Mini sites have gone a long way in the last few years. Just few years ago, mini sites were considered sites with 3-5 pages of content, either made for adsense or just made to show that there is a site on the domain.
Even today, there are still people or domainers that take the same route, they have a good domain or buy one, they spend few backs and have article writers write a few articles for them and now they have a website on the domain and a few unique content pages, and put adsense to work. While this at least protects them from being banned from adsense for not having unique content, it still is very unlikely that they will get a lot of traffic even if the main keyword is exact match.
There were also those that put together mini sites using free articles from sites like GoArticles.com where you can take an article and copy it to your website, given you include the author info. However, while it may have worked initially, it no longer does as this is now considered duplicate content by search engines and they will give very little value to your site, and even in some cases ban your site from search engines.
This is also the route that some parking companies took, by generating the site and relating those articles to your domain. Again, while they had some success initially, it just doesn’t work anymore. Domainers quickly found out that even though it takes them seconds to create the site in a parking company with some content, it’s not unique content, and therefore, their domains may even get banned.
Content sites on the other hand, were sites full of content, much more than a few pages. For example a blog could be considered a content site, even though it doesn’t have a unique functionality or a brand, it’s full of content. And the reason blogs took off so well because good blogs have hundreds of pages of unique content and even today, search engines still like sites with unique content.
But content sites are not just blog sites, they could be sites with any kind of content, such as business directory for a specific niche, or forum, or some other site with a lot of content.
Now today, the gap between mini sites and content sites is getting narrower. Domainers that want to keep search engines happy, (including me) no longer build mini sites with a few pages and they can’t really build hundreds of content sites as it takes time and money to make a content rich site. Today, I’m seeing most domainers are focusing on getting more content, maybe at least 50 pages, so that they can target keywords around their domain. But again, that’s still is really hard as most can’t make such a large investment for every single domain they have.
As domainer and web developer, I was always in a little better position than the average domainer. While, I learned about domaining only a couple of years ago, but looking back, I was a domainer way before then.
I always focused on somehow building a site that has at least 1000 pages of content, that’s right, 1000 pages. True, I wasn’t paying for articles, but I would find ways to have dynamic pages with some content on it.
I re-launched one of my mini sites and wanted to share that with you. A few years ago, I bought OnlineTradingServices.com from ebay for $35. While it didn’t have much search volume and still doesn’t, I kind of liked the domain. I didn’t do much with it for a few years and only a few weeks ago, decided to put some content on it. So instead of paying for articles, I hired a freelancer to do the research for me and gather the data and put it into a spreadsheet.
I then, took the spreadsheet and transferred it into a database and spend a few hours on building the site. This is probably one of my most boring sites as it doesn’t do much, but is a great example of a mini site that is also a content site in some way.
So take a look at your portfolio, maybe pick a domain and subject that you’re passionate about and think how you can take the domain and create a content site and yes, even if the main exact match keyword doesn’t got tons of traffic.