Ep 277: The Google Update Clean Up For Bloggers & Content Website Owners with Alex Cooper

In this episode, we will dive deep into the ever-evolving world of online business, content creation, and digital marketing. Today we have a special guest joining us.

Meet Alex Cooper, the man behind WP Eagle. On his popular YouTube channel, Alex shares his extensive knowledge of affiliate marketing and WordPress, the world’s most popular CMS system for creating websites. His passion for WordPress and internet marketing has helped countless individuals succeed in the digital space.

Jaryd and Alex engage in a refreshing and candid conversation about the current landscape of buying online businesses. They explore the trends in market multiples, whether people are actively buying businesses or waiting on the sidelines, and where they’re investing their cash.

They also discuss the impact of the latest Google updates. Have these changes hit content creators hard? What’s happened to those affected? Alex shares insights from his discussions with other influencers in internet marketing and SEO, revealing how they’re adapting their businesses and content strategies to maintain and even boost their revenue. They also discuss ways to optimize existing traffic and build resilient businesses that don’t solely rely on Google.

From entrepreneurship to getting started in the digital world, and from mindset to simple tips, this episode is packed with valuable insights.

So, sit back, relax, and get ready for an episode full of actionable advice and honest conversations. I’m sure you’re going to absolutely love it! Let’s get started.

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Episode Highlights

05:30 Who’s been hit the hardest by Google update?

12:20 Don’t rely on a single source of traffic and income!

22:45 Google traffic vs Youtube traffic

34:30 What is the percentage you should invest in an online business?

39:45 Be flexible with changes

Courses & Training

Courses & Training

Key Takeaways

Successful websites are those that have diversified their income streams and traffic sources. Relying solely on Google traffic or a single source of traffic is highly risky.

Adopting a CEO mindset involves focusing on broader business strategies rather than just SEO. This includes leveraging existing traffic more effectively and exploring new revenue opportunities.

➥ While AI-generated content had a moment of hype, its long-term value lies in assisting content creation rather than replacing human-generated content entirely.

About The Guest

Alex Cooper is the brains behind the brand WP Eagle, and on his YouTube channel, he teaches affiliate marketing and WordPress to the masses. He started by sharing his skills one WordPress, “The world’s most popular CMS system for making Websites,” and that is still his passion. He does videos all the time and tries to help his community and followers to succeed in internet marketing.

Connect with Alex Cooper


Jaryd Krause:

Content websites, how can we grow out of what Google has done for organic traffic for sites that are reliant on Google traffic?

Hi, I’m Jaryd Krause. I'm the host of the Buying Online Businesses Podcast. And today I'm speaking with Alex Cooper, who is the brains behind the WP Eagle brand and his YouTube channel. He teaches affiliate marketing and WordPress to the masses and shares many business skills.

He started out sharing his skills on WordPress, and he also has the world's most popular CMS system for making websites. This is still a passion of his, and he loves helping people in business. He does videos all the time and tries to help his community succeed on the internet.

Now, in this podcast episode, Alex and I have a bit of a refreshing conversation around what it's like in the market to buy an online business right now in terms of multiples. Are people buying businesses? Are people on the sidelines? Where are people spending cash?

Have people been hit by this Google update? What has happened to those people who have been hit? Just an open and honest, raw conversation.

We're going to talk about some of the things that Alex has been speaking about with other influencers in internet marketing and SEO around how they're changing their businesses and their content websites to still earn revenue, maybe even gain more traffic, optimize the traffic they already have and build out a round of business that isn't only reliant on Google traffic.

Now, we talk about entrepreneurship. We talk about getting started; we talk about mindset. There's so much value in this podcast episode. I'm sure you're going to absolutely love it.

If you are looking to buy business and you haven't got my Due Diligence Framework, make sure you go away and get that at buyingonlinebusiness.com/freeresources.

It's the framework that I use, it's what my clients use, and it's helped us make millions of dollars and save millions of dollars when acquiring online businesses. Now let's dive into the pod.

Do you have a website you might want to sell, either now or in the future? We have a hungry list of cashed up and trained up buyers that want to buy your content website.

If you have a site making over $300 per month and want to sell it, head to buyingonlinebusinesses.co/sellyourbusiness. Or email us at [email protected], because we will likely have a buyer. The details are in the description.

Alex Cooper:


Jaryd Krause:

Alex, back on the pod. We didn't work out how long it's been, but it's been more than a year—probably more than two years, actually. How are you?

Alex Cooper:

It's got to be more than two years. I'm good. Thanks for having me back. I'm excited to be here.

Jaryd Krause:

Yeah, I'm excited to chat. I’ve been getting a bunch of people on the pod to talk about SEO, Google, and blogging, and I have been known to teach people to buy blogs and content websites, as well as e-commerce businesses and membership businesses.

But traditionally, people bought blogs to start off with because they're typically easier to run.

Now, things have changed and pivoted, and it might only be for a short period of time, We'll see. That's why I'm having a conversation with you. What's happening out there in the landscape of Google and SEO? I'm speaking to a bunch of CEOs, but yeah, what are you finding out and learning?

