Niche Websites - Content, What Content?
A niche website offers a promise of specialised content but all too often
fails to deliver on this promise. Instead of unique insights, articles
written from a personal point of view and advice born out of experience
they mostly consist of a disappointing array of advertisements. Most so-
called niche websites are just a cheap and lazy way of earning money.
niche websites, content,advertisements,information,searching,research on
the Internet, search engine
Copyright 2006 Elaine Currie
What's In A Niche? When talking of niche websites, the answer to that
question is, in my humble opinion, not very much at all in most cases.
Certainly much less than should be in a niche. Is it just me - are my
expectations too high? I don't think so because I have seen some good
niche websites as well as many horrors. A real niche website that has
been built with care and passion is a thing of beauty (or, at the very
least, interest) and is usually a treasure trove for visitors who share a
love of the niche subject.
What I am complaining about are the so-called niche websites people are
throwing together for the sole purpose of collecting advertising revenue.
These sites have little (if anything) in the way of content. The
colourful pictures and plentiful advertisements do not make up for this
lack. Advertising is fine, in fact it's usually essential if you want
to stay in business. What makes me see red is clicking on misleading
advertisements and landing on website after cloned website only to be
confronted with a few sentences of poorly written text and dozens of
gibbering advertisements. To test the integrity of a niche site, look at
what would be left if you removed all the pay per click advertisements.
It is unfortunate for people who are surfing for information that the
Internet is being overrun by the awful flimsy looking template produced
websites that are being churned out at a crazy rate. If you spend any
time on the Internet, you will know the type of thing I mean. These
websites consist of a couple of pages with nice enough looking header
graphics (that's the pictures at the top, if you are not "in the trade"
so to speak), and clumps of advertisements placed so that they are the
first thing you see. If you manage to get past the advertisements, you
might find a few articles which have been copied from other websites just
for the sake of having something on the pages to lend them some
credibility. These websites don't exist to provide information or
services or to promote anything. Their sole purpose is to carry
advertising that will earn the owner money in return for just about zero
work on his part.
How much time and effort goes into creating one of these monstrosities?
Practically none: in most cases it is all done by a software package. The
pseudo webmaster doesn't ever need to worry about actual webpage design
or building. All these charlatans need to do is decide upon their niche
topic, toss a bunch of keywords into the mix and the software will do the
rest. These people can create their pseudo niche websites on any subject
anyone in the world might think of. It's easy because they don't need to
know anything about the subject themselves. Whether it is dog training,
bridal dresses, funerals or haemorrhoids, an online search tool will
provide a list of keywords and the software will do the rest. Nobody
cares that the laughing man clutching a fistful of cash or the sports car
pictured in the heading has no relevance to the content and would be
frankly inappropriate if you were looking for a funeral director or
medication for a painful medical condition. The webmaster has no
intention of offering you anything of value. In fact, it is in his
interests if you take an immediate dislike to his web page because that
makes you more likely to click away from it via one of his advertising
links and that's how he makes his money.
After a couple of days of trying to do some semi-serious research on the
Internet, I feel like unplugging my pc and dusting off my library
tickets. Ok - so you can't judge a book by its cover but the cover
doesn't usually set out to deliberately mislead you as to the contents
(quite the opposite in fact). When I type a query into a search engine,
I want the results to lead me to websites containing the answer to that
query. If I am searching for information about a particular subject, I
don't appreciate being directed to websites that consist of a few keyword
loaded sentences walled in by blocks of advertisements for other similar
Roll on the day when someone invents a search engine that can distinguish
between a real niche website and an advertising vehicle built from a
cheap kit. Maybe we can get back to the time when searching the
Internet was faster than catching a bus to the library and thumbing