Interactive Due Diligence Tool: Going Deeper
Above is the second part of an interactive tool that I developed to help you learn how to perform initial due diligence.
This second part of the tool goes a little bit more in depth and requires a little bit more creativity. I should emphasize that these steps are merely the initial checks that I do – I’m currently working on another tool that will help you run through Google Analytics in a similar way.
Sometimes sellers make claims that are technically true, but are purposely misleading. For example, sellers often claim that their sites have ‘High PR’ or ‘High DA’ – while this might be true, it may also be misleading. This is because some sellers register expired domains (domains that used to have sites on them), put up new sites, and then claim the DA and PR of the domain as if they were the ones who built those metrics up from 0 – when actually, the domain already had those metrics – all the seller did was add a little bit of content. Archive.org and Screenshots.com can help you check this. Both these tools are free, and give you a glimpse into what used to be on any given domain. Use both of these tools to check the site that you’re looking at – if you see that the site used to be entirely different in design/content, then the seller might be trying to trick you with the truth.
2. Whois Lookup
I’m partial to using the WhoIs Lookup on DomainTools.com, but there are a number of options available, and most of them are free. While a lot of site owners have WhoIs Privacy enabled, some don’t – and if you can find the WhoIs information of a website owner, you can often discover all sorts of useful information. For example, in my post about Flippa scams, I checked the WhoIs information of a site. I was then able to find 2 other sites owned by the same person (or organization) – and not only that, one of the sites I found was in the same niche as the site that was listed for sale – this suggested to me that the seller plans to compete directly with the site he/she put on sale.
You can do all sorts of cool things with this tools. Ever heard of it? It’s incredibly useful!
All joking aside – Google can be incredibly useful for doing all sorts of checks. For example – many people use the same username across a variety of platforms. You can try searching a Flippa username to see if you can uncover anything.
If you’re already in contact with a seller, ask them to add you on FB or Skype, try to work out their full name, and you can then scour the web to find out what kind of person they are.
You can also look over the content of a site, work out what KWs they are trying to rank for, and see where they’re ranking for these KWs. You can also learn more about the competition of the site, how strong the competition is – you might even discover that the content of a site is essentially rewritten from another source.
You can also use Google to search if site has ever been submitted to reddit or other similar sites – you might then be able to check the seller’s online persona as a rough gauge of whether or not they are trustworthy.
Basically, be creative with Google – people often unknowingly give away private information pretty easily over the web, and all of that information can be harvested and used to learn more about a website and it’s owner. You’re almost always at an inherent information disadvantage when compared to the seller (since they own the site) – so any little scrap of information that you can even the odds and improve your chances of making smart investment decisions.