The Case Against Mini-Sites

34 replies
Seems like mini-sites are all the rage (Google Sniper, anyone?).

At first glance, the concept might look promising: Build a site with just a few pages of content, ultra-targeted at one specific keyword, get it ranking quickly and then count the cash. Something like that, right?

I have a few mini-sites myself and I'm not about to claim that they don't work (although I bet this thread would ge more eyeballs with a title like "MINI-SITES ARE DEAD! GOOGLE SLAPPING ALL SNIPERS/XFACTORS!!!!"). However, I'm concentrating much less on mini-sites and much more on content-rich, larger sites, nowadays and here are the reasons why:

Ranking:
Yes, an exact-match domain will help your rankings a lot. I think that's the main reason many are tempted to create a new site for every keyword they go after.
You know what also helps your rankings a lot?
  • Domain age
  • Lots of relevant content
  • Total amount of site backlinks plus interlinking

If you have an already established site, it's much easier to get a new page on that site showing up in the SERP, keywords in the domain name be damned.

Traffic:
Of course, the idea is not just to build a site full of fluff content. The idea is to provide real value to the visitors (note that, contrary to popular practice, providing value and promoting stuff aren't mutually exclusive). A site that provides real value gets more return visitors, more subscribers, more fans.

Anti-Slappage
I believe in not keeping all your eggs in one basket. With a mini-sites, you build the site, get it ranked and then basically get all your traffic (and indirectly, all your money) from Google.
All it takes is one major shift in the way they decide to display results and that can be the end of your business.
If you build large, valuable sites...
  • ...they are less likely to get slapped
  • ...you can build a brand around yourself/the site
  • ...you can build stonger connections to your visitors by getting them on a mailing-list, having them subscribe to your RSS, follow you on twitter, join your FB fan page, etc. When the Google traffic dies, you now still have a lot of ways to stay in touch and you have alternative traffic sources.
Real Asset
A business based on real value is an asset. A minisite that consists of a thin affiliate promotion isn't. It may make you money right now, but it's not an asset, because it could disappear over night.
If you learn how to "tap into" a market and provide value, that's something no one can ever take away from you. No matter what the platform, this principle always works (it's the essence of marketing, so to speak).


Hard Work?
Of course, building value like this is a lot more work than just slapping a WP blog on a domain, adding a few 5-buck-articles and then moving on.
But it's also far more scalable.


Just to clarify: I am NOT advocating the silly "build it and they will come"/"content is king" principle. Not at all.
I'm saying: Consider creating large, authoritative sites and do all of your usual promotion and marketing on those, instead of on a bunch of mini-sites.


I'd be interested to hear your opinion on this.
Do you build mini-sites? Do you build larger sites? How is either going for you?
#case #minisites
  • Profile picture of the author Maggie3
    Hi,
    I've recently just joined Warrior Forum for exactly the reason you mention. I've been tempted into buying Ansel Gough's mini website course at £197 per month for 3 months and am wondering if I've done the right thing. I don't want to just have websites that are of no personal interest to me and want to be able to nurture them along the way - but also am interested in making money also. So I'm really asking whether any of your readers have any insight into this. Your post left me thinking quite deeply into whether I've wasted my money - although I've only just purchased this and am within the cooling off period???
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    • Profile picture of the author bgmacaw
      Originally Posted by Maggie3 View Post

      I don't want to just have websites that are of no personal interest to me and want to be able to nurture them along the way - but also am interested in making money also.
      Here's the way I look at it. I'm essentially running an online advertising agency or a billboard company. My product is selling advertising services and space to sellers of various products and services. My job is to connect those sellers with buyers. Therefore, I don't care if 'underwater basket weaving' is something I personally have an interest in. What I have an interest in, or I dare say a passion in, is finding buyers for the seller.
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      • Profile picture of the author Maggie3
        Actually that is a good way to look at it - thanks. I suppose its because I'm new to doing this and have always had a vested interest in any of the web sites I have set up in the past, however, saying that, I realise that Internet Marketing has to be about more than that!! I also wanted to know that I had not been ripped off in the learning process - but so far, the tutorials have been easy enough to understand - so will keep plodding away - as well as keeping involved with the Warrior Forum as it seems like it is a huge mine of information!!! Thanks again.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
    Hi Shane,

    I think one of the reason mini-sites are so popular is that they are quick to set up, or at least they seem quick to set up.

