How to sell direct ads using Ezoic and increase your ePMV

As your website grows in terms of traffic and popularity, it can become a valuable asset for generating revenue. 

One way to monetize your website is through advertising. One of the most popular ways to do this is through Adsense, a program offered by Google that allows you to place ads on your website and earn money for each click or impression. 

However, as your website continues to grow, you may want to consider using a more advanced ad networks provider such as Ezoic, Mediavine, or Adthrive.

Ezoic, in particular, offers several advantages over other ad networks. For example, Ezoic provides more control over the ads displayed on your website, allowing you to optimize the ad experience for your users. 

Ezoic offers a highly valuable reporting system that provides detailed insights into your ad performance and revenue. I’m more attracted to using Ezoic for my website portfolio. This can help you make data-driven decisions about how to optimize your ad strategy.

These are kinds of information you must have read on many pages, but not many have discussed Ezoic’s direct ad order feature and how you can use this tool to improve your website revenue. 

What is direct ad order?

The Direct Ads feature of Ezoic allows you to integrate any ad orders you have directly sold into Ezoic’s ad testing system. This enables you to negotiate your own deals with advertisers and has their ads displayed on your website directly. 

What this means is if your typical EPMV on Ezoic and overall revenue is lower than expected, you can reach out to advertisers or competitors to get a better CPM which is what amount an advertiser pays you for every 1,000 impressions on an ad.

Does direct ad order boost your EPMV and revenue?

The outcome of direct selling will depend on the terms of the deal you have secured. When executed effectively, it has the potential to boost your ad RPM and revenue significantly. But obviously,  the primary motivation for choosing direct selling should be to increase revenue.

For example, if your website’s average EPMV is $5 (which only you know) and you find an advertiser who is ready to pay you  8-10 CPM, which will boost the average EPMV record and ad revenue that will be counted as ad mediation on Ezoic dashboard.


This means you will still be earning your regular revenue with Ezoic (sometimes, with direct ads, the Ezoic ad revenue might lose some impressions) + the additional revenue you have just secured from the advertiser. 

Does Ezoic’s payment cover direct ad revenue?

Now not to confuse, Ezoic will just display your ad performance on their dashboard and analytics but will not be responsible for any payment as Ezoic is reporting the information you have imputed on their direct ad order tool. You should receive the payment from the advertiser directly.

Here’s what Ezoic insider has to say about direct ads payment:


How do you prepare to run direct ads on your site?

To begin with, it’s essential to know the amount of monthly traffic your website receives. Traffic and impressions are closely linked, and it’s one of the first things an advertiser checks before launching a campaign. 

If your website receives more than 50,000 monthly visitors, direct ad sales can be a beneficial revenue stream for you.

Another important factor to consider is the type of content on your website. Certain niches, such as finance and medicine, tend to generate higher ad revenue than others. 

It’s essential to identify the niche of your content and research the market to understand what could kind of deal would be beneficial for you.

Securing a direct ad deal requires effort in finding advertisers, communicating with them, and successfully selling a campaign. Once a deal is secured, you will need a system to track ad clicks and impressions

However, Ezoic’s direct ad tool can simplify this process and save you a lot of time. Here’s what the overview of Ezoic direct order campaigning looks like:

Now you have the major components ready for running direct ads time to get some deal secured, but how to do so, and what exactly will you need:

1. Start with a Media Kit

A media kit is a webpage that provides information about your website’s traffic and audience to potential advertisers. 

It typically includes data such as the number of monthly visitors, the demographics of your audience, and the types of content on your website. By presenting this information using numbers and percentages, it gives advertisers an idea of the potential reach of your website. 

In order to make it effective, it is important to keep your media kit publicly accessible, make it visually presentable, and ensure that all the information is accurate and factual. 

This can help potential advertisers understand the value of advertising on your website and decide whether to advertise with you.

You can customize your media kit in your own way, but the goal is to represent the most important data advertisers are looking for: this one could be a good example – 


2. You will also need a rate card

The rate card represents the price you have set for all the ad placements available on your site has to offer. 

For an advertiser to be able to consider your ad inventory, the rate card will help them to align their budget with your expectation. You can consider selling high-viewability ad positions like your sticky sidebars and footer ads, or you can sell all ad placements with distinct ad rates.

A clean and straightforward rate list makes things easier for advertisers. You can add demographic price rates too because Ezoic direct ad order tool will let you select particular countries if needed.


3. Wrap your requirements with a spec sheet & and a payment solution

Usually, you are more than fine without ad spec requirements (such as ad type, sizes, and performance in terms of loading speed) for the advertisers. Being precise with these will help you run the ad campaign more smoother than without.

You can also add any specific requirements for third-party ad tags, flash or rich media, and more.

When you have completed your ad order kit, the next step is to secure a dependable payment solution. 

How to find advertisers?

Once you’ve crafted a compelling traffic presentation and ad requirements guidelines to make your website an attractive destination for advertisers, the question remains, how do you connect with them and vice versa?

There are multiple ways you can look into finding opportunities for direct ad orders:

  1. One good way to start with is to go direct; you will need to identify advertisers who are already bidding on your inventory and would be a suitable match for your direct campaign. Once you’ve compiled a list, reach out to them and present your pitch.
  2. Another way is to outsource media sales. If you lack the resources for outreach but have the financial means, consider utilizing services that can provide leads for direct ad sales, such as Winmo, MediaRadar, AdMall, and more.
  3. Identifying brands, products, and services that are featured on your or a competitor’s website is another great idea. Then you can contact the advertiser or agency decision-maker directly to discuss promotional opportunities.
  4. You can also look at Marketplace, where you can find both current and new campaigns that are put out directly by advertisers or agencies. Be sure to check it regularly.
  5. Networking and attending industry events can also be a great way to connect with potential advertisers and agencies.
  6. Research and find out what are the brands, products, and services that are trending in the market and reach out to them as well.

How to set up your direct ads?

Once an advertiser expresses interest in your website and a mutually beneficial revenue agreement is reached, you can begin to establish your direct ad campaign through Ezoic.

To do that: 

Step 1: On your Ezoic dashboard > click on Ezoic ads.


Step 2: On the left menu, select ad sales > then turn on direct ad orders.

