The continuing adventures of Captain SEO
I figured I’d roll out the red carpet from my keyboard to your inbox to bring you another action-packed edition of the world famous Rank Theory newsletter.
It’s only been…
…checking the stats here…
88 days since I last wrote to you!
That’s OK. Super normal period of time to have passed between sending emails to a group of people that actively want to hear from you b/c they went through the trouble of signing up to your newsletter.
Well, enough about that, and glossing over probably one of the worst month’s I’ve ever had for personal reasons (looking at you, March 2022), let’s get to some SEO bullshit already!
In this newsletter:
The future AI Content Update and the Collateral Damage of Boring Blogs
Eclipsing the Future: How to trick the news/media and local businesses into linking to your stupid info site
Websites: Some For Sale, Some I’m Looking to Buy
But first, a word from our sponsor:
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One Day Google is Going to Release an Algorithm Update Targeting AI Content and a Bunch of Boring Blogs Are Gonna Get Rekt
pure speculation just a theory, but I’ve seen AI content on some sites, and briefly tried my hand at generating some myself.
It’s not very good.
Yes, I see how it can rank in Google, and yes I think there’s some interesting potential there that I am looking forward to testing, but I am super reluctant to put any of it on a site I really care about.
My theory is: one day Google is going to release a core algo update targeting “AI content” and a ton of really boring, really “this could be a bad Wikipedia article if there weren’t so many grammatical mistakes” kind of articles are going to get the poor sites they’re attached to sunk.
Bunch of innocent bystanders are gonna fall in this future update.
One way to avoid this possible apocalypse (I’m being dramatic because that’s what sells, baby) is to have your content have a personality. Have a viewpoint.
In my opinion, and something I’m going to try and really inject into the content across the sites that I publish, content that really feels like a relatable narrative constructed by a person, is content that’s going to stand out and is going to be raised up by this update.
[Therefore, content written by GPT-5 is gonna sound super-convincingly like it was written by a person, because… let’s face it, there’s not an AI on the block at this point in time that can write such a stupid, meandering, clause-and-hyphen-filled sentence like this one I’ve written for your enjoyment, and I think Google’s algo is gonna be like yep, a human wrote that, smh.]
Damn, it’s gonna be really hard to make my “Best Vacuum Cleaner Bags 2022” content come across like an awkward, earnest college entrance essay about how I overcame adversity, found the best vacuum cleaner bag through immense personal sacrifice, and now I’m living my best life trying to give back to the community by recommending this, the replacement 4PK Hepa foam filter for upright vacuums.
Maybe I’ll write another in my series of “how to become a brand” posts about this topic someday, as part I has just been chilling in the sun-kissed meadow of abandoned best intentions, chewing on wildflowers, content but utterly lonely like the big stupid G.O.A.T. that it is…
The Great North American Eclipse of 2024 is Coming and So Is Your Big Opportunity to Build Easy Links
A few years ago when I was the OG of “here are expired domains you should buy” type newsletter (flex, nbd…), I saw a bunch of sites with juice hitting the expired auctions in 2019, having been registered and built out to target the great 2017 solar eclipse.
If you don’t remember, it was A BIG DEAL in the US, and people talked a lot about it leading up to it, and the news definitely wouldn’t shut up about it.
I saw sites like this domain, EclipseCapser•com come through, and wrote at the time:
It ended up going for $646 in 2019. Based on the current absolute insanity found in trying to win a name with juice @ auction, there’s no way this would go for less than $1500 today.
And there were SEVERAL that I saw from this period. Most of them (of interest to us) were targeting ONE city in the path of totality. EclipseCaper was made for Casper WY of all places—and was actually one of the BEST spots to catch the eclipse—and picked up 286 referring domains.
Why am I talking about this random-ass subject?
Well, as you probably guessed from the heading of this section, there’s a GIANT eclipse coming to the US in 2024, whose path of totality will roll from southwestern Texas up through Nova Scotia, hitting several big cities.
Here’s what you want to do to take advantage of this:
Spend the weekend building out a WP install on a domain like ColumbusEclipse2024•com or something, and talk about all of the places in whatever city you pick someone could stay at if they wanted to travel to watch the eclipse (which is a thing people definitely do).
