Why Micro Niche Sites No Longer Work (and What You Need to Focus on Instead)

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You know the websites that cover a small topic in only a few pages?

If you haven’t, check out Winter Coats for Women. It’s a great example of a micro niche site. It’s micro because it has just a handful of pages and it’s niche because it focuses on a specific keyword.

Creating micro niche sites has been one of the most popular ways to make money online. That’s because they are extremely easy to make. All you have to do is pick a specific set of keywords to target, find and purchase a matching domain and set up a WordPress site in 5 minutes. You then populate the site with a few pages of content related to the topic you have chosen.

The trick is you have to find something that will rank high very quickly on a search engine. With Google’s Keyword Tool you can find long tail keywords with a fair number of monthly searches and low competition. Then, with a matching domain and specific SEO articles on the topic, you can get some organic traffic from search engines. Once you have traffic, you can start monetizing with Google AdSense.

Sounds simple, doesn’t it? You can set up multiple such sites in a single day. There are enough and more guides out there with step-by-step instructions on how to build micro niche sites.

So the question is, what’s the catch? Do micro niche sites work? Did they ever? Let’s dig in and find out.

Can You Really Make $1,000+ a Month from a Micro Niche Site?

You may come across people who claim they make over $1,000 a month on a single micro niche site. It’s hard to determine the accuracy of these claims because they are made on various Internet forums by anonymous people. There are, however, some well documented micro niche sites that have done well.

Let’s take a look at some examples.

Eric from My4hrwourweek.com has done a case study on micro niche sites, building one from scratch and monetizing it.

Tung Tran of cloudlivingjourney.com started a micro niche site and made it rank #1 on Google in 38 days. He ended up making a loss on it but he documents how he did it and what his next steps might be. Edit: Tung’s post was amended to detail his eventual profits after this article was published.

Maneesh Sethi talks about how he makes passive income from his micro niche sites in his video. He makes enough money to live a nomadic lifestyle and donate time and money to the community.

While all these guys have made money off micro niche sites they really don’t make a lot from a single site. There may be the odd example of a $1000 micro niche site but that happens once in a blue moon. The average earnings one can expect from a micro niche site is $1 a day. If you do it well and target the right keywords you might even make $100 a month.

So to make a decent living off micro niche sites, you need more than one. If you are looking to earn $1000 a month, you’ll need at least 30 sites to get you there.

From $0 to $1000 in 30 sites

You can see why micro niche sites are tempting. They are very easy and inexpensive to set up and manage. You can buy a domain for less than $10 on GoDaddy and decent hosting for $3 – $4 a month. WordPress is free and takes 5 minutes to set up. The only ingredient left is the content.

Content might seem like something that could take awhile. Don’t you need to be an expert on the topic? It turns out that for micro niche sites you don’t. Because you are picking a keyword with low competition, even mediocre content can get you a good rank. In Maneesh Sethi’s video he pulls out a random keyword and sends it to his writers, knowing nothing about the topic or what’s eventually written for him.

With a quick search on oDesk, eLance or any other freelance site, you can find writers who will produce decent 500-1000 word articles on a given keyword for just 1 cent per word. $20 will get you 2-4 SEO articles, which is all you need for a micro niche site.

Maneesh Sethi wasn’t the only one to automate the entire process. With enough experience, anyone can batch and automate this, outsourcing all but the most important task of picking out the right keywords. Work a couple of hours a week, pick out some keywords you know nothing about, send it to writers and marketers in the Philippines and India, and sit back and enjoy the moolah coming in. Sounds like a dream come true, doesn’t it?

Well, let’s look at an update that changed everything…

From $1000 to $0 in 30 seconds

Before the first Google Panda upgrade in 2011, it was very easy to build a site and get it to rank #1 on Google in a short time. You could do exactly what Maneesh did and see some quick returns.

There were people creating hundreds of micro niche sites and earning a few bucks from each site through AdSense every month. When Google Panda hit them, those earnings literally vanished overnight. People went from earning $1000+ in a month to $0.

With subsequent Penguin and Panda releases, Google continued to crack down on these low-quality micro niche sites and started favoring authority sites.

You see, what these people didn’t realize was that their entire income stream was dependent on Google’s algorithm. The moment that algorithm changed, they started floundering. Google even cracked down on AdSense accounts associated with micro niche sites and blocked them.

Now, in 2013, if you try to do what Maneesh did, you’ll only get your AdSense account blocked.

