In SEO, there are several unfolded pages, and one of the unfold page is buying an expired domain.
For the obvious reason, there are numerous advantages of buying an expired domain, and that’s why even newbies are making a good amount of money from them.
Excited!! Want to buy expired domains?
But before making any sort of ruthless decision while buying expired domains, I personally suggest that you should go through this post.
Here’s a hint: Using this you’re aware of what to do and what not while purchasing an expired domain.
Therefore, in this post, I will instruct you on how you can figure out whether an expired domain is worth buying or only a shitty crap.
Since this is an illustrated guide. So, let’s first continue with the short-meaningful introduction on “why you should by an expired domain name”.
What are Expired Domains? Why Invest in it?
Have you heard of patent? Or a trademark? If yes, you definitely got an idea of what is a domain name.
A domain name is a trademark along with zones (TLD) which is a form of universal address (URL) over the internet that is renewed annually.
And when the owner doesn’t renew the domain, technically, it becomes dead. And it is called to be an expired domain.
Understood? If not, Have this example.
Let’s say, you bought a domain on 1 January 2020 for one year. Therefore, you can use this domain name over the internet for a tenure of one year.
After that, if you are unable to renew the domain within 1 year, then you will lose its name and it will become an expired domain.
And once the domain name expires, no matter who is the owner, anyone can buy that domain name.
Why Invest in Expired Domains?
There are many reasons to buy an expired domain, but I narrowed down the major benefits of buying expired domains. These are:
- Backlink Profile
- Build a Brand and Authority
- 301 Redirects
- Sell it for Profit
A. Backlink Profile
Backlinks are the juice that fertile the traffic and authority of your dominance in the industry.
Getting high-quality backlinks is not easy and it takes a huge amount of time and money, especially when you are investing money on buying a new domain name.
But, “What if you buy an expired domain?” Here, you might not only get a high profile backlinks but also save your time and money that you can invest in developing more content for your website.
One more factor is Google Sandbox.
When your website is new, Google puts your website in its sandbox. Here, your website is analyzed for quality content and other SEO parameters.
Therefore, if you buy a new domain name then definitely, it would take longer to rank than the expired domain with high-quality backlinks.
Hence, if possible, try buying expired domains.
B. Build a Brand and Authority
Authority comes with high-quality content and high-quality backlinks that eventually sum up to form a brand, on which people show their trust.
Authority = Quality Content + Quality backlinks
For example: Let’s say a brand called xyz.com, gets expired and you brought that domain. You not only get a domain with powerful backlinks but two more things.
One is the authority and the other is the brand itself.
Therefore, if you can get a high profile backlink domain. It is clear that your website’s content gets a crucial domain authority that is lacking when you buy a new domain.
C. 301 Redirects
If you want to quickly magnify your content on Google’s page then buy some expired domains with high-quality backlinks and redirect them to your official site.
It is how it can be done.
Suppose two authorities sites, 123.com and xyz.com are owned by Mr. Dikshit and Mr. Sharma, respectively. Both websites have the same domain authority of 34, and 2500 backlinks.
Now, both website owners use different strategies to build their website authority.
Mr. Dikshit uses normal strategy i.e. creating more quality content and making backlinks around them. While Mr. Sharma invests in buying expired domain names and 301 redirects to its official site.
In the course of 2 months, Mr. Dikshit invested about $1500 in creating 100 backlinks.
On the other hand, Mr. Sharma brought an expired domain with 100 quality backlinks and redirected it to his official site. Altogether, it cost him only $200 in auctions.
Therefore, “Why results differ that much?” This is because Mr. Dixit does hard work while Mr. Sharma does smart work.
I am not saying, you just redirect as many expired domains as you can. But my point is, you can grab any opportunities of getting a high authority expired domains and 301 redirect it to your main website.
However, beware to check that you are redirecting a relevant domain in your niche.
For your knowledge, this website bloggingguidance.com was previously named as hostingmirror.com. But our team, 301 redirect hostingmirror.com to bloggingguidance.com without losing its google ranking.
To know more, here is the video.
D. Sell it for Profit
It is the business that we talked about earlier where even newbies are making a lot of money.
Let’s take the above example.
Prabhu has a business of buying and selling expired domains. In the past, Prabhu had brought a domain at a regular price of $10 and sold it in an auction to Mr. Sharma (above example) for a total of $200.
Similarly, he made 5 more sales in a month that polishes his pocket with an extra of $1000.
You can also start a part-time business like Prabhu. It is easy. Just check the following pointers that you should figure out while buying expired domains.
11 Important Things You Should do Before Buying an Expired Domain
Buying expired domains can be complicated and very overwhelming. After all, there are so many different things that you have to beware when you’re investing money in buying expired domains.
But these are eleven main pointers. So, let’s begin.
