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When to pull the pin on a website?

Factors leading up to my decision.

     
12:53 am on Dec 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I'm just about close to pulling the pin on one of my websites. Reasons in point form are:

  • Out of all my websites, it makes the least money, yet takes the most effort to maintain.
  • I regularly get emails from people not happy, even angry, with the content. Again, not worth it if I'm not making all that much money from it anyway.
  • Traffic is steadily dropping with time due to various factors which I'm guessing includes bigger and better resourced competitors as well as Google algorithmic updates which deem the site to be low quality for whatever reason.


It's a shame though after all the time I've put into it. But at some stage, I'm going to have to admit that I've been (and still am) beating a dead horse which is just going to get deader with more beating.

I'd like this thread to be for other webmasters who'd like to share their own experiences in making the big decision to shut down their site and move on.
7:42 am on Dec 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I'm having a new site designed right now. I'll keep the other site for referrals, and maybe eventually sell it if it continues to have traffic.

I should have had the site evolve.
8:29 am on Dec 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I regularly get emails from people not happy, even angry, with the content.

Ah ha. I thought "pull the pin" was a mistake for "pull the plug" but there you are. Don't shut it down: sell it and run like hell.
9:05 am on Dec 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I have a couple of sites in this postition but I am leaving them there for the present in case there is a miracle around the corner. :(
1:30 pm on Dec 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I've shut down a few sites over the years. If you shut it down sooner rather than later you can redirect that drip of traffic to where it's more useful to you. You may also be able to salvage certain sections or types of content. Just look at what's giving you the most hassle, such as UGC or free tools you don't have time to provide support for, and transfer the uncontroversial money-making pages to other domains.

It wasn't until I closed down one of my websites that people came out of the woodwork and told me they'd miss it and it was a shame I wanted to close it. Up until then I'd got more negative feedback than positive. People don't appreciate free until you take it away.
3:13 pm on Dec 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

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People don't appreciate free until you take it away.

Welcome to the internet.

Marshall
2:16 am on Dec 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I tossed one non-performer onto the market and it paid for some home improvements. Maybe the new owners will make a go of it, maybe they'll harvest the internal rank of 2-4 on most pages to sell links, maybe they'll boost their other sites or move content, who knows.

It's usefulness to me was done, one mans trash is another man's gold.
5:35 am on Jan 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I know I am late to the discussion but if you don't mind me asking. What happened? Is it due to Google changes or lack of user engagement or what?
11:21 am on Jan 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Google Penguin and Panda.
11:47 am on Jan 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

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If that's the case then there's chance of recovery if the site is not a "spam" site. I have seen recoveries and personally handled few of those so IMHO fight back if you think you are right, it's hard initially and motivation is low but recovery is easier than starting a new site, isn't it?
12:11 pm on Jan 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Not so far IME.