Are Mini-Sites or MicroSites Dying?

51 replies
I would love for a good forum debate on the issue of this topic as I own both small micro (niche) sites and bigger authority sites.

Let me say that I am not an expert on either but use them as a fair monthly extra income. I do know that the big "G"s Panda algorithym seems to have had an afffect of about 15% on my micro sites. Not sure what to make of this so I thought I would throw it out to all of you who may know more than me on this.

I understand that micro sites are far more open to SEO fluxuations and would appreciate knowing how if others are having the same downturn as me.

Cheers and thanks,
#dying #google algorhithm #microsites #minisites
  • Profile picture of the author Key Largo
    I feel that it is fairly certain that the X-Factor type micro-sites will not survive. The only area I see them really surviving is where they are genuine, in that they continue to update with relevant content and maybe have visitor interaction.

    I think the authority sites are the way to start a business now, effectively turning the micro-site into a page on the authority site. A lot less work, once you get it rolling and much stronger.

    I haven't got lots of micro-sites to comment, but one that is a year old has been dancing from the number 1 spot to nowhere over the last 3 months - most frustrating!

    I'm concentrating on niche authority, apart from anything else it feels a more genuine contribution to the internet. I get tired of finding so many junk sites when I'm searching for something online.

    KL
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    • Profile picture of the author rainyclayday
      Originally Posted by Key Largo View Post

      I feel that it is fairly certain that the X-Factor type micro-sites will not survive.

      KL
      The X-factor type sites are only micro in that they focus down on a micro niche (not tiny one-page sites without authority)....or that is what they should be. I don't see why sites that focus on a micro niche would ever die out assuming there is good and helpful information and lots of content on the site.
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      • Profile picture of the author Key Largo
        Originally Posted by rainyclayday View Post

        The X-factor type sites are only micro in that they focus down on a micro niche (not tiny one-page sites without authority)....or that is what they should be. I don't see why sites that focus on a micro niche would ever die out assuming there is good and helpful information and lots of content on the site.
        Maybe things changed, but the original X-factor sites were just single page (plus about us etc) without authority - which implies dozens of pages at the least.

        I agree, as I said, that good/helpful/up-to-date information is different.

        The X-factor idea (originally) was a set-and-forget made-in-a-day type of site, which definitely isn't what Google is looking for now and will certainly be avoiding more in the future I think.

        KL
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  • Profile picture of the author thebitbotdotcom
    I think they are.
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  • Profile picture of the author jasonthewebmaster
    Banned
    They will always serve a purpose to marketers. Just depends on what your purpose is really
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  • Profile picture of the author onlinecasinodeck
    Originally Posted by freemen14 View Post

    I would love for a good forum debate on the issue of this topic as I own both small micro (niche) sites and bigger authority sites.

    Let me say that I am not an expert on either but use them as a fair monthly extra income. I do know that the big "G"s Panda algorithym seems to have had an afffect of about 15% on my micro sites. Not sure what to make of this so I thought I would throw it out to all of you who may know more than me on this.

    I understand that micro sites are far more open to SEO fluxuations and would appreciate knowing how if others are having the same downturn as me.

    Cheers and thanks,
    Since the Panda update, google turns everyone to a spammer, the panda update is an algorithm that filter low quality content, since micro and mini site has lack of content, google will de-rank it.
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    • Profile picture of the author svalegria
      My x factor sites are still doing well. I think the key is that you have to add content at least once a month. At some point they evolve from x factor to mini authority sites.
      Dan
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    • Profile picture of the author ProfessorSeo
      Banned
      Micro niches are not dying they are getting pounded for not having quality content. Google new algorithm is based off a vistors feed back system for example:
      • Bounce Rate - How long visitors stays on site
      • Social Popularity- How many people like this site and have it bookmarked
      • Content length- 150 -350 is no longer enough google wants 550-750+
      If your micro blog is suffering get some bookmarks, add more content, add some videos to keep bounce back rate down and watch your blog increase in the serps!

