Monthly Archives: October 2016

Due Diligence On Websites Using SEMRush

This auction for a Power Of Mind Control website caught my eye, mostly because of the decent traffic statistics. 28,345 unique visitors and 870,600 page views / month is quite good in my book. Each visitor is looking at an average of 30 pages!

Is the seller exercising some kind of mind control on his visitors?

The first port of call is SEMRush, where we plug in the URL and get the following:

PowerOf Mind Control

PowerOf Mind Control

Oh my word! Look at those shocking search terms that brought visitors to this site (highlighted, and under the “Keyword” heading). If you can’t speak Francaise, I’ll do a bit of translation for you:

  • zoophilie gratuite – free bestiality. Ye Gods, I swoon!
  • sensitive pornograph ova – no idea but the second word looks like porn, and I don’t care whether it’s sensitive or not!
  • foto scopate – swept photos? What with the earlier porn references, I’m thinking that any kind of photos on this site will be dodgy.
  • adolescentes nues – nude teens. I’m getting the picture. No, I mean figuratively!
  • voyeurfrance – I don’t think we need Google Translate for this one…

SEMRush is good in that it displays the URL that gets returned in the Google SERPs when someone searches for a particular term:

Investigate The URL

I’ll tell you why it’s good that the URLs are reported here. It’s because the owner of the site has actually removed those pages that show up for those search terms, or they are restricted viewing (see later). Whatever the reason, we can’t now see the pages on this site that rank for those terms.

Let’s click on the first URL in the list. This is the page that visitors find when they search for “zoophilie gratuite”. SEMRush helpfully inserts the URL into the search box at the top, where we can copy it and paste it into our browser’s address bar. We can see straight away that the URL is for a page on a forum.

URL Is A Forum

When I try and load this page into my browser, I discover that I need to register on the forum to view the page. So I do.

However, the thread I requested is off limits.

Off Limits

This could be because it’s protected within a restricted area of the forum, or the owner simply removed the thread. Either way, there used to be several threads on this forum that attracted traffic from people searching for porn terms. In France. Those pervy frogs are at it again. I can’t see anything on the forum other than the usual paid to post threads that website sellers usually splash out on, and the inevitable spam.

SEMRush displays at the top of their keyword list the search terms that bring the most traffic. If all the top search terms are porn related, then the danger is that there won’t be much traffic left when the new owner gets rid of the dodgy pages. The new owner would have to get rid of those pages, because they are not “money pages”. No products get sold on them, they don’t lead to signups and there probably isn’t much ad revenue. The only benefit they give is to artificially inflate traffic stats. Which is good when you are trying to sell a site.

Flippa’s Crappy “Due Diligence Data”

Oddly, the SEMRush data that Flippa displays for this site is incomplete, and misleading. Here are the keywords that Flippa reports via SEMRush:

No Rude Words

Where is the porn?

This is really weird. When I click on the More detailed information at SEMRush link, the porn keywords are presented, but Flippa is not showing them in their mistitled Due Diligence Statistics.

That’s piss poor, if you ask me.

Where are those watered down keywords that Flippa displays coming from? Ah, I see: Flippa only gathers SEMRush data at time of listing. Like I say, that’s piss poor. And why would the keywords change so much in the space of 24 hours, anyway?

My Favourite Search Term

My favourite search term that SEMRush reports is “mind control lesbian”. I just have this weird image of an army of lesbians surrendering their minds to a powerful hypnotic figure.

Come, disturbing army of lesbians, and do my bidding. There is much evil to be done. You can click on these ads for a start. Mwuhahah

The seller is a real gem. After seeing this post, he threatened to steal all the traffic from all the sites in the world to prove his mind control power. “Behold the loss of traffic in all Google Analytics accounts for November 2 2010, for it shall be mine! It’ll be a piece of cake using my zombie lesbians.”, he says. What a loser.

The Importance Of Checking Inbound Links

High PR Site, All Search Engine Traffic

Skip to auction details.

I came across this auction on Sitepoint today. The site receives a decent amount of traffic and revenue is $900/month, though no information about costs/work commitment are given. But here is the red flag:

all website traffic is the result of organic search engine results.

That’s good isn’t it? Organic search traffic means no nasty PPC expenses, right? The domain is being advertised as being PR5 too, so that’s a bonus. I’ve already checked the cache of the page for any sneaky redirect jiggery pokery to fake the PR and everything looks ok. So, why don’t we delve a little deeper and have a look at the inbound links to this site, as links mean PR and search engine traffic.

Our trusty tool, Yahoo Site Explorer shows us that there aren’t many inbound links. This means that the alleged PR5 is due to one or two particularly powerful links. Spider senses tingling. The site is only 3 months old, so the high PR smells fishy.

Incestuous Linking

The first link I find in Site Explorer is one from ibuilt.net and looky here, it’s on a PR6 page (according to my toolbar, anyway). There aren’t too many links on the page, so this link is mighty strong. If anything should happen to this link, the site being sold would suffer. I know, let’s see who owns both domains.

The whois doesn’t show anything telling for ibuilt.net (it’s the usual Domains by Proxy protection). However, the owner of ithinkorganic.com is iBuilt.net LLC. So the two domains are owned by the same person. They are using an existing high PR site to jump start their new site. The danger here is that the potential buyer doesn’t know this.

