Generic blog sites are not gonna cut it anymore. Do this instead.

Waifu_tatyana

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Your site brand (an entity in the eyes of the search engine) plays a huge role in building up your niche authority.

The definition of the entity according to Google:

An SEO entity is anything that is “singular, unique, well-defined, and distinguishable.

Through this definition, an entity doesn't have to be a physical object or tangible; it can also be a color, date, currency, or idea, OR YOUR BRAND NAME.

You can't get away with setting up a basic blog-oriented theme, writing a bunch of articles (doesn't matter if it's commercial or informational intent or that you've scoured every nook and cranny of the niche with your articles) putting the important pillar articles as a blogroll on your homepage and call it a day.


What I would suggest is you create a brand identity around the content to convince Google that you have the resources to back up the authority you display in your content.

The perfect way to create a brand identity is by building up an e-commerce (it can be digital or physical) or SaaS section on your niche blog and basing the entire site around that, not the other way around. You have to convince Google that the blog section is only secondary in terms of importance to your ecomm section, that you're not here to be another stupid blogger who earns by writing bland articles but a brand trying to expand and show their expertise by writing content relevant around the products/services they are offering.

And no, you don't even have to have a product inventory because here's the trick: we are not selling shit. The purpose of creating the ecomm section is to justify what we're gonna do next to create a brand entity around the content.

You have to understand one thing, no one is going to search for your website "Fitnessguidepro" if the site only has a bunch of articles and nothing else of value.
But if you take the same "Fitnessguidepro" and develop a shop section selling gym accessories and protein powder with a twist factor (it can be selling a special protein powder or pre-workout with a quirky name like "Gigachad Protein" with attractive product labels, packaging, video promotion etc) and create a buzz around it with paid forum postings) people are gonna start looking up your website by name and that will create a search demand.
If you can keep this search demand alive for a month or two (not sure about the duration just giving an estimate) you will be successful in securing a place as a brand entity in Google's knowledge graph. To top it off you can buy some paid reviews for your products and site shop (even if you haven't sold shit).
Your goal will be to keep your products or services in the limelight of your site.

In the eyes of Google, you're not another stupid generic niche blog anymore. You're a legitimate business brand entity that also seems to have a huge semantic content network (notice how I didn't say blog roll, coming to that later) and this killer combination of an ecomm shop and your content network will soar you through the rankings.

Some things you can do to make it sound even more legitimate:

  1. Promote your ecomm products in between articles (yeah unfortunately this kind of hybrid blog site doesn't have the luxury to promote affiliate links).
  2. List your products on Google product listings.
  3. Pay for fake reviews on sites like Yelp, Trust Pilot, etc.
  4. Add every accessory page and mechanics that are needed for an ecomm site (refunds page, account creation mechanism, Payment Gateways with fake payment details so that the payments by visitors don't process, etc).
  5. Add a company update blog section. (Indexable)
  6. Add a fake annual revenue and tax returns page. (Indexable)
  7. Add product partners and suppliers/distributors page. (Indexable)
  8. Add a job openings/careers option page (Indexable)
  9. The homepage of your site should be all about your products (not a blatant product roll btw), services, and your experience in the field. Only after that, you should add a small blog roll and a product roll for added legitimacy) with the posts you deem most important (although I have concluded that this 'homepage has the highest PageRank so put pillar posts there to rank well" to be useless now, if your content is top-notch and within 1-3 levels of crawl depth, you don't have to worry about page rank bullshit).
  10. If you have the money, pay influencers to promote your products on their accounts.


Another notable point of having a brand entity is that you'll make your site semi-immune to algo updates (no one is 100% immune from algo updates, you'' win some, you'll lose some) because you're an entity. Not a generic information hub in the eyes of Google anymore. Your importance is always placed higher above other generic niche blogs and you won't be affected as badly as content sites.

This is the hack a lot of these "SEO gurus" never reveal. This is the reason despite creating insanely relevant topical clusters with unprecedented quality of content you're still not getting ranked.

After weeks of studying the Google algo patents and another few weeks of trying to understand them (I'm not especially bright) and examining over a hundred authority sites I've come to this conclusion.

TLDR:

Don't create generic blog sites. They don't work anymore in general (a few might slip through the gaps but get thwarted in core updates). Instead, create a brand identity with a dedicated e-commerce section and or SaaS products and make it the prime subject on your site.


NB:

I will create (rather continue) my old journey thread and apply what I suggested here on that niche blog and show you real-time data of how it's progressing. Currently busy creating the picture-perfect topical map for the site (Yes I'm redoing the entire site's content strategy although it's doing well).
Also developing a SaaS app for the site by myself (nothing complex, just something simple that I can promote in niche forums and get the site name out there).
 
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I realized this recently as well, about to update some of my websites. Google is looking for authority and brands.
I've revamped all my secondary sites to ecomm brands or product suppliers of some sorts. Will do the same to my main site (my first blog site).

One of my sites in science niche is blowing up (recently had a dip after this core update but I'm sure it'll pick up by next core update) after making this change (it's an expired domain with previous specialised instrument supplier history).
 
I can confirm this findings, I use woo commerce but not happy with it. Is there a better alternative?
 
I can confirm this findings, I use woo commerce but not happy with it. Is there a better alternative?
Not that I know of. I use Neve Pro and it has a Woocommerce Booster feature to customize single product and product archive pages.
 
