In the complicated world of search engine optimization (SEO), those who strategize the best win. And, anyone owning a business (or a domain name) is looking to win. SEO, when used most effectively, can improve ranking in the search engine results page (SERP), which will generate more traffic. With more traffic, there is more business.
As the internet pros know, “75% of Internet users never scroll past the first page of search results.” Plus, according to a study, “the top listing in Google’s organic search results receives 33 percent of the traffic.” One-third of the traffic for a search goes to the first result. So, it is not surprising that SEO strategists are constantly looking for ways to move their domains higher and higher up the SERP.
Hence, the appeal of using expired domains for SEO purposes. Expired domains are just like what they sound like – domains that have expired. Whoever owned the domain let the site go. This can happen for a myriad of reasons, but often, these domains have expired because the owner has moved on to something new. As you’ll soon find out, there are several valid reasons for using expired domains.
1. SEO Value
The primary purpose for using an expired domain is for SEO value. There are many expired domains that already have SEO power. For instance, the former domain owner did the hard work of getting the domain established. Basically, the sites are quality and already have a good rank in Google’s search engines. If Google has already identified the domain as a quality site, then it is easier to keep the domain rank where it is and move it up even higher.
2. History Matters
Simply put – domains that have been around longer have higher authority with Google. Domains that have stayed around for some time have earned Google’s respect (most of the time). Therefore, if you find an expired domain that has been operating for a few years, it is likely this page is worth the purchase. When you start fresh with a new domain, your domain age is zero. However, aged domains have older, more trustworthy domain ages.
3. Quality Backlinks
A major facet of SEO is getting quality backlinks. When the search engines notice other reputable sites are linking back to your domain, your overall ranking improves. Therefore, if you find an expired domain that already has earned high quality backlinks, this is huge asset for you. Whether you use link building services or simply use 301 redirect, this can work in your favor. It means other sites have linked to this domain – and the more reliable the site, the better.
Essentially, the domain history (or age) plus quality backlinks is the difference between high-priced expired domains and low-priced expired domains. Purchasing an expired domain that meets these two qualifiers is worth the extra money as it will have ROI potential.
4. A Built-In Audience
Do not simply think of buying and using an expired domain just based on the above two criteria. Instead, you should primarily search for expired domains that are already in your niche. This is important because it is something you already know and understand. Additionally, you want the backlinks to be relevant to your site. This is the end goal, so you should avoid “snatching an expired domain” if it makes you work harder, thus defeating the overall purpose.
Along these same lines, if you purchase a domain that is already in your niche, you have a built-in audience. The site was already generating traffic for the same type of information your site will provide. You will likely have people visit your site that used the expired domain, and you can make them your customer.
5. Make Connections
When you purchase a reputable expired domain in your niche, it provides the perfect opportunity to make connections. You can build relationships with the hosts who linked back to the site, and encourage them to see your site’s content. Plus, it is great for outreach. As Brian Sutter explains, “Link building doesn’t happen without relationships. And so, if you want links, you may have to go ask for them, even if your content is world-class.” With access to the expired domains backlinks, you have an outreach list ready.
6. Save Time
On top of the SEO value an expired domain brings, it also has the potential to save you quite a bit of time. If the previous owner spent time on SEO, then there will be less work for you. Expired domains of value mean you do not have to work as hard to get noticed in the first place. Instead, you can spend your time looking to rise in the SERP. The domain will already have traffic, but you can focus on getting even more.
7. Resell It for Profit
Some of the more calculating SEO professionals purchase expired domains with the intention of reselling them. Why? Well, if you come across an expired domain that has big selling potential, and you have the time to add SEO value to the domain, you may turn quite the profit in the future. This idea is great in theory, but it takes a keen understanding of SEO best practices for it to be lucrative. In other words, do not just start attempting to buy and resell expired domains for value. If you want to make money on an expired domain, you will have to work for it.
One More Thing Before We Go
Like anything where power and money are involved, the world of expired domains and SEO is full of corruption. There are unscrupulous people who will lie about page rank, as well as sites that will attempt to hide their Google penalties or bans. Before you purchase any expired domain, you must do thorough research. Fortunately, there are sites that can help you evaluate a domain’s history. For instance, users can check for Google AdSense bans by utilizing Sandbox Checker.