The Curse of the Million Dollar Home Page

In General Marketing, The Digital Marketing Blogby Kelvin1 Comment

I was reading about the great new website My Hex Colour over at Jamie Riddell’s blog, a genius idea where someone is selling every hex code colour to be named after you for a dollar and was reminded to Alex Tew and the Million Dollar Homepagemdhomepage.

If you’ve never heard of the Million Dollar Homepage (it’s about five years ago – half a century in internet years) it was a brilliant idea where a chap sold each one of the one million pixels on his site at one dollar each. The plan being once he had sold them all he’d be a millionaire.

And it worked – it became a viral sensation and Alex quickly sold out every single one. He has worked on a bunch of projects since including the hugely popular viral game where you throw shoes at George Bush and recent entry into the dead pool Popjam. Putting aside the guy behind the project I wondered how many of the sites were still going.

A quick check of how many of the 1403 outbound links from the home page later and I had discovered over 16% of the links were now pointing at 404 error pages. With another 12% redirected on to other websites.

I did a quick check of a few of the dead links and not all of the sites were actually dead, just that the URL was and with over 20k of links pointing at the site and dozens from leading websites like the BBC it might be worth checking whether any of those 404s are available to buy as domains and 301 to your site.

And even if you aren’t one of the people who have a link from the site it shows the importance of keeping an eye on whether your links are pointing to 404’s which you can do easily in Google Webmaster Tools.

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  1. If I can recall correctly a lot of people who bought them were sites that were similar in style but nowhere near as successful (like one where you could buy a pixel for 10c for example), but interesting idea. Maybe worth checking it out just for the backlink strength as you said!

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