help. And we probably should remind people about that more often be at the top of that list. I never say a thing about it.
Spencer: It’s all good. We’re, we’re putting on our plug now. So let’s go ahead and talk about our. What do we call it? Our shiny object shenanigans. Yes, so let’s talk about those.
We’ve each got, you know, side projects that we’re working on. You know, I’ll go first here because this is one that I’ve been working on for about a year now on the side. And as mentioned last week, I am launching RankLogic. And in fact, I just did that this morning. And so RankLogic is my brand new WordPress plugin.
that I just released to the world just this morning, just an hour or two ago. And it’s really exciting to finally get it out the door. All the hard work we’ve been putting in behind the scenes, developing the plugin, it’s a lot of work. And I found out. Here over the last couple of weeks, just how much work it is to get the checkout process, the email sequence to make sure the plugin files are all delivered.
The support tutorials all created the support ticketing system, all integrate. There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes to make sure when somebody buys, it all goes really smooth. And so it’s, it’s launched. It’s out the door. We’ve got, I’ve got a few customers already. I checked right before the podcast, so that’s great.
Everything’s working properly. But rank logic is really just a faster and better way to track your SEO performance overall. It gives you keyword rankings, of course, but lets you dial down to the page level to see all the keywords each individual page is ranking for. To track those rankings over time, it tracks your content updates for you automatically.
So you can see on your traffic graph, Hey, I made an update here. And now I can see my rankings have gone up here. And so it was a good update and a whole lot more. One thing that I use it a lot for is to group different baskets of content. So right now I’m putting all of my A. I. Assisted articles into one basket.
And so I’ve got, you know, call it 30 or 40 articles that now I can see the traffic take. To just those 30 or 40 articles, you know in, in a group, right? I can see that, Hey, they’re getting 800 visitors a day or whatever that is. And my whole website as a whole is getting much more than that. But I can see that this basket of content is increasing over time.
And so it allows you to kind of slice and dice and analyze your SEO performance much better. So.
Jared: I was thinking about you this morning. I was preparing some July operational things for our team in terms of some of our websites, not our clients, but our websites that we build. And we, a couple months ago, back in February and March, tried out a new content agency for one of our websites.
And they, I think we hired them about 40 or 50 posts. They went live throughout March and April. And I’ve been So Trying to look at them and the way to look at them without rank logic is to take the URLs that are tagged in our tracking spreadsheet as this agency and then run like a V lookup table that I have against a export of analytics traffic, which already sounds messy, right?
And then I can look and the good news is the content is doing very well and it’s up 50% In June from May. So that’s good. The bad news is that took me about 10 minutes to put together and I was, I’m pretty good at it. So, you know, after years of experience, it still takes me about 10 minutes to just find out how is the content that agency is publishing?
How’s it doing? And I was thinking, man, I got to get rank logic hooked up and get, get this thing going. So anyways, congratulations. You said there was like a delay. Weren’t you going to launch yesterday? And you were saying it was a, it was a pain, but there was a little bit of
Spencer: delay, right? Yep, exactly. The plan was to launch yesterday, but as explained, there’s just a lot of things that you got to tie in all the loose ends and really I could have launched and been just fine, but there was just a very minor hiccup.
With. Anyways, I, I won’t go into all the details, but the, the plugins, great, everything probably would have been fine. But for my particular process, I saw a minor issue and I thought, Oh, this could be a problem. So we got that buttoned up yesterday and we launched today instead.
There’s no better feeling than just getting that out the door after a year plus of work. Like it’s out now. And yeah, there’s still so much work to do to, to market it. You know bugs will come back and we know all that stuff. Right. But like just to ship the product is such a big accomplishment.
Exactly. And so I think I let the cat out of the bag a little bit last week in saying that where RankLogic is today is not where it will be eventually. So, yes.
Jared: I’m not going to try to draw more out of you. Notice my, I’m not. Yeah, that’s right. I’m trying to, trying to keep it walk the tightrope this week after drawing out too much from you last week.
Spencer: That’s right. If people want to listen to last week, they can do that to get those nuggets. But, but basically, I mean, the plan is to continue developing. And I have a couple of new, very exciting features that I will be adding. But just know that, I mean, where it is today, it’s, it’s awesome. It’s useful.
And it is a great tool. But it’s just going to get. So if people want to check that out, they can go to ranklogic. com. It’s as simple as that. Go to ranklogic. com. I’d love people to check it out. I will just say that the price that I’m selling it for today and for the first, you know, launch period of about 10 days, that is the lowest price it will ever be.