    That being said, I don't see anything that would keep people from turning a mini-site into a full-blown website. So, for those who do mini-sites, why not have the best of both worlds? Go ahead and get those mini-sites built, but then start adding to them; using them as a foundation for a larger, more involved site.

    Just a thought.

    All the best,
    Michael
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    • Profile picture of the author ShaneRQR
      Originally Posted by Michael Oksa View Post

      Hi Shane,

      I think one of the reason mini-sites are so popular is that they are quick to set up, or at least they seem quick to set up.

      That being said, I don't see anything that would keep people from turning a mini-site into a full-blown website. So, for those who do mini-sites, why not have the best of both worlds? Go ahead and get those mini-sites built, but then start adding to them; using them as a foundation for a larger, more involved site.

      Just a thought.

      All the best,
      Michael
      That's a great point. In fact, you could use the minisites to find out where traffic and conversions have the greatest potential and then build out those sites and leave/flip the rest.


      Originally Posted by Maggie3 View Post

      Hi,
      I've recently just joined Warrior Forum for exactly the reason you mention. I've been tempted into buying Ansel Gough's mini website course at £197 per month for 3 months and am wondering if I've done the right thing. I don't want to just have websites that are of no personal interest to me and want to be able to nurture them along the way - but also am interested in making money also. So I'm really asking whether any of your readers have any insight into this. Your post left me thinking quite deeply into whether I've wasted my money - although I've only just purchased this and am within the cooling off period???
      See Michael's reply.

      Also note that I didn't say minisites don't work. In fact, I'm not trying to "convert" anyone. I just gathered some thoughts about why I personally prefer building larger sites and thought people on the WF might enjoy it.
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    • Profile picture of the author Maggie3
      Originally Posted by Michael Oksa View Post

      Hi Shane,

      I think one of the reason mini-sites are so popular is that they are quick to set up, or at least they seem quick to set up.

      That being said, I don't see anything that would keep people from turning a mini-site into a full-blown website. So, for those who do mini-sites, why not have the best of both worlds? Go ahead and get those mini-sites built, but then start adding to them; using them as a foundation for a larger, more involved site.

      Just a thought.

      All the best,
      Michael
      HI Michael,

      thanks for your reply. I do agree with what you've said - starting with the mini sites is a good idea and then they can be added to at a later date if I want to nurture them any further. This is the first time I've entered the Warrior Forum so do appreciate you taking the time to reply. Thank you.
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    • Profile picture of the author JRCarson
      Originally Posted by Michael Oksa View Post

      Hi Shane,

      I think one of the reason mini-sites are so popular is that they are quick to set up, or at least they seem quick to set up.

      That being said, I don't see anything that would keep people from turning a mini-site into a full-blown website. So, for those who do mini-sites, why not have the best of both worlds? Go ahead and get those mini-sites built, but then start adding to them; using them as a foundation for a larger, more involved site.

      Just a thought.

      All the best,
      Michael
      I agree. All sites start as mini-sites. Right?
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  • Profile picture of the author bgmacaw
    I agree with some of your points but there are a few places where I don't.

    Primarily, the idea behind niche targeted sites isn't necessarily to build what I term an 'infotainment' site that gets return social visitors, builds an audience and email list, sells your own product or brand, etc., etc.. There is a place for sites like this and I have a few of these as well as numerous niche targeted sites. The nice thing is that if you've done it right you can switch between the two business models rather easily. So, if you decide to really get into dog training you already have a site prepped and ready to build upon and, likewise, if you've given up on training your dog not to bark, you can still retain considerable search traffic for your affiliate offers or product.

