Finding a good expired domain name is like looking for a good spot for a link. There are loads of opportunity out there, you just need to find the right one. Similarly to backlink spots, some of them are over-spammed or not relevant to your niche.
Expired domains can be used for two purposes:
- Redirect all the existing authority to another website (satellite site or money site)
- Build on the existing authority to create a new website which can be used as a satellite or money site
I personally prefer creating a new website with my new domains. This allows me to try new things and see how it impacts rankings. You might realise that your new domain starts ranking pretty quickly once you publish fresh content on it!
Expired Domains Metrics to look at
Before buying any domains it is important to look at a few metrics. This will help you evaluate the price you can afford for the domain, the risk of buying and what you can achieve with it.
Using www.archive.org you can look at what was previously published on the website. Is it relevant to the niche you are currently targeting?
If the website was about cars, but you are targeting cosmetics it is probably not ideal. However, if the theme was fairly close to your niche it is still worth considering.
Has the content changed over the last few yers?
Let’s say it was a website and it suddenly changed to a poker website and then to a real estate website. This clearly tells you that other SEO have been playing with the domain and it’s probably marked as flagged by Google.
Was the language used remain the same ?
If I see a website which had content in English and moved to Chinese I know straight away I have to stay away from this domain.
Analysing the backlink profile will give you a good understanding of the potential of the domain you want to buy, but also help you evaluate the price you can spend on it.
I usually pay attention to multiple criterias:
Number of links
The number of links is important as you want to build on existing authority, otherwise you might as well just buy a brand new domain and start from scratch. The more the merrier, but in some cases it can be obvious something is wrong. If the domain was first registered a year ago and it has received 2k links there might be something wrong. Always investigate where the links come from and why it got linked so often.
Ratio of number of links/unique domains
If you have thousands of links, but only two unique domains linking, you know your links aren’t as valuable. Also, if one website decides to remove the links you will see a massive drop of external links which makes your domain “worthless”.
Try to look for a domain with several unique domain and avoid sitewide links.
Trust Flow and Topical Trust Flow
Using Majestic’s Trust Flow will help you estimate if the website is trustworthy. It becomes handy to evaluate how good the domain is. I tend to go domain with a TF of 25 minimum, but this is my personal point of view. I think it’s a good starting point and they will usually remain fairly cheap if you buy them on auctions.
Topical trust flow will help you evaluate the relevancy of the existing links. If you want to start a food website, but the TTF is mainly about Computers/Internet/On the Web, it might not be the best domain to buy.
When I look at citation flow, I usually make sure the gap between CF and TF is not too significant. This would mean the website receives a lot of links, but the trust of these links is low. This can be a first indicator of the domain being spammed previously.
We all know how Google is about over optimised anchors. When looking at anchors I make sure it doesn’t have any optimised anchors and no anchors about a different topic than the website. Some anchors are clearly spammy such as “louis vuitton bag” .
I will also look at any anchors in a foreign language to make sure it is relevant or not negative.
Where can I find expired domain names
Expired domains can be bought from multiple places:
Snapdomain marketplaces can be used. You will find domains which can either be bought on auctions or bought immediately. However, you will see that prices can go crazy really rapidly.
I also use other websites such as expireddomains.net which lists expired domains and it’s up to me to buy them from my usually registrar or from snap domain platforms.
Another technique, which I must admit doesn’t have a high success rate is to crawl old website in my niche and see if they link to expired domains. Usually domain name auction marketplace would have spotted them before me, but it’s always worth a try!
These metrics can be discussed, some might be more aggressive and buy any domain name whatever topic the previous website was about or disregarding the quality of the links.
It is up to you to refine this depending on your needs and projects.