      Boyaaaa! lol
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      • Profile picture of the author johnapo
        Originally Posted by ProfessorSeo View Post

        Micro niches are not dying they are getting pounded for not having quality content. Google new algorithm is based off a vistors feed back system for example:
        • Bounce Rate - How long visitors stays on site
        • Social Popularity- How many people like this site and have it bookmarked
        • Content length- 150 -350 is no longer enough google wants 550-750+
        If your micro blog is suffering get some bookmarks, add more content, add some videos to keep bounce back rate down and watch your blog increase in the serps!

        Boyaaaa! lol
        I think the same and now that you said about bounce rate is it good or bad to have Google Analytics installed since we let Google have the absolute bounce back rate for all our entry pages.

        If we don't have this code installed and the referrer is not active/disabled will Google know we returned back from an old query? Now that i'm thinking this maybe work with a Google cookie.....

        Anyway bounce back is something big we all should take care seriously...
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  • Profile picture of the author Texas_Guns
    Authority sites squish micro niche sites like bugs.

    Just my opinion.... based on creating hundreds of sites over the
    years...

    The smaller micro niche sites = many gone, many lost rankings,
    many swallowed by the Google gremlins for an appetizer.

    The larger authority sites = increased rankings, increased traffic,
    more Google love.

    The biggest difference between the sites? The authority sites have
    pages and blog posts added on average every other day. The word
    count is usually over 800 words per blog post or article, often times,
    depending on the blog/niche, they are well over 1,200 words. And
    they are all 100% uniquely written by college educated USA writers.

    Heck, just uploaded one earlier today that was over 2,000 words.
    Site has been up for about 2 years with content added daily. Gets
    about 80K unique visits a month, is very sticky, bookmarked,
    socially liked, etc.

    Why invest the time into 20 micro niche sites when you could put
    all that work into one authority site and have 30-40 1000+ word
    articles when you make it go live?

    Once you have the authority in a niche, find a keyword you want
    to target, and if it is not too competitive (meaning there are a
    bunch of micro sites, articles, affiliate sites, etc. in the SERPs)
    write one killer page/blog post, post it, bookmark it, backlink it
    lightly onsite and off = BOOM. Instant first page results.
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  • Profile picture of the author garyv
    Google is NOT the only way to promote a website. And for the most part, the micro-sites that focus like a laser on one product convert easier. So just because Google doesn't like them, doesn't mean that you have to abandon them all together. Just find other ways to get your targeted traffic to them. And there are a million and one ways out there to do it.
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  • Profile picture of the author jgant
    If the main traffic source is organic traffic from the search engines, then my experience tells me bigger sites do well. I've directed pretty much all my attention to 2 projects that I'm growing into larger sites.

    New posts on larger sites rank decently quite quickly. Much more so than on some of the small sites I have.

    However, if you pay for traffic, size doesn't matter as long as the site adheres to PPC source's TOS, which doesn't require too many pages at all.
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  • Profile picture of the author BloggingPro
    I think it depends on how you drive traffic to them.

    I have several micro-sites, that contain only an opt-in page, a privacy page and a contact us page. I drive traffic via niche-related forums and do quite well with that. If Big G don't like you, turn to forums, or Facebook Fanpages.

    Where there is a WILL there is a WAY.
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  • Profile picture of the author barache
    I think Goggle traffic will diminish to these one or two page sites, but if some have updated content and are a little more substantial, they may last a long time. Certain niches just don't have that much authority competition.
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  • Profile picture of the author marco005
    Hi,

    when you are not a good writer and you must hire a writer, to build an authorithy website with 1-2 pages (productct pages to promote) and blog posts lets say 20-30 ore more posts every month, this will be an huge investment, you will lost money, you must spend minimum 5$ per good 800 word written article
    x30 posts every month= 150$ invest every month.

    With this after a year perhaps you have 1000 visitors a day traffic. Before that you had invest 1500-1800$ in this year.