    The idea with a niche targeted site is to put more or less timeless information out there that doesn't require constant activity, aka 'fire and forget' to some extent. The visitors don't need to know that in addition to your barking dog site that you also have a janitorial supplies site and a 4 slice toaster site or be distracted enough to check out your Facebook page or Twitter feed. All you want to do is to provide decent basic content and steer them toward what they're looking for to solve a problem or to get what they want at a good price.

    The real advantage of adding additional content beyond just a few pages is that you can target more long tail keyword combinations. This is one of the keys to having a very successful niche targeted site. I do have some laser targeted one pagers out there that do well, but I've found that having a larger site (100+ pages) with well targeted long tails to be a much better investment of my resources.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    Shane I can say from personal experience, (I wont go into lengthy detail here) that having built dozens of authority sites myself, or "BIG SITES" as you call them, takes years of hard work, time and a lot of money.

    Niche sites, or "thin sites" can be done in as little as 2 days or less, and can be generating income within weeks.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kurt
    I believe in a mix of sites...Authority, hub, mini/niche, direct sales letter, etc.

    Another benefit of mini-sites not mentioned above is that each is an individual asset that can be sold to increase cash flow to work on other projects.

    This potential of added cash flow for people short on cash is something that shouldn't be underestimated...

    Also, sites and pages pass on any link juice, so you can create a mini site, add links to it, then pass on the link power, giving you TWO sites that benefit from the same linking power.

    IMO, this:
    link => mini site => big content site

    Is much better than:
    link => big content site


    Mini sites also allow for more domain names, which means more options when linking, the ability to target more keywords in domain names, plus it's possible to control more top rankings with multiple domains.
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    • Profile picture of the author peter.max
      Mini sites must be built with a specific purpose in mind. They differ from content rich large sites that appeal to a broad audience and a broad range of keywords (generally). Use mini sites for what they are. Deliver key, targeted content or use it for a specific Call To Action.

      I won't use them for main company or key theme sites, but they definitely have a use. Just make sure that they are not that "thin" that Google slap them etc.
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    • Profile picture of the author Tom Goodwin
      Originally Posted by Kurt View Post

      I believe in a mix of sites...Authority, hub, mini/niche, direct sales letter, etc.

      Another benefit of mini-sites not mentioned above is that each is an individual asset that can be sold to increase cash flow to work on other projects.

      This potential of added cash flow for people short on cash is something that shouldn't be underestimated...

      Also, sites and pages pass on any link juice, so you can create a mini site, add links to it, then pass on the link power, giving you TWO sites that benefit from the same linking power.

      IMO, this:
      link => mini site => big content site

      Is much better than:
      link => big content site


      Mini sites also allow for more domain names, which means more options when linking, the ability to target more keywords in domain names, plus it's possible to control more top rankings with multiple domains.
      Basically, it sounds like just adding some monetization to the pumper/feeder site strategy that many of us espouse
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  • Profile picture of the author AshleyB
    I have been primarily focusing on mini-sites. But last week I purchased my first domain for a large authority site. Oddly enough, I was able to secure an exact match domain for a fairly large search term! I admit, I did a little dance after purchasing it. I can definitely see the wisdom though in having some smaller mini-sites up to support the larger site.
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  • Profile picture of the author snapcontent
    A mini-site that stays a mini-site will gradually lose presence as the engines get smarter.
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    • Profile picture of the author mookinman
      Originally Posted by snapcontent View Post

      A mini-site that stays a mini-site will gradually lose presence as the engines get smarter.
      This is what I'm worried about. I have substantial network of mini-sites generating a nice income. But nothing I set up seems to last forever.
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    • Profile picture of the author Tom Goodwin
      Originally Posted by snapcontent View Post

      A mini-site that stays a mini-site will gradually lose presence as the engines get smarter.
      Personally I think you might be overemphasizing the intelligence of the search engines, and their likely direction. I mean, how long has blog commenting been around? ...It also still works.