Step 3: After turning on the direct ad order tool, create an ad order by clicking on “add direct ad order”.

Step 4: Then you will need to name the order, choose order type, add your agreed CPM, impression goals and duration. Check this guide on direct ad order elements in brief.

Step 5: Follow the Ezoic guide and complete your order creation process.

Step 6 [important]: Once the order is created, you will need to add ad creatives (basically works like a trigger to link with your existing placeholder to run direct ads) and assign them to the location of your site as agreed.

Step 7:  While creating your ad creative, make sure the size and tags are correctly assigned. Once done, save your creative, and your ad order should be marked as ready. 

Come back to direct ad orders in the next couple of hours; you should notice the ad status will change to delivering. You will receive the served impressions and click status on those ads and track daily revenue on your Ezoic dashboard. (please note Ezoic only calculate your revenue based on the ad served, you should collect the payment from the advertiser directly)

If your direct ad’s CPM is higher than the typical Ezoic ePMV for your site, then you should notice a better overall ePMV on your site, and ad performance can be analyzed on the Ezoic BDA tool.

Summing up:

Running direct ads on your site is not a cakewalk; however, if you approach it the right way, you can make some good money with this monetization strategy. That being said, most website owners still prefer programmatic ads because of their hands-free nature. This article intends that it’s worth going for direct ads only when you have a deal that pays better than your current programmatic ads.

You can run your campaigning, analyze the revenue and RPM in the bigger picture, and then consider the approach that makes you the most money if the effort is worth it.

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Content Site Income Report – December 2022

Managing a website portfolio can be a rewarding and lucrative endeavor, but it also requires careful planning and ongoing maintenance to ensure the success of each site. Sharing income reports with others can provide valuable insights and help identify improvement areas.

By regularly monitoring traffic and revenue, staying up-to-date with industry trends and best practices, and continually seeking ways to optimize and grow each site in the portfolio, website owners can maximize the potential for financial success and build a sustainable, long-term business.

In this income report series, we aim to share our growth journey and the key factors that have contributed to our success. We will also share the minor details we focus on each month to improve the overall growth of our portfolio. Our goal is to provide inspiration and guidance for building your own AI-driven website portfolio at a lower cost

1. Traffic & Earning Overview

During the month of December, the portfolio sites saw a substantial drop in search traffic, which followed a similar rate of traffic drop (7494 visits) during the transition from October to November. This decrease in traffic largely occurred on websites that rely heavily on AI content.

Based on our data, we believe the AI content isn’t the sole reason for this traffic drop. In fact, the decline in SERP ranking for a couple of sites in the portfolio indicates we need to update those contents that were used to drive a major part of the traffic on prominent sites.

How do we know content updates should get our content back on track?

We had always believed that with a well-planned content production strategy and expert guidance, we could create highly optimized content at a low cost for multiple AI-driven websites that compete on SERPs. When we noticed that some keywords on one of our well-maintained sites were losing their positions, we decided to update the top-performing content that was driving traffic.

Just three weeks later, we have already seen some positive results. Most of the updated content has recovered its keyword position and the traffic it had lost. In fact, our overall monthly traffic on those sites is even better now. I will later highlight the two sites that we were able to recover from the traffic and pageview loss, as well as the corresponding recovery in revenue.

While this strategy may not be effective for all sites in the portfolio, we are confident that we can execute it successfully in the first quarter of 2023.

Could this be a seasonal traffic drop?

It is difficult to determine whether or not the traffic drop mentioned is seasonal. There could be a number of factors at play, such as changes in search algorithms, competition from other websites, shifts in consumer behavior, and whether people are looking for the topics at the same frequency they previously did.

The compassion between December traffic of 2021 and 2022 shares common traffic frequency, although it’s difficult to conclude, given we have many more new pages (than 2021) on the sites responsible for driving traffic. What I would like to note is that the comparison between 2021 and 2022 December traffic shares a sudden drop in traffic despite the sites were making some growth in the previous months.


I do not think the traffic drop mentioned is necessarily a seasonal occurrence. We have recently been able to recover SERP positions and traffic on a couple of sites, suggesting that other factors may be at play than this being a seasonal occurrence. The comparison might have produced different results if we had recovered these rankings and traffic for most of our sites in the portfolio (which is too good to ask for in just a month).

That being said, let’s get into the traffic and pageview stats of the portfolio:

The overall traffic for the portfolio declined by 10.93% in December, with a total of 61,045 visitors compared to 68,539 in the previous month. In addition, there was a noticeable decrease of 11.68% in page views, with 71,221 page views in December compared to 80,643 in November.

It is worth noting that these numbers represent the entire portfolio, and it is possible that some websites within the portfolio may have experienced different levels of traffic change. One site in the portfolio saw the highest individual increase in traffic, with a gain of 106.04%. This website has received significant content updates. The greatest individual loss in traffic among the websites in the portfolio was -46.24%.

traffic and pageview data for Dec

It looks like the revenue for a particular portfolio in December was $578.55, which is a decrease of 19.16% compared to the previous month’s revenue of $715.68. The ePMV, or estimated pageview value, also decreased by 12.02% from the previous month. This decrease in ePMV contributed to the overall drop in revenue of $137.13 from the previous month.

The average ePMV for the portfolio in December was $7.59, where $17.03 is the max for a particular site, and an average of $1.23 is the lowest ePMV for a site in the portfolio.

epmv and revenue comparison for December and November

Let’s compare the portfolio data at the same time of the previous year (Dec 2022 vs. Dec 2021): 

  1. Total Visits (-9.78%)
  2. Pageviews (-15.16%)
  3. Revenue (+10.81%) 
  4. ePMV(+22.82%)

2. Traffic Overview By Site

It looks like the traffic data for a portfolio of websites showed mixed results for the month of December. For most of the sites, traffic was lower than in November, but five sites saw an increase in traffic. This is, by the way, better than what we could achieve in November, as there was no update on the contents.

As I mentioned above, some sites had significant updates during the month of November, and that luckily paid off during the end of 2022. So some sites recovering from the decline add a positive sign to the portfolio, while we still need to work on content maintenance for other sites in the portfolio, and excited to see how that works out.

