Micro Niche Sites Vs Authority Sites

authority sites vs micro niche sitesI’ve recently been hearing about a number of major players in the  AdSense and Niche blog business losing their Adsense accounts.

 

The consensus of opinion seems to be that one of the reasons for the AdSense accounts being closed is that google doesn’t like people who set out to earn lots of money from AdSense revenue by creating hundreds of niche blogs.

 

For a change I can actually see their point, from experience I know that once you start getting a lot of sites you struggle to keep them updated and fresh. That’s not to say that Micro sites don’t have a place, after all I still have a lot of 3 , 4 and 5 page sites but I do think that maybe you should carefully consider what you build in the future.

 

What I want to discuss today is which is better Micro Niche sites or Authority sites,  … I say discuss because I want your views on this.

 

I wan’t to be as impartial as possible and I’ll put forward the pro’s and cons for each type of site.  For the purposes of this I am going to call any site with less than 10 posts a Micro Niche site.

 

What is a Micro Niche Site?

 

Essentially a Micro Niche Site is a site that is quick and easy to create,  You build it , get some backlinks and then move on to the next site the process is as follows

 

Find a keyword with 1000+ searches a month.

Find & buy exact match domain.

Create or outsource some content

Build backlinks

Move on and repeat 100′s of times

After that you sit back and hope that it makes a few dollars a day on each site

 

Micro Niche sites are quick and easy to build and you can take a shotgun approach if you wish. Generally speaking they will make you money and you’ll generally recover your costs in a few months. They can be easily scaled up, by outsourcing all the processes to cheap overseas workers.

Nobody should ever pretend that that Micro niche sites are built for any other reason but to make money and I think that this is why google doesn’t like them.  Micro Niche sites should be looked on as a short term strategy, they still work but I do feel that they may soon struggle to be as effective as they were.

What Is an Authority Site

An Authority site is a site that has a lot of content, is frequently updated and focusses on a much broader niche than micro sites (think of the difference between a pamphlet and a magazine).  You need to regularly update them and you should try to connect with your readers.

 

Find a group of 3-10 keywords with a large number of searches these are your main categories.

Find a generic domain name or brand type name you can use

Launch the site with 10 or more pieces of content in place

Post Content regularly and target every keyword in that niche

Build links to each post and have a social media strategy that you apply to each piece of content

Focus on a core of 5 -10 sites.

 

Authority sites are a long term strategy and take time and effort to get established, with a low number of sites you do run the risk of being more affected by any algorithm changes.  However by building a list of subscribers and a strong Social media presence for each of your authority sites you can eventually become pretty much immune to Googles changes.

Building Authority sites does give you the ability to target every keyword in a niche over time,  the main difference between them and Micro niche sites is that you would build a Micro niche site around “Dog Training Collars” but an Authority site around “Dog Training” and within the authority site you would plan to have 1 or 2 articles about Dog Training Collars at some point.

Authority Or Micro Niche Sites?

From a personal point of view I am now focusing on authority style sites, some of which are former Micro sites that I am upgrading and expanding.  But I really want to hear your views on this debate as I do feel it’s extremely important and something that we all should be paying attention to.

Do you think that Google wants to kill off Micro Niche sites either now or in the Future

Should you have a Mix of Authority sites and Micro niche sites?

Is Authority Sites the best way forward?

Should we just do what we want and ignore Google?

Let me know what you think?

 

 

 

Comments

  1. says

    Hi Mark.

    My original plan a couple of years ago was to just keep building niche sites … it worked at the time, so hey, why not. I got to over 80 sites and was doing well until things changed at Google. I was miffed at the time, but it has worked out for the best.

    These days I’m down to 20 sites which will get reduced even further during this year. I now concentrate most of my efforts on about 6 sites which I have turned into ‘authority’ sites … this is the only way forward AFAIC … authority sites all the way … ignore what Google wants at our peril!

    I’m now making roughly the same from half a dozen sites (monetized in different ways) as I was from 80+ sites and I have lots of time for golf :)

    And earnings should only improve as I keep adding content to my star sites.

