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How Much Might Your Website Be Worth?

Whether you want to sell your website or you are just willing to know how much you have potentially earned so far, you might be curious to know how much your website is currently worth. Like with selling a business, trying to determine your website price is really hard to do: so many factors might come into play:

  • your own money, time and labor invested in it;
  • your site statistics (income, traffic and traffic sources, inbound links, popularity, etc);
  • the site potential (e.g. new but promising niche, rate of growth, etc);
  • target audience; etc.

A few most popular approaches to estimating the site growth say:

1. Traditionally, the site selling price = 10 x annual profit + the cost of real assets.

2. Other mathematical approaches include:

  • the site selling price = 2 x last year’s total revenue;
  • the site selling price = 5 x average revenue.

The overall mathematician approach can be criticized as each website is unique and it can’t be evaluated by a simple formula. In this perspective I like an old discussion at WebmasterWorld:

[Say,] I own keyword.com and it makes $40 profit a month. Using the x10 valuation method, that site is only worth $400.

Now if I own keyword-online-today-great-deals-keyword.biz and it makes $100 per month, that x10 valuation method says its worth $1000.

If you had $1,000 to spend, which site would you buy?

3. My favorite method of determining how much a website it worth is the one by Yaro Starak:

Your site is worth as much as someone is willing to give you for it.

A wealth of online valuation tools attempt to determine a website asset worth based on a variety of factors (besides evaluating any website price these tools might be a good source of overall website info):

1. SmartPageRank looks into the domain age, Google PR (broken right now), Yahoo! directory and Dmoz presence, backlinks (per Google and Yahoo), indexed pages (by Google and Yahoo), and Alexa traffic.

My site estimated value: smartpagerank How Much Might Your Website Be Worth?

2. DNScoop estimates a website price based on six metrics:

Links, traffic (Alexa), age of the domain, site category, domain keyword popularity, and overall occurrences of the domain name on the web.

My site estimated value: dnscoop How Much Might Your Website Be Worth?

3. CubeStat seems to consider a plenty of data: daily pageviews, daily ads revenue (source is unknown), Alexa rank, Quantcast rank, Compete rank, Google PageRank, backlinks, Google indexed pages, Google indexed images, Yahoo indexed pages, Live indexed pages, Dmoz presence.

My site estimated value: cubestat How Much Might Your Website Be Worth?

As you can see, the three tools disagree as per one and the same website worth – this brings us back to approach #3, I guess. And how do you determine your website current price?

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Ann Smarty is the blogger and community manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas. Ann's expertise in blogging and tools serve as a base for her writing, tutorials and her guest blogging project, MyBlogGuest.com.
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40 thoughts on “How Much Might Your Website Be Worth?

  1. My idea is based on the “willing to pay” school.

    If you can get someone exicted by the future potential of a website or technology then it should sell for a lot more than what the current day metrics say. In fact a developer can effectively sell a site for a very high price before it even exists if he can paint that fabulous future picture and foresee big profits to come.

  2. Yeah I agree with the comment above, something is worth what someone wants to pay for it. And how much utility anyone derives from any one factor is unique to them and often follows no logic!

    For example I have long since argued that people get far to excited about the value of specific domain names. There are so many variations out there that unless you are looking to buy established traffic then anyone who pays £1000s for a name is wasting their cash (imo!).

    Some people argue its better to start with a nonsense domain so that you can guarantee your brand hits the top spot from day 1.

    Look on SEDO now and you’ll see people asking big bucks for domains. I struggle to believe that you can’t get the same results by being creative with a suffix/prefix.

    But, people are clearly willing to pay bucks for nothing more than the name. No established site, no traffic, no assets. Just a brand which I’d argue is worthless.

    As Shakespeare once wrote, would a Google by any other name search so sweet?

    Of course.

  3. Great post Ann!

    Speaking from my domain experience, a domain’s typein traffic can be highly qualified leads, vs. search traffic. I’ve seen both direct navigation and referral traffic sites do very well, but the traffic *is* considerably different. If you own a “category killer” domain, it may be worth more than 100x the revenue it generates.

    Things change… It’s always nice to see a site when traffic and revenues are high. As a buyer you should always remember that Google likes to shuffle rankings around and that can turn a great buy into a money pit.

    Well known domainer, Ron Jackson, keeps a tally on weekly domain sales at dnjournal.com/domainsales.htm

    - Scott

  4. @ Ann, even I can’t specifically tell how they calculate, but I remember some article about the tool and its like, they use back-links and domain age for calculation.

  5. Almost every one of those tools only exist to feed the ego of the website owner, hence they really tell you NOTHING about your websites worth.

