The Micro Mini site business model, is it dead or just harder?

The Micro Mini site business model, is it dead or just harder?

Warning: This may be a bit of a long and rambling post here because I’m not really sure what I intend to write, but some of this may interest you..

About 1 month ago, I had a 300/day Adsense thing going, and on the day AFTER I reached 300/day, about 80% of my sites got dumped down to pages 5-7, and they haven’t shown any signs of returning to their previous glory of (where else) page 1, top 3 rankings.

Sites without Adsense weren’t affected at that time, but other mini-sites soon saw some decreases in rankings (recently). More on that later, as it’s the premise of this article. Some sites with Adsense weren’t affected though.

Which ones weren’t affected?

Those which only (solely) received LinxBoss or commenting links from Backlinks Genie or Build My Rank. Is that enough of a sites separation to deem that other linking methods (profile links) hurt these sites? maybe maybe not…

First off, Adsense and the micro-mini-site, mini-niche model.

I blogged about this here on my other site’s Passive Income with Adsense post. I waited until I had reached 200/day regularly before I made that blog post, because I figured at 200/day, scaled up from $3/day over the course of 4-5 months… that I actually knew what I was talking about and could write knowledgeably about something on that site.

Well, I got slapped, but not de-indexed, and those sites still make money form Yahoo/Bing traffic, but they’re stuck there and probably not going anywhere.

The content was unique
The sites were EMDs, or hybrid EMDS
Some were a year old, some 2 years old
All had less than 30 pages on them, and not frequently updated
Linking activity probably had nothing to do with the Adsense sites getting pushed down to pages 5-7, seeing as how one site in particular, which was almost 2 years old, had close to ZERO links on it and the only links it recently acquired were from about 50 EZA submissions courtesy of Search Engine Article Marketing services.
The sites all had different themes or HTML templates on them, too..
Inbound link counts varied from 22 to 1600 credited inbound links according to YSE. (I backlink a site until it ranks well, then pull back on the linking to see if the rankings stick, and if they do then I know it’s gonna require more work to maintain the higher ranking so I backlink until the sites in top 3, preferably #1, then keep working the linking for another week or so then back off again). That’s why there is/was such a varied inbound link count on all these sites (no need to link build when sites “stuck” at #1, right?)

So why the bump off on the Adsense sites?

There was no manual review, no notifications, no warnings.

I’ve looked and searched and researched for answers and could only find a few other bloggers who have had the same experience, and while that in and of itself may not be enough data to arrive at a proper conclusion as to “why”, the similarities this person here wrote in his post on how NOT to make money online were too numerous to discount.

…To save you the trouble of reading that post, basically he did same thing myself and many others did or are currently doing; we built micro-niche mini-sites targeting certain keywords in the domains (EMD, exact match domains) and we were making over 200/day with our sites portfolio. But in the other blogger’s case there was sites de-indexing whereas I merely got slapped (so far), so no 2 cases are exactly alike.

I find it weird that the sites that had pretty decent content, really good CTR, and earned good CPC clicks would get bumped off by the very entity that I was trying to earn money from and for…

SO……. Quality content EMD sites with varied # and style of backlinks, and varied age got slapped, and the only similarities were the EMD-ness of the domains, and the amount of content perhaps seeming rather thin to Google eye’s.

The content was quality, but quality content does not make for a “quality site”, go figure…


Yes, if you’re focused on making money with Adsense and/or ranking your mini-sites, perhaps it’s time to take a look at a few different things.

#1- Build better backlinks, no backlinks at all (gasp! did I just say that?)

#2- Build out higher-quality, MORE content-rich sites

Some changes lately in rankings….

Now recently there’s been more changes to the Google algo that affecting a lot of people, and while other seo bloggers and pontificators like myself would draw some conclusions for you based on their experiences, I’ve talked to several people with dozens of sites, and they’ve been affected, too.

NOTE: I’m jotting down some commonalities here, and not drawing conclusions for you because this post is merely meant to make you think, and if you’ve been affected in any way, how to find the common denominators for your affected sites, if any..

There’s a lot of chatter about this on the forums ans people are debating that their content is superb, better than the higher ranking sites, some say their EMD mini-sites weren’t affected (yet), some people said that old and new sites got hit as well.

1-10 page EMDs were hit all across the board, except for a select few ( no obvious reason why the unaffected sites remain so)

Sites that received heavy linking via profiles blasts from tools or services

Sites that saw a marked increase in link velocity (does this mean you can game Google to oust your competitors out of the rankings? NO, please don’t think that)

Sites that could be perceived as “thin”, content-wise , which I’m guessing is anything under 40 pages got slapped (but I had one Adsense site with 40-plus pages get bumped, but the Adsense sites bump off is different from the non-Adsense sites slap).

The mini-sites with content published in a short amount of time all got slapped. You may be familiar with this if you’re building out 50 Adsense sites, and are posting all your content at once or within a few days of each other, as your writers or yourself finish them up and get them site-ready.

NOTE: What looks natural to a search engine like Google, an instant-site which gets all of its content posted pretty quickly, then stops, publishing new content for a while or forever, then all of a sudden starts getting hordes of links? I don’t think so, but it could still work for some people, for some sites, in some niches, but for the 40-50 sites I saw personally ( my own and others’) these were the common traits and common site characteristics.

