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Niche Site Ideas

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Niche Site Ideas

Finding the perfect niche site idea can seem like an impossible task when you’re starting out. So I decided to do the hard work for you and share 10 niche site ideas you can get going with immediately.

Let’s get started.

Hikers turn to Google for all kinds of inspiration. For example, if we search Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer for “best bikes in” and check the Matching terms report, we see hundreds of thousands of monthly searches for the best hikes in different locations.

Results for "best hikes in," via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

You can easily create hundreds of blog posts to answer these informational questions and monetize with display ads.

But there are also hundreds of thousands of monthly searches for the best hiking gear where you can earn commissions from product reviews and recommendations.

For example:

Results for "best hiking gear" in detail, via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

Let’s filter this list for low-difficulty keywords. It looks like there are plenty of lucrative opportunities where competition isn’t too fierce; for instance, “best hiking gloves”:

"Best hiking gloves" Keyword Difficulty and volume in detail, via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

There are also plenty of searches for reviews of individual products, such as Sealskinz socks:

"sealskinz socks review" Keyword Difficulty and volume in detail, via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

From my limited research, there doesn’t seem to be a dominant and trusted review site in this niche. This presents an excellent opportunity for someone passionate about hiking products to build a go-to brand in this niche.

In terms of monetization, you can use Amazon Associates or work with some of the hiking brands themselves. 

Many hiking brands have affiliate programs that pay decent commissions. 

For example:

Survival is another topic jam-packed full of niche site ideas. It’s gained traction in recent years with the emergence of “preppers” who buy emergency supplies in large quantities.

If we type “survival products” into Google and look at the Google ads, we can get an indication of the average price point of products in the survival niche.

Google SERP for "survival products"

As we can see, survival encompasses everything from dehydrated food kits to power sources, bags, lighting, and survival tools.

As preppers buy products in bulk or as kits, the average conversion value per order is typically higher. This is excellent news for affiliate marketers, as it means higher commissions. 

To get a sense of the opportunity in this niche, let’s put the seed keyword “survival” into Keywords Explorer, go to the Matching terms report, and add “gear” to the “Include” filter. This will show us keywords containing “survival” and “gear.” 

Matching terms report results for "survival" with "Include" filter applied, via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

You can see many angles you can take here if you want to specialize—everything from urban survival, to tactical survival, to military survival gear.

If we now update the “Include” filter to include “best,” we can hone in on some of the most lucrative affiliate keywords in this niche.

Matching terms report for the seed keyword "survival" with an "Include" filter containing the word "best," via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

There are many keywords here, so it helps to refine this search further. From the above, we can see that people are searching for the “best survival food kits.” As “kits” is a word we have already encountered in the Google ads above, let’s dig into this keyword more in relation to our original seed keyword.

To do this, we’ll add “kit*” to our “Include” filter. 

Matching terms report for the search term "survival" with an "Include" filter containing "best" and "kit*," via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

Sidenote.

Adding the * wildcard to the end of our keyword enables us to account for any plural variations of our keyword.

We can see that there are many angles to look at here, with over 700 keywords to target. The keyword list is now much more relevant.

It’s worth noting that “Amazon” appears in the top keywords in the above image, which shows a strong buying intent on that platform for this particular niche. 

In terms of monetization, you can use Amazon Associates. But many specialist survival brands have affiliate programs with much higher percentages. 

I have provided a few examples below:

Ebikes are a growing trend and typically have a higher retail price than road bikes. This makes them an attractive proposition for affiliate marketers, as commissions are high.

For example, if we look at the price of a Trek bike in the Google ads, we can see one that retails for almost $7,000. This would mean that you could get ~$280 commission at Trek’s 4% commission rate if someone bought this product through a link on your website.

Ads on Google SERP for "trek electric bikes"

Let’s take a closer look at this topic in Ahrefs to see what opportunities we can discover. 

If we plug “ebike” into Keywords Explorer, we see that its search volume trend is on a healthy upward trajectory.

Keyword overview of "ebike," via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

As there is a lot of search volume here, let’s refine our search further to uncover more keyword opportunities. 

If a searcher wants to buy an ebike, they will likely search for the best ebikes, how two models stack up against each other, or related questions.

Let’s take a look at these scenarios in more detail.

To find the “best” searches for ebikes, go to the Matching terms report, set the Keyword Difficulty (KD) to 0–20, and set the “Include” filter to include “best.” This will allow us to view low-KD keywords that contain the word “best.”

Matching terms for "ebike" with "Include" filter applied, via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

OK, now let’s take a look at the vs. searches. 

To do this in Keywords Explorer, enter a few ebike brands as seeds, go to the Matching terms report, and add “vs” to the “Include” filter.