The Shift to Authority

Pat Flynn, widely regarded as the guru of online passive income, started securityguardtraininghq.com as part of a challenge. It started off as a micro niche site but grew larger and started earning more than $1200 a month in less than a year.

In Eric’s case study which we saw earlier, he discusses growing his micro niche site into an authority site and increasing his earnings from it.

Authority sites are simply larger sites with quality content and real backlinks. No spammy articles, no black hat techniques. As Google keeps updating their algorithms, it’s clear that they are moving towards these types of sites.

Authority sites can still be niche. Nerd Fitness targets the niche of nerds who are into fitness. However, Steve Kamb spent months building it up, writing quality, well-researched articles himself, and using the right marketing techniques.

We are seeing a shift from micro niche sites towards authority sites. Pat and Eric still started off with micro niche sites, but not with the intention to quickly monetize it and jump to the next one. They started small to test the waters, and when they found a market they decided to invest more time and money growing their sites over a period of months to become successful authority sites.

The great advantage about authority sites is that you aren’t dependent on a single source of traffic. You can tap into social media and build a fan following and you can create e-mail lists and harness the power of e-mail marketing. Building your own assets protects you against sudden changes from Google.

You can also diversify your earnings with authority sites. AdSense and affiliate marketing are just the beginning. Many authority sites develop products like e-books and courses, subscriptions, tools, consulting and other services.

Sure, it isn’t a quick win like the golden days of micro niche sites. It will take you months before you start seeing even modest returns. It’s a long-term plan but if you do it right you can see huge returns in the future. Over a year, one authority site can make more money with less risk of going bust than 100 micro niche sites.

As Spencer Haws of Niche Pursuits says, you can still rank with micro niche sites, but with all the time and effort you need to do it, you might as well make it an authority site and collect larger returns.

The Verdict: Play for the Long Run

So the verdict is, forget about building multiple micro niche sites with minimal effort. If you want to earn money through a site, you have to be willing to put in the time and effort. You can’t expect quick returns, but if you do the work you can expect large returns.

The new model is to pick the keywords that you are interested in but also ones that don’t have too much competition. Setting up the site is still very easy and cheap but you need to invest more in quality articles. You can still outsource articles but make sure they are excellent and add real value to your readers.

You also need to spend more time building quality backlinks and optimizing your site for search engines. Integrate social media into the site and interact with your readers, building a consistent fan following and traffic source.

Follow Pat’s journey to see how he grew, and still grows, Security Guard Training. Spencer also has a live project where he details how he intends to create a niche site from scratch and grow it into an authority site that can earn him $500 a month within six months.

The possibilities with authority sites are only limited by your imagination. Just remember, with great authority comes great responsibility!

Over to You

How are you building authority online? Do you know of any good case studies that talk about how to build authority sites? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Photo credit: Mouin M.

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  • SEO Hamster

    I have been building authority sites for YEARS and I knew that micro niche site were bound to a close and predicted this right. The authority sites that I’ve been building for my clients and myself have just been going up in Google and increasingly getting stronger. Thank you for this post guys :)

    • http://flippa.com/blog Ophelie Lechat

      Smart move!
      I have to ask… why SEO Hamster?

      • SEO Hamster

        The name SEO Hamster came from an inspiration that I had a long time ago :)

        This is now what I’ve been concentrating on the past 5+ years or so, 100% authority sites and I have personally built around 500-600+ authority sites so far!

        Great posts Ophelie, I’ve been following your articles for a very long time :)

        • Christina

          SEO hamster, could you please define what is authority here. I seem to get a different understand based on what i read here. Please indicated the number of pages too, that can certify a site as authority to escape all the big G animals, pandas, penguins, zebras and more

          Looks to me like more animals are yet to come

          • SEO Hamster

            Hi Christina,

            Authority sites are basically large sites that have many contents. I personally don’t build an authority site less than 100 pages of content. It’s just like the saying “go big or go home” and like anything else you can’t settle for less. The more quality content geared towards your site, the higher authority and weight Google will put on your website eventually getting you higher to the top of the rankings.

            I also do not do ANY backlinking to my sites and they rank extremely well some even bringing in 5,000+ uniques per day. It’s all about CONTENT and how much of it you put out so that Google will start respecting your website.

            Indeed more animals are coming out, and Google will ultimately push down the smaller sites and bring up the bigger authority sites as I have been seeing for years :)

            SEO is long from being dead and those who make it will eventually learn that you have to expand your mindset and think BIG …. REALLY BIG.

