Future of Content Sites

Neo

Joined
Mar 3, 2021
Messages
4
Likes
6
Degree
0
What you guys think would be the future of content sites monetized with ads and affiliate links.

I am not saying seo is dead. But with the latest Google update targeting a lot of small niche site publishers, I think it is time to adapt or die.

How would you adapt to these changes? If you have no products or service to sell, what type of sites would you build?
 
Bro, you need to wait until the updates are done. After that we can speculate about what to do.
 
What you guys think would be the future of content sites monetized with ads and affiliate links.

I am not saying seo is dead. But with the latest Google update targeting a lot of small niche site publishers, I think it is time to adapt or die.

How would you adapt to these changes? If you have no products or service to sell, what type of sites would you build?

Right now it's really tough but what's clear is ecom sites and SaaS sites weren't hit by the latest updates. Even if they were propped up by cheap paid links and some AI content etc.

But @Zoro is spot on - we can't panic react at the moment. Google sending everyone's traffic to Forbes and Reddit is a panic response their end - it can't be the final game or they'll just kill their search engine. Once we know for sure where the line is/what we need to build/what information sites either recover or survive the current storm we'll know what to do/what the future for pure affiliate sites is etc.

I'm not full of optimism given how hard they hit everyone not just here but everywhere - but the talk on social from SEOs and randoms alike is that the current SERPS aren't exactly pleasing people so... changes are likely - they have so much data if they really aren't pleasing people they'll make changes.
 
I certainly feel there needs to be a course correction from Google as the user experience is just terrible at the moment.

As a site owner while I always want to rank #1 I'd not be unhappy if I was beaten by good content but currently what's ranking for certain searches seems to be even worse than Forbes (I'm seeing a lot of Quora posts).
 
I thought I was safe but my traffic was hit on Saturday. Let see how it will go in two weeks.
 
I have a few thoughts on this:

1 - I work on a few projects for a client who has sites in Swedish and Brazilian Portuguese and let me tell you... AI content and backlink techniques from 10 years ago still work like a charm (basically spam).

2 - The problem I see with content sites is this: if we look at a business from the perspective of Product + Marketing + Sales.

With content sites, all these 3 variables are kinda tied together and related to your content... With ad revenue, the product is just real estate on your pages or products you are promoting (that you don't actually own)... The traffic acquisition is again tied to your content, and reliant mostly on SEO/Google.

Sales is related to how well your copy is, how good you can interlink your pages to drive users through the funnel, and how well you know your audience and can write for them.

So basically, everything is tied to your content AND Google. The volatility is crazy and you are pretty much Google's bitch.

The solution I see, and that I'm implementing is to diversify traffic acquisition (socials), build an email marketing strategy, and start selling something (ebooks, POD, courses, tools, etc.).

ChatGPT and Fiverr are there to help us...

And from my brief experience doing this now, when you actually having something to sell, the content I'm allowed to create becomes more audience focused and not reliant on SEO tools and these metrics everyone uses.

Just my 2 cents.
 
I have a few thoughts on this:

1 - I work on a few projects for a client who has sites in Swedish and Brazilian Portuguese and let me tell you... AI content and backlink techniques from 10 years ago still work like a charm (basically spam).

2 - The problem I see with content sites is this: if we look at a business from the perspective of Product + Marketing + Sales.

With content sites, all these 3 variables are kinda tied together and related to your content... With ad revenue, the product is just real estate on your pages or products you are promoting (that you don't actually own)... The traffic acquisition is again tied to your content, and reliant mostly on SEO/Google.

Sales is related to how well your copy is, how good you can interlink your pages to drive users through the funnel, and how well you know your audience and can write for them.

So basically, everything is tied to your content AND Google. The volatility is crazy and you are pretty much Google's bitch.

The solution I see, and that I'm implementing is to diversify traffic acquisition (socials), build an email marketing strategy, and start selling something (ebooks, POD, courses, tools, etc.).

ChatGPT and Fiverr are there to help us...

And from my brief experience doing this now, when you actually having something to sell, the content I'm allowed to create becomes more audience focused and not reliant on SEO tools and these metrics everyone uses.

Just my 2 cents.
Hmmm... I guess some website owners will start building websites in other languages, with AI, of course.

Just imagine how some spammers are now rapidly translating their blogs on "how to use a shovel" in French, Dutch, German, Portuguese, and Spanish, to get that juicy traffic. Yeah, it pays less than English, but it's easy money.
 
A lot of people will move away from Google and towards social media, I know there is a huge push towards Facebook and Pinterest at the moment as well as building newsletters.

I think the people who will be successful are those who can build an audience that genuinely enjoys their content. More old school blogging rather than answering specific long tail keywords.
 
old school blogging
Old school blogging is making a comeback.