    Thank you Google!!
    George Broon Dog recently posted..Video Coaching – Easy Peasy Product Reviews – Start Earning Right NowMy Profile

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    Mark
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    George, good points, anything that gives more time for golf is good

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  2. Zack says

    Micro niche sites sure have its place and it is a great way to find potential & low competition niches that others haven’t found yet.

    You can’t just say ‘oh i want to build an authority site in the weight loss market and be successful that way because chances are you’re going to get killed by the bigger guys.

    Authority sites take a lot of time, patience, hard work and money to build and there’s no guarantee that you’re going to make it…

    …you don’t want to be spending thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours just to find out that your project is a massive failure.

    However, micro niche sites are easy to build and it’s the fastest way to see results.

    My rule is always this, start out with micro niches, and then expand on them…

    [Reply]

    Mark
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    You do make a good point, Micro sites can give you a quick way to research a niche, But I still think that you can do the same with individual posts on an authority site. You just need to treat the post as you would if it was a micro niche site

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  3. says

    Micro sites with a few pages aren’t necessarily a bad thing, it depends what they are about and, most importantly, how useful the content is to the person landing on the site.

    You don’t need tons of pages to have a good site from a searchers point of view. For example, let’s say we had a site about Tinnitus (ringing in the ears): All you need is a page each about what is tinnitus, its symptoms, causes, treatment, and perhaps natural ways to treat it; 4 or 5 pages. This would cover all that someone searching for info on Tinnitus would require. And if the content is high quality, well-researched with references, etc., then you’ll have met the searchers expectation.

    I could go further and put all that info. on just one page. The fact that the site only consists of 1 page plus the usual about, privacy, etc., doesn’t detract from its clear benefit to the reader. And I’m sure Google understands that. So rather than size, quality is the key?
    John recently posted..Dr. Hyon Choi Gout Diet VideoMy Profile

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  4. Mike from Maine says

    Mark,
    My strategy falls between the two. I use the shotgun approach of building a lot of micro niche sites. If I see one being successful I then get morE content written and turn it iT into a larger “authority” site. I agree that these larger sites are safer in the long run. Micro niche sites should be seen as a way of exploring niches.
    Mike from Maine recently posted..Mid-Month Expense Report For April 2012- Still High But Seeing ResultsMy Profile

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    Mark
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    I agree Mike, just worried about what happens if google does something stupid like gives a penalty to sites with less than 10 pages of content or sites that aren’t updated regularly

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  5. says

    Hi Mark
    A fascinating subject. After many failed attempts at IM, I set up some micro niche sites a few months ago and for the first time made a little money. Although some of them gained good ranking, without adding more content some dropped off the edge. After adding more regular content they are doing better. So how do you define a micro site that that is regularly updated but is still not an authority site?
    My current project is to start my first authority site and to use the micro niche sites which are in the same market sector as feeders to the authority site i.e. create links between the micro sites and the main site and drive traffic towards both.
    I would hope by this to try and enjoy the best of both worlds – adsense income from the micro niches sites and build an income platform via the authority site.
    Do you think this makes sense or is my inexperience and naivete leading me astray.
    Hoping to increase my regular IM income to afford WPgoldmine!
    Best regards
    Doug
    Doug Prentice recently posted..Stained glass restoration | vitREosityMy Profile

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    Mark
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    You’ve raised an interesting question there Doug, Which method to go with.. expanding current sites or Building new sites.

    I don’t think you are naive at all and there is no reason why it won’t work well… However… ;)

    My initial thoughts are that you probably won’t get much benefits from links between the sites if they are on the same server and IP address… you may however drive traffic .

    Personally I would be tempted to expand the existing sites unless the names aren’t suitable

    [Reply]

    Doug Prentice Reply:

    Mark, thanks for your comments. I have 3 sites which are home improvement related and are exact match domains e.g. brazilian cherry flooring. Do you think it would be worth expanding this type of exact match site or would it be too limiting?

    P.S. Is the course at El Paraiso as beautiful as it used to be (15+ years ago) or has it been overtaken by new arrivals?
    Doug Prentice recently posted..Stained glass restoration | vitREosityMy Profile

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    Mark
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    Doug , I’d look at the niche and see what other keywords are available and if there is enough searched to warrant an authority blog, You could have sections on laying brazilian cherry flooring, care ing for brazillian cherry flooring, etc etc but as i said it will depend on the searched.

