Buying a Website: how do I know its not a redirect?

14 replies
Hey everyone, I'm about to make a decision about a website purchase that has pretty good traffic over 1k uniques a day. They started to work on it approximately 8 months ago, there is no solid backlink profile to this site, it has only around 50 links which I would say are low quality links coming from random sites, but they all seem to be natural.

With that being said, in my opinion its a high risk website, what would you guys recommend doing? How do I know its a not redirect and it wont drop after the redirect will be removed? Is there a way to find out? The seller says it isn't.

The traffic seems to be increasing!
#buying #redirect #website
  • Profile picture of the author Alex A2Hosting
    Is there something like Google Analytics setup on the site? If so, you could request access to that and see where the traffic is coming from.

    If not, maybe have that setup and monitor it for a couple - few days and see what you find? If you are having doubts, don't pay out any money until your doubts have been resolved.
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    Originally Posted by smolodoy View Post

    Hey everyone, I'm about to make a decision about a website purchase that has pretty good traffic over 1k uniques a day. They started to work on it approximately 8 months ago, there is no solid backlink profile to this site, it has only around 50 links which I would say are low quality links coming from random sites, but they all seem to be natural.

    With that being said, in my opinion its a high risk website, what would you guys recommend doing? How do I know its a not redirect and it wont drop after the redirect will be removed? Is there a way to find out? The seller says it isn't.

    The traffic seems to be increasing!

    Dude, you've just described bot traffic.

    Keep one hand on your wallet.
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  • Profile picture of the author aizaku
    sounds suspicious,

    what r the seller's reviews like?

    does he/she have a good rep. on the site that he is selling on?

    -Ike Paz
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  • Profile picture of the author kevintperry
    If it's on Flippa they should be able to provide you with Google Analytics data so you can see where the traffic is coming from. If the majority of the traffic isn't organic (search engine) I would be hesitant about putting any weight on traffic numbers.

    Traffic numbers aside, if the site is well designed, the topic is not over saturated, and it's something you enjoy and can see yourself working on I would give it consideration. Traffic can always be reestablished with hard work of course
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    • Profile picture of the author Tony Marriott
      Originally Posted by kevintperry View Post

      If it's on Flippa they should be able to provide you with Google Analytics data so you can see where the traffic is coming from. If the majority of the traffic isn't organic (search engine) I would be hesitant about putting any weight on traffic numbers.

      Traffic numbers aside, if the site is well designed, the topic is not over saturated, and it's something you enjoy and can see yourself working on I would give it consideration. Traffic can always be reestablished with hard work of course

      The problem is that the value of the site (what you pay) is based mainly on the traffic (or the income it generates). If it is not traffic that will stay with the site when transferred then you have simply been ripped off.

      Get live access to their Google Analytics. see the source of traffic. If it is not organic search then seriously question the source. It's coming from somewhere? Even if it's paid for.

      The other (obvious) question to ask is.. is the traffic converting to anything. If not then you don't want the site anyway.

      I can't agree about re-establishing traffic though. Traffic is the hard part. Web sites can be created for $5 so everything you pay over that is for traffic and income.
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      • Profile picture of the author kevintperry
        Originally Posted by Tony Marriott View Post

        The problem is that the value of the site (what you pay) is based mainly on the traffic (or the income it generates). If it is not traffic that will stay with the site when transferred then you have simply been ripped off.

        I can't agree about re-establishing traffic though. Traffic is the hard part. Web sites can be created for $5 so everything you pay over that is for traffic and income.
        I have to slightly disagree. Creating/designing/managing a website that converts is just as important as traffic numbers going to the website. I could send 100,000 visitors daily to a "$5 website" and will most likely get a 90% bounce rate. Maybe the 10% that did stay made me $5/day with Adsense, but of course there's potential for so much more if there had been more effort put into the website.

        In all fairness, we really don't know the situation here. Too many unknowns. Maybe the website is custom designed with a fantastic proprietary info product that it sells. We don't know those details.

        Kevin
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        • Profile picture of the author Tony Marriott
          Originally Posted by kevintperry View Post

          I have to slightly disagree. Creating/designing/managing a website that converts is just as important as traffic numbers going to the website. I could send 100,000 visitors daily to a "$5 website" and will most likely get a 90% bounce rate. Maybe the 10% that did stay made me $5/day with Adsense, but of course there's potential for so much more if there had been more effort put into the website.

          In all fairness, we really don't know the situation here. Too many unknowns. Maybe the website is custom designed with a fantastic proprietary info product that it sells. We don't know those details.

          Kevin
          Of course the conversion of the traffic defines the overall income and that is generally the most important factor. That is why I had '(or the income it generates)' after my traffic statement.

