Many years ago, Internet marketers would build hundreds of smaller niche sites and attempt to make an income with them. For a long time, this worked really well, and they were able to make thousands of dollars per month.
During that ‘age’, you could throw up 100 niche sites, and if you played your cards right, you could walk away with at least $3,000 per month in income.
The thing is – times have changed. It doesn’t work like that anymore. The search engines, mainly Google, are changing at light speed these days. If you blink, you might miss something.
A common question that people have when they’re just starting out relates to how many sites they should build. You still have people throwing up many small niche sites and hoping to make a lot of money with them.
Although I do still have quite a few sites, it’s been years since I threw up batches of 50+ sites at a time. In fact, this is exactly what the Empire Flippers used to do when they were building and flipping AdSense sites.
Why One Site Is Better Than 10, 50 or 100
I’ll just come right out and say it now – one site is better than many, and I’ll explain why. To get an answer to this question, you need to understand why people used to build many sites at a time.
As you probably already know, Google uses several hundred different ranking factors when determining where to rank a PAGE in the SERPs. Despite the fact that they use 200 ranking factors, we all know how powerful backlinks are.
In fact, links are still one of the most important ranking factors out there, in terms of the ranking boosts they can give you.
What this means is that even though there are 200 different Google ranking factors, some of the factors hold WAY MORE weight than the others.
Google and the other search engines rank pages based on relevance and authority. Those are the two major factors. Relevance represents how relevant a page is for a given search query.
When determining relevance, Google looks at your page title, page description, keyword density of the page and URL. Imagine someone searches for the keyword ‘whale hunting’.
In a split second, Google will find the most relevant pages for that search query. If you have the keyword in your page title, description AND URL, then you’re in good shape.
Google will also check to see if the keyword is in the domain name. For example, if you owned the domain whalehunting.com and had all of the other relevance factors correct, then Google would return your page higher than others.
What I’m trying to say here is that Google used to place an enormous amount of ranking power on whether or not you had a keyword in your domain name.
Not too long ago, Google changed this and removed a large amount of ranking power from having your keyword in your domain name. While it’s still an important factor, it’s not nearly as useful as it used to be.
The ranking power for having an exact-match domain, which is a domain that exactly matches the keyword you’re targeting, used to be enormous. It was powerful enough that marketers would build 100s of small niche sites with exact match domains.
This is really the only reason why it used to make sense to build 100s of sites instead of just one. The ranking boost from having an exact match domain meant you actually had a real, measurable advantage over building out many small sites instead of one authority site.
The EMD Bonus Is Gone
Google turned down the dial on the exact match domain ranking boost so much that it just doesn’t make sense to build out many smaller sites. That is really the only advantage that could be gained from building out 100s of sites.
Fast forward to today. If you’ve ever tried to manage even 10 sites, you know that building 100s of sites would be quite chaotic. Some people will argue and try to say that having many sites protects you from getting slapped by Google spam algorithm updates.
The Penalty Argument
The fact is that having many smaller sites actually puts you AT A GREATER risk for getting penalized. Google places so much more weight on authority sites that they’re far less likely to get penalized. Also, imagine trying to fix a penalty on 20 different sites.
The logistics of owning and maintaining that many sites is already hard enough, but now, you have to figure out why 20 of them got penalized? Good luck – you’re going to need it!
Additional Reasons to Build One Site
It would be nearly impossible to list them all here. Let’s just look at a few.
- Easier to build links to an authority site
- Easier to network with an authority site
- Easier to build credibility with an authority site
- Easier to gain visitor trust
- Easier to manage logistically
- Easier to feel proud about
- Much more motivating to see 100,000 page views per month coming into one site
- Significantly more fun to work on and grow
One Site to Rule Them All
With the only real benefit of building many smaller sites stripped away by Google, there is absolutely no reason to go the mini site route.
In today’s search environment, all of the cards are stacked in the favor of authority sites. If you look at almost any query, you’ll see nothing but inner pages from authority sites.
In fact, if you even want to have a chance to rank in today’s SERPs, you NEED nothing short of an authority site. With that said, there is nothing wrong with purchasing many smaller sites or managing a purchased portfolio of them.
However, it makes absolutely no sense to start from scratch with many smaller sites instead of one larger site to rule them all. Excuse my Lord of The Rings references. With that said, you can start building an authority site right now with my course.