Matching terms report for "lectric, rad power, ride1up" with "Include" filter applied, via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

You can see from the above that you can write many different comparison articles comparing various models.

Scrolling down the list, I can see there is also an excellent opportunity to write a comparison of Trek vs. Specialized ebikes. 

Detail screenshot of "trek vs specialized ebike" KD and volume, via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

You can scale this by replicating this “vs.” approach for other bike brands.

If we want to understand the questions people are searching for, we can use Keywords Explorer to identify these as well. 

To do this, remove all filters and click on the toggle to select Questions. 

Matching terms report for "ebike" filtered by Questions, via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

In terms of monetization for the ebikes niche, you can use display ads or go directly to the manufacturers. For accessories, you can use Amazon Associates. 

Examples of some of the higher percentage ebike affiliate programs are below:

  • St3ike, 10% commission, 90-day cookie 
  • Trek, 4% commission, 30-day cookie
  • Lectric, 3% commission, 30-day cookie

With 70% of U.S. households owning pets, this is a popular topic. And if you own a pet already, then this will be straightforward for you to write about.

Below is the current breakdown of pet ownership in the U.S., according to the 2021–2022 APPA National Pet Owners Survey.

Breakdown of pet ownership in the U.S.

Although it may seem like a good idea to write about cats and dogs, these topics have been covered many times before and will be extremely competitive. 

Instead, I’d advise writing about lesser-known pets. For example, let’s take a look at “reptile,” which is further down the list.

If we put “reptile” into Keywords Explorer, go to the Matching terms report, and set the KD to 0–20, we can see some of the lowest competition keywords to target in this niche.

Matching terms report for low-KD, reptile-related keywords, via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

We can see that “reptile basics” has a monthly search volume of 5,000 and 0 KD, which will be an excellent opportunity for a niche site to capitalize on due to its very low KD. 

Another keyword that stands out here is “reptile terrarium.” Although it has a higher KD than “reptile basics,” it has a higher Traffic Potential.

Details for "reptile terrarium," via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

If we click on the keyword “reptile terrarium” and then scroll down to the bottom of the page, we can use the SERP overview in Keywords Explorer to see what the SERP looks like for this keyword.

SERP overview for "reptile terrarium," via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

Although many of the sites in the above list have high Domain Rating (DR) scores, we can see that the seventh result has a lower DR, which can mean it’s possible for a targeted niche site to rank for this keyword on the SERP.

Let’s return to the Matching terms report by clicking back in our browser. Let’s then add the word “best” to the “Include” filter to help us identify some commercial intent keywords for this topic.

Matching terms report for "reptile" with "Include" filter applied, via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

By adding “best” as a qualifier, we can see people are searching for incubators, hygrometers, and other reptile accessories related to this topic—the best bit is these keywords also have low KD scores and decent Traffic Potential.

OK, let’s take this one step further now that we have established this is a workable niche. 

Let’s imagine you created your site on a wider topic than just reptiles and went for the broader “exotic pets” niche. The advantage of this approach is that there will likely be more Traffic Potential and that we won’t limit our niche site to just reptiles.

If we add “exotic pets” as our seed keyword in Keywords Explorer and then go to the Matching terms report, we can see a bunch of opportunities here: roughly 9,000 potential keywords we can target.

Matching terms report for "exotic pets," via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

Let’s take “legal exotic pets” from the above and dig deeper into this keyword phrase. 

To do this, open a new instance of Keywords Explorer and type in “illegal pets, legal pets” in the search bar. Then click on the Matching terms report and add an “Include” filter with the word “in” in it. 

Matching terms report for "illegal pets, legal pets" with "Include" filter applied, via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

Using this search method, we can see people are using Google to understand the legality of certain pets in different U.S. states. 

As there are 50 states in the U.S., this gives you at least 50 pages of potential content on “exotic pets” to write about for your niche site.

In terms of monetization for the pets niche, you can use display ads and Amazon Associates. Or if you want, you can recommend vet care options, as they will typically have higher commission rates. 

I have provided some examples of higher commissions within the pets niche below:

In 2021, the NGF reported that there were more golf courses nationwide than Starbucks or McDonald’s stores in the U.S. That’s a lot of golfers—meaning a lot of people are Googling golf-related questions.

Let’s look at how we can discover these opportunities within the golf niche using Ahrefs. 

If we plug in the seed keyword “golf” into Keywords Explorer, go to the Matching terms report, and hit the Questions toggle, we can see just how many questions golfers are searching for—just over 230,000.

Matching terms report for "golf" filtered by Questions, via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

Answering these questions and running display ads is a perfectly legitimate way to build a niche site. But as there’s no way to answer them all, it’s probably best to narrow our search and focus on something more specific.