And so I won’t do a black Friday. No, it’s as low as the launch price or anything like that. Like this is the lowest it’ll ever be. So if you want to get in now’s the time to do it. So ranklogic. com I’ll move on from there, but I’m super excited. It’s a side project I’ve been working on for a long time that yeah, is finally going to generate some revenue.
Jared: great. And it’s what two hours old,
Spencer: two hours old, fresh. So this is news.
Jared: You’re right. This is breaking news.
Spencer: Breaking news right here. You heard it, heard it here first.
Jared: Well, I, this week hit the 30 day mark or one month mark on Amazon influencer program, which we’ve talked a lot about on the podcast.
I feel like it’s been a side project you and I’ve shared. I’ve talked about how having to just hear you talk about it for about a month or two kind of really got me excited about it. So. Oh, just over a month ago, signed up, you have to get your videos approved, got approved. And so it’s been 30 days of monetization now.
And yeah, this is such a new program for a lot of us. I know it’s been around for a while, but it feels new to what I would say to most of the community, right? Most people I mention it to are like, What’s this? Or, I just recently heard about that. So, it’s all well and good, but the first 30 days are so intriguing to get a report on.
And I, I went about it a little differently than you in that I really made a big go of it in the first 30 days. Whereas you kind of dipped your toe in and kind of just did a little here, a little there. Not that one’s right or wrong, but certainly we can get a really interesting insight into maybe more if you dip your toe in and you reported on your first month or so, and then if you kind of go more of this kind of crazy route I did, which was publishing a lot more.
So, the cat’s out of the bag, but a couple days old now, I sent a big email out on Tuesday, I think. But I broke 1, 000 in the first month. It took till the day 30, but I did break a thousand dollars. 1, 025 was the total first month amount. And I think that’s really encouraging. I think that’s a really good amount.
I, we talked last week about how we thought it’d be a thousand, but it’s officially in now it’s over a thousand dollars in the
Spencer: first month. That’s huge. Congrats. I mean, I genuinely am very excited for you. I think it does show that you can start, call it a side hustle, and within 30 days, you’re making 1, 000 a month.
And you’ll, I mean, it probably will be per month, right? Like, that’s gonna continue. Even if you stop creating videos. You’re going to keep making money, right? But of course i’m sure you have plans to continue to scale and grow it even more I love it. I mean you got there way faster than I did you know, it’s been six months for me or something like that.
But I Think in the last 30 days or 28 days, I think is the report is you know, like 933 so you’ve shot past me just just barely there Great job.
Jared: Well, and I just, I actually, I, I haven’t checked today, but I just pulled it up cause they report on your phone. So I’m averaging about yesterday was 68 a day.
If I look at the day before, so that was June 28th. If I look at June 27th, that was 70. So you know, I mean if you’re averaging 70 a day across a full month, that’s actually about 2, 000 a month, right? I think you’re right. I think that’s really indicative of what the first month is, but there’s a runway that’s been created with with the videos I already have.
And then with the plans to publish more content, you could see how this could easily, I say easily, but I do mean easily. Like I really do. This could easily get to. 3, 000 to 5, 000 a month if I were to publish maybe double the number of videos I currently have. You know, so again, if I’m on a pace to do 2000 in my first month with the 229 videos I uploaded in the first month, perhaps doubling that to maybe four or 50 or 500 videos, that’s where you start talking that 3, 000 to 5, 000 a month.
And that’s for many. Job replacement income or buy a house, you know, mortgage payment income or some things that really matter. So, I, I think it’s encouraging for those listening. Granted there is that barrier to entry. You have to have some sort of qualified social media following to get in the door, but once you get that.
It’s a, it’s a, yeah, I think a pretty good side hustle opportunity and I think we can now kind of say it because it’s coming up. We have several upcoming interviews on the podcast all about the influencers program. So there, I kind of cat’s out of the bag on that one. It’s coming. I don’t know. I should have looked at the schedule, but very
Is it, is it next week we start that series? I believe it’s next Wednesday,
Jared: yep. Wonderful, so you know we’re gonna be talking about a lot in the podcast in the coming weeks as well, so those of you who are listening to this during the news can, can know that’s coming in the coming weeks in terms of the interviews we do.
Spencer: Yeah, absolutely. So what are your plans to scale this, grow this? What, what’s next? And, and I know that if, if I recall, you were starting to run out of things to review in your own house, you had started to review maybe family or neighbors or something. Is that the plan to kind of keep doing that people, you know, just to, Hey, can I come over for a couple hours and Still a bunch of your Amazon products to create videos
Well, there’s a couple of things. So I am running low on products we bought on Amazon, but I, what I realized, and I, before I went on vacation, I did spend some time going through the house and suffice it’d be a long conversation, but there’s a bunch of stuff we purchased that we didn’t buy on Amazon, i.
e. I don’t see it in my order history, but they do sell on Amazon. And so you can make videos about that. So I have another hundred. Products that surface out of that here, I’ll just tell you they in the app, you can take a picture. Something in your house of a living room and it will tell you everything in the room that’s for sale in Amazon and give you the ASIN number.
