So You Want To Buy Expired Domains - Expiring Domains Conversation
At first glance, the notion of buying expired domains doesn't really seem all that appealing. it's not uncommon for a newbie to think, huh ? expiring domains ? who'd want that ? But oh contraire, you'd be surprised that there's quite an audience for such a thing and that audience and interest has grown over the years.
Buying an expired domain is like buying someone else's home. You don't want to just say hey that one looks good, offer some cash and call it your own. Just because a domain looks good doesn't mean that it's "all good" I assure you. However, lets back up a little bit. Let's talk about why you would want one in the first place.
Google is the king of search engines.. there's nothing new about that reality. However, if you're going to have a chance at competing in the search results if you're a blogger, buying an expired domain is going to give you an advantage over buying a fresh domain that has never been used or tested before.
Nevertheless, the sad reality is that a new domain lacks many things. New domains lack:
- Domain authority
While the list may seem small, these five items take years to build and while you're building up your street cred, your competition is only getting stronger and stronger every day, every week, every year.
When we talk about domain authority, an easy way to think about this is to look at it as the muscle in a website. New domains simply have no muscle and that means trying to outrank your competition for more competitive terms will be very difficult. It's not that it can't be done, but the work ahead of you will be steep.
Alternatively, if we're talking about an expired domain, a level of authority is likely to already be there, but that's not guaranteed either. It may seem confusing when I say that, but it depends on the domain that you are you looking at. Many people use a reliable option like godaddy auctions for this purpose.
That authority is going to be linked to the backlinks, age and trust of the website.. all of which make them a force to be reckoned with.
On the matter of backlinks, new blogs don't have any. Building links too fast for a new website can actually hurt the website. Often times we hear that Google wants you to build up your website naturally, but this needs to be done slowly, however you can always pick up the pace as the blog matures over time.
On the flip side, in the case of an expired domain, backlinks are bound to already be there which can significantly lesson the work that you have to do with respect to your own link building efforts and overall backlink portfolio that you will ultimately be maintaining depending on how many links have already been built. This is very appealing, especially if you're someone that doesn't want to go through all the painstaking work of starting from scratch.
On the matter of age, this is is fairly significant because if you weren't aware, Google does place a lot of weight on website age. As a new blog, it's very clear that you're starting on the ground floor. The best way to look at this is that you're the newborn amongst all the other young adults, grown ups and senior blogs out there online in the blogging world.
With that said, the only way to build up your age very quickly when you get started is to acquire an existing domain. When you find expired domains with age, this can propel you ahead of the pack and competition that are vying for the same short tail and long tail keyword phrases that you're after. If I know that some of the more competitive keywords that I'm interested in are being ranked by blogs that are 5 to 10 years older than my blog then I'd look for an expired domain that is within that age range so that it evens the playing field a bit and also decreases the work that I will have to do to rank.
In an expired domain auction, it's not unlikely to find auctions for websites that are 10 years and older. Considering age is such an important ranking factor in the eyes of Google, this is something to give some real consideration to.
Imagine having Google as your best friend. Whoa.. what a concept right ? Well if that were true, then you could literally rank all day and night for anything you could dream of.. Google would be your oyster and all would be great in the world, but such a reality doesn't exist for most of us.
With that being said, if you're a new website, establishing that trust is very hard to do. Why ? Because, every day people are dumping blogs and websites and Google is quite aware of this. This reality that websites are thrown away every year means that you're going to have to prove to Google that you're here to stay for a while. Trust can be built by registering the domain for several years out alongside associating yourself with other websites that Google already trusts. If you're wondering about the websites that Google trusts, think editorially. News websites are good websites to latch on to because they are crawled often and are highly trafficked websites with very good metrics that take several years to establish.
Expired domains can help you bite into the trust metric depending on what work has already been done on that domain prior to it going to auction. If you're fortunate, you may end up with an expired domain that already has years of established trust. Especially in the case of recently expired domains, a lot of that trust could still be there. Some of these metrics can fall off depending on how long it's been an expiring domain. You may also be wondering how to check on the history and other metrics of a website as you consider entering the market to buy expired domains. I would highly suggest using SEMrush or Ahrefs for this purpose. It's basically insider intelligence on any domain online. These tools can be very useful to see if there's been any work done on the expiring domain while it was owned by another registrar, reveal to you any backlinking that has been done, what anchors have been used etc.
On this topic, traffic is obviously essential and without it, you may as well be on an island all alone. Registering a new blog means that you don't have an audience and what goes hand in hand is the reality that you don't have any traffic either.. meaning.. no one knows your blog even exists. Clearly, we want to change that and the fastest way to do that is to seek out expiring domain names that already have a traffic base. If you seek out these expiring domains they will be more expensive because they already have established traffic and it's plug and play. The greater the traffic, the greater the cost to acquire such expiring domains.
It's fairly straightforward here in the realities that as a new blog or website, the newer it is the less likely you are to have any traffic from the start and opting to acquire an expired domain may make it much easier to establish traffic too.
Nevertheless, in this conversation about expired domain names, keep this in mind. Expiring domains used to be the holy grail for many people looking to get ahead of the game of competing with more established domains. However, with the introduction of PBN's (private blog networks), acquiring expired domains has become much riskier now than it has in the past considering Google is actively sniffing these blog networks out and basically de-indexing entire networks once they've been discovered. So why is this part of this conversation ? Because, in the "unfortunate" event that the expired domain that you are acquiring has been a part of a PBN then you're ultimately acquiring an expired domain with a penalty which is the last thing that you want to do. Just as risky as this can be, there's a "LOT" of expiring domains that are free and clear and are just fine, but make sure to use tools like SEMrush and Ahref's to help you out in this endeavor. While I provide no guarantees, these tools provide an extra layer of protection for you so that you don't walk into a situation that you ultimately end up regretting.
Private blog networks are often times networks established by buying aged and authoritative expired domains to rank other websites at a price and when the networks are discovered, the websites used for the networks go back to auction. Needless to say.. these networks have tainted the expired domains scene but additionally it can be said confidently, that they haven't ruined it. You just have to do a bit more investigative research to know what you're getting hence my SEMrush and Ahrefs recommendations.
With that said, there are goldmines in recently expired domains and those that have been in the auction for a while that have quite literally just remained undiscovered so they are definitely work the look and worth your time. However, if you're like me and want something that is more about you developing a brand and find it hard to locate a good match during an auction for an expired domain, your only option may be to start brand new from the bottom floor and that is okay because success isn't determined by how old or young your website is. In 18 short months, this blog sees thousands of visitors per month so even though expired domains can give you an advantage, understand that achieving success can be done even if you're starting with a brand new domain too.
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