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How are websites making money? (slideshare.net)
131 points by lesterbuck on Feb 20, 2013 | hide | past | web | favorite | 23 comments

This isn't how websites are making money, this is how people are making money selling websites. Completely different, and to me, much less interesting.

"All established websites" sold over the two-year period of 2011-12 amounted to "almost $30 million"?!

That's less than three Chipotle Equivalent Units (CEUs).

"the price of CMG stock pre-earnings was valuing average revenue per store at $10.5 million" http://seekingalpha.com/article/756011-you-mean-to-tell-me-c...

* View-source to read the text of the article. Note the comments about "googleoff" and "googleon" :-)

They've referring to all "established websites" sold on Flippa.

So I thought it was an interesting look at what I'd consider 'second tier' web sites. But really they are filling the role that is the 'enthusiast' magazine or newsletter.

What this analysis misses is a storefront for a painting company. That is all about lead capture and closing the deal. Harder to quantify. Well, easier for the store but harder for third parties to quantify.

So clear business models for client relationship management and review type editorial. Less clear on 'newsy' type sites or reference sites. Game/App as web service seems pretty clear too as a model.

The first example it mentions, wheretogetmovingboxes.com, has expired: http://wheretogetmovingboxes.com/

I was wondering, though, how it did for the search "where to get moving boxes"...its PageRank was 1...I'm assuming that with only 300 monthly uniques (compared to the number of people who must ask that question on a daily basis), it didn't do well.

Yet it made $70 a month out of just 300 visitors? That's a pretty high conversion rate.

I did some analysis once about a year ago, and found that a large number of domains were inactive.


It's possible this analysis is over-estimated (e.g. could be defects in the scraping process) but I was surprised even just checking domains randomly how many were later abandoned.

I suspect that there are a lot of sites that use various techniques to fake their numbers; if this gets the purchaser banned from adsense it makes a site in the lower price ranges basically worthless.

If you just look at the auctions from a year and go and click on a few of them.... almost all of them are dead.

I kind of think this indicates this isn't an efficient market

Are adsense bans forever? Are they tied to an identity or a credit card?

As far as I know they are pretty much permanent. I was banned about 2-3 years ago and I have sent an appeal every year. My appeals are always rejected.

Accounts are probably attached to your identity (SSN, domain, etc.)

The only way to get another adsense account is if you form a new legal entity.

I found that the only way out of the Google perma-ban was to grow large enough to have them call you instead. Their representative - apparently surprised by the fact that my site was banned - clicked a couple of buttons and the ban was removed. The account even had the hundred dollars that was there when I was banned years earlier.

How big do you have to be?

I don't want to be too specific, but the the site yields Google more than 10K USD a year -- which I guess is incentive enough. They still keep pestering me about putting more ads up, tho.

Seems to be. In my experience it flags the domains, not just you.

LOL @ Flippa.com

Seriously that site has been going downhill ever since they rebranded from SitePoint Marketplace several years back.

I remember when they first launched, they used a screenshot of one of my sites on their homepage for at least a year without permission, and this site was listed on SitePoint before they deleted it and refused to say why.

Pretty much ever since the whole site is full of scammers. People just put up bogus sites claiming to sell Facebook fans, Youtube views and Twitter followers, that somehow make $5k a month and the domains are barely 30 days old.

Then they upload 'legitimate' Google Analytics screenshots, which Flippa never check and then someone stupid enough to buy the site pretty much gets a $10 domain in return for $10k (they take a greedy chunk off every sale of course so they couldn't care less about anyone else)

I would guess that a good percentage of the data they use is complete bogus so I wouldn't take those stats seriously.

Anyway here's a nice Google search if you want to look into this further: http://goo.gl/qfVAW

The problem with this analysis is it's based largely on numbers provided by unscrupulous people trying to game SEO.

Speaking as someone who has purchased multiple sites off of Flippa -- I view any revenue numbers with lots of skepticism. The majority are spammy sites and the remaining sites that are legitimate have often faked/inflated their numbers to entice purchasers.

If median revenue per month is only $133, they suck at gaming it.

I dunno - if you've got things set up so you can run 100 of them simultaneously…

(And I'd guess there's a bit of VC-like speculation going on too - people trying to not lose too much money on the 99 "failures", but making up for it with one single 4 or 5 order of magnitude outlier success.)

I was expecting a load of manure, but... the technical data and information was actually very insightful. I would love to see a longer running historical revision of this, say from the late 90s til now. Once upon a time everything was static and monetization almost unheard of. Oh how far the web has come...

Here's a more complete set of various online revenue models: https://hackpad.com/Web-And-Mobile-Revenue-Models-(final)-Eg...

I'd assume mostly advertisements. Sites like Gizmodo get money from big corporations to review or write articles. Once the sites get big, I think they get free prototypes to test them and review them.

It's interesting to compare the findings with website popularity: http://5000best.com/websites/

I couldn't find some major non-US sites

It lists only websites in English, and the ranking is US-centric.

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