Readers want real, firsthand accounts from people on the ground. They want a unique perspective that they can't get themselves or with AI.

I think you hit the nail on the head when it comes to building an audience that likes your content for what it is and how it's written.

The bar has been raised for keeping people's attention and the writing has to be good and insightful.

Whether Google will start to reward this kind of writing remains to be seen, but it works well on social media.
 
I've been thinking about this a lot recently after being smashed by the update and I think the future is more of the same.

I'm sure I'm talking out of my ass here but I think Google sees brands like Forbes are a known quantity. No, they might not be experts on a topic but they have a certain level of consistency and quality that Google can rely on.

New sites are going to have to work hard bringing unique information or angles to the market which will then have to be adopted and referenced (linked to) by others because I think we're seeing the end of simply reworking the top results in a slightly different tone.
 
Hmmm... I guess some website owners will start building websites in other languages, with AI, of course.

Just imagine how some spammers are now rapidly translating their blogs on "how to use a shovel" in French, Dutch, German, Portuguese, and Spanish, to get that juicy traffic. Yeah, it pays less than English, but it's easy money.
I disagree. We have a content marketing team in English. The team is Filipinos. We tested the SOP and team by using AI to translate the content into Filipino and having a Filipino edit it. The hunch is that, if we can just replace the editor from a Filipino to $InsertLanguage here, we'll be able to make high quality article for any language.

So regular process is:
CB maker -> writer -> editor -> content marketing manger -> website

Tested process is:
CB maker (english with browser translate for Filipino query) -> Writer -> AI translation to Filipino -> Editor in Filipino -> website

The finding was that AI translation can halucinate things lacks the cultural understanding of a real human writer. If we're going for engagement, the engagement would be lower IMO if using AI with a human editor. I think engagement would be even lower with pure AI translation.

But you know, if you just want to spam other languages with techniques from '00 before the technical exploit is patched, then it might be your opportunity right now before the LLMs trained. I just wouldn't make this short term bet.
Old school blogging is making a comeback.

Readers want real, firsthand accounts from people on the ground. They want a unique perspective that they can't get themselves or with AI.

I think you hit the nail on the head when it comes to building an audience that likes your content for what it is and how it's written.

The bar has been raised for keeping people's attention and the writing has to be good and insightful.

Whether Google will start to reward this kind of writing remains to be seen, but it works well on social media.
Yes and I'm irritated at these bloggers. You can just copy and paste the template that's going viral and it's not new content either. I've seen so many people make "John's finance tips" IG shorts just becase CPM is super high for finance. The tips are the exact same tips. This content quality is dumb as well and there's no duplicate content penalty for social.

raised bar? Kinda like a new low for the Internet for me.
New sites are going to have to work hard bringing unique information or angles to the market which will then have to be adopted and referenced (linked to) by others because I think we're seeing the end of simply reworking the top results in a slightly different tone.
A unique angle that isn't done before where there's a demand without competition is a niche. That's the definition of a niche. Yes, companies need to find their niche. Nothing has changed.
 
Being able to scale authenticity using AI tools is what I see as the future of content.

Specifically, using AI to lower the barrier to doing video, sound and social media production to the point where you just need to do one video or one podcast and it will instantly be turned into a blog, a tiktok, a youtube, an Instagram story etc with the push of a button, translated or dubbed in many languages.

The key being authentic unique input, but produced, scaled and marketed by AI.

Another trend will be hyperspecialized content.

Why even bother with longtail when you can have your own chatbot? Get the user on your page and let AI use your unique data to create a personalized experience. What's the best color for my next couch, upload an image of your living room and lets find out. What's the best travel destination for me in May and what about in October, fill out this quick survey and lets find out.

Many possibilities, need to try to think outside the old models.
 
Why even bother with longtail when you can have your own chatbot? Get the user on your page and let AI use your unique data to create a personalized experience. What's the best color for my next couch, upload an image of your living room and lets find out. What's the best travel destination for me in May and what about in October, fill out this quick survey and lets find out.
Totally agree that this is one of the possible futures we're heading toward...

Follow-up question for you @bernard: How would you monetize this?
 
Yes and I'm irritated at these bloggers. You can just copy and paste the template that's going viral and it's not new content either. I've seen so many people make "John's finance tips" IG shorts just becase CPM is super high for finance. The tips are the exact same tips. This content quality is dumb as well and there's no duplicate content penalty for social.

raised bar? Kinda like a new low for the Internet for me.

A unique angle that isn't done before where there's a demand without competition is a niche. That's the definition of a niche. Yes, companies need to find their niche. Nothing has changed.
I'm specifically talking about written content. The fact that the internet has reached a new low is what drives the need to write with your own personal authority. People seem to be frustrated with the state of things across the board.

