Lots of Internet marketers have been saying for the past year or more that niche sites are dead.
Some of us believed them and stopped making niche sites.
And some of us refused to believe and just kept right on building them and making hefty profits in the process.
One of those niche sites guys was Spencer Haws of NichePursuits.com. Spencer is one of my “gurus” if you will. Not that he even knows who I am haha. But I know who he is, and I know that he’s really good at building niche sites and getting them to rank in Google (and therefore, make a lot of money).
In Spencer’s latest post on Niche Pursuits, here’s what he had to say…
So, what kind of niche sites will I build going forward?
Well, to be honest, I probably won’t be building many niche sites. Perrin and I stopped building new small niche sites almost 6 months ago. About 2 months ago, we started a new site and that will probably be the last one we start new in a long time.
The site we started about 2 months ago is our “authority” site that we’ve talked about many times in blog posts and on the podcast…
So why is the owner of “NICHE Pursuits” no longer building niche sites? Because he saw that the days of the niche site were numbered, and that’s why he’s been shifting towards building larger authority sites.
Then this past week Google dropped the bomb that pushed Spencer and many other Internet marketers out of the niche camp and into the big authority camp for good. Google recently started penalizing sites that had links from “personal blog networks” (PBNs), and many successful niche marketers were hit in the process. Spencer and his business protégé/partner Perrin were among them, losing close to $10,000 per month income overnight. Using PBNs was one of the most effective and most popular methods used by niche site marketers to get them to rank high in the search results.
And now that is all over. Spencer says PBNs are dead. And perhaps niche sites will die with them.
So this is a sad day for a lot of IM guys, and even though I wasn’t into PBNs and therefore didn’t lose any money over this, I was actually considering going in that direction very soon. And as you know, I recently committed to building out 100 niche sites, using the methods I learned from Spencer and others.
I even commented on his post and asked Spencer for some guidance. Here was his response…
Definitely don’t go the 100 site route, that hasn’t worked for a really long time. One site is a MUCH better approach. [emphasis his]
So now what do I do?
Honestly, I’m still leaning towards the niche camp. Niche sites WITHOUT spammy links can still do okay (mine are). But for how long? Where is Google heading in the future? Will the time come where small websites just won’t have a chance to rank at all against the big juggernaut authority websites?
Maybe it really is time to rethink this whole thing…
Another guru that I’ve followed for over a year made the same move just recently as well — Tung Tran of CloudLiving.com. And then, my original guru/ninja/buddy Patrick Meninga of TheFreedomBlogger.com…well, he’s always pushed the one big website approach.
It’s just that I’ve put my faith in a single site before and added lots of really good content to it, only to have it burned to the ground by Google (thanks to hundreds of super spammy links that somebody else built to my site). That was my first successful site, and it was very depressing to lose over 80% of my traffic last October.
I don’t want to leave myself so vulnerable like that again, which is why I got really excited to build out multiple sites instead and spread my potential (or inevitable?) losses.
So I’m still thinking about this one…