Full disclosure here. 6 months ago I was exploring a lot of options to start making some budget from the internet. I got to know the website "flippa" and thought it could be a good move to buy something over there. With a budget of 7k in mind I’ have spend some time to find the best opportunity. (I didn’t know yet STM…).
I enountered this site: https://gmailsigninpage.net/ . A site about "how to use gmail". Not the best looking site but it was having a lot of organic traffic and making some good money from adsense. Screenshots are attached below. Bought it with escrow, inspection period 3 days and everything went fine during this period.
Offcourse after a couple more days traffic disappeared. Asked the guy I bought from to build more quality links or get me my money back (in the acution he promised 30 day money guarantee (naive me…). He promised the site would start getting traffic again but 5 months later this never happend.
I tried to do some low quality seo with fiverr (is maybe not the best place?) and build some quality links with rankhero.
I also removed the ads from Google for a while. Now 1 week ago I was very happy to see traffic coming in (only via BING btw) again so placed the banners back. Worked wel for 5 days but now all traffic is gone again.
So my question, what would you do in my place? Build more quality links and hope for the best or stop investing in it? If someone with more seo experience is interested in taking over the site (you can see the pontential) I am happy to talk as I don’t have big budgets to put into int atm.
Thanks fory any advice guys!
I know it is not what you want to hear, but given the title of your post, I think you probably already know the answer to this one.
It is human nature to do so, but you should not throw good money after bad.
I do empathise with you … it sucks. But at the end of the day, what you have spent in the past is a sunk cost. Unless you can get a refund for this, there really is nothing you, me or anyone else can do about it.
And as a result, you should completely ignore sunk costs (how much you already spent) in your decision-making process.
Instead you should ask yourself:
If I have $100 and 10 hours of time that I can spend today, where can I get the best return?
The fact that you have already spent 5K on this website is now irrelevant.
^^ What cmdeal said.
I would try to get the seller to split the "loss" with you. Then move on.
Agree with cmdeal and I don’t want to heap on the bad news but this site has two major issues:
1) It has a Google Trademark in the url.
2) The content of the site has been taken from PLR articles or ripped from other sites, meaning it’s duplicated across the web (unique content is essential these days).
If you want to carry it on and at least try to get some money back. First buy a new domain WITHOUT any direct reference to Google, then get the existing content rewritten so it’s unique, understandable and engaging. Then start building links to the new site, but make sure the majority of the anchor text is the url or whatever name you come up with for the site.
Also add a 301 redirect from the existing site to your new one, to take advantage of any link juice.
If you use WordPress be sure to use the Yoast seo plugin.
Hope that helps.
Flippa is full of scammers, plus you was a newbe so you just paid 5k$ to learn a good leason that not so bad.
The good news you are in the game,
Cut project at the right moment is one of the biggest reason for success,
I was in your similar situation and sold the site in loss becuase it took too much attention for me, and I moved on.
One of the best decision I have made.
Thanks for your advice guys!
It’s hard to have spilled this hard earnend money but I agree, in the end it’s a very good lesson. Just wanted to know someone else’s opinion to decide if I continue with this project or not. I think I will put it aside and focus on my other project where I try to build up a real business and where I am not looking for the "quick money".
I start liking this forum more and more! I’have never been in a place with so many like minded people. Currently I am still learning the ropes but If I keep learning at this speed I am sure everthing will work out. Also, hope to participate more and more where I can!
@solaris Why is the Google trademark a problem? It’s been working for a while (before I bought the site ). It’s due to latest updates?
@delash I am aware of that, but I think sometimes with enough research some good deals can be done. My first site (live streaming website) I bought there for 200$ is making me every month 100$. But indeed you have watch out! Another mistake was buying from this guy: https://flippa.com/users/698144 . Scammy websites making a lot from adsense. I bought from this guy because the feedback was very good at the moment. Few weeks later adsense account was banned because of this site was against Google Policy. Again lessons learned: don’t follow the herd and only invest in a legit business model where added value for people is available.
Run the entire site through copyscape to determine what pages are duplicated. Unique content is ideal, but it isn’t always necessary to rank a website. It matters more on your OWN website. I agreed with the aforementioned comments about PLR articles. They are crap, so either have them rewritten or use a quality spinner. I love Word AI myself, but to each their own. Add a few youtube videos as well to the site and rank them in the SERPs. Take said website and duplicate it 3 times using different linking techniques for each site. See exactly who the winner is at the end (1-3 months). I would also look at where you visitors are coming from to see if you can offer anything to them based on their location vs just using adsense.
I only buy sites of people i contact myself. Most of these deals worked out great and have made their money back in less than a year. Flippa is full of people who increase their alexa rank by sending crap traffic and all kind of shady stuff.
If you build links to this site, make sure to vary your anchor text substantially – had a quick look on Majestic and you really need to leverage more natural anchors – they are all pretty similar
May also be worth trawling through your existing backlinks and if there are any spammy ones (likely), perhaps pay an outsourcer to disavow and submit a reconsideration request to the big G.
Now you have this site, you could either sell it on, or experiment trying to drive traffic here using SEO. You can drive far more traffic quickly with outreach SEO tactics. (Don’t go the blackhat old domain 301 redirection route! – Well you could do, sell it on but that’s bad karma!)
You can do a whole host of things, such as use SEM rush to trawl similar niche sites, check out most popular inner pages carrying most traffic on a specific site and reach out to them for links or offer some quality content for them to add to their site.
One quick tip – do a ‘how to use Gmail’ search (ironically on Google!) and use a search string such as: keyword + "blog"… Then list these sites down, check they have a good healthy link profile (not spammy, varied anchors etc) and then run a broken link checker on the site (google this), then find one or several of those broken links that are relevant to your site, whip up a short blog post that fills that ‘gap on that missing link’ (try using a web archive to see if you can find what used to be in its place!) for the blog owner and reach out to him telling him he has a dead link and to ask if he wants to use your relevant article in place… (equals, quality backlink that could drive some traffic for you).
Though this is a pain in the arse time-wise, it can yield some quick traffic results if you commit to it, which could mean you could sell your site on at least to recoup some of the costs.
Sorry if this has confused you, but feel bad for you and wanted to give you some quick SEO pointers if you go down that route… but SEO is kind of gash because it’s a longer route to success! (and sometimes not at all!), which is why I am learning PPC
Good luck buddy!
Whoot whoot, so many great replies! Thanks guys! ATM, my focus will go to other projects. But as soon as I got new funds I will try all the sugestions given here.
Great place, STM!
It is copyright infringement, and it is also grounds for a Google ban (both for SEO and Adsense).
Happened to me too. I paid $1.2k for the site, though.. made $0 revenue from it.
Lesson learnt. Move on to bigger and better things.
Always ask for teamviewer session and ask seller to login to his adsense (or whatever) account while you are watching (and check if there is no local apache running… pointing any URL to local server is also not that hard).
Traffic is easy to fake. Don’t fall for traffic stats, even if it’s Google Analytics. Ask for rankings, check positions, check traffic volumes for those keywords, check what kind of link building was done etc. Selling fake sites on flippa is massive.
Thanks for advice morgi666!