Google Spam Update COMPLETE with Positive Results?


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Welcome back to the latest episode of the Niche Pursuits News Podcast, where Spencer and Jared share everything that’s happened related to Google, SEO, and publishers in the last week.

Spencer and Jared kick off the episode talking about the Google Spam Update, which has concluded after a week. They share the chatter on Twitter, where people are seeing positive results and upticks in traffic

What do Spencer and Jared think is going on?

Moving along, the conversation shifts to AI Overviews and a change in Google’s strategy where it’s posting the link cards above the AI answer. As Spencer says, this is great news for publishers, and Jared agrees that it’s a best-case scenario in the current situation.

Although this is a test, Jared makes a great if not sad point. Tune in to hear what he says.

Watch the Full Episode

And last in the news for this week, they talk about Google’s decision to drop the continuous scroll in search results. 

This feature originally launched on mobile in October 2021 and on desktop in December 2022, so it hasn’t been operational for that long. 

Spencer shares why he thinks the continuous scroll might have been advantageous and how he feels about this change, and Jared shares his opinion as well. What did Google say about it?

Before you know it, it’s time to move on to their Shiny Object Shenanigans.

Spencer goes first, and admits he can’t stop checking his Facebook stats. 

He talks about a Facebook page he’s had for about a year, with 65k followers, in a far-out niche. On June 3rd, he got accepted into the Facebook Bonus Program and started to post 15 times a day in an effort to get more engagement on the platform.

Since he got into the program, his earnings have exceeded his expectations and he’s had about 3 posts go viral.

How much did he make and how many people saw his posts? How did he come up with the ideas for the posts? He shares a lot of details, but if you want the whole scoop, consider joining the Niche Pursuits Community!

Spencer offers some great advice and also offers an update on a site that recently got accepted into Mediavine Journey.

When it’s Jared’s turn, he talks about incorporating Pinterest into his strategy. He shares what he’s doing, where he’s getting the images, the templates he’s created, how he’s testing pins, what he’s doing with boards, etc.

He shares his stats to date, even though he just started, and also gives an update on his newsletter.

Both Jared and Spencer highlight something important to remember when building a business. What mistake do most people make?

Then it’s time for some Weird Niche Sites. Spencer goes first and shares Get YouTube Thumbnail which, as the name suggests, lets you see the thumbnail for any YouTube video. He explains how and why he has used the site in the past.

The site has tons of display ads, has 9k organic visitors per month and, most interestingly, has a ton of competitors.

How much do they think the site is making per month?

When it’s Jared’s turn, he gets ready to share what he believes is the weirdest niche site ever featured on the podcast. That site is One Million Checkboxes, which is totally fascinating and indeed very, very weird.

Jared shares the backstory about the creator, some of his funny tweets, and shocking stats behind this viral site, so tune in to hear all about it.

And that concludes another episode of the Niche Pursuits News Podcast! Let us know your thoughts in the comments. See you next Friday!


Spencer: Hey everyone. Welcome back to another episode of this week in niche pursuits news. And we may actually have some good news this week, Jared. Uh, the June, 2024 Google spam update is just completed, uh, just this morning. And we may have some early results that are good. Um, there’s been some chatter on Twitter of people that had their sites hit with the helpful content update that are showing a little bit of an uptick.

And so we’re going to jump into that and talk about that. Um, so we’re going to lead off with that, but there are a couple other news stories. Uh, some, some Google updates, things they’re testing out, some tweaks. That have, uh, rolled out or potentially we’ll be rolling out here shortly that we’re going to dive into and we’ll discuss whether it’s a good thing for publishers or not.

One of them definitely could be a very good thing, uh, for publishers. So we’ll jump into that. And then, uh, of course, we’ve got our side hustles that we’re going to discuss. I’m really excited to talk about my side hustle because I’ve had a couple of things go really viral on a Facebook page that I have.

And so I’m going to share exactly how much money I’ve made and some of the stats behind that and kind of what I’m doing a little bit. And it’s all very, very fresh, just happening like this week. So we’ll jump into that. You’re going to talk about your newsletter and some other things that you’re doing with that.

And then we’re going to bring it home with weird niche sites. And I’ll just tease that earlier today. You said you think you’re going to have the weirdest site ever presented. I’m pretty confident today. 

Jared: I’m pretty confident in that. I think that we have the weirdest of weird situations that we’re going to go through and not to over tease it, but if you’ve ever stuck around for a weird niche, today’s the day to stick around for it.

Spencer: So stick around to the end because I, all I know is the domain. I just pulled it up. I haven’t even looked at it. I don’t know what it is. So I’m going to be just as shocked as you. And so Jared, we’re going to, we’re going to put you on trial here to see if it really is the weirdest niche site. So stick around to see if Jared lives up to his words there.

But having said all that. Let’s go ahead and jump into the news. Um, and first of all, Jared, welcome back, uh, from vacation. I think you were hiking in, uh, Zion’s national park. Was it? I think on 

Jared: this day, uh, last week at this time, I was in Bryce Canyon national park. And then we moved on to science. We did a double header, both of those beautiful national parks in Southern Utah.

Wonderful trip. It could be back, but great. R and R a lot of time outdoors. 

Spencer: Yep. Oh, that’s the way to do it. Those, those are my kind of vacations. We love hiking. We love being outdoors. And so, uh, we were just in Bryce earlier this year. It’s right. Beautiful. So, uh, welcome back. Thank you. Welcome back to reality.

Um, tell me about it. So, uh, as of this morning, um, I’ve just pulled up the status dashboard. Uh, the, the, uh, June, 2024 Google spam update has completed rolling out. They said it would take about a week and believe it or not, It has been a week. Uh, so they did it in the timeframe that they said. Um, and it’s interesting because we know that this targets spam and they don’t say a whole lot else other than, you know, they lead you to their general spam guidelines.

I did a majority of the last week’s podcast was talking about this update. So people can listen to that. Uh, but on Twitter, there’s been a little bit of chatter of people seeing potentially some good results. And I think maybe related to the spam update, the timeframe all lines up within the last week.

