Buying Abandoned Websites


The first thing I’d like to mention about this is that this is a good technique to try to find websites you can buy cheaply that have some established incoming links. These sites also have an advantage of being up and running continuously which gives you a “longevity” boost in most search engines.

Finding a site that has been abandoned and purchasing it is not a guaranteed deal. You have to first locate one and then you must locate the owner and land a deal. It’s somewhat like searching through flea markets to find a certain antique lamp you like. You might do quite a bit of searching to locate just the right lamp and then you still have to negotiate a deal on the purchase of the lamp.

Another thing to keep in mind is that there might be something inherently wrong with the abandoned site you’ve located. Maybe the old owner did some nasty search engine tricks and got caught. The tricks weren’t bad enough to get the site banned altogether or you wouldn’t have found it in the first place, but the tricks were bad enough that the search engine is making sure that site doesn’t get a high ranking. The best way to determine that is to simply talk to the owner and get a feel for why they abandoned the site.

So how do you find the abandoned sites using the copyright notice method?

Almost all sites have copyright notices usually located at the bottom. If you search for a site that has an old copyright, it could mean two things. 1.)You found a possible abandoned site or 2.)the owner of the site has simply been lax in keeping up with the copyright notice. (I’ve been guilty of that myself)

To search for abandoned sites type in the search box at Google or whatever search engine you are using the following:

“copyright 2000” + [your keyword]

You can also copy the “©” symbol from the bottom of a website and try it this way:

“copyright © 2000” + [your keyword]

Don’t forget to put quotation marks around the “copyright © 2000” phrase and to try different years.

Here’s an example

I searched for

After sifting through many “2000-2008” copyrights I came across this site: The site looks updated to me, so it might be like number 2 above. The owner just never got around to changing the copyright. A simple call to the owner would tell me if that was true or not.

Here’s a blog that the last posting was October of 2005 Dumb music playing Last updated 2000 Last updated 2005

For this article, I limited myself to the first 100 sites that came up on Google under the keyword phrase “dog training”. As I went through the later pages I found less and less professional looking sites many of which looked homemade. This can be a bonanza for you because homemade looking sites are more likely to have been started on a whim with no budget and then abandoned. So,I would keep looking as long as you can stand it.

After you locate your hot list, you could do a link popularity test at to see if the site has any number of incoming links. Remember that’s part of the reason to try to buy the site in the first place. . . When you buy the site you also buy the incoming links.

Start contacting the site owners either through contact information on the site or by doing a “who is” looking at some place like

Well, that’s the method. Yes, I know it’s time consuming and tedious, but you could uncover some real gems that you can pick up for a song.

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