Due Diligence - Step 3 - Business Name - Traffic
By Steve Shubitz & Detective Thomas Shilling
Internally, we call some of these procedures "The kiss of
death" because a single red flag often means it's time to
leave! We assume you have already properly completed Steps 1-2
and your results indicate it's worthwhile to proceeded with this
step. Open the site you are investigating in a new window.
Taking a close look - Exactly what to look at if you plan to:
Join and or start an affiliate program.
2. Purchase a site.
3. Purchase goods and or services.
4. Purchase virtual or dedicated hosting.
5. Create a business that generates a profit in a moral and ethical
6. Seeking advice from others. Paid or free.
7. Hire an employee.
8. Hire an independent contractor.
Yes is good. A no answer is a red flag.
examine the site and look for their business name and text which
states how long they have been in business. You often find this
data on the About Us page, in the copyright wording, mission statement,
new releases, or corporate profile page.
If the site uses the ® symbol and or "Example.com is
a Registered Trademark", are they listed in the Trademark
database? No in this case means, leave the site immediately.
This action violates federal law and we have seen this numerous
If the business name is a Corporation or LLC you can use the following
links to determine the validity of the statement. Are they listed?
Does the site display an address? You can often determine which
state they formed the business in with a simple cross check of
database. A No answer means it's a serious red flag and in
many cases, indicates that you should leave the site.
these links: Public
Business Portal, and many other states also offer this data.
For example, here is the New
York State, Department of Corporations page. Use Google
to find others using terms like "State Name Business Records".
Some members of the Internet Community continue to tell us that
their site gets millions of hits every day and has been around
since the invention of dirt. Use Alexa
to see how the site is ranked. Although an imperfect measure,
it will give you a fairly good idea of exactly how long the site
has been around and how much traffic they generate. Please note,
the lower the number the better and many of the site reviews are
false: sometimes made by the site owner, a competitor, or a very
unhappy Geek. Does the Alexa ranking conform what the site says?
4. Sites which claim to have been around for more than six months,
often have a history of what they were like and exactly what they
were doing. In some cases this is like finding skeletons in the
closet. Use the WayBackMachine
for a trip down memory lane. Does the WayBackMachine confirm what
the site says?
5. If the example.com site says they generate boat loads of traffic,
you can confirm this in a rather accurate fashion by determining
Popularity. This is the most significant measure of a site's
"real traffic". Log files would be better, but your
unlikely to get those unless your buying a site. This is also
a valuable procedure to determine whether their traffic is "real"
verses artificially generated traffic via methods such as "link
farms", bots, and numerous other techniques. If you don't
understand what we mean by "artificially generated",
take a gander at some of these
listing on Ebay. Does the Link Popularity confirm what the
balance, their can be legitimate reasons why their are inconsistencies
between what a site says and what you see via our links. Owners
sometimes change business names, move content from one site to
the other, or make honest mistakes. We encourage you to use the
data from our links as a foundation for respectful and civil dialog
with the owner. This often leads to a reasonable clarification
or another red flag.
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