There are some websites that suck time away without you even noticing. You can spend hours just clicking on the screen, not even noticing time passing away. Some of these websites have turned your wasted hours into millions of dollars. Here are some of the top earners, though you may want to exercise caution with your browsing, because if you go to any of the sites you may wind up spending the next several hours on one of them.
The Cheezburger network of meme sites tempts visitors with funny pictures that have ridiculous captions. ICanHasCheezburger is the best known, featuring cats with particularly poor spelling and grammar, but FAIL Blog, Daily Squee and an ever-growing list of other sites can all keep you occupied with both reading and creating your own funny pictures. Those pictures earn an estimated $4 million a year according to investor documents.
Along with Zynga's other games, Farmville has helped millions spend both their time and money. Social gaming has become big business, as the more than 80 million people who have played Farmville over the past three years can attest. In 2011, Zynga earned an estimated $4.16 per Farmville player per year, which certainly adds up. Farmville is slowly losing ground to other social games, but Zynga has built several other popular games.
According to its owner, Demand Studio, Cracked.com is the "most visited humor site on the web." It certainly has plenty of articles and videos to keep the 7.4 million monthly visitors the site receives entertained. Cracked.com pays the bills with ads, and it does it well enough to constantly be generating new content.
Technically full of articles, videos and other interesting content, Newgrounds is really known for flash games that can keep you enthralled for hours. Tom Fulp founded the site in 1995 and it's turned into a key promotional tool for animators and game designers. Fulp has earned an estimated $15 million from the site to date.
You might think that it's easy to navigate away from a site that is little more than a database of actors and other movie professionals. The 22-year-old website keeps users clicking in a virtual game of 'Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.' With 100 million unique visitors per month, IMDb.com has built a huge platform that brings in revenue from ads, subscriptions and standalone sites. Amazon acquired the site in 1998.
The premise behind reddit is simple: people submit links, read links and vote links up or down. Not only have users invested thousands of hours into the site, they've made names for themselves as philanthropists, in one case raising six figures for DonorsChoose.org in eight hours.
The more the 20,000 unique photo galleries on theCHIVE.com offer you the chance to look through over a million images, which should keep anyone busy for a while. The site receives about 100 million monthly pageviews.
The Bottom Line
Time flies when you're having fun, and for many a good time can be getting a chuckle by reading all the new posts on Cracked.com. These sites have capitalized on the time waster inside all of us and turned huge profits because of our lack of online productivity.
Photo Courtesy of John Stansbury