People are starting to see a little bit of an uptick here. And so I thought I’d share some of these results that we’re seeing. And then of course, get you to chime in Jared here, but a niche site lady. Always fun to follow on Twitter here. She says, um, basically, Hey, I’m seeing an uplift since the latest Google update started rolling out.

And she’s asking if anybody else has seen that as well. Um, so if I click on this, you can see her screenshot that there definitely looks like there is an uptick in traffic, right? Um, over the last few days for her and which is. Excellent. You know, she’s up to, it looks like 8, 000, uh, sessions in the day. Uh, and then, uh, Lily Ray chimed in.

She follows the industry closer than anybody, I think. And she noticed a tiny bump among HCU sites. So she is saying in her sort of research, um, other people are doing it. Uh, chiming in. Some say none. Uh, Carl Broadbent says same, but he’s talking, you know, 5 percent increase. Uh, Ricky Willis says there’s definitely some movement happening and shows an uptick, tiny uptick, uh, James Griffin.

And as you scroll through this thread, you sort of get a similar, uh, sentiment here that, um, That some people are seeing upticks. Others are not seeing anything, yada, yada, yada. So very interesting to see that there are some people that were hit by the HCU that do show a little uptick, a change in direction.

So I’m going to take that as good news. What do you think, Jared? 

Jared: We’re waiting for someone to show recovery, right? Like that’s kind of the overarching goals and industry. It’s not. It is, are we recovering that’s, that would be great. If each of us could look at our GA or a GSC and say, Oh my goodness, there’s uptick.

But I think as a whole collective group of content creators, it would just be nice to see signs of recovery somewhere. Perhaps this is them too early to probably tell. We know this stuff can get flipped. Um, you know, this is a screenshot. There’s a couple of days old. I should have messaged, you know, we should message niche site lady, maybe before get an update.

Um, uh, didn’t get around to it, but in general, it’s, it’s, It’s, it’s great. I mean, have you checked any of your, uh, search console data for any of your niche sites that, that had some HCU challenges? 

Spencer: I did. I looked this morning. Um, I personally did not see any change. It was, uh, all the traffic looked to be pretty much the same as it was, uh, last week.

So I didn’t see a small uptick on, on my sites. Um, what about you? Any changes for you? I mean, I checked a few of 

Jared: them. There was one that, I mean, maybe a small uptick, you know, um, maybe another one, um, Flat, so not much, no, um, certainly like I echo kind of a bit of Carl. It’s like you zoom in for like the last two months.

It’s like, Ooh, maybe there’s an uptick. And if you zoom back like you’re like, um, there’s no uptick so much, but still we’re looking for those, those, uh, those, those little green shoots, you know, as hope for what could come in the future. And, um, also fascinating that why would it take a spam update? That doesn’t make any sense either, but I could, we could noodle on that for a while, but perhaps just leave that.

Spencer: Yeah. I mean, it’s one of those things that I feel like we need to just share good news when we have it. We’re just, we’re just hoping that somebody is seeing, you know, their site turn around a little bit. And this is a little bit of glimmer of hope. So this is maybe the first time I’ve seen some sort of stats or even like somebody like Lily Ray chime in and say, Hey, I am seeing a small, Little bit of an uptick for HCU impacted sites.

Um, so if you were impacted by the helpful content update, check your stats, right? Sometimes the last day of the update, like today is really when you see the real results. So it might not be tomorrow until tomorrow or the next day when you can look back and see that, Oh, I actually, I am seeing 

Jared: and we’re all dealing with GA four, which is delayed data by a day or two GS has always been delayed by a day or two.

So. Unfortunately, you can’t do that real time. You know, GA, uh, Universal was always like, you can go hour to hour compare last week, this hour to this week, this hour, and actually look at it. Now we’ve got to wait a couple of days. If you’re listening to this on a Friday, it’ll be a day removed from the spam update, but by Saturday and Sunday, you should be getting some data from the full update at that point and then beyond.

Spencer: So there you have it. Uh, the, uh, spam update is complete. So as far as we’re aware, there is no official Google update happening right now, but, uh, hold on until next week, because who knows when they’ll release another core update, which of course would be a much bigger update at that point. Um, and I’m still hopeful for that, that some of the things that Danny Ray, Danny Sullivan and others have said.

That, hey, maybe Google is actually looking at helping smaller publishers in some small way. Um, so we’re going to carry on this little bit of good news into our second story because sort of the big story of the year has been Google. AI and AI overviews rolling out. And how does this impact, um, us as publishers?

Are we going to be getting more or less traffic to our websites? It’s been a very hit and miss because Google tried testing out up to 84 percent of the queries. If you remember, sometimes showed an AI overview, then they scaled that back down to like 15%. Uh, and so. The number of queries getting AI overviews is fluctuating rapidly right now.

It’s it’s a very much an ever changing environment, so we don’t have a good grasp on how much these AI overviews are going to impact, um, traffic to our sites, but people are now seeing, as I’m sharing on search engine land written by Barry Schwartz, of course, that Google is testing AI overviews with link cards at the top.

And so this screenshot here really, um, it shows it better than I can even sort of explain it, right? Essentially that the cards here are now on top of the actual answer. Whereas previously you would get the AI paragraph or the AI overview, and then you’d get the link to the websites below that it looks like they’re testing it.

The, uh, cards on top, which is great news for publishers, because as anybody knows, the closer you’re listed at the top, the more likely you are to get the clicks. So, um, hopefully we’ll see that actually rolled out. I think that would be a good thing. 

Jared: Yeah. I mean, they, they’re constantly testing things.

People are constantly kind of grabbing screenshots and surmising about stuff. Uh, Google did confirm this is a real test. So they did confirm with search engine land, um, that it’s a test. Um, and why does it matter? I mean, you kind of called it out, but like if they put links above the fold and above their condensed answer, um, stands to reason with high, high significance that that will lead to more clicks and then it really becomes in your screenshot, uh, For a desktop view, there were three link cards above the fold would have loved to have seen a screenshot of a mobile view.

Is it one card? Is it two cards? Is it three? It’s probably one. Maybe I’m surmising, but then it becomes about optimizing for that because that’s a big deal. That’s a bit like optimizing for a featured snippet because you’re, you’re not living in the bottom of the, uh, of the, uh, the AI overview any longer where they’ve already given the answer.

