Thanks to Experienced People for listing some very useful tools for due diligence on websites.
When researching a site you’re thinking of buying, it’s helpful to know what other sites have the same Google Analytics code or Adsense code embedded on them. Unscrupulous sellers will often use the same Google Analytics code on multiple sites to create the impression that the site they are selling gets more traffic than it really does.
It’s the same concept with Adsense. Displaying the same Adsense code on multiple sites can lead the prospective buyer to believe that the site being sold is generating more Adsense revenue than it actually is.
The average seller will not volunteer this information, so we need to discover it for ourselves. The following tools identify sites that sport the same codes. They also report other data too.
- Spy On Web – reports sites with the same Adsense publisher ID and Google Analytics code as the one you’re researching. Also lists the IP address of the host server and all the domains hosted there. The DNS servers are reported, too.
- Serversiders – in addition to reporting Adsense and Google Analytics connections, serversiders actually does a bit of analysis itself by statings things like “Domains that appear to have the same administrator or owner as this domain include….”. So the tool must be looking at the administrator in the WHOIS data and finding matches on other domains. Smart. Additionally, this tool picked up the fact that I was using Chitika and Adsense on one of my sites.
- Domain Crawler – presented the same Adsense/Analytics cross checking info as the previous tool, but did not find as many connections.
- AdShadow.de – showed no results for one of my bigger sites.
- SameOwner – reports similar data to previous tools, but requires registration to see the data. Adsense connections missed a site that the others picked up. The cheeky bastards are charging for subscriptions to get more than the briefest details! I’ll pass on this one. Serversiders seems to be the best tool so far, and it’s free.
- w3who – provided inaccurate results for the Adsense connections, but was OK on the Analytics.
- ReverseInternet – another site requiring registration to view the complete details. But, boy is this site thorough! Using it I’ve just found a site that redirects to one of mine. It’s listed as having the same Adsense publisher ID so the crawler must arrive at the URL, get redirected to my site, but still think it’s on the redirected URL. For “thorough”, read “over-zealous”, as some unconnected sites are getting listed too. That’s OK, I think the fact that it found the redirected sites makes up for the over zealous reporting and I like teh way the information is presented using this tool too. This one’s in the lead. Oh, now this is good: links from related IP addresses will help us to find links from other sites the seller may own. There’s also a section that displays links to domains on related IPs, but this is less important for the site being researched. Oh wow – it has what I always wanted: Clickbank cross referencing!
- Webrota – more or less the same info as previous tools. though the section showing other Adsense sites with teh same publisher ID missed some when I tested one of my sites. One thing I found useful here was the similar sites section. I’m always on the lookout for other sites in my niche (to buy!) and I got a few pointers here.
- Hostnology – again, the Adsense publisher ID cross referencing wasn’t as good as other tools (Reverse Internet, for example) and some sites were missed. At this point, I’m using Reverse Internet as the benchmark all tools have to beat! There is no information here that is not reported by other tools.
- SiteGrep – the information presented by this tool looks just like that presented by webrota.
- WebSiteLog – on the site I checked, it missed another that shared its GA account (2 different profiles on the same account, not dubious practices!!). This tool is absolutely (over)loaded with Adsense, so I doubt that accurate information is the owner’s prime motivation. It missed other sites that shared the same Adsense account. Waste of time, this one.
- DomPing – doesn’t provide Google Analytics cross references and displays incomplete cross references of Adsense accounts. I’ve been spoilt by the rigour of that other tool I keep harping on about. Reverse Internet, wasn’t it?
- WebsiteInDepth – one useful feature of this tool is its ability to tell you how many letters are in the domain. WTF?! Counting wasn’t my strong point, so thanks! Jeez, this pathetic tool couldn’t even determine the age of the domain I tested. The visuals on the site are wonderful, which just goes to reinforce teh theory that you need more than a nice theme to make a useful site. Reverse Internet, on the other hand, is very bland in comparison. But at least it f*cking works.
There’s only one Reverse Internet! It does a lot and it’s accurate. It reported all the sites (22 of them!) that shared the same Adsense account and both sites that shared the same Google Analytics account. Additionally, it found domains I didn’t own that edirected to my site. Amazing – I’ve actually been looking for just such a tool and Reverse Internet does this without even meaning to.
In addition to the usual sites that share the same IP address information that most tools display, RI also displays Clickbank cross references. Yummy. This means that you can find other sites that use the same Click bank tracking ID. Very useful indeed when used in your site buying due diligence. Get this: it even shows you other sites that promote the same CB product as the site you’re investigating! I think I just wet myself.