Spencer: way. Yeah. I did not know that. Yep. So there you have it. That’s
Jared: cool. So I found a, oops, sorry. I found a bunch of stuff there and I was also going to go to my my parents house and record a bunch of stuff before vacation. Life got crazy. Didn’t get around to it. We’ll do it when I get back. So start hitting up friends and maybe friends and family and stuff.
So, you know, I definitely still a runway for a lot more videos still to come.
Spencer: Yeah. Oh, cool. So, there you go. Like, I, I really do think if somebody hustles like Jared’s doing between their own house, family, friends, whoever yeah, you could, you could give it three, four hundred videos up and, and be doing quite well.
Jared: mean, I’m hanging out with family this week. It was Sunday. We’re hanging out. We’re going to do a pool party and cook some barbecues some burgers up and I look over at the grill and I’m like, that’s a nice grill. I took a picture. There it is on Amazon. Whipped out my camera and made myself a two minute video.
Spencer: Wow. Look at you working on vacation. So, you know, you’re the
Jared: one who gave me the idea last week. Last week you told me to scour the house of my in laws, you know, so. That’s
Spencer: right. Oh, that’s cool. I did not know about the app. I, I’m going to tell the people that are helping me create videos about that, that might actually speed up their process, finding additional products.
Jared: exactly. I got a lot out of it. So anyways, cool. We can, we to say it’s, it’s fun, but, but we got to move on. We’ve got the, the my highlight of the the, the, the news podcast every week, which is still to come.
Spencer: Yep, exactly. So let’s do that now. Let’s go on to one weird niche. Each of us have found a weird niche site to share here on the podcast where we talk about, yeah, what the site is, maybe if it’s making any money that sort of thing.
I think you’re first up on the list. Do you want to go ahead and do it? Well,
Jared: sure thing. I, I had a feeling I might be going first. I was pointed up and of course I got logged out here, but I’ve
Spencer: got… I’ve got your stuff pulled up right here. I can share your screen. Perfect.
Jared: So my, my weird niche this week is, and and you know, if you remember Spencer’s pun from earlier in the podcast about the outdoor niche, it’s a higher goats.
com. Now I will say that it’s exactly what you think it is. It’s a I think it’s a U S map and listing website for hiring goats to come to your yard. And I don’t want to, I don’t want to oversimplify it, but I’ll read what they say. Managed goat grazing has all sorts of benefits besides the obvious manicuring properties for your lawn.
It can also minimize negative environmental impacts. They can be utilized as a sole tool for vegetation management outcomes. It’s a very fancy way of saying that goats will eat your grass for you and probably also fertilize it at the
Spencer: same time. Yes, indeed. I’m sure they will. And so
Jared: it’s pretty cool. It says a complete directory of goats working on landscapes.
And basically what you do is they put you in touch with someone in your area that you can rent goats from to come to your property. You the goats. Their directory is, is not great. Their map is glitchy to say the least. I noticed that. It’s a little bit, it’s one of those things where it just kind of constantly glitches and shakes while you, while you load it.
But it does work. A couple of facts about the site, just cause I know people are always asking. It was created in 2017, so it’s been around for six years now. It is a DR 26, but it only ranks for 260 keywords or so. So it ranks, does not rank for many keywords. So when you’re in that Ahrefs, the Ahrefs overview screen, you’re thinking, ah, this is just one of those sites that was a good idea and never went anywhere.
Not so much though, even though it’s only seven pages, the whole site is seven pages. It ranks number one for rent a goat. 1900 searches per month, and it ranks number one for rent a goat. So, I mean, seven pages, a terribly glitchy website experience, and it ranks number one for rent a goat, which is, I would say, a fairly monetized keyword.
Spencer: Yes, indeed. Goat rental, number one. Rent a goat, number one. Goat rental near me, number one. Etc. So, interesting. So do the people that own this website actually rent out any goats or are they purely a directory website?
Jared: I don’t even see an about. They have a why hire goats kind of article or resource which is which is what I where I learned about why you would hire a goat.
They have a contact page. They have an opportunity to get listed on their website. And from what I could understand, that is a paid service because you can add a three year listing you can update a listing you know, it, it has questions almost like a directory I, I don’t know much about who, who made this the copyright is updated for 2023.
