Website “Intangibles”: What Are They Worth?

By | February 24, 2012

You’ve heard of the concept before: not everything that is valuable is easy to measure or clearly visible to the naked eye. It’s true in professional sports (where “intangibles” is so well-used as a catchphrase that it borders on cliché) just as it is in the world of buying and selling websites – not everything can be measured on paper. Sometimes it takes pure experience and intuition in order to tell when a website has potential.

But let’s do our best to measure those intangibles and see what they’re truly worth. We can start by listing a few famous intangibles that you’ll see in a number of websites for sale here at Be on the lookout for these intangibles and you’ll start to gain a “sixth” sense about what they might be worth. Without further ado, here are some website intangibles for you to consider.

How a website fits in the marketplace: This can be a very difficult quality to measure, which is what qualifies this variable as “intangible.” Some websites might not fit neatly into a particular niche or marketplace. Other websites might invent entirely new marketplaces in and of themselves. Understanding the context of the market around a website is almost as important as understanding the value of the site itself, which is why it’s important that you put in a good deal of research about a website’s niche as well as the site itself.

Timing: Browse through the listings at and you’ll notice that a number of websites don’t try to be timeless; instead, they try to be timely. The distinction might not sound like a lot at first, but it can make a world of difference. A timely website might be able to capitalize on recent events and generate short-term revenue while a “timeless” website has better long-term prospects. And when a site is based around technology that might be fleeting, you know that its potential might one day dry up. Beware of a site that is based solely on timing, as its potential can quickly wear out.

Domain Potential: Sometimes, a domain has a lot of potential even if the website currently inhabiting that domain does not. This is an intangible variable that will require a lot of imagination to understand. The more you get used to buying and selling websites, the more you’ll learn that some websites simply aren’t fully capitalizing on their potential because they’re just, well, not that good – even if the domain name they’re listed on is.

Uniqueness: Sometimes, a website is worth more simply because the idea is unique. But because this is hard to measure, a site’s uniqueness really qualifies more as an “intangible” that you’ll have to measure through your own intuition. Just because a website is unique, for example, doesn’t mean it’s worth a lot – it has to be unique in a marketable and appealing way. Because there’s no way to truly put this kind of uniqueness to numbers, it’s perhaps the most vexing “intangible” of them all.