          • Christina

            Thanks for reverting SEO hamster,

            woow! 5k uniques is great if it happens with just one site. Am currently doing my first site and am loving the SEO that i once dreaded. I have heard of business shut down overnight while some that skyrocketed sales overnight .I have come to see an opportunity here.

            I do get your point that content is becoming more and more a meter for seo ranking
            But dont you think without backlinks its risky?, i heard its good to sprinkle some few links in there, quality ones.

            Am also yet to see the kind of animals they will be releasing, so its a little disturbing though

          • SEO Hamster

            It’s all about the content when it comes to ranking well on Google.

            You can do some backlinking, but for me – I am doing ZERO backlinking and getting all of my results from on-page SEO :)

          • feo

            If you have a good site …. you will get natural backlinks

        • http://delegiwa.com/ Dele Giwa

          I guess it wouldn’t hurt if you could share at least one or two of your successful authority sites out of a legion of 500+ . If you are not comfortable sharing them here, then you can fire me an email at me@delegiwa.com , perhaps i could learn a thing or two from you.. Thanks in Advance

  • Mike From Maine

    Is it just me, or is that women’s coat site that you referenced not showing Adsense anymore? Possibly banned?

    • Dave

      It’s utter tripe, and basically undermines the whole article.

      • http://flippa.com/blog Ophelie Lechat

        I don’t see how this undermines the rest of the article. A niche micro-site that ranks for several keywords yet isn’t monetized (or has its AdSense account banned) is exactly the kind of niche micro-site the rest of the post warns against.

        • Mike From Maine

          Ophelie, was the Adsense showing up before this article was published?

          • http://flippa.com/blog Ophelie Lechat

            Good question. AdSense was up several weeks ago when the first draft of the post was written; it was taken down in the meantime, but I don’t believe it was done right after this post went live.

            This isn’t one of my sites (obviously), but I’d also love to know if AS was banned.

    • http://flippa.com/blog Ophelie Lechat

      Possibly banned, yes. Another great reason not to develop a series of AS driven micro sites.

  • Mike

    Nonsense! Any site you build POST Panda/Penguin (that means after the Panda/Penguin updates by the way) will fly under the radar so long as you don’t build too many links to it. If you just leave it sitting there and build like 1 or 2 links to it a week. It will just slowly start building authority on its own anyway. Its only when people start building lots of links to their micro-niche sites that they then get “flagged” by one of the clever Google spiders. Also, adding your site to Google Webmaster Tools is a suicide risk. As soon as you do that, they own your site and know all about it. The moral of the story: Don’t add your micro-niche site to Google Webmaster Tools. Don’t build too many links to it at once. Make sure you add some fresh content to it at least once a month. And then you’ll be fine.

    Don’t listen to this person. They have obviously had their micro-niche sites flagged for x reason and are now saying that because its happened to them. Nobody else may be able to enjoy the benefits they bring. You’ve very much come across as someone who has had their sites slapped. And now you just want everyone to think, that because its happened to you. By rights, it should to happen to everyone else as well?

    Micro-niche sites STILL work. They STILL rank easily. You can turn them all into an authority site eventually. Like you said, authority sites are just sites with a lot of content on them. Even EA started off as a meager and meek article site before they became what they are today.

    Its great advice what you’ve given but drop the scaremongering!

    • Joe Blow

      Sorry but not “adding your site” to GWT is not going to keep your site a secret from Google. Google already knows about your site and knows everything about it as soon as they crawl it. When you add you site to GWT all your doing is verifying that you are the owner and gaining access to the data that Google collects about it.

      This “don’t add your site so Google won’t find out about it!” stuff is just silly and makes people sound pretty stupid.

      • Mike

        Joe, I never said that not adding your site to Webmaster Tools is going to keep it a secret. What I’m trying to say is that when you do add it to Webmaster Tools. You will find you are much, much more susceptible to Google’s algorithm.

        I don’t need to make people sound Stupid Joe. All I have to do is wait for them to open their mouth and they do it for me.

  • jerry

    I’m sorry if i sound harsh, the whole post ideas are rubbish! you lack experience, you must be a newbie. The most lucrative site is niche if done well.

    How can you build an authority site, if you dont start off with a niche site? you need to know via the niche site if the site is gonna be profitable, if it is, it will become way easier to convert it into an authority site.