Alex Cooper:

It's been brutal. It's been really brutal. So, yeah, I mean, I was in the UK just last weekend; I was at Affiliate Gathering, and there was a whole load of bloggers and niche website owners there.

Yeah, I was talking to them, and although they were fairly optimistic, there were some people there who had entire portfolios of content sites absolutely destroyed by Google.

And yeah, it's been brutal. Even people that had very successful content sites that were producing high-quality, authentic, real, useful content—the kind of content that Google has been asking for and has said that if you create that kind of content, you will be rewarded with traffic—were hit as well.

There was one person there who had over 100 sites that pretty much went to zero via manual penalty. They were quite well known on YouTube as well.

So I don't know if there's a connection there, but there do seem to be people that were, I don’t want to say bragging, but they were sharing their success via YouTube regarding SEO and regarding their niche websites.

It seems like Google has actually come after them and given them a slap manually. But even people who were on YouTube were also hit.

I had two little projects on the side that were growing quite nicely. One was AI content, one was human written, and they've both been completely destroyed.

So, yeah, it's an interesting time. I say people are still optimistic. They're coming up with new ideas and pivoting. I've gone off that word “pivoting,” but yeah, no, they're changing their approach to how they make money online.

Jaryd Krause:

As you should. And that's what my approach has been: buy an established business, whether it's a blog, an e-commerce business, or a membership or SaaS business. Obviously, more people now are just leaning towards those different business models.

We see that from the SEO agency that I partner with, a lot of the e-commerce brands have gained a bunch of traffic through some of this, which will be very interesting to see.

And it sucks because we've got a bunch of people that own content sites that have been hit as well, me included, and we're changing the revenue streams and trying to change a bunch of different things.

You said you got an AI site, and you had one that's a different site that you put original content on and stuff like that Being through the affiliate gathering and speaking to a bunch of people in the space, have you noticed any trends of who's been hit, why, who's been hit the hardest, and how?

Alex Cooper:

It seems like everyone's been hit. If you're not on Forbes, the New York Times, or Reddit, it seems that getting search traffic is very difficult.

People who are more resilient are those who have a more diverse business around their website. And I think that's probably the key now, rather than just focusing on Google traffic and then affiliate commissions, which was the model before. It was quite straightforward.

You'd do a bit of keyword research, you'd find some long-tail, low-competition keywords, you'd create some content around them and then you could build out a site from there, get some traffic from Google and some affiliate commissions, or maybe add something like Ezoic and then Mediavine to monetize via ads.

And that worked pretty well. But now it seems that people are kind of turning it into a proper business, which probably we all should have done anyway.

So things like adding e-commerce and creating your own product, whether that be physical or digital, and having a membership site seem to work quite well. And, yeah, just thinking about it as a real business.

Building an email list as well. So that you're not just getting traffic from Google and then sending it straight off to someone else so that they can capitalize on getting the customer.

You're actually capturing those people's details on the way through. Then you're able to build funnels and other processes around that so that you can increase the lifetime value of that visitor to your website.

And people who were using social media in a productive and consistent way were all going to be able to do that. So you've got more traffic.

Things like Pinterest for very visual niches, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and all the social platforms. If you've got a proper strategy and a plan for them, that definitely gives you a little bit more resilience.

It was the sites that were dependent on Google traffic, where 95% of their traffic was Google. They're obviously the ones that have been completely hit.

Jaryd Krause:

Yeah, the keyword that you mentioned there is “dependent.” Single-source dependency is something that I learned very harshly. It’s probably worse or similar. Everybody's situation is different; everybody's site is different; and everybody's business is different.

But I think it was 2018, and I was single-source dependent on Facebook ads and Facebook traffic through just ads. And Facebook shut down my account, my advertising account.

So, yeah, I had no business. I had no business and no income. I was stuffed—completely stuffed, right? It wasn't like I'd lost 70%, 80%, or 90%. It's like I've lost everything.

Alex Cooper:

Did they give you a reason for closing your account?

Jaryd Krause:

There were a lot of accounts during that time period that got shut down, and it happened maybe two years ago as well. They go through and they just cull a bunch that are not within their policies and guidelines—ads that are apparently “not in their policies or guidelines.”

Things like passive income and stuff like that—using those sorts of words in your ads—were not very—yeah, “make money online” really got smashed. So, yeah, I basically had no business, and I learned the hard way of single-source dependency.

And then, through that and teaching more people to acquire businesses, every time somebody would send a business to us, we'd do a due diligence review. We point out the top risk, which is, typically, with blogs, always single-source dependency.

And sometimes it was mostly single-source dependency on Pinterest traffic. There were a lot of blogs that were just getting a lot of traffic from Pinterest, when I think it might have been three or four years ago when everybody was just realizing Pinterest was getting a lot of traffic for blogs. It was quite popular.

So, yeah, that diversification of traffic is really, really important. And that sucks and it's hard to hear for people listening who have blogs now.

And now it's like a lesson that I don't want anybody to have to learn because I know how hard it is. Unfortunately, it's something that we will learn from.

Or eventually, we're just going to learn to build these businesses that are more rounded in terms of offering different products and services at different parts of the journey for the audience and the users through multiple channels and email lists.

