I love the concept that buying a website is a great way to get a head start on building an online business. There is also the ability to leverage the trust the website has already earned over time.
Sites used to trade at 5-10 months multiple of their net income. Now, 30-60 months seems to be the norm. If this trend continues, simply holding onto a website for a few years could give you an upside return on sale. Plus you will be receiving profit during the months you held it.
The operations of websites have more moving parts than some other assets like real estate. Though they are much less complicated than the inner workings of many businesses that people buy stock in.
Income producing websites are valued with concepts similar to commercial real estate. The income is divided by the cap rate, or discount rate, to determine the value. That is the underlying concept, but no one really talks about it.