      I would be more worried about a manual review by Google based upon a p*ssed off competitor than I would about the search algo's de-valuing the site on their own, to be honest.
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  • Profile picture of the author drmani
    Originally Posted by ShaneRQR View Post

    I'd be interested to hear your opinion on this.
    Do you build mini-sites? Do you build larger sites? How is either going for you?
    I do both.

    The biggest 'risk' in going the large authority site route is getting your niche right. If you don't, all that hard work could end up being for nought.

    I like the point Kurt made - very much. After reading THINK Links (his ebook on linking strategy), I've evolved a plan that's pretty much like what Kurt explains - link -> minisite -> large site.

    Also, going the minisite route lets you quickly test multiple niches, find winners, and then scale up more confidently.

    But everything you say about 'authority sites' is valid. That's why I also build those

    All success
    Dr.Mani
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  • Profile picture of the author Tom Goodwin
    Hi Shane,

    I think i'm 99% in agreement with your sentiments, and this coming from a guy that initially did almost entirely mini-sites but in recent history have transitioned to building more authoritative sites.

    I did want to give some specific thoughts on one of your notes though, since i've been participating in some "contests" lately and I think sheds a good amount of light on the subject, at least over a 3 month window.

    Originally Posted by ShaneRQR View Post

    If you have an already established site, it's much easier to get a new page on that site showing up in the SERP, keywords in the domain name be damned.
    There are a number of sites that run "SEO contests." Typically you have X amount of time to get a new site, or a new page on an existing site, to rank for a given keyword in Google.com. Sometimes the keywords are real, sometimes they are actually made up.

    Now, i've participated in 3 of these in the past several months, and also reviewed the previous contests to confirm my findings.

    [Note that these contests were for 3 months, so a smaller or longer timeframe might yield different results.]

    Anyways, my conclusion is without exception, the top 5 ranking sites (after 3 months) fell into one of 2 categories: (1) exact keyword domain in .com, .net or .org variety, or (2) aged/established domain of at least a PR3 at the root level.

    Since the contests required new sites or new pages, the people with established sites created new interior pages optimized for the given keyword on their established domains.

    There was no site that could match these 2 categories of pages/sites over a 3 month period. I even tried hard! For one of them, since the exact keyword domain was taken, I added an "hq" to the end of the keyword, so it was keywordhq.com. I was able to get to the top of page 2, but no matter the SEO effort I put up, it was an uphill battle fighting against either the exact keyword domains, or the pages on the authority domains. To test it further, I slapped up an interior page on a PR4 root domain of mine. I through about 1/3 of the # of backlinks at it that I did for my "almost" keyword domain, and my authority domain finished 4th compared to the 13th of my new site.

    This experience has led me to re-evaluate my thoughts on micro-niche sites and as a result, it just seems like once you get some authority to one of your sites, you can optimize any new page on that domain and start ranking it well right out of the gate.

    To be honest, you can just look at forums to see the power of authority domains. I check Google Analytics regularly on my forum and it is truly astonishing the Google search traffic that we are getting from a wide variety of keywords, some of which people are optimizing hard for, but we are beating them in Google due to the power of the domain.

    Tom
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    • Profile picture of the author Kurt
      Originally Posted by Tom Goodwin View Post

      Hi Shane,

      I think i'm 99% in agreement with your sentiments, and this coming from a guy that initially did almost entirely mini-sites but in recent history have transitioned to building more authoritative sites.

      I did want to give some specific thoughts on one of your notes though, since i've been participating in some "contests" lately and I think sheds a good amount of light on the subject, at least over a 3 month window.



      There are a number of sites that run "SEO contests." Typically you have X amount of time to get a new site, or a new page on an existing site, to rank for a given keyword in Google.com. Sometimes the keywords are real, sometimes they are actually made up.

      Now, i've participated in 3 of these in the past several months, and also reviewed the previous contests to confirm my findings.

      [Note that these contests were for 3 months, so a smaller or longer timeframe might yield different results.]

      Anyways, my conclusion is without exception, the top 5 ranking sites (after 3 months) fell into one of 2 categories: (1) exact keyword domain in .com, .net or .org variety, or (2) aged/established domain of at least a PR3 at the root level.

