Niche Websites Update: Are There REALLY Still Good Keywords Out There?

Its been a little while since I have given an official update on my niches site, so I wanted to dedicate this post to that.

I want to just focus on reporting on the niche sites that I have built in the past month or so. As you may recall from my posts over the past couple of months my websites have been up and down.  Right here I discussed how some of my sites were in danger.  I also discussed how to prevent Problems with Google. Finally, I discussed the power of knowing about high paying/low competition keywords.  I felt like I could “own” certain keywords.

What I’ve Been Up to Lately

Well, from my low in Oct/Nov…things have really started to turn around!  I think Google took a look at my sad music video and is beginning to indeed “Unbreak My Heart”.

I can now answer with confidence, “can I own certain keywords”…that YES I most certainly can!  You see, since my low point when some of my sites got de-indexed in Google, I implemented my strategies of how to prevent problems with Google: namely – new hosting, no Google analytics, or anything else that would link my old sites with these new sites.

This has allowed me to start fresh.  Some of my lower quality sites from my “old days” I believe somehow caused Google to view my new sites with skepticism; whether that was through a manual review or not, I really don’t know.  I discussed this issue in detail in the posts I linked to above.

What I did in November and December

As I discussed in my post here; my strategy going forward was to rebuild 6 or 7 sites from scratch that target some of the keywords from my old websites that had been deindexed by Google.  This is exactly what I did.  I had about 7 websites completed by the end of November/early December that targeted these keywords that I already knew could make good money, and more importantly that I KNEW I could rank well for.

Out of those 7 websites, 2 of them are already ranked in the top 10 for their chosen keywords.  These new sites combined (all built in the last month or so), made me an average of $20 to $30 a day over the past 7 days.  Yesterday I made $39.89 from these sites.  And Yes, it is all still from Adsense.  These keywords are best monetized by Adsense.  Others may not be, but these certainly are.

(By the way, my “other” sites also earned me well over $100 yesterday and continue to do quite well with Yahoo and Bing even though they are not listed in Google.  These “old” sites are averaging just over $100/day this month).

In fact, once my other sites in this group (my 7 new sites) start ranking, and as I build up the content on the 2 sites that already are ranking; it really is not out of the question for me to expect these sites to hit $100/day or more.

How Can You Take Advantage of this Information?

I only share these results to let you know that you can still buy domains today and rank quickly for keywords that have low competition.  In fact, if someone knew the keywords I was targeting for these 7 sites; they too could probably outrank my sites without much effort.  I believe there are probably millions still out there and that number may actually continue to grow as new long tail keywords are produced. (Every time a new product, service, or news event occurs; keywords are created and searched for that were not searched for yesterday).

The other aspect I wanted to mention is that these are NOT exact match domains.  I owned the exact match domains previously, but these were deindexed.  So, instead I purchased domains that had a suffix; something like “exactkeywordreview.com”.  I have used “review”, “pro”, “hq”, “today”, and others as suffixes on my domain names.  So, the lesson here is that exact match domains are preferred…but NOT required.  If you see a killer keyword with low competition, don’t be afraid to go after it just because the exact match domain is not available.

I wanted to give this quick update to everyone, just to let you know I am still passionate about building niche websites and they certainly can still bring in good money.  Its not an easy process, and it takes a lot of work and know how, but its certainly possible.  I plan to continue building a few niche websites per month and plan to continue discussing best practices and strategies with you.

I’ve been pretty open on my blog in previous posts with how I find keywords and monetize my sites, but if you have additional questions, please feel free to ask below.  I look forward to your comments.

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29 Responses to “Niche Websites Update: Are There REALLY Still Good Keywords Out There?”

  1. Spencer,

    This is great news!

    Maybe I missed it, but have you covered how you’re getting your sites to rise in the SERPs? Your backlinking methods? Are you using any particular services for that?

    Good to hear that you’re on the road to even more money and that you’re recouping the losses that you had.

    Chris

    • Hey Chris:
      My backlinking methods consist of mostly article marketing, profile links, directory links, social bookmarks, and web 2.0 links(like hubpages, squidoo, etc). I have been experimenting with where to outsource my links lately. I had a couple of sites outsourced through freelancer.com that did basically all of those link types to my site.
      However, I have also tried out 3 different services offered through the warrior forum. So far they look good, but I want to get some more results before I do a full review.

      • Thanks for the reply, Spencer!

        So how are you tracking your site stats without Google Analytics? AW Stats? Or did you simply create a new Analytics account for the new sites?

        Also, if you’re using AdSense on the new sites, aren’t you concerned about Google knowing about your new sites?

        Just curious is all.

        Thanks!

        Chris

        • I am using Piwik stats. I like it.
          There is no problem with Google knowing about my sites. The issues was having a link with my older sites (that were lower quality) and my newer sites which are higher quality. Having said that, you never want anyone (including Google) to know too much about your sites…because they hold too much power. If I could avoid using adsense, I would. Its just that adsense pays much more than any other network for my particular niche. I plan to diversify into amazon or other affiliate products, but for now, I am fine using adsense.

          • Thanks for the info, Spencer!

            Is Piwik free or paid? Is that WP specific?

            Thanks!

            Chris

            • Chris:
              Piwik is free; just do a google search to find it. Its is not limited to WordPress. You install it on your own server; which makes it a little bit more difficult to get running; but once its up, its very simple to use (very similar to Google analytics).

  2. Hey Spencer, =-)

    Great news on being able to rank once again for those deindexed keywords. Congrats on that and thanks for the new update.

    You answered a question I always wondered about since I always aim to get the exact match keyword.

