In this episode I discuss a website he just sold for a $30k profit. See what I did to fix up the site and increase revenue instantly.
If you hadn’t heard Google came out recently with a new update to their algorithm (they seem to be doing this once a week) that affected exact match domain names.
I have always been a strong advocate for exact match domains because up until this last update, Google gave undue advantage to them in the search results.
All you had to do is have a domain name that matched a phrase people would search on google and you would rank for that phrase.
With their most recent update Google decided to remove this advantage. So what does it mean for you?
The reason having an exact match domain was so powerful is because Google was trying to make sure that if a person was searching for a specific company (ie Amazon.com) that company’s website would be the first result. So I would go to Google and search “Amazon” and amazon.com would show up as the top result.
The problem has always been that they have been unable to differentiate between company names and random domain names. So if I owned www.realestate.com and someone searched “real estate” Google would assume they were searching for my website and that it must be my company name.
This is how exact match domains came to be so popular. People would buy up the .com, .net, .org, .biz, .co and .info of key phrases that are highly searched and they would be ranked quickly in the search engines.
Now Google has taken away that advantage. They really scrutinize a website just like they do non-exact match domains and don’t automatically have them show in the rankings. They want to see good natural links and good content on the site to be considered to show on page 1.
So it seems that it is much like the way they treat all other domains. The playing field has been leveled…or has it?
Google still gives extra weight to an exact match domain. They still can’t differentiate between the name of a business and a keyphrase rich domain. They want to provide the best results to their users so what they are doing is assuming that if someone is searching for a business, the business website will have plenty of content and good links pointing to their site that include their business name as the anchor text.
So if you own an exact match domain, the way you make it still rank high in the search engines is to point links to it that have your exact match phrase as the anchor. Do a ton of those. Google won’t penalize you if your links are all simply the name of your website, just like they wouldn’t punish Nike.com for getting a ton of links that have “Nike” as the anchor text.
When you seek out an exact match domain one thing that I always do is I will go and search that key phrase and see if there is already an exact match domain at the top of Google. If there is it will most likely be very difficult for you to get to the top 5 for that phrase. Google has already given authority status to the other exact match domain.
If you don’t see nother domain there that matches then you are good to go. I recently took a brand new exact match domain (it is a .biz) and got it to #1 for its phrase in less than 4 months. Here is the kicker, the site only has 4 or 5 pages with minimal content and I haven’t added any content since the original design. All I have done is get links to the site. It does still work, even with a .biz.
I know that watching websites plummet in the search engines can make the prospect of buying and selling very scary. As with all things there are risks to this business. (and remember, for every site that fell out of the results another replaced it)
I just wanted to write a quick post and let you know that I am still both buying and selling websites. Things are always going to change, you just have to be able to adapt with them.
For example, link building has to be done much differently now than it did a year ago. Doing it wrong can kill your rankings but doing it right will still get you to the top of Google.
I am in the process of selling 2 websites that I bought recently (less than 5 months ago), and as soon as the deal goes through I will post the results here. I will tell you that we are making a nice profit.
There is money to be made in the world of website flipping.
In conclusion, don’t get discouraged and don’t panic. Flipping websites is still a viable business.
I have to say I am so sick and tired of the stupid changes Google is making. They are trying so hard to stop people from doing SEO that they have completely lost their way. Their search results are ridiculously bad. I am almost always going to Bing now if I need to search for something.
For the past 10 years I have relied on Google for my main income. I have always been able to achieve high rankings for almost every key phrase I have ever targeted. I have always promoted SEO as such a great strategy because it is free traffic from people who are looking for exactly what you offer.
But the time has come now that I can no longer preach that same message to people without giving you a warning. Here is the warning message I give you: “If you make SEO your main source of website traffic Google may pull the rug out from underneath you at any time.”
Google doesn’t care about you or your business. As a power hungry monopoly Google has decided to make stupid hasty decisions on how they will calculate search results. They have decided that they don’t want people using SEO to get high rankings and the only way they can stop it is to penalize anyone who has done any advanced SEO at anytime in the past.
You are almost better off doing the opposite of SEO to promote your website. If something seems logical to do to optimize your site, think of the opposite of that thing and try it. You may end up at the top of Google before you know it.
I am speaking in jest of course when I say do the opposite but the point is you just can’t trust any of the changes they are making. In the past 2 years they have had about 12 big algorithm updates and it doesn’t seem like they have any plans of slowing down.
So what does this mean if you are trying to buy websites? You have to be really careful about buying a website that has search traffic as it’s main source of traffic.
What you need to look for:
Google had their biggest updates hit starting in April of 2012. If you are looking to buy a website you need to get traffic proof from before then to see if there has been any major drops in traffic at any point from April of 2012 until now.
Doing this still won’t guarantee that the site is safe from taking a big hit in Google but it will at least show you that up until now they have avoided any Google penalties. Not too many site that know anything about SEO can say that.
If a person that has a site that is older than one year old and they are saying that didn’t put analytics on their site until recently they are lying to you. Don’t buy from them.
If someone promotes that they have done aggressive SEO campaigns on a site (as if that were a good thing anymore) they are probably in line to get hit by a Google update. If you can’t get a smoking deal on the site don’t buy.
The types of sites you should be looking for are sites that have shown steady growth in search traffic over the last 12 months. If you can find a site like that you will most likely be able to avoid Google penalties from surprising you as soon as you take the site over. (I speak from experience)
As many of you know I was working on a short film I wrote recently. I have pretty much finished the film and am now posting it so you can enjoy the fruits of my labor.
This is a Halloween themed film that is appropriate for all ages. Feel free to show your kids.
Leave a comment below and let me know what you think.