General conclusion: There was a BIT of a crackdown on EMDs, Thin sites, and sites receiving un-natural link velocity. There’s allegedly an algo change that’s going to take into account “link trust”, which basically means the following questions might be asked or considered by search engine teams:

WHY is this link here, (self-generated, blog network content farm link?)

Is this site giving the link to be trusted? (yes we will index the backlink and credit it, but will we value it and reward the linked-to site with higher rankings?)

I know I’m not really giving answers here, and that’s because I don’t have any.

All I can give you is hypotheses gleaned from reverse-engineering 50-plus affected sites, their site history (domain age, inbound linking types and activity), their content, behavior ( frequently updated?), on-page SEO, etc…

But to give half an answer here I would say that we would all be better served if we built out some top quality fleshed out sites, that are “authority” in nature. As a matter of fact, I don’t think the word authority should be used any more, and we should consider thinking along the lines of building TRUSTED sites, seeing as how some people don’t think sites like WikiPedia are really “authorities” on absolutely everything and that’s really a matter of opinion to the reader.

The opinion you want to take into account SEO-wise is that of the search engines, on whom you might be relying upon for most if not all, of your traffic. When a search engine like Google has a good opinion of you, then you’ve gained Search Engine Trust.

So how to gain SE Trust?

Get links from trusted sites, and build a truly valuable web entity/resource.

What’s a trusted site, one that will give link trust?

Relevant sites with or without PR, backlinks or traffic going to them
Irrelevant sites with PR-ed root domains (either home page backlinks or articles on sites with PR) Say you you want about the value of links from PR-ed domains, the fact is, Google still gives out these values for some reason and allegedly it’s a measure of trust.
(Ramblings) Can you still rank well without searching for manual methods of obtaining backlinks?

Yes, and here’s how I think people should move forward in the future. Again I hate to write about opinions because it’s so easy to be wrong and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution because your local Church or local Real Estate site may NEVER get affected by good, bad, ugly links due to the nature of those niches (easy to medium competition).

XRUMER campaigns – Focus on the better, higher PR sites, and also consider doing threads, not just making profiles. There’s services out there that do more than just profile links. You might want to consider using a service that makes forum threads as well, but obviously you’d want the Xrumer-generated threads/posts about the P90X workout plans to be on health and hobby forums. Then you’d want a login or two to that forum made for you so you can actually log in and reply to any replies made to the thread.

Focus on the higher PR sites for doing profiles and/or threads – Relevancy still doesn’t matter a ton when it comes to gaining links trusted by the engines but once again, they’re still giving out Page Ranks to these sites for a reason (measure of trust) so it might be better to focus on these entities for link juice and better quality links despite the method by which they were acquired

Doing threads and profiles: Doing this accomplished a few things:

#1- You’re seen as a real member, which reduces the chances of your account getting deleted

#2- When you log in you get your member profile name listed at bottom of a forum site saying who’s online now (or something to that effect), it pretty much guarantees your member profile url will get indexed since it’s on the home page of a frequently crawled and visible site. (Doesn’t apply to all forums and CMS-es)

#3- A forum thread posted by Xrumer can be spun, which helps with getting more indexation, but when you have a thread posted, it will be posted as you, the forum member, and this thread will be linking to your member profile, which helps get THAT indexed.

Article Marketing- I’ve hard talk about blog network after blog network over the years getting “found out” by search engines and their links devalued and entire networks of sites de-indexed, but there’s some things to consider here, too.

Is your blog network of choice ( case in point Build My rank) still keeping it’s sites Page Rank with each passing update? If so, then it’s still a good place to syndicate your content.

But what about services and tools like Unique Article Wizard or Article Marketing Robot, which submit to free articles directories and site, some of which are ZERO PR, and many of which have a hard time indexing your spun content?

Are these good links, are these deemed trusted sites? Is your spun content going on a site worthy of your efforts?

Some people will opine that a link is a link, but I don’t think that’s the case any more, seeing as how I have an EMD with 1600 links to it that still to this day bounces around in top 43 of Google for a term with little to no FOCUSED competition. Focused competition means other sites actively backlinking and also trying valiantly to rank for the same exact terms.

A tip I got from a heavy-duty and proficient Unique Article Wizard user:

Summarized: Send out some articles via UAW, wait until they’re published, then try and find those articles by clicking on date submitted inside the UAW interface. then next article submission, link to those urls from the next article using UAW’s rotating resource box.

But you don’t have to use UAW for this, the point here is to build links to your articles.

Doing this in a smarter way… Be selective on what sites you link to from subsequent article submissions. Focus on linking to the better quality sites ( use your discretion here) that already published one or some of your articles and send them some link love. this will increase the indexation rate of the first batch of articles written, since they’re being linked to, and when those site owners see they’re getting traffic from the article you sent them for free, chances are those articles will remain live on the site.

A tip form the Article Marketing Robot forum – before you submit your spun articles to the AMR network of directories, submit one un-spun 100% unique article to the highest PR article directory in the network, then submit the spun versions to the rest. this seems to be working pretty well for the heavy duty AMR users, which leads back to the point of using the PR of sites as a gauge of them being worthy enough to get a unique article from you, or just some backlinks (from subsequent article submissions).

I guess my point here is you can still self-generate backlinks TO seemingly low quality, un-trusted sites, yet still gain trusted links from them if you get a little creative ( but maybe over-complicating things, who knows?)

To be continued, the Ridalin (methylphenidate) wore off 🙁

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