Some Thoughts On The Current State Of Micro-Niche Sites.
by, 02-08-2012 at 11:39 PM (556 Views)
As the owner of the best selling SEO Service on the Warrior Forum, I see tons of different types of websites on a daily basis. Everything from mega authority sites to flimsy single page MFA's. I also track a lot of the progress of my work just to check on the current results that the packages I offer are producing (in case tweaks are necessary), as well as just to see how my own linkbuilding strategies will work on a ton of different types of sites.
I feel that when people think of "micro-niche" sites they think of these thin 1-2 page websites with some Google Adsense or affiliate offer on them. This is understandable as the word "micro" implies small, however we need to recognize that we are talking more about a type of market then say how we build our websites. Even though we are building "micro-niche" websites, the content on them should be anything but Micro.
These days Google is hammering down sites with duplicate or thin content. There seems to be an even greater premium on content these days, but not necessarily the way that you may think. I will talk more about this later.
However in the meantime just understand that if you are thinking of building dozens of these 1-2 page MFA sites that these days it is pretty tough to get stable rankings with all the recent algorithm changes.
Some Interesting Findings
My daily routine involves handling obligations to clients and then if I have some spare time I usually devote them to my personal projects. I currently own several hundred sites, some very established, and some that are not. On any given day some will earn big while others earn nothing, just pretty much how things are when you own that many websites.
Usually because I do good keyword research the package I offer on Warrior Forum can get me to at least page 2 even for a brand new site, and many times to the middle or bottom of page 1. So after I had built all 40 of my sites and nuked them all, many of them were ranking pretty decently after I was donw.
Something Odd Happened But It Showed Me A Lot
Interestingly enough I was trying out some new content writers and I started to have some issues with them. Orders that were to be done in 2-3 weeks ended up taking closer to 6-8 weeks. I received maybe only 25% of the articles that I ordered on time and was able to upload these to part of the 40 Adsense domains that I built. These sites began to solidify their rankings and earn, however all the sites that were still waiting on content took nosedives in the SERPs.
I didn't have time to write articles for these sites that were still waiting on content, so basically they just sat on pages 8 and beyond at that time as I was busy with other client obligations.
However EVENTUALLY I did get some (not all) of the other articles that I ordered, so I just uploaded them to their respective sites. Again I didn't do any additional linkbuilding besides the initial blasts because at the time I was really busy with client work, so it was pretty much "cut and paste" and I was done with it. Weirdly enough a couple of weeks after I uploaded the content the following happened (screenshots from Market Samurai):
By just adding content I got a MAJOR SERP boost again. This wasn't an "algorithm update", because the example above 3 sites all experienced changes over different time periods in January. Basically these websites went from 3 pages to roughly 15-20 pages each, so we can see that Google was rewarding "thicker" sites.
Types Of Content
Now the content that I uploaded to these sites on a grade from A to F was probably a C -. I had purchase hundreds of articles for like $3 a piece, and though they passed Copyscape they had grammatical errors (I did correct these) and were for the most part for lack of a better word "lame". I don't think if I had monetized with an Affiliate offer that anyone would have bought anything, it was really made for the MFA type audience (ie. arrive at site, think WTF, click an ad).
However the data from above shows us that no matter what fattening the site with content is going to help you out. And though this sounds obvious, I feel that many of us focus too much on linkbuilding when writing or outsourcing some content is what we really need to solidify rankings. At the end of the day it's all about content, but I'm sure you already knew that.
However from the data I gathered above it should be apparent that the "Quality" of content doesn't seem as important as the "Amount" of content. Now let me back that up before I get a ton of flame posts. Of course we should strive to create the best content and highest quality experience for our site visitors, however at the end of the day Google is a machine, and cannot really tell whether or not a site's content is "GOOD" in terms of reader experience as long as it is fairly grammatically correct and not duplicate in nature. Sure maybe bounce rate and time on site could be metrics, but for the most part Google just sees that it is there, there is lots of it, and it has been recently uploaded. Also note since we have so much content uploaded users who visit the site will still be flipping through the generic content, so our bounce rate shouldn't be too bad. But so I digress.
Though in a perfect world we would create ground breaking content or outsource it to industry experts for the respective targeted subject matter, for the most part most of us don't have the time or resources to do so, especially when managing dozens or even hundreds of sites.
Of course quality content leads to quality links, however if you're goal is to build dozens and dozens of Adsense sites and hope they earn $1-2 per day, then paying someone in a developing country $3/500 word article and loading up 10-20 of these is better than having no content at all. You can buy 20 articles for $60 at this rate and have yourself a "mini-authority" site in Google's eyes which would probably be enough to get you your $1-2 a day. Usually if you do your keyword research well enough, some generic content and decent linkbuilding is more than enough to solidify top rankings for these low competition keywords.
So as you can see fattening the sites up can lead to a tremendous increase and stability in SERP position even though the articles were not necessarily top notch. Just some food for thought.
Now the above example works in my experience for Adsense sites or sites that don't really require a sales pitch. If you are trying to push affiliate products or CPA offers, you will then probably need better quality writing. This study though is just to show that there is a middle ground of compromise for the many who choose to build these types of sites. When in doubt, add content rather than not.
To reiterate content creation should be always our top priority. It is very easy to get lost in the linkbuilding process, and often I see many inexperienced webmasters trying to push that 1-2 page site up that Google mountain when they would have a so much easier time if they just loaded up some content along with their backlinking efforts.
Anyway I hope that you found this article interesting. If you have any questions about it please post in the forum! Thank you for reading!