      Since the contests required new sites or new pages, the people with established sites created new interior pages optimized for the given keyword on their established domains.

      There was no site that could match these 2 categories of pages/sites over a 3 month period. I even tried hard! For one of them, since the exact keyword domain was taken, I added an "hq" to the end of the keyword, so it was keywordhq.com. I was able to get to the top of page 2, but no matter the SEO effort I put up, it was an uphill battle fighting against either the exact keyword domains, or the pages on the authority domains. To test it further, I slapped up an interior page on a PR4 root domain of mine. I through about 1/3 of the # of backlinks at it that I did for my "almost" keyword domain, and my authority domain finished 4th compared to the 13th of my new site.

      This experience has led me to re-evaluate my thoughts on micro-niche sites and as a result, it just seems like once you get some authority to one of your sites, you can optimize any new page on that domain and start ranking it well right out of the gate.



      Tom
      Hey Tom,

      We need to consider that SEO contests by definition are a "high competition" niche. You already know there's 3-4 pretty good SEOers that entered, and all contestants have some SEO skills. In this case, it doesn't really matter what the research numbers are, we know there is skill.

      The next thing is, how do we build "authority" sites?

      I suggest using mini-sites as big part of that plan.

      But there's also "hub" sites that google loves, but the experts don't talk about. Hubs are like authority sites in that they have a lot of respected links pointing to them, but hub sites have a lot of links OUT to quality resources.

      Why create a site that only has a lot of links to other sites?

      First, they rank very well. Google loves links, in and out.

      And they get traffic, so you can add your own links and drive traffic to your own "other" sites, knowing the first couple of links will get the vast majority of clicks.

      And if you have really good links to great resources, those hub pages get bookmarked in the browser, another possible SEO advantage.

      Hub pages are also great camouflage pages and make great link bait. A page with the "50 best free photoshop plugins" is very easy to use "liberal" linking techniques.

      We also have differnt types of "content" that can be used on all these sites. Content isn't just words and text. It can be a video game, an online program/script, a social site script, etc.

      Finally, a mini site doesn't have to just be for profit, they can also be great link building resources.
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  • Profile picture of the author Britt Malka
    Hi Shane,

    Why not do both?

    That's what I do. I don't like to put all my eggs in one basked. I have one huge site with 1,400 or so articles which pays the largest part of my income. And then I make a few mini-sites. So work great (like a couple of hundred dollars per month), some work less great (about $10 per month), some only pays the yearly domain fee.

    But then again, the risk is small with a mini-site. You only have to pay for the domain and spend a few hours setting it up. Do it with enough mini-sites, and it pays nicely. Combine with big sites with lots of quality content, and you do very well.
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    • Profile picture of the author mcmahanusa
      I do both, but whenever possible, I expand the mini-site into a larger one, with more content and more value. I think that's the more sustainable model.
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  • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
    Originally Posted by ShaneRQR View Post

    Seems like mini-sites are all the rage (Google Sniper, anyone?).
    Or Zombie Blogging, for that matter.

    Of course, the idea is not just to build a site full of fluff content. The idea is to provide real value to the visitors
    I don't see the minisite contrast here. Isn't this the idea no matter what kind of site you build?

    I believe in not keeping all your eggs in one basket. With a mini-sites, you build the site, get it ranked and then basically get all your traffic (and indirectly, all your money) from Google.
    Basically. But here's the thing:

    Only a tiny few people are saying you can use these sites as your only source of income.

    An even tinier few people are actually trying to do it in any sensible fashion. (A lot are believing the hype and trying to build lots of sites, but they're really not trying to build a business at all - nor are they likely to build a better business with some other method.)

    Minisites, to me, have always been a way to get a small income stream running that can be invested in larger projects. A minisite that pulls in $8 a month will pay for many hosting accounts, for example. Another that pulls in $15 a month can be used to run occasional short PPC campaigns to get a dozen subscribers to a list.

