Is the age of mini-sites over?

21 replies
Every day, my mini-sites take more tumbles down the rankings. Virtually every semi-lucrative keyword is dominated by large authority sites now, with few keyword rich mini-sites in the top 10.

Is the age of mini-sites over? Has Google finally managed to kill thin-sites off the SERPs? What do you feel about it WF?
#age #minisites
  • Profile picture of the author intergen
    It depends on what you are looking to accomplish. I have a one page site for a local niche keyword and it is ranked #2 in the google serps.

    If you are going Global for a highly competitive keyword I would say that google is not favoring LP's or mini-sites as much. But if you geo-target you can still be in the top spots on serps IMO.
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  • Profile picture of the author dadhere
    Making use of the terms of use, legal page, contact us etc (at the bottom or side) seems to help these sites stay alive. With some good social sites pointing to them there's no reason why they can't stay viable.
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    • Profile picture of the author birdie28a
      Originally Posted by dadhere View Post

      Making use of the terms of use, legal page, contact us etc (at the bottom or side) seems to help these sites stay alive. With some good social sites pointing to them there's no reason why they can't stay viable.
      I agree, I just got a mini site listed on page 1 of Google within 48 hours just a few days ago. It really depends on the competition around the keyword your going after. There are a number of factors I take into consideration that help me determine if I can get a mini site on page 1 and even in the top 5 with little to no link building.

      I basically build these thin sites for adsense, bing and yahoo also bring in traffic from these sites.
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    • Profile picture of the author GobBluthJD
      Originally Posted by dadhere View Post

      Making use of the terms of use, legal page, contact us etc (at the bottom or side) seems to help these sites stay alive. With some good social sites pointing to them there's no reason why they can't stay viable.
      Exactly, I still have about 5 mini sites that earn me almost a full-time income. Of course, I add quality content to them, so they are slowly morphing into authority-type sites. But they started as mini as mini can be, and they never had problems earning. It's still all about doing your keyword research, scoping out the competition, and then continuously adding quality, unique content.
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  • Profile picture of the author critterman
    Ya thats what I have done is just added the contact us page, disclaimer page, and privacy policy page and now your not just a 1 page site. Good Luck!!
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  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
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    Originally Posted by sashas View Post

    Is the age of mini-sites over?
    No.

    Originally Posted by sashas View Post

    Every day, my mini-sites take more tumbles down the rankings.
    I see many people making this observation.

    But perhaps that's evidence that's what's declining is mini-sites owned by people who rely on search engines for their primary traffic, rather than mini-sites themselves? The same is true, after all, of many other groups of marketers who rely on search engines for their primary traffic, isn't it? Ever since I've been online (2008), relying on search engines for one's primary traffic has steadily and inexorably been becoming less and less worthwhile and viable.

    Isn't that the real lesson, here?
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  • Profile picture of the author kencalhn
    Alexa's right. And note that virtually none of the gurus rely on seo positioning for their product launches and major income; it's all jv cross email promos with affiliate contests. The whole concept of SEO nowadays from my perspective is, (and I have quite a few google top 10 sites btw, online fulltime since the late 90's), great if you can get top rankings, that's icing on the cake, but not at all a primary focus of traffic generation, especially with other avenues like kindle, youtube and webinar cross promos to pursue for lead generation.
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  • Profile picture of the author mmntv
    Mini sites are alive and well, the age of mini sites is not over. The age of low quality MFA has been over. Just because your site is mini doesn't mean it can't be an authority or compete with larger behemoth sites.
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  • Profile picture of the author TheBlueWizard
    Simply not true; we have not seen any evidence that MNS have been targeted specifically.

    A lot of people have correlated penguin with targeting MNS sites in specific. However, because most MFA MNS only targeted one keyword which entailed usage of one anchor text - most of them rightfully were struck down since Penguin targeted sites that have very high percentages of only one anchor text for backlinks... and this correlated highly with MNS.

    Just use longtail keywords and create a few extra pages in your MNS sites.
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  • Profile picture of the author jbsmith
    I've had successful minisites for over 11 years now and can honestly say they are more successful today than in the past...mainly because the messaging has been fine-tuned over the years.

    I have NEVER relied on direct SEO to the minisites but have relied heavily on SEO to feeder sites such as articles, blogs and videos to drive traffic TO the minisites...that strategy works as well (actually better) that it used to.

    I'm not sure it was ever a great strategy to rely solely on ranking your minisite for SEO - instead focus on ranking landing pages of content and then drive traffic to your sales funnel which ends up with your mini-site sales page.

    Jeff
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  • Profile picture of the author jeffonmission
    Definitely not over - that's craziness.

    Are you continuing to add content to the site?
    Are you building links?
    Are you active in your niche on social media?

    Your search engine rankings will drop if you're not keeping up with these things. I'm not sure where people got the idea that SEO is a one time, wham bam, kind of thing. It's something you will be doing continuously.

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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    Mini sites still work for me. The real question is do you have a good backend marketing system to make more money from existing customers - as opposed to fresh new prospects?
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  • Profile picture of the author Allissa
    Banned
    I used to have a large network of micro adsense sites, but saw the same thing happening and sold it off. Definitely wouldn't go there again. In fact, with Google on the warpath, I wouldn't even put a lot of my eggs in one or a small number of "authority" sites.
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  • Profile picture of the author asepkomara
    I do think so. Thin-sites especially with lots of ads will get a kind of penalization from Google.

    Many of my mini sites drops in ranking too.

    I think its now the time to get traffics that's not rely on google.
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  • Profile picture of the author Bannaz
    Mini-sites are still going strong. In fact, I see them on the rise.

    As more and more landing pages are being created, these are gaining extra weight with added pages (contact page/prices) etc. I believe these to be the new mini-sites.
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  • Profile picture of the author DevEdge
    It varies from market to market, keyword to keyword.

    Some SERP's are dominated by larger, more established sites so you'll have a hard job to compete with a thin site.

    Whereas other SERP's are dominated by small, thin sites in certain markets.

    It all depends what you're trying to target.
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  • Profile picture of the author tanshi
    I believe that the era of mini-sites as we know them is over.

    If you were building a mini-site after doing keyword research, on-page optimization and hopping that with a few backlinks the website will rank in Google and bring SEO traffic then this is outdated in my opinion, and doesn't work any more. Only if you find thin niches (with almost no competition) you may still see some results from this technique.

    If the purpose of the mini-site is another then what I described above, and you don't fully rely on SEO traffic to generate income, mini-sites may still work, because there are businesses/products that don't need more then 4-5 pages on a website to explain what they are about.
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  • Profile picture of the author centurion81
    I think the it really depends on what you`re selling...

    But the hayday for mini-sites has probably come and gone.

    Much like the internet is evolving, so are the web properties.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark72
    I see this happening a lot too.

    I'm currently in the process of bulking up all of my mini sites into authority sites in order to go after long tail traffic instead. I don't want to give up on the profitable ones.

    Yahoo and bing still seem to like the thin sites though.
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    • Profile picture of the author Anthony Gibson
      Originally Posted by Mark72 View Post

      I see this happening a lot too.

      I'm currently in the process of bulking up all of my mini sites into authority sites in order to go after long tail traffic instead. I don't want to give up on the profitable ones.

      Yahoo and bing still seem to like the thin sites though.
      Good to hear that Yahoo and Bing still accept them and they can be profitable! I'm going to include that in my strategy now!
      Thanks Mark

      Anthony
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      • Profile picture of the author Walter Parrish
        lol

        I think if you are taking the horse n buggy approach with your sites you will suffer in 2012, period.
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