When it comes to starting a new site, an expired domain with traffic is the best tactic if you want to rank fast in google and to get traffic in a short period. As in everything in the SEO field, research in key. In this article, I am going to cover the steps to find the perfect expired domain with traffic that will boost your site from day one.
What is an Expired Domain, and what is the advantage?
An expired domain is a domain that was owned by an individual or an organization. For some reason or another, the monthly subscription was not being paid, thus triggering the site domain to be available to others to buy.
When it comes to ranking on google, the domain age is an important parameter.
When a new site based on a new domain is, Google will put the site in a sandbox. For several weeks google will disregard your website even if you spend millions in content and backlinks. It’s an optimization that Google has in its algorithm based on the principle that a new site will have few visitors from organic traffic.
Google will wait for your domain to age. Once aged, Google will start increasing impressions to your site.
Buying an expired domain will allow you to skip the sandbox period.
If you choose your domain wisely, the expired domain will have backlinks pointing to it. This translates into higher Domain Authority and based on the quality of the backlinks; you will have traffic flowing to your site from day one. How awesome is that?
Research on Keywords
Before looking into buying a expired domain, you need to determine the keywords that you want to use as a domain name. As a business, you need to have a good understanding of which keywords your users will use to hit your site.
If the keywords are part of the domain, the Google algorithm will give you extra points when it comes to ranking. Make sure that you check the competition and the search volume for the keywords you want your expired domain to contain.
Another critical aspect of the domain name is an extension. If you want to target specific geolocation, select an extension that is bound to a particular country.
An excellent extension to find expired domains is the .io. The .io is used a lot by startup companies. These are companies that would have invested a tremendous amount of money in content and links for their site through investor money. You can find a golden nugget with reputable backlinks from sites like techcrunch.
Once a startup loses funding, the project will die, and the domain will be up for grabs.
Searching for the Golden Nugget.
Once you have done your research on the domain parameters, the next step is to find expired domains that match those parameters. The best resource to find expired domains is expireddomains.net.
This site collates all the domains that are about to expire and that are up for auction,
It also provides you with additional insights into the quality of the domain, like age and number of backlinks.
Research on the quality of Expired domain
If you find domains that match your name requirements, the next step is to check the quality of the domain. The following are the attributes that you must check.
The older the domain, the better. You can get the age of the domain from smallseotool. It is one of the best domain age checking tools.
Checking what content was available on the site is very important. The Wayback Machine is the best tool for this job. It will help you determine if the site was spammy or contained material that points to illegal activity. It also helps you evaluate if the content is in line with the site that you want to build. It is important to note that you require consent from the previous owner if you want to use the content that was present on the site. Using it without consent is a breach of copyright laws.
Quality of Backlinks
It is essential to check the quality of the backlinks. If the majority of the backlinks are coming from a few sites, it is an indication that the site was part of a PBN, and Google might have blacklisted the site. The reputation of backlinks is also very important. Links from porn, spamming sites, or sites promoting illegal activity is a marker that the domain is not suitable for you. Information about backlinks can be retrieved using an SEO tool like ahrefs or moz.
If a site was de-indexed, it could be an indicator that google regards the domain as unsafe. Even if the site has expired, you can use the site:prefix to load pages linked to the domain. Eg. site:gainchanger . When Google returns results than domain domain is indexed and regarded safe. As a bonus, you can check the cached version of the pages in Google.
Information about domains delisted by Google due to copyright infringements can be accessed using this site.
Email Spam Check
It is important that you check if the previous owner used the domain to send email spam. Mxtoolbox provides an online service to check if the domain was blacklisted using 100+ DNS blacklistings.
How do I buy the Expired Domain?
Once expired, Domain Registrars like Godaddy or NameCheap will sell the domain through their auction service. The highest bidder wins the domain. If nobody buys the domain through auction, the domain Registrar will try and sell it in a Closeout listing.
Finding a good expired domain with traffic will fast track you to the first page of Google. Make sure that you do proper research before committing to buy an expired domain and using it for your site.
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Simon Bonello is Co-founder of Gain Changer. His main area of focus is Business Process Automation, Software Technical Architecture and Technical SEO