Here are December traffic data collected via Ezoic BDA: (compared to November 2022). The marked sites are those that heavily undergone content updates during November (still going on), and we are getting some positive output on those keywords ranking + traffic.

In December, the portfolio of websites recorded a total of 61,045 visits. The most popular site in the portfolio saw a decrease in traffic of -14.42%, with a total of 26,327 visits compared to the previous month’s total of 30,762 visits. This translates to approximately 4,435 fewer visits for the most popular site. Meanwhile, the site with the least number of visits in the portfolio received 106 visits.

In addition to the decrease in visits, we also saw a decrease in pageviews, with a total of 9,422 fewer page views than the previous month. The site with the highest number of pageviews in the portfolio in November had a total of 30,228 page views, which is a 16.29% decrease from the number of page views received in November. The site with the lowest number of page views within the portfolio received 109 page views.

As mentioned, the revenue for December is similar to that of November, with a 19.16% drop. The individual records show that fewer sections of the sites within the portfolio have experienced positive growth in terms of ePMV so does in overall revenue while other sites have a comparatively lower ePMV & revenue than the previous month.

The overall revenue statistics are directly proportional to the December pageview statistics, resulting in a total drop in revenue for the portfolio by $137.13, with a total of $578.55 compared to $715.68 in November 2022.

The highest individual revenue recorded was $327.66 in December, accompanied by an 11.58% decline in revenue compared to the previous month. The ePMV for this site was $12.45, which is 11.58% less than in November 2022. The average ePMV across all sites in the portfolio in December was $7.59, compared to $8.63 in November 2022.

The highest ePMV for a site in the portfolio has decreased to $17.31, up from the previous highest of $23.31. That’s a 25.74% decline in ePMV. We have the Ezoic AI taking care of ad placement optimization, so there’s nothing we have changed recently. The fluctuation in ePMV has the influence of lots of factors; let alone, depending on the time of year, the average site in any country may see a 3x difference in their EPMV due to seasonal fluctuations alone.

I also keep an eye on the “ad revenue index by Ezoic” which is a tool that allows you to see how changes in the overall ad index (which is a measure of the performance of ads in a particular network or market) affect the ad revenue of different sites in the network. This can help you determine whether a fluctuation in the overall ad index is impacting all sites in the network, or if it is specific to your own sites.

By looking at changes in the ad revenue index for your own sites, you can see whether a drop in ad revenue is due to changes in the overall market, or if it is specific to your own sites. This can be useful for identifying potential problems or opportunities for improvement in your own ad strategy.

So when I look at the December 2022 ad index data, it seems like there’s a decline in the global ad revenue index. Our site is obviously no exception to that, reflecting a lower revenue than in previous months.

In the ad index below, you can see during 1st fortnight of December 2022, the ad revenue index was above average and then started to decline dramatically and continues to decline until January. The red-marked section indicates the global December ad revenue status for all ezoic sites. And then, I looked at the Ezoic revenue analytics, which pretty much indicates a similar story.


And then, I looked at the Ezoic revenue analytics, which pretty much indicates a similar story. So it’s ideal for recording a lower portfolio eMPV and overall site revenue considering the global ad index status.

4. Expense

With the decline in overall revenue, your net profit is marginal when we have to cover the editor, writer, and AI copywriter tool costs to run the Ai content system. The portfolio overall had a great month despite the drop in Ezoic revenue; the affiliate commissions and revenue from sites that are not focused on Ezoic keep on coming, which makes it exciting as well as optimistic that with the Ezoic revenue back on track, the overall revenue growth of the portfolio would continue to increase.

In terms of Ezoic, though, the December revenue is slightly better (7.34% profit) than what we have invested in production and tools. It’s still amazing to look at how much content we have produced and updated during the month and sorrowed a significant revenue loss on Ezoic but still be able to stay on the profit side, which would be a worst-case scenario for the month of December in the whole 2022 year.

The introduction of Open AI to the AI Writer team and them finding it compatible & efficient to work with has greatly influenced the AI copywriter expanses we earlier had with this project, it turns out to be a savior for the month of December if we consider only Ezoic revenue for the portfolio.

Here’s what the portfolio December total expanse compared to revenue generated with Ezoic Ad revenue (again, this data excludes other revenue sources & expanses for sites that do not run Ezoic) looks like:

Ezoic PnL (Key data for December 2022):

  1. Total expenses: $539.00
  2. Total Revenue: $578.55
  3. Profit (with Ezoic revenue): $39.55
  4. % of profit Ezoic revenue brings in: 7.34%

5. Changes & Focus

In December, we noticed the drop in traffic and had to go through multiple checks to find out possible reasons behind the traffic and revenue drop. We typically tend to be more concerned with declines in performance than improvements. Here are some of the key factors we looked at and could be useful for yours:

#1. Traffic drops with revenue decline (which was our case)

Google often updates its search algorithms to improve the quality and relevance of the search results in its returns to users. These updates can have significant effects on the visibility and ranking of websites in Google’s search results. It is not uncommon for Google to make multiple updates to its algorithms in a given year. Some of these updates may be minor and go unnoticed, while others can significantly impact the ranking of websites.

#2. Algorithm updates and impact

We noticed Semrush flagging some high activity days in the previous months, which is where exactly one of our major sites started to lose a major part of its traffic. Recently in December 2022, there could be another update that we haven’t noticed a huge impact on, but that is when some of our updated site contents started to recover their positions.


We also dug into some of the high-traffic landing page data and analyzed the traffic ratio with the previous month. Certain sites have many landing pages that lost their highest positions, while some other sites (surprisingly, where we have worked on updating the contents) have many new keywords in the SERP + have many high-traffic keywords that recovered their rankings.

This has motivated us to work on content updates, and we believe improving the content quality should be able to help the sites recover their lost traffic to a certain point.

#3. Page layout change and impact on ad revenue

We are also aware of the impact that changes in theme and design would have the impact on ad revenue, which stands true for some of our sites in the portfolio… and we had to recheck the ad placeholders and their revenue records and compare them to the record of couple months ago, just to ensure we have not messed up with the recent design updates.