    Especially when half of them consider toolbar PR, LOL

  6. @Jaan, agreed :) but I bet you played with at least one of them ;) Sometimes, we really need to just play with the tool, though we know it has no point…

  7. It’s amazing that people vote on things such as this. Nothing against Ann at all as I actually personally like you, but this is against people in the industry who just blindly follow a name no matter what. LOL

    The only item or quote I know of that is accurate is the one saying a site is worth what someone is willing to pay for it.

  8. Doug, I can’t see any point in my post where I insisted on any of the methods I listed. Instead, in the conclusion to the post I did make it clear that approach #3 (a site is worth what someone is willing to pay for it) seems the correct one as the three tools failed to agree on the site price.

  9. My website and company name is also a registered trademark that I fought very hard for (against a big bully company). From that standpoint alone, my site is worth quite a bit – at least to me. Number one position for important keywords like “glass jewelry” and “glass earrings” doesn’t hurt, but this is still a niche jewelry website addressing a focused market segment.

    Like any other product, its real value is, as stated above, only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. These automated tools are fun but should in no way be used to actually determine value.

  10. Your going to get a great deal of variations on pricing when you are buying or selling any website or domain. I personally have developed and sold 3 different websites and used many different website appraising companies. I think if you use a domain appraisal website that uses more than simply a ‘bot’ appraisal then you will be in great shape. I have used WeValuer.com and had great results with their domain name appraisals. All three websites I sold were within about 10% of their estimate.

    Again I think you should just stay away from automated appraisals or they will vary just as yours have, stick with personal appraisals. Great article!

  11. I like posts that explore these things. I’ll go with the what people are willing to pay option too :)

    These evaluators are great for getting backlinks to the domains that do the crunching, other than that you can take what they say with a huge pinch of salt.

  12. Ultimately an Internet business or website producing revenue for that matter is always worth what a seller is willing to sell it for and a buyer is willing to pay. However, we often see sellers leaving a lot of money on the table because that “willing to sell” price is much too low. When we select a business to represent our firm looks at a number of factors. Revenue and profits are obvious cues. However, we also consider growth rates (customers/members, traffic and revenue/profits as well as margins), retention rates, organic keyword placement, domain relevance, competition, book and recordkeeping quality and much more. iMerge is building its case to present to buyers why we belive a business is worth what the asking price states. Keeping in mind there are formulas that one can find, such as multiples of EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) or cost to create or many others that are found on our website. The most valuable one to consider is the return on investment (ROI) a buyer would like to obtain by purchasing an Internet business (Non-Strategic Aquisition) as an investment which is common with private equity groups or other “investors”. People have many choices as to where to put money from super safe US Treasuries to junk bonds earning rates in the high teens, abeit with higher risk. Therefore we often see offers that translate into annual ROIs that range from as little as 20% to as high as 40%. The variance is a result of deal structure i.e. 100% all cash or some combination of cash, equity, earnout or other terms. If you are looking to sell your Internet business it is important that you have all the variables considered to obtain maximum value.

  13. Thanks for the link!

    Don’t be discouraged if you get a low estimate on the value of your website. The true value is, “In the eyes of the beholder”.

  14. You should also consider websitefact.com ; they provide a nice summary of the website performance. I find their WF rank being more accurate than Alexa.

  15. Hard to choose which one is accurate. But that’s only good if you want to sell your site, unless your proud to see the value of your site lol.

  16. Hi! You should also consider http://www.estimix.com They provide a nice summary of the website performance. I trust that you’ll find this very useful cause it seems to use the Alexa traffic information quite well and provides much better traffic information.

  17. Your site may be top for a well highly targeted keyword – these estimators have no way of knowing this – especially if your site is new.

  18. Thanks for the valuable info, when valuating a website you should also consider http://www.websitevaluebot.com as it will give you a value based on every aspect of the fundamentals of a website except for revenue which is the only real way to work out a websites value.

    Monthly revenue times 6-12 depending on brand name, age and content is the true website market value which is why no website estimator online is accurate.

    P.S I love SEJ.

  19. Cubestats gave me a ridicules value on my site, dsncoop has kin of gone down lately. Seems as I increase the quality of my ork and rate it flows, Dnscoop keeps shoring me at original face value. I have no idea how I can have 400 hits in google yet dns says I have 0 page rank… guess it depends on what word you are searching…. right ?

  20. Just try to value google.com facebook.com youtube.com
    and we learnt it is very inaccurate

    Example, google is a enterprise value at least 100 billion, but most website valuation value google.com only 2 billion
    Of course, google business is not only search engine and may not a good example

    The best example is facebook.com, most website valuation value it about 1 billion, some may 2 billion. However, in 2010, single year, facebook revenue is already 2 billion, . It’s value is definitely much higher than that. Some may value it as much as >20 billion.

    Youtube most value about 0.8~1 billion but google say it is value at least 1.6 billion in 2006 and today is much higher than that.