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Categorized | Case Studies

Case Study #5: MegaSites.com (My New Development Project)

Posted on 13 April 2014 by Andrei

As you know, I’ve done a case study about each newly launched project and MegaSites.com won’t represent an exception. Some of you might remember that for many years, I’ve stated on DomainingTips.com time and time again that building small websites is *not* a viable long-term business model because quite frankly, such websites don’t genuinely provide value to visitors. Through MegaSites.com, I’ve decided to do the exact opposite of what most webmasters choose to do by focusing on large useful websites (preferably 100+ articles).

Why?

Well because in my opinion, providing value is the *only* way to do well with development projects in 2014 and beyond. With each day that passes, search engines are getting better and better at filtering out small/useless websites. They don’t do it because they hate you, they simply do it because they want to improve the experience of their users. Their business model revolves around providing useful search results and by eliminating small/useless websites, they are doing a good thing.

Now as a webmaster, you have two choices (as the video on MegaSites.com outlines): you can either play cat and mouse with search engines indefinitely by continuing to build useless sites or you can give search engines as well as visitors what they want. They want a website that provides knowledge in an entertaining manner and in my opinion, a reasonably good question you have to ask yourself is this:

If a complete beginner were to find your website and go through its content, would he become knowledgeable when it comes to whatever it is your site is about?

If your website is good enough to turn a complete beginner into someone knowledgeable (not an expert of course but knowledgeable nonetheless) then it means you did what you were supposed to do. At the end of the day, it’s not exactly rocket science:

1. Creating a quality site
2. Being rewarded with traffic
3. Making money by monetizing that traffic

… that’s really all there is to it.

If your business model is not able to generate a win-win-win scenario (the visitor gets quality information, search engines get a relevant result that makes visitors happy and you make money), the chances of doing well at this point and in the future are extremely low.

Through MegaSites.com, I will do everything humanly possible to generate such win-win-win scenarios and you are now probably asking yourself:

Do you have any examples?

First and foremost, I never ever share any details about the projects I work on because confidentiality is very important to me. On the other hand though, I understand that potential customers want to see a live example, so I built a megasite on one of my domains:

VFH.com – Vitality. Fitness. Health

As you can see, I’ve chosen a very good domain, a LLL dot com in this case. As I’m sure you realized by now, MegaSites.com is *not* a mass development service for the simple reason that megasites are extremely hard to build. You can’t just snap your fingers and bam, there’s your megasite :)

Designers, coders, writers and data entry guys work together on each project in order to make sure everything turns out great. Mass development is simply out of the question and I want to make it abundantly clear that this is a service for your very best domains.

In my case for example, there’s no way I’m selling VFH.com unless someone makes me a *very* good offer. It’s a “buy and hold” domain for sure, so why shouldn’t I turn it into a great site? The more revenue the megasite ends up generating, more my asking price will go up. Quite frankly, I might even decide to put it on my “not for sale” list.

I’ve always been passionate about anything that has to do with healthy lifestyles, so I thought it would be a good opportunity to finally build a website about just that. As you can see, the website in question has a nice clean design and most importantly, lots and lots (… and lots) of content. Over 100 articles organized in a logical/intuitive manner and even things like infographics (here, here, here, here, here and here).

Furthermore, please remember the question I asked previously:

If a complete beginner were to find your website and go through its content, would he become knowledgeable when it comes to whatever it is your site is about?

To make sure that the answer to that question is a clear “yes” as far as VFH.com is concerned, I put together something I like to call a “useful sitemap” because it’s just that. To most webmasters, a sitemap represents just a formality, something they never expect visitors to use. But why should it? I took the concept to the next level by putting together a sitemap which basically tells beginners how the megasite should be used. In other words, which articles they should start with, what to do next and so on.

Again, is this rocket science?

Of course not, yet most people don’t do it and visitors often find themselves in a “what on Earth should I start with” situation!

The bottom line is this: my goal with MegaSites.com isn’t reinventing the wheel, it’s simply doing what webmasters should have been doing all along, building genuinely useful sites. Of course, this involves quite a bit of hard work and that partly explains why so many people are looking for shortcuts. Unfortunately for them and fortunately for Internet users, finding such shortcuts is hard in 2014 and with each month that passes, it gets even harder. Why complicate your life instead of simply giving visitors as well as search engines what they want?

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1 Comments For This Post

  1. Site Name Marketing Says:

    I have large sites, parking company sites and my own Domain ForSale sign sites. Some ranking for the latter is encouraging and they give a potential buyer more informaton than the parking company sites. Frankly, I don’t think they should be devalued because they have one page instead of 99. If the one page sparks interest in buying a domain, then it serves the same function as any number if large websites that are trying to sell something (incidentally, my company site has over 100 pages and performs the same function, but for several sites instead of just one). What the search engines want, by the way, is constantly changing. They would probably prefer the term ‘evolving.’ Either way, it can be very time consuming or fairly expensive trying to keep up if you feel the need to maintain a high ranking. While with most of my sites I am indeed trying to sell something, I feel I’m doing so with best of intentions. And if I’m being penalized for it, at least I’ll languish in obscurity with a clear conscience.

 
 
         
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