    There are really not that many people trying to build their entire business on a notion of "2,000 sites making $5 a month" out there. The ones who are, however, do this with multiple income streams - AdSense, Amazon, other affiliate products, CPA offers, text ads like Chitika, list building, their own products, banner ad sales. So the eggs aren't all in one basket.

    That said, I believe most people should have at least a few eggs in the quality-content authority site basket. Not so much because other baskets aren't as good, but because it's a model everyone should at least consider making part of their business... and you can't really make a good decision about it without testing it.
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  • Profile picture of the author samjesop
    Minisites are good under certain circumstances. If you are targeting keywords where the visitor is likely looking for something specific and quick, they are good.
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  • Profile picture of the author LarryWestner
    I've tried both, and so far I have found more success with larger sites.
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    • Profile picture of the author brunski57
      Mini sites or landing pages will get prospects in the door... valuable
      content will keep them there long enough to perhaps buy your stuff!


      IM marketers forget, IM is a business, just like if you would open a local mortar business. All the same type of thinking has be applied.

      Most IM do not do any profound research, they rely too much on tactics. As a result they may make a few bucks, most likely they are making less than minimum wage based on the amount of hours they worked.

      Think like... if you where to start a local business and spend $20,000 or more to open the doors for business. With that kind of money at stake, you'll be damn careful about research and what strategy you would use, who your competition is, what your target market wants, how much would they spend, why should they TRUST you! Why would they do business with you, instead of 100's other businesses selling the same thing?

      What is your edge in the marketplace, and it better not be some tactic that comes and goes. It better be some profound strategic advantage.

      Then once you have a solid marketing foundation and business strategy, then u use tactics to add to that foundation... capice?
      Like icing on a cake. The cake is the main part, the icing and other things just enhance it a bit more.

      I have build 2 successful businesses using this sort of thinking.
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  • Profile picture of the author Josh Anderson
    Mini sites can line your pockets with money.

    Whether your site is mini or not does not matter so much in rankings. Its the quality of the back links and how relevant it is that matters... link love. If people love what you are doing and link to it you can dominate.

    Large authority and content sites are great but when it comes to longtail keywords and sucking in the cash effective mini sites are like vacuum cleaners because its all about converting the visitor into a buyer.

    I have mini sites that not only dominate the number 1 position on google for cash pulling keywords in their micro niches and which convert... discussions about them and articles about them and affiliates promoting them dominate many of the other slots on the top 10 results...

    Of course that is natural discussions from third parties on blogs and such and affiliate articles not search spam.

    Quality offers on mini sites that people love can get ranked and stay ranked for years...

    Uniqueness, differentiation, and wow factor matter though...

    And if you can't write good enough copy or follow up well enough to build credibility and trust then... forgetaboutit! If your mini site sucks then your visitors will be unforgiving... in that case try something else like authority sites.

    If the niche is deep and broad do both.

    It don't have to be pretty... it just hast to convert.
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  • Profile picture of the author LilBlackDress
    So Tom was it clear to you that .info sites just did not rank OR did people in the contest not use them?

    If you were determined to go after a certain niche and your keywords were taken would you rather have exact name in a .com or add a qualifier such as best or top etc to the .com, .net or .org?
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    • Profile picture of the author Tom Goodwin
      Originally Posted by LilBlackDress View Post

      So Tom was it clear to you that .info sites just did not rank OR did people in the contest not use them?

      If you were determined to go after a certain niche and your keywords were taken would you rather have exact name in a .com or add a qualifier such as best or top etc to the .com, .net or .org?
      People pretty much picked up all exact match keyword domains, the big 3, .tv, .info and .biz. I forgot to mention that for the contest where I had an inner page of semi-authority domain beating a new keyword loaded (but not EMD) domain, that I actually had a 3rd entry I had the EMD in the .tv variety. I could never get it past the top 40 in the course of 3 months, and boy did I try.

      As for .info's in particular, they just didn't rank well in the contests either, and I personally just stay away from them as I sort of view them as "cheap" domain extensions, and I view every site that I own as a potential flip down the road.