List some businesses, list some things to do, talk about the eclipse, blah blah blah. Just make a mini site and try and get it ranking for some long tail city + eclipse + year terms.
Nothing much will happen yet, but you gotta play the long game a little bit.
Once the local news starts talking about this, they should inevitably find your site. Same with local business blogs/resource pages (though some outreach wouldn’t hurt).
Is it worth it?
Maybe. I don’t think it’ll be TOO much work, after the initial build. I think if you create a site that talks about local things related to your niche (say, if you’re in the housecleaning niche you can write blog posts about how to prepare your house for AirBNB visitors during the eclipse, the best green products to use blah blah the environment, you get it). Just marry the topics as best you can.
Once the eclipse is over and you have a live, aged DR 41 or something, you can 301 it to your main site or convert it into a micro site or… whatever! You’ve got a nice little authority bomb to play with in whatever way makes the most sense to your money site.
I wouldn’t try and compete for anything national on this topic, as there are sites SOLELY focused on eclipses that are going to crush you into dust.
Here’s an example from GreatAmericanEclipse.com and their April 8th 2024 page:
475 RD and the damn eclipse is still just under 2 years away—so you can see how there is a lot of link juice to go around here...
So: aim small (town), put your back into it for a couple of weekends, and you could have a really great asset to do stuff to in about two years… or, you could just start saving now and then buy everyone’s site like this once they expire. Based on current trends, you’ll need about $27k per DR 30 site, and it’ll just go up logarithmically from there. COMMENTARY!
Some Sites For Sale On Juice Market and Also a Site I’m Looking to Buy
I put the word out on Twitter that I’m looking for a health/supplement site. In the interest of being as lazy as possible, I’ma just paste the tweet here:
(also, if you don’t follow me on twitter, yet, definitely follow me on twitter).
^ if you’ve got such a site and you want cash money for it, hit reply to this email or DM me on the Twitter.
Here are some sites for sale on Juice that have potential.
Maybe you haven’t seen (and I certainly haven’t mentioned it here), I did an afternoon’s worth of work transitioning the focus of JuiceMarket.com from expired domains for sale (which nobody seems to want to buy outside of the expired auctions, really), to offering half-assed/abandoned content sites.
Basically: these are the kinds of sites everyone wanted to buy. Paying a broker or marketplace 45x for an aged site that’s ranking for niche-relevant keywords just because it’s making $250/mo on some longtail keywords sucks. $250 doesn’t really move the needle, and most likely you are just looking for an aged site to acquire cheap and then build up to quickly flip, making it someone else’s problem—paying $11k for such a site kind of defeats the whole purpose.
So that’s the new focus of Juice, and the sites featured below are live sites with content.
All of the links will only work if you’re already logged in. Not a member yet? It’s free to sign-up, just go here.
DR 5, ranking for ~ 50 ish keywords.
An interesting niche and, though all the metrics are fairly low, I think this one has a lot of potential if you can put a little work into it.
DR 79, ranking for just under 40k keywords.
+100k referring domains, seller claims it makes $1500/mo (but I have not verified). You’ve definitely seen this site before when looking at referring domains in Ahrefs or something. Used and abused, but a ton of potential with the right owner (and some legitimate hard work).
DR 47, ranking for ~7k keywords.
Not the, uh, most white hat kind of site, but if you need some juice in this particular niche, this site should provide some help.
This concludes the sites for sale section of the newsletter.
If you’ve got a site you built out and then abandoned for whatever reason, list it on Juice Market and I’ll help you sell it by bothering my newsletter readers about it (hey, that’s you!)
Okay, well. That took all fucking day. Guess I’m out of practice, but hopefully you’ve enjoyed the content and found a few valuable things to tuck away for the future.
If you have any questions/comments, I sure do love to
hear how great I am hear from people that read this newsletter, please do hit reply.
And finally, if you’re looking for a way to support this newsletter, maybe help me afford a much-needed editor, you can consider signing up for Traffic Think Tank, an SEO community I really really love and have been a member of since it launched in 2017.
Thank you and goodnight.