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  1. #1
    Newbie
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Hello....I was hoping for some advice.

    I have been offered a couple domain names. The owner tells me that he is making a large amount of money from an independant affiliate program. He showed me the paypal invoices to prove it. However, what is fishy is that the sites have no alexa ranking or link popularity. His response to this was that they are masked and forwarded to his affiliate page so that this is normal. Is is also odd that when i type the domains into google they are now found. Does this sound fishy? Can someone be making big bucks off of these domains with these signs?

    any advice would be helpful

  2. #2
    Full Member
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    January 18th, 2005
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    I would be very suspicious. If he is making lots of money, then why sell? Also if the domains were masked, then how did customers find them? It all sounds a bit dodgy to me!

  3. #3
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    thanks. by masked i mean that when you type in www.domainforsale.com it takes you to affiliatesite.com/affiliateid/morejunk.

  4. #4
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    Generally, if a deal looks too good to be true, it usually is.

    I've seen sites that look very flash, but in effect only exist as part of MLM (multilevel marketing) schemes.

    It's hard to say without seeing the domains in question, but these are some pointers.. an affiliate site is usually worth AT LEAST the annual income of the site.. so if it earns $100 per month, the site is typically worth about $1200 or above. Any less than that and alarm bells should sound.

    Check for mirrors of the site. This is typical of MLM schemes, where a string of identical looking sites are set up in an attempt to create upstream commission.. very few of the sites generate any money, but it doesn't matter since they're all done "cookie cutter" style.

    Ask to see the access logs, if there are any. Even if comprehensive logs don't exist, the vendor should be able to tell you which keywords or links generate the most traffic. Who controls those links.. if it's the vendor they might choose to remove them and add new ones of their own.

    A non-existent Alexa ranking is a bad sign. Alexa *does* understand domain forwarding. Take SaveKaryn.com, until a couple of weeks ago that was forwarding to free hosting at Register.com. Alexa has accurately tracked visitors to the site because it logs them against the "forwarding" domain. With Alexa it's possible to fake the results UP, but no traffic on Alexa means no traffic to the site.

    Do a thorough search for the domain name on places like Google Groups - http://groups.google.com/ - to see if it's been used for spamming. Check the Internet Archive - http://www.archive.org/ - to see how long the site's been up for and what it was used for.

    Alltheweb - http://www.alltheweb.com/ - probably gives better results for external links than Google. Use both to judge link popularity.

    If buying at auction, check for comprehensive positive feedback. If not, consider seeking references if there's a substantial sum involved.

    Check everything. Read the fine print.

    Would you mind telling us exactly how much the vendor is asking?

    ________
    All your commission are belong to us.
    Check out the latest Homeland Security press releases.

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Dynamoo:
    A non-existent Alexa ranking is a bad sign. Alexa *does* understand domain forwarding. Take SaveKaryn.com, until a couple of weeks ago that was forwarding to free hosting at Register.com. Alexa has accurately tracked visitors to the site because it logs them against the "forwarding" domain. With Alexa it's possible to fake the results UP, but no traffic on Alexa means no traffic to the site.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    ...not entirely true w/ my experience. I have one forwarding domain & according to Alexa, it's always had "no data." This domain is much shorter than the one it's being forwarded to and is also close to a compititor's name, so it gets quite a bit of traffic, though you wouldn't think so by looking at Alexa...
    maybe it depends on what kind of server, how it's set up, or if it's a virtual server...I don't know

    FreeCallz.com

  6. #6
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    I checked the WHOIS for the domain in question..
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
    Created on: 06-May-03
    Expires on: 06-May-04
    Last Updated on: 06-May-03<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    So.. it's two weeks old. A basic check I should have mentioned. Looks like it has SCAM written all over it!

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