LATEST, March 2024: The SEO Playbook of Digital Goliaths (Detailed Q3) 🎉
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Detailed Q3: Analysing The SEO Playbook of Digital Goliaths In-Depth, Every Quarter

Written by Glen Allsopp | +552 this month
March 29, 2024

Welcome to Detailed Q3: Our third quarterly report sharing insights from the companies dominating Google search results and what they’re doing to stay ahead of the competition.

SEO is going through the most significant shift I’ve seen in my career thanks to AI and countless algorithm updates, and as someone with sites, clients and students reliant on search traffic, it’s crucial to know what’s working, whose thriving and how Google changes impact different industries.

Q3 – named after the third quarter I’m covering – is my take on how to keep you informed on what the biggest players in this space are doing, as they’re doing it.

When I went live with Detailed Q1 six months ago, I genuinely had no idea whether people would find it interesting. To my surprise, Q1 and Q2 have been viewed 30,000+ times, which is far more than I could have ever imagined.

It’s always mind-blowing to me when some of my favourite people read what I write. Thank you so much to everyone who helps spread the word.

I don’t take it for granted, and I’ll continue to make these as valuable as I can.

A Quick Note on ‘Outing’ Before I Share 46 Insights from the Last Quarter

Most of what I’m about to share is thanks to tracking updates from Digital Goliaths directly. Companies make interesting announcements that are typically buried between not-so-interesting announcements. I’m simply bringing them to the forefront.

My barometer for what’s fair to cover and what isn’t is whether revealing something would annoy the founder of, or SEO working on, that project. If I think they wouldn’t like it, you won’t see it below.

I’m also not going to reveal anything I believe to be ‘secret’ about a specific business. If there’s something I’m not sure I should share, I reach out to the people involved. Here are some responses I received this quarter:

In other words, I’m not going to “out” anybody, but I don’t believe that’s required to share a lot of fascinating insights. Hopefully you’ll agree.

I still plan to publish a page on our editorial standards going into more detail so I can get straight into the value next time.

Speaking of which…


Remember NextDoor’s 300,000 Pages of AI Generated Content? We Found Them, And They’re Performing Well

I caused a tiny bit of private investigation when I revealed in Detailed Q2 that publicly-listed NextDoor were using AI in their content creation efforts.

As a reminder, here’s what they had said in an earnings call,

And I also did mention that we saw almost 300,000 pages created using Gen AI to put out there from an SEO perspective. That’s a really good way to drive people back to Nextdoor to make sure we keep showing up as being highly relevant.

Here’s an estimate of how many pages they launched and how Google is currently reacting to them (via Ahrefs):

To be respectful to NextDoor I’m not going to reveal that URL path, though I don’t think anyone working there would mind if I did and it should be easy to find in your favourite SEO tool.

While I agree the pages definitely look like they were put out there from an SEO perspective, they’re not typical AI-generated pages like we’ve become familiar with companies pushing.

Instead, assume they’re more like what you would find on sites like Yelp or TripAdvisor.

Finally, I wanted to give a shoutout to Tom Critchlow who has been writing some interesting thoughts on AI and search traffic recently, who discussed this with me (that link has nothing to do with NextDoor — links are just my way of saying thanks).


Business News Brand is Currently Averaging 46.8M Monthly Pageviews, with 25% Year-Over-Year Growth

You’re probably familiar with Fortune, but if you’re anything like me, you haven’t visited the site in a while.

I might actually be part of the minority, as their recently updated numbers revealed they reach more than 25 million monthly visitors.

In their Q3 2023 numbers, they showed year-over-year growth of 46%.

The newly published stats, which aren’t labelled but I understand are for Q4 2023, still show some incredible figures.

According to estimates from Similarweb, organic search is the biggest driver of those visitors, responsible for 58% of them.

Data from Ahrefs shows they’ve seen steady, consistent ranking increases over the past year.


Digital Brands (Hosting Advice, Dating Advice) See Traffic & Revenue Increase 25% Year Over Year

As someone who covers the success of sites thanks to SEO, I love how open Digital Brands are about what they do each month to grow the rankings of their market-leading brands.

The current sites I track for them are:


Combined, Ahrefs estimates their sites pull in around one million monthly visitors from Google. To be respectful, I won’t give the stats for each individually.

If you’re in the hosting review space, where there’s a ton of money to be made as an affiliate, then you’ve undoubtedly seen HostingAdvice in the top rankings over the years.

President and Founder Toby Sembower revealed that they finished 2023 strongly, with 25% higher traffic and revenue compared to 2022. He added that they’re positioned for more growth throughout 2024.

In Detailed Q2 I mentioned how Digital Brands saw 50% revenue growth throughout 2023. I assume these new numbers mean they still ended 2023 very well, but not as well as prior months had been over the previous year.

Multiple team members commented on redesigns coming to their network of brands in 2024 so I’ll keep track of those to see if they make any radical changes.


SEO Startup Daydream Just Raised $2.5M to Automate Programmatic SEO with GPT

I generally leave any commentary about SEO agencies to our SEO industry report but I thought this was interesting enough to get a mention here.

Daydream CEO Thenuka Karunaratne announced on LinkedIn that they had raised a $2.5M pre-seed for “building the next generation of tools for acquiring users at scale from search.”

From their website:

If 90%+ of content produced for SEO purposes is created manually right now, with <10% being produced programmatically, we believe this ratio will flip within the next five years [..] we should approach a point where AI-generated content matches, or exceeds the capability of what an in-house team member can write.

There are an overwhelming number of content tools with an SEO and AI focus right now so I’m curious to see how they plan to stand out.

One person I really respect in the SEO world, Eli Schwartz, is on board as an investor so that makes them more interesting to me.

Personally, I would be far more concerned that if the ratio does flip and most content in search is AI-generated (like they expect), there might not be as much of a search audience seeking it out or answers worth clicking on.

I’ll keep an open mind as I don’t think anyone can accurately predict what the next few years of search will look like, but I’m still bullish on the value of human-generated reports and insights.


Color Palette Resource Color Hunt is Picking up 30,000 Clicks Per Day from Google

Entrepreneur and logo designer Gal Shir recently revealed that his resource on color palettes, Color Hunt, is averaging around 30,000 clicks per day from Google.

Sharing here with his permission, Color Hunt also has an accompanying Chrome extension with more than 200,000 weekly users.

In other words, their search traffic numbers are impressive (and growing), but the business isn’t solely reliant on a single source of visitors.

The site’s focus is straightforward, sure, but the execution is beautiful.


Digital Goliath Ziff Davis Shut Down (But Don’t Seem to Have Revealed Why)

If you had visited this time last year, you would have been greeted with recommendations for the best AAA batteries, Dell computers and iPad covers.