Don't create generic blog sites. They don't work anymore in general (a few might slip through the gaps but get thwarted in core updates). Instead, create a brand identity with a dedicated e-commerce section and or SaaS products and make it the prime subject on your site.
Could it be why the blog section of my e-commerce store that has been lying dormant has been receiving more and more traffic after some of the more recent update?

The traffic is more than 2x.

That's quite interesting.
 
Could it be why the blog section of my e-commerce store that has been lying dormant has been receiving more and more traffic after some of the more recent update?
It IS the reason.
Google is clueless about how to determine the true topical authority of sites these days because everyone can cover any topic and write hundreds of articles with AI. So, Google is placing priority on brand entities in its knowledge base.

A few authority niche blogs are still unaffected but soon they'll get hammered too.
 
Very unique thing I learned from this. If I start fresh sites based on this, how much time it will take to take off.
The sooner you can get your brand name inside Google's knowledge graph, the quicker you'll rank.
Everything you do on your site must seem to be Ecomm oriented although your main goal is to rank informational keywords.
 
It IS the reason.
Google is clueless about how to determine the true topical authority of sites these days because everyone can cover any topic and write hundreds of articles with AI. So, Google is placing priority on brand entities in its knowledge base.

A few authority niche blogs are still unaffected but soon they'll get hammered too.
That's interesting but in the long it doesn't make any sense and would only further increase the barrier to entry much higher such that only those with several thousands of dollars. Essentially paid to play.
 
That's interesting but in the long it doesn't make any sense and would only further increase the barrier to entry much higher such that only those with several thousands of dollars. Essentially paid to play.
Yep, this was coming sooner or later given the recent surge of automated spam. If anything blame AI and the bad faith actors.

And if you look at it from a logical perspective, why should Google place authority to no namer bloggers giving his/her opinion on niches they are not even an expert on?

On the other hand, a brand selling niche products obviously has to have knowledge about the products they're selling (in most cases). They have therefore proven their worth and expertise to Google.

For example, you'll rarely come across a microscope supplier website where the owners don't know every inch, functions, and possible complications that may arise in a microscope.

So which site will Google give priority too? An article from a web brand entity with a wide catalogue of microscopes with intricate product descriptions and good customer reviews corroborating their niche expertise?

Or your local Joe (with a fake photo) whose only proof of authority is him claiming to be an expert in microscopy in his author bio?

You have to provide proof of authority to earn the trust of Google now. And the only affordable way is to create a brand entity around your site.

Otherwise you can spend a few thousand dollars to get your author name mentioned out there in authority sites and by influencers(even then it's not a sureshot way) to create a personality entity.

Bottom line: get your name (be it site brand or author name) registered inside Google's "important things" base.
 
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thanks for posting this. Would this work the same if for example instead of an ecommerce brand it was a branded digital marketing agency website?
 
thanks for posting this. Would this work the same if for example instead of an ecommerce brand it was a branded digital marketing agency website?
As long as you can create a buzz around your brand, it will. Think of ways you can make people (no botted or bought traffic) look up your site by brand name or type in your site URL directly in the browser (yes, direct traffic is another huge indicator of authority in the eyes of Google).

You can share an interesting case study or client report on your site and then get forum service providers to mention your case study (both in posts and comments) along with the site name on IM subreddits (do not post any direct links, this is a brand entity promotion service, not a backlink service. The curious people look up your site by name themselves). Something like:

" Did you guys check the case study done by SEOGuru? <Insert some curiosity-sparking insights about the case study>"


I'd say look at the ecomm site Temu and follow their brand entity creation strategy but on a smaller affordable scale.

Screenshot 2023-11-19 143829.png

The site started around the middle of August and right off the bat the owners (with fat stacks) understood the drill of buzz to create a brand identity.
They took the tried and tested referral chain method and added a twist to it- If you refer us we will reward you with products from our site (not sure if they followed through with their promise) and it worked like a charm!


Just look at the brand name search volume of Temu, a site that started barely a year ago. A successful example of smart brand entity promotion.
Screenshot 2023-11-19 144309.png
 
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As long as you can create a buzz around your brand, it will. Think of ways you can make people (no botted or bought traffic) look up your site by brand name or type in your site URL directly in the browser (yes, direct traffic is another huge indicator of authority in the eyes of Google).

You can share an interesting case study or client report on your site and then get forum service providers to mention your case study (both in posts and comments) along with the site name on IM subreddits (do not post any direct links, this is a brand entity promotion service, not a backlink service. The curious people look up your site by name themselves). Something like:

" Did you guys check the case study done by SEOGuru? <Insert some curiosity-sparking insights about the case study>"
This is very helpful, thank you for your response.
 
So what is the best way to monetize such branded websites since we are not actually selling things? By ads in blog articles or?
 
I realized this recently as well, about to update some of my websites. Google is looking for authority and brands.
It has made impossible to grow new blogs. All the leading positions are taken by big companies and unicorns in my country in some niche like education.
 
So what is the best way to monetize such branded websites since we are not actually selling things? By ads in blog articles or?
You can do display ads and might drop ship your product catalogues. If you're ambitious you can get in contact with suppliers and start shipping the products yourself. The margins are huge.

Affiliate marketing isn't a viable way for a company site.
All the leading positions are taken by big companies and unicorns in my country in some niche like education.
Unfortunately that's how it is. Average Joe's blogs are only gonna get worse results from now on (authority content sites with 3-4k quality articles will still prevail for the time being).

At this point Google trusts UGC more than a random blog site.

Sure you can probably make good money with AI spam for 1-2 months but they'll eventually get hammered. For long term SEO focus on your brand.
 
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