    I did have another question though, I know you seem to always target the low competitive keywords but I do wonder, if you have ever tried to rank for something in the realm of extreme competitiveness and actually ranked well for it?

    An example can be within the auto insurance of student loan niches. I mention these as they are extremely high potential earners.

    Thanks!

    • Yes, when I first started trying SEO I did try to target more competitive keywords…that’s why I almost quit! I never saw any success. I have found pretty good success targeting low competition keywords which is why I recommend it. I don’t have the patience to wait 6 or 8 months (or more) before seeing any results on a website.
      However, your examples of auto insurance or student loan niches makes me wonder if I understand your question. I might very well be in both these niches but I am targeting long tail low competition keywords…does that make sense? So, my keyword might not be “student loans” but it might still be in the same niche…it might be “school loans for seniors”. So its still in the “student loan” niche, but targets a low competition keyword. (The above is just an example, and I don’t know if thats a good keyword or not).

      • Great! Definitely understand what you mean and that is exactly what I will continue to aim for. :)

        Thanks a lot for your reply.

        The cool thing about diving within those auto loans and insurance niches and going after the low competitive long tail ones is that even though they are under the competition radar they tend to pay a lot.

        Once again thanks. By the way just read the marathon post and that is awesome congrats on your previous accomplishment and wish you the best on your next goal.

  3. hey Spencer marathon man , good to hear about the turn around. always encouraging news from you .Good to find ways to slide by google . i think dropping the google analytics is a good idea . can’t have there nose in everything. haha . whens the videos coming on the l t hand book ?. cheers into the new year .

    • marathon man…I like that! Thanks..
      I am still working on creating some videos for a full course…it still might be a few months.

  4. Great job re-targeting those keywords, Spencer! I’ve been thinking of trying something similar with my sites – it just seems like Google just doesn’t like any of the sites I have. They are still indexed, they just don’t rank anywhere. It is a little frustrating, to say the least.

    I’ve been wondering if it would be worth it just to make a fresh start. If things don’t start to turn around in the next few months, I just might have to…

    For your backlinking, do you target the homepage, or spread your backlinks out over the inner pages?

    • Hey Steph. It very well may be that you may benefit from starting from scratch. I have also had sites that stayed indexed but wouldn’t rank when I know they should have. I think it is worth consideration if you don’t see any improvement.
      For backlinking, I target the homepage mostly. However, I do also link to one or 2 inner pages at times. So, alot of inner pages dont get any links built to them.

  5. Always good to read your stuff Spencer. You give me hope that it can be done. I have 3 sites ranking well, but still haven’t made a dime. Wrong keywords perhaps…
    So, always good to hear that it truly is being done.

    • Are you getting any traffic to the sites that are ranking well? If not, you are definitely targeting the wrong keywords. It might be time to try something new. If you are getting traffic but still not making any money, then you might not be monetizing it properly.

  6. Thanks for the update Spencer. You keep inspiring me to keep it up!

  7. I really appreciate your generosity.It gives me really great insemination.I like to ask one question.If you have registered a new domain name and do not use google analytics so that google can not find your site.

    But google can not find the footprints based on your adsense account?Since your adsense account is same.or did you create a new adsense account?

    Regards
    Dude

    • Hey Dude – nice name by the way –
      I have a new Adsense account under a different Tax ID number. For every new entity with a different Tax ID; you are allowed to have 1 Adsense Account. So, my new adsense account is totally separate (with a different TIN) from my old Adsense account to give me a fresh start. Google would most certainly track all of my sites under one account; but since they are in a separate account under a separate entity; they are completely separate. Great question though.

  8. Thank’s Spencer for your encouraging email. I’ve been
    Struggling to get my first niche website going. I’ve put in
    A lot of hours and have gotten very little results. I
    felt that I was getting burn out but, you have given me hope.
    Thank you so much Spencer. I know I will be successful!

  9. i am a follower and i admire your efforts and success, i have some questions if you dont mind…when you choose long tail keywords, what is the number of monthly searches you considered good enough for you to build a niche website about it? do you base it on exact searches?

    • I only look at exact searches. Minimum is 1k, but I would only go after a 1k keyword if I was REALLY confident I could rank in the top 5. Typical is 2400 to 5k.

  10. follow up on that, what exact searches and cost per click does these. latest niche websites of you have for you to earn that much in a short amount of time?

    • The 2 websites that I mentioned in this post have 4,400 exact searches (both of them by coincidence). CPC in google keyword tool is like 1.29 and 2.50. Hope that helps!

  11. Spencer,

    Tremendous strategies! And clearly, they’re working for you. That’s awesome!

    When it comes to finding great keywords, I think most people are just being lazy. It’s true, you’d be a fool to try to take over a major keyword (like taking “books” from Amazon, or something like that). But, People seem to think that any keyword that already has a high-ranking site is off-limits, or not worth pursuing. That’s just ridiculous. And lazy.

    Now, I agree that it’s smart to grab all the low-hanging fruit you can, but if the fruit at the top of the tree is sweeter, why not give climbing a try?

    • There is nothing wrong with going after a high competition keyword. In fact, it can pay off big time. However, I would certainly not call going after low competition keywords “lazy”. I call it smart.

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  13. Spencer,

    Can you say how the earnings get so high for certain sites if they exact searches are around 1500 a month ? For instance, I am number 2 for a phrase that is 1400 a month but make around 30 a month. You said you send most of your links to your homepage. Are you ranking for several terms on your home page itself? Thanks for any clarity on this! I rank for 2 phrases, so am wondering if most of your traffic goes to your homepage if you somehow target more phrases.