    There is no website no matter how micro it might be in niche, it always scalable into an authoritative site. I wonder how you can tell a newbie that has never made 1 dime online to just start off with an authority site probably begins to spend money on promotion? mhem this is illogical.

    If you had said it could to create a micro niche site that has the potential of being easily scaled into authority site, it would probably hhave been from the best angle of thoughts interpretation.

    Do you think if Security guard training owned by Pat flynn is his only site and he invest much of his time will not be fetching him close to $3000 to $5000 monthly? as against the $1700-$2500 the site is making?

    Your facts are baseless

    All your points are flawed outrightly

    • http://www.siddharthbharath.com/ Siddharth Bharath

      Jerry, not sure if we’re reading the same post here. I don’t see the article saying that niche is not lucrative or that one must start with an authority site. It says that building multiple micro-niche sites and leaving them at that is a flawed strategy and instead you must focus on building a niche site into an authority site. The article starts by talking about micro-niche sites in the past, shows how Google algo changes harmed them, gives numerous examples of successful internet entrepreneurs starting with small niche sites to test the waters and then growing them into authority sites, and then ends by advocating that method.

      Let me copy and paste some sentences from the article to prove my point -

      “Authority sites can still be niche.”

      “The new model is to pick the keywords that you are interested in but also ones that don’t have too much competition.” (i.e. niche)

      “In Eric’s case study which we saw earlier, he discusses growing his micro niche site into an authority site”

      “Spencer also has a live project where he details how he intends to create a niche site from scratch and grow it into an authority site”

      “Pat and Eric still started off with micro niche sites, but not with the intention to quickly monetize it and jump to the next one.”

      “As Spencer Haws of Niche Pursuits says, you can still rank with micro niche sites, but with all the time and effort you need to do it, you might as well make it an authority site and collect larger returns.”

      I can go on. However, if you couldn’t make the effort to read the whole article, you’re not going to read this.
      Good day, sir.

    • http://flippa.com/blog Ophelie Lechat

      Hi Jerry,

      All sites have to start somewhere, obviously.

      The logic here is that for a long time, newbies were told that it was good enough to develop a 1 to 5 page niche site and wait for the dollars to come rolling in. That hasn’t worked in a long time.

      Pat Flynn knows a heck of a lot more about developing money-making sites than most other people in this industry. So why is he diversifying and focusing more on content, authority sites? Surely not because it’s still possible to rake in the cash with a portfolio of micro static sites.

      • tuando

        Yeah I agree with your points.
        I think the border between niche site and authority site is being blurred. To develop a successful niche site, you can’t just put on a few pages and wait for passive income.
        Authority site is defined as a high quality website that is well-known in the industry and importantly the information provided must be reliable and helpful for readers. Why can’t we deliver the same on our niche site?

        Btw, thanks for featuring our blog post on this page.

      • Damien

        “Authority” is a loose term nowadays. What you think is authority alongside your backlink profile, might be totally different on what google thinks. The game is so askew now.

  • John Gibb

    hi Ophelie

    You’re right that mini sites
    aren’t for the long run, and you cannot expect to easily make $1k… I have some
    niche sites making around $1k and yes, they’re centered around a product/buying
    keyword… but most of my sites are making under $1k, and it takes passion and
    perseverance and lots of outsourcing to get them on the right level…

    All mini sites should be
    turned into authority sites… by adding videos, case studies, slide shares, and
    photos one can turn his 5-page site into a 50 page site that is respected in
    the niche…

    Hope it helps…

    John Gibb
    http://healthywealthyaffiliate.org/

  • http://topbestlisted.blogspot.com/ aivil vin

    #1- I think Niche sites work if cared and handled well.
    #2- Every Niche site should/could be turned into Authority site.
    #3- Make niche -> develop into Authority site is the way to go.
    #4- Niche Authority depend on each other and they are not mutually exclusive events.
    #5- Niche is in, specially due to the increasing demand of local searches.

    Avil Vin
    http://adsolist.com

    • http://flippa.com/blog Ophelie Lechat

      Completely agree, Aivil. The distinction here isn’t between a niche site and an authority site. It’s between a micro-site (1 to 5 pages of content) and an authority site (with several pages of good-quality, updated content).

  • Tung Tran

    Why my comment got deleted Ophelie?

    • http://flippa.com/blog Ophelie Lechat

      Hi Tung Tran! Your comment was mistakenly picked up by our spam filter; I restored it and you can now see it above.

