Who Makes Money from WikiLeaks? | DomainInvesting.com

Who Makes Money from WikiLeaks?

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WikiLeaks.org is a website that publishes leaked (usually confidential) documents and memos from governments and companies. These documents are often embarrassing to those behind the documents, and the website receives a lot of interest shortly before and after it releases documents. It’s been in the news quite a bit lately, and is almost always referred to as “WikiLeaks” without the domain extension.

I don’t know much about the organization behind WikiLeaks.org, so I can’t say how (or if) they generate revenue, but it looks like at least one company makes some money as a result of WikiLeaks, and the company is based in the United States.

A company called Wikia, Inc. from San Francisco owns the “typo” WikiLeaks.com, and the domain name is not developed. However, there are pay per click (PPC) links on the landing page, which appears to be monetized by its registrar, US-based Godaddy. You can see the “Sponsored Links” on the left hand side of the page.

At its peak, Compete.com reported that WikiLeaks.com received over 230,000 visits in July of 2010. It also appears to be close to the 100,000 visit mark last month, and will almost certainly increase as WikiLeaks.org release new confidential documents.

Of course, this traffic pales in comparison to the actual WikiLeaks.org website, but the traffic is still substantial. I wonder how much Godaddy is earning from this typo traffic.


About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has sold seven figures worth of domain names in the last five years. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest.


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Comments (14)

    Greg

    “A company called Wikia, Inc” ?

    Oh, you mean the guy who founded Wikipedia.

    November 28th, 2010 at 1:00 pm

      Elliot

      @ Greg

      Not sure if that’s correct, but Wikipedia.org is registered to the Wikimedia Foundation.

      I also don’t know if the owner of WikiLeaks.com is actually parking the domain name with Godaddy or if it’s a standard Godaddy parked page that’s generally put on domain names after registration.

      November 28th, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    TeenDomainer

    WikiLeaks.org makes money with donations.

    November 28th, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    AhmedF

    The guy who created Wikipedia created Wikia as a for-profit venture.

    And he is not a fan of Wikileaks.

    November 28th, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    Priv

    I don’t see Wikileaks.org suing since the users will eventually figure out, although they could.

    On an unrelated note: I am so sick and and tired of seeing Jimmy Wales’ ugly face (I’m mad so I’m being honest) for weeks on each wiki page asking for money. He is not that famous among average users so it must be an egomaniac thing. Isn’t Wikipedia a real corporation now, not a one man team? Put a good looking woman or a celebrity if it helps raising money. But Jimmy Wales, WTF???

    November 28th, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    Luc

    Wikileaks is a non-profit which funds 100% of its operation from donations.

    November 28th, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    Peter Frank

    @Priv

    Just press the “x” on the top right of the Jimmy Wales’ banners and they go away.

    November 28th, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    alan

    Power of typo!

    Wikileaks.org will not be able to UDRP / WIPPO the guy who owns the .com typo (wikileaks.com). bucause wikileaks.org itself is rated as illegal and the guy behind it on the run from getting caught by swedish police.

    November 28th, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    3ddi3

    Just recently one of their financial supporters backed out – possible under pressure from the US gov’t. I wouldn’t be surprised if WikiLeaks would be making money by sharing their pre-release info to established news orgs.

    November 28th, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    jo

    1. Wikia owns the domain to avoid confusion between Wikipedia and WikiLeaks. Wales and Assange have discussed this through emails.

    2. Wales’ face is on Wikipedia because in tests it let to several times more donations than appeals from other editors.

    November 29th, 2010 at 2:01 am

    Gregory Kohs

    Elliot, it looks like you’re on to something, which is good. But, you haven’t even scratched the half of it yet. We scratch and dig away on another site called WikipediaReview.com — and you’ll find this thread fairly fascinating:

    http://wikipediareview.com/index.php?showtopic=30409

    If there’s one thing Jimmy Wales is expert at, it is lying.

    November 29th, 2010 at 9:03 am

    James Hyams

    I’m writing a thesis on Public Trust in WikiLeaks, the Media and the Government and need to know what your opinions are. The online survey is multiple choice and will take approximately 10 minutes to complete. Please follow the link: http://www.kwiksurveys.com/?s=ILLLML_9669e09d. Would be great if you would encourage others to do the survey also.

    April 22nd, 2011 at 11:03 am

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