With 16,000 golf courses in the U.S., one potential option is to create a site about the best golf courses.

If we plug the seed keyword “golf course, golf courses” into Keywords Explorer, set the KD to 0–20, and add an “Include” filter containing the words “best” and “in,” we can see many low-KD searches that we can capitalize on.

Matching terms report for "golf course, golf courses" with "Include" filters applied, via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

It’s likely we’ll attract tens of thousands of monthly visitors to a niche site about this alone.

In terms of monetization, you can use Amazon Associates. But to get higher commissions, you should check out the programs below:

According to Statista, in the U.S. in 2021, approximately 1.85 million acoustic guitars were sold and 1.49 million electric guitars were sold. This makes the guitar niche attractive for affiliate marketers.

Let’s take a closer look at the guitar niche in Ahrefs. 

If we enter our seed keyword “guitar” in Keywords Explorer and set the KD to 0–20, we can see there is much potential within this niche. In the results, there are millions of monthly searches for thousands of guitar-related keywords.

Matching terms report for "guitar" with a KD filter isolating the low-difficulty keywords, via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

Let’s hone in on all the chord-related keywords, as there seem to be two examples in the top 10 with this particular keyword pattern.

We can isolate these keywords using an “Include” filter containing the word “chord.”

Matching terms report for "guitar" with "Include" filter and "KD" filter applied, Via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

We can see there is a goldmine of low-competition informational keywords here. If you want to expand this idea further, you can look at Google’s People Also Ask questions to give you more inspiration to build out these topics. 

For example:

PAA result for "bm chord," via Google

But what if we want to write more commercially led content that compares one guitar to another?

We can do this in Keywords Explorer by changing our “Include” filter from “chord” to “vs,” which will allow us to see all the comparison queries people are searching for. 

Matching terms report for "guitar" with "Include" filter applied, via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

With this list, we can see there is a lot of potential to compare different guitar types against each other. Two of the examples in the above image also have 0 KD, meaning that these keywords can potentially be easy to rank for in Google.

In terms of monetization, you can use display ads or Amazon Associates, which pays a commission of ~3%. For higher commissions, you can try the following programs:

Pressure washers may not be the sexiest niche out there. But according to grandviewresearch.com, the global market is worth $1.8 billion. 

Let’s start by using “pressure washer” as our seed keyword in Keywords Explorer and head to the Matching terms report.

Matching terms report for "pressure washer," via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

We can see from the above that there are many brands within the top keywords. 

Let’s try to isolate the brand comparison keywords.

If we add an “Include” filter in Keywords Explorer that contains “vs,” we can see that there are over a thousand keywords we can potentially target.

Matching terms report for "pressure washer" with "Include" filter applied, via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

We can see that brands feature heavily in this list, so let’s change “vs” to “review” in our “Include” filter to isolate the top brand review keywords.

Matching terms report for "pressure washer" with "Include" filter applied, via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

We can see that a lot of these keywords have low KD scores under 10 and also reasonable search volumes.

Now let’s say we want to take a closer look at the informational searches within this niche.

The quickest way to do this is to remove the “Include” filter and click on Questions.

Matching terms report for "pressure washer" filtered by Questions, via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

Once we have done this, let’s say we want to understand how many questions in this niche have a featured snippet in Google. We can do this by clicking the “SERP features” dropdown, selecting Featured Snippet, and clicking Apply.

Matching terms report for "pressure washer" filtered by featured snippets on SERP features, via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

For monetization in this niche, you can use Amazon Associates. For higher commission options, you can try these:

With vinyl record sales now surpassing CD sales and over $1 billion of vinyl records sold in the U.S. in 2021, it seems that the vinyl record has once again refused to die. 

According to the data from the RIAA, the vinyl records market is set to keep increasing in value exponentially.

Let’s use Keywords Explorer to find turntable keyword phrases that include the word “best” in them.

To do this, type “turntable” into the search bar and add the word “best” to the “Include” filter.

Matching terms report for "turntable" with "Include" filter applied, via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

The keyword “best turntable under 500” seems to indicate that people are probably searching for turntables “under” many different price points. 

To see whether this is true, let’s add “under” to our “Include” filter.

Matching terms report for "turntable" with "Include" filters applied, via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

It’s clear from the above that people are searching for turntables under many different price points. We can also see that these keywords have KD scores of 6 or under. This presents lots of opportunities to rank for “best” keywords at different price points within this niche.

In terms of monetization, you can use Amazon Associates, or you can use some higher percentage affiliate programs:

  • 1 By One, 16% commission, 30-day cookie
  • Gemini, 7% commission, 30-day cookie

Home gym equipment became incredibly popular during the pandemic. And its popularity has exploded since then. 