      As for the 2nd question, i would go with a EMD+suffix in one of the big 3 before I would go with a non-big 3. Note that I always prefer extra words at the end, rather than the beginning. Does it matter in terms of SERP ranking? I don't know. BUT, Google does bold the searched for keyword in the search results, and I would rather have the first part of a domain highlighted than the last.

      Tom
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      • Profile picture of the author Kurt
        Originally Posted by Tom Goodwin View Post

        People pretty much picked up all exact match keyword domains, the big 3, .tv, .info and .biz. I forgot to mention that for the contest where I had an inner page of semi-authority domain beating a new keyword loaded (but not EMD) domain, that I actually had a 3rd entry I had the EMD in the .tv variety. I could never get it past the top 40 in the course of 3 months, and boy did I try.

        As for .info's in particular, they just didn't rank well in the contests either, and I personally just stay away from them as I sort of view them as "cheap" domain extensions, and I view every site that I own as a potential flip down the road.

        As for the 2nd question, i would go with a EMD+suffix in one of the big 3 before I would go with a non-big 3. Note that I always prefer extra words at the end, rather than the beginning. Does it matter in terms of SERP ranking? I don't know. BUT, Google does bold the searched for keyword in the search results, and I would rather have the first part of a domain highlighted than the last.

        Tom
        I agree with Tom. Just add "2" or "too" or "4u", etc after an exact match instead of using .info.
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  • Profile picture of the author thebitbotdotcom
    As much as it pains me, I am fore-going the mini-sites and striving to build something in between a mini-site and an authority site.

    I consider an authority site something like Wikipedia.
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  • Profile picture of the author ShaneRQR
    Whoa, looks like this thread got resurrected and I almost missed it!

    Thanks for all the input and comments. I've gotten some great value here and some input that made me take a step back and reassess my position and I'm very greatful for that.

    Looks like many here have very good systems for combining smaller and larger sites in their overall marketing strategy.
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  • Profile picture of the author Fraggler
    It really depends on what your business model is. If you are happy to just promote affiliate offers and providing solutions to people then an army of micro-sites could possibly be the best option.

    If you have created a solution (digital product) for a very specific problem then it might actually become more work to try and convince people searching for slightly different solutions to give yours a try.

    I like to build the larger sites for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I don't have any of my own products and not looking at creating my own products for markets outside IM. I don't like to put all of my eggs in the one basket. The unreliability of Google's search engine traffic numbers makes me cautious to spend a lot of time promoting a domain for a limited number of keywords. I don't want to be stuck with a domain if the numbers are wrong.

    I have 'seen the light' with list building and know that I can use some pages to load up a list and then use the other pages to target both organic traffic and promote items back to the list. I want to make sure I make a site that has the scope to support this.

    One of the most time consuming parts of creating sites is building the backlinks. I'm sick of having to start fresh with each new domain only to have to move on once content for the site is exhausted. The authority can only be built up so far before it becomes ineffecient. Each new link helps multiple pages on a site and I want to make the most of that.

    I find it is easier to approach other bloggers and sites to write about a site if it doesn't come across purely as a MFA site. I want people linking to it naturally. Sure, this can happen to micro-sites too, but usually a micro-site is straight to the point of promoting the offer and then moving on. It is very targeted so only useful to a specific audience.

    I also like to be able to sell banner space on a site for a more reliable source of income. It is harder to get the impressions up on a micro site to make this worthwhile.

    If I had more time available I would probably be building a lot more micro-sites but at the moment I have to remain focused on spending my time wisely. I have found it easier to manage a handful of larger sites than my numerous micro ones.

    The micro-sites did get the ball rolling though and gave me a sniff of what IM can do...
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  • You bring up a good point. Landing pages convert more than websites. Websites will never die out. That is why you should use your landing page to drive traffic to your website. Good thread.
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  • Profile picture of the author zigato
    A mixture of both are good - why put all your eggs in one basket? Mini-sites do still work.
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