I have a blog that is a craft site, and it got smashed. We just decided to turn ads off completely and sell digital products, build out the email list, sell digital products, and go that way. We might slowly turn ads back on and test to see how it goes.

But have you noticed anybody changing their revenue streams and seeing good results in what they've done yet?

Alex Cooper:

Yeah, I was speaking to a guy called Mads Singers who was at the event. And yeah, he's had a lot of success with courses and digital products. Actually, he had a great tip where he would go on to somewhere like Udemy and build a course and everything; that takes a lot of time and a lot of energy.

But, yeah, going on to Udemy, looking for courses that were within his niche, going through the ones, and finding ones that maybe had only had a handful of sales that weren't doing particularly well. Because Udemy is like everything else. If you don't have that kind of momentum behind you, it's very hard to start selling.

And just approach these people and buy the course. Have a look at the course, if it's decent, and go, “Oh, we love your course; we'll give you a few grand for it if we can take ownership of that course.”

And these people are more than happy because they're going to break even, or at least get their money back in terms of the time and money they've invested in the course because it's not working out on Udemy. So he'd scoop up these courses and then package them up as a product to sell on his sites.

But then there are also physical products, from a dropshipping perspective. If you're in a niche that can have physical products, maybe it's gardening or crafts or something like that, it's looking for products that you can drop ship through the site. And, yeah, that seems to be working quite well for some people.

I'm glad you mentioned paid traffic, actually, because that's something I just forgot. There were a lot of people there talking about how having the control that you get from paid traffic is just fantastic.

And it doesn't work so well if you just have that straight affiliate site where you're sending traffic straight out through outbound affiliate links. But if you do have a funnel and you are building an email list or if you've got physical products or digital products, then paid traffic is just fantastic.

Jaryd Krause:

I mean, when you think about it with Mads and some other people that might be doing this with their blogs now, if you start offering courses that you own and say you're selling the course for a couple hundred bucks, you can afford to scale that business with paid traffic.

Typically, if you get your marketing right, and maybe your cost per acquisition might be, who knows, $20 per course and you're selling a $100 course, you're making $80 for every single person you put through.

Plus, you're building your email list on the way through as well, so you can re-market to them not just on the platform, but you can re-market different products. It doesn't need to be more courses; it could be physical products that are on your email list as well. So that’s the way I see it.

Alex Cooper:

Yeah. And then you can also promote affiliate products via your list, of course.

Jaryd Krause:

Correct. Yeah. Who do I have on? Kyle Roof, just recently. We were talking about gateway pages and how people, instead of having the five best air conditioners or whatever it is, could create an email list.

People could get on the email list. And you could do a proper review, give them a resource, and then you can have the affiliate links in the email versus just doing gateway pages from the site where Google has really cracked down on that. They did. They were cracking down that long before the big hit, I guess, through 2024.

Yeah. And when I think about the whole system of building a business that isn't reliant on just organic traffic, even from social media or anywhere else,. When you use some advertising to build an email list of people that are interested in a certain product, then you've got that email list and that's really the value source of the business.

And then, as the business might evolve and change in, say, five years’ time or 10 years’ time, your products and services should evolve with that time period because they should evolve to cater to the audience based on what they want. You can start selling different products as the business grows in different stages.

And you might not even know or fathom what those products or services are, right?

Alex Cooper:

It's just having that customer list and seeing the kind of lifetime value of collecting a customer, because you mentioned you may be selling a course for 100 bucks, so the value of the customer is 100.

But actually, once you've got funnels in place and an email list, the value of that customer may be far greater than that, especially if you're going to be promoting affiliates and other products and services.

So, yeah, Mads coined a great phrase—just to go back to Mads—it was to think like a CEO and not an SEO, which is great. He comes up with all these great things. I'm hoping to get him on my podcast. Have you ever had him on?

Jaryd Krause:

Yeah, we've had him on a long time ago, though, so I should get him back on, actually.

Alex Cooper:

Well, yeah, he put up a post yesterday. He's looking for places to jump, so now’s the chance.

Jaryd Krause:

Yeah, I'll hit him up. I've got his email, and we'll get him back on. Yeah, I think we talked about systems last time he was on the pod.

Alex Cooper:

Yeah, he's very much about systems. He's also about—again, which is great advice—basically getting more money from the traffic you've already got.

We're constantly, as website owners, looking to get more and more traffic. But there can be some little things that you can just change or a new product you can bring in—an extra email in your funnel—that can just increase the value of the traffic that you're already getting.

And obviously, that's a lot easier than trying to continually grow the traffic.

Jaryd Krause:

Same with the intention of the traffic. This was such a bummer about Google. The intent of the traffic compared to other social media platforms is that people are closer on their buyer's journey to making a purchase from Google traffic versus social media or Pinterest.

And that's a big bummer about Google. But if we think about the type of traffic or the intention of traffic that we're getting, and then also the higher your intent, the more value you know you're going to get from that traffic without having to just get more ideology as well.

So what are you going to do, Alex? So you've got this AI site and you've got this other site. Have you got a plan?

Alex Cooper:

Yeah, I've got a plan. I've got a couple of plans, actually.