News sites with real writers are mostly behind a paywall, much of the rest is AI generated or trash. A real writer with opinions and feelings is a breath a fresh air.

The competition for people's attention is the bar that has been raised. You have to make something good enough for people to think, okay, I'll read this whole article. If you're going to try and write, that is.

And when they're done, they should say, damn that was good. Who is this writer?

Social media is the wild west, the trends change on a daily basis. People spam things that work (until the masses get sick of it) but there's still value in being the steady, reliable chugger who sticks to their guns and has their own style.

Again, that's strictly from a writer's perspective and not from an SEO or serious moneymaking perspective. Because the SEO game is on hard mode right now. But it's how people sell novels.
 
Totally agree that this is one of the possible futures we're heading toward...

Follow-up question for you @bernard: How would you monetize this?

I'd just insert affiliate links into the AI answers. If they recommend a product or a destination or service, then use something like Amazon API, Datafeedr API or Viator API to feed product recs into it.
 
A unique angle that isn't done before where there's a demand without competition is a niche. That's the definition of a niche. Yes, companies need to find their niche. Nothing has changed.

Completely agree, however, I think in the past few years Google has rewarded simply rewording the top 10 results. I've historically been a lazy SEO affiliate and doing this without adding something new has always resulted in rankings where as when I've put in effort to find a new angle or piece of new information the content has never really ranked well.
 
Completely agree, however, I think in the past few years Google has rewarded simply rewording the top 10 results. I've historically been a lazy SEO affiliate and doing this without adding something new has always resulted in rankings where as when I've put in effort to find a new angle or piece of new information the content has never really ranked well.
That’s what I’m doing too. Lots of informational queries have only one possible right answer. I think differentiation here is how the content is presented. I’m also differentiating my brand as a challenger brand. Other brands are normal travel tech brands. People respond really good to our branding.

For presentation, a competitor is using ai and this one is ranking well since the content is like 400 words. It summarizes the data to a quick glance and persuades without much effort. Competitors who were writing mini novels tanked because consumers are lazy. Presentation matters.

After seeing how RTINGS differentiated affiliate reviews, I’m still pondering how I can get my content on their level! The question they asked is how we can give the reader more value than what’s offered already. For my niche, we can pull in quotes from experts. We can also show live processing data, such as “live turn around time and delivery rate 73 hours and 98%”. But these ideas are still not enough IMO.

Idk let me know if you have any ideas.
 
Thanks for the replies guys.
I guess, going after longtail keywords is no longer a good strategy at least in popular niches.
SERP is domainated by reddit and authority sites although many of them don't even answer the queries directly.

Google used niche sites to train their AI (along with content from various sources including pirated books sites!) and now they now longer need us.
 
I have around 10 sites that have mostly been hit by the HCU or March '24 aged domain update. I spent $40k on 4 premium domains that ended up being a (sort of) waste.

I believe the future of content sites is this: churn and burn.

I won't invest in premium domains anymore. I bought them for their brand-ability, not their backlinks. I stayed on topic. Yet I still got pulled under by the latest update.

Moving forward, instead of creating large, well-branded sites I'd keep for the long haul, I'm creating smaller micro-sites on $10 domains that can be transferred to a new domain if needed.

I spent so much time building up my main blog and now Google hates it. I had seen the same story many times before.

I think Google "favors" certain sites for 2-3 years, then one day, it flips the switch. If sites are disposable, then I'll treat them that way too. Not investing in building a brand when Google doesn't reward domain loyalty at all.

There are brand new sites that have copied my main site ranking above me. Fine, I'll play that game. Google can never tell if a fresh domain is a spammer or "genuine" blogger. You'd think that someone investing $10k in just the domain is serious about the site, but nope!

Churn and burn. That's the future of niche sites.
 
IMO, it is and always has been: value.
While there have been things/times when you can cheat it... help it... fake it....

you want to give THE MOST value to your traffic.
this person makes it seem, it is all "logical" :smile:


oh, and value isn't only about the content on page, as traffic can get or view or see value in many ways.
So, how you provide value "depends"!!
 
I have a few thoughts on this:

1 - I work on a few projects for a client who has sites in Swedish and Brazilian Portuguese and let me tell you... AI content and backlink techniques from 10 years ago still work like a charm (basically spam).

This entirely depends on your niche selection!

I can assure you the most profitable niches like YMYL are very difficult also in non-english SERPs. Like finance and gambling where I do business.
 
Imo riches is in the niches, don't consider moving to a different job, I mean: yes the big keywords are gone, but there's still so much to earn money on.
 
Back