A few months ago the site was updated to instead recommend visiting other brands in the Ziff Davis portfolio and to confirm it’s “taking a break at the moment”.

According to Similarweb, was receiving 108,000 visits per month as recently as February 2024. They estimate 35% of that traffic was from search, though other tools like Ahrefs don’t back up, so it wasn’t completely void of visitors but certainly small in its owners’ portfolio.

Besides what is written on the homepage, I couldn’t find any explanation for shutting it down.

It’s hard to imagine such an incredible domain – with an equally impressive backlink profile – will stay looking like this for too much longer.


A Little-Known Public Company Behind 22 Gaming Sites Just Had Their Best Ever Quarter

M.O.B.A, which owns and operates some of the world’s largest communities for gaming fans, recently announced in its Q3 2023 financial results that it saw its largest sales results ever.

Q3 ended with over $8M in revenue, up 2% year over year, and saw total sales for 2023 reach $26.6M.

The total number of brands they’re behind now stands at 25 (up from 13 in 2021). Some of these include:

It’s also worth noting that the business operates close to 1,000 (!) YouTube channels.

I’ve never seen a single website I follow mention M.O.B.A but that’s likely because they’re based in Sweden and report their earnings in SEK.

Alongside acquisitions, M.O.B.A mentioned being particularly focused on SEO efforts for their brands and expect to begin seeing the results of this work in early 2024.

There’s a bit more to their business than I’ve covered here, so you may want to visit their company site to learn more if you’re in a similar space.


Valnet Acquires CarBuzz To Add To Its Portfolio of Automotive Websites

In January 2024, Valnet announced the acquisition of, the publisher of automotive news, reviews, and buying guides.

CarBuzz was founded in 2010 and is well known for its car purchasing rating system.

The site, which receives around 1 million monthly visitors from search according to Ahrefs, joins the likes of and, who are amongst 34 other brands we currently track for Valnet.

Sadly no financial details were revealed but hopefully it was a good exit for all involved.


Planet Sport Breaks Traffic Records with 30% YoY Growth, As Their Planet Football Brand Gets A Redesign

January saw the announcement that PlanetFootball had been redesigned, following other PlanetSport brands such as and Love Rugby League.

I always appreciate it when a media brand makes bold moves with its design, and it’s fair to say this doesn’t look like your typical football news site:

I have to admire that they went for a bold, original design in this space

Head of publishing, Mark Holmes, shared his thoughts on the new design:

We’re really proud of Planet Football’s revitalised look and feel…The content has always been a lot of fun, and now we’ve got a website that shows off that personality with big images, lots of colour, and very limited advertising, making for a wonderful user experience.

The redesign came not long after it was announced their publishing division had a record traffic year in 2023, reaching a consistent 50 million monthly pageviews.

A number of their sites have seen traffic growth after redesigns, with the aim of updating their sites self-reported to be:

  • Increasing site speed
  • Improving content responsiveness
  • Optimising for mobile
  • Improving crawlability

With challenges in the media world and multiple algorithm changes coming to Google, it might be tough to maintain the momentum, but I will continue to watch their progress as a fan.


On Chegg’s Q4 ’23 Earnings Call They Announced They’re “Enhancing SEO With Automated Answers”

A line that caught my attention on Cheggs most recent earnings call was this one, “Additionally, we are building sharing into our service to increase word of mouth, expanding our presence on TikTok, enhancing our SEO with increased questions from automated answers.

Emphasis my own.

If you’re unfamiliar with the brand, Chegg is a publicly listed education company that offers homework help, tutoring, textbook rentals, and more.

Search traffic has grown steadily in the past year, with Ahrefs estimating that Google now sends them around 5.7M visitors each month.

It appears a lot of that traffic goes to their /homework-help/ directory, with the following page being their most trafficked:

The weird thing is that I can’t even see the contents of the page Google is sending me to.

Even if I create a free account, I still have to pay to see anything:

In the rest of the call, they stated,

Our business model benefits from more students asking more questions as we index those questions into search and other platforms to drive even more customers. Since introducing automated answers in late December, we’ve seen a significant increase in the number of students asking new questions, as well as the number of questions per student. [..] In January, Chegg’s automated answers delivered more than 2.2 million solutions to students, which is 3 times the number of new questions asked and answered at the same time last year.

I was happy to create an account to have more insights for this section but I won’t start paying them to see the answers.

What am I missing here though? I know this isn’t new for Google, but they’re sending every homework help click to a page with a blurred out answer, which you still can’t see when you create a free account.

You have to pay to see anything, and by the sounds of it, a considerable percentage of those answers are now automated. (Granted, automating answers doesn’t necessarily mean they’re bad or wrong).

This isn’t the time to get into whether paywalled content should rank, so let me just say it doesn’t make for the best user experience.


333 of the 522 Content Sites We Track in Similarweb Saw Traffic Decline in the Past Four Months

Outside of our private ~3,000-site database we use to track what’s going on with the biggest brands on the internet, we also separately track the top content sites on Similarweb.

Their estimates will never be perfect, but similar sites in related niches should be relatively comparable.

Of the 522 content-first sites we track in Similarweb – both independent and owned by media companies – 189 saw traffic increase, while 333 saw traffic decrease.

Examples of the kind of content-first sites I track include,, and RunnersWorld.

I’m comparing Similarweb estimates from March of 2024 and November of 2023, each showing data from the prior month. The plan is to reduce future comparisons to three months instead of four.

The median decrease for those that lost traffic was a 471,000 visit loss. This means half lost more than 471,000 monthly visits, and half lost fewer.

On average, they saw visits decline by 17.8%.

While these numbers aren’t great, they are an improvement over the 800,000 and 25% median loss we reported in Q2.

Those that gained traffic, on average, saw visits increase by just 1.94%.

My hope is that this data will become much more valuable when I can compare it year over year (Detailed Q4) so we can take trends and seasonality into account.

If you’ve seen traffic decrease over the last few months, then know that judging by third-party estimates, you’re far from alone.


Crypto Exchange Bullish Purchased One of the Biggest Crypto News Sites, CoinDesk, in a $75M Deal

When the biggest content site in a niche gets acquired, it’s a big deal.

Coindesk, which Ahrefs estimates receives around 6.3M visitors from Google each month, was one of the original sites reporting on cryptocurrency and has grown with the rise of the asset class.

Things appear to be going their way again since the October Core Update

The site was purchased in an all-cash deal by crypto exchange Bullish, founded by the former president of the New York Stock Exchange.


Affiliate Revenue for Women’s Health and Men’s Health is Growing, In Part Because “We Are So Credible and Trusted”

One story that made its way across media sites in January was that Hearst UK is continuing its membership push with new apps for its Women’s Health and Men’s Health brands.