      • Tung Tran

        Ok. Thanks :D I’d love to write a post on this subject for Flippa. Can I ?

        • http://flippa.com/blog Ophelie Lechat

          Sure, let’s talk about it! Email me at ophelie@flippa.com

  • Priyank

    Hi,

    I am completely against having filler contents to game SE algorithm.

    Still, I feel when someone create site like Tung Tran@cloudlivingjourney did, it only helps user experience.

    I am following his process because his success was quick. At no point his intention was to game the system and not provide the value.

    Further, I was recently reading a post from Viper Chill, in which he discussed how easy it is to game the system and outrank authority sites with mini sites, because of google’s freshness craziness. You do smart 301 redirect and that gives you ranking. You make youtube video, throw 10000 auto-generated blog comments and that ranks video over some great authority sites, leave alone mini site.

    In such time, people who needs money will be temped for short cuts. (I strongly believe that 80% of more people hovering on internet are trying to breakthrough, so they will be tempted to short cuts.)

    Now this brings to a point where it’s hard to believe that Google would be able to clear the mess and rank non-optimized authority, or at least better quality contents over optimized cheap ones. If Google can balance their personal gain with better organic results, people will be temped for authority sites.

    For now, if I make brilliant site with great contents, google makes some changes and prefers something people will play accordingly, will beat my authority site and my long term efforts will be as good as building mini site.

    Also, I want to dearly know about definition of ‘authority site’. Is it always about building large chunk of contents in numbers? Or is it providing value to user and answering exactly what they want?

    I believe in second one just because if someone is typing “best adjustable dumbells” in google, he will be happy to have site with comparison chart of top products, their pros and cons and other details about tool. He won’t care if site is 100 pages or 10 pages.

    Thanks.
    Priyank

    • Tung Tran

      You’re right :D Completely agree!

  • Tung Tran

    Thanks for mentioning me Ophelie. That was a pleasure!

    But there is misleading information.

    I’m not making a loss on my niche website :(

    In fact, I have positive ROI right in the second month and I made $1000+ in the third month. Then Google penalized my site in June, but after that they claimed it was a mistake and then brought all my ranking back. That means Google thinks my site is of high quality and deserves the high ranking.

    I built that site in March. So It’s a 5-month old niche website with over 30 articles. I think it can be called a “micro” site.

    It has made me over $2490 ~ $500/month and is on track to make $1000 this month. Check the screeshot: http://screencast.com/t/9ntCRk7UkXe

    Not bad for a 5-month old site right?

    No offence here. Just want to correct the misleading information.

    Thanks

    Tung

  • Marian

    I found this an interesting article, thanks Ophelie. I have a number of micro niche sites, a few of them need closing due to not earning but you only really find this out after letting them run for a bit. The rest of them are earning me money but not enough to live off so I will look to see if I can scale them up a bit to more authority sites.

  • http://www.stoltingmediagroup.com/ Stolting Media Group

    Re: “If you are looking to earn $1000 a month, you’ll need at least 30 sites to get you there.”

    From personal experience I can state that this is not always the case. Hundreds if not thousands of vendors would agree. A one page mini site could easily bring in $1000/month+ if you have a product at the right price targeted at the right audience. For some reason however marketers try to earn a few pennies from adsense instead of offering a product or service, and yes, in that instance I can see how you would need 30+ sites and hundreds of pages of content in order to make that happen.

  • Tony Herman

    I like the idea of putting up a few niche sites and then see which ones start to take off and then develop those websites into authority website. There will always be low hanging fruit keywords out there to grab. That niche better be in an area that you have some interest in, though. That’s the tricky part. You want to have fun with it and make it something enjoyable and something you want to do.

  • zehr27

    Micro niche sites are still alive and well. Not to sound rough but this is not your best post Ophelie.

  • Peter

    Why do I feel these articles are just here for the links they contain?

  • http://www.makemoneyinlife.com/ James W

    Sorry Ophelie, but I just had to post this comment to say that I had a good laugh while reading it. Micro Niche sites are still working, now better than ever after all these updates. And if you choose the right niche, 3 sites are enough to make you over $1500 and sometimes even more. And whoever is reading this comment, I will not share with you my tips, but just don’t give up, work smart, there is money in micro niche sites, a lot of money….

