You are keen to buy a web site business and you have seen lots of them for sale – particularly on auction sites. So how do you ensure that what you buying is really an established site? Here is your check list:
1) Check that the domain name belongs to the owner and has been established for a long time. Web sites take a long time to become established. A new domain just won’t have had time to build up links and traffic.
2) Check that the domain can actually be transferred to you. Domains are locked when they are first purchased, when they are due to expire and when they have just been transferred. Make sure that you can quickly obtain ownership of the domain. At least one major registrar is experiencing considerable problems at the moment and domains cannot be transferred out. Do a quick search engine search on the registrar before you buy!
3) Check the PR, links and search engine saturation. If the site has a PR of 0,1 or 2 it is not established! Also check the links and make sure that they are of good quality and don’t all belong to the seller! If they are the seller’s links ask for written confirmation that they will stay for at least a year. Check how many times the site is mentioned in the major search engines. The higher the PR, the number of links and the search engine saturation – the more you will pay for the site – so ensure that they are genuine
4) Check that traffic is actual and not from some traffic exchange. A common ruse is to post a picture of the web logs that show great traffic over the last month. This traffic can easily be bought from traffic exchanges, which often consists of people looking at the site for a few seconds and then moving on.
5) Look at the web logs and see what visitors are doing. A good seller will give you access to the logs. See that the visitors are actually staying on the site for more than a minute and that some of them are looking around. Visitor are good, visitors that don’t stay are not so good, but at least leave room for you to improve the site.
6) Check that you can sell what is being sold on the site. Make sure that you get copyrights or master resale rights. Similarly check that you own the copyrights to the web site and that it will not be duplicated in future.
7) Check that the site you are buying is the actual site and not one that has been built as the one that is making the money! Some people make a living churning out the same site time after time. Some people trumpet about how much they earn with their site and then offer to sell you a similar site. Don’t fall for this. As in any business – the number of visitors is what counts.
8) If it is a gaming or adult site check that you are allowed to host it on your own servers or that you can take over the existing hosting. Many hosts don’t allow these kind of sites.
9) Check that it is not with a theme that is dying or over populated with web sites. Just because a site is on a high paying AdSense keyword does not mean you will make money out of it.
10) Lastly check the income claims.
Lastly if it seems to good to be true – it probably is. Ask yourself “why would someone sell me an established web site making thousands for a few dollars? Good Luck.
© Copyright 2007 Biz Guru Services Ltd
Lee Lister, writes as The Biz Guru, for a number of web sites including her own sites. With over 20 year’s management and business consultancy experience with businesses large and small as well as being a serial entrepreneur, she now helps others set up, develop and market their businesses.
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