The insight I was more interested in comes via Press Gazette, which revealed that affiliate revenue for both brands has grown.

Here’s an excerpt:

Sanderson said affiliate revenue on Women’s Health was up 23% year-on-year while Men’s Health was performing particularly well on fitness e-commerce. We’ve seen huge growth in that area because people do want to buy products endorsed by Women’s Health and Men’s Health because we are so credible and trusted and people know that we are the experts in our field.

I know a lot of niche site owners and SEOs who would question those comments, but people are clearly making purchases after seeing something they recommend.


The SEOs at ValuePenguin Have Been Moving Some of Their Best Articles to Their Parent Company, LendingTree ($TREE)

If you’ve read our previous quarterly reports, you’ll know I track a lot of domain redirects. Digital goliaths are very active in this regard.

What doesn’t happen too often is that some individual articles are redirected from one site to another, but that’s what I’ve seen happening with Value Penguin and their parent company, Lending Tree.

The articles cover some of the most valuable terms you could target in the finance space. I won’t reveal any to be respectful, but just picture any ‘best’ keyphrases in their niche.

This is totally up to them to do, of course, and I don’t think it’s sneaky or blackhat (so it’s fine to mention — especially as they’re a public company). In a way, they could have actually been covering the same topic on two sites instead of focusing their efforts more on one.

That’s what makes it more interesting to me: Brands with multiple sites in a similar niche tend to cover the same topics across them, rather than purposefully consolidate their rankings.

While I don’t at all think they’re doing anything sneaky, out of respect I didn’t want to share an example that redirects. Here’s an article that’s still live, with LendingTree branding in the logo

While the redirects are not totally new – the ones I looked into happened in Q3 of 2023 – there seems to be a clear decline in traffic to Value Penguin, while LendingTree is holding steady in search results.

In one of the most competitive industries online, when you’re up against several public companies (and a public company yourself), I’m always interested in what marketers do to try and compete.

According to third-party tools, LendingTree picks up more search traffic and has a better backlink profile, so it would be more surprising if the redirects had gone the other way.

The changes come around a year after they redirected the entirety of to the LendingTree domain.


The 2024 Version of Our ’16 Companies Dominating Google’ Report Was Picked Up By TechCrunch, The Financial Times And Many More, So Let Me Say A Huge ‘Thank You!’

Hopefully it’s clear that I absolutely love what I do here at Detailed.

Sometimes there’s the odd topic I have little interest in writing about (e.g. Local SEO), but it’s a dream for me to cover everything else. To have thousands (and sometimes tens of thousands) of people read my reports is a far cry from when I started covering this space and something that still blows my mind.

One slight problem is that with my own sites, clients and how long it takes to put these reports together, I have very little time to “market” Detailed. It’s ironic for a site focused on helping people grow their website traffic, I know.

Last month I went live with the 2024 version of our ’16 Companies Dominating Google’ report. It was far more work than I originally planned, primarily because I had to rewrite it in a way that allows annual updates without overlapping concepts with these quarterly reports.

In the space of a week it was mentioned on TechCrunch, The Financial Times, Search Engine Land, Hacker News and big financial sites like Naked Capitalism and The Big Picture by Barry Ritholtz.

Full transparency: TechCrunch did link to Detailed last month, but they referenced the 2023 version a couple of days before the 2024 version went live (on the same URL). Still, it and the mention – of the most recent version – was a huge surprise.

If you missed the report, there are a lot of insights I have to share, and in a different style to these quarterly reports. Here’s the link.

More than anything though, I owe my gratitude to everyone who likes and shares my work. As I say, I don’t have much free time to promote what I do, and I’m fortunate that (generally) the more effort I put into these reports, the more people spread the word.

I really appreciate it. Thank you.


AllGear Digital Wins ‘Content Affiliate Publisher of the Year’ And Adds Another Site to Its Portfolio

The creators of an affiliate network program, Avantlink, recently announced their award winners for 2023.

While on the surface it looks like a way to give thanks to their customers, there are some big name winners like The New York Times’ Wirecutter in the mix.

Affiliate publisher of the year was awarded to AllGear Digital, thanks to their success with sites like Gear Junkie, Switchback Travel and The Inertia.

Runner-up was a site that has had a volatile time in search results recently, Electric Bike Report.

I revealed in January of 2024 that AllGear Digital added another brand to their portfolio: PackHacker.

PackHacker is popular among those who like to travel light and reaches millions of people each month.

AllGear Digital is one of the more interesting brands I follow, mainly because they run several niche content sites. I’ll keep you updated on what they’re up to in these quarterly reports.


Here’s Another ‘Nerdwallet of Asia’ Now Generating Tens of Millions of Dollars Each Quarter

In Detailed Q2 I introduced you to Moneysmart, a Nerdwallet-like resource with websites targeting people in Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong and The Philippines.

Now let me also introduce you to MoneyHero Group, which TechInAsia revealed generated $35M in the fourth quarter of 2023.

CompareHero Malaysia. Their sites might not have the most attractive designs but they’re converting well

Reaching a self-reported 9.1M monthly unique users, they’re behind sites like:

  • 🇭🇰
  • 🇸🇬
  • 🇹🇼
  • 🇸🇬
  • 🇲🇾
  • 🇵🇭

In Singapore alone they’ve grown by over 100% year over year.

It’s no surprise that a proven business model targeting Western audiences can be replicated elsewhere, and I don’t know about you, but I love seeing what other companies are up to.


Publicly-listed Digitalbox State Restrictions Placed on Google-Sourced Traffic Have Been Resolved. They Forgot One Key Detail…

Google Discover sent 28 million clicks to their UK-focused gossip site, Entertainment Daily (owned by Digitalbox), in the first half of 2022. A year later, Discover sent them just a single visitor in a week.

A January ’24 investor update says the issue has been resolved since November.

What I can’t find them mention anywhere is that they redirected the site with the issue,, to a new domain at

The redirect appears to have happened the same month they noted their recovery.

This isn’t new territory for Digitalbox, as I reported in Detailed Q2 that another site of theirs, The Poke, recently went through the same to .com extension change.

Initially it looked like they were able to double their search traffic after the move (keeping in mind third-party tools don’t track Google Discover) but they’ve seen a significant dip in March as I write this report.

The company has more than £1.9M in gross cash and a network which includes:

  • TheDailyMash (essentially a UK-focused ‘The Onion’) 🧅
  • The Poke (trending UK news) 🇬🇧
  • The Tab (youth news site) 👨‍🎓
  • TVGuide (UK-focused TV schedule) 📺

They reported their latest numbers in the last 24 hours so I’ll dive into those as soon as I hit publish on this report.


My Deep Dive Into the Forums Dominating Search Results Prompted a Response from Reddit (Which Actually Cemented My Concerns)

If you’ve followed my writing for any length of time, you’ll likely have seen my regularly updated deep dives into who is dominating product review search results.

