Here is a video that puts to rest the myth that good Google search engine rankings are a privilege of the big sites. Matt Cutts is very clear:
Over and over again we see the sites that are smart enough to be agile and be dynamic and respond quickly and rollout new ideas much faster than the sort of lumbering larger sites can often rank higher in Google search results. It’s not the case that the smaller sites with superior content can’t outrank the larger sites. That’s how the smaller sites often become the larger sites.
Sites like Facebook, Google, Instagram, and Pinterest were small once. But they eventually overtook the big fish of the day (e.g. MySpace for social media and AltaVista for search engines). How did they do it? Quality and targeted content.
They do a better job of focusing on user experience, they return something that adds more value. If it’s a research report organization, the reports are high-quality or more insightful or they look deeper into the issues. If it’s somebody that does analysis, their analysis is more robust. Whatever area you are in, if you’re doing a better than the other incumbents, then over time you can expect to perform better and better.
Of course, if you are just doing it on your own and you’re up against multiple-author websites, it will take time for yours to be noticed. However, don’t get discouraged. Instead, choose a niche topic, do your due diligence, and create well-researched content that shows off your expertise.
That is how you build authority. And before you know it, you will find yourself “rubbing shoulders” with those you thought you would never be able to outrank!