#4. Open AI and content plan + Niche IQ to produce content

We have mentioned Niche IQ in the previous monthly report. Topics is a very helpful tool for discovering relevant content ideas for our websites. It also provides all the necessary keyword research information, simplifying our keyword research process. Normally, we have to spend a lot of time finding new batches of keywords, but Topics make it much easier for us.

Now that the keywords are shorted out, the AI writers can pick their assigned keywords and research the topic before planning their content structure and then use OpenAI to create an article that has quality, offers the solution to people, and well optimized for SEO to try and do best in SERP, at a significantly lower cost.

This could be a content creation workflow to help AI writers sync with the procedure instantly. (just a demo)


Overall, our website portfolio had a successful month of December, with total earnings of $1,661. This represents an approximate 7% increase compared to the previous month in total. Most of our income came from affiliate revenue, which accounted for ~60% of total earnings. Advertising brought in ~ 30% of total earnings.

You can clearly see traffic to our websites declined significantly in December compared to the previous month. Since most part of our site traffic is organic search traffic, our traffic status heavily relies on SERP performance and ranking activities on Google.

Looking ahead, we plan to continue optimizing our websites for search engines, expanding our affiliate marketing efforts, and introducing new products to drive further revenue growth. We are confident that with these strategies in place, we will be able to maintain and build upon the success we have seen this summer.

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Does removing or dropping the featured image below the fold help LCP

LCP is essential to the user experience. People don’t like to wait for a page to start loading or see a blank page before the main contents load when they could immediately get a faster experience elsewhere.

Page performance analysis tools tell your LCP metrics per page, and as a website owner, you should be concerned with keeping the LCP below 2.5 seconds to load your main content as fast as possible. 

In our previous article, we discussed good and bad LCP, reasons that can harm your page LCP, and typical methods to reduce your LCP timing. Today, let’s talk about the featured image, its impact on LCP for your post-type pages, and ways to fix it because they usually receive the most traffic.

Impact of the Featured image in LCP

The featured image is loaded above the fold of your page, which means the browser has to load the image file, and if the file is large in size or your server response time is not fast enough, your page may suffer an LCP issue. 

The above-the-fold image asset can be a hero image, a banner, or a carousel. Google considers <img> or <image> element inside an <svg> element for the Largest Contentful Paint. Hence you must optimize these images for a better LCP.

A size of 100+kb image above the fold usually requires a couple of milliseconds and often appears to be the primary reason for LCP. When you need your LCP metrics to remain under 2.5 seconds, every millisecond count, you should consider optimizing it.

Here is an example of a site with a featured image above the fold. The featured image file is the source of LCP, but because all the assets are well optimized and served via CDN, the pages are able to get a much lesser LCP 1113ms than the critical point.

So, if the featured image is causing LCP, does removing it help?

Removing the featured image improves the LCP metric by reducing the couple of milliseconds required to render the image file. If your featured image was heavy in size, say > 500kb, you should get a decent upgrade in terms of LCP after removing it from above the fold. 

Then when it comes to mobile devices, where the network and compilation are usually slower, it becomes even more difficult to tackle LCP issues with an image of large-size loading in the first print. 

It’s not that after removing the featured image, your site will eliminate the LCP issues. The texts will cover the space and featured image used to cover, and you will still need to optimize your fonts. However, it’s easier to serve optimized fonts than a featured image in terms of performance. 

A featured image makes your page look better and adds a nice touch for the visitor to get an idea of what they will find on the page. But when you have to balance performance and design, you could opt for a solution that maintains both conditions. 

  1. Drop the featured image from above the fold.
  2. Have the featured image on your page, but below the fold.

Shifting your featured image below a few paragraphs (I usually add it below the 2nd paragraph) has helped many sites we have worked on. It maintains the visual image that describes the page and allows the font to load as the largest contentful paint. Then we preload the most important fonts for the browsers to load them as soon as possible.

Is there a way we can keep the featured image for desktop devices and remove it on mobile?

Yes, keeping the featured image above the fold on desktop (if LCP is not an issue on desktop) and removing or shiting it below the fold on mobile can be an excellent solution to tackle your site’s LCP issue. 

This will require a simple CSS selector to be used: 

@media (max-width: 480px){ .entry-content img {
         display: none;

The @media (max-width: 480px) will trigger for all devices with screen width =< 480px, and then it will select the featured image with .entry-content img and set the display rule to null.

You can try to shift the featured image with the same selector and replace the display:none with the right CSS code to display it below a couple of paragraphs to ensure it appears below the fold.

Note: here, we are discussing the impact of featured images on LCP, so by no means this piece of content intended to say that featured images are responsible for LCP issues on your site. There are many other reasons why a page is suffering from LCP. I have added a couple of other reasons that help LCP to rise. 

Here is a test report for a website where we have not changed anything else but dropped the featured image below 3rd paragraph, and that resolved the LCP issues it had by a couple of milliseconds.


Additional reasons for poor LCP

Apart from the featured images on most pages, there are other things that are responsible for LCP. Anything that slows down the page rendering process could be the reason for the LCP issue on your pages. 

These elements usually take a lot of specs, unoptimized assets, assets with loading delays, assets with 3rd party connections, advertisements, lots of unoptimized javascript on the head section, etc. We can’t forget about the core server’s response time.

1. Slow Server Response Times

Server response time is a critical factor of LCP. If your server is not fast enough, it might fail to serve above-the-fold assets in under 2.5 seconds. Hence while considering your website host, it’s important to avoid hosts that are not reliable and fast enough.

Bad server back-end infrastructure, unoptimized databases, and longer time to resolve API requests are often the reasons for slow server response time. Always go for a performance-optimized host if you want your website to be fast, web vital compatible, and favorites of search engines with good quality content.

2. Render blocking Javascript and CSS

Javascript and CSS help improve your site design and functionality, but it’s important to optimize them for your host to serve them per request in a way that does not prevent the loading of primary content.

Loading too many Js and CSS codes at the head might increase render-blocking issues. Render blocking is directly proportional to page LCP; hence, you should reduce render blocking as much as possible without breaking your site’s functionality.

3. Slow Resource Load Times

If you have resources loading above the fold that are large in file size, have dense visual elements, are not optimized, videos & gif files, or have lots of text contents, it will affect the page LCP. Consider optimizing those assets or removing/reducing them from the top of your page.