In 2023 we updated that specific report four separate times.

One significant change in 2024 is that Google’s ‘Discussions and forums’ feature is more prominent than ever, showing up in 7,700 of the 10,000 “best [product]”-style search results we analysed.

Reddit and Quora absolutely dominate these results, and I highlighted how most of the top-ranking Reddit threads have been spammed to the point they offer little to no value.

In a statement to Search Engine Land, Reddit called our research “misleading” and even gave them an example URL where there wasn’t any spam. Just one problem with their example, as SEL called out, is that the top comments were spammed.

Take a look:

I really appreciate that Danny at Search Engine Land looked into the examples they were sharing.

I take my reporting seriously and always keep receipts of what I find. I have nothing against Reddit and think it’s a great platform, but they can’t currently keep up with the spam that’s taking place on the platform.

I thought Googlers might be a little embarrassed by how much traffic they’re sending to abused threads, but nothing has been done on that just yet.

I reran the numbers five weeks later (March 2024), and Reddit and Quora still have more than three times the prominence of every other site combined.


GRV Media Continue to Break Traffic Records, Add to Their Portfolio and Even Just Gave a Rare Founder Interview

In both Detailed Q1 and Detailed Q2 I mentioned how GRV Media, primarily home to dozens of football (soccer) news sites, keeps breaking traffic records.

This update is no exception, as eight of their websites have already broken monthly traffic records in 2024.

As of this month, they’re the new owners of MMA site BloodyElbow, which WeBrokr helped advise on. In the past the site has had multi-million visitor months from Google which I’m sure they’re hoping to get back to.

I currently track 42 sites for GRV Media, which Semrush estimates pick up over 3 million clicks from Google each month. To be respectful, I won’t associate estimates with any specific site.

While news sites are typically highly reliant on traffic from Google, because they have many team-specific brands, there’s no doubt an opportunity for them to pick up a lot of social media traffic. For my own football team (Newcastle United), I’ve seen their GeordieBootBoys site being shared a lot.

As someone who has been reporting on them for a while, it was nice to see an interview with their co-founder, Vic Daniels, on how they run the business with 100+ employees.

He made some interesting comments on the future of the business and his philosophy.

You’ve got Google, Facebook and Twitter all evolving as well and algorithm changes that will impact businesses like ours. But I never worry about all that stuff – because I never worry about things that I can’t control. All we can do is our best. I think our quest is to continue to deliver, as far as we can, good-quality content that people want to read. As long as we do that, and as long as we’ve got an audience – or we can build an audience – then we are in with a chance. But you can never stay still – the moment you sit back and think you have made it is the first step on the slippery slope to failure.

That last sentence is crucial to anyone in the content game right now. And on a similar note…


BGFG’s Job Postings for a New Content Angle Mean I Finally Get to Talk About The Tech Site Goliath

One of my favourite niche media companies, BGFG, is pretty quiet in the sense that they don’t reveal too much about their operations I can report on.

They have such an interesting portfolio of sites that (with permission) I’m happy I can finally talk about them now.

BGFG stands for By Gamers, For Gamers, though they diverged from that focus slightly with a recent acquisition. Google sends millions of visitors each month to their network of sites, which includes brands like:

I asked their founder, Will Blears, for permission to talk about them here.

It was their recent job postings, mirrored alongside the interview with a GRV Media co-founder (above), that caught my attention. Here’s one of them:

Now, on its own, I get that it’s not very interesting.

But if you’re in the tech space and you aren’t writing about this topic which has a huge growing interest, or don’t have any plans to write about it, then you’re likely missing out.

It’s the kind of mentality to follow trends and capitalise on opportunities like this – as long as they don’t alienate your current audience – which I think will give media brands the best chance of success.

I believe in that but as I said to Will, I primarily wanted a chance to finally talk about them.


As TechCrunch+ Shuts Down, Here’s a Unique Keyword Research Angle I Once Shared There (That’s Still Relevant Today)

In 2019 I got to check an item off my bucket list: I wrote an article for TechCrunch.

I had been following the site since not long after Michael Arrington launched it and over the years watched it rise into one of the most influential sites online.

My article wasn’t on the public-facing portion of the site but for their premium offering, TechCrunch+.

Last month saw the announcement that TechCrunch+ would no longer be available and all previous articles written there, including mine, will become public.

It was always a dream of mine to write for TechCrunch so I’m pretty proud of this, even if it was for TechCrunch+

In my article I had revealed that if Wikipedia ranks highly in Google for a phrase you’re targeting, you can get an idea of how much traffic the search engine sends as Wikipedia pageview data is public.

It’s not a perfect representation of how many clicks something picks up from Google (Wikipedia gets traffic from other sources, rankings aren’t consistent, etc.), but it’s good to get a maximum baseline of what you can expect.

I shared one such tool, WMCloud, on Twitter this month and got a great reaction.

I’m sharing it again here if you don’t follow me there or don’t use Twitter. It’s not a replacement for premium tools, but it’s pretty fun to play around with.

Finally, I can’t forget to add this interesting tidbit from TechCrunch writer Danny Crichton, who talked about TC+ and its termination.

As one of the most venerable sites covering tech on the web, major announcements from Elon Musk, Tesla, Apple, Facebook and other big technology companies drove heavy traffic to TechCrunch. Most of this was relayed via Google Search and Google News, and at times, more than 90% of the site’s traffic came from just those two sources. Critically, this coverage was eminently affordable. Writing up an article on the latest ravings of Elon Musk might take about 15 minutes (there usually wasn’t that much to say other than his statement, after all), but that one article could drive 100,000 page views or more. That was the secret treasure that funded the real in-depth reporting: cheap coverage of a big tech company coupled with the lucre of comparatively extraordinary ad revenue.

I don’t think this is too dissimilar to what is likely happening with big brands and product reviews. The money they generate from those is what funds their more remarkable content.


Stock Market News Site MarketBeat Has Seen Search Traffic Grow Considerably in 2024

Matt Paulson, founder of MarketBeat and several other brands in the financial space, recently shared that his flagship site is seeing growing search traffic.

Clicks from the start of November to the beginning of February show the site going from around 24,000 daily clicks to closer to 60,000.

Of course, there are elements of seasonality that may be taking place, but third-party tools estimate the trend is continuing.

As always, I’m sharing this chart with permission.


TurboTax Continue The Push With their Local SEO Strategy, Targeting “Tax Pro Near Me” Queries

If you’re unfamiliar with the business, TurboTax develops software for preparing tax returns for American citizens.

Millions use their online app and desktop software to assist in every step of the process.

In their Q4 earnings call they made further comments about how they see local-focused Google searches as a place where they can grow their business.

