Why the Million dollar Wiki is a bad idea

Even before Squidoo was hit with a Google penalty for being full of
spam it was pretty clear that the business model was doomed to fail
sooner or later.

The problem with any site that allows users to create their own pages
is that the users will push the boundaries in terms of promotion. Many
brands who don’t want to be associated with link spamming will create
a page on another site and drop 50,000 links to it at no risk
whatsoever. If Google gets upset they won’t penalise the owner of the
page, it’s the site that gets hit with a penalty.

The thousands of Squidoo pages about p0rn, pills and gambling are
being promoted using all sorts of black hat techniques that most
people would never use on their own sites.

A new service called the Million Dollar Wiki is similar to Wikipedia but allows you
to create a page about anything you want for $100. The problem is that
the site has very little link equity to start with (just like any new site) and judging by the
links its attracting already will really struggle in the future. Lets
face it, if Google doesn’t trust the site then there will be no
traffic and the links are worthless.

About 12 months ago I was about to launch pretty much exactly the same
type of site. A version of Squidoo where users could pay to create a
page about anything they wanted. I kept putting the idea off as the
timing didn’t seem right and even had the entire thing coded and ready
for launch last October.

In the end I kept looking at the links people were throwing at Squidoo
and decided that there was no way for my site to attract enough trust
and natural links to overcome the thousands of spam links that people
would throw at it from day 1.

In order for this sort of site to be really effective you would need
to have a trusted site and start selling pages in a sub directory. The
problem is that you run the risk of losing trust to the main site
based on the content of the paid pages. I’m not sure this business
model can ever really work.

By Patrick Altoft. at 10:27PM on Wednesday, 08 Aug 2007

Patrick is the Director of Strategy at Branded3 and has spent the last 11 years working on the SEO strategies of some of the UK's largest brands. Patrick’s SEO knowledge and experience is highly regarded by many, and he’s regularly invited to speak at the world’s biggest search conferences and events. Follow Patrick Altoft on Twitter.

comments

  • http://meridiancrest.com Scot Smith

    You hit the nail on the head with this one.

  • http://milliondollarwiki.com/design Matthew

    Your reasoning is based on the fact that the Million Dollar Wiki is horrible for SEO purposes and I couldn’t agree with you more. However, SEO is not everything in the world of internet marketing.

    Million Dollar Homepage got huge traffic that was untargeted and passing. Million Dollar Wiki has a few organized ways to direct people to sites of interest, and this is how it will be way more targeted.

    Second, with the vast content of the Million Dollar Wiki, visitors are also more likely to return & unlike Tew’s site, you won’t see everything with one visit & as there is constantly growing and updated content.

    You might be right about it being a bad idea for some. But those are specifically the people who put little thought into their purchase. I own two pages that have already earned the $100 back within the first two months of its launch (its finally starting to pick up). This is not BS either before my purchase I took a good look at the model and figured out my target audience will be other page owners and visitors that might be directed to me. I got the design page because I knew I would have unlimited page design jobs – especially after building my name in the community – which I have started to do. Becoming a great resource on the site gets people checking out my page and I am climbing up the most popular page which gets me more traffic. The best part of this is I have been noticed on the community as a benefit and am getting more exposure because of it.

    If you provide an internet service – like programming – it’s a no brainer to snag your specific keyword to secure your niche.

    If you have an online tool, this might be a decent way to find some users who would find it helpful.

    If you do affiliate programs or use AdSense, you will need to provide useful content that will attract visitors to your page, which takes some work. So getting the keywords that pay well, like marketing or car insurance (both taken) are definitely the only way it will be worth it.

    If you have a business or product, you might have to be more creative to get traffic or buyers.

    If you simply throw up an ad, you are throwing your money away. If you treat this as a business venture and play to the community – there is some profit to be made in this website.

  • http://milliondollarwiki.com/Money Josh

    People are already making their money back not to mention driving huge traffic to their site for a $100. Check out the Money page on their it is showing the users and their earnings. http://www.milliondollarwiki.com/Money

  • http://shauncarter.com Shaun Carter

    Great post about the Million Dollar Wiki. I was quite surprised that the creator decided to leave college after selling just under 400 pages. He’s really planning on this thing taking off.

  • http://milliondollarwiki.com/marketing Rob

    I own the Marketing page and yes, I have made more then my money back. Moreover, it’s been less then two months since I bought the page. http://www.milliondollarwiki.com/marketing

    Bad idea, I think not. I am a Marketing pro, and if you are smart, you would get a good page while they are still availiable. To intice you even more, here is a coupon code to save 5 bucks when you check out with a page. Coupon Code: k5webworks

    It’s worth it, trust in the MDW!!!