4. Client-side Rendering

Client-side rendering can be another reason for LCP issues. Client-side rendering involves the browser collecting and loading javascript before rendering primary content on the page. If the process is complex and device hardware unable to perform memory management, your webpage might struggle on people’s browsers, increasing the chance of LCP.

So consider optimizing or avoiding client-side rendering if possible.

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Content Site Income Report – November 2022

The portfolio has completed another month, and the anticipated rebuilding of these once-neglected sites seems to go in the right direction. It’s obvious to face some ups and down with the overall growth of the sites, but given the sites are running on a combination of GTP-3 tools + human edits, it’s not going to skyrocket in the next month.

In the previous month, we shared the traffic, revenue, expansion, and overall PnL, which defiantly portrayed a marginal profit, and we will share the same for November 2022. Overall, we are happy with the output, and steady growth in at least one of the crucial terms makes sense, if not on all sides.

Lately, adding additional AI copywriter tools (like during the major discount season has helped us reduce the content production cost by a great margin. We are excited to see how it impacts Ezoic revenue and PnL overall in the upcoming months.

1. Traffic & Earning Overview (Covering Ezoic)

The portfolio sites rely heavily on search traffic, and for the month of November received about 7031 fewer users than the previous month. Most parts of this traffic drop occurred on highly AI content-reliant websites. However, other AI content sites have gained a maximum of 28.14% more traffic than the previous month individually. 

So it’s safe to say the traffic fluctuation does not directly come from the AI content being recognized by google; rather, it’s the content quality we might need to improve in the coming days to stay up top and compete with other pages with the same intent.

The overall portfolio traffic declined in November by 9.30% (68,539 compared to the previous month of 75,570), and we have noticed an obvious decline of 8.79% in page views (80,643 to 88,413 pageviews in October 2022).


The revenue is quite similar to traffic and page view data. The total revenue for the month of November has a 2.90% of decrement to the previous month with the help of a 22.10% boost in Ezoic ePMV. 

The total revenue for the portfolio in November was $715.68, compared to $737.01 in the previous month (October 2022), with an ePMV change of +$0.74. The slightly higher ePMV (+9.39%) has helped the portfolio to maintain a closer total revenue while there are 7,770 fewer page views than the previous month.


If we look at the yearly comparison, the AI sites have expanded a lot in terms of traffic and revenue they are generating. 

The portfolio growth data (Nov 2022 vs. Nov 2021): 

  1. Total Visits (+17.60%)
  2. Pageviews (+7.13%)
  3. Revenue (+109.01%) 
  4. ePMV(+77.73%)

2. Traffic Overview By Site

Individual traffic data for the portfolio sites had ups and downs. For most of the sites, the traffic for November was lower than in October, but three sites with a boost in traffic in the last couple of months managed to get more traffic than in October. Similar to October, some major sites continue to lose traffic even though we have recently updated the top-ranking pages, which might help those sites to recover a certain % of the traffic lost recently.

Some of the sites that we believed were tanked started to recover traffic this month which could prove to be a good sign that the AI content updates have been helping as long as done correctly with quality maintained.

Here are November traffic data collected via Ezoic BDA: (compared to October 2022) 

In November, the portfolio recorded 68,539 visits across all sites, where the most popular site’s traffic dropped by -15.13% (that’s around 5,482 fewer visits, a total of 30,762 compared to the previous 36,244) is the maximum and 136 being the site with least visits in the portfolio. We encountered -7,770 fewer pageviews as well this month.

The maximum pageview record for a site within the portfolio in November was 36,109, which is again 13.02% less than what the site had received in October 2022, and 142 being the lowest pageview data for a site within our content sites.

3. Revenue Data Per Site

As mentioned, the revenue in November is close to what it was in October, with a -2.90% drop, but if we look at the individual records, more sites have shown signs of growth thanks to the boost in RPM/ePMV. The overall revenue stats is directly proportional to November’s pageview stats meaning there’s a drop of $21.35 in total revenue for the portfolio, with a total of $715.68 compared to $737.03 in Oct 2022.

The highest individual revenue recorded was $433.07 in November, which comes with a 9.15% boost in ePMV to the previous month, and the exact ePMV was $14.08. The average ePMV was $8.67 in November compared to $7.93 in October 2022 across all sites in the portfolio. 


The maximum individual ePMV has also increased to $23.31 compared to the previous best of $21.03 and registered the minimum ePMV of $1.20 for a site.

With some ad position optimization, we could lift the avg—ePMV by +9.39%, which was -1.69% between September and October.

4. Expense

Publishing content on all the sites on a regular basis is never easy. As we mentioned multiple times, the AI machine was put together in a way that can be cost-effective to run content on all sites while we follow certain standards to maintain the output quality for the content to be competitive on search engines.

We managed to build an effective team of writers who understands the guidelines, knows how to tackle the content’s objective, how to plan a content structure, and then use AI to reduce the time needed to create content that still has a good balance between the answering what people are looking for and the arrangement. Then we also need to take care of SEO; without optimizing the content, it becomes more difficult for search engines to prefer those copies to put on a higher position.

Then there is a need for editors, someone with expertise in certain niches (because the portfolio sites cover different subjects), and uploaders to make sure content is being published regularly to run the entire system smoothly. In addition, we have additional expense with AI copywriter tools that comes with certain word credit.

This all might sound like a lot, but we have managed to run everything on a profit so far, particularly because the content production quantity, I would say, is still at the lower end of its potential when we grow more in the coming days.

Here’s what the portfolio November total expanse compared to revenue generated with Ezoic Ad revenue (again, this data excludes other revenue sources & expanses for sites that do not run Ezoic) looks like:

Key data:

  1. Total expanses: $640.00
  2. Total Revenue: $715.68
  3. Profit (with Ezoic revenue): $75.68 
  4. % of profit Ezoic revenue brings in: 11.83% 

5. Changes & Focus

Although these focuses have always been part of the portfolio development, we have updated the approach recently based on the output in recent months.