And then lastly is 43% of those that use an assisted method [for filing taxes] that choose the switch to somebody else, will actually go on Google and Google is there a tax pro near me? And again, that’s another example of where we didn’t have the infrastructure to show up and we’re building that infrastructure. So I can tell you for a fact, in San Jose, California, right or in Los Gatos, I should say if you put in tax pro near me, we will show up top of the list. If you do it in Atlanta, which is where I was a few weeks ago, we don’t show up because we’re working on.

As they said in their Q3 earnings call, they view these local rankings as “just a massive acquisition opportunity for us right”.

Local SEO is not something I assist clients with—I don’t think it’s wise to try to specialise in everything—but I still thought these comments were fascinating. I try to include insights in these reports for people focused on all areas of search traffic acquisition.


Similarweb Released Their List of the 100 Fastest-Growing Companies Online. Here’s Some That Stood Out (And How Important SEO Is)

In January of this year, Similarweb released its list of the fastest-growing companies online, and being the data nerd I am, I had to see how important search traffic was for them.

Direct traffic was a clear winner but, on average, sites relied on organic search for 26.65% of their monthly visits, compared to paid search (12.27%), social (8.58%), referrals (6.42%), display ads (5.36%) and email marketing (1.74%).

Some of the more interesting businesses from the list that stood out to me were:

There’s just something about the bold branding on that I really love:

They also have an enviable domain portfolio, with eCommerce stores on the likes of and

When I shared this on social media, it was cool to see Similarweb reply and retweet from their accounts on both Twitter and LinkedIn.

As I said earlier, I get little free time to market Detailed and myself, so every little interaction like this helps a lot.


Exclusive: As Forums Get More Attention in Search Results, ReflectorMedia Add Five to Their Growing Portfolio

Last month I published an in-depth report on who dominates Google’s ‘Discussions and forums SERP feature.

I felt like I was seeing it in more search results than ever before and my suspicions were correct when I ran the numbers: It was present in 77% of the 10,000 search results I looked at.

This month, Google is experimenting more with a ‘Forums’ filter to replace the ‘Perspectives’ filter they introduced a few months ago.

One company with a chance to benefit from that are ReflectorMedia.

Founded by Radu Tyrsina, they operate five premium brands that reach more than 12 million visitors each month.

Their portfolio includes other tech and Windows-focused sites like Windows Report and The Mac Observer.

One of the biggest sites in the Reflector Media portfolio, Windows Report

Windows Report (pictured above) has had a number of exclusives in recent months that a lot of big tech sites picked up on.

I can exclusively reveal that this year they’ve added the following five forums to their portfolio:

As it stands, the sites are far less popular than what I would typically report on. Ahrefs estimates they receive just a few thousand visitors each month from Google.

Getting access to so many members might have been part of the appeal, with Windows 10 Forums and Mac Help having around 45,000 combined users.

No deal terms were revealed (and I didn’t ask), but Radu’s previous success with content sites and growing search traffic make me the most interested in where the brand might be going.


North Star Network Acquired Football News Site SportsMole for a 7-Figure Fee

Last month saw the news that NorthStar Network acquired in a 7-figure acquisition.

As a total coincidence, I had just discovered SportsMole a month earlier, and the site really stood out to me as one of its founders, Alan Jay, was also a co-founder of the popular movie database IMDB.

I’ve tracked North Star for quite a while now but have yet to mention them as they primarily run websites that aren’t in English.

The acquisition announcement included the news that Sports Mole picks up more than seven million sessions each month, with Similarweb estimating the majority of those visitors come to the site via organic search.

If you’ve read previous quarterly reports then you’ll know I’m pretty interested in the football niche online (I watch the sport every week and there are some huge brands involved) so it’s nice to read about another success story.

#28 Grows 57% Year Over Year to 1.7M Monthly Visitors, Reporting on TikTok Trends & Celebrity Gossip

2023 was a good year for the UK’s The Independent.

In January they reached 25.2M US readers, up 28% month-on-month, the highest growth of any of the top 10 news brands.

They also revealed that their Indy100 brand, which reports on TikTok trends, celebrity gossip, and gaming news, saw year-over-year growth of 57%.

In some months, such as in November of last year, the brand saw year-over-year growth of 100%.

I will keep this short because they don’t publish the kind of content I read and the chances of you having a site in this space are pretty slim.

Still, I’m always interested in who’s seeing success with content on the web, and Indy100 are another example to add to the list.


On the Back of a Recent Successful Exit, One of My Favourite Builders Has a New Site in the Health Niche

In my report on the sites dominating product review search results, I mentioned that his site was one of the top independent brands on the web.

In Detailed Q2 I revealed how that same site, Living Cozy, had been acquired in what I understand was a very successful exit.

Now he’s launched a new brand in the very competitive health niche, Wellworthy, and I knew I had to share it here.

Note: This image was modified slightly to fit more headlines / images in one picture.

I have absolutely zero connections to the site, and founder Ash Read didn’t ask me to cover it here (although he gave me permission to do so).

If someone has built a successful niche media brand and had it acquired, then I’m always interested in what they do next, and Wellworthy already looks so different to a standard affiliate / content brand.

I look forward to reporting on it for many Detailed Q updates to come.


The Trend Continues as More Large Sites Move Away from Their Domains

I’m always interested in seeing how digital goliaths handle their brand portfolios and one trend that has caught my eye is the shift away from domain extensions.

Logically, it makes sense: People are more familiar with .com, and a country-specific extension limits the targeting of your marketing efforts.

Some of the sites involved in these redirects previously received millions of visitors from search each month, so they’re a big deal.

I can now add two more to the running table:

Previous URL New URL Brand Documented Future Q1 Bauer Media Group Q1 Kelsey Media Q1 Digitalbox Q2 Future Q2 LADbible Group Q2 Kelsey Media Q2 Digitalbox Q3 Future Q3

The Entertainment Daily redirect was particularly interesting because, as I said in a previous section of this report, it appears to have reversed their bad fortunes in Google Discover.

I can’t keep reporting on this for too long – we track 3,000+ sites but not that many of them have a extension – but I’ll keep it going while it’s still happening.


LADBible Group’s Newest Website is Off to a Slow Start in Search (But Already Dominating Facebook)

One news item that fell just outside our Detailed Q2 report window was LADBible Group launching their sixth website,

LADBible Group are one of the most successful brands I follow, behind sites like:

Their foray into the tech space appears to have gotten off to a slow start, where Ahrefs estimates they’re picking up around 4,700 monthly visitors from search.

This isn’t a surprise, especially as the site is so new, but they have some great links from other sites in their network and are approaching 1,000 pages of content. I would generally expect their rankings to improve from here.

SEO results probably aren’t a concern for them at the moment though, with their social media expertise paying off and Similarweb estimating Facebook is sending them around 500,000 visitors each month.

