Today the Wall Street Journal ran an article about how some niche websites are bucking the downward trends hitting other online publishers. Sites like SB Nation and the Health Central Network are seeing spikes in visitors and revenue.

Of course in online publishing, all that really matters is SEO & distribution. Given that Google's search algorithms favor large highly authoritative sites,  how are these smaller sites making it?

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I believe its all about focus. Focus gives niche sites a certain advantage in their topical areas. Niche sites will have a wealth of content about a particular topic winning visitors across the full spectrum of keywords related to their topic.

Niche sites have 2 other advantages over a big portal: a lower cost structure and a targeted audience. Niche sites typically employ freelance writers at a rate much lower than sites like Yahoo or the New York Times, which allows them to run lean. Niche sites also often have a better idea of who is visiting their site which can lead to higher ad prices.

What is your favorite niche site?