They do have apparently social media accounts. I actually have to say I didn’t check and see if they’re active. Here’s Instagram. You can follow me on Instagram at higher. goats.
Spencer: There you go. So a couple of interesting things I’m seeing here is podcast episodes. What? So I, I don’t know if this is podcast episodes they were on.
I mean, it looks like it, you know, Slate. And mother earth news and friends. And so maybe they were a guest with somebody, or maybe these are just podcast episodes that talk about, you know, goat landscaping and goats in general. But they got a link here in the bottom for sheep directory. And sure enough, I clicked on it.
Hiresheep. com I was going
Jared: to say, so I was about to bring that up. I mean, I was it just last week that we uncovered a whole network of websites owned by one brand. And here we go again, where we have higher goats, higher sheep. I mean, I don’t know. Can you hire a penguin to come out? I mean, how many of these do they have?
Spencer: Well, there’s a good idea. You can hire a lot of different animals. I’m sure maybe they’re not going to all do your landscaping, but you can hire a dog to be sort of a service animal, right. Or a comfort animal or. There’s, I’m sure there’s all sorts of things so I, I don’t know, I’m, I’m speechless.
Jared: I mean, I, I, I have to say that I don’t know the market for this, but I will say that you know, directories are a long and well established way to make money very easily, provided you can rank for the terms, right?
And they are ranking for the terms. They’re ranking number one for almost all the goat near me, the hiring goat topics. And so I just feel like that hard work’s been done for them and they should really go for it and, and monetize this better. I don’t know, maybe there isn’t much of a market for it, but it feels like they’ve done
Spencer: the hard work.
Yeah, exactly. So, I mean, it feels like the play here is clearly the directory, right? To get get paid from companies that want to be listed. You’re ranking number one and so Every goat. landscaping company should be listed on this website for a fee. Right. And I, I just, I don’t know if there’s that many listings, right.
To have like competition. Like I clicked on Arizona and there was one company that does it. So you really start. Yeah. The other side is
Jared: the outreach component. Like, and again, I’m not, I don’t own goats, so I don’t know if that’s a thing that most goat owners know about, but it almost feels like. Like do, if you did some outreach and said, Hey, did you know you could rent your goats out?
There’s a market. Do you want to try it out? You can get three months for free. Try out the listing. You know, and like reach out to, you know, farm owners, goat owners. I don’t know how you find them, but , an outreach component could also probably help cuz I’m gonna guess a lot of people that don’t, goats don’t realize that you can you can, you can do this, whatever it, whatever it actually looks like in practicality.
Spencer: Right. And then you know, the other thing they could probably do is just take a more blogging, SEO approach in terms of, there’s gotta be some other keywords related to goats. And again, I don’t know their business model. I don’t know if they’re actually renting out goats themselves or they’re just a directory company.
I have to think they’re just a, a directory company at this point. But maybe they could add a bunch of content related to goats and maybe even. You know, the care of goats and et cetera, right? There could be a lot of ways they could be getting traffic and then they can monetize that traffic in other ways as well.
So maybe let’s move on to my weird niche site here. It’s not as weird, that is for sure. You beat me on the weirdness scale, Jared, congrats. You are the winner today on that, no doubt. But mine gets more traffic, so maybe I’m the winner on, you know, more successful website potentially.
Jared: I don’t think the HireGoats website is succeeding in a lot of areas, so you probably do have me on that one.
It was a pretty
Spencer: low bar, yeah. So this this site that I’m gonna share is randomwordgenerator. com. And so it’s exactly what you think it is. You can come into the random word generator. Let’s generate one verb. Word. Let’s make it a noun. Let’s first letter. I imagine I can, you know, not have that.
Is there any words that an end in an L? Right? And there you go. Proposal. That is our random word that starts with a P ends with an L right. And, and so you can do all sorts of things and just create generating random words, maintenance, technology, advice, advertising, state currency. Why people do this.
I’m not 100% sure, but there’s, you know, maybe brainstorming reasons. You want to come up with different words that match certain criteria. Maybe there’s board games, you know, you’re trying to cheat at Scrabble or something. I, you know, this could come in, come in handy. It’s clearly monetized with here.
We, here we are, we’re looking at the Autoplaying muted ad here that somebody’s paying for, right? So ads everywhere. There’s lots of things up here. You can generate random numbers. You can generate random phrases, random sentences. Random letters, names, verbs, nouns. Okay, I think people get the idea.
But here’s what’s really impressive. Is check out this traffic. So here I’ve got Ahrefs pulled up. 1. 3 million organic visitors. That’s a huge website, right? That’s just traffic coming from Google. That doesn’t count for direct traffic, social media traffic, right? They’re probably getting, I don’t know, 3 4 million visitors a month, potentially?
