Your domain name is not just a representation of your website. When domains expire, they are often put up for auction or sale, resetting that domain name to a completely blank space that another party can buy and fill with their content.
On the surface, this doesn’t seem that important but expired domain names can actually be an incredibly powerful tool for building up high-quality backlinks. Even if the original website has vanished, that domain still has all of the same backlinks pointing at it.
This keeps the same backlink profile and the same set of incoming links, and even if a few sites realise that the domain isn’t for the same website anymore, most of them won’t check. If you can find expired domains in the same niche as your own content, then you can harness them as your own.
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What Are Expired Domains?
Expired domains, or deleted domains, are simply any domain that hasn’t been renewed. This leaves the domain name in a state of limbo until another party buys it.
The original content of the domain might be visible through tools like the Wayback Machine. However, all domains dropped by their owners are essentially empty – such domains can be a very useful tool, thanks to the ‘link juice’ that they still possess.
With a domain that has expired, that specific domain address leads to a parked page or an error message. There is no content there, but referring domains and other web traffic can still be pointed in that direction.
Why Buy Expired Domains?
Expired domains are still domains, and depending on the domain age and popularity, they can have a lot to offer.
While an expired domain contains no content and might not even have some kind of parked landing page (which certain web hosts use for dropped domains), it still has the same domain authority, incoming links, and a place on domain lists that customers may use.
Instead of creating a brand new domain, you can buy a specific domain and rely on domain lists or other high-authority links to boost your link profile almost immediately. Existing links to an expired domain still apply if that expired domain name is re-opened by another company.
What Can you use Expired Domains For?
Once you find expired domains and manage to buy them, they’re yours to use how you please, giving you a lot of potential options that can help boost your own site’s rankings or authority.
There are three core ways to use expired domain names to boost your own marketing or internet presence: gathering authority, creating redirects, or creating niche blogs.
When you buy expiring domains with backlinks, many of those backlinks will have a good amount of domain authority behind them. Starting with completely fresh domains gives you zero-authority sites that need to be built up from scratch.
By using expired domains, you can take the original authority of the expired domain to get a head start.
Usually, you will still have to tailor that new domain’s content to the same niche as the expired domain. This is because high-quality sites will be offering backlinks related to the old site’s content.
This may only offer a small advantage if you can’t find expired domains with much sway or power, but even average-authority sites are better than starting from scratch.
It’s possible to use each expired domain as a way to reroute some authority to your main site. If you find domains that used to belong to niche blogs or websites, then you can create a private blog network that only benefits your existing sites.
For example, if you find expired domains about food and clothing, they might not be suitable for your business. However, you can still buy expired domain names and turn them into blogs about food and clothing, then have some kind of link to your main site – like guest content or ‘about page’ links.
As long as you avoid creating something that looks like spam links, that new website with a powerful domain can tie into your main web presence.
While they won’t transfer all of the domain or page authority, and certain important metrics may not be usable, this can still help improve your search engine ranking and offer extra search traffic. A private blog network can be used in many different ways.
One of the simplest ways to use an expired domain is through a redirect. This can have major limitations, but it can also work for one or two expired domains if you’re careful.
Giving them redirecting outbound links to your own site will drive both high traffic and high authority to your site, turning the existing website domain into a pathway to your normal domain name.
Buying too many high-quality domains to use as redirects can negatively impact your search engine optimization, so it’s important to buy an expired domain for a redirect only once or twice at most.
How to Find Powerful Expired Domains That Rank
Trying to find and buy an expired domain sounds easy. While you can purchase expired domains (or expiring domains, in some cases) with only a single payment to the domain owner, it’s important to find a powerful expired domain that offers something worthwhile.
Buy Expired Domains with Backlinks
Always look at backlinks before buying an expired domain using a backlinks miner tool. If the new website has a good set of backlinks, then you can often leverage them to boost your own content.
Without a good set of backlinks, you would have to resort to doing your own link building – which completely nullifies any benefit that an expired site could give you.
An expired website should be more than just a domain. Check the backlinks and other connections to see if the domain is worth using before you buy it.
Find Sites with High Domain Authority
Domain authority is a simple way of measuring a site’s overall presence, but that doesn’t make it useless. When you find domains with authority, it’s likely going to be good options with high-authority links.
Authority can be a great way of judging SEO value. A domain with a high score can be a great place to set up a new ‘authority site’ for feeding those benefits into your normal website.
Sites with low authority can still be useful for gathering high traffic, but this depends on your goals. The general authority of a domain can be important either way and shouldn’t be overlooked.
Domain extensions are a good way to investigate authority, as well as any other metrics that might matter to you.
Expired Domain Lists
Looking online at domain registration lists can help you find expired web pages and websites that might be worth using. Some even act like a search engine, helping you build your own domain lists about a particular niche or subject.
Domain registrars and auction sites often have ways of checking for new domains or domains that are about to hit their expiration date. A domain registrar will often sell domain names directly on an expired domains marketplace or other auction sites, making buying the perfect domain easy.