  • Content Updates: We worked with outdated content that we’re still doing great on SERP, and a well-researched update could have kept them higher in the SERP to keep driving traffic to the sites. We designed a workflow where we collected the most traffic-driven keywords from GSC and Ahrefs keyword analysis. We cross-checked the top-ranking pages on the websites to target those pages that need to be updated as soon as possible.
  • SOPs for different types of content: The next approach that significantly helped us to let our human writers who control the AI copywriter tools maintain a certain standard across the content, whether it be list-based content, generic blog posts, or tutorials, is by providing them standard SOPs for each type of content. The SOP does not limit the writers in terms of creativity; instead, it focuses on helping the writers have a primary structure in mind to maintain the hierarchy and design across all contents of a site. We have decided to frequently update these SOPs based on the additional requirement we uncover during content publishing. This strategy has helped us to manage the writers more efficiently and reduce the editing burden by a decent amount.
  • Ezoic placeholder update: although Ezoic has the AI to place placeholders automatically, we wanted to test some above-the-fold ads after bringing some changes to the site design to see if that can boost the ePMV and overall revenue. Based on the revenue data we have for the month of November, it seems that way, at least for now. Here are the top placeholders for a site that generates the most revenue for the site.
  • Good site health score: Maintaining the site health score has always been our goal to make sure the sites do not get stuck with technical issues such as missing metadata, link issues, inappropriate redirects, schema-related issues, etc. Such minor details can be when you want to rank higher up in SERP with more competition from the other sites. We want to keep our sites ready so the content has the freedom to try and rank in top positions. We use Ahref to monitor our sites, and the dashboard view has been really helpful in keeping an eye on what’s happening to the sites all the time. Recently one of our major portfolio sites has encountered some internal issues, and we are witnessing a downfall in terms of ranking afterward. We are still fixing the issues and hope this will help the site recover the positions as soon as possible.
  • Site speed and web vitals: As mentioned in the previous monthly report, the site speed and web vitals continue to be one of our primary objectives in this project. With the speed upgrade, we noticed a 6x better-crawling record for the sites and those sites that are passing web vital and page experience according to Google Search Console continues to do well & improve in search engines as well. So we are highly focusing on page performance as a key factor to push the site to do well in search engine rankings. Overall putting everything together in great condition makes a healthy site grow efficiently is the bigger picture. Here’s one of the best web vital records we were able to maintain during the previous month for a certain site in the portfolio.
  • Utilizing Ezoic’s Niche IQ: Ezoic always comes up with something to be excited about. Niche IQ is an excellent addition that has helped automate certain things to reduce the overall time investment we had to do without it far. NicheIQ combines an On-page SEO tool, a site health monitoring tool, and a done-for-user keyword research tool. We like to use Topics because it discovers highly relevant content ideas for our sites and provides all the necessary information related to keyword research. This relieves our keyword research process because we usually have to find batches of new keywords for at least 3 sites per day.


Without an appropriate strategy, it could be a mess to try and run many sites (where new sites are continuously joining the portfolio) with the content being published every single day, but thanks to a well-designed plan, ready-to-use tools + the right people in the right place make it much easier to manage the portfolio.

This income report series aims to share our growth and the fundamentals that helped us reach here; minor details we work on per month to try and improve the overall growth of the portfolio that can encourage you to build your AI-driven website’s portfolio at a significant lower cost.

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5 Best AI Content Generators Reviewed – Can Google Detect AI-Generated Content?

This study will look at the 5 best AI content generators for long-form SEO blog posts. But most importantly it will focus on using brand new AI that is the first to be able to detect GPT-3 AI-generated content all to try and answer… can Google detect AI content? 

Since OpenAI released its GPT-3 API a large number of amazing AI content generation tools have been built. These tools can do a lot of things from writing emails to creating a Facebook ad. However, for this study we are focusing our efforts on long-form SEO blog posts that have the objective of ranking in Google.

We will be using Originality.AI which is the world’s first AI trained to detect if a piece of content has been created by AI tools using OpenAI’s GPT-3 API which tools like use or other popular NLP APIs. 

What Originality.AI Was Built to Do… AI Exposing AI

The unchecked proliferation of AI content is not without its concerns. How do we responsibly/ethically use this awesome power of AI content creation? How do we ensure that Google does not penalize us for leveraging AI content?… these are all questions I think I am in a unique position to try and help answer.

Who Am I to Talk about AI Content?

Although I am an engineer, I am not an AI developer however I…

  • Founded (and now sold) a done-for-you AI Content Agency: Rocket Content… where we were the heaviest user of Jasper.AI, and our team partnered with Jasper to develop a course and webinar for Jasper.AI’s agency users.
  • Manage a portfolio of content sites some of which we are ethically leveraging AI content 
  • Founded Originality.AI where we built our own AI that is able to predict if content was produced by AI (the world’s first GPT-3 AI detection tool!)

However, clearly I don’t know it all since I have my name on an AI patent that was not approved!

Before we get to the results of the study that determines if Google can detect content generated using GPT-3 (or any of the popular NLP models) we need a little background…

What is AI Generated Content?

AI Generated Content is when a machine produces content such as a blog post, article, headline, blog intro, ad copy, social media content, product description, content idea, chatbot response, email or even images. It has exploded since May 2020 when OpenAI provided access to the API of their pre-trained NLP called GPT-3. 

The Secret about ALL AI Content Generators

There are multiple pre-trained natural language processing models but it was really when GPT-3 came on the scene that the quality of the content produced became useable for marketers. 

So why was GPT-3 such a big deal in allowing an AI content generator to become useful? It was not the first or the only NLP model that has an API which developers can build tools with.

Pre-trained NLP model capabilities, up to this point, are best measured by their number of parameters, the table below shows the most popular NLP models that AI tools could choose to use and the number of parameters:

  • Open AI GPT-2: 1.5 Billion
  • EleutherAI GPT-J: 2.7 Billion
  • EleutherAI GPT-Neo: 6 Billion
  • Open AI GPT-3: 175 Billion (DaVinci) 

The “secret” is that ALL tools rely on the same API’s to create their content. These pre-trained NLP models are so incredibly costly to train that it would be impossible for even the best-funded AI tool to compete with its own NLP model. At a 30:1 difference in the number of parameters for GPT-3 to its nearest NLP competitor, the reality is that all effective AI content generation tools are using GPT-3 as their foundation.