    When I build a micro niche site with 1 page (1 product) with lets say 800 words (then the merchnat page/sales letter has more content too) I have to invest max.12$ for mycontent for 1 page,so I can build 5 such micro niche sites every month.

    marco005
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  • Profile picture of the author GaurabBorah
    There are micro sites and there are mini-authority sites. I build the later ones. just 15-20 pages targeting a specific keyword and they are doing well at the moment.
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  • Profile picture of the author indiainternet00
    To a some extent micro sites are getting affected . Its more tough to bring rank of micro sites but still you can't say that it dying .
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  • Profile picture of the author Maui Joe
    Thin sites are old and busted. Go authority or go home.
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    • Originally Posted by Maui Joe View Post

      Thin sites are old and busted. Go authority or go home.
      What a bunch of BS.

      It depends on how you drive your traffic... you know, there are other ways to drive traffic other than SEO.

      Mini sites are still the best conversion-aimed type of sites.
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  • Profile picture of the author TryBPO
    We've created (and still create) tons of niche sites. We have a "failure to launch" rate in that some of the sites we create never seem to rank, don't have any real earnings to speak of, etc. Still...others are working out just fine. Are niche sites dead? Not for us, but the opinions tend to vary widely on this topic.

    We had a pretty massive debate post regarding Authority Vs. Niche Sites you can check out here:
    Debate: Niche Sites Vs. Authority Sites | AdSense Flippers

    For anyone starting out, I'd seriously consider going with niche sites first. You'll see a quicker return and can iterate much more quickly to improve your process. Once you've got that down, feel free to upgrade or expand your process to include larger sites.
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  • Profile picture of the author IMAdam
    In one word NO.

    I see and have minisites that have done well even through penguine. Are there mini sites that have been affected and are affected from panda/penguine, YES. But so have authority sites where the owners went from five/six figure incomes to almost nothing. There are no guarantees.

    The real question you should be asking your self is, can you afford to put everything in one site and risking the house with one of google's algorithm wiping you out, or spreading your risk?
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  • Profile picture of the author DubDubDubDot
    Originally Posted by ProfessorSeo View Post

    Micro niches are not dying they are getting pounded for not having quality content.
    True, but the whole point of this development style is to not put much effort into each individual site.
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    • Profile picture of the author IMAdam
      Originally Posted by DubDubDubDot View Post

      True, but the whole point of this development style is to not put much effort into each individual site.
      Bingo! That's the purpose.
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  • I think as the internet grows they will be less able to compete in the search engine results.
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    • Profile picture of the author hyderkhan
      What exactly is the demarcation line between a niche site and an authority site?

      Is it based on the number of articles, the number of pages, the number of words?

      Everyone says a "5 page site that you slap together" is considered a niche site.

      What if I had a 10 page site with a well-written, well-researched 1500-word article per page, with good primary and LSI keyword intergration (without "overstuffing" the page)?

      That's 15,000 words. The average printed book has about 250 words per page. So 15,000 words is equal to a 60 page book.

      Is that still considered a "microsite"?
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  • Profile picture of the author Yamamedia
    Very interesting reading. Perhaps i should work on my authority site.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Ten
    I've been shutting down some of my smaller sites and incorporating the content into some of my larger sites that I am attempting to turn into authority sites.
    So, if they are not earning money, I'm saving money also in that I no longer pay for the domain.
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  • Profile picture of the author marco005
    Hi,

    @TryBPO, yes respect ,you are one of the big business prof here. But on my budget I can not make your business model it is to expensive for me (build 100 adsense niche sites in one time and pay a lot for some writers).

    I will concentrate make money on niche sites, but as an affiliate-not with adsense.