Their UNILAD Tech page on Facebook, which existed before the site, has already racked up 8.5M Likes and 15M followers on the platform.


The Parenting Blog That Has Grown So Big, They’ve Just Purchased An Offline Retail Store Chain

In 2009, Roshni Mahtani Cheung launched her blog, theAsianparent, focused specifically on parents in Singapore and Malaysia.

In the last 15 years the brand has continued to grow, now reaching 30 million parents in Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, India, Malaysia and the Philippines.

As TechinAsia reports (paywall), they have a successful mobile app with 5.5M users, and expanded into Vietnam with their acquisition of Webtretho.

According to third-party data from Ahrefs, Google sends their main domain around 6 million visitors each month, with Similarweb confirming search is their biggest traffic source.

In 2019 they launched Mama’s Choice, their line of pregnancy and nursing products, which saw massive growth during the Covid-19 pandemic and successfully sold their products across a number of online marketplaces such as Lazada, TikTok Shop and Tokopedia.

Now in 2024, with a deal that includes cash and equity, theAsianparents holding company, The Parentinc, will ultimately become owners of offline premium retail brand, Motherswork.

With its physical products and online reach, Founder and CEO Cheung sees great growth potential, primarily because “70% of retail in SEA is still predominantly done offline.”

I absolutely love seeing what was once a simple blog with a clear mission become such a powerhouse in the market they set out to serve.


What Will Happen to’s 2M Monthly Visitors from Search Now That They’re No Longer Publishing Content?

One thing that always surprises me on social media is how much focus people put on the amount of search traffic a website gets rather than its quality.

Despite receiving an estimated 19M visitors each month, the numbers aren’t enough for Vice Media Group to continue publishing content on its flagship domain,

CEO Bruce Dixon revealed that,

As part of this shift, we will no longer publish content on, instead putting more emphasis on our social channels as we accelerate our discussions with partners to take our content to where it will be viewed most broadly.

Dixon added that Vice Media Group will be transitioning to a studio model, where they publish content for other platforms.

The SEO in me can’t help but wonder what will happen to Vice’s current rankings when they’ll miss capitalising on any search trends and start picking up fewer links in comparison to their competitors.

If the results are anything like other brands I’ve tracked in a similar scenario, they’ll see a significant drop-off (at least in terms of raw numbers) but find a baseline for the next few years that most content publishers would be more than happy with. Assuming it was going to high-value pages, of course.


Averaging 33 Million Visitors Daily, Lee Enterprises Reports Digital Revenue of $71M for Q1 2024

You might not be familiar with Lee Enterprises, but if you’re in the US, you’ve likely seen some of their brands such as, and

One of Lee Enterprises flagship brands,

They also run several non-local-news brands, such as:

  • All Politics Now (Politics)
  • Whiskers 101 (Dogs)
  • Tasty Recipes 101 (Food)
  • Easy Travel 101 (Travel)
  • Feast and Field (Food)

In their Q1 2024 report (they don’t follow the same numbering as other companies) they revealed total operating revenue of $156M, $71M of which was attributed to digital revenue. Digital revenue represented 46% of the total and saw an 11% increase year over year.

I understand that local news might not be the focus of most people reading this report but it’s still incredibly impressive that more than 33 million people visit their sites each day.

They also revealed their publications now have 735,000 digital-only subscribers, which they estimate will grow to around 771,000 (+7%) over 2024.


Did The Arena Group Quietly Purchase Two Music Focused Sites (With Less than 15,000 Monthly Visitors from Search)?

One of the brands I’ve been following for a few months now, Project M Group, recently updated their portfolio to remove a site I was tracking for them, Metal Edge Magazine.

I was curious if they had shut the site down, but scrolling to the footer, I saw the familiar ‘The Arena Group’ logo. (Familiar because The Arena Group are one of the brands we track in our 16 companies dominating Google report).

As I write this, Ahrefs estimates the site picks up around 5,000 monthly visitors from search, and further research tells me that what was once a physical magazine is no more.

Going back through the Project M Group portfolio, I see another site, Goldmine Magazine, also adorns The Arena Group logo in their website footer.

This one is slightly more popular, with Ahrefs estimating they pick up around 10,000 monthly visitors from search.

It appears that they still publish the physical magazine.

The move isn’t a huge surprise in most senses (until recently The Arena Group published other magazines like Sports Illustrated) but they seem smaller than I expect for them to be adding to their portfolio.

Either way, I’m curious to see what they do with the sites next. The Arena Group did not reply when asked for comment.


Canada’s Leading Startup and Technology Publication, BetaKit, Reveals They’re Reaching Millions of Annual Readers

While announcing a partnership with Good Future which sees them inject capital and become a new majority shareholder, news site Betakit revealed they now serve millions of annual readers.

I don’t often find myself on Betakit’s website—primarily because it’s only focused on news from a single country—but I’ve read a few articles there over its decade-plus existence.

The homepage of BetaKit, which covers Canadian startup news.

I couldn’t find anything in multiple announcements that suggested they were struggling and needed help, that they just wanted more funds to speed up their journey or any financial terms of the deal.

The announcement was adamant that its new majority owners, both ex-executives at Shopify, would allow the brand to continue its editorial independence.

Similarweb estimates the site picks up around 170,000 visitors each month, with the majority coming to the site via organic search (44%), followed by direct traffic (32%).

Finally, I just wanted to thank Jess Joyce for indirectly putting me on to this story.


A Niche Site Launch I Covered Six Months Ago Now Gets 35,000 Sessions Daily. More Are On the Way

In a December 2023 investor update, publicly listed Gfinity PLC revealed revenues of £2.2M, a 60% decrease year-over-year, and losses of £10.3M.

A number of those losses were due to company reorganisation, as they move away from physical esports events which hadn’t shown profitability or scalability.

We currently track 10 (primarily gaming) sites for Gfinity, including:

Third-party tools estimate they’re pulling in around 1.2M monthly visitors from search.

Their investor website claims they currently reach 10 million monthly visitors who generate more than 18 million pageviews.

One of their websites I covered the launch of in Detailed Q1, Starfield Portal, was revealed to now be reaching over 35,000 sessions each day.

(I assume sessions means pageviews, rather than unique visitors, but that’s pretty impressive for a ~6 month-old site.)

One of the niche gaming sites Gfinity launched in 2023, Starfield Portal

On the back of that, they mentioned plans to launch more such websites in 2024 as “this incurs minimal capital and can leverage our scalable platform and extensive social media presence.”

They added that they believe technology, content, SEO and commercial leverages are part of their competitive advantages.


After The Information is Revealed to Have 475,000 Subscribers, The Site Goes Live With a Redesign

In a feature by Vanity Fair, The Information founder Jessica Lessin revealed the brand has 475,000 active subscribers, both paid and unpaid.