1. At Initial Name Hunt and Brand Name
IMPORTANT NOTE! Be careful while choosing an expired domain name.
While I believe, there are thousands of domains that will expire in the next hour. But most of them are not gonna work for you.
So, how you cut all the crap and get a likable expired domain name?
The very first thing that you should avoid is the use of any prohibited words. These may include adult words, gambling, trafficking, and so on…
I think you get my point.
In addition, you should also avoid the names of personalities and brands. By doing this you can save your collar from getting ripped by copyright lawsuits.
And one more thing, you should check for other trademarks words before buying a domain name. Words like ‘google’, ‘WordPress’, any plugin name, any software name, or any company name must be avoided.
But, “how can I filter it?” This is exactly how it looks.
And this is how you can add filters.
- You first have to get free membership from expireddomains.net.
- Put the focus keyword in the search tab.
- Hover to ‘show filters’ and use the “Domain Name Whitelist” filter to add any extra words you’re searching for.
- And to eliminate any unwanted words (also the prohibited words) you can use “Domain Name Blacklist”.
2. Special Characters, Numbers, and String Length
Special Characters seem unreal and un-authentic to the users.
As you know, Google works on an algorithm that is eventually based on various stats. But a human being has their eyes and based on their perpetual views they interpret the result.
Let me explain this statement.
Suppose you visit two websites for a query with the website name “abc-def.com” and “abcdef.com” having the same type of quality content but with two opposite conclusions.
So, to whom do you believe the most? Of course, the non-dashed website i.e. “abcdef.com” has the majority of votes.
And that’s what the majority of SEO experts say, especially when you’re planning to start a brand on it.
Therefore, try to avoid any special characters while buying an expired domain.
This statement is also true for numbers.
I hope you get my point. As for obvious reasons, there is no need to state another example of abc123.com vs abcd.com.
Comment! Whether you agree with me or not.
Altogether, it’s better to avoid any expired domains that are bundled with special characters and numbers.
Nevertheless, there are two exceptions. One is buying expired domains for 301 redirects and second is to use as a Private Blog Network (PBN). In both cases, there is no point to ignore them (Expired domains with special characters and numbers).
Now, let’s talk about the string length of your domain.
In my career, I have seen a 34 character domain name. Holy crap! That makes your finger in pain.
Hence, try to choose expired domains that are not as long as the Eiffel Tower. While talking about the sweet spot-length for any domain name, it should be in between 3 to 16 words.
3. TLDs and Brandability
“About 47 % of the top websites in the Alexa database have ‘.com’ TLDs.”, says the Alexa stats.
This above statement is good enough to show the link between brands and ‘.com’ TLD.
“Oh!!! That means I have to buy a ‘.com’ domain extension to create a brand.” Definitely Not. I am just saying that try to grab ‘.com’ expired domains, if possible.
But as said earlier, if you are buying expired domains to redirect it to your main website or use them as PBNs then why should you care.
Inshort, if conceivable, try to stick with .com TLDs. But, if you need it for your local business then again you can ignore them and buy some regional TLDs.
From here, we together have completed the three major pointers that you should consider while choosing expired domains.
I hope, from now, you made your list of expired domains. Because it’s time to dig deeper and check the more technical kinds of stuff.
4. Check For Google Penalty and Indexability
Worst-case scenario—You buy an expired domain and later you find that your domain is not showing in the search result.
Surprise, why is it happening to you? It’s because of the google penalty that you fail to analyze before purchasing an expired domain name.
At first, what google penalties mean? A website is disavowed from google results whether it is SEM or SEO pages.
That means a website with google penalty is completely removed from google pages. And are unable to use google services like google ads.
But Why? Because of violations of Google terms and conditions.
The most common Google penalties are scraped content from other websites, auto-generated content, and using black hat SEO strategies.
So, how you check for google penalties. It is as simple as typing.
In this, you don’t need any tool to check whether a domain name has any google penalty. It is based on the indexability of a website.
You just have to type a query “site” with “:” followed by site name. Just like I do.
Site: Domain Name, and hit enter.
If you find various pages in the search results, then it is a good sign. And now, you can jump to the next step of checking for Google AdSense for any ban.
But, if there is not any search result, it only signifies that your chosen domain is already penalized by google. And now, you can do only one thing i.e. try to find other expired domains.
5. Check for Google AdSense Ban
For most website owners, the main source of income is through Google AdSense. And surprisingly, it is also Google’s major source of income.
So, anyone planning to make a website for any kind of revenue from Adsense should check this process.
There are various web tools from which you can check the Adsense eligibility of your chosen expired domain. But my personal favorite tool is BannedCheck.com.
You just have to grab the expired domain name, and put it in the search tab and click on search.
It’s that simple. This tool works like magic.
