Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Buyers of Websites Be Wary

Every year, thousands of domain names and websites are sold. Lately, with the advent of google adsense, we see many entrepeneuers developing content and generating revenue from that content with little overhead expense. Of late, we have noticed numerous domain and website sales gone bad for the buyer.

Many sites artificially generate revenue because they are link farms. That is, such sites post no original content and are not a website but generally just a web page. Link farms violate google's terms of use. As such, as soon as link farms are found by google's web crawlers, they are delisted or booted off of google's search results. This is known throughout the internet world as the "google slap", a practice that began in the fall of 2006.

How does this effect domain and website sales? Unwitting buyers pay inflated prices to purchase these link farms on the promise that they will generate google adsense revenue. The seller will usually provide bogus or actual proof of revenue generated. Then the seller, with knowledge that the link farm is subject to a "google slap", includes language in the sale agreement absolving the seller of any liability if, in fact, the link farm is booted from google. Inevitably, the link farm is "slapped" and the buyer of the link farm is left holding the bag and can not generate any google adsense revenue from a domain they purchased for thousands of dollars. BUYER BEWARE!!

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