You’re living above the answer. Um, that’d be fantastic for publishers that would almost Almost feels like the best case scenario in a future world of AI. 

Spencer: Right, exactly. You know, so websites would go from something like this, right. With the AA overview at top, and it’s kind of hard to even find a website to click on down at the bottom to potentially.

Uh, something like this, right? That has the three cards right at the top above the answer. Um, so they’re testing that out. Um, it, like you said, Google’s confirmed this is a real test. We don’t know when this would roll out and how frequently this would show up. But it’s, Part of the ever changing environment here with AI overviews and potentially good news, right?

That would be great, um, because that would mean that Google is not just stealing all the traffic from web publishers, but hey, we’re actually putting your website above the answer, sending traffic to, uh, to your website for you. So 

Jared: how, uh, how far have we fallen that we’re getting excited that Google has stolen our content?

But given us credit before they publish it. 

Spencer: Yeah. You know, we’re, uh, we’re grasping at whatever we can get here. You 

Jared: know, 

Spencer: the 

Jared: complete flip side is Spencer. I don’t know what’s going on with this podcast. We have just had two positive stories in a row on the news podcast that hasn’t happened since I don’t even know when.

I’m not sure it feels like it’s been a while 

Spencer: long enough ago since before September 2023. Yeah, probably is the last time. Uh, so we’re trying to keep it a positive today. Positive outlook on life. Um, and there’s a couple other sort of related stories. You know, the Google is sort of testing out other things that maybe aren’t quite as positive.

Uh, but we’ll, we’ll save those for another week. And this, this last news story is perhaps debatable whether this is a good thing or a bad thing for publishers. I’ve heard people say that they like it. I’ve heard people say they don’t like it. So we’ll leave it up to the viewers to decide and we’ll discuss it here.

So the last story we’ll cover here is that Google is dropping continuous scroll in search results, right? So, uh, continuous scroll launched. With mobile search in October of 2021, and then on desktop in December of 2022. So it’s only been a year and a half. I didn’t realize it had only been a long since continuous scroll.

So, you know, of course people, uh, here’s a nice little graphic of this happening, you know, before you would just scroll and it never went to a page two, it just populated more and more and more results as you went the positive side of that. Potentially one way to look at it. I don’t know if there’s any data to support this, but that if, you know, if you were on page two or three, most of the time people just stick on page one, but with the continuous scroll, maybe they would scroll a little further and actually see position 12 and 15 and 20, uh, to get to that page two or maybe three.

And see your results, your website more often. Um, but now it’s gone back to sort of call it the good old days where down at the bottom you’ve got the 1, 5, you know, the pages that you can click on, go to page 2 or 3 or 4. Um, and maybe it’s just because I’m old school, Jared. But I kind of like the non continuous scroll.

Uh, personally, when I’m looking at results, I, I like to see the first page. And then if I want to go on, load up a second page for me, click on page two. Do you have any reason besides just nostalgia? Hmm, just personal experience, I guess. Um, I guess I just feel like it gives me a little bit more control. In a way, right.

Instead of just being thrown a bunch of results when I just slightly scroll, it’s like, I I’m in control. Like click to, okay, I want another batch of results. I didn’t like this batch, show me another batch. So it feels like I’m taking the action a little bit more. It feels 

Jared: like much ado about nothing. And I would want to, um, caveat that with, are there any, I haven’t seen a study on the difference on clicks.

To page two type listings, IE spots 11 through 24 continuous scroll versus not, but it feels like so few people get to page two, whether it’s on the same page, but buried lower and needing to, uh, to be, uh, um, uh, not non paginated or, you know, actually clicking through to a paginated result. I just wonder how much of a.

Impact it’s going to have one way or the other. I’m wondering if Google almost looked at it several years in and said it’s, it’s not having much of an impact on user experience, period. I totally agree with you though, in what you said to begin with, which is, Hey, if you’re at spot 12, it stands to reason that this removal probably lowers the number of clicks you get.

Spencer: Hmm. Right. 

Jared: You know, the pagination effect that’s being reintroduced, meaning I now need to click on the two or the next button to get to page two will probably decrease the number of people that will be experiencing those results. That’s very possible. That’s sort of the logical conclusion, right? Um, this seems to be, get some data studies that I’d love to see.

I don’t know if, if people have done those or whatnot, but that would really kind of put the, put all this theorizing to bed because. Exactly wonder about that, you know, 

Spencer: and you know, you have to imagine that somebody is going to jump in, whether it’s a, uh, Mike King or somebody else to do an in depth study, um, to kind of look at these types of things.

And I was just wondering, well, why did Google make this change? And the reason that they said is in this paragraph here on search engine land, it says, Google said this change is to serve the search results faster. On more searches instead of automatically loading results that users haven’t expressed explicitly requested loading more results automatically didn’t lead to a significantly higher satisfaction with search.

Google also told us. So there you go. I didn’t see that, but 

Jared: kind of speaks to what I was saying a bit like I just don’t know if removing the pagination had a big impact on the user experience for people. 

Spencer: It doesn’t look like it and, uh, it looks like it essentially required a little bit more computing power, you know, if you will, it was learning, loading more results without people requesting it.

Uh, and so Google is going to, you know, save that energy, save that, uh, processing power a little bit until people have requested that. So there you go, 

Jared: they can get, we know that they love those dollars. They’re hurting, they’re 

Spencer: hurting their stock price, 

Jared: but everything else.

Spencer: That’s right. Gotta, gotta reinvest in AI. We do know 

Jared: best 

Spencer: in there. 

Jared: Serving the AI results certainly is costing them a lot more than, uh, than pride is true. Fair enough. If, if you, if they think that that’s actually vital to their survival, it’s definitely costing them more to do. 

Spencer: It is. So, um, there, there you have it.

We went through the news, uh, items, you know, I would say relatively quickly here. Well, you know, good news 

Jared: just, there’s not much to talk about when it’s good news, Spencer. That’s why you 

Spencer: always cover bad news, right? There’s just so much more, uh, to cover. Um, but, uh, not, I wouldn’t say anything bad.