    I suspect that Hardwood flooring would be a much better authority blog…

    El Parisio is still nice but there some much nicer courses around

  6. says

    Depends what I’m doing. I used to build a lot of xyzproductreview.com type sites that focused on one particular product. And of course, the “review” was just a pitch for the product. It’s all good until that product goes off the market. I changed it to a larger site with many reviews. It saves me on domains and I can build a lot more authority to the site.

    On the other hand, I have a site in the tv antenna niche that I created when I got rid of cable. I didn’t want to become the leading expert on tv antennas, I just wanted to share my experience. I still make some good money with it, so why not keep it around.
    Carlos Scarpero recently posted..Constant ContactMy Profile

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  7. Robert says

    Read about a guy who went from $14,000 per month to 0 with Adsense: http://www.nichepursuits.com/i-just-got-banned-from-google-adsense-now-what/

    I’ve said this before but I question the wisdom of basing a business model around the whims of Google. It seems to me that to be in this business today we need to do things that lessen our dependance on Big G. One of things would be to have authority sites not because Google likes them but because you can build a following which would lessen your dependance on something you can’t control.

    [Reply]

  8. says

    Mark,

    Just ran into your blog and this article has been exactly what I have spent the past few days thinking about. Authority sites seem to be a much better long term option, but take a longer time to really develop into revenue generating sites. As someone new to internet marketing, I have begun building micro-niche sites as a way to start learning about a lot of the basic processes and skills involved in IM. My hope is to create a successful proces building niche sites and outsource most of the work and then apply the skills I learned to building more expansive authority sites.
    Taylor recently posted..Community and the Modern WorldMy Profile

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    Mark
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    Taylor, I think you are making the right decision to useing micro Niche blogs as a platform to learn from.. I should had thought about that when I was writing the post.

    [Reply]

  9. says

    Your post has struck a nerve with me too Mark. I too have recently ditched the pseudonyms and am concentrating my efforts on a couple of sites only, with good results so far.

    My dilemma is whether to switch domain name (and therefore website name) on a 2 year old micro-niche site. I plan to seriously develop branding and relationship marketing on it. It does already receive a good number of visitors each month, and until now I’ve basically done almost nothing with it, barring a stack of articles that will now need some serious development!

    The site’s domain name currently has quite a specific narrow keyword focus, but I’m considering the move to a more catchy, brandable and broader domain (that still mentions the main keyword for the niche). I’d do a proper 301, of course, and tell Google about the change of address in GWT. But I do wonder if I’m actually about to do something really daft I’ll regret!

    Mind you, I’m also thinking “he who dares, Rodders, he who dares”… ;)

    Any thoughts on taking the opportunity to switch to a more ‘authority’, brandable domain when upgrading a previous micro-niche site?
    Dave Foy recently posted..Looking for Remedies for Bloating? Hint: You’re Looking in the Wrong PlaceMy Profile

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    Mark
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    I’ve done a few 301′s with no issues, but it’s a difficult call. why not run 2 sites side by side for a few months then do the 301 when the new site has traffic

    [Reply]

  10. says

    Okay, what is a 301?

    I also have built many micro-niche sites trying to learn this whole thing. The problem I find is with 30 sites I don’t have time to focus on any of them enough. I build one, which is the part I like, then I get another interest and build another. These are all sites that I have an interest in. Mostly natural health or health related. Of course a couple of holiday sites and one internet marketing site. I see potential for each one but don’t have the time. So for myself I think building an authority site that has several branches would be better. My dilemma is what to do with all the sites, they not old enough or finished enough to command any money on selling them. Then I worry that Google will shut them down before I can get them all finished properly or finished enough to be able to sell. Is anyone else having this problem as a beginner? Any suggestions.
    I know I need to quit building sites and stick to ones I already have. My problem is that’s what I like to do, build the initial site and move on. I know that falls under self control. lol Writing on these blogs is cathartic I guess. Answered my own question, just don’t like the answer.
    Sue recently posted..Wine Tasting for the Average JoeMy Profile

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    Mark
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    It sounds like you know exactly what to do… Focus

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