    • http://mikefrommaine.com/ Mike From Maine

      James,

      I see that you don’t want to share any of your “secrets”, but I’d love to see some proof of your success.

      • http://www.makemoneyinlife.com/ James W

        Ok Mike, please send me your best email and I will send you screenshots. And payments proof, weekly, from my niche blogs.
        thanks.

        James

        • http://mikefrommaine.com/ Mike From Maine

          Just wondering why you don’t want to share any tips. I can understand why you wouldn’t want to give away your niches. Congrats on your success :-)

          • Vikrant Gajjar

            It’s self-explanatory and you just answered it yourself. James has spent a lot of time and effort in his business, giving it out will make him potentially at a high loss. Its a game, after all. Learn the game and make the dollar, guys.

        • http://www.Greela.com/ Greela Bala

          Hello James W, I want your Micro Niche Sites Proof of Payment that exactly sent to Mr. Mike From Maine to my email as soon as possible. I want to see your success. Thanks in Advance

          • http://www.makemoneyinlife.com/ James W

            I’m not sharing my niches anymore. thanks.

    • imhere

      u are right james :-)

      • Imdadul Haque

        you are very right james

    • melvin williams

      Thanks James, I believe you”re right, I’m willing to work with the small sites and scaling because I actually enjoy researching a lot of different keywords as oppose to authority sites. I also believe Ophelie is on the money to. Google is trying so hard to attack anything that (in their opinion) isn’t natural. I like her article.

    • McSugarBombs

      James has a point and yeah good thing he did not share any tips.. Sure enough if you have been around for a while you’d notice “it” too.

      Plus for the fact that sharing your micro niche sites even your proof of payments is a very big risk.

      Suffice for you to know that he is still making it big in making micro niche sites.

      If you do not believe it then there is no explanation necessary..

    • http://thetecnica.com/ Devinder Maheshwari

      It’s okay if you don’t want to share the tips but at least guide the newbies a bit so that they can know from where to start.

    • Alexandra Hobbs

      Hi. I am willing to pay you or anyone who is interested a certain percentage to build a microniche site for me, for as long as the site exists. I am not looking for a handout, but I am just a person with a certain disability that hampers my ability to accomplish what most of you are doing because of largely visual and exhausting details of keyword research and etc. I am well informed, and I have more than a basic understanding of how this is supposed to work, but I just cant do it myself. I am willing to sign a legal and binding contract with anyone who is willing to volunteer their time to do this. My em address is myfatherandme@gmail.com if you are interested. Please try not to spam me.a

    • Cand

      She’s just promoting her own micro niche site lol

  • http://www.jobiety.com/ Kashif

    Niche sites are not dead, and they are not as bad as perceived by most. What happened earlier was that the phenomenon of niche site building was hijacked by people with a get-rich-quick mindset. They tried to exploit adsense by churning out MFA niche sites. This put a bad name to niche sites in general.

    In my opinion, a niche site can be turned into an authority site but not vice versa.

  • Shashank Kumar

    I am just wondering how did you capture all this in an article which is happening all around the world. Very nice article. Good for my future strategy.

  • Steve

    Concerning quality of content, can curated content and well written articles be safely used to build out a niche/authority site ?

    • http://www.jobiety.com/ Kashif

      I believe yes. Top example for this is HuffingtonPost.

  • Serp Slave

    Sorry but this post is ridiculous. I’m making over $1000 per day with Niche sites at the moment. And most of that is from one site!

    • http://flippa.com/blog Ophelie Lechat

      No one is arguing that niche sites don’t make money. We’re specifically talking about micro-sites (1 to 5 pages of content) being much harder to monetize than they once were.

    • Devon Ramdass

      Hey…I’m an absolute beginner at niche websites and I currently have a few which make very little money. If there’s any tips you can give me it would be greatly appreciated! My email is devon4786@gmail.com

  • Devryglobal

    Good article. The end of Microsites is not new though. People like to reinvent trends and add new buzzwords, “authority” Any legitimate Internet venture knows there is no substitute for great and valuable content. As for the argument of microsites as test cases..sure. Keep in mind there is an inherent lack of pre-launch research into the keyword market for the site. How many people write out development/b-plans. If anything the search engines were slow to adapt. Stick to basic rules of business.

