If you’ve just launched a new website, or you’re thinking about setting one up, one way to get ahead of the game with traffic and rankings is by buying an expired domain! Expired domains can jumpstart your new website with pre-existing traffic and good domain authority that’s been left from the previous owner! Sometimes individuals or businesses will leave their domains to expire even though they have already built up their domain authority and backlinks from other sites. These domains can also be getting a fair amount of good quality traffic. If you are able to find one of these aged domains in your niche it can be a great way to give your website a huge boost in rankings in a matter of days. I will show you how to buy expired domains with traffic, and check the quality of them to ensure they were never black listed for spam or inappropriate content! I will also explain how you can use these aged domains to improve the rankings of an existing site, or to boost one you already own!
How to Find and Buy Expired Domains with Traffic
You can find aged and expired domains by following these steps:
Go to Expired Domains and type in the search bar at the top a word that relates to your niche. For example I live in Wandsworth, and if I wanted to find a domain for a local business I could type “Wandsworth” into the search bar. The follow results would come up.
The column labelled “BL” shows the number of backlinks that currently exist for that domain. A backlink for a domain is a link from another website to that domain. In order to rank highly on Google you want to have as many backlinks from good quality sites as possible. For example a website like the New York Times has a high domain authority, so if the New York Times were to add a backlink to my own website in an article, it would cause my own website’s domain authority to increase. Google would recognise that a website with high authority was recommending my site, and my site would start to rank higher in search results. When searching expired domains therefore you want to find ones which already have backlinks on high authority sites. I will explain later on how to check the quality of the sites.
Find a Domain That’s Already at Least 3 Years Old
“ABY”, in the list above, is the year the domain was first found in the archive. I recommend you look for domains that are at least 3 years old. Older domains have higher domain authority and rank higher in Google search results. It’s much more difficult for a new domain to compete with one that has been running for over ten years. When searching for expired domains therefore pay attention to the age of the domain as this will be an important factor in its Google ranking.
Check the Traffic Volume and Backlinks
If I owned a plumbing business in Wandsworth I can see from the list above there is an expired domain (4th from the bottom in the list) called “WandsworthPlumbers.com”. It was first registered in 2013 meaning it’s now 7 years old and already has 106 backlinks.
This might be ideal for me if I was setting up a website for a plumbing business in Wandsworth. The next step would be to check the quality of the backlinks using a site called Ahrefs and also look at whether the domain is currently getting any traffic. (You could also use Ubersuggest).
If I go to Ahrefs and search for “WandsworthPlumbers.com” the following results come up.
I can see from these results that Ahrefs have found 573 backlinks which is more than was found on Expired Domains. All the pages which contain the backlinks are listed below the search results so you are able to check the quality of them. You can also see that this domain is currently receiving organic traffic which has been valued at $411 per month. This means that Google recognises that the traffic is coming from good quality sources.
Make Sure the Domain Has Never Been Blacklisted
Once you have established that the domain has good quality backlinks and traffic, the next step is to check that it’s never been blacklisted by using Wayback Machine. If I go to Wayback Machine and search for “WandsworthPlumbers.com” the below result would appear. It shows that the domain was active between 2013-2019. If you click on any of those years you will be able to see snapshots throughout the year of what the site looked like. It will tell you if the site was ever blacklisted for spam or inappropriate content. It is important to do this just to make sure the previous owners were kosher and you aren’t buying a domain that has a dodgy history.
How to Use Expired Domains to Improve Your Google Ranking
There are three ways you can use expired domains to boost a new website. The first and most obvious it just to buy the domain and use it as your website’s main domain. But, what if you already own a domain and just want to boost it? It is possible to buy expired domains with traffic and use them to boost an existing domain you already own. There are 2 ways of doing this:
Redirect the Expired Domain to Your Current One
The simplest way is to buy the domain and re-direct it to your current domain. If you are going to do this however you need to make sure that the domain you are redirecting is highly relevant to the content you already have on your site. You wouldn’t want to re-direct people to content that was not what they were expecting. If this happens the bounce rate (when visitors leave your site from the page they landed on) will increase and this will tell Google that whatever content is on your site is not high quality, or just not relevant.
The method of redirecting an expired domain is the most simple and can help boost a new domain very quickly.
Set up a Private Blog Network
The second way of boosting your site with expired domains is slightly more complicated, can be very effective, but is also one which I don’t recommend. A private blog network is a network of websites with high domain authority which all contain links to your current website.
For example if I buy 8 expired domains with traffic and high domain authority and set up small blogs for each of those domains I could place a link on each blog to my main website. The diagram below illustrates this method. Each aged domain contains a link pointing to my current website.
Google would recognise that 8 separate websites with high domain authority were all recommending my website and this would cause my own authority and ranking in search results to increase. If you were going to use this method however you would need to ensure that all of the blogs in your private blog network were kept separate and did not link to each other. They also should be registered on different servers. This is because Google does not like websites doing this and if you get caught Google will penalise your site.
There are black hat and white hat schemes to generate traffic to your website and private blog networks are a hack which although works, also involves some serious risks. Check out Neil Patel’s article on Private Blog Networks.
Set up Your Website!
If you haven’t already set up your website and are thinking about it, I have created a step-by-step guide on How to Start Blogging for only £3.19 per month. For this low cost you not only receive web hosting but they also throw in a domain for free if you sign up through my Bluehost link. (Disclosure: I am an affiliate for Bluehost, so if you sign up through my link I will receive some commission. This is at no cost to you and you will get a great deal!)
I have a whole series of articles explaining how to grow and monetise a website, and if you are thinking about starting a blog to earn extra money the following articles may be useful:
- 5 Reasons You Should Start a Blog
- 7 Tips for Choosing a Domain Name
- Find the Perfect Theme for Your WordPress Blog
- What’s the Difference Between a Hosted and Self-Hosted Blog
- How to Use Pinterest to Grow Your Blog Traffic
Expired Domains FAQs
Do expired domains still work?
An expired domain will still work to bring you traffic as long as it is relevant to your website, was never blacklisted and has built up domain authority and backlinks.
What are expired domains?
Expired domains are domains that were registered by individuals or businesses but not renewed, or deliberately terminated. This means that they available again to buy.
Can I buy an expired domain?
Yes. GoDaddy is a popular site for buying expired domains.
How do I recover an expired domain name?
If someone else has already bought it you can conduct a WHOIS search by visiting whois.icann.org to find out who owns the domain now.
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