In the world of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), every strategy counts, and one such method that often goes unnoticed lies with expired or aged domains .
Why are these expired or aged domains so wanted? Quite simply, they have a history, inherent authority and an existing link profile that can be harnessed for SEO benefits.
However, before jumping head-first into buying up expired domains, it is advisable to understand the ins-and-outs of these unique digital assets.Proceeding with caution helps mitigate risks and yields greater dividends in the long run.
This article aims explain the complexities of expired domains, shedding light on their benefits, pitfalls, and how they can be leveraged effectively in SEO.
The Different Types of Aged Domains
Expired domains are those that have been registered previously but have not been renewed after their registration period ended. This could be due to the owner forgetting to renew, no longer requiring the website, or simply disregarding its value.
These domains often have a history and, depending on this, they can carry significant SEO value. Certain expired domains might have high-quality backlinks and a strong reputation, which makes them attractive to purchase and re-purpose for boosting SEO for another site.
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On the other hand, auction domains are those that are sold or resold at auction platforms. When a domain expires, it doesn't immediately become available for new registration. Instead, the registrar typically offers the domain at auction. This is the window where interested buyers can bid on the domain before it becomes expunged and potentially available for general registration. The auction is a competitive marketplace where the highest bidder usually takes ownership of the domain name.
Godaddy is the biggest place to find auction domains right now:
Dropcatching, sometimes also known as "sniping," is the practice of registering a valuable domain name immediately after it has been released from the domain expiration cycle. Companies or individuals operating in this field use high-speed automated systems to register the expired domain before anyone else can get to it.
They're called "dropcatch" because they're "catching" the domains as they "drop" back into the public pool.
What makes expired domains so powerful?
An expired domain retains the SEO power it had from its active days, including backlinks and domain authority. If those backlinks are from well-regarded, high-authority websites, they can dramatically enhance a site's SEO rankings. Further, if the domain has been around for a long time (making it an "aged" domain), it might even carry an additional level of reputation and reliability in the eyes of search engines.
But how does one identify a truly valuable expired domain?
Due diligence is key.
Scrutinizing the domain's reputation in terms of its Domain Authority (DA) and Domain Rating (DR), examining its backlink profile for quality and relevance, and checking its history for red flags such as past penalties, trademarks and use cases are all part of a comprehensive assessment process.
Factors to Consider when Buying Expired Domains
A careful examination is mandated to ensure it's not just a lemon in disguise. Here are key aspects to scrutinize before you invest:
Checking the Domain Authority (DA) and Domain Rating (DR) offers insights into the SEO value the domain may hold. High DA/DR scores indicate the potential for good search engine ranking performance. You can use tools like Ahrefs.com or Moz.com for this.
A DA or DR of 15 or higher would be ideal.
Backlink Profile and Historical Review
An extensive overview of the domain's backlink profile is imperative. Look for contextually relevant, high-quality backlinks as well as a clean anchor profile.
Researching the domain's history for any signs of misuse or association with spammy websites can help you avoid buying a tainted legacy.
We recommend using Ahrefs for checking the existing links to a domain.
Preventing legal complications down the line is essential. Search for any trademarks associated with the domain name to ensure you're not infringing on anyone's intellectual property.
Each country has their own trademark register:
- For the US: https://www.uspto.gov/trademarks-application-process/search-trademark-database
- For the UK: https://trademarks.ipo.gov.uk/ipo-tmtext
- For the EU (and specifically Germany): https://register.dpma.de/DPMAregister/marke/einsteiger
Domains relevant to your business or niche can offer more value, as they would intuitively be favored by search engines for queries within your industry. Moreover, domains with a history of authority on related topics can give you a head start.
Where to buy expired domains?
The easiest and most convenient way to get a good and clean domain is using a reputable domain vendor. They basically do all the groundwork for you and then sell the domains at a small profit margin.
Just make sure the vendor has a solid reputation in the space and know what they are doing.
They should offer detailed reports on each domain, including its DA/DR, backlink profile, history and niche. Also, consider their transparency, customer service, and refund policy.
We can highly recommend SEOlutions , a reputable one-stop-shop for your expired aged domain needs. They currently have nearly 7000 handpicked expired and auction domains featuring great link profiles, metrics (DA/DR), and age, and the selection is curated and presented in an easy-to-use spreadsheet.
Obviously, that’s just one vendor, there are many others in that space.
How to use Aged and Expired Domains for SEO
Once you've acquired a valuable expired domain, the next step is making the most out of it. Here are some strategies used by SEO experts:
Revitalize with Fresh Content
Creating high-quality content tailored to your audience can turn this digital artifact into a vibrant platform, boosting search engine rankings and providing value to visitors.
These can be business related sites, ecommerce stores, affiliate sites etc.
This is usually the best way to kick-start a fresh site with an edge.
This tactic involves redirecting the expired domain to your primary website, effectively passing over the link equity.
This can strengthen your primary website's SEO ranking. Visit [this link ] for specifics on the 301 redirection strategy.
Ideally you want to use this sparingly and make sure that the relevancy is on point.
Remember, while these tactics offer great potential, they should be used wisely, ensuring adherence to Google webmaster guidelines to prevent penalties.
Precautions and Potential Risks
Exploring expired domains can be a bit like navigating a digital minefield; one misstep could set you back.
Here are two key areas to consider.
Google's Rules and Penalties
Google has stringent rules and regulations governing expired domains.
Understanding, respecting, and adhering to them is critical to avoid penalties. For instance, Google frowns upon spammy use of domains set up purely to manipulate SEO rankings.
Any techniques perceived as “against their guideines” can result in your domain being penalized, or worse, deindexed.
Risk Vs. Benefit Analysis
Every investment strategy has potential risks and benefits - expired domains are no different.
While the benefits include potential SEO value, saving time on getting quality backlinks, and opportunity to capitalize on the domain's existing traffic, the risks involve the domain's history (spammy backlinks, Google penalties, etc.), and Google's evolving algorithms that could potentially devalue expired domains.
Weighing these things before taking a plunge is a smart move.
Remember, while purchasing an expired domain can provide a leg-up, it's not a guarantee of SEO success.
Strategizing smartly, monitoring regularly and adapting periodically paves the way to sustainable growth in the ever-evolving digital landscape.
Again here’s a link to one of the most reputable domain vendors:
you can also join their Discord here .
Disclaimer: The above is a sponsored post, the views expressed are those of the sponsor/author and do not represent the stand and views of Outlook Editorial.