When it comes to my investments, I always do my homework.
- Haddon (Contact)
This thread is for folks to list their methods for researching website auctions and sales.
Feel free to add any tips and tricks you know of that isn't listed here already!
There already exists a PDF guide for buyers on SitePoint so READ THAT FIRST!
Google is your friend
- Make liberal use of google. If the site has a 1800 number google it, maybe there are duplicates.
- Select a bunch of text from the site and google it to check for unique content.
- Google the sellers name and email address.
- Google the site name plus the word 'scam' to see if the site has a bad reputation.
- Google info:www.<thesitename>.com to gain further information such as inbound links, number of indexed pages etc.
Use online tools
- www.domaintools.com provides volumes of information about a site and its registrant. You can get a lot free information here as well as pay for even more detailed reports.
If the sale involves a large amount of money consider paying for the extra report/s.
- www.aboutus.org gives more information. Check the 'related domains' section to see if there are any identical sites out there.
- www.myipneighbors.com will tell you what other sites are hosted on the same server.
- use www.compete.com and www.alexa.com to see traffic details in comparison to competitors.
- Don't expect unique content in the turnkey section. If you want unique content look in established sites and premium listings and have a budget greater than $1000.
- Don't assume a site's value is soley based on some arbitrary calculation of the monthly revenue. Consider traffic, indexed pages, SERP, page rank, name, age of the site, etc.
If you have any doubt about the seller's ownership of the site ask them to place a unique meta tag in the home page to verify ownership.
Each marketplace section has a column title 'Comments' telling you the total number of comments people have placed in that listing.
If the number of comments does not match the number you see in the listing you know the seller has been deleting comments.
There's nothing unusual about a couple of missing comments but if a sale is missing a dozen or more this may be cause for further investigation.
I was pretty sure I had more tips but that's about all that comes to mind right now.. oh yeah.. did I tell you to -
READ THE PDF GUIDE!