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StorageSearch.com is for sale

example of some assimilation and handover plans

by Zsolt Kerekes - publisher - August 24, 2018
There are many ways that a website can be sold and assimilated. I've drafted this note to indicate some of the granularity options.
  • domain only sale - this is the simplest (and lowest cost).

    No rights to website content would be involved. After an agreed verification process and announcement and invoice and payment the website registration details would be updated and transferred to the new owner who could arrange to redirect all hits to the site to their own new home page.

    This requires little or no explanation. Handover services could be as simple as ensuring that a redirect of the original web host is set up to the new site to ensure continuity during the first 24 hours or few days that the name server details are permeated through the web.
  • domain sale with an agreement which includes time limited rights to content (this type of agreement could include a time limit on the content to reduce the cost - such as 1 to 5 years - and a no compete agreement) along with assisted assimilation and handover services. This will cost more than the domain only option. But it has the advantage for the buyer of a lower cost than the unlimited rights to content option (below) and may be useful for buyers who see a value in the content for tactical web marketing reasons for several years - but who expect that their own original content will dominate the site as the acquired content ages in reader value. Why the time limit? - Just in case I want to write a memoir of my time in publishing and want to reuse some of the content in later years.
  • domain sale with an agreement which includes content - unlimited rights - this is the most expensive option.
Publishers who already have experience in acquiring complex web sites will have their own ideas of how they can best assimilate and upcycle readers and content.

The notes below are included to help potential buyers who don't already have their own transformation plans to get a realistic idea of how much work might be involved and how easy it might be to leverage the benefits of acqurining StorageSearch.com using a minimal set of handover services which could be agreed as part of the acquisition price.

At the start of this evaluation process it's worth asking the question...

how complicated are the web assets of StorageSearch.com?

For better or worse - when I set up StorageSearch.com in 1998 - my plan was to make it as simple as possible. At that time I already had 2 years experience with running a high visibility ad funded site for 2 years beforehand (the SPARC Product Directory). The only web technology I changed from the 1996 design model was the inclusion of support for banner ads (which was later backwards integrated into the SPARC site).

There is no underlying software in the site. No java, no scripts. Everything is plain simple html. And with the exception of banner ads all the web pages are html (almost version 1.0).

The banner ads (which were in the original design in 1998 supported by a 3rd party SPARC hosted Unix platform) have - since 2009 - been implemented entirely as html refresh redirects. (More about banner ads and their uses for editorial messages later.)

what does StorageSearch.com look like at the web hosting level?

The website is all in a single directory which consists of 5,400 files (approx).
  • html - 3,270 - original articles and content
  • JPEG - 1,020 - images
  • GIF - 1,040 - images
  • PDF - 114 - 3rd party historic datasheets / papers
Suggestions for a tactical assimilation of the site

Services which I can provide as part of an agreed sales package with content might include:-
  • announcing news of the sales agreement - on the site and via linkedin and email
  • listing the top 50 or 100 html files (similar to this list) and dividing this into 3 subsets:-
    • locations which may be obvious candidates for entire replacement by the buyer or redirection:- such as the home page, news page etc
    • locations which could benefit from having a significant manual input prior to handoever - with a note suggesting links to similar pages on the new owner's site
    • locations which simply need a temporary light touch or which can be left alone
  • identifying articles (outside the top 100 files) which have a strategic affinity with the acquirer - and then agreeing a list of changes like those above
  • Re banner ads on the site... As I explained in my 2000 article - http://www.marketingviews.com/aspectsof.html - one of the uses of banner ad technology is to promote articles and news on your own site. For over 20 years I've used the same technology to deliver customers ads and editorial messages.

    As part of the sales handover services I can suggest and set up draft editorial messages to populate the ad streams on the site - so that new readers (even on unchanged web changes) can see a message from the new owner.
temporary rights to content - what does that mean?

On the one hand the sale of StorageSearch.com could include permanent and exclusive rights to all the articles I've written and all the web pages on the site and all the images which are currently owned by the publisher and which were created for this site (in particular the mouse images, logo etc).

Wouldn't it be great if we could agree about a price for that?

On the other hand - I don't want my valuation of the content to be a deal blocker - if for example my idea of what the legacy content is worth is out of line with what a buyer might expect.

So that's why I'm floating the idea of a temporary license for the content - which might be set at an agreed period of years and which might include some shared non competing use of some of the mouse images (some of which appear in some children's stories I've written - more details on request).

A temporary license would enable the buyer to tactically use all the content on the web site for as long as it might remain useful from an SEO and reader integration point of view - while being priced closer to a domain only sale. This is just a suggestion for exploring where the real value lies.
That's it for now.

I expect to narrow down the shortlist of those I'm talking to about the sale of the site by early October.

By November / early December all the obligations to legacy advertisers will have ended and it will be feasible to complete the sale.

Any questions? - just ask.

PS - there are some other websites owned by the same publisher.

As part of the handover process - the archived SPARC Product Directory will be updated with a note about the sale and with some redirects if tactically appropriate. (The SPARC site will be switched off sometime in 2019.)

MarketingViews.com - used to be a FAQs resource for my advertisers. As we have announced the end of our web ad business model - MarketingViews.com will be offered for sale as a domain only option without any rights to the mouse images.

GoblinSearch.com - is a fictional story site. This is where I'll be spending much of my retirement - completing old stories and writing new ones. GoblinSearch.com is not being offered for sale.