  • Steve John

    Ophelie how do we differentiate a Niche and a Micro Niche Site? Is it only based on number of pages? Say if someone makes a website on Domestic Animals now there are very limited Domestic Animals one can discuss about so the pages would be limited right? I just did a quick search and checked on Wikipedia that there are around 31 Domestic Animals(Not Semi-domestic)..now this site would have only 31 Pages with content which is uniquely prepared? Would this site be considered as a Micro Niche Site?

    • http://flippa.com/blog Ophelie Lechat

      Hi Steve — generally, a “micro site” is a 1 to 5 page website with very little information, typically on a very narrow topic. What you’re describing is more of a authority site.

      • David

        Hi, just to add my input:
        A “Micro Site” (a site with a few pages) isn’t the same as a “Micro Niche” (a narrowed down niche).
        You can have an “Authority Site” built around an “Okay” niche and you will probably be successful.
        Likewise, you can still be very successful with a “Micro Site” just so long as you are focusing on a low competition “Micro Niche”.
        As far as them not working as well as 5 years ago, I’d like to see a few actual statistics and numbers to notice any significant change. Just my take.

  • Damien

    Yeah, this is a joke. Google algos are a joke nowadays and really I’ve seen old crap from 6 years ago rank! Everyone already knows “content is king”. Nothing new here. Niches are still useful. Not correct in the least.

    • http://flippa.com/blog Ophelie Lechat

      Niches: absolutely useful. One-page micro sites on a niche: much less likely to succeed than they were 5 years ago.

  • Amanda

    It is inevitable that the explosion in the number of websites due to the ease of construction that Google will have to find ever more incisive ways to rank by focussing on content. There is nothing worse than a niches site covered in ads and promotions when you are looking for information. I am building a gardening site http://www.gardeningtipsonline.co.uk to help novice gardeners design and plant their gardens

  • Mike

    This is actually not true. I have a site that has around 10-12 pages of quality content and I’m the leader in my niche since its low comp. The site makes close to $300/month so its not so much the amount of content the site has but the quality.

    • http://flippa.com/blog Ophelie Lechat

      Hey Mike — your site isn’t really a micro-site if it has 10 to 12 pages. What we’re talking about is one- to five-page sites, maybe up to 10 with low-quality content.

  • http://www.internetbusinesspassion.com/ Ryan Cote

    It really comes down to how you monetize. If you get a small 5-10 page niche site ranking and converting on affiliate or CPA offers, you can make a lot more than $1 per day.

  • http://mantras4sucess.com/ Ashwani Gaat

    Just a awesome observation and a nice article

  • Nick

    hi james love your comment i also would like to see some proof i totally agree with you as well can you show me some proof of how your doing thanks

  • Yiannis Gedeon

    While this is enjoyable to read, clearly you are not running MSN sites currently. I make £100+ per site right now with google adsense,pure passive income plus an extra £20 through amazon raising the total to £120 per site. I currently own 6 and plan to increase them to 20 by end of March.

  • http://reimagined.me/ Rick Roberts

    Maybe we need to change the terminology a bit. Junk sites no longer work as easily (or at all) the way they once did, and that’s a good thing. Small sites, no matter what you call them, still work quite well if the keywords are well researched, the content clearly written, and the monetization done smartly. 200 of those at $30-$50/month is not a bad living. The old churn-and-burn way is dead, though. Good riddance. It was a smarmy business to be in.

  • http://Gotmint.org Shivam Mahajan

    Sorry But Micro Niche Sites Is Still Working Well..!

  • http://www.zionport.com/ David Morgan

    Well, I’m going to agree with both the author and James here. As the topic is hot on both ends of the spectrum. I want you to focus on something very clearly here. The words, “Authority” and “Quality” are very key in this topic. Our beloved author has pointed out the fallacy of previous examples. What they lacked was quality.

    James, yes you’re right. Micro Niche Sites, or Authority Niches are relevant. What they have to have is one factor that the micro’s of the past didn’t have, “Quality.” When Google delivers “us” a website for our search query. They aren’t going to ask if the site is a Micro Niche, an Authority Niche, or anything. Its going to determine if the sites presented are matching your query.

    I mean, weather you have a Micro Niche, or a Authority niche you can still topple Wikipedia. Good luck everyone, and thank you, Ophelie.

  • http://www.wizardjournal.com/ Rakesh Narang

    Good post! Google trust authority sites and hence the short-term flipping business is not working for newbies.

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  • http://rcbonayatwork.com Roland Bonay

    The solution is to build an authority site that Google will love AND create micro niche sites and advertise them with Bing Ads, Adwords, etc.