Lessin also revealed she expected the brand to be profitable in 2023 (the feature went live on December 5th) with around 30% year-over-year growth.

Announced not long after, in January of 2024, The Information revealed its “new look for the next era”.

It’s not the boldest or most memorable design (compared to ZDNet, The Verge, Digital Trends, and so on) but it’s certainly clean and modern, and the font choices help it stand out.

From the redesign announcement,

Our updated look is a reflection of where we’re going as an organization, as we continue to grow our newsroom and invest in strengthening our visual identity. You’ll notice our logo features a new, sharper “I” with a slash. It demonstrates how we give leaders in tech and finance an edge—focusing on all of what they need to know and nothing they don’t.

It’s a nice touch that large headers use the full ‘The Information’ logo text, while a smaller ‘I’ comes into view whenever you scroll.


Over the Last Fiscal Year, The Guardian Newspaper Received Around $30M in Donations (Breaking Records in the Process)

According to NeimanLab, during The Guardian Newspaper’s recent “end-of-year drive”, they brought in a record $2.2M.

For the fiscal year, readers in the U.S. and Canada donated a combined $30M. Over 250,000 of those donations were made by recurring supporters. Neiman Lab added that a third of their digital reader revenue now comes from the US.

Notice how they tell me how many articles I’ve read in the past year. It feels a bit creepy, but I presume it works

It should be noted that “donations” in this sense aren’t entirely selfless since donors can read The Guardian website without any ads, get full app access and “far fewer asks for support.”

Still, my understanding is anyone can read as many articles as they like on The Guardian for free, so payment is not required to enjoy their content.

It was interesting to read that they had a challenge due to big holidays (where they typically raise more money) falling over the weekends. New Year’s Eve, for instance, fell on a Sunday. This meant they had to start their donation pushes a little earlier than usual.


If Google’s SGE and Other AI Alternatives Become Standard, What’s Your Moat? Here’s How Think of Theirs

I was reading an interesting discussion with David Goulden,’s CFO, at Nasdaq’s 49th investor conference.

David was asked how views the risk of Google launching some form of travel booking tool and people using that instead.

In response he said,

I think there’s a few aspects to that. I mean, Google will, I’m sure, want to continue to monetize their search business. We spend billions of dollars a year. We’re one of their biggest customers. So I’m sure as their search experience evolves, and we’ll evolve with them as we have done over many years, of course, we’ll be building our own [tool] through the direct chat..

This reminded me of a recent tweet that Glenn Gabe wrote regarding SGE not likely getting rolled out fully unless it’s truly profitable for Google.

Credit: Glenn Gabe on X

This lines up with Google’s current actions, where they’re testing SGE – even if you haven’t opted in – for a “subset of queries, on a small percentage of search traffic in the U.S.”

Google has made some big forays into the travel space in recent years, and they’re incredibly fortunate their own search engine is rewarding their efforts there (wink).

Here’s how traffic to is looking lately:

What I found more interesting was Goulden’s response regarding what differentiates from its competitors and how far they can go in helping with travel planning. He mentioned some of their unique factors as being:

  • Active relationships with 3 million properties
  • Active relationships with airlines and “all the other players” (with data that isn’t publicly available)
  • Thousands of people already doing customer service

While I still have a positive outlook on the future of search traffic and SEO, it’s always wise to think about how to stand out and build a moat that gives Google less power to dictate your future.


The Brag Media’s Content Sites Were Acquired for $8M (And I Finally Get a Chance to Talk About Their Business Model)

If you haven’t been able to tell already from writing 10,000+ word reports on the state of SEO, I have pretty specific interests and follow the “2 inches wide and a mile deep” philosophy when it comes to the business of search.

One thing that has always interested me regarding SEO and Digital Goliaths is how companies handle country-specific websites for brands they didn’t create.

As an example, here’s the footer on 🇦🇺:

Vogue is a Condé Nast brand – made clear on their .com site – but News Corp are mentioned throughout their footer on the Australian one.

Brag Media, which Vinyl Group acquired in a deal worth up to $10M, is in a similar situation: They operate the Penske Media Corporation brands Rolling Stone and Variety in Australia and New Zealand.

I would love to do a deep dive into all these country-specific relationships and connections one day because they impact SEO and are fascinating from a business opportunity perspective.

The Brag Media generated $8.39M in 20203 revenue, with $334,824 in net profit. Over the past two years they’ve averaged growth of 125%, according to Mumbrella.

Brands that are part of their network include:

  • TheMusicNetwork
  • Tone Deaf
  • Rolling Stone Australia
  • Variety Australia
  • Variety New Zealand

Their acquirer, Vinyl Group, has a number of brands in the music space, such as record store, so it looks like the acquisition makes perfect sense for them.


With 410,000 Pages Indexed in Google (Their Numbers), TechTarget Becomes ‘New TechTarget’ After a Merger in the B2B Content Space

TechTarget is one of my favourite brands to follow because they’re in an industry where article recommendations can result in 7 and 8-figure deals; a space that “niche site builders” don’t tend to get involved in.

It should be the case that Google rewards true experts on the topics they cover, such as Application Development, Cloud Infrastructure and Big Data.

I wrote about them in Detailed Q2, sharing how they had grown search traffic 20% year over year in 2023, following 50% growth in 2022.

The start of 2024 brought the news that Informa PLC will contribute its tech business and $350M in cash for a 57% stake in ‘New TechTarget’.

(We currently track 33 sites for Informa, which Google sends around 1.9M visitors each month. They tend to have very specific, high-value audiences).

Stats about TechTarget they reveal themselves include:

  • 150 technology websites (many are subdomains)
  • 1,000+ full-time editors and contributors
  • 20+ industry analysts
  • 410,000 pages indexed in Google
  • 19M monthly visits

Search traffic is hugely important to them, so if they continue to make comments on it, I’ll keep reporting them here.


As Publishers Look to Reduce Their Reliance on Google, Traffic from Facebook and X Dropped 48% and 27% Respectively Last Year

A new study by Reuters Institute surveyed 134 media leaders for their annual Trends and Predictions report.

Chartbeat data was used to show that traffic to their sites from Facebook fell 48% from 2023 compared to 2022. X (Twitter) saw referrals to other sites drop by 27% over the same period.

Traffic from Google looked surprisingly steady:

As a common theme I see across publisher earnings calls is wanting to diversify their reliance on Google, this is perhaps a reminder not to put your entire traffic focus on another algorithm, either.

My simple take is that I like to work on and build businesses that can see life-changing revenue upside from SEO, but aren’t solely reliant on a single traffic source.


