AskingLot is a site that positions itself as a search engine for popular questions. They claim that there are more than 230 000 answers in their database.
This website is spam indexing hundreds of thousands of long-tail response questions. A lot of their answers aren’t even original. They copy and paste from other sites on Google’s first page. Surprising, they’ve been successful.
In this case study, we are going to analyze the website’s traffic statistics and revenue numbers. And the question is, do you think Google will eventually penalize them?
AskingLot has a lot of answers to questions that anyone on the internet can be searching for. However, the answers are presented in a low-quality way which is questioned by many users. The answer articles are also filled with very many keywords.
AskingLot tends to add the main keyword in the question to almost everywhere in the answer article. For example on a question asking, "How do I find a reputable repair company?", they mention the keywords from the question very many times and even go further to write them in bold letters.
Proof of FAQ Copy-Paste
Almost all the answers on AskingLot.com are copied and pasted from the FAQ of other popular big sites. The website must be having a script that automatically spam-indexes answers to lots of long-tail response questions and displays them as answers on the site. This is what enables the site to rank highly on Google search. Here is proof of a copy-pasted answer on AskingLot.com that was retracted from Comcast.com.
Original answer on Comcast.com
You can see the script made an error and even copied the number 4, which was just a point on the original answer on Comcast.
According to SimilarWeb, AnswerLot received almost 14 million visitors in September 2021 with the majority of the traffic (67%) coming from the USA. 94% of the traffic comes from search engines.
The Website’s Income
AskingLot’s main source of income is display ads from Google AdSense. The website has a lot of banners within articles, sidebars, headers, and footers. It also has plenty of popup ads that appear when you click some buttons or links while navigating the site.
The team at AskingLot has not announced their actual monthly revenue but we can try to estimate by calculating the minimum revenue it made from only USA traffic.
We know that Adsense pays $5 per 1000 impressions on USA traffic and most Tier 1 GEOs.
In September 2021, AskingLot received 67.59% of its traffic from the USA. This means that the site received 9 560 000 visitors from the USA.
Assuming that each of those visitors viewed at least 2 ads, this would be their earnings:
(9 560 000 x 2) * $5/ 1 000 = $95 600
This figure ($95 600) is just the minimum revenue estimation from USA traffic only, it could be more. If you can add up traffic from other GEOs, the revenue is obviously going to be much higher, approximately $140 000 in monthly income.
Not bad for a website that just copies and pastes FAQ answers from other websites.
AskingLot makes over $100 000/ month by copying and pasting web content. The website’s estimated value is worth $2 000 000, but the question is will it stay on Google’s side or will it be penalized in the future?
Webmasters on the internet have flagged the activities of this site and some complain that it has actually copied their content.
Currently, Google is favoring such copy-paste sites and giving them high ranks on search. But with the future algorithm changes, the future of AskingLot is uncertain. Another example of a website doing this is everythingwhat.com.