I’m back with my third niche website report, now that January is over. For those who don’t know, I started building a niche website back in November, using both manual writing and programmatic SEO techniques.
You can catch up by reading the month one report here and the month two report here.
Now that it’s early February, it’s time to report on the results of my third month, January.
Website tasks and progress
In each of these monthly niche website reports, I will be documenting the work I have done, as a way for you to see what I am working on, and what works and what hasn’t.
I spent some of January creating more variables for my programmatic content. There are now 111 variable tags in the template that I use to create these articles.
I also used ChatGPT to create variations of some of the remaining standard phrases (these appear in all of the programmatic articles), so it is even harder to find duplicate content.
For example, one phrase I had 17 variations, so every seventeenth page used the same phrase. Now that variable has 127 phrases, so every 127th page will have the same phrase.
I used a very specific prompt for ChatGPT, very similar to this real prompt and unedited output;
Write 10 different variations in a conversational tone, like a human wrote it, for “If you don’t use enough variables in your programmatic content, Google may say that you have duplicate content.”
This is what chatGPT came back with:
- “Watch out, if you’re not utilizing enough unique variables in your programmatic content, Google might flag it as duplicate content.”
- “Be careful not to skimp on variables in your programmatic content, otherwise Google may accuse you of having duplicate content.”
- “If you’re not careful with the number of variables you use in your programmatic content, Google may mistake it for duplicate content.”
- “Not using enough variables in your programmatic content could lead to Google thinking it’s duplicate content.”
- “You don’t want to run into any issues with Google, so make sure you’re using enough variables in your programmatic content to avoid being flagged for duplicate content.”
- “Google is pretty strict about duplicate content, so make sure you’re using a good amount of variables in your programmatic content to avoid any issues.”
- “Don’t let a lack of variables in your programmatic content lead to Google thinking it’s duplicate content.”
- “You don’t want Google to mistake your programmatic content for duplicate content, so be sure to use enough variables.”
- “It’s important to use a variety of variables in your programmatic content, otherwise Google may flag it as duplicate content.”
- “If you’re not using enough variables in your programmatic content, Google may see it as duplicate content, so be careful.”
As you can see, there’s enough variation in each of these ten sentences, to be considered unique from one another, so creating a bunch of these, and using one on each post makes good sense (as long as they read well, of course).
Programmatic SEO template
A few people have asked me to share my post template. I can’t share the whole thing without redacting a fair bit, so here’s a sample of the HTML I have in my template. You’ll see that there are variables throughout – in fact, I have 111 variables that I use in these posts.
Some of these variables are a paragraph long, and others may be one word. Some are filenames for images, and others are URL’s for external links. They all work together to create a post that is fairly unique from every other post on the site.
They may contain the same sections, but that’s about it in most cases. There are some posts that have probably 25% overlap in content, which I need to go back and fix at a later stage.
I slowed the publishing rate down considerably this month, partly to see if it would fix the not indexed issues (it didn’t) and partly just to pace things out a little better. In December I published 218 posts, and during January I eased that back to 133 posts. That still works out to an average of four posts per day though, so the website is definitely not quiet.
Out of those 133 posts, there were 14 manually created articles, and the other 119 were programmatic SEO posts.
There are now 506 posts in total on the website, which count for 740,342 words. Given a typical fiction novel is roughly 80,000 words, that’s more than nine novels worth of content.
I have also scheduled 3-5 posts to be published every day between now and early May, so there’s no stopping any time soon.
Here’s the monthly breakdown.
The indexing issue with crawled – currently yet indexed isn’t resolved, however it is very interesting. A few pages have appeared then been removed with each recrawl, and others which were fine have been added. It is still less than 10% of posts, and I’ll wait until the majority of the current scheduled posts are live before I look further into it.
One of the issues I have mentioned in my article on programmatic SEO, is the worries around duplicate content. As part of my investigations into the above issue, I ran a number of my posts through this page comparison tool.
I found most of my posts only had around 10-18% duplicate content. Many of these being sub headings, etc. At the same time, I ran a few other programmatic SEO sites I know of, through the same tool. One came back with 72-80% same content post against post, and the other was 63-72% duplicate.
I’m surprised that both of these sites are still ranking well, given the high percentage of same content. Maybe I don’t need to be so concerned about it.
Bing Webmaster Tools
All this talk of Google webmaster tools in each niche website report makes me realise I haven’t mentioned Bing at all. As much as their market share may be much lower than the big G, they still are important enough to take notice of them.
I signed up to Bing webmaster tools at the start of this niche website journey as well, and have been watching Bing happily crawling my niche website, and sending visitors to the site. In fact, it’s the second biggest course of referral, behind Google.
Month 3 results
Ok, now onto the actual results of the month. I plan to break each of these niche website report down by SEO, website traffic and revenue. Obviously, this niche website is still very much pre-revenue, so here’s the results for SEO and traffic.
I continued my intentionally slow pace of backlink building work, and ended January with 40 unique domains pointing to my niche site. They consisted of 235 backlinks.
The domain rating moved from 12 at the start of January, to 16 at the end of the month.
The most exciting number in the below screenshot is the organic keywords, my niche website is now ranking for 382 keywords.
Next up is the Google Analytics stats. Last month, the site attracted 143 unique users, and my hope was I could increase it again. It sure did, in fact four times the amount of users visited during January!
Reaching over 500 unique users in a month makes me feel validated that this site is worth keeping and putting energy into.
It’s a fickle business, tying a websites purpose back to traffic it attracts, but when we are talking niche websites, that’s exactly what it is. Traffic equals eyeballs, eyeballs equal advertising revenue or affiliate income.I just hope I can continue this trajectory, and the traffic just keeps growing, month on month.
This niche website report shares what I’ve been to during the third month of this niche website project and the various actions and thought processes so far in this experiment. Is there anything more I should expand upon, or something you’d like answered? Let me know in the comments, or via the usual socials.
4 February 2023 at 9:10 am
500+ uniques is impressive for a three month old website, congrats 🙂
I also have a lot of pages (over half) crawled but not indexed. I use WordPress so wonder if G is ignoring some of the tags I use on posts. Presently there are almost 1k posts on my site, yet the G indexed vs not indexed numbers total closer to 3k!
I also notice the number of indexed pages varies. ATM it’s slightly less than a few months ago. I attribute this (without any real basis) to the “link blog” nature of many of my posts. Some are very topical, and possibly G is removing them since they’re no longer so “relevant” any more. Despite this, overall click-throughs have almost doubled since Aug/Sept 22.
Also some of my quite short posts (less than 200 words, closer to 100 in some cases) of which I have quite a few, are among the most popular click-throughs from G. I know we’re meant to write long posts, but I wonder if G partly caters for the TL;DR segment, who just want a quick info fix…