According to Statista, the wholesale fitness equipment market is worth an incredible $6.42 billion.

Let’s identify some keyword opportunities for this niche in Keywords Explorer. 

Let’s start by using “home gym” as our seed keyword.

Matching terms report for "home gym," via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

Using this search, we can see over 38,000 potential keywords to target here.

Let’s hone in on the “best” keyword, as it appears twice in our list. We can do this by adding the word “best” as an “Include” filter.

Matching terms report for "home gym" with "Include" filter applied, via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

We can now see the emergence of a “best X for Y” pattern, so let’s add a second “Include” filter containing the word “for” to isolate these searches further.

Matching terms report for "home gym" with "Include" filters applied, via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

From these two “Include” filters, we now have a list of over a thousand keywords we can use as inspiration for articles on our home gym niche site.

We have now successfully isolated the “best X for home gym” searches. Let’s take a different approach and look at one of the trends in the above list in more detail. 

We can see in the screenshots above that the keyword “machine” is a recurring theme with high search volume. 

The average price of a gym machine is likely to be higher than some standard gym equipment, so it can potentially bring in higher affiliate commissions.

Let’s type in a list of all the gym machines we can think of, copy and paste them into Keywords Explorer, go to the Matching terms report, and add “best” to the “Include” filter.

Gym machines list with "Include" filter applied, via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

If we look at the general pattern of searches above, we can see two key exceptions that stand out from the general pattern of searches: “best smith machine exercises” and “best smith machine workouts.” These are both informational searches where people are looking for the best ways to use the Smith machine.

Let’s dig into these searches a bit further using Keywords Explorer

To do this, we can add “exercise*, workout*” as an “Include” filter. (Remember that adding the asterisks here allows us to search for plural and non-plural variations simultaneously.)

Gym machines keyword list with "Include" filters applied, via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

Now we can see that we have over a thousand keywords that target mainly informational queries with low-KD scores.

We can also see that the Smith machine is a focus area for these types of search queries, so building out a substantial section on this topic in your niche site is probably a good idea.

With the home gym niche, you can monetize it by recommended products you have reviewed. Or you can recommend online personal trainers or simply use display ads. 

You can also use Amazon Associates. But if you want something with a higher commission, you may want to check out the following programs:

According to a report from McKinsey, 87% of employed Americans would work flexibly if they could and 58% said they work remotely part of the time.

This means that 92 million people in the U.S. will require supplies to work from home. That’s a big market that is hard to ignore. 

Let’s say you created a niche site around your favorite work-from-home products. What would you review? Wireless headsets? Laptops? 

Let’s look at the opportunity for these types of products in Keywords Explorer.

Start by entering “wfh, work from home, working from home” in the search bar. Then go to the Matching terms report and add an “Include” filter containing the word “best.” 

Matching terms report for work from home–related keywords with "Include" filter applied, via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

We can see from the above that the results aren’t 100% focused on products. So to refine the results further, we can hone in on product searches by adding “for” to the “Include” filter.

Matching terms report for WFH-related keywords with "Include" filters applied, via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

Once we have done this, we can get a good idea of what products people want when working from home: headsets/headphones, computers/laptops, and monitors.

Using these “Include” filters in Ahrefs, we can quickly locate all the “best X for Y” keywords. These keywords are likely a great starting point for a “working from home” themed website.

Let’s dig into the keyword “headphones” a bit more and look at all the Questions surrounding this topic.

Matching terms report for "headphones" filtered by Questions, via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

We can see that there is a huge opportunity to create content around how to “pair” different brands of wireless headphones.

Let’s add an “Include” filter containing the word “pair” to isolate phrases that include this keyword. 

Matching terms report for "headphones" with "Include" filter applied, via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

We can see a lot of low-KD opportunities and over 7,000 keywords to create content around this single topic.

This type of content can be helpful for someone who is working from home for the first time and is about to join a remote meeting or someone who has just bought a new set of wireless headphones.

This niche can be monetized simply through display ads and Amazon Affiliates. I have provided a few other affiliate program examples below, which you can use to monetize your site.

For example:

  • Logitech, 5–10% commission, 30-day cookie
  • Razer, 3–10% commission, 30-day cookie
  • HP, 1% commission, 30-day cookie 

Final thoughts

Finding a great niche isn’t as hard as it seems.

Writing about a topic you love can definitely make things easier. But you should also analyze the data carefully before you choose your niche—this is where Ahrefs can really help.

With monetization, you don’t have to stick to just Amazon Associates, AdSense, or Ezoic—but these can be good places to start. Going directly to the manufacturers will almost always earn you a higher commission rate.