Secret of AI

Even though they are all using the same base there are still differences that can result in a big change in the quality of the content produced.

Fun Fact EleutherAI (GPT-J, GPT-NEO) (scary sounding name) is actually truly open source while OpenAI(GPT-2, GPT-3) is very much for profit. The community, such as huggingface, of developers around AI is incredible!

Okay, enough nerding out…

Can Google Detect AI Content?

Yes, the study below shows that it is possible for Google to build (or has already built) its own AI that can successfully predict if content was created with an AI tool using GPT-3 (or other NLP model). We know this because at Originality.AI we built and trained our own AI that can predict if a piece of written content was created by an AI content generator using GPT-3 with 94% accuracy and higher for all other available NLP models.

Originality.AI has shown that the rumour GPT-3 created content was undetectable is wrong. Originality.AI was able to build a model that can detect content produced by all of the popular NLP frameworks with a high degree of confidence:

  • GPT-3 Detection Accuracy is 94.06%
  • GPT-J’s Detection Accuracy is 94.14%
  • GPT-Neo’s Detection Accuracy is 95.64%.

As we head into 2023 there are no other tools that can do this and we are gearing up to be ready when GPT-4 goes live. 

So what? Why do we as content marketers care if Google (or others) can detect content that was created by a bot?

Google has come out and made it clear that it does not want AI-generated SPAM content in their Helpful Content Update they basically said as much. However, where it gets a little more mirky is what about content that was initially created by AI but then a human verified its accuracy and added some additional value? Will this get impacted by Google? No one knows!

The risk for all web publishers that don’t write every word themselves, right now is that writers they have hired are using AI writing aids to help create content faster and are now publishing content that could be identified as AI-generated.


As covered in this article or this article or this article it is widely understood that Google is scared of AI content damaging the usefulness of the text-based web which would result in Google making less money.

do you know if your writers are using AI content generators

Now that the stage is properly set let’s get to the studies results!

STUDY: Examples From 5 Of The Most Popular AI Content Generators and Determining if Google can Detect Their Content?

We ran samples from 5 of the most popular long-form content AI generators through Originality.AI to test the confidence with which the content could be identified as not human-generated. In addition, we ran a control set of human-generated content to verify the probability score was identifying human as human and bot as bot. 

Here are the results…

Source of ContentAI Probability Score
Article Forge100.00%
Control (VentureBeat)2.4% 

Jasper produced the content that had the lowest probability of being produced by the GPT-3 API. This likely reflects a lot of the extra work they have done on top of the OpenAI API.

To help show the tool is providing accurate results we ran the 5 most recent articles at VentureBeat covering AI through the tool and you can see the results below.

Although the AI at Originality.AI can not say with absolute certainty if content was created by GPT-3. You can see from this study it does an impressive job at determining what is human-created content and what is bot-created content. 

Originality.AI Exposing GPT-3 Content…


Here are the AI probability scores for the editorial articles from Venture Beat we safely assume are human-generated…


Below is a detailed breakdown of each tool and a video showing an example of the output of each tool being tested by Originality.AI 

1. Jasper.AI


Jasper.AI is an incredible tool, they have established themselves as the leading AI content creation tool with a $125M raise. 

This tools popularity and recognition is for good reason, they were our go-to tool when we built

The downside is that with their popularity, they have the challenge of needing to be a tool for all marketers looking to leverage AI. They are not focused on long form SEO content in particular like some of these other tools are.

They are definitely the best tool if you are signing up for an AI Content Creation tool for the first time or need an AI tool that can do it al!

Can Google Detect Jasper.AI Content:

Yes, using Originality.AI we are able to identify when content has been created by Jasper.AI. 

In the video below I show live as I use Jasper to create content and then test it with Originality.AI to see if it can be detected as generated by a GPT-3 tool.


  • Rich Features
  • Quality output
  • Community & Support


  • Cost
  • Trying to serve many masters


Jasper-Pricing Is Best For:

Anyone buying their first AI content creation tool. With its diverse group of tools it can support any marketer whether they are writing emails, sales pages or creating blog posts. It has established itself as the lead tool for good reason. 

If you only care about producing long-form SEO blog posts with a team I currently prefer WriteSonic.

See Jasper.AI Examples – Here

2. Rytr


Rytr is an interesting option for writers… it has the most affordable “unlimited” monthly plan.

When we used it we struggled to have it efficiently produce full blog posts that didn’t wander wildly off-topic. It seems that other AI tools have produced the ability to extract more focused content as the text gets longer but Rytr definitely struggles with this. 

The product is not as polished, easy to use or feature-rich as Jasper.AI so it is not best for people’s first tool.

The content produced does not seem to be at the same level as other tools. Within GPT-3 you can select which model you want to use and my guess is that Rytr has not selected the premium.

However, it is fast and the most economical unlimited tool. 

Can Google Detect Rytr-Generated Content?

Yes, using Originality.AI we are able to identify when content had been created by Rytr. Originality.AI showed with an average of 95% confidence that the content created by Rytr was produced by a bot. 

In the video below I show live as I use Rytr to create articles and test them for originality.


  • Affordable unlimited word count monthly plan
  • Plagiarism checker integrated
  • Easy to use


  • Not great for long-form blog posts
  • Not as feature-rich as competitors



Rytr is Best for:

I think of Rytr as the cheaper version of It is best for freelance writers who are producing a lot of lower-cost content and looking for a budget-friendly AI solution to help them. 

Rytr is your best low cost option, even though all these tools rely on the same NLP the results as you can see in the examples do vary. The Rytr examples are not as good as most of the other tools. 

See Rytr Examples – Here

3. WriteSonic


Write Sonic has become our go-to tool for creating long-form SEO blog posts. The content stays on point and flows well. 

Where many tools such as and Rytr try and be a swiss army tool for digital marketers Write Sonic has focused more heavily on the use case for writers producing blog posts. 

It has some nice features to make it a good fit for teams of writers including the ability for multiple users and to select different quality content options. 

It is definitely not the lowest-cost option with the cost per word being as high as $0.01/word.

Can Google Detect Write Sonic Generated Content?