We already know that the search engine rankings for this site are a critical factor. The auction holder freely admits that this is the source of all traffic. That high PR link is really helping those rankings. If that link mysteriously disappears after the sale of the site, the new owner is goosed. What should the potential bidder do? Personally I would walk away. But if you have your heart set on the site, you could always ask the seller to sign a contract saying that the link will stay. But then you have all the problems of enforcing the contract if the seller lives a thousand miles away in a country that has different laws. It could be that when the new owner takes over the site, the previous owner removes the link, rankings, traffic and therefore revenue plummet and there is nothing the new owner can do about it.

Sellers are are largely a crooked, deceptive bunch…

So you can see the importance of doing your due diligence properly when thinking about buying a site. An exploration into a site’s inbound links is especially important if the selling points of the site are PR and rankings, as in this case. If this site gets sold, I have a feeling the new owner is in for a nasty surprise.

Auction Details

Sitepoint Listing
**Organics** Niche Organic Farming Supply website w/traffic and sales

iThinkOrganic.com is a PR5 site built using the iBui.lt Website Management system.

URL: http://www.ithinkorganic.com/

  • Established: Thu Feb 05 2009
  • Page views/month: 18,000
  • Monthly Revenue (USD): 900
  • Google Pagerank: 5
  • Uniques/Month: 3,683
  • Listed: Yesterday 22:01

Description:

This site is only a couple of months old and already has over 30 orders. The solid PR5 has allowed many of the pages to be indexed and I just added 20+ descriptions to the organic soil amendments products which will help improve results even further. Buy this organics related niche website and domain name while it is still available. iThinkOrganic.com is waiting to become a brand name that people recognize. a brand people associate with. Think t-shirts, hats, branded gardening tools, etc. Do you think organic?
Revenue Details:

the gross sales for April 2009 were over $900 earned from sales of organic soil amendments and fertilizers.
Traffic Details:

all website traffic is the result of organic search engine results. Contact me for most recent result as we expect teh latest content additions to increase the traffic even more.

Joomla Tutorial

I’ve created sites based on Joomla a few times now, but the huge amount of time between each implementation means that I forget all that I learn in the process and have to embark on the same fact gathering mission each time. This beginner’s Joomla tutorial is for people who forget!

I’m going to assume that you know how to install Joomla and start the proceedings at the point where you are trying to do something with it. This guide will list the common problems faced by Joe Average and will detail solutions that you can use to resolve them.

Welcome To The Frontpage

The default title for your homepage is welcome to the frontpage, which is no good to anyone. You want something meaningful in there, but where can you change the title? Here:

In your admin panel, click Menus > Main Menu.
Click on the Home link.
Open up the Parameters (System) section on the right.
Change the Page Title to the text you want displayed there.
Click Save and then see your gleaming new home page title on your spangly Joomla powered site.

SEF Joomla

SEF simply means Search Engine Friendly and refers to how URLs are constructed for maximum search engine benefit. This is the bane of all webmasters wanting to SEO their Joomla sites. There are a number of steps to perform, but believe me – it’s a piece of cake. If I can do this, then you certainly can.

Click Site > Global Configuration.
Look at the SEO Settings on the right. It’s not important to understand them, just follow the instructions.
Make sure everything is set to “Yes” – Search Engine Friendly URLs, Use Apache mod_rewrite, Add suffix to URLs – turn them all on.
Make sure you have a .htaccess file. Whenever I’ve installed Joomla, there has always been a htaccess.txt file that I’ve renamed to .htaccess to make everything work. You won’t get SEF URLs unless you do this.
Change the $live_site setting in configuration.php to / or http://www.example.com or http://example.com. Whenever I’ve done this, I’ve used http://www.example.com successfully.

Important: you may have to trial and error each combination of the above settings to get this to work. Always make a note of the value you are changing from so you can revert if necessary. With that warning out of the way, let me reassure you that following the above steps worked perfectly on the three implementations I’ve completed in the past.

Remove Article Id From URLs In Joomla

This is also related to making your URLs search engine friendly. Unless you do something about it, each link and article page will include a pesky article id, which is both unsightly and which potentially dilutes your keywords (if you believe that sort of thing). Let’s get shot of them.

I haven’t found a way to do this by changing Joomla settings, but I have found Joomla extensions that do the trick. This year, I am mostly using HP Router For Joomla. It really is a doddle to use:

Save the extension to your hard drive. Leave it in its zipped form.
Install the extension by clicking Extensions > Install/Uninstall. Browse to where you saved the extension, and click Upload File & Install.
Activate the plugin by clicking Extensions > Plugin Manager, and click in the Enabled column against it. It’s as simple as that.
Take a break. Have a kit kat.

Redirect Non-WWW URLs To WWW URLs

You might not need to do this. You can check for a redirect’s presence by navigating to both www.example.com and example.com. If one doesn’t get redirected to the other, read on…

Note that I always use 301 redirects in my htaccess file to do this, so that is the method described here. Download the current live version of the .htaccess file from your site to ensure that you’re modifying the right file. Yes, I know I’m stating the obvious, but you won’t thank me if you overwrite all your settings simply because I didn’t remind you. Remember what happened with Aunti Cath and that trumpet.

Add this code to your .htaccess file:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^yourdomain\.com$ [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.yourdomain.com/$1 [R=301,L]

I always put this at the top of the file.

Addendum

If performing any of the above modifications causes your site to melt, please let me know. I shall keep adding useful bits and bobs and amendments to this article so that it can be of use to fellow Joomla fearfuls.