Groundbreaking, but every week there’s little updates and changes that impact publishers. So we’re here to cover it. Um, so we are going to go ahead and move into our next section. Here are, um, shiny object shenanigans and my shiny object has been a very shiny object for me this week, because I just can’t stop checking my Facebook stats.

You need to call it 

Jared: instead of the shiny object shenanigan, this is, this is For this week, it’s your sparkling object, Shenanigan. There you go. Yeah, whatever the next level. 

Spencer: That blinding light, uh, side hustle here. Um, so let’s see what I can share here. Uh, so basically I have. I don’t want to confuse people because I’ve talked about a brand new Facebook page that I’ve done a 30 day challenge on.

I am not talking about that this week. The Facebook page I’m talking about is for a different niche and it is like a completely random out there niche could probably be on our weird niche site. You know, show at some point, um, that I I’ve had this page for, A year and a half ish, something like that. And I’ve talked about it before, uh, on the podcast.

So it’s a page with about 65, 000 followers now. And at the beginning of June, this month, June 3rd, I got accepted to the Facebook bonus program. And as a result of that, I said with the person I’m helping me, um, run this page. I said, we need to start posting more. And so we ramped it up to 15 posts a day.

With most of that, just trying to get more and more engagement on Facebook. Whereas previously we were trying to send as much traffic off Facebook to our website, because that’s where I made money. Well, it’s like, Hey, I have this whole new revenue stream. Let’s see how much engagement we can get. We’re going to post 15 times a day.

And so, uh, let me share how much money I’ve made. And then I’ll jump into exactly how I did it here. So. I think I’m sharing the right one. That’s always, you know, the, the tough part here. Here we go. Um, so this is just a screenshot. You can see that as of just right before I hit record on this podcast, I’m at 1, 474 in earnings since June 3rd, I have six days left in the earning period.

So in a one month period, so I’ve been at it for about three weeks. 1, 474 is way beyond what I expected. I was thinking maybe two to 300, um, in earnings and I would have been happy. So I’m blown away. And just in the last few days, like we’ve had, I would say three posts in the last three to four days that have legit gone viral, like been seen by more than a million people, huge.

Um, and so I’ll just share the stats of. One of those are our biggest one. I’ve got a screenshot here. Uh, this particular post, I’m showing the post insights, post impressions, 8, 700, 000 that, that, that many people scrolled past it, or at least saw it in their feed, almost 9 million. And then the number of interactions or engagement is just mine.

The number of reactions. So people that have liked it or loved it or laughed at it, or, you know, all those things, 118, 000 people have liked to the post over 25, 000 comments on the post. And these are just hilarious to read. Um, Cause I looked at some of them and, uh, just like a super engaging post. This is the most engaging post.

Um, but we have had two others in the last few days that have reached well over a million impressions. Uh, another one has like 30 or 40, 000, you know, thumbs up. The other one’s close behind it, like 20, 000. I don’t know. So three posts that have just gone, gone berserk and have led to the bulk of the, the, the Fort, you know, Almost 1, 500, uh, in earnings.

And so I know people will probably see the number of link clicks, 365. It’s like nothing. Uh, we added a link like after these posts went viral. Um, and so it’s kind of an afterthought. So the fact that we got any traffic to our website, like I’m, I’m cool with that. That’s just kind of gravy. That wasn’t the point of that.

And I actually think that the stats aren’t quite right because. We, like yesterday, the website got almost 4, 000 visitors and I have to think that more than just 300 of those. Came from, you know, this post, for example, anyways, 

Jared: those are incredible results. I think anyone would take that. Um, I mean, I have so many questions I could ask you.

I’m trying in my head to prioritize which one or two I get to ask you alive on the podcast. So let me try to prioritize for you and your team. Like, how are you coming up with, how are you conceptualizing the different types of posts you’re making throughout the day? Like how did you land on something that struck gold like this?

I’m just, and you don’t have to be specific to give away that specific niche, but just in general, like how does someone start to ideate around all this stuff? 

Spencer: So, uh, part of it is that we are in a very specific niche, right? So if you’re in a specific niche, let’s just call it, let’s say you have a Facebook page on nineties basketball, right?

Okay. Yeah. Whatever it is, or even if it’s broader, just NBA fans, right? Um, focus, you’re going to be very focused on, you know, a specific thing, NBA, basketball, nineties basketball. Uh, one thing that we do is we follow a bunch of other Facebook pages. And we see the types of things that they’re posting, uh, or we’re doing a lot of research on Reddit.

And, uh, maybe even Twitter or Google, right? Wherever we can find things that are happening in the niche. And it doesn’t have to be news, but just things that have been said about nineties basketball. Right? So you might see that, Oh, somebody posted something funny about Larry bird. I’m going to take that same idea and repost it on my page.

So a lot of the ideation is just reusing what’s been used in other places. We aren’t necessarily creating all the means. We’re taking an existing meme, maybe tweaking it, maybe not, but just commenting on it, right? Posting and saying, writing a sentence or two and saying, what do you think about this? Right?

Um, and we did a, uh, a community call with an niche pursuits community just a couple hours ago. Uh, and I talked about this a little bit more in depth and one sort of concept that I shared. That if people want to hear that whole call, of course they can join the community. Uh, but one sort of concept is just thinking about the demographic of Facebook users.

They tend to skew a little bit older and they like to kind of remember the good old days, right? So any like imagery or comments or thoughts you can say that might make them remember what it was like to be in the eighties or the nineties growing up or whatever, you know, that. Type of thing can generate a lot of interaction, right?

So just thinking about the general demographic. Of Facebook, they tend to skew older. They’re bored. They want to be entertained and your specific niche. And if you can kind of marry those, you might have a winning combination there of a post that can go viral. 

Jared: My second question. Okay. Is there any court?

You said you have had several hits. Are there any correlation? Are they, are they the same kind of post? Is there any correlation? Are, are you seeing Are you and your team kind of going like, Oh, let’s that hit. Let’s do something similar and similar and similar and kind of slowly refining it. Or is it more just scatter 15 different types throughout the day?

And every single time one goes viral, you’re like, wow, didn’t see that one coming, but cool. 

