Before You Buy That Website…
After being in the search engine optimization game for a bit and making your first big bucks designing, creating and marketing your website, you may be ready to embark upon buying up starter websites that already are earning sums of money. Many better-off SEO enthusiasts will pay a nominal amount for a functional website with some revenue stream and then proceed to either allow that site to continue to generate income or improve its ranking and content in order to gain even more. There are many tempting offers out there regarding website sales, but not all are created equally. By following these tips, you will avoid the pitfalls of being scammed or ripped off when buying a website.
Show Me The Money
If you are attempting to buy a website from its current webmaster with the promise that this site generates revenue, then do not be afraid to ask for login credentials – not screenshots – of the accounts where money is being generated by the site. There is absolutely no reason why a seller would not provide this as he or she has total access to his or her account and can gain access back to it in the event someone (you) were to try to “run off with it”. By seeing the revenue generated directly from sales, leads or conversions, you can verify the claims of the seller.
Inspect the Site’s Setup
It is not too much to ask for the login credentials for the site as well, in order to inspect how the site is setup and what search engine optimization tactics are being used. You do not want to buy a “fresh site” that is using black hat SEO tactics to gain traffic; this will only end in your site being flagged by Google and other search engines later on and will spell the end for your potentially profitable venture. You also want to make sure that you are familiar and capable of managing the site; not all sites are designed with the same suite of software.
Get A Second Opinion
If you do not know all the ins and outs of website construction and search engine optimization, it may be a good idea to reach out to a SEO-proficient company and allow them to inspect the site in question. They will be able to tell you whether or not the site will be profitable in the short and long term and which specific SEO methods are being used to build the site’s brand. Of course, you are free to change this as you go and tweak it however you wish, but having a SEO company inspect the site prior to purchase should reduce any possible issues you may have later down the road.
Verify The Site’s Standing
There are plenty of tricks that site scammers use to trick naïve buyers into purchasing a “lame” website. One of the most common methods they use is replacing the actual site’s header with information that is relayed from another more popular site. Whenever you check the site on major rankers, it may show up with a better PageRank than it actually has. In order to eliminate this possibility, try Pingler’s Fake Rank Checker Tool. This will let you know whether the information being displayed about the website in question actually belongs to the website or is being redirected from elsewhere.