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    Can a small site compete with large sites?


    How important is the shear size of a site when it comes to SERPS.

    Our site is small compaired to others who compete for our main key word.
    The site is small because we make what we sell amd in fact I was thinking of completly redesigning the site and dropping half of the items.
    Other sites who vie for postion have hundereds of items.

    Do we have a chance with a small site?

    We used to place nicely but the past 3 years has been a long and painful grind downward.
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    Lightbulb


    Originally Posted by tommr1
    How important is the shear size of a site when it comes to SERPS.

    Our site is small compared to others who compete for our main key word.
    The site is small because we make what we sell and in fact I was thinking of completely redesigning the site and dropping half of the items.
    Other sites who vie for position have hundreds of items.

    Do we have a chance with a small site?

    We used to place nicely but the past 3 years has been a long and painful grind downward.
    Micro-niche products and micro-niche marketing seem to be the next wave of actually being able to be profitable from marketing products or services on the web. You can't be everyone's ebay, shopping.com, or amazon. But you can have more influence over your prospects if your site has what those big sites can not provide -- specific product evangelists.

    Get involved in an online community effort for whatever you sell. For example, one of my clients sells Corvette Jackets.

    There just happens to be a lot of Corvette Club sites that are run by mom and pop webmasters mostly just donating their time because they love Corvettes. This makes for a great opportunity to provide content for their newsletters in exchange for an endorsement or ad or link.

    Add a forum to your site. Get people involved.

    This is a bit more challenging when your products or services are a commodity (like gasoline, perceived to have the same value whether it is Exxon, Mobil, or whatever).

    Depending on what products you sell, if you do have mini sites and a highly targeted and a built in audience, I do believe you can compete with other large sites. I am not sure what you mean exactly by compete though - sales or SERPs?

    Although taking your existing products and creating mini-sites would mean starting over, which means six months to another year more catching up and getting out of the sandbox.

    I would try and keep your products on your site and try and separate the pages for products that only belong in certain themes and optimize for those. Get links to those interior pages.

    Many large sites who have traditional brand recognition might not focus on SEO as much, and may just come up for the sheer weight of their site in the SERPs.

    Comments on this post

    • Xaver agrees : There is a lot of thought behind this answer.
    • evmikna agrees : It is great to read coherent, thoughtful posts such as this!
    Last edited by seostew; Apr 4th, 2007 at 08:51 AM. Reason: grammar
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    Compete towards what ?

    If you think of ranking i would defiantly say yes, my site was no.1 too and there are many sites like American idol that posted about "Antonella" the singer, but if you search on Google for Antonella barba my site was no.1 until i removed it from the first page...

    So having good keywords, couple of blogs , and good website I would defiantly say u got good chances except if its Microsoft website
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    you can definitely beat them for some of the more targeted terms.

    I think you can compete or for some of the general and competitive terms but it is difficult. Sometimes when doing SEO research I notice that that there is a small site that is listed in the top ten with the big boys....they usually have excellent on page seo and a few thousand links....but all their links are from related sites, links are within content, blogrolls and a couple link exchanges
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    You can compete on specific terms with the big boys.. it is possible, but the main thing you need is patience.. lots of patience..

    We took a site in the UK telecoms arena from startup to number 1 in natural Google for a term that buying the top adword costs £60k a month in 2 years..

    Don;t expect quick results on competitive terms
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    Originally Posted by tommr1
    How important is the shear size of a site when it comes to SERPS.

    Our site is small compaired to others who compete for our main key word.
    The site is small because we make what we sell amd in fact I was thinking of completly redesigning the site and dropping half of the items.
    Other sites who vie for postion have hundereds of items.

    Do we have a chance with a small site?

    We used to place nicely but the past 3 years has been a long and painful grind downward.
    I didn't read the other responses so if some is repeated it only re-iterates.

    Well YES!

    A one pager can easily compete against a massive website given the appropriate "external approach" e.g. massive links of such keyword diversity that rivals the sheer number of pages + some links...

    Obviously a one pager isn't the best approach - it's only an illustration.

    A smallish website can easily compete with larger one by leveraging navigational design:

    1. More depth & less breadth of topic. This means you only have a few one link down pages from home page thus only a few links sharing everything that comes in at homepage... e.g. same # of inbound links push more weight, relevancy, and trust to lesser pages thus deeper navigation will support higher level pages better.