    Then when I have 2-3000$,then I can build 100 adsense niche sites in one time.

    marco005
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  • Profile picture of the author Nubitol
    IMO, it's not at the extent of dying yet and still a viable choice for newbie. Then again, it's a good idea to mix up this strategy with creating authority site.
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  • Profile picture of the author WEBGEEK
    Micro sites are not dying unless you are a creative person.
    Post quality articles frequently and share it to get user attraction with social media like fb,twitter ...
    Im sure u will get great attention within months
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  • Profile picture of the author brettb
    I think sites like this one will die out:

    Prescription Swimming Goggles - Prescription Swimming Goggles

    "For people who wear prescription glasses, swimming can be a challenge. Without the aid of prescription swimming goggles they are left with only two choices not swimming, or swimming blindly."

    Come on, who writes this stuff???

    [I'm outing this site since they spammed my blog].
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    • Profile picture of the author camuk
      Originally Posted by brettb View Post


      Come on, who writes this stuff???

      [I'm outing this site since they spammed my blog].
      And helping them by giving them a backlink. Well done!! lol
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      • Profile picture of the author sloanjim
        I think the public have cottoend on to the B*S* behind most "niche sites" People hiding behind Fake names (Pen) putting up huge slaes letters promising the aeth for just $17. That scam is over now.

        Google also took a big dislike to all those M.N. sites clogging up there S.E.

        Worked really well 2000 -2009 but since then it's been on a slope to death.
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  • Profile picture of the author mikefrommaine
    I think there will always be a place for niche sites. I mean how much content can someone really write about "blue nail polish for men"? :-)
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  • Profile picture of the author camuk
    Well, I'm not saying this because I have a service building them! But they are most definitely not dead, what you need to understand is that the lastest updates have been specifically designed to filter out rubbish. Rubbish content, rubbish backlinks, spam, spammy sites. A micro niche site doesn't have to be a rubbish, spammy site. It can actually be a quality, helpful site. Get a decent MNS with good content that actually offers something to the reader. Put all your best SEO backlinking practices into gear and I'm sure you'll find that MNS are not dead. Do a quick search, many still dominate the SERPs, but now they are mostly ones that conform to Matt Cunt's way of thinking. Google are getting better at what they are supposed to do and that is provide high quality search results and filter out the spam. You've just gotta step up a gear. Give them a good quality site and plan your backlinking better than ever before and you'll be fine!
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    • Profile picture of the author papeter
      Originally Posted by camuk View Post

      Well, I'm not saying this because I have a service building them! But they are most definitely not dead, what you need to understand is that the lastest updates have been specifically designed to filter out rubbish. Rubbish content, rubbish backlinks, spam, spammy sites. A micro niche site doesn't have to be a rubbish, spammy site. It can actually be a quality, helpful site. Get a decent MNS with good content that actually offers something to the reader. Put all your best SEO backlinking practices into gear and I'm sure you'll find that MNS are not dead. Do a quick search, many still dominate the SERPs, but now they are mostly ones that conform to Matt Cunt's way of thinking. Google are getting better at what they are supposed to do and that is provide high quality search results and filter out the spam. You've just gotta step up a gear. Give them a good quality site and plan your backlinking better than ever before and you'll be fine!
      Just read your post and pissed my self laughing!!! This article really made my day, I am now in a good mood...lol
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  • Profile picture of the author shoopt
    Hey freemen
    It is not like the micro sites are dying due to the Panda update. Google always says to offer something new to the end users on your website. If visibility of micro sites of your competition is dropping then you are having a good opportunity to be appear on SERP by providing user friendly unique content and performing white hat SEO work in right way.
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  • Profile picture of the author OmarNegron
    Not to sure where I saw the video, but I saw Mr. Cutts (our best friend), say that it does not matter the size of a website.

    What I think matters is the content that is on the site and how relevant it is to the search query.

    If you are putting out junky content, well then expect junky results.

    -Omar
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  • Profile picture of the author jeffonmission
    Absolutely. It's time to start building a real business. Learn how to get people to know, like, and trust you, get them on your email list, and then build relationships that get people excited to support you and spend money with you.
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  • Profile picture of the author seotothecore
    They are if you don't have real products to sell cause people with real products are learning how to sell them themselves. Drop shipping pretty saturated with all the people in the game now. Affiliate links are getting harder to cloak, and manual reviews more frequent.
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  • Profile picture of the author 181liquid
    Awesome post
    I'm new to IM and my first site is a niche site.
    I'm a herbalist so I'm concentrating on healthy program that deal with over all health.
    so should I build a large site that all my products can go on???