You might also be able to sort by domain age, custom domain details, the original website owner, or the average search traffic that it got – all of which could be useful. However, not all marketplaces or sellers will offer these details.
Have a Plan
It’s important to come up with a plan before you make any purchases. Even if you only have a basic overview of what you want, it makes it much easier to find domains that suit your requirements.
For example, if you want a domain that appears high on search engines, you might decide to look at search engine rankings for the original site. These are specialised tools that let you see how sites ranked on search engines in the past.
A good plan also lets you avoid things that trigger red flags in the Google index. Some methods are seen as scams or ‘spammy’ and will result in the site being blocked from Google AdSense use or even removed from the Google index entirely.
How Do I Pick the Best Expired Domain?
Finding the best domain for your current project or goal really depends on what you’re aiming to achieve.
For some companies or businesses, gaining some authority is enough to make domains worthwhile. Others want a webpage that can drive traffic or gain customers directly, and some want to use the domain as a completely separate site.
Aside from finding domains that match your needs and goals, it’s a good idea to try and focus on your overall plan. Domains need to fit in with your other goals and projects.
Some domains are also going to need some tweaks or changes to be ideal for their role. This is especially true if you can’t find any that relate to your exact niche in a specific way.
What Else to Look Out for When You Buy Expired Domains
Always be sure to look for domains that might have been ‘boosted’ through spam-based links or other black-hat methods. Most search engines will notice these and penalise them, even if they were like that when you bought them.
Some people will try to spam their domains to a higher level of authority, then sell them for a profit. This can be a huge problem if you’re keeping your internet presence entirely white hat.
Do a full investigation into backlinks before buying any domains. You want to be sure that you’re paying for something you can use and something that won’t backfire on your business in the future.
Finding spare domains isn’t as hard as you might expect, but finding good ones can be tough at first.
You can track down domains through online lists or by stumbling across them yourself. However you get hold of them, you’ll want to make sure that they’re good quality and offer something you can use to boost or promote your business.
Not all sites will be perfect right away, and some will require some extra improvements or fiddling to get them suitable for your own website use. We at Searcharoo can help you improve any under-performing domains that you get hold of, giving you better backlinks and more authority control.
Who Owns a Domain?
A domain is ‘owned’ by whoever is currently hosting a site on it.
However, many domains are part of larger site hosting networks. They also have ownership of the domain since their servers offer the hosting to make the sites run.
What Happens When a Domain Expires?
When a domain expires, the website being hosted on it is ‘parked’ – it no longer appears online.
Most site registrars will have a page explaining that the site needs to be renewed and/or that the domains are available to be purchased.
If the original owner renews the domains, then their sites take over the domains once again. However, third parties can buy it after the grace period if the original owner fails to renew.
What is the grace Period for domain renewal?
Different hosting services have different renewal periods, usually somewhere between 30 to 45 days.
During this time, the domains generally can’t be put on auction, giving the original owner time to renew them before losing their domains.
Some hosts may allow domains to be bid on anyway, only cancelling the bids if the original owner renews the site during the grace period. This is rare, however.
After the grace period is over, the domains are no longer owned by the party that ran their sites on it. They can re-buy their domains, but there is no guaranteed renewal, so another party could outbid them.
When will a domain be dropped?
Domains are ‘dropped’ when the grace period ends, and the domains aren’t re-purchased during the auction.
This puts them on a ‘drop list’ that essentially makes them freely available to anybody, allowing another party to bid for them instead.
Some hosts might also automatically drop sites if they’re found to be breaking the terms of service or are being misused in some way.
Some site owners may also decide to drop their sites manually if they’re moving to new domains immediately.
How do I find expired domains with traffic?
Domains with traffic are easy to track down with external tools. Many exist that allow you to see the overall traffic of individual domains.
Look for high-traffic backlinks since these are bringing in potential customers. Alternatively, hunt for domains that you could rebuild into your own version of the original site, like a popular blog.
Why buy expired domains with traffic?
Domains with traffic can help direct traffic to your own site, boosting your incoming traffic numbers. If the niche matches your business, then you get more attention for very little effort.
Can I Resell Expired Domains for a Profit?
You can resell domains at almost any time.
Many individuals turn profits with expired domains, and some even ‘farm’ domains by building them up to resell later.
What Does Page Authority Mean?
Page authority is a metric created by Moz that estimates the ranking potential of a page.
Higher authority means that a specific page will be more likely to appear in searches that include the overall domain it belongs to.
What are the advantages of buying expired domains?
Expired domains are often cheap, have pre-built backlinks, a good amount of authority, and may even come with additional backlink opportunities.
What are the Disadvantages of buying expired domains?
Buying expired domains is risky. Without research, you can buy something that may harm your business’s online presence.
Karl Hudson is an entrepreneur who spends his time in the field of digital marketing. He is involved in a multitude of niches and has many investments in all kinds of businesses. He enjoys spending his spare time reading the news, gymming, and travelling.
With the travel, he meets all sorts of people involved in a multitude of niches, from gambling to finance and everything in between. He is passionate about writing and trying to spread positivity around the world.
Karl is the founder of Searcharoo.