I’ve outlined 10 ideas here, but there are countless other ones out there. I hope this list provides inspiration for your next niche site.

Got more questions? Ping me on Twitter. 🙂



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Top YouTube Videos, Shorts, And Ads of 2022

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Top YouTube Videos, Shorts, And Ads of 2022

Examining YouTube’s list of the top trending videos and top Shorts of 2022, as well as the YouTube Ads Leaderboard: 2022 year-end-wrap-up can teach content marketers, content creators, and digital advertisers some important lessons that they can apply in 2023.

But, it helps if you have a secret decoder ring to decipher why there are three lists – and why each one uses a different methodology to come up with the rankings.

YouTube unveiled its first list of the 10 most-watched YouTube videos back in December 2010. Unfortunately, that list taught many marketers that “view count” was the only metric that mattered.

But, I got my secret decoder ring back in October 2012, when YouTube started adjusting the ranking of videos in YouTube search results to reward engaging videos that kept viewers watching.

In other words, YouTube replaced “view count” with “watch time.”

This was a significant shift, because “watch time” gives you a sense of what content viewers actually watch, as opposed to videos that they click on and then abandon.

In December 2012, YouTube shifted from unveiling its 10 “most-watched” videos of the year to unveiling its “top trending videos,” based on time spent watching, sharing, commenting, liking, and other factors.

In other words, “watch time” and “engagements” were now the metrics that mattered.

Today, YouTube’s algorithm rewards “viewer satisfaction.”

In other words, YouTube doesn’t pay attention to videos; it pays attention to viewers.

So, rather than trying to make videos that’ll make an algorithm happy, focus on making videos that make your viewers happy.

This brings us to YouTube’s lists of “trending videos” and “top Shorts” for 2022.

To learn important lessons that can be applied in 2023, we need to realize that YouTube’s discovery system uses both absolute and relative watch time as signals when deciding audience engagement.

Ultimately, YouTube wants both short and long videos to succeed, so relative watch time is more important for short videos, and absolute watch time is more important for longer videos.

Top 7 Trending Videos Of 2022

1. “So Long Nerds“ By Technoblade (6:32 long, 88.3 million Views, 10.2 million engagements)

In this moving tribute, the father of beloved Minecraft creator Technoblade reads a farewell letter from his son.

The gamer lost his battle with cancer in June, but his legacy remains on YouTube.

2. “Watch The Uncensored Moment Will Smith Smacks Chris Rock On Stage At The Oscars, Drops F-bomb” By Guardian News (1:24 long, 104 million Views, and 1.8 million engagements)

It was the smack heard ‘round the world: Academy Award winner Will Smith went off-script and slapped Chris Rock, live on-stage, at the film industry’s most prestigious event.

3. “Hi, I’m Dream” By Dream (5:42 long, 48.5 million Views, and 4.7 million engagements)

Dream’s ingenuity within Minecraft has led him to become a top creator with a devoted fanbase.

But no one knew what he looked like IRL, until now.

4. “ Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar & 50 Cent Full Pepsi Sb Lvi Halftime Show” By NFL (14:41 long, 146 million Views, and 3.5 million engagements)

Lose yourself in this epic Super Bowl halftime show packed with some of the biggest artists in hip-hop history: Dr. Dre, Snoop, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lama, and 50 Cent.

5. “I Built Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory!” By Mrbeast (17:01 long, 132 million Views, and 5.1 million engagements)

In a “Willy Wonka” inspired warehouse, MrBeast challenges contestants to traverse a chocolate river, climb a candy wall, compete in confection-themed games, and indulge in their sweetest fantasies.

6. “Pranks Destroy Scam Callers- Glitterbomb Payback” By Mark Rober (26:41 long, 55.9 million Views, and 2.2 million engagements).

Engineer Mark Rober exacts dazzling revenge on a scam call center in the latest version of his glitterbomb series.

7. “Being Not Straight” By Jaiden Animations (15:22 long, 17.8 million Views, and 1.7 million engagements)

In this coming-out video, Jaiden Animations depicts a personal journey from adolescence to adulthood, sharing how they discovered their sexual identity along the way.

Top 7 Shorts Of 2022

1. “Diver Cracks Egg At 45 Ft Deep #Shorts” By Shangerdanger (0:56 long, 251 million Views, and 12.3 million engagements)

The ocean floor is a mysterious place. It’s full of unknown sea creatures, strange plants, and…chicken eggs?!

Join Shangerdanger as he cracks up the internet and dives egg-first into the blue depths.

2. “Sarah Trust Challenges” By Hingaflips (0:31 long, 142 million Views, and 6.5 million engagements)

Better than parkour? This is Trampwall: an epic sport where acrobats defy gravity and leap off a wall, onto a trampoline, to pull off mind-blowing aerial stunts.