So the first one is that I've been going back to basics with WP Eagle. So doing a lot more tutorials and reviews and things around not just WordPress, although I originally started with WordPress tutorials, but kind of expanding out into online business and that kind of thing. So that's going really well.

I've also started a brand new project, which is all about where I live here in Spain. So the town I live in is called Estepona. It's kind of on trend at the moment. It's becoming very popular from a tourism point of view.

There's a lot of building going on of hotels and things, which I'm not sure I'm too happy about because I've been coming to the town for a long time, and it's losing a little bit of its charm.

But on the flip side, it's getting more and more visitors every single year. It's becoming very popular with Northern Europeans, like Swedish people, and with people from Norway, Denmark, and all those kinds of places.

So I'm going to create a resource for English speakers that visit the town and it's going really well. I've started with a social media first approach. So I've already started building up all the social media across all the different platforms: TikTok, Instagram and everything else, posting every single day.

I've also been visiting a lot of the local cafes and restaurants and filming videos, trying the food, and the service, and that's good fun. And yeah, it's fresh and it's enjoyable.

And yeah, I'm confident that I can make something of it. And again, building an email list of people that either live here in the town or are regular visitors. I think I can create something of value.

Jaryd Krause:

Yeah, I think that's such a good way to go in business—building out a bit of an audience that is interested in something, whether they live there or they're regularly visiting, and then just asking what they need and want.

For example, if you've got people that are on your email list and they're coming to the town, you might think, “Oh, we only want to know where the good cafes are,” but maybe, what about, are there any tours that are good here?

Or are there any adventures that we don't know about that we should know about? Where you could say, “Yeah, in this town, we've got these three different tours or adventures,” you could link up with those businesses and partner with them.

And I think it's a really exciting way to go. Everybody wins in that scenario and that's what business should be about, really.

Alex Cooper:

Yeah, I am excited. And you're right. When you go on a trip, especially if you come to a place you know more than once, you can kind of run out of inspiration. And it's nice to keep going to the same restaurants and cafes, but sometimes you want to do something fresh.

So an email list with inspirational ideas of “Have you tried taking a hike up the mountain or going to the port and going out on a boat?” There's lots of ideas.

And then also, when people are in situations like when it's raining, what do you do when it's raining here? Because it's a very outdoor town, and most places are only catered for outside space. Or what do you do when you've got kids? There are lots of ideas.

And I've already spoken to a few local businesses here because I know quite a lot just from being here and going out, and they're all very interested in getting involved.

And there's also a lot of real estate agents here that are very interested in getting involved because, as people discover the town, they often want to buy a property.

Jaryd Krause:

Yeah. And that's probably going to be a bigger paycheck. I like to think about the journey of somebody in your audience and what their sort of end result would be.

But for example, in your local town, people might come and visit once, and they like it, so they'll come back. And then eventually, they'll love it so much that they go purchase a property.

The journey of them and you serving them each single step of the way. It’s like, when you first get here, do the tourist things. Then you move into a lot more local stuff. And when you start to love it a bit more and join these different types of communities, you want to buy a property and settle here.

It's like you've got that whole journey that you can help; you can serve people along that way, the whole way through, the lifetime of that lifetime customer or CLTV.

I don't think that's a bit business and money orientated, but if you think about it from a service point of view, it's like you get to really help somebody a lot.

Alex Cooper:

And that's actually how I started. Because just from knowing the town, and obviously I speak English with a bit of Spanish, there's a lot of people that come here and they don't speak any Spanish, so they find it difficult to ask around what's going on.

And even when I see tourists’ kind of walking around and maybe they're on their phones and they just look a little bit lost, I'll often say, “Are you lost? Need some help?” And then they go, “Yeah, I'm looking for this place,” and I'll just point them in the right direction.

And that's kind of why I started, because I get a lot of satisfaction out of helping people get the most out of their trip here or their stay here.

So that was always my first approach. I wanted to help people enjoy the town as much as possible, and of course, hopefully, the side effect of that will be that I can earn some money.

But going back to what I was saying earlier, I'm taking it from a business approach rather than just a website approach. And so I'm going to have to do deals with local businesses in terms of sponsorship.

I want to probably sell ads directly rather than using an ad network like Ezoic or Mediavine, so people can really kind of choose the sort of coverage and reach that I can give them, whether it be via my email list, whether it be via my social media, or whether it be just a simple banner or something on the website.

Jaryd Krause:

And that's just doing what Mads has mentioned, right? You’re thinking like a CEO, not an SEO.

Alex Cooper:

That’s right. And obviously, there is a big SEO component involved because I want to get plenty of traffic to the website, but that's only a small part of it.

Jaryd Krause:
And SEO for all the different channels too. It's not just Google, right? You said you're doing TikTok and all that sort of stuff. So tell me about YouTube. You've been doing YouTube for how long now with WP Eagle?

Alex Cooper:

Oh, God. I don't know—maybe seven or eight years. Probably longer, in fact. On WP Eagle, there are over 1,000 videos. So, yeah, it's got to be a few years.

Jaryd Krause:

Congrats. That's impressive. That's awesome. And we can try to compare them, but they're very different, But for, say, a blog, what's your original thought on traffic from YouTube versus Google?

