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Recently I was rooting through the back of my refrigerator and came across a zip-locked bag of Cracker Barrel Sharp Cheddar.
It must have been in the back of the fridge for several months.
Was it any good? I had no idea.
So I voice-searched Google: "how long does cracker barrel cheese last".
I was unsurprised to find a niche website, stilltasty.com, ranking for this obscure query.
Of course, I was immediately intrigued. So I plugged StillTasty into Ahrefs.
As of 3/2018 it's ranking for over 176,000 keywords!
This is some crazy spoiled food SEO- the site ranks for terms like "how to tell if ground beef is bad", "how long does cooked chicken last in the fridge", and the eternal question "can you freeze cheese".
Below is a screenshot of some of their rankings:
And the content is pretty good- it has an image at the top of the page showing me how long cheese lasts in a refrigerator and how long it lasts in a freezer. My Cracker Barrel cheddar had definitely surpassed that timeline- so I chucked it.
StillTasty taps into the holy trinity of evergreen demand: health, wealth and love. If you eat spoiled meat you're definitely going to get sick (health), lose time (wealth), and no one's going to love you while you're cooped up indoors recovering from food poisoning (love).
Let me tell you- I had food poisoning recently and it was one of the worst experiences of my life. So I am hyper-vigilant now about what I consume. Which is why this niche is so powerful.
How Does It Make Money?
As you can see on the expired cheese page, there's 3 prominent above the fold ads:
It's a fairly simple SEO/AdSense play- rake in the organic traffic and optimize for clicks and page views.
Because it produces quality content, unsurprisingly it acquires some strong backlinks. Check out their press page. It has backlinks from Good Housekeeping, CNN, DailyMail, CBS and more.
StillTasty.com has comprehensive information about how long you can keep thousands of foods and beverages.
What's The Big Idea
One of the big takeaways here is authoritative content that addresses an obscure consumer need is a recipe for organic traffic and high-quality backlinks.
Instead of creating yet another tech-gadget site or an anime blog, StillTasty taps into a weird section of the internet: expired food.
Think about it- how many times have you Googled about food shelf life? Probably a few times that you can recall. It might not be a sexy topic. And people might give you weird looks if you tell them you run a rotten food site, but StillTasty is laughing all the way to the bank.
If you're going to build a niche site, consider StillTasty's example. What weird search query can your site satisfy?
As I've written about in my various case studies of emoji, meme, phone number, first name/last name SEO, there is tons of search traffic in these obscure niches.
Perhaps you examine your own browsing habits- be mindful of the searches you've conducted. Google even has a tool to examine your search history. What have you Googled that might make for an interesting authority site?
Last Updated on June 16, 2020 by Ryan Nelson