It will show you whether a domain name is penalized from google Adsense.
But here’s more.
This tool also states the indexability of your chosen expired domain name.
Therefore, this is the second most important step that every guy should go through before buying an expired domain.
6. Check for Domain Authority and Page Authority
For the obvious reasons, Domain authority and page authority are the most impactful SEO data that signifies how a website performs on an online platform.
Domain authority governs, how much a domain has the trust level in its niche which is usually the sum of total backlinks, subdomains, and other factors.
While the page authority only sticks to rectify the single page trust level in Google SERPs results.
To tackle down the DA and PA of an expired domain, I personally use a tool called Domain Authority Checker by WebsiteSEOChecker.com.
Follow the following steps:
- Put the Expired Domain Name.
- Solve the captcha.
- Click on the “Check” tab.
This is how the results look.
If you have a list of expired domains, you can also check the DA and PA in bulk. For this, you have to Free sign up to them.
Now, let’s discuss the major finding from this tool in detail.
1. Domain Authority (DA): Closer to 100, more the authority of the expired domain.
Note: Domain Authority of expired domains continues to decline with the time of expiration.
2. Page Authority (PA): Closer to 100, more the page authority.
3. Total Backlinks (TB): The higher the number is, the higher the chance of getting referral traffic.
4. Spam Score (SS): Higher the SS higher chance of being spammy.
Spam Score is a quality factor for backlinks from various websites and was developed by moz.com. It is statically defined by a percentage-number of backlinked websites that are penalized by google.
There are various parameters of Spam Score by Moz which are 1-30% for Low, 31-60% as Medium, and 61-100% for High spamming domain.
But, actually, I only buy expired domains that have a spam score of 20 or less.
5. Age: It states how old the domain name is. It can give an absolute overview of how a name works in its industry.
6. Alexa Ranking: Lower the ranking, more popular and trustworthiness the domain is.
7. Dofollow Backlink % (DF): Closer to 100, more the good is.
8. Nofollow Backlink % (NF): Lesser the number, more the good is.
Dofollow Backlinks are followed by both users and search engine crawlers. On the other hand, nofollow backlinks are only followed by users while crawlers ignore these links.
One more tool, I would recommend is the ahrefs website authority checker which also shows the result from 0 to100 point markers.
7. Analyzing The Existing Content-Type
As an owner of a well-reputed website, you don’t want to 301 redirect an expired domain to your website which is from a different niche.
Because doing this type of carelessness hurts your SEO to a greater extent.
As for Google ranking factor, backlinks matter. But what matters most is the relevant backlinks from relevant sources.
For more clarity, let’s discuss an example.
Ramu, a food recipe blogger, who had recently bought an expired domain related to the food industry. And without analyzing its existing content, he hook-up 301 redirects to his website.
And after a week, he starts losing traffic from google.
To know how this happens, he digs deep and starts analyzing the content of the redirected website. And after analyzing, he sees that it was an e-commerce local website of a food processor and that has not much relevance to what he is doing.
So, he immediately removes the redirects, and in the course of a week, his ranking starts increasing once again. But he lost money on buying a non-relevant expired domain.
Seems disgraceful? Yes, it is.
Therefore, you should always check the existing content type that was published in that expired domain.
But, “How can I check the existing content of an expired domain?”. This is how you can.
- Visit Wayback Machine at archive.org.
- Enter the expired or deleted domain.
- Click on the ‘browse history’ tab.
- Select a specific year with a black pillar structure.
- Now in the calendar, pick any dates that have blue circles.
- And the last click on the snapshot timing.
8. Quality of Backlinks
I’ve recently been spending hours and hours in finding the opportunities for building quality backlinks.
But the most graceful thing is, I also try to find expired domains regularly. So, either I can make a website around it, sell it, or 301 redirects it to a relevant site.
And I am sure, this hard work pays me later.
But, if you do it wrongly like what Ramu did (in the above example), it’s like a curse to your website and also bleeds out your hard-earned money.
Altogether, there might be a higher chance that you get de-rank your website from google pages. And even more disturbing thing—the Google penalty.
So, want to know, how you can avoid all things and come up with a clean domain name with high-quality backlinks.
Since 2018, I am hunting for expired domains. I have a lot of real-life experiences that I want to share here regarding the backlinks of expired and deleted domains.
To make it easy for you, I crush the whole experience in three broad categories. These are:
- Dofollow vs Nofollow Backlinks
- Number of links from Referring Domains
- Spam Links like Chinese links and Russian
A. Dofollow vs Nofollow Backlinks
Higher the portion of dofollow to nofollow backlinks, good for SEO.
So try to find expired domains that have higher numbers of dofollow backlink than nofollow.
Bottom line: Try to grab expired domains with a higher percentage of dofollow backlinks.