Alex Cooper:

I think you've heard about parasite SEO, right? It was a hot topic where you create some content and publish it on a site with authority, and then you get ranked on Google fairly quickly. And there's a lot of affiliates killing it by sticking stuff on Outlook India and these other random sites.

But Google is cracking down on that at the moment. It doesn't work so much. But one site that still ranks really well and really quickly on Google is YouTube.

So for example, I put a video up yesterday, and it was a tool about how you can turn your long-form content into short-form content very quickly using a bit of AI. And it's a really cool little editing tool.

If you do a Google search now for long video into short video, something like that, that video is already on page one of Google. In fact, it was page one in about an hour. So I think YouTube is still an incredibly important part of your traffic generation sources or whatever.

Yeah, I love it. And so I've been doing YouTube for a long time. I've done a lot of videos, I've done live streams, and it's kind of making sure that you've got a bit of a strategy.

So I kind of lost my way a little bit. And I started creating a lot of content just for my subscribers, which was fine. And it would get a lot of views quite quickly.

After I published it, it would go out to subscribers; they'd watch it and enjoy it. But it wasn't growing my channel at all. It wasn't that I wasn't doing any kind of keyword research. I wasn't building videos for search.

So I've gone back to that a little bit, where I am still doing videos for my subscribers, but then I'm also doing videos where I'm thinking about what people might be looking for on Google and on YouTube and using those videos to try and grow the channel and get traffic to my site.

Jaryd Krause:

I love that. I love that. Because then you expand your audience and they might find you for something else, but then, after being in your content wheelhouse, start to learn about something, like, “Well, that piques my interest.”

And they can go down their own wormhole in your content bank on YouTube, and then eventually end up with a great result.

Alex Cooper:

So I think it's getting more balanced. And yeah, I like to use all things on YouTube. I mean, for WP Eagle, well, I don't use shorts so much. On my new channel about the travel stuff in Estepona, we're doing a lot of shorts. They've been working really well.

But on WP Eagle, the audience is very different. So long form content works really well. And also live streaming. I love live streaming. I haven't done so much recently, but I did one a couple of weeks ago. I had Ricky Kesler from Income School, and we had an interesting interview.

And I like the interaction between myself and my community that you get with a live stream. It's in real time; comments are coming in. And yeah, it's fun. And even if people don't watch it live, they do often come back later and watch it.

And that's the other thing about live streams is you can create a whole lot of short content from a long live stream. If you use an AI tool or maybe even pay someone to go through your stream and pick out all the good bits, you can generate four or five good bits of content from one live stream.

Jaryd Krause:

And so with this AI, is this like just a tool that is cutting the video into short parts? Or is it creating a shorter script for you to create a brand-new video?

Alex Cooper:

No, it kind of cuts it down automatically. It goes through and tries to figure out which bits it thinks are the most interesting and it gets it right sometimes. But then it also does the transcription, adds the captions, and can add those little emojis.

And it can do the—what do you call it—auto framing, so that if you've got two guests in a wide format, it will move the camera around so that they fit into the more vertical format. And yeah, it's just a really quick way to repurpose content.

Jaryd Krause:

Nice. I think I was doing it with a different podcast. I have a property podcast, property investing. And my other co-host was experimenting with Vidyo.

Alex Cooper:

Vidyo, yeah, that's one I've used. What I've been using recently is Vizard. That's probably my favorite. But there's Opus Clip as well. There are quite a few.

And I think that's the thing with AI, it is still going to be a useful tool. I think when it first came out, we all got very excited and started creating articles with it—that kind of thing. And I don't think that's the way forward with AI.

But I think that as a tool to help you more efficiently when it comes to creating videos, planning out content, or consolidating and extracting information from a lot of data, AI is definitely going to be useful. I mean, but I guess we'll wait and see.

And I saw there was a new ChatGPT released yesterday, I think, or Monday, maybe?

Jaryd Krause:

I've seen that. Yeah, interesting. I think it was really good. I mean, not going to lie, I experimented with AI. And most people did because you could get cheaper content. You get really cheap content that’s reasonably good.

And it could work. And it worked. We saw these people crush it and build those massive AI sites. Like you said, you crushed it.

And at the end of the day, if you think about the long-term approach, how much value is a human actually going to see in five years’ time or 10 years’ time?

Alex Cooper:

Well, none, really. That's the thing. And also, I think the way people find information is going to change now because of AI.

So the simple questions. Like one of my AI sites, Can You Wash It? And it was basically answering questions about what you can wash? Can you wash towels with bed sheets? Can you wash whites with darks? Can you wash a cat with bleach?

There's a lot of random things people were searching for. And I was using AI to create articles around that. But of course, those kinds of questions are going to be answered directly from the search engines with AI when Google releases SGE, which I think they've already started to roll out in the States now.

We could get to a point where for all those kinds of searches, there are no blue links on the search results pages. It's literally just an answer and that's it. And maybe as we move to voice search and as AI gets integrated more into your smartphone, the way people get information is certainly going to change.

But I think the one thing that's going to remain is things like video content, podcasts, social media and real human content. That's certainly going to be something that we always want.

