There was a time a few years ago when microsites was all the rage. All it required to make a handsome living online was to create a 5 page website with some content on it, thousands of random spam backlinks and you were good to go. Google will rank these microsites based on their EMD (exact domain matches). The process was simple and repeatable. These thin websites would bring in revenues of around $100 a month and with large number of such microsites, people were making decent living.
However, as you can plainly see, these were basically low quality sites that were drawing unfair benefit from EMD and spammy backlinks. And finally Google algorithms caught on and after that the EMD advantage was devalued. Now a days, EMDs do now carry a huge benefit unless these are quality, authority and useful sites.
But there are still some exceptions visible in the search results where microsites are still ranking high. But there are other reasons too. For example, the keyword they are ranking against might be easy to rank with very little competition due to non existence of competing sites.
But generally speaking, it is almost not possible now to rank microsites within a matter of days now. Technically speaking it is still possible to rank these sites, but the amount of effort involved is similar to what is needed for ranking an authority site.
Some SEO experts still believe that microsites can be profitable. But even these experts are also of the view that the content should be high quality, well researched and the competition should be less. But most of the SEO experts now agree that since the loss of EMD advantage and Google’s Panda and Penguin updates, it is not worth the effort to try to rank microsites and make a living out of these. Some of the people have reported to have lost thousands of dollars trying to do this.
So the future is not in microsites but in creating authority sites with high quality, useful content with people’s needs in mind. Offer high quality solution to people’s problem, and your website will definitely rank in the search engines. Microsites are only useful if you are targeting to generate leads for traditional brick and mortar businesses.