B. Backlinks and Referring Domains
Have you ever wondered, why some sites have thousands of backlinks, still they have a lower domain authority than a website that has a couple of hundreds of backlinks.
It may be due to low referring domains percentage as compared to Backlinks.
What does that mean? It simply means you don’t have to build links from the same website. Because higher the referring links to referral domains, higher is the authority.
To make it more clear, this is the interpretation of two websites from free ahrefs backlinks checker tool.
Table: Perfect illustration of the number of backlinks to the number of referring domains.
From the above table and image, it is clear that the referring domain is one of the major components over the number of backlinks that constitute the domain authority.
Bottom line: Choose an expired domain that has a higher number of referring domains.
C. Spammy Links
In the above scenario, we tackled down—it’s not the number of backlinks that matters. And also here like above, we discuss it in relatively the same way.
If you’re buying a deleted or expired domain that has numerous backlinks. But the majority of them are from very low authority websites or blocked websites.
Then there’s nearly no use.
However, if you find any cluster of links in Chinese or Russian language, for sure, they are spammy links that are not much relevant for your SEO rankings.
Bottom line: Try to avoid expired domain that has very bad backlinks profiles.
9. Number of Dropped Domains
Often, a lot of things glaze your heads, but when you personally use them, then only you get to know what they actually are.
And this is what a dropping domain number shows.
In simple words, it shows how many times a domain got expired and retrieved by new owners. Hence, it relatively states, in some way, whether a type of niche is profitable or not.
Again, it is just individualistic thinking.
But my friend, if you just want to go for a niche and find an expired domain that has too many drops. Then it might be not beneficial to work around that domain.
As said earlier, if you believe you can work on it. Then surely, you should go for it.
But beware of the consequence. Because it might be the case of manual penalties by google (discuss later in the post).
However, you can decrease the consequence by analyzing the previous work on that domain using WayBackMachine (discussed in pointer number 7). And with the help of that, you can accordingly plan your future work.
This is how it looks.
Hence, don’t miss this crucial step, if you are going to build a website around it or want to 301 redirect your website. But again, if you are going to use it as a PBN then you’re good to go.
10. Check for Facebook Ban
“If you’re not on Facebook. That means you’re probably dead.” Just kidding.
Since you are planning to build a website around an expired domain. And you probably have thoughts of getting referral traffic from Facebook then you definitely check for the Facebook ban.
Unlike Google, which permanently penalizes a domain, Facebook is different in this scenario. If you mail them, they answer your query and unblock your link.
In addition, you can use link shortening tools if even they did not unblock them.
But for the better side, try to avoid Facebook blocked domains because they were generally employed by spammers.
And the majority of bans were seen in the news and afflicted based websites.
Ok Ok Ok!!! But how to check if a domain is blocked by Facebook? You just post the link in a Facebook post. And wait for 5 minutes. If that post is still alive, that means there is no ban from Facebook.
11. Manual Analysis For Penalties
Since 2018, I have bought and sold many deleted and expired domain names. But sadly, in one case, I had made a wrongful purchase. I bought a domain that was manually penalized by google.
Manual Penalty is issued by a human reviewer of Google. It is generally addressed due to copyright strikes or various policy infringement. Some cases of manual penalty include unnatural links, whole copyrighted websites, bots attack, and hacked websites.
And from that day, I always made an extra effort to reach out to the previous owners of each domain that I was going to buy.
But one thing I made clear to you guys is, there is no tool from which you can check for google manual penalty.
So, “how do I check for a manual penalty by google?”
As stated earlier, there is no specific tool through which you can check for manual penalties.
But you can use social media pages (if any), email ids and contact details (from whois lookup) of the previous owner to contact.
By doing this, there is a chance that you can get a relevant answer from them.
And from my personal experience, I can say it is hard to get any fruitful replies from the previous owners.
But you can avoid this step if you’re purchasing expired domain at regular cost.
However, if you’re buying deleted or expired domain at a higher cost then try to contact the owners for more details.
When you’re buying an expired domain, it is for sure that you’re unable to compose a name for your website. But there are too many advantages of buying a high authority expired domain name that we also discussed in this post.
So, from now, you not only get to know how to do your research before buying an expired domain but also the advantages of buying expired domain names.
Therefore, if you follow this step-by-step procedure, it is easy for you to get a spam-free yet a profitable expired domain name.
One more thing, this post had no intention to discourage you from buying a new domain name. But the only goal is to guide you in a clear path so that you never lose your time and money while buying an expired domain.
And I definitely suggest if you have a name in mind around which you want to build an authority website then go for it. But you don’t get any leverage here.
Therefore, you have to work more in building the authority of your website which again needs time and patience.
That’s all for this. Thank you for reading.
WE GET HAPPINESS AND PRAISED WHEN WE HEAR FROM YOU.
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