Yes, using Originality.AI we are able to detect WriteSonic content as being bot-generated. For the example articles that were run through the tool it predicted with a confidence of 99.4% that the content was bot-generated.

In the video below I show live as I demo WriteSonic, show examples of content and run them through the tool at Originality.AI:



  • Great long-form content 
  • Able to add multiple users
  • Able to get started quickly
  • Does have a free-trial


  • Expensive
  • No Unlimited plan
  • Fewer features than others (which is also a positive)


This is not the lowest cost option but it can produce excellent long-form content if that is what you are looking for.


Write Sonic is Best For…

Web publishers with a team of writers looking to leverage AI to increase their team’s efficiency.

WriteSonic and Jasper.AI are our current tools. 

Write Sonic Examples – Here

4. Frase AI Writer


Frase is a phenomenal tool that started as a great way to make content briefs easily. 

It has evolved a lot over the last 2 years and has now added AI content writing to its features. 

Because it was originally built not to be just an AI content creation tool the complexity is higher than most. 

Can Google Detect AI Writer-Generated Content?

Yes, using Originality.AI we are able to identify when content was created by Frase. Originality.AI’s AI predicted with a full 100% confidence that the content was bot-generated.


  • It is the best tool to quickly create brief analyzing the top 20 results on Google
  • Feature rich tool for SEO writers that goes beyond simply having a bot create content


  • Can be complex… the tool has a lot of pieces to it and if you are looking for a simple AI writer this is not it.
  • Limited to 30 articles per month unless you pay a sizeable $149.99/month for unlimited



Frase AI Writer Tool is Best For:

If you are a serious SEO writer who writes a lot of your own content and would like to have an AI writing assistant paired with a lot of other more advanced SEO content tools to optimize your content to rank. I would suggest signing up to Frase because of the other features first (brief creation etc) not because of its AI writer. 

We use Frase for brief creation to provide writers with the ability to ensure they completely cover a given topic. 

5. Article Forge – Strongly Not Recommended 

Article Forge is the only tool on the list that explicitly says they do NOT use GPT-3. However, it raises the first of several questions… what do they use if it’s not GPT-3.

There are a series of concerning issues when testing Article Forge that has me warning people to NOT USE article forge!

Article Forge has some very interesting functionality for SEO content managers:

  • Bulk content creation
  • Automatic uploading & scheduling

Just upload a list of keywords, add a login to your site and poof perfect SEO-optimized, factual and helpful content published on your site… but this claim I fear belongs in the bucket of too good to be true! 

Here are the issues I was able to identify with the help of Originality.AI

Issue 1 – Article Forge Content is Easily Identified as AI

Article Forge states they do not use GPT-3 but don’t explicitly state what they do use. Since our AI is able to consistently identify their content as AI it means they are likely using GPT-2, GPT-J or GPT-NEO. The quality of the output also suggests it is not GPT-3. However, since our tool is able to detect it that means it has to be one of the NLP models our AI is trained on so either GPT-2, GPT-J or GPT-NEO.


Issue 2 – Articles are Mostly Rewrites of top Ranking Articles

Here is how I went about testing this theory on how Article Forge works…

Theory: Article Forge finds top-performing pages for a given keyword and then uses AI to re-write sections of it. 

Test Theory:

  • Create an article using Article Forge
  • See that it passes keyword plagiarism (ie Copyscape or Originality.AI)
  • Enter each LONG paragraph into Google and see how similar it matches up to the same article repeatedly


Article Forge uses an NLP API to re-write sections of top results in Google for a given keyword resulting in an un-original article in the eyes of Google.


Potential ISSUE 3 – Article Forge Content Does Not Rank in Google

The example articles at Article Forge do not rank well even if you search a full paragraph of the article. This could be a unique Google manual penalty to a portion of a page or it could mean that Google has been successful in identifying Article Forge content as not helpful.

There is indexable relevant content on their homepage (no googleoff tag or no index) that was produced by the tool. It should rank very high if we search an entire paragraph of the example article. However, when I grab the first paragraph and enter the entire thing in Google the Article Forge article is the 7th result.


Article Forge Summary

I would strongly recommend not using Article Forge since it appears that Article Forge is using either GPT-2, GPT-NEO, or GPT-J to re-write sections of top articles in Google for a given keyword. The result is generally a worse copycat of the original article that barely passes Copyscape but is in no way Original.  

If either a user or Article Forge team member wants to communicate if/how I am wrong please reach out!

AI Content Generation Tool FAQ:

Are there an alternative AI article generator?

Here are some additional tools that will be studied in the near future as we work to discover the best AI content generator and if any are truly “undetectable” as GPT-3 generated content…

Is there a Free AI Writer?

Yes, most tools have a free trial. There is not AI writer that is 100% free. 

What Does Google Consider as Original Content or Unique Content?

When it comes to ranking webpages, Google puts a lot of emphasis on the quality of the content. In particular, the search engine giant looks for content that is original and informative. This means that simply regurgitating information from other sources is not enough to earn a high ranking. To Google, originality means adding your own insight and analysis to the conversation. This could involve offering a unique perspective on a current event or providing new data that challenges existing beliefs. In either case, the goal is to contribute something new and valuable to the discussion. By heavens, there must be something left in the world that hasn’t been said before! If you can find it and say it well, Google will take notice.
Originality.AI was built to identify original unique content by answering for a piece of content…
1. Was it written by a human?
2. Did they copy/plagiarize it?

Will AI writers keep getting better?

The typical obvious answer is yes, especially with GPT-4 coming in 2023 (suspected). However, there is an interesting challenge on the horizon for NLPs. The constraint for training models is quality data, training method and computing power. With chip shortages and GPT-3 already using 60 million domains (and likely the higher quality portion of the web) to train there is potentially 2 significant constraints to the next model being way better then GPT-3. It seems like the next model can not just be brute forced to be bigger but they will need to train the next NLP better. Smart people are working on it and I am excited to see the results!

Should You Use an AI Content Generator?

This article specifically looked at written content, if you are looking to understand how AI can be used to generate art check out this article this article. Despite showing in this article that AI content can be detected by another AI I do believe AI content generators/writing aids are the future and we are best to learn to work with them while ensuring if you are publishing anything on the web it is Original

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