There was once – and to some extent still is – a concept known to many Internet marketers as the niche or “mini” site.
These small corners of the Web were outposts for made-for-Adsense content and affiliate links. They achieved top rankings for several longtail keywords, but the whole basis for their existence was delivery not of quality information, but clicks
Now with Panda in place and future algorithm changes sure to push low quality content out of the rankings, it would appear that the jig is up. If the “old fashioned” mini site’s time hasn’t expired yet, its days are certainly numbered. Here’s how to maintain a mini site in light of Google’s algorithm evolution:
1. Avoid publishing junk.
And become a subject matter virtuoso. One all-too-common characteristic of mini sites designed specifically for ad clicks was that their content was full of two things: keywords and fluff.
Google knows when your content is stuffed to the brim with keywords, and it’s getting better at sniffing out fluff and ranking it accordingly. If your mini sites were easy to maintain because you didn’t have to do much research or worry whether articles were useful to readers, there’s a good chance any high rankings you’ve achieved will slowly wither away.
That is, if they haven’t already.
The solution is to get closer to the subject matter. Start writing well-researched, painstakingly crafted bloggings of brilliance. Improve old posts so that they actually give readers something of value instead of just opportunities to click.
Sure, it’s hard to be very inspired if your mini site’s niche was “cheap home security systems” or “purple kitten pillows.” But boring niche or not, Google’s job is to deliver users the best information related to their search. If yours isn’t compelling, it’s not going to rank.
2. Eliminate some sites.
Speaking of boring niches, you may find that some of your old sites just aren’t worth the extra effort.
And that’s fine! If you were maintaining eight mini sites, six of which were built for affiliate links in niches that don’t interest you in the least, why not ignore them and focus on improving the other two sites?
After all, it’s hard to spend hours each day writing content about something that doesn’t inspire you. The other two mini sites will grow, and you’ll start ranking for more keywords along the way. The extra time you spend on just a few sites can more than make up for what you lose by abandoning the others.
3. Accept that your mini sites may no longer be “mini.”
When you focus more time and attention on your mini sites, they’re sure to either rise in the rankings or at least maintain the top spots they already achieved. But if you really are giving searchers higher quality information and making sure your stuff is more valuable then what the competition’s got, those mini sites are going to get bigger.
And can you really call a big Website a “mini” site?
Not really. But that shouldn’t phase you. By overhauling the mini sites you started years ago, you’re not just “giving in” to the demands of Google. You’re also helping improve the quality of information available on the Web.
That’s not such a bad role to fill, is it?
Adam Green doesn’t own any mini sites, but he keeps a watchful eye on developments in search engine marketing. He’s also a fraud detection advocate and cycling enthusiast.