Jaryd Krause:

I'm with you on that. And I was speaking about this years ago, maybe four years ago, when I first started my podcast.

I’m like, “I'm excited for the day when if I search something on Google or a search engine and a three-minute or a one-minute answer of my voice or somebody else's voice on a podcast gives you the answer like this,” without you having to read, you've got the value very, very easily.

I mean, YouTube already does it. Sometimes, I mean, when you type into Google how to do this thing—what was I trying to do here the other day? I just googled it and then YouTube gave me just this short part of a longer video with the answer in it.

I was like, “That's coming; it's coming down the line in videos and all that.”

Alex Cooper:

Yeah. And that's really useful because there's loads of great information in these videos and in these podcasts. But of course, a lot of these podcasts are like an hour long or even longer, and it's very hard to find those real juicy bits of information. So, yeah, I'm excited for that too.

Jaryd Krause:

So on WP Eagle, you make money through ad revenue, but then what's the business model? Where do you push this traffic to, I guess, from you?

Alex Cooper:

Okay. So WP Eagle makes money through ad revenue and affiliates from a lot of the tutorials that I have created. They often involve some sort of product or service.

Even the very basic ones, like how to create a WordPress website, require people to buy hosting, domain names, and maybe plugins and themes, so there's always an affiliate opportunity there.

We, myself and a couple of other guys, created a WordPress theme called Popcorn Theme, which has been going pretty well. Although I'm going to say a year ago, maybe a little bit longer, we created the theme for niche website owners.

So it was particularly targeted at people that wanted to create a content website quickly, and they wanted to have some features, like product comparison boxes and calls to action. So we had all that stuff built in.

Now, of course, with the recent changes and the recent change with Google and just the general vibe within that community, that's not doing so well anymore.

But we'll think of something that we can do with that in terms of repurposing it or re-aligning it so that it is something that people want. But I think people—maybe they're holding fire on setting up new sites right now.

Jaryd Krause:

I think you're right. I know my audience is waiting around to see what's happening with search, whether they're going to buy a blog or not. I think it's still an opportunity.

Speaking to some SEOs, I don't know if it was Eli Schwartz who was talking to me about it, but it might've been somebody else, talking about how when Panda came out, it just decimated so many things, so many sites. And then eventually, these sites sort of started to come back.

I know some SEOs are a little bit bullish on that and holding on to some optimism. So we'll see. And in my space, people are sort of waiting to see, is it an opportunity to buy a content site now when it's not faring as well in value based on its current traffic?

Alex Cooper:

Yeah, I did want to ask you about that. What is the market like in terms of the buy-sell space? And also, did you have anyone who just invested heavily in a site just before all this stuff happened, and how are they now? Are they okay?

Jaryd Krause:

So first and foremost, yes, a lot of people had invested prior to this, even two to three years ago. But I think we had two people who invested pretty close to this happening. I think they might have been bought in January or February-ish.

In October last year, in 2023, there was a bit of a hiccup with some changes with Google's Helpful Content Update. And we've had the value of the business based on the new sort of revenue and traffic levels based on that. It's a great opportunity. Most of us didn't see any of this happening.

Obviously, when people buy businesses that have only single-source dependency on Google,. We highlight, “Hey, this is a risk, and you need to understand that this is a risk. And if you're happy with those risks and you're willing to take on board those risks, then you can invest. It's up to you.”

And yeah, it's an unfortunate thing. I got hit. We had two people get hit that were quite close to the March shenanigans with Google.

Alex Cooper:

But I'm hoping these people are fairly wealthy anyway. It wasn't like their last $10,000 or whatever—

Jaryd Krause:

They were larger. They were larger. I think one was around $80K, and one was around $100-ishK. And I always tell people never to invest more than 80% of their capital or available capital into an asset, so you have some contingency as well.

Also, your risk profile and tolerance should depend on what other assets or liabilities you have as well. So I like to tell people about that.

And then, yeah, to answer your question, one of them got 40% traffic down, and then one was worse. It was around 70% to 80%. And it sort of bottomed out. And yeah, we're going to see. We've been working with them with our SEO agency.

What we were doing was seeing some good changes to those sites. Now, we just sort of pause them because we're like, “We're not going to just take your money and just do work when we're just trying to work out what's going to give you ROI,” right?

So we're really good with our clients. We're like, “Let's just pause everything. Let's just chill. Let's just cruise. Let's sort of work out and let the dust settle.”

Absolutely, yeah. So we're not just taking money and trying to put food on the table for ourselves and nobody else. We want to make sure that we're doing the right thing.

And when people are ready, when we start seeing results in certain things, then we go, “Hey, this is the proof that this has worked. Let's try to implement this slowly on your site with a smaller budget and then increase it as we start to see more results.”

I think the best way to go in life is to start off a little bit and then go through.

Alex Cooper:

Because there were people I saw on Twitter pretty much straight after the recent spam update and the recent core update, and they were trying to sell recovery services and thinking, “How do you even know what Google wants right now?”

And from what I can see from the SERPs, it's going to be incredibly difficult to get small sites back up there when they're just dominated by Reddit, Quora and other things. They're just people selling snake oil already and just going to run off with some cash, right?