Spencer: Yeah. Um, we are posting 15 times a day and they tend to be kind of all over the place. Like we kind of share news for our niche or we share like Old stuff that happened decades ago. Um, I will say that the three that have hit, uh, this week are all similar in that they are all like, um, sort of nostalgic type posts, right?

Like things that happened a long time ago, right? Like images that are like, this happened 30 years ago, or here’s a picture of something from 40 years ago. Remember that? You know, type thing, all, all three of those kind of went into that vein, which is an interesting finding for us because the original concept of our niche was more to be like news, like happening, like this just happened today and we still do that.

And some of those do decent, but the ones that have done really well is like, this happened 40 years ago. Check this out. So it’s kind of interesting. It’s almost like, 

Jared: Hey, do you remember when Google didn’t have continuous scroll? The nostalgia of the search experience. 

Spencer: That’s, that’s a great example. You know, we could probably think, think of some here on the fly of just like exactly that.

Remember what Google used to look like, you know, uh, and, um, that, that type of thing tends to resonate well with people. 

Jared: All joking aside. Cool. Those are my probably my two highest questions, but I think that does help a lot. Like this is fascinating on so many levels. Congratulations. 

Spencer: Yeah, 

Jared: no, thank 

Spencer: you. And, um, oh, I, I guess related to this.

I don’t want to take up any more time other than good news. I finally got accepted to journey by Mediavine. I saw that. And that that is for this site. Uh, as well. And so, uh, the early results are very good. I think, I think it can take up to a month to really get the RPMs where they’re going to be, but it’s only like three days in RPMs are double what they were on Ezoic already.

Uh, and I’m hoping that they just grow even more. So I’m very excited now about this particular site. It’s earning more on the site and it’s doing great on Facebook. It’s like. I might actually have a real business model now. 

Jared: And I bet the person you have working on this feels like a million bucks right now.

Spencer: Oh, she’s loving it. She’s so excited. I could talk for like 30 minutes about her and how excited she is. It’s a cool story cause she’s been working on it for a year and I’ve been threatening, um, like sadly threatening. Like. I’m re I love the work you’re doing, but this business isn’t making enough money to pay for you.

And so we’ve been holding off for like month after month. And it’s like, I love what you do. You post such great stuff. She’s going to make her money this month. Right? Like she’s hitting her number. And so I was like, okay, well we can keep doing this. And she’s thrilled and I’m thrilled. So 

it’s good. 

Jared: Wow.

Congrats. That’s awesome. Um, thank you. Nothing good in the revenue department to deport, to, uh, report with my, um, with, uh, with my side hustle, but nonetheless, we’re still more in the building stages, like rewind, like a year ago with you in this Facebook page, we’re talking my, my kind of my newsletter again, just really quickly bringing people to speed, taking a site nailed by the HCU had several hundred posts on it using Facebook to build, to drive leads for the newsletter, and then email people continuously with links to the website, get them there, make money on ads.

Uh, launch a digital project, um, use Facebook organic to also drive traffic to the site. This is all in play. That’s all in process thus far. Not really any revenue to report. Um, we get into that, but this week we were able to launch a process for another traffic source. This one coming from Pinterest. And so that is off the ground.

The site is very well primed for Pinterest. Um, uh, very visual niche. Um, uh, uh, and so what we did is, you know, uh, Tony Hill released a Pinterest course about a month or so ago. Uh, and, uh, um, I was able to, to use that. To build out our kind of updated Pinterest process. Uh, and so we’re going to go at it that way.

Now we’re only pinning. So we’ve only been doing this for three days till we’re recording on June 27th. We started this June 24th. So I will, I will give you the results for after three days, but don’t, uh, don’t get excited. But so what we’re doing is we’re, we’re kind of warming the account back up. Now we had a Pinterest account for this.

This website is brand, but I mean, we hadn’t pinned to it. And I don’t know, probably since last summer before things got, you know, really ugly in that space. Um, so we’re kind of ramping it back up or building it back up. We’re doing about 10 to 15 pins a day. We are using AI images for the most part designed journey.

Um, a lot of back and forth to get that. Cause. You wanted to look good, but not too good, right? Like, you wanted to look realistic and not, you know, not weird. Um, and so especially, you know, you gotta be careful there. So a lot of back and forth to get those prompts right. And then got that process over to a VA.

A VA is doing all the work on creating those images. Uh, we’ve built out a bunch of pin templates. I used Tony’s software for that pin clicks to, to kind of do some research on what worked in our niche. Um, we’re testing three different styles of pins, kind of get some results back on that, and we’re going to ramp up as many pins as we can do in a day, really, um, that, that we’re getting better results on.

So kind of like you, you got accepted to the program and then went up to 15 posts a day on Facebook. We’ll start at 10 we’ll just kind of, you know, Pace ourselves up as we see progress. So, um, also a lot of work having to be done on the boards, like boards, we kind of weren’t maybe taking the best advantage of them I learned.

So we did a whole cleanup of the boards before we launched. And then now we’re creating a lot of new boards with new styles of pins. So it’s a lot of work in the beginning. I’ll be honest with you. It took a little longer to ramp up or to get off the ground than I thought. I was hoping we’d have this going like a week or two ago, but we got it off the, off the ground on June 24th, three days in.

Want to hear the results? I do. 41 impressions and 4 total engagements. 

Spencer: 4 total engagements. Well, you’re not getting me real excited to, to try it, but it’s only been 3 days. No, I wouldn’t get excited about 

Jared: it, but, um, On the flip side, quick update, here’s some good news. Uh, we are approaching 5, 000 subscribers for the newsletter.

Spencer: Okay, now that’s some serious numbers. Right? That’s pretty good. 

Jared: Uh, almost, no, we’re two months in now. And, uh, we’re at, uh, 4, 647 subscribers. 

Spencer: Okay. That’s, that’s 

Jared: good. That’s solid. Yeah. So, um, Yeah, a lot of, a lot of kinks to still work out. Um, you know, there’s so many moving parts with this. There’s so many things that you could be doing well, but you know, if one thing along the way isn’t going as well, then you’re just not going to end up making as much money as you could.