And so if I come over to the general overview, we can look at What exact phrase is, they’re a DR of 72, so very authoritative with tons of great backlinks. Random word generator, they’re number one. Charades, number one. Coin flip oh, they have a little coin flip generator, okay. Let’s view the full report because now I’m actually curious What other keywords that are ranking for random color generator random letter generator?
Yes or no generator what to draw generator? writing prompts generator Random Bible verse generator pick a number between one and two Okay, one and a half decision maker random paragraph generator, right so What they’ve really expanded on the random generator niche and it, but it’s all under this random word generator brand website, random tenor generator.
Ooh, my wife would probably actually appreciate that. Coming up with dinner ideas is always a quandary. So super successful site. They’re monetized with display ads. You know, I don’t know how much money they’re making, it’s three to 4 million visitors a month. You know, what’s the math on that? You know, 50, 000 a month, maybe.
Right. More. Easily. Gosh. Easily. Yeah. Probably way more.
Jared: Yeah. I mean, this is a classic case you’ve got to imagine of somebody because the domain name is random word generator, right? So they didn’t think about random dinner generator when they were doing this. And then they had so much success that they started adding on more and more and more.
Here we go. Yep. And it’s, it’s, it’s such a good example for us, like as you’re building out. Websites or projects like putting your energy into things that are successful and just kind of doubling down on the things that you know are successful,
Spencer: right? And I think you’ve frozen there for a second, Jared.
But yeah, you’re basically saying that once you get, you know, you get started on something that’s successful, right? They’ve got all these. Random ideas that, you know, we can now see on the screen here. Truth or dare questions, would you rather questions like we said, coin flip, Pictionary generator, motivational quotes et cetera.
So are you back with us, Jared?
Jared: I think so. My apology. I had one of those, you took the ball and ran with it. You exactly what I was saying. One thing, scroll down into the footer if you would. And take a look and we’ve seen this play out in many of these, look at the contact us, it’s an email address that’s not at random word generator.
com it’s with a different domain and if you pop over to that domain, this is not their only successful venture from what it looks like, I mean, I’m just looking right now, but boy, they have a lot of you know, what looks like very interesting. They have an article formatter. They have a headline capitalization tool.
We, I, I brought one of those to the table. Or no, you did and I’ve already been using it. Right. That was it. A random niche a couple months ago or whatever. So yeah, you guys are behind a lot of these different types of concepts. Not even just random word generator.
Spencer: Interesting. Yeah. So very cool.
So ones and ones zeros.com. I think that’s how you say it. Ones and zeros, I think. Yeah. And so they are clearly a huge company. They’re using a lot of their own tools on random word generator, right? I saw the hashtag generator and other things, but very interesting. We’ve uncovered sort of a network of sites.
With that started here at Random Word Generator, clearly a very successful site. I love it. You know, it’s, you, you take something that’s working, you expand it, you get tons of traffic, they’re making money from display ads, probably way more than 50, 000 a month, but I threw that number out there. They probably are taking that budget and now developing other tools, right, and investing that money, and not only using it to expand their own website, but potentially, you know, grow other Businesses that are now software tools and, and projects and things that can generate additional revenue for them.
Jared: it’s just amazing. It’s I mean, like you said, like, man, how do you walk into a party and people ask what you do? And, and you say, well I make six figures a month by creating websites like random word generators.
Spencer: Yeah, and it’s a conversation starter. I’m sorry. Excuse me. Yeah, absolutely Cool, so a good website.
Hopefully that’s Gets the creative juices flowing for people.
Jared: Yeah, I think we keep finding little programmatic plays on a lot of these kind of random sites. Just gets my mind going on, on what’s possible with, you know, once you get a data set or a tool like this that you can use. I mean, clearly they’re using like a dictionary API or something to generate words.
And it’s just, it’s fascinating. It’s data that’s already all
Spencer: out there. So there you have it. That is this week in niche pursuits news. We covered a lot of things, of course, the, the news, the side projects and the weird niche sites. So I hope all of you have enjoyed this episode and of course you can follow along at niche pursuits.
com. We have. More podcasts coming out all the time. The next podcast episode next Wednesday will be an Amazon influencer you know, sort of themed podcast interview. So be sure to check that out. But thanks again everybody for listening. And thank you Jared for chiming in during your vacation.
Jared: And don’t forget to leave a review there.
I got it in.
Spencer: Perfect. Please leave a review. Thank you, Jared. All right. Thank you, everybody have, have a good weekend. Bye.