How can small sites become popular?


today's question comes from Dan dan wants to know how can smaller sites with superior content ever rank over sites with superior traffic it's a vicious circle a regional or national brick-and-mortar brand has higher traffic leads to a higher rank which leads to higher traffic ad infinitum okay so let me take a little bit of umbrage let me disagree a little bit with the premise of your question which is just because you have some national brand that automatically leads to a higher traffic or higher rank over and over again we see the sites that are smart enough to be agile and be dynamic and respond quickly and you know roll out new ideas much faster than these sort of lumbering larger sites can often rank higher in Google search results and it's not the case that the smaller site with superior content can't outdo the larger sites that's how the smaller sites often become the larger sites right you think about something like MySpace and then Facebook right or Facebook and then Instagram and all these you know small sites have often become very big right even Alta Vista and Google because they do a better job of focusing on the user experience they return something that adds more value you know if it's if it's a research report organization that reports a higher quality or they're more insightful or they look deeper into the issues you know if it's somebody that does analysis their analysis is just more robust you know whatever area you are in if you're doing it better than the other incumbents then over time you can expect to perform better and better better but you do have to also bear in mind you know if you have a one-person website taking on you know a 200 person website is going to be hard at first so think about concentrating on a smaller topic area one niche or niche however you want to say it and sort of say okay I'm the subject area in this particular area and make sure that you cover it really really well and then you can sort of build out from that smaller area until you become larger and larger and larger so I sometimes refer to it as the katamari philosophy because you start out with a little tiny calamari and then you roll up and you roll up and you get to be more authoritative and more reputable in more more areas until you become you turn around and suddenly you're one of those big sites that you know it's very well known and that people are like I'm a small sigh how come I can outrank him but if you look at the history of the web over and over again you see people competing on a level playing field and because there's very little friction and changing where you go and and which apps you use and which websites you visit the small guys absolutely can perform the the larger guys as long as they do a really good job at it so good luck with that I hope it works well for you and don't stop trying to produce superior content because over time that's one of the best ways to rank higher on the web

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