So there’s so many positives report, so many other things that need working on. It’s just a constant iteration. It’s a constant tweaking game. Um, with this, I mean, you know, reminds me of. SEO to build a site. Like you constantly publishing good content, building out that, the topics on your site, updating old content, doing good internal linking.

Like it’s not the same stuff, but it’s just. Similar mindset applied now to something different for traffic generation. So 

Spencer: right, you know, and I think your update is a good one. A good reminder that, you know, business doesn’t happen all at once. It’s a lot of little things. It’s a lot of testing things, right?

And Pinterest may take off for you, right? But it’s going to take a while. It’s a lot of work. Um, and. I, I can’t think of anything that you do that as soon as you start it, you know, within a week or two, like you just, you see results, like it’s a snowball effect. You might get the Pinterest going, you might get the Facebook going, the newsletters growing, and, uh, hopefully.

When you look back in six months or a year, you’re like, okay, we got something here on our hands. And so it’s that consistency showing up every day, even when you only get four clicks on Pinterest. 

Jared: The dangerous trap a lot of us fell into was that we focused exclusively on using SEO to drive traffic to our sites because we got so good at it.

And there is a power in focusing on one thing. And then a lot of us. Again, I have an agency, so I don’t rely on my content websites, but a lot of those were hit by the HCU. And a lot of us now are saying, man, if we go back to the drawing board with how we build brands, websites, whatever you want to call it these days, whatever buzzword you want to use, we want to focus on multiple traffic sources, so we’re kind of not trapped into one like we used to be.

But to your point, spreading yourself across multiple traffic sources, milling those out inherently. You’re not able to put as many resources and time into each of them individually. And so it’s not of line to expect it to take longer for each of those traffic sources to build up. 

Spencer: Right. Yep. But a good update nonetheless, right?

I mean, almost 5, 000, uh, newsletter subscribers. I’m excited to see where you take it, what happens and, uh, hopefully Pinterest, you know, now that you’ve got the system and the kinks worked out, I mean, that’s probably the hardest part. Um, hopefully that starts to get a little bit more traction over the next.

Month or so. 

Jared: I will say when you go on vacation for a week, you tend to focus most of your non vacationing efforts at work on the essential stuff. So the literally the definition of side hustle, I haven’t put a lot of time into side hustle in the last week or two. So just as another caveat, my update was always going to be a little thin this week because I’m coming back from a week of vacation.

And that makes a lot of sense. 

Spencer: Yep. And that makes a lot of sense. So it is summertime. It is. Uh, Okay. So let’s move on to our weird niche sites because boy, oh boy, I’m excited to jump into what you got to reveal. But first, you know, we’re going to tease yours all the way to the end. Uh, I’m going to share my weird niche site and this is just one that I ran across in my day to day business.

I was kind of doing things and I ran across this website, actually using it. It’s like, ah, that actually is kind of a weird niche site. Um, and so I thought I’d share it here today. So, uh, have you ever wanted. To see somebody’s thumbnail on YouTube, right? Like you click on their video. Once you click on the video link, you, the thumbnail is gone.

You can’t just look at it and study it, the thumbnail. Right. Um, so there’s, there’s a URL you can go to, if you remember it, there’s, you know, kind of a YouTube, if you put it in the right place. You know, prefix and subfolder and whatever you can copy the, you know, YouTube URL into there. And it, it will show you the thumbnail, but, uh, I found a website here and maybe I’ll start sharing my screen.

Uh, this great URL here, get dash YouTube dash thumbnail, get youtubethumbnail. com creative. Okay. And, uh, all it is, if I let’s go here, I’m going to go over to YouTube and find a, a URL, uh, Oh my goodness. You’re going to love this one. This. This literally just popped up on my homepage. So, um,

so if I come over here, I grab a URL and then I pop it in here and I get YouTube thumbnail. Something should have happened. Hopefully there, look at that, 


Spencer: there is that person. And I mean, vaguely there, there is a very excited Jared bombing on there with a link whisper tutorial thumbnail. And I can video, by the way.

Which is a great video. People should check it out. Actually, it’s doing pretty well. It’s like over 4, 000 views on that, but, uh, it can come in handy, right? You can, um, you know, if we’re sick of looking at, um, that one, you can come over here, you just grab any URL you want and, uh, again, pop it in. I mean, that’s, and that, Oh, I hit enter instead of the button.

And there you go. Now we got Ricky from, um, income school, right? It gets the URL for you and then you can save that, or you can do whatever you want to do with that, um, YouTube thumbnail. So it comes in handy. Uh, it’s obviously just littered with ads. That’s how they’re all their money, right? Tons of display ads.

Uh, and. You can give a tip here. Apparently, um, but I don’t see any other pages like this. Is it like your website? Um, is what we’re looking at. Uh, so just to share some stats, uh, over on a tress, it does rank in Google for a few things. It’s getting about. Close to 9, 000 organic sessions a month, and it ranks for, let’s see, get YouTube thumbnail, get thumbnail from YouTube, get thumbnail from YouTube video, YouTube thumbnail URL, all those types of keywords.

And, uh, EMD for the win. EMD for the win. And, uh, what is, Another interesting thing is that there are tons of competitors. So, oh yeah. Um, so if I type in get YouTube thumbnail and share this tab, um, because I typed in essentially the domain name, right. It ranks number one, but then there’s, uh, you thumb. net.

There’s YouTube dash thumbnail dash grabber. Uh, and I, I thought there was a couple others, but there’s at least three or four niche sites that are dedicated. That’s all they do is this exact same thing. Um, and so in terms of overall traffic, we’ve got about 9, 000 organic sessions a month. Uh, and then according to similar web, you get a lot of people going there directly.

And so it gets about 144, 000. Monthly visitors, 

Jared: right? I 

Spencer: mean, 

Jared: um, you got to imagine 144 with a site with that many, you know, kind of ads RPMs. I don’t know what RPM to be in that, but I mean, What are you making? Uh, uh, you know, two, three, four grand a month probably, right? 

Spencer: Yeah, I I think that’s you know, maybe safe to say a couple grand, right?

Um, and it’s not obviously very complicated to probably create that uh website And, uh, so serves one niche, one purpose. You want the thumbnail, you can go to this website and get the thumbnail. I found it kind of handy because I’ve often, when trying to create thumbnails for my own YouTube channels, like I want to see what other people are doing.