3. “Come With Me To Shave My Fluffy Dog! #Doggrooming #Grooming #Goldendoodle” By Brodie That Dood (0:52 long, 108 million Views, and 6.8 million engagements)

For years, his long fluffy fur has made Brodie one of the most iconic dogs on YouTube. So, the heartbreak was real when it was decided that he needed a close trim.

4. “Dave and Busters Bet Me 1000 Tickets I Couldn’t Do This…” By Chris Ivan (0:59 long, 83.6 million Views, and 6.3 million engagements).

No one does trick shots like creator Chris Ivan. In this Short, he attempts to land a plunger on a Dave & Buster’s sign.

The prize? 1,000 tickets … if he can pull it off.

5. “That Gap Between Your Car Seat and Center Console” By Jay & Sharon (0:58 long, 182 million Views, and 6.4 million engagements)

We’ve all lost something in the dreaded gap between the car seat and the center console.

In this comedic sketch, creators Jay & Sharon show us what’s really going on down there.

6. “Welcome To The Stomach #Shorts” By Adrian Bliss (0:34 long, 118 million Views, and 7.0 million engagements)

In this bite-sized skit, witty creator Adrian Bliss brings to life all the characters trying to gain entrance – and party in – his space-limited stomach.

7. “This Magic Trick Explained (America’s Got Talent)” By Zack D. Films (0:34 long, 97.4 million Views, and 5.6 million engagements).

How did he do it? The judges of “America’s Got Talent” were confounded by this magic trick.

But not internet-sleuth Zack D., who unveils its clever secret.

Top 7 YouTube Ads Of 2022

Meanwhile, YouTube uses an entirely different methodology to determine the top YouTube ad for its 2022 year-end wrap-up Leaderboard. This makes sense.

The top ads are generally the ones with the biggest budgets, which drive up view counts, but not always engagements.

1. “Amazon’s Big Game Commercial: Mind Reader” By Amazon (1:31 long, 69.7 million Views, and 25,700 engagements)

The creative agency for this ad was Lucky Generals and the media agency was IPG – Rufus.

The ad’s description asks, “Is Alexa reading minds a good idea? No. No, it is not.”

2. “Welcome To Clan Capital! Clash Of Clans New Update!” By Clash Of Clans (1:20 long, 52.9 million Views, and 212,000 engagements)

The creative agency was Psyop, and the media agency was in-house.

The ad’s description says,

“Welcome to the ultimate clan destination! A place where you and your clan can BUILD and BATTLE together! A place called CLAN CAPITAL!”

3. “Goal Of The Century X BTS | Yet To Come (Hyundai Ver.) Official Music Video” By Hyundaiworldwide (4:08 long, 40.5 million Views, and 886,000 engagements)

The ad’s description says,

“Our ‘Goal of the Century’ can’t be achieved by one individual alone, but we can achieve it if we all join forces and unite.

Just like football players come together as a team to score goals, we aim to use the power of football to go forward together in pursuit of the greatest goal – ‘A united world for sustainability.’”

4. “Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return To Hogwarts | Official Trailer | HBO Max” By HBO Max (1:58 long, 27.3 million Views, and 739,000 engagements)

The creative agency was in-house, and the media agency was Hearts & Science.

The ad’s description says,

“Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts invites fans on a magical first-person journey through one of the most beloved film franchises of all time as it reunites Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, and other esteemed cast members and filmmakers across all eight Harry Potter films for the first time to celebrate the anniversary of the franchise’s first film, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.”

5. “Introducing iPhone 14 Pro | Apple” by Apple (4:20 long, 23.8 million views, and 571,000 engagements)

The ad’s description asks, “What lies beyond a traditional smartphone? Let’s find out. This is iPhone 14 Pro.”

6. All of Us Are Dead | Official Trailer | Netflix” by Netflix (2:35 long, 22.6 million views, and 518,000 engagements)

The creative agency was The Refinery, and the media agency was in-house. The ad’s description says,

“All of us will die. There is no hope.” The school turned into a bloody battleground and our friends into worst enemies. Who will make it out alive?”

7. Sally’s Seashells (Extended) | Big Game Commercial 2022“ by Squarespace (1:07 long, 21.6 million views, and 67,600 engagements)

The media agency was in-house. The ad’s description says,

“See everything that Sally sells in this extended cut of our 2022 Big Game commercial. Starring Zendaya as Sally and narrated by andré 3000.”

Most Important Lesson That Marketers Can Apply In 2023

Looking back at YouTube’s lists of top trending videos, top Shorts, and top ads for 2022, there is a meta-lesson that marketers can learn: one size does not fit all.