    To make this work efficiently you really need to brainstorm on what internal link anchors are + content of these few pages.

    Content is equally important on these pages since you should attempt to get deep links to these page and many websites will need strong reasons to link deep.

    2. Link campaign is 3 fold

    2a. Broader focus terms to home page

    2b. Topical specific longer-term phrases to deeper pages (if possible)

    2c. Generic links (e.g. links from general interest directories) to home page [DMOZ, Yahoo, etc.] and industry specific links (e.g. industry only focus directories) as deep links or possibly industry specific blog posts

    3. Internal breadcrumbs. Deepest level pages focus link anchors specific to all higher levels of pages in the topical hierarchy.
    Generally more links to your website is needed but with the above structure in place you won't need that much more.

    Really the only major advantage a large website has over a small one is topical diversity with ranks... they can rank on more with less help from links.

    Comments on this post

    • SEO_AM agrees : I agree with 98%... Guess where I would argue.
    • EGOL agrees : Many thanks for this detailed reply. I was hoping that you would reply to this question. I've had it myself for a long time. (:
    • tommr1 agrees : Thanks, this confirms and affirms my thoughts and hopes.
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    Originally Posted by tommr1
    How important is the shear size of a site when it comes to SERPS.

    Our site is small compaired to others who compete for our main key word.
    The site is small because we make what we sell amd in fact I was thinking of completly redesigning the site and dropping half of the items.
    Other sites who vie for postion have hundereds of items.

    Do we have a chance with a small site?

    We used to place nicely but the past 3 years has been a long and painful grind downward.
    Its getting harder... This is true for all types of business. Franchises and chain stores have driven ma and pa business out of the game all across the devloped world.

    Small businesses mainly are surving in the service sector. Its much harder for the bigger business in this area. In retailing/manufacturing etc the economies of scale open to the large players make compettion more difficult. Even the nieche markets are harder and harder to cash in on. If you are very succesful expect one of the big boys to suddenly decide that they may wish to enter this market.

    My view is I see two basic models that will/may devlop on the web to help small businesses compete. The first is the co-operative. Like minded/themeded sites getting together probably initally through professional assocations etc. Pooling resources and than establishing and industry/regional authority site they collectivelly contribute to. There own businesses would be mini sites within the main site. The early ones in this area would stand an excellent chance of doing well in SERPs.

    The second model is the business franchisse type model. An enterprising seo/web company devleops a site that is information based and than approaches businesses that do poorly on the web but would benefit from the higher profile. These people then pay to have their minisite included. The fees could than be used to pay proffesional content writers, link builders, offer scholerships to uni students etc. This way the companies using the service would gain all the economies of scale in web devlopment and SEO.

    The search engines want big business and non profit information pages. They will not be doing small players any favours.

    So in answer to your question yes small business can survive BUT growth/uniqueness (copywrigth/patent) and qulaity is the answer if you want to be around for the long haul IMO
    Live the moment
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  15. rod@missionop.com
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    Originally Posted by SEO_AM Agrees
    I agree with 98%... Guess where I would argue.
    Are you really sure the other 2% matters?
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    Originally Posted by fathom
    Are you really sure the other 2% matters?
    I forgot where I disagreed. Guess it wasn't anything that matters.

    Comments on this post

    • EGOL agrees : lol... looks like the old memory is starting to go!
    • raz agrees : First it was the eyes, clicking disagrees instead of agrees. Now it’s the memory… What’s next SEO_AM?.... LOL
    ...Never mistake activity for achievement...

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    Of course you can compete with large sites, no matter how big your competitor is and how popular it is. You just need some patience and perseverance. This will take some time so don't rush it.
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    My main site was designed to rank for an in depth niche money term. I do very well in my market area (California) and sell the reminder of the traffic (from other states) to companies that specialize in the same niche for a bundle, which means I basically have a marketing program that supplies us with all the leads we can handle and earns a bundle to booth... You could call it a marketing plan that makes money instead of costing money! How can you beat that?

    And yes, everyone of the sites I compete with are mega sites.

    raz
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    Thanks for all the input.
    I have been thinking for some time that the architecture of the site needed an overhaul and I guess these replies confirm that.
    I am going to pare down the site and refocus.
    The site already pulls well for many niche terms and just about all the existing deep links are for pages I intend to focus on.
    The others I will 301, somewhere.

    Thanks again everyone.
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    yes you can surely compete with big sites if you have properly targeted your potential keywords

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