SproutSocial Hits $385.2M in ARR, But It’s Their Community Hitting 10,000 Members I Wanted to Share

SproutSocial’s investor update in February of 2024 had some big highlights: Revenue for the quarter was up 34% to $93.6M, and they saw a 30% increase in annual recurring revenue to $385.2M.

(Revenue is not profit, of course, but the numbers are still impressive).

The social media management platform was also awarded the number one spot in G2’s annual awards across all software categories.

The thing that caught my attention was their private community hitting 10,000 members. Perhaps even more interesting, their announcement on reaching that milestone was attended by almost 500 of them.

Typically this would have nothing to do with SEO, but as Google’s ‘Discussions and forums’ SERP feature is currently more prominent than ever, I’ve seen a few people wonder if they should add a community section to their business website.

As I said in my deep dive into the space, I would create a forum because you want to create a forum, not because Google might potentially reward you with extra traffic there. I saw no signs of Google rewarding new communities, and only established sites (and huge brands like Reddit and Quora) were picking up much attention.

That said, if you are going to add a forum to your software or service business, how Sprout Social manage their community is worth looking into.

It’s attractively designed, has its own branding (they call it The Arboretum), and hosts regular virtual events for members.

And who knows, as Google play around with the SERP feature and test bringing back a ‘Forums’ specific tab, it might be another way to get your business in front of your target audience.


With Multiple Publishing Brands Focused on a Specific Country, NZME Reveal They Generated $12M+ in Net Profit for 2023

New Zealand Media and Entertainment (NZME) recently released its 2023 financial results, announcing record revenues of $346M. After tax, this resulted in a net profit of over $12M.

Their media brand has several different arms including websites, radio, print publications, and a network of podcasts.

Content sites within the NZME family include the likes of:

  • BusinessDesk
  • Driven Car Guide
  • NZ Herald
  • One Roof

While they aren’t the biggest, their niche-focused sites, like BusinessDesk and Driven Car Guide, are the most interesting to me personally.

NZME’s BusinessDesk brand

Their digital content is now being read by more than two million readers per month, an increase of 13% year over year.

The number of people subscribed to their publications has also surpassed 220,000, which includes 130,000 digital-only subscribers.

NZME now reaches 3.5 million people or, as they put another way, 85% of the Kiwi population aged 15 plus.


Outside Inc, One of The Most Interesting Media Companies I Follow, Launch a New Tool & A New Brand

If you read Detailed Q2, you may remember Outside Inc. as the company that has partnered with a US university to enhance the product reviews they write on several popular brands.

It’s a big deal and shows the level independent site owners will have to compete with in the future.

This quarter saw them launch another new initiative, Scout.

Scout is a search engine available on over twenty of their websites that lets you search across them.

There are also elements of AI in its output:

By tapping generative AI, we’re able to distill decades of reporting and storytelling into nuggets of actionable advice, such as detailed backpacking itineraries with links to supporting articles from the Backpacker and Outside archives. For outdoor enthusiasts, Scout is the ultimate adventure concierge, the trusted advisor whose recommendations are always relevant and useful.

Here’s an idea of how that looks in practice:

Unfortunately, you need a paid subscription ($7.49/m) to try it out, but it’s an interesting concept, and I hope they report more on its results from now on.

Perhaps more interesting is that they’ve launched a new brand, RUN, on the subject of (you guessed it) running.

They referred to the site’s mission as “RUN combines and elevates all aspects of these iconic brands with the goal of empowering people to run.”

Running is a surprisingly competitive niche online and I know of a few brands that have hurt during recent Google updates. It seems like Outside Inc. is off to a decent start here, though:

I should clarify that they’ve been redirecting content from other brands (with great links from the likes of the New York Times), such as Women’s Running, and didn’t suddenly just publish thousands of pages of new content.

It will be interesting to see if they can keep the early growth going, as Outside is known to change up its brands pretty frequently.

10,000+ Words and 100,000 Search Results Later, Here’s The Next Report I’m Working On

On the back of core updates in September, October, November and March, with review and spam updates in-between, search results look far different today than they did this time last year.

If you’re part of SEO communities anywhere on the web, you’ve no doubt seen the countless niche site owners who have been hurt on a huge scale. Many losing 90%+ of their search traffic.

I spent 100+ hours in March analysing tens of thousands of search results to see who has been hit and (perhaps most importantly), who and what Google is now rewarding.

Some of my DataforSEO API usage. I look at very specific queries for specific niches and not the web as a whole.

I’m very specific about the angles I’m looking at; analysing lots of obvious industries and some not-so-obvious ones as well.

I’m going to save my insights for a separate report because I could easily write thousands of words on this topic (and to be honest, I want to see what happens after a planned “reputation abuse” update on May 5th).

Some personal news, which I’m really excited about, is that after months of work and dozens of new modules, we’re getting close to launching SEO Blueprint 3.

You can join the waiting list here.

In all honesty, I imagine there are fewer people interested in SEO training than when we last opened the doors ~8 months ago but I promised from day one to keep the course updated for all members, no matter when they joined. Just as importantly, I have a lot of new insights to share on my own approach to improving rankings and increasing search traffic going forward.

(Of course, I would never pitch any guarantees of recovery if your site has been impacted. I haven’t seen a single HCU recovery, for example).

I feel like I’m in a little bit of a weird bubble at the moment where a lot of people are devastated by these updates and are furious at Google’s changes, while other businesses are thriving — some of which I’ve covered in the report above.

I simultaneously have friends letting go of all their writers and completely changing their business models and others are asking me for advice on what to do with their growing SEO budgets.

In a lot of cases, it’s people with eCommerce stores, service and SaaS businesses who are seeing growth, and niche content site owners who are hurting.

There’s a big internet out there so of course there are many exceptions. For example, lots of independent sites are thriving in the recipes space, and there are countless (legitimate) sub-niches where loopholes and tactics like redirecting dozens of expired domains are still working well.

If you would like to see my thoughts and findings in detail (free, without any pitches) please put your email address on the form below or the homepage and I’ll send it as soon as it’s finished.

Finally, if you’ve enjoyed reading this update, I would love to know. I put weeks of work into finding and curating the best ideas to share with you and try to write them up in an easy-to-follow way.

You can discuss this post on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, where I would sincerely appreciate any shares. I notice them all.

Thank you, as always, for reading.

– G

P.S. If you have your speakers turned on, click the little emoji ‘Like’ button below for some cheesy fun 🙂

Written by Glen Allsopp, the founder of Detailed. You may know me as 'ViperChill' if you've been in internet marketing for a while. Detailed is a small bootstrapped team behind the Detailed SEO Extension for Chrome & Firefox (250,000 weekly users), trying to share some of the best SEO insights on the internet. Clicking the heart tells us what you enjoy reading. Social sharing is appreciated (and always noticed). You can also follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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