Different metrics matter when measuring different types of video, and different types of ads are better for different marketing objectives.

Or, as the British say, “There are horses for courses.”

Now, that’s a lesson that all of us can apply in 2023, and beyond.

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Meta Reinstates Trump to Facebook & Instagram

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Meta Reinstates Trump to Facebook & Instagram

Meta announced that the suspension of former president Trump from Facebook and Instagram will be lifted within a few weeks, with “guardrails” in place to discourage repeat offenses.

2021 Suspension of Trump

Meta indefinitely suspended the account of then-president Trump after he praised the people who engaged in anti-government violence that ended in several deaths.

The suspension was reviewed by the Meta Oversight Board who concluded that the indefinite suspension was inconsistent with rules in place for dealing with policy violations.

The Oversight Board wrote:

“…it was not appropriate for Facebook to impose the indeterminate and standardless penalty of indefinite suspension. Facebook’s normal penalties include removing the violating content, imposing a time-bound period of suspension, or permanently disabling the page and account.

The Board insists that Facebook review this matter to determine and justify a proportionate response that is consistent with the rules that are applied to other users of its platform.”

Facebook responded to the board that the suspension will last for two years beginning on January 7, 2021 after which the suspension would be reconsidered.

The indefinite suspension remained in place until the announcement that it will be lifted in the weeks following January 25, 2022, just over two years after the suspension.

Why the Suspension of Trump was Lifted

The review of the suspension was timed for two years after the imposition of the original suspension on January 7, 2021. This was by agreement with the Oversight Board.

Meta undertook a review of whether Trump continued to pose a risk to public safety and decided that enough had changed to lower the risk.

The explanation of the decision indicated that multiple factors were considered:

“To assess whether the serious risk to public safety that existed in January 2021 has sufficiently receded, we have evaluated the current environment according to our Crisis Policy Protocol, which included looking at the conduct of the US 2022 midterm elections, and expert assessments on the current security environment.

Our determination is that the risk has sufficiently receded, and that we should therefore adhere to the two-year timeline we set out.

As such, we will be reinstating Mr. Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts in the coming weeks. However, we are doing so with new guardrails in place to deter repeat offenses.”

Facebook Public Figure Penalty Guardrails

Meta published updated policies, Restricting accounts by public figures during civil unrest, that describe the new protocols for dealing with public figures who violate Meta guidelines.

The updated rules apply to both Facebook and Instagram.

The new policies outline tiered penalties increasing in severity depending on the content violations.

Meta explained that the goal of the penalties were to deter violations of their policies.

The penalties last from one to thirty days to as long as two years for especially egregious violations.

Three factors will be considered to determine the severity of the penalty:

  1. “The severity of the violation and the public figure’s history on Facebook or Instagram, including current and past violations.
  2. The public figure’s potential influence over, and relationship to, the individuals engaged in violence.
  3. The severity of the violence and any related physical harm.”

 

Heightened Penalties

Public figures who return after a suspension will face heightened penalties, including disabling the account of any public figure that fails to respond to repeated warnings.

Meta’s rules targets QAnon content and outlines specific measures they will take that will limit the reach of penalized public figures.

That means anyone who is following the restricted account of a public figure will not see content posted to those accounts, plus the removal of reshare buttons.

“Our updated protocol also addresses content that does not violate our Community Standards but that contributes to the sort of risk that materialized on January 6, such as content that delegitimizes an upcoming election or is related to QAnon.

We may limit the distribution of such posts, and for repeated instances, may temporarily restrict access to our advertising tools.

This step would mean that content would remain visible on Mr. Trump’s account but would not be distributed in people’s Feeds, even if they follow Mr. Trump.

We may also remove the reshare button from such posts, and may stop them being recommended or run as ads.”

Response to Reinstatement of Trump

Facebook’s announcement stated that they expect to be criticized but that the decision was guided by guidelines set down by the Oversight Board.

The response on social media was predictably passionate, with congressman Adam Schiff characterizing the reinstatement as Facebook having “caved.”

Others accused Facebook of having no rules or procedures even though Meta’s decision was based on rules and procedures.

Many of the top tweets commenting on the Trump reinstatement commented that Facebook’s decision was based on greed while others lamented the lack of consequences from Trump’s action, even though he was punished with a two year suspension.

Read Meta’s Announcement:

Ending Suspension of Trump’s Accounts With New Guardrails to Deter Repeat Offenses

 

 



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Wayback Machine: 5 Alternatives To Try

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Wayback Machine: 5 Alternatives To Try

Much of the web is ephemeral.

Web pages exist until they don’t. The content on them exists until it’s updated – and then it’s gone.