Jaryd Krause:

I'll put my hand up and say that we have sold recovery packages, but not on this one—not on this one that's just recently happened—based on ones that we have seen work for. 30 years ago, we've seen that this has worked on the recovery, and we've got case studies proven.

We took a site, and we grew it. There were four changes to the algorithm. And then we grew it 373%. And yeah, that was based on some of the strategies that we had used with other sites that we knew worked.

Also, that site that we grew on did pretty well. And then some changes happened again with Google, so it's down a little bit again.

It's a heartbreaking thing to have happened when you're so dependent on one single source. And I mean, it hurts; it's hurting everybody. But at the same time, I basically lost my business. It was the best thing that happened to me in my business and in entrepreneurship for me personally.

I'm not saying this is awesome for everybody, and what's happening right now is great. But for me, when I reflect back in hindsight, it really taught me the lessons I needed to become the entrepreneur I am today. And it's really hard to see that when you're in it. It's really hard, isn't it?

Alex Cooper:

No. And yeah, business is never a straight linear line going to the top, is it? It's always going to have these ups and downs.

And you're absolutely right. Those downs should hopefully be a valuable lesson, so that when you come back, that doesn't happen again, and you build something much stronger and much more resilient.

So just quickly going back to the market, are there people out there that are looking for sites that have been hit? Because I'm sure there's plenty of those available right now.

And I guess it is a huge opportunity if you've got the funds and the resilience to be able to invest in these things and maybe turn them around. You can pick up sites. Because I know before all this, the multiple was 30x-35x on sites, but I'd imagine it's a lot less now, maybe 15x or even lower.

Jaryd Krause:

I would say the multiples would probably be around the 20s to 30s still. However, the valuation will be based on where it's based now. And I typically like to tell people that you should have 12 months of traffic and revenue data.

Sometimes people are looking for that. To answer your question, yeah, there's people out there that were like, “All right, cool.” After three months, we can see that this is the low or this is the platform. Hopefully, it's low. We never know; it's business.

But yeah, based on the valuation of the last three months,. And there are people out there looking for them, but there's also a lot of people sitting on the sidelines going, “Well, let's just wait until we see what happens.”

And then I've got other people like, “This is great. We can invest in e-comm businesses, SaaS membership businesses.” So we've still got people looking and buying businesses.

And it's just a portion of what I teach and what we do. People are just sort of testing the waters in that area for those business models. But like anything, like you said, there's some real opportunity, like real, real opportunity.

Alex Cooper:

Interesting times. But then, with business, especially internet business, it's never plain sailing. There's always something that happens.

There's always change that's going to occur and you've got to be prepared to adjust and flow and be more liquid and fluid with what you're doing, trying not to be too rigid in your processes and your approaches and be prepared to be flexible and change.

Jaryd Krause:

And yeah, see, this is the thing that people don't think about. Everyone was like, “Oh, I want to make money online and I can get the freedom and I get all these things with it, and it is awesome.”

But things move pretty fast online. Things move exceptionally fast. And sometimes we just don't see these things coming.

And I think, like you said, and Mads, think like a CEO; think holistically. How do I make sure I still have this business in 10 years’ time? How do I make sure I'm still serving people in this way or better in 10 years’ time when these unforeseen things and events can happen?

And in business, not just multiple traffic streams, but multiple revenue streams and multiple different little moats you can have around those traffic streams and those revenue streams and build that into an audience. So you own more of the market cap, I guess. Yes, there's a lot in it.

Alex Cooper:

Because it's guaranteed that there's going to be some big, unforeseen event that's going to happen. That's just inevitable in life. And especially with online business, which happens more frequently, I think online. But yeah, AI was a big one. Google Change was another one.

Going back, when phones started to become more popular, if there's a new social media platform, all these things, you don't see them coming and they change everything.

And with regards to AI, I don't think we've seen the effects of AI on the real world yet. I mean, we were already starting to see it online because we're in that space, but I think it's only going to be a matter of a few years before it really starts to disrupt people's regular, real-life sort of jobs.

Jaryd Krause:

Yeah, I agree with you. I think I was listening to a podcast. I forget which one it was. It's like, when the internet first came out, it was just crazy. It was a game changer for the world, right?

And we didn't really know when it first came out how big it was going to be and how much of an effect it was going to have on our lives. And now the internet is everything.

Imagine if you weren't connected. Unless you're going on a hike or camping trip and whatnot, if you're typically without an internet connection for six hours, you're like, “Something's wrong.” If you don't have your phone in your hand, you're typically like, “Well, what's going on?”

We're so reliant on the internet. Businesses can't survive or take money or payments without the internet. It's so important and so big. And we didn't fathom how big and important it was.

And then this is what AI is right now. We have this idea that “it's going to change everything,” but we still don't realize what it's going to be like. It's crazy.

Alex Cooper:

Yeah. And for the younger generations, those that have just grown up with the internet and think that's normal and that's what life is, it's crazy.

I was watching a podcast yesterday and I can't remember who it was. Hamza, I think it was. And he was talking about how he's a Pakistani guy and how his father took the family over from Pakistan to the UK. And he did all that before the internet.