And what’s working well on popular videos. And so I grabbed their thumbnail. I kind of look at it and maybe I’ll send it to my designer and say, Hey, I kind of like this half of the thumbnail on this one. I like this half of the thumbnail on that one. Can you kind of do something and make it, you know, semi original.

And so, uh, comes in handy quite a bit, but yeah, maybe a cool, uh, little niche website that’s making a couple thousand dollars a month. Um, there you go. That’s my weird niche site. Trying to see why 

Jared: it ranks better because I know you did a search and you’re cookied. So that’s why it came up. But when you looked at the organic search results, I’m sorry, the organic keywords, it was ranking number one for all these.

I’m trying to figure out what makes it this site better than the competitors. I mean, it’s a DR 27. I was looking at its links. Maybe you feel like it had a really good link profile. Here’s a funny one. It’s got a link from neilpatel. com, but it’s some random French translation of Neil Patel’s site. It’s slash br.

Looks like a French, like a French translation, but it’s got a backlink from that. It’s a little, it’s a little awkwardly placed. It’s um, clearly I would say like maybe a link insertion because it’s in French. And then all of a sudden get YouTube video thumbnail image. It’s placed in there as the anchor text.

I don’t know. It’s just kind of almost random. Maybe not. I mean, I don’t want to, but I mean, I don’t want to call anybody out. I’m trying to see why this one ranks so much better. Um, it’s, uh, yeah, but I don’t know. It’s really helpful. This isn’t a weird niche as much as it’s just a really helpful, you know, website.

Spencer: Yeah. Yeah. Helpful. Um, and, um, yeah, just something I ran, I ran across this week as, or last week as I was doing my research. So 

Jared: I like it. I might save this one and use it kind of like my, uh, my tree. fm music. 

Spencer: There you go. Indeed. Well, here we go. We’ve teased long enough, Jared. I can hardly stand it anymore.

I feel the pressure now. The weirdest niche site of all time. I’m 

Jared: a little nervous. I have to admit, I’m a little nervous right now. 


Jared: hmm. You know, you say, you make these big claims. I hope it leads to good numbers for the podcast, because, uh, I put myself out there. Um, so, full disclosure. I had prepared a weird niche in the doc In the agenda, ready to go.

And I pulled the plug on it an hour or two, a couple hours ago. Now, um, I got a DM from Suzanne Jackson. Um, and she shared the site with me and, uh, I was like, what does this site do? And she’s like, I don’t know, not a lot. And I was like, all right, let me look at it a little bit. And it is. Weird and fascinating all at the same time.

So I’m going to tell you guys the backstory, but first bring it up and let’s, let’s show it on screen. The website URL is 1millioncheckboxes. com. 

Spencer: It is 1 million check boxes. And so I see, so I see a bunch of checked and unchecked boxes, just a huge grid of boxes. Yep. Some are. Blue and green and yellow. And it’s counting some sort of number of boxes checked in the top, right?

Corn. You are exactly right. 

Jared: This 

Spencer: guy, what you’re seeing, 

Jared: you’re exactly right. This guy is trying to get a million check boxes and people can check boxes. And again, I think this is what it is, but I might be wrong. You can check boxes and you can uncheck boxes. The number in the upper right is keeping track.

With how many total boxes are actually checked and his goal is to get to 1 million check boxes. Now I’ve watched this throughout the last three or four hours. It’s been as low as 250, 000 and it’s up to 687, 000. It was as high as 900, 000 earlier. I don’t know if it’s swung over to the million or not.

Spencer: Wait, so you’re telling me as soon as I’m checking these boxes. Yeah. So if those go unchecked, somebody is unchecking those right now. Potentially. Yeah. That’s interesting. 

Jared: This is just what possesses someone 

Spencer: to think of this website checking. Okay. And then in parentheses, checking a box, checks it for everyone.

Yeah. An exclamation. And you can uncheck other people’s boxes to my understanding. I think that’s what’s happening is because I checked a bunch of boxes and then they got unchecked. 

Jared: Yep. 

Spencer: So, 

Jared: okay. Let’s take a pause on how weird this site is and let’s talk. Because here it gets weirder. Spencer, this site is a week old.

It’s only a week old? It’s one week old and I found the tweet. The tweet exchange of this whole thing. Let’s go to what I provided you in the agenda here. So this is by a site, this is by a site by a guy named Nolan, and he’s published on Twitter about this. And, um, let’s see, let’s pull it up on screen. Um, yeah.

It was not long ago. It was less than we go that he bought this domain and he, okay. I’ll pull that one up again. I correct me if I I’m really kind of catching up late here, but he basically bought a domain and did what all of us do. And we buy domains. We’re like, I’m totally using this. And then you never ended up using it.

Right. And so he’s like, Posted on June 21st. So six days ago at time recording. I bought a good domain. I swear I will use this one soon 

Spencer: Okay, and 

Jared: not 

Spencer: that many people liked it 13 likes. Okay, like 

Jared: this guy’s got a couple followers Like it’s not a big deal. So now go to the tweet. He published that he has pinned from june 26th yesterday Yesterday, Spencer, I made a website, it’s called 1millioncheckboxes.

com. It has 1 million check boxes on it. Checking a box checks it for everyone. That’s it. Have fun. One day later, it’s got 9. 

Spencer: 1 million views. Insane and 40, 000, you know, likes, which I’m going to do now. Uh, 1, 100 comments, 5, 500 reshares, retweets. And I have to assume like, this is how the website launched.

Like this is, 

Jared: it’s a DR zero site. Uh, uh, DR. 0 and it currently ranks for one keyword. At least that, uh, which is probably the domain or something? I’d even click on it to be honest with you. Yeah, probably. Um, wait, you gotta go back though. I love this. One million. Yeah, you gotta go back. Um, I love it that it has 1.

1 thousand backlinks and 1. 1 thousand of them are new.

That’s a lot of backlinks to be a lot of backlinks that have been picked up. And I would imagine they’re all from the last couple of days. So, um, I don’t know what this site’s purpose is. I look at those, all those links, my 

Spencer: commonator. So that’s, uh, that’s pretty good. 

