Website Investing Weekly 🤖 Bot Wars

Welcome to Website Investing Weekly, bringing you up-to-date with what’s been going on in the world of website investing. If you’re not already on the list to receive these updates, sign up below. You can also leave comments at the end of the post.

🤖 AI Content vs Google?

Artificial Intelligence Thinking GIF By Matthew Butler

A robot wrote this entire newsletter.

That's a lie, but could you tell the difference? Content is what keeps your readers coming back for more. In the end, it's how you make money. Unfortunately, the internet is bursting at the seams with hideous prose. Millions of articles are churned out by lowly-paid writers in content mills the world over. But, tech has a solution. (Drum roll) Your next freelance writer:

Name: GPT-3 API

Skills: Ability to absorb massive amounts of information - and find it again. Text generation.

Access: Invitation only

Pricing: Undecided

Created by the research lab OpenAI, the GPT-3 API is their first commercial product.  The API is an NLP - a "natural language processing" network designed to complete sentences, generate text, and write articles. To make it smart, the authors fed this AI program on a diet of Wikipedia articles. 

How well does it perform? It's one thing to regurgitate knowledge and finish a sentence based on predictability. It's something else to infer one thing from another - the way humans do. Even after extolling the achievements of their creation, the authors of GPT-3 note "...it still has notable weaknesses." It seems that stuffing more data into a neural network may have its limits, and doesn't necessarily result in better outcomes. The Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence agrees. They studied several NLP models and stated that machines still cannot really reason.

Where to from here? The implications of NLP use are wide-ranging - and not all good. Get ready for a deluge of computer-generated content that has the ability to:

  • Influence public opinion - fake news and propaganda

  • Engage in conversation on social media - post divisive comments and opinions

  • Generate fake reviews - erode trust on even the largest platforms 

It's unlikely that Google will quickly identify content written by bots and filter this from their search results. I predict a battle of the machines. As soon as search engines spot and fix one issue, the latest NLP model will be trained with new datasets which pass through the existing filters. For now, humans still rule when it comes to creativity, abstract concepts, and reasoned thinking. None of which can be replicated by a machine. Armed with their knowledge and superior talent, professional content writers will prevail. This is where the future of content lies. As for hiring that lowly-paid agency writer… "There's an API for that."

P.S. If you want to try GPT-2, (previous version) you can do that here. [JL]


💰 Funds, Fees & Illiquidity

On a recent episode of the Josh.co podcast (episode #72 with Bradon Pollock) they discussed whether a domain name fund could work. Domain name investors like Bradon look for 1000% returns, whereas traditional funds are happy to make their clients 8%. In theory it sounds good, but apparently this was previously tried and failed. The main issues being the ability to deploy capital quickly and to exit the names within a 5-year term profitably. Domaining is, in my opinion, a more illiquid market than websites and I got into a discussion about this on Twitter:

I think funds are a far better fit with revenue-generating websites that can pay dividends and I’m bullish on new offerings and platforms that are coming down the pike. [RP]


SPONSORED LINK

🏗️ Niche Website Builders

Looking for a fully hands-off approach to outsourcing your content? Niche Website Builders is a marketing agency designed for affiliate marketers. Their content packages come with keyword research, formatting and uploading to Wordpress (using templates that have proven to convert) and are written by native English speakers. They also offer DFY affiliate websites.


🏠 Renting Websites or Lease To Own?!

I’m still loving learning about the different ways to buy domains. Dan.com offers the ability to Buy, Lease to own or Rent a domain and it got me thinking, why can’t we have this kind of flexibility with websites? They state:

Our research indicates that81% of all negotiations fail due to the interested party not being able to afford the asking price.

Rather than asking for $500K in cash up-front for a website that’s making ~ $15K/m, a seller / broker / platform could offer a payment plan over a number of months (if not years). And with domains, if the payments stop, the seller would get their site back. A botched migration by the new buyer or an overzealous Google update may have destroyed the previous value, however! But I think there is still something in this to consider.

And with domains, Dan.com has even fixed the issue over who is liable for the content. They have built ‘WHOIS 2.0’, which supports fractional domain ownership, which uses the blockchain to be able to determine who is liable for the hosted content. And, talking of blockchain, Bitcoin is on a TD sequential green 9 on the daily today so be careful out there 💚.


SPONSORED AD

💪 Top Performing SEO Domains & DFY Sites

ODYS is the place for best-performing aftermarket SEO domains to build money sites out on. They also offer DFY Affiliate Sites from $2,700 for 50K words, which include keyword research, redirecting any old URLs that they can’t rebuild, and one year’s hosting. And they are about to launch Ready Made Sites, immediately available to purchase. Request access today.


👬 Affiliate Content Site Partnerships

If your website relies on revenue from the Amazon Affiliate program then you likely took a hit in April, 2020 when Amazon restructured their affiliate commissions. Some sectors took a hammering - with commissions on Health and Personal Care items reduced by 80%. One way of fighting back has been to add additional buttons, giving visitors the option to purchase outside of Amazon, at a higher affiliate fee.

But how about forming direct partnerships? This has benefits for both content sites promoting Amazon products, and Amazon sellers with their own products. Try reaching out to product owners to see if they're interested in working with you directly. Of course, you'll have to justify why they would pay you more - especially if you already promote their product. Focus on what's in it for them. If you have no other competing product, a different audience, and growing traffic numbers, then these may all be great reasons for them to consider your offer. [JL]


SPONSORED AD

🤖 Intelligent Platform for Publishers

Ezoic is an AI-driven platform built for publishers to optimize ad revenue and maximize site speed. As a Google Certified Publishing Partner, they have access to Google Ad Exchange, as well as top-performing ad networks. Their real machine learning optimizes ads and layouts for each individual visitor, resulting in much higher revenue, whilst improving UX. Start a free trial of the Ezoic platform today.


😎 Publication Sponsorship

Interested in sponsoring this publication? Every update gets emailed to over 2,400 people and averages ~ 1,500 views, with click-through rates as high as 8% on links. The web version of the posts get shared and we put ad spend behind them on Facebook. Visit the sponsorship page for newsletter and podcast advertising opportunities.


That’s it for another week, hit us up in the comments below.

Cheers!

Richard Patey & Juliet Lyall