          But assuming it is converting reasonably (but OP doesn't give any pay/income numbers) then the traffic numbers are what you look to increase to grow future revenue.

          Also some sites are purchased for their traffic numbers alone. If a buyer already has a site in that niche that converts, then that traffic (assuming it is not fake) has a value based on the buyers existing site conversions which may be considerably better than the site for sale.


          As you say the OP has given very little detail so most of the replies are generic answers or personal comments.
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          • Profile picture of the author kevintperry
            Originally Posted by Tony Marriott View Post

            Of course the conversion of the traffic defines the overall income and that is generally the most important factor. That is why I had '(or the income it generates)' after my traffic statement.

            But assuming it is converting reasonably (but OP doesn't give any pay/income numbers) then the traffic numbers are what you look to increase to grow future revenue.

            Also some sites are purchased for their traffic numbers alone. If a buyer already has a site in that niche that converts, then that traffic (assuming it is not fake) has a value based on the buyers existing site conversions which may be considerably better than the site for sale.


            As you say the OP has given very little detail so most of the replies are generic answers or personal comments.
            My only beef was with the $5 website comment, as i'm sure you agree will have a direct correlation with conversion rates. But, I think we're just beating a dead horse here with so little information!

            Kevin
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve B
    Go in with your eyes wide open and all your questions answered to your satisfaction. Surprises are not typically happy ones.

    Soon after the site changes hands, and especially if you change the topic of the site, the current traffic will begin to dwindle. If the traffic is organic, Google knows the domain ownership has changed, and they will recognize that the site is in a transition to something new. They are all about user experience and relevant search results. They won't keep sending traffic to a site where the links are going dead (because you're changing the subject and URLs of the pages) and the topic is no longer relevant.

    To me, it seems there are too many questions still unanswered to feel good about spending money on this. Get all your answers or let someone else spend their money. If the current site owner won't help you out with answers, you know this is not for you.

    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author smolodoy
    I've been added to google analytics and like 80% of traffic coming from google, and from 1 post mostly, it seems like its optimized well and it has alot of search, ranks #1 for hundreds of long tail keyword for this one particular post! But that post itself doesnt' have any backlinks, so its just odd that it ranks for so many keywrods and traffic seems to grow from month to month!

    What bothers me is the fact that there is litterly no backlinks, how can a site with almost no backliks rank so well? Is something fishy here?
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  • Profile picture of the author shazshaz
    here are 3 ways to check if this is the real site that receive the traffic:

    1. go to archive.org and type the website address,
    you will need to type both the www. and the one without
    there you will have the history of the website for the last years, check different dates,

    if it is a redirect, you will receive some errors and in the error text you will find another website address mentioned, in that case that is clearly a redirect

    2. you go to alexa.com and type
    http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/YOURWEBSITE.com

    if it is a redirect, you will see another domain mentioned

    Note: if the redirect was replaced recently, you can check the older archives until you find the redirect

    3. go in google.com/ncr and type the domain name, a high traffic domain should appear in the tens of thousands

    3.bis: then you search for site:YourWebsite.com in google, if there are no entries,
    this mean the website has been banned by google(a good reason to sell it asap)

    do just that and you will be fine

    my 2 cents,
    The one
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  • Profile picture of the author randyman
    Man, I hope the purchase price is really low, looks shady.

    To determine backlinks, competition etc. you need experience in SEO, to know whether you can improve the site yourself.

    I'm not saying you need to be proficient in using tools such as ahrefs or majestic. But if you got to the point you're thinking about buying a site, at least you had some experience in using those tools.

    Anyway, what is the price/earning ratio? how much it earns per month versus sale price.
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  • Profile picture of the author writeaway
    Originally Posted by smolodoy View Post

    Hey everyone, I'm about to make a decision about a website purchase that has pretty good traffic over 1k uniques a day. They started to work on it approximately 8 months ago, there is no solid backlink profile to this site, it has only around 50 links which I would say are low quality links coming from random sites, but they all seem to be natural.

    With that being said, in my opinion its a high risk website, what would you guys recommend doing? How do I know its a not redirect and it wont drop after the redirect will be removed? Is there a way to find out? The seller says it isn't.

    The traffic seems to be increasing!
    Step 1: Ask for access to the site's analytics/stats

    Step 2: Look for social media traffic or traffic from redirected domains

    You can easily tell if you're getting from redirected domains - just load the domain and you'll get redirected.

    Maybe you can buy the site on ESCROW and install a tracker

    If the tracker indicates anonymized or obscured traffic, DON'T AUTHORIZE the transfer out of escrow.

    Pretty straight forward.
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