Google Unleashes “Revenge of the Niche Publishers“
Though it’s gone largely unnoticed in the domain industry, a Google algorithm update announced today may just be the best news the domain industry has heard in years. A first step towards ending the long reign of the “MegaSite”, content factories churning out endless supplies of content and ranking solely by the size and authority of their domain.
So why should domain investors care about Google changes?
Since ~2007 Big G’s never-ending quest to fight spam has increasingly emphasized Site Authority ie, how big and well-linked a website is. Eric Schmidt famously stated that “[big] brands are how you sort out the cesspool” of the internet.
The unsurprising result of an emphasis on Site Authority was the rise of MegaSites like eHow, AssociatedContent, and About.com, where non-expert writers could make it to the top of the search results not because of their knowledge or the quality of their content, but because of the power of the host domain.
For those with multiple domains, 1+1+1 = 2. Three articles posted on 3 niche sites are worth far less than 3 articles posted on one mega site. The more domains you have, the bleaker the picture.
Now, with the Farmer Update, the pendulum may finally be swinging back in the other direction.
The domain industry needs this change. We need expert bloggers, mom-and-pop businesses, and niche publishers to be able to compete successfully in the search results, on their own domains. If they can’t, they’ll shift resources to social media platforms and hosted content solutions like article marketing rather than spending a lot on a domain for a site that nobody visits.
And finally, domainers increasingly are niche publishers. For those learning scalable domain development, targeted search traffic is an increasingly necessary replacement for declining parking revenues.
As of today, that goal may have just become a little bit easier.
Matt Bentley is a niche publisher, domain investor, former CEO of Sedo.com, and founder of BetterSEO.com, a stealth-phase content analytics startup.