There was an interesting article this past week in the New Times technology section on the practice of flipping web sites. It works pretty much like flipping a house. First, you find a web site that has been around while and has decent search engine ranking and a base level of visitor because of its longevity. Then you buy it for a couple of thousand dollars, give it a modern look and feel, add some social networking features to build a community and focus on SEO. After a few months to a year the traffic increases greatly, the page rank pulls it into the top five to ten and you sale it for around 10 times the price you paid for it.
Flipping a web site sound like a great idea, but I’m wondering how many times someone buys a site they can’t turn around and sell. I think you have to be pretty picky about the sites you buy and have a marketing plan with almost a specific buyer in mind when you sell it.