So to try and get visas and stuff, he had to go to a building, and he didn't quite know where it was. didn't know when it was open, you had to just wait outside. And he just couldn't get his head around, “What? You went out and you didn't have Google Maps; you didn't check the Google reviews.”

It blows their mind how we even functioned before the internet. “How on Earth did you go out and people couldn't contact you or you couldn't look at a map?” And yeah, that's how life was.

And it seems kind of strange that there's a whole generation of kids and people now that have no comprehension of life before the internet.

Jaryd Krause:

Yes. It's interesting and it's wild. And we've got a lot of really cool things coming for us and for society. And I'm pretty bullish on it. If we have the main principles for serving people with a good holistic business, all of us listening to the podcast can benefit.

Now, before we go, Alex, I want to ask you, who is one entrepreneur, maybe two entrepreneurs, that you really look up to, maybe not just because of their success but because of how they carry themselves through life?

Alex Cooper:

Whoa. Interesting. I really like Steven from The Diary of a CEO. Have you seen him? Steven Bartlett. I think he's an interesting character and a very inspirational businessperson.

To be honest, YouTubers have always inspired me. And also, people who have come from a really tough beginning and then make it somewhere.

And someone else that you may not have heard of is a rapper from Manchester called Bugzy Malone, who had an incredibly rough childhood and upbringing and now has really made a success for himself not just in music but also in business in terms of building himself as a brand and creating products around that. So I always find him inspiring.

But, yeah, there's a lot of YouTubers that kind of got me started. I thought it was fantastic that you could consistently create content for your subscribers and just do it on a very consistent basis, which, I guess, is the key to most things.

You find something that you want to do, and that works, and you just keep on doing it and you turn up every single day. They always inspire me. But, yeah, there's so many people that kind of inspire me. Of course, Mads, who I only met recently,.

In terms of the SEO space, James Dooley is another one that I kind of think is a great model to follow in terms of how he's built SEO out to become a multi-million-pound enterprise through creating hundreds of different sites.

Jaryd Krause:

Yeah. Awesome. I love that.

Alex Cooper:

So, yeah, there are a few people that spring to mind. But, yeah, if I thought about it more, I could probably come up with 10, 20, or 30 people.

Jaryd Krause:

Yeah. I kind of put you on the spot with it, to be honest, and you crushed it. But I'm with you on the underdogs.

And YouTubers are typically the underdogs, and they just create, and they are doing it for their audience and for the greater good. Because it was a slog at the start. YouTube is an absolute slog and I guess that's the same thing with business.

Alex Cooper:

Yeah. Everything is a slog to start with. It takes a long time before you start seeing the results that you're hoping for. And I think that's what separates the people that make it and those that don't.

You're going to keep going and keep going, and you're going to keep creating videos, posting content or whatever it is you're doing, You're going to do it for a while, and you're not going to see the needle move much.

And to keep going even though you're not seeing too much growth or too much success, that's the real trick. You've got to just keep going because there's going to be one video or there's going to be one thing that you do that just tips the balance a little bit on the scales and then things are going to start to get easier and that growth's going to happen.

So, yeah, it's all about perseverance and belief in yourself.

And you're absolutely right. If you take business—and basically anything that you do—from the point of view that you're there to help people and you're there to provide value to the world, and be a net positive, rather than just kind of thinking about the money, you'll find that life and business become a lot easier, a lot more enjoyable, and a lot more rewarding.

And a side effect of that will be that you will make some money.

Jaryd Krause:

I love that, Alex. What a way to finish the pod. That was awesome. Thank you so much. Thanks so much for coming on. Where can we send people to find out more about you?

Alex Cooper:

Yeah. You can find me at wpeagle.com or just head over to YouTube and do a search for WP Eagle and you'll find me. And well, on any of the social media sites, you'll find me if you just type in WP Eagle.

Jaryd Krause:

Specifically, guys, thanks for listening to the pod. Go to the YouTube channel. Alex does have great, great, great, great YouTube videos. So I appreciate what you do for the community, Alex.

And everybody that’s listening, if you are a business owner and you have been affected, or you know somebody who has been affected by these Google changes, please share this podcast episode with them.

There's a lot of insights that Alex shared through this that I think would be applicable to a lot of people and that would be able to help people through a tough time that a lot of us are going through. And yeah, thanks.

Alex Cooper:

All right. Thanks for having me. See you soon.

Jaryd Krause:

Hey, YouTube watcher, if you thought that video is good, you should check out this video here on 2 Best Types of Websites Beginners Should Buy. Or check out my playlist on How I Made My First $100k Buying Websites and how to do due diligence. Check it out. It's an awesome playlist. You'll enjoy it.

Want to have more financial and time freedom?

We help people buy established profit generating online businesses so the can replace their income and spend more time doing what they love with the people they love.


Jaryd Krause is a serial entrepreneur who helps people buy online businesses so they can spend more time doing what they love with who they love. He’s helped people buy and scale sites all the way up to 8 figures – from eCommerce to content websites. He spends his time surfing and traveling, and his biggest goals are around making a real tangible impact on people’s lives. 

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