What's Going on With Google's Helpful Content Update? Plus 2 Weird Niche Sites...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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