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Friday, April 01, 2011

Dan's Buying a Website Guide

Serif WebPlus X4 [Download]Evolving Post [LAST UPDATED:04/01/2011]

AKA Dan's Website Due Diligence Guide

Let's be honest here, I have absolutely zero knowledge on how to buy websites. But the overall trend in some quarters is that blogs usually go for 2 to 3 digits (USD) in digitalpoint forums.

But wait, here's more. Don't be duped. Digitalpoint forums is like a dirty market of slick salesmen selling you snake oil that would cure anything and everything. You might find some diamonds in the rough but you really need to dig deep into the dirt, really deep, to find them.



 
I may not know how to buy other blogs or websites yet, but here are some guidelines which I think could be useful if you want to know the websites that are good to buy.

    Domain Names for Dummies
  • Good domain name. Although it sucks to have a website domain name like Freemoney.com, the domain on its own carries a lot of power when it comes to search engine rankings. Good domain names are usually keyword searches which have a power on their own. The tool for this one is:
    1. Google Keyword Tool
  • Original content. Beware. Most of these websites that claim to have a high Page Rank actually have lots of copied content on them. Do research on the site by copying some text from sentences and then running them over on Google. You'll find duplicate content easy to spot from the site snippets. They'll be in BOLD letters. 
  • Traffic. Measuring traffic through external sources is more of an art than an exact science. Actually, there are methods to artificially jack up the traffic stats of any website including:
    • Pay to click programs - Users and participants are paid at least $0.01 cents to click and view a website for a few seconds, generating massive amounts of traffic everyday.
    • Repeatedly refreshing/reloading the webpages. F5, F5, F5
    • Paid services. Just do a check on Google and you'll find services offering 10,000 unique web page visits for $10 a pop. Slick eh? Maybe I should try one to jack up my traffic... jk
Regardless of these artificial methods, you could run the domain over the following tools to get an approximation of the traffic (all free to use). They'll show different numbers, so you can try to average them out. The most reliable for me is HypeStat, although it can sometimes inflate the results 100%. Thus, when I checked my blog, it says 200, in actuality it is 100. The tools:  
    1. Hypestat
    2. Site Value Calculator
    3. CubeStat
    4. Website Outlook
  • Dirty Tricks. Sometimes, in the desire to inflate the rank of the website, the owners engage in nefarious SEO tactics. To check on the health of the domain, use this tool (free to use):
    1. OpenSiteExplorer
  • Page Rank Check. Although HypeStat already has enough resources to give you the Page Rank of a website, nothing beats one of the oldest tool in the land:
    1. PRChecker.info. Annoying as hell because of its constant anti spam bot nagging, but it works. 
  • Owner reputation. In times when just about anybody and everybody is showing their real names online, it's important to know whether the seller is trustworthy. Trust is hard to find, so I'll leave it up to you (or until I find the time to write about it).
I haven't really bought a website yet, but if I say a particularly good domain which passes all of my criteria, I might dabble and risk a little.

Case Study: Rebeccablackfans.com

April 1, 2011. Some guy is selling RebeccaBlackfans.com at $197. Domain was registered only yesterday, and they already have a forum with it.   

To quote:

For sale is http://www.RebeccaBlackFans.com.

In addition to the main blog, the community forum is also included: http://rebeccablackfans.com/forums/

The site has received 2000+ unique visitors this month and over 3000+ pageviews.

Here's what's included...

    Domain name rebeccablackfans.com
    Site files and complete database
    RebeccaBlackFans.com Twitter account with over 200+ followers
    RebeccaBlackFans.com YouTube account with over 200+ subscribers and 7000+ channel views


BIN: $197.00 USD

Pros

  • Site is number 3 in the search rankings for keyphrase "Rebecca Black Fans"
  • 65,000,000 views on YouTube video. 

Cons:

  • 1,160,000 dislikes for the video
  • Bad press/bad publicity
  • No Hypestats Info
Action

  • Observe trend
  • Research on whether fan sites can earn good money





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