There are several reasons for buying an expired domain. On this occasion, we will focus on finding and buying expired domains to generate backlinks to another website.
The first step is finding a domain that would be redirected to your website. To find an optimal expired domain, you have to consider a few SEO factors. Basically, you are looking for a healthy domain closely related to your niche with a strong backlink profile that will lead traffic to your site.
However, there are also other SEO metrics you should consider before purchasing an expired domain. They can impact the final result once you create a 301 redirect to your website. And since some domains are pretty expensive, our guide on buying expired domains could come in quite handy!
So, how do I find expired domains?
The market for buying expired domains is pretty diverse. There are several marketplaces and domain registrars where you can easily find them. But we recommend using Spamzilla, one of the premier tools for finding expired domains.
To use the full spectrum of Spamzilla, you have to buy a premium subscription. The free account only allows you to see a snippet of available domains, so a premium account is a no-brainer.
Once you register, you will see a full list of available expired domains, along with SEO metrics that will help you determine if it pays out to buy a specific domain. To get a more detailed look into expired domains, Spamzilla has integrated other helpful tools like Wayback Machine and Spam Checker. They will help you put things in perspective, and you will get a better feel of a domain you’re interested in.
Another way to find expiring domains is to use their WHOIS information. The downside of this method is the inability to see if the current domain owner will let it expire once its expiration date arrives.
OK, now you know where to find expired domains. The next step? Using SEO metrics to see if the domain is worth the money.
What to look for in a domain?
Regardless of the type of business you run, some basic principles are unique when finding expired domains for redirection purposes. You want to buy an expired domain that will have an immediate impact on your backlink profile. To do that, you have to consider the following:
Is the domain in the same niche or industry?
The key for link building is to get as many quality backlinks as possible. Although backlinks from websites unrelated to your niche won’t necessarily harm you, they might impact the bounce rate of your website.
Here is a hypothetical example:
You are interested in football, and find yourself reading an ESPN article. If the article has an external link, you would presume that it will lead to a site related to football or sports in some way. However, if the website you land on is related to, let’s say cooking, the likelihood is that you will immediately bounce from that page.
The backlink, in this case, is not bad per se, but it is highly believed that Google will pass more link juice if the link is coming from a same-industry website. That is why you should focus on expired domains whose niche is the same or closely related to your own.
Spamzilla filters can help you with that. Use the topic category to find industry-related domains. In addition to that, you can use the Keyword Search filter, and find domains that have relevant keywords in the anchor texts of backlinks.
If the domain name doesn’t reveal the niche, use the Wayback Machine tool to check out how it looked in the past.
How strong are the backlinks?
The goal of this link building method is to find an expired domain and use the 301 redirect to point it to another website. Having said that, one of the most important parts is finding a domain that has a strong backlink profile.
The number of backlinks is crucial, but the quality of them is even more important. As explained by SEO expert Neil Patel, the number of referring domains is directly linked to a website ranking. That means that you’re looking for an expired domain with a solid number of high-authority referring domains.
To see the full backlink profile of an expired domain, the best way is to use reliable SEO tools like Ahrefs, Moz, or SEMRush. All of them have their metrics for measuring domain authority. When researching backlinks of an expired domain, make sure that its referring domains have:
- High domain authority (DA)
- Backlinks with dofollow tag
- Relevant keywords in the anchor text
How authoritative a domain is?
Domain Authority (DA) and Domain Rating (DR) are not Google ranking factors. They are metrics created by the aforementioned Moz and Ahrefs tools. However, you can use them to determine a status of a domain in relation to its competitors.
Domains with high DA/DR will generally rank high in SERP. With that being said, always look for an expired domain with a high domain rating.
What is the age of a domain?
With Google unwilling to reveal all of its ranking factors, this statement should be taken with a grain of salt. Common sense says older domains should have some kind of advantage over new ones, especially if they continuously publish quality content.
In addition, new domains are more likely to be used for spam activities, such as registering email accounts and sending inappropriate emails; or using black hat SEO methods to impact the search results.
All in all, we recommend looking for older domains and scanning them in the Spam Checker Tool.
What to avoid in a domain
Now when you know what to look for in an expired domain, finding the things to avoid should be much easier. Things you should avoid when purchasing an expired domain are:
- Spammy or irrelevant backlinks
- A significant number of 301/302 redirects to it
- Domains that were previously used for different purposes
The backlink profile can be checked using Ahrefs or similar tools, while redirect statistics can be seen in the Spamzilla domain overview. To see the history of a domain, you can use the Wayback Machine tool.
And where exactly can I buy them?
To buy an expired domain, you can visit some of the popular domain registrars, or marketplaces dedicated to selling expired domains. The cost of a domain depends on several factors, such as its age, traffic, and rank.
Some domains can also be auctioned, in which case you will have to bid for them. With some luck, you can buy an expired domain at a lower price than usual. Check out the most common places for buying expired domains:
A usual starting point for buying both unregistered and expired domains. Most of these places have domain auctions, so keep an eye on that.
Expired domain marketplaces
These marketplaces are a good starting point for finding and buying specifically expired domains. They provide a list of available domains to purchase, as well as various filters for finding a domain of your choice. Additional features usually include comparing domain prices between several registrars.
When buying an expired domain for redirecting purposes, evaluating its SEO metrics is of critical importance. You don’t want to redirect a low-traffic, spammy domain to your site, do you?
Once you’ve found your domain of interest, buying it won’t come as easy, as there might be other interested parties too.
However, if you manage to find an affordable domain with solid traffic numbers, the impact of the redirection should be visible immediately. Therefore, our advice is to do a thorough domain check, and keep an eye on domain auctions. After that, just wait and see the results!
Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I buy expired domains?
Use popular domain registrars like Namecheap and GoDaddy, as well as expired domain marketplaces like Spamzilla, ExpiredDomains.net, and FreshDrop.
Do expired domains’ backlinks still have their value after being bought?
Yes, they do. If the links are not removed, they will still send the link juice to a redirected site.
What is a domain backorder?
The domain backorder feature is available at all larger domain registrars. If you place a backorder on a domain, then you’ll get a chance to buy it before it goes on public sale.
How much time does an owner have to renew the expired domain?
It depends, but the redemption period usually lasts between 30 and 60 days. The owner receives emails for renewal, but if he fails to do so after 60 days, the domain goes to public sale.
What else can I do after buying an expired domain?
Besides 301 redirection, you can also recreate the expired domain and add high-quality content to it. Its backlink power will give you a head start when compared to new domains. Or you could just resell the domain, and make your money that way.
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