Search engine optimization (SEO) revolves largely on domains. If you or your chosen SEO company are planning on creating a marketing campaign based on SEO and digital marketing tactics, then you would be needing a website with a valid and working domain. It will be toward the domain of your website that the search engines will direct users to, when they use the platform for their online searches.
There are three ways to use domains for SEO purposes. First, you can buy a new domain and build your website and your SEO ranking there, from scratch. This is perhaps the longest route to obtaining a spot in the search engine results pages (SERPs). But it may just be the cheapest and safest way to do so.
The second way is to buy existing domains. Say for example your team of digital marketers and dedicated link building company came across a domain that is perfect for your business’ SEO goals. Unfortunately, the existing domain is currently in active use. In this case, you can find out who the site owner is, and make a bid so you can buy the domain from them.
Or, you can use expired domains.
While a domain is regarded as a website’s address on the internet, your ownership of these chosen domain names and addresses is not forever. As such, domains have a preset expiry date or time, depending on the domain price and renewal scheme your webmaster and SEO expert set up in the first place. Basically, when the owner fails to renew the payment for the domain he bought, the domain is classified as abandoned, dropped, or, as it is commonly known, expired.
Then it is up for grabs.
Now, here is interesting part. Once domains expire, they do not lose their benefit. In fact, SEO consultants can probably attest to the fact that, these expired domains are sometimes favorable for SEO advantage. This is why several websites hold auctions and bids for expired domains for others to buy. Essentially, expired domains have that SEO juice that its successor can inherit, depending on the setup and strategy in place.
But before you give your currently-hired SEO companythe go-signal to go and shop around the internet for expired domains, there are a few things you should consider. It is important to take note that not all expired domains are created the same. This means that not because a domain has been recently dropped by the number one SEO company that you’ve following, it means that it is the best option for your business. Because when you are on the verge of buying a pre-owned domain, you need to make sure that it satisfies some standards such as:
- Relevance. If you are to invest
onan expired domain, make sure that the website that is once housed is related to your business’ niche and topic. Remember that you will be using the domain to boost your SEO ranking, so you will want to show both the users and the search engine that the expired domain (which will eventually be) connected with your website is bringing in site traffic from your target visitor market as well.
- Profile. Next to relevance, the profile of the expired domain that you will acquire for SEO purposes is just as crucial. More than the overall website structure and interface, you need to evaluate and make sure that the expired domain you are eyeing has a healthy link profile. Your trusted link building
agency canmost likely guide you in terms of making sure that the domain under consideration is one of good or even top backlink profile.
- Authority. Lastly, the expired domain that you want to repurpose should give off an essence of authority, whether in
domain, page, or both. Known as DA (domain authority) and PA (page authority), these are metrics on site performance. Typically, you should be rooting for domains that score between 60 to 80 (out of 100). Any score lower would most likely be turned down by an SEO expert because it would pose more risk than benefit.
- Ranking. Any level-headed SEO consultant would advise you to bid for an expired domain that has a solid ranking for the keywords you want to rank for, to be sure that it is worth every penny. Otherwise, opt for other SEO tactics such as building better backlinks and/or hiring someone for guest-blogging services.
Once you have narrowed down your expired domain candidate(s), then you can choose from either of these two methods to use them to your site’s SEO advantage:
- Backtrack and reach out.
- Setup and redirect.
Choosing the first method means you opt to use your deduction and communication skills to make the expired domain work for you. This involves extract the backlink profile of the expired domain. You can do this manually or choose a tool to help you get the process done in a quicker manner. Once you have a backlink extract, choose which of these links are of good quality and list them down separately. Finally, from this narrowed down list, get the contact information of the linking website(s) and communicate with the concerned webmaster(s). Once they respond, inform them that you have recently acquired the domain which they are linked to. Proceed to tell them that since the domain has expired, you can propose that they link back to your website instead.
On the other hand, if you choose the second method, then be prepared to set-up a redirect. As the name implies, you will be directing user traffic (that once flocked the expired domain that you bought) towards your website or URL. Redirects come in many forms. There are 301, 302, and the Meta Refresh. For the purposes of expired domain use in relation to SEO, you will be using the first one: 301 redirect.
Also known as the status code that tells search engines that a page has moved permanently (to a new URL or location), the 301 redirect is highly compatible with expired domains, especially those that have stronger link profiles. Considered as one of the best methods for implementing website redirects, the 301 redirect almost always transfers 90 to 99 percent of link equity between sites. Hence, the strong link profile of the expired domain that you bought will most likely be transferred to your URL, with a successful 301 redirect.