Multiple niche sites vs authority sites

By | July 31, 2007

Going all niche or just focusing on one general authority site is a question that will confront every webmaster at some point or another. I see there are two views on this naturally, and it’s never a cut and dried matter of course.

A lot of bloggers talk about this issue but there never seems to be a definite answer. I see some general blogs doing extremely well, while many niche blogs just wither away. I also notice some really good niche blogs that have been around for several years, and looks to me they are doing OK.

At the heart of the matter is the argument between having a huge authority site and the other of having multiple niche sites that (most of the time) cannot stand up to the test of time and simply get dropped from the search engines in a matter of months. They never sustain their rankings for long.

Authority sites almost always sit at the pinnacle of many keywords like the super authority site – Wikipedia. That’s the advantage of the authority site. There are factors like trust rank, linkage weight, traffic, and age of the site, which all count towards defining the authority site. Authority sites earn a lot of money day in and day out. Just from one site.

Niche sites on the other hand usually try to go for quantity over quality. The advantage of this method is that you don’t need to place all your eggs in one basket, and it is never a dull moment. Spreading the risk, so to speak.

But the downside is that it is actually tougher, more tedious, and more time consuming to handle and manage than just running one big authority site. Also, you become more and more dependent on the almighty search engine powers which is something not very comforting to think about. Creating the content is harder and you may need to outsource from the early stages itself. It is interesting to note that niche sites have no recourse than to turn into authority sites, if they have managed to battle the horde of other competing niche sites and have risen to the top.

So at the end of the day, the authority site represents the climax of website development, and can never be avoided; it is a natural evolutionary process. In this context, all webmasters are still striving to make authority sites whether they are aware of it or not, or whether they even like the idea or not. It’s the search engines that have defined things this way, as the ultimate goal of the search engines is still to become like humans, and it is a human tendency to look upon a huge, old website as having much more authority compared to a small mini website that is 3 months old.

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