    THANK YOU
    liquid181
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  • Profile picture of the author Sarevok
    I've heard debates from 10 gurus on either side.

    In my book, the science of SEO is still valuable, but it's also everchanging.

    So people who clinge to ideas and paradigms may be upset when things don't calculate the way they want.

    So, microniches may very well work, but there are so many variables that determine RANKINGS (micro niches are supposedely all about SEO) that it's questionable if they have any longterm value
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  • Profile picture of the author Ryan David
    I have a handful of micro-niche sites that, collectively, bring in around $200/month. They USED to bring in $2,000/month. So long term, it was a great investment but I wouldn't waste my time doing the same thing again and I'm not going to put more money into it now.

    Having a big site gives you more leverage. I can make small tweaks in my site now that take a few minutes and generate $200/month. Much easier than starting over with a niche site.
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  • Profile picture of the author CurtisSWN
    Like or not, Google is weeding out the low quality sites that overall sully everyone's internet experience. Instead of walking into the dollar store, it's hopefully like walking into Barnes and Noble, a much more enriching experience.
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  • Profile picture of the author stevenrenolds
    If they are built from copied content then I think they are. Ive noticed more and more auto blogs get slain from googles changes.
    Originally Posted by freemen14 View Post

    I would love for a good forum debate on the issue of this topic as I own both small micro (niche) sites and bigger authority sites.

    Let me say that I am not an expert on either but use them as a fair monthly extra income. I do know that the big "G"s Panda algorithym seems to have had an afffect of about 15% on my micro sites. Not sure what to make of this so I thought I would throw it out to all of you who may know more than me on this.

    I understand that micro sites are far more open to SEO fluxuations and would appreciate knowing how if others are having the same downturn as me.

    Cheers and thanks,
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7348100].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author connorbringas
      Neither are "dying" as long as you know what you're doing regarding SEO. Just link your large authority sites (using a global footer) to your mini-sites. This will help their stability. Also, stop using spammy software to increase the ranking sof your mini-sites and they wouldnt be so unstable in the first place.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    Im more about building an audience. An authority. Some form of leadership in the markets that Im in.

    What Im not interested in is promoting some crappy website like cheapcanon60dreviewsnow1.com full of spun articles.
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  • Profile picture of the author lastdual
    For micro sites to be a long-term money maker, you have to keep pumping them out every month. You can't rest on the success of just a handful, as those that ranked one month will vanish the next.

    I should note that micro sites aren't necessarily "poor quality". A 5-page blog on a subject is often more helpful than a single-page article on ehow, but with google's current approach, the later will virtually always outrank the former over time. Writing "good quality" content for your mirco site isn't enough.

    Authority sites are a better investment, but they also carry a risk, as you're putting all your eggs in one basket. You really have to build up a steady audience that will come back regardless of where you show up in google.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kajova
      It's all about adapting to obstacles

      Just like my friend the great white shark with all his adaptions to make him king of the sea, we have to adapt our mini sites to remain king of google.

      Content is, and always will be, King. The days where you could create a 1 page mini site and call it a day are long gone. You need to start providing something of value to your users, write a handful of quality articles about your product/niche and add them to your site over the course of a few days.

      I'm not saying you need a fully fledged authority site, just something of more value. Give your visitors a way to contact you or leave comments. Write your articles as if you're talking to your visitor - not to google

      Adrian
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  • Profile picture of the author tjaysen70
    Yeah having a bunch of niches sites that generate small amounts of cash via adsense and the like are, or were good, but you have to keep up with them and maintain them and add content to them on a regular basis. With authority sites, I think that in the long term, this is your best bet because you can focus on one really good site, and build it up.
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