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I was wondering this:
Until now I've only really been into niche sites..as in topical niche sites (you take a generic topic and find an underserved niche within it).
However, I'm starting to take interest in local niche sites. The thing is I live in Germany in a city of a population of 100.000 (the metropolitan area exceeds 1,000,000 though including a city closeby of 500,000).
I was wondering if it might be way more profitable to make a website for keywords such as...well...'my city + Pizza'. The sites that rank #1,#2 #3 for the big city of 500,000 only have around 30 backlinks (maybe 15-20 from different locations).
The keyword tools do show some volume (we dont really have reliable keyword tools for the German market...way less reliable than those for the US market). However, I wouldnt judge by those volumes, but by the fact that many people eat pizza every day ;) and Ive typed in "pizza + my city" before to order a pizza online. So I guess such a site could at least have some potential to sell adspace to a local pizza delivery service (preferrably one that has few clients).
What do you guys think of this idea? and...to get back to my original question:
which have you done better with: topical or local niches?
I'd say go local, based on my experience.
Pizza München would probably be more popular than Leberkäse München or Marzipan München. Ha!
Are you going to rely on ads?
Pizza may not be a high money value.
I'd get out a phone book (if you still own one) and study the more valuable markets.
@venice: I'd like to do something I'm interested in. And Im interested in Pizza LOL just playing..I have other ideas and am gonna look into some more stuff that might be a bit more niche.
Another one would be gym + city of 500,000 (right next to me)..the #1 spot ranking on under 100 links.
Plus I've always wanted to do a site on working out, weight lifting, etc. (I know quite a lot about this one having worked out regularly for 7 years) but I could never find a niche (and you can imagine how hypersaturated the weight lifting market is hm?;().
Would it be a good idea to make a site for gyms out of my city and then try to get links by making such content that's appealing to bodybuilding/weightlifting sites?
Is it important to get links from local sites, too? (as in not just topically related sites but also sites from similar locations?)
How would you guys go about doing this? Making the theme of the sites "gyms + my city" and creating subpages for link bait pages..or making a site with great unique content and creating a subpage for the "gym +mycity" thing? Usually Id say this one is a no-brainer, but isnt it pretty hard to get people interested in linking to a site if the homepage looks completely commercial..no matter how good the rest of the content is?
Direct competition by the search engines on local sites. Even if you rank #1 for your city site your listing will be underneath "official" search engine chosen maps and results.
Google and Yahoo both offer their own content (not ads, actual content) ahead of anyone elses for most city type sites.
So if I were to look up city+ pizza and your site is number one I'd first see a map, then a few links to the #1, #2, #3 sites, then some offers to comment on those sites and THEN i'd find the #1,#2,#3 results for that term... It's a lot of stuff on top of even a top ranked site.
can't say I have done exhaustive survey but .... sure write into Google place name and maps etc show as you describe but don't find same with say Pizza New York. Also lots of town names tend to be duplicated so Google can be outfoxed.
You are right in that there does seem an increasing trend to dominate local.