Jared: Um, so I don’t know what the site does.

I don’t know if it monetizes, I don’t know why he made it. And it’s quite literally a viral success story happening in front of our 

Spencer: eyes. Look, it’s, it’s 712, 000. I feel like, is something gonna happen when I get a million? I don’t know. When it hits a million? Well, it was at 

Jared: 900, 000 before we started recording, and I thought maybe it was?

Yeah, I thought maybe it’d be done and something would have happened before we even did the podcast, but now it went back down to 600 or something. 

Spencer: Maybe that’s part of the virality is, you get addicted and you just want to, you know, I mean, 

Jared: I don’t want to get too far in it, but is this like almost playing like the positive, the glasses half empty people versus the glasses half full people?

Like some people show up and they’re like, I just want to check boxes that aren’t checked. And other people are like, I just want to uncheck boxes that have already been checked. And they’re like, pitting these people in the world against each other. 

Spencer: I don’t understand what these, like, I can’t check the yellow box.

Jared: My daughter was in here, uh, during lunch while I had this up. And she’s like, daddy, what is that? And she’s like, why are there different colored boxes? I’m like, I don’t know. And she’s like, they should have a little key over there that tells you. I’m like, you’re exactly right. They should. 

Spencer: And you have to scroll.

All the way down and you can type in a, uh, a box number. So let’s put 750, 000. I don’t know where, which one is it? Which one is that one? But, uh, no, it’s not going to be changing very rapidly down there. No. Well, that kind of makes sense. 

Jared: Yeah. 

Spencer: Is everyone is at the top. Yeah. So you can really do some damage down here.

Uh, this is really, this much, okay, okay, what is, okay, whoa, I don’t know what just happened Jared, but, okay, that’s the cherry on top, this is the weirdest niche site we’ve ever had on the podcast. Do you agree? I’ll give it to you. I’ll give it to you.

Jared: I mean, that’s why I had to switch it last minute. I’m like, this is the weirdest niche site ever. Yeah. Susanna, it’s funny, a little bit of a hat tip on this one. She’s the one who sent this one over, 

Spencer: you know, it’s kind of funny because it feels a little bit like, um, the site that I shared, I think it was two weeks ago, the million dollar home page, a million pixels, right?

Yeah, the million dollar homepage. Yes, that’s what I thought about first. Like, the whole point of this is just to check a million boxes. Like, there is no point to the website, kind of like the million dollar homepage. You’re not really paying for anything other than, you know, to say you were part of the million dollar homepage.

It’s just, I mean, he does 

Jared: have a little money button up in the upper left. I would just be guessing if he’s made a dime on this. I have no idea. 

Spencer: So let’s click the money button. You can buy him a dollar. And other people, it has a continuous scroll here. This is awesome. Somebody spent 20 bucks. 5 bucks. Oh, look at that.

Okay. 30 supporters. Alright, so 30 people, so he’s made at least 30, but you can see more than that, 5, 3, 5, and it, so he’s not going to make a lot of money, 

Jared: probably. If, um, and we didn’t, we didn’t go through it here, but you could scroll through his tweets, because he’s kind of live tweeting as he launched this thing, and he is sharing, like, this thing is destroying the servers, he had to pull it down for an hour or two, um, It’s, uh, all right, here we go.

14 hours ago. I have been firefighting to keep the site up for 14 hours straight. It’s 3 a. m. Uh, oh, you just scrolled past it. Sorry, I was reading it live. 

Spencer: Whoops. Sorry. Oh, there you go. It’s 

Jared: 3 a. m. I’m going to try to get some sleep. Everyone just don’t check too many checkboxes for the next few hours. Okay.

It’s like, please. Nine hours ago. So five hours later, what did I tell y’all?

Spencer: 14 hours straight working on this thing to keep it up. Um, the final thing I’ll point out and, 

Jared: and this, then we can kind of, you know, but, um, go up to the top Spencer does profile. Like you’d think with all this, he would have picked up a few more Twitter followers. 

Spencer: Yeah. 3, 800 followers, you know? Um, but anyway, his main, uh, his main website.

Appears to, uh, be, um, he has some other games. Games. Yeah. He has some other games he’s made. Yeah. Yeah. Um, so he appear, appears to be a game maker, right? So this is kind of right up his alley talk paper scissors. That’s cute. So he is made, uh, quite a few, you know, 10 or so different games. Yeah. He’s got a newsletter.

Got a newsletter. What’s my deal? So there he go. What’s my, what’s my deal? What does he do? He builds weird stuff on the internet. Um, building games. Yada, yada, yada. That’s, that’s what he does. All of his work. Anyways, you could check it out. Um, this is cool. We could probably pull one or two other weird niche websites probably from other games that he’s done.

So, if you remember to bookmark this in the future, maybe you could use this. Well, there you have it. Yeah. Okay. 

Jared: So 

Spencer: the weirdest thing, that’s 

Jared: fun 

Spencer: one, yet fun. It could be, you know, we need to like do a, we need to check back in to the million check boxes, uh, because maybe it’ll die in two weeks, but maybe it’ll just explode.

Right? So we, we should check back in, in a month and see if it’s getting traffic or what’s happening there. 

Jared: I agree. I agree. I, um, yeah, boy, , I don’t even have really many words left to say. 

Spencer: Yeah, it’s just, it’s always fascinating to see like there’s just random stuff. You can build a niche website on people get fascinated by it.

They’ll follow along. Maybe he’s not going to make a lot of money. Maybe you should put some display ads on a site or something and make some money. But it does get the wheels turning for like, okay, maybe I could think outside the box and the box. There you go. Uh, and build something, build something that could actually work.

And people would find fascinating. So 

Jared: yeah, good. Fine. Jared way to go. Well, thank you, Suzanne. But yeah, that one definitely checks. The box for weird niches. It’s hard. It’s hard to avoid the puns on this one. 

Spencer: You leaned into the pun and I had that one in the back of my mind. So I had to go there. There we go.

Well, we’ll leave it at that. Thank you everyone so much for listening in today. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed the news and we’ll be right back here next week. See you guys next week. Thanks.


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