- Which sites are actually doing well in the current version of Google?
- Why are these sites are doing well?
- How can you can emulate them?
In today’s episode, we’re unpacking the strategies behind several sites that have not only survived, but thrived, in 2023. We give you real examples of real sites that are doing well in the current version of Google to help you plan what to do next for your business. These sites have won despite Google’s relentless updates and we’ve tried to identify what they do, why they may be winning, and how you can emulate them.
A special thanks to our sponsors for this episode, Digital PR and link building agency BuzzStream.
ShaverCheck – Original Photos & UGC
- Site Overview: ShaverCheck.com is a DR30 electric shaver review and guide site.
The site really emphasises a clean, efficient site design, and high quality, original product photographs.
They possibly use services like SquareShot – an product photography service – for this.
SquareShot’s a great alternative if you live outside the US, where getting products might be a bit trickier.
- Highlights: They champion personalized, opinion-rich content, boosted by an incredibly active comment section and user-generated content.
- Observations and Opinions: Apart from the insightful content and UGC, the site’s subtle nuance in affiliate link placement and emphasis on readability is a great example a meticulously crafted user experience.
Safe in the Seat – EEAT
- Site Overview: SafeInTheSeat.com is a DR39 site that produces authoritative, expert-driven content on child car seats and boasts around 76,000 monthly visits.
- Highlights: The site’s owner has a nationally certified child passenger safety certification, and has appeared on platforms like Good Morning America, which significantly bolsters her site’s EEAT.
- Observations and Opinions: They’ve clearly had a strategic pivot towards informative content over aggressive monetization, prioritizing authenticity and value, and it’s working.
There’s a potential to enhance income here through minor CRO efforts as well.
PackHacker – UI & UX
- Site Overview: PackHacker.com, a DR 54 authority on backpacks and travel gears, has expertly mixed aesthetics with functionality and has experienced impressive growth within a year.
- Highlights: The site’s owner is also a web developer, which explains why their site is so cleverly and well designed. The site creates an engaging platform that captures and retains user interest with innovative design elements and interactive widgets.
- Observations and Opinions: The site has a very balanced approach towards affiliate marketing, though it’s membership model is somewhat confusing.
Doctors Of Running – EEAT
- Site Overview: DoctorsOfRunning.com, a DR39 site run on Blogger, combines professional physical therapy insights with running enthusiasm and excels in producing technically rich, nuanced content aimed at serious runners.
- Highlights: The site deep dives into running mechanics and shoe reviews, mixing technical expertise with community-driven initiatives, and establishing a strong, engaging presence both online and offline.
- Observations and Opinions: The site ranks and engages despite being pretty basic aesthetically, highlighting that having content depth and authenticity is still a winning formula.
Believe in the Run – UX & Community
- Site Overview: BelieveInTheRun.com is a DR55 site, also in the running niche, that mixes expert reviews with great photography and community spirit.
- Highlights: With detailed product evaluations, high-quality original photography, and an inclusive running community, the site combines passion and expertise to create engaging content that resonates with its audience.
- Observations and Opinions: Another example of the importance of UX, the site is able to deliver content that’s as aesthetically pleasing as it is informative, and it’s working for them.
Audiophileon – Experience
- Site Overview: Boasting 80,000 monthly visitors, Audiophileon.com has shown a remarkable comeback from the brink. The site’s recovery can possibly be attributed into it’s design evolution and technical tweaks.
- Highlights: Despite a lack of traditional EEAT indicators, such as in-person product imagery or detailed author bios, Audiophileon.com sets itself apart with passionately written, detailed content that clearly strikes a chord with audio enthusiasts.
- Observations and Opinions: It’s possible that a mix of raw passion and expertise may be more influential than some of the conventional SEO tactics here. Audiophileon’s YouTube presence, though not big, still enriches the site’s content.
HungryHuy – SEO & Authenticity
- Site Overview: Hovering around 500k monthly traffic, HungryHuy.com has somehow remained stable in the volatile food blogging sector.
The site’s set of diverse, visually captivating recipes again shows the power of high-quality photography in engaging and retaining visitor interest. They also have a clever layout, featuring a ‘jump to recipe’ option, which means they can keep their SEO-rich content while still using a user-centric design.
- Highlights: The site has a balanced approach to ad placement and a mobile-first content presentation – they understand their audience and modern content consumption behaviors.
- Observations and Opinions: Despite a modest social media footprint, the site’s has a pretty active comment section and great food photography. They’re clearly focusing on user experience and engagement over aggressive monetization, and they’re winning at it.
These sites show that you can create content that not only satisfies the algorithm, but provides real value and resonates deeply with audiences – and you’ll be rewarded for it.
Authenticity, expert insight, and a great user experience clearly all play a vital role in successfully building – and sustaining – an online presence that stands the test of time (and Google updates).