Unless you go digging in an archive.

Archiving the web is important for cultural and anthropological research. It’s also helpful for business reasons, like competitive analysis. It can even help document or monitor political processes.

Your particular reason for seeking archived content might determine which service works best.

The Wayback Machine is the most commonly known archive.

Screenshot, https://archive.org/web/, January 2023.

The Internet Archive is a nonprofit organization, and the Wayback Machine is the web version of its archive, containing an absolutely massive amount of data.

You can request that it save a webpage in its current state, as well as make use of tools, like an API.

As huge as the Wayback Machine archive is, it’s likely not 100% complete. If you’re having trouble finding something specific or wondering if there are alternatives with more features, these alternatives might help.

I won’t be going over paid SaaS subscriptions, as I don’t consider a paid service a true alternative to a free one provided by a nonprofit.

Let’s go!

1. The Memento Project

Memento is an exceptional alternative to the Wayback Machine because it aggregates several different sources, including the Wayback Machine itself.

On the website, you can access archives from several sources by using the Time Travel tool.

Wayback Machine: 5 Alternatives To TryScreenshot, http://timetravel.mementoweb.org/, January 2023.

This is the first distinction that makes Memento so cool, and it includes some of the other archives on this list, too. That means it’s a customizable experience and likely one of the most complete.

Memento’s other distinct feature is the Chrome extension that allows you to select the date on which you’d like to view your current page. This brings the tool to where you’re browsing instead of making you put a URL into a form.

You can also create a snapshot of a page and generate a link to it that won’t break. This is particularly useful for citation.

If you’re concerned a page might disappear, or the content might get updated, but you want to use the information, creating one of these links ensures that people will be able to see your original source.

2. Archive.today

Archive.today is another “snapshot” tool. It allows you to save a link to a page as it currently exists.

Following the link will send users to an unalterable version of the page.

Wayback Machine: 5 Alternatives To TryScreenshot, https://archive.ph/, January 2023.

It also features some relatively advanced search queries you can perform on domains and URLs to find snapshots that have been saved with the tool.

This tool also features a Chrome extension as well as an Android app.

Searches on Memento can include results from Archive.today.

3. WebCite

WebCite has powerful applications for authors, journalists, academics, and publishers.

It offers a variety of ways to build and present the archived pages and the URLs.

Wayback Machine: 5 Alternatives To TryScreenshot, rhttps://webcitation.org/, January 2023.

Unfortunately, at the time of publishing, it doesn’t appear to be taking new requests. But you can still access already archived pages. When and if it starts accepting requests again, it’s a very useful tool for that.

Its most powerful feature for authors and publishers is the ability to upload a manuscript directly to the website.

The tool will scan every link in an uploaded manuscript and automatically create archives of each of the pages linked to as they currently exist. This saves a lot of time if you’ve used a lot of website citations.

If you’ve created content that you want people to be able to create snapshots of, then you can add a specific WebCite link to your page that users can click on. This embeds archive functionality into your page, saving users time if they decide to use your work as a citation.

4. GitHub

GitHub is a development and collaboration platform that also prioritizes public projects and open-source code.

It documents and archives open-source code and programs, and is searchable by other archives such as the Wayback Machine.

Wayback Machine: 5 Alternatives To TryScreenshot, https://github.com/explore, January 2023.

But, if you’re looking for something related to code or software development, it might be easier to go straight to GitHub instead of using another archive service.

While it does have paid business plans, GitHub is free for the average user. It even offers 15GB of storage and some computing power in its cloud developer environment for free for your personal use.

5. Country-Specific Web Archives

Several countries run their own web archives.

These can be particularly helpful alternatives to the Wayback Machine if you’re looking for a website highly relevant to a specific location, or the culture of a country.

More focused archives might have more complete information if you’re having trouble finding it elsewhere, although again, I want to mention that the first alternative in this list, Memento, pulls from several different country-specific archives.

I should also note that many archives specific to a country, region, educational institution, or individual library are partnered with Archive-it, a service provider built by The Internet Archive (makers of the Wayback Machine).

They curate specific collections based on relevance, but all Archive-it partners leverage the same source: The Internet Archive.

These are a few of the country-specific web archives:

Conclusion

When you’re looking for alternatives to the Wayback Machine, you might not realize that a great many of them, in part or in whole, are powered by the same archive.

But there are other services out there you can use. Some have more helpful features, depending on what your goals are.

This isn’t an exhaustive list of alternative tools, but it’s most of the easily accessible tools for the average user.

Others require monthly payments, and some are free to academic and legal institutions, but not to individual users.

I chose to focus on the best of the tools that you could go and use right now with no fuss.

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