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Mega-site versus micro-niche sites


Mega-site versus micro-niche sites: which is better for SEO?

When you start building with an eye toward SEO, it is important to consider your goal for the site. Are you selling products, or do you want to earn money for running advertising on your site? This may dictate what type of site or sites you will need to build.

Mega-site vs micro-niche site

You can and should decide early on if you want one big site for all subjects ("everything about bread") or several smaller, more focused sites with each article focusing on a very particular set of keywords ("walnut banana bread", "sourdough bread", "orange zest cranberry bread"). Focused sites are in general better for focused ads -- ads targeting specific keywords. Sites about a particular collectible can buy or sell advertising related to that collectible. Sites about wine or golf can buy or sell advertising related to those subjects. If you have all your content on one site, the focus will be lost as it can be difficult to determine if your keyword is "golf" or "wine" or "purple dinosaurs" when all your content is jumbled together. Loss of focus is bad SEO.

Keyword focus is also helpful with organization and time-management since you can keep a to-do list of content ideas for each site. Once you have researched keywords, make a list of topics to cover for each site. If you want to write about golf one day, pull out the keyword list for that site and start writing. The next day, work on content for another site.

About backlinks

One other consideration is backlinks. If you have separate sites for each niche topic, you can create backlinks both from a central site and across individual sites. Organic links are good for SEO since you can include your keywords in links.

Tip: If you have several related sites, make a "project page" on your primary site. This makes it easy to group related sites together by subject. This also makes it easy to give the link to others or to display in a forum sig instead of linking a lot of separate sites.

Alternately, create a collective site which not only creates a curated list of links to all your sites on a particular niche (i.e. cooking, health, or widgets) but can also provide a backlink to those sites. For branding purposes, this collective should be created on a subdomain of your primary site (in the form http://collective.mydomain.com).

AdSense vs AdWords

What is Google AdWords?

If you are selling products (something you make, find, or drop-ship), you should look at Google AdWords. With AdWords, you buy ad space on Google's advertising network. It is Pay Per Click (PPC) to run your ad. Your generally buy ads in blocks of 1000 clicks. If your advertising campaign is popular, you will need to buy more ads in short order.

What is Google AdSense?

Google Adsense is a program which allows sites to earn money while displaying advertisements. These advertisements created and placed by AdWords advertisers. The Adsense principle is quite easy: the site owner places a Javascript code in the HTML code of an owned website, and adverts are displayed. Each time someone clicks on one ad, that site earns money. The higher the cost per click is, the more money is earned.

The catch with Adsense is that the site content needs to be focused to display relevant ads. Google's algorithm determines what keywords are relevant to a particular site. If you have a site about golf, the ads displayed will be related to golf if there are any golf advertisers in the network at that time. Not all content is a good fit for AdSense. If there is no advertiser relevant to your site's content, ads will be basic (coupons, pdfs, and similar). These basic ads generally do not get many click-throughs.

Other advertising

If ads through Google are not relevant to your content, you can join an affiliate marketing network to advertise your products or run ads for affiliate marketers who are participating that particular network. There are quite a few networks around. I would recommend looking at sites with content similar to yours to see what advertising network they use.

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