14 days from published post to sale from SEO with an expired domain

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@Ryuzaki has been consistently recommending using expired domains as a base for authority sites. I took his advice and bought one for $150, because I wanted to have a site ready for summer (selling toys).
The site has 3 pages and went online 27/4.
The post was published 7/5 and the first sale from SEO came on 21/5.
As a comparison, it probably took 3 months for my other sites to make a sale from search.
 
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What stats did you look for in your expired domain?
1. Domain Autorithy
2. Relevance
3. Commercial intent

1. was just a necessary, but not sufficient condition. No use getting an expired domain without backlinks. I did go very strongly for relevance and commercial intent, i.e. expired shop.
 

Ryuzaki

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I'm glad this worked out for you. I have an absurd domain I'll be doing this with pretty soon, within a couple weeks.
  • Ahrefs DR - 39
  • Ahrefs UR - 38
  • Backlinks > 4.1k
  • Referring Domains ~ 370
  • Completely relevant
  • Dofollow links from the biggest and oldest sites online and all the top magazines and industry blogs
Going to toss up a pre-made theme and make sure everything indexes and ranks well. If it shows signs of life I'll be outsourcing a ton of content and posting it ASAP. If all that pans out I'm going to design a theme myself and consider it one of my official "main sites."

I'll collect all the data and if it shows life then I'll start a journal thread with it for fun.
 
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Relevance is KEY imo, in my admitted limited experience.
I sold a fitness site that is still ranking well 4 years on.
On the other hand, I once tried to turn a restaurant site into a kitchen tool site, but it never took off.
 
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I'm glad this worked out for you. I have an absurd domain I'll be doing this with pretty soon, within a couple weeks.
  • Ahrefs DR - 39
  • Ahrefs UR - 38
  • Backlinks > 4.1k
  • Referring Domains ~ 370
  • Completely relevant
  • Dofollow links from the biggest and oldest sites online and all the top magazines and industry blogs
1. Does it matter how long the site has been expired?
2. How do you deal with 4100 backlinks? Say they're pointing to 100 pages. Do you just create those 100 pages?
3. Are you just using something like Godaddy auctions & bidding on them during the auctions?
4. Does it still work if you 301 the domain to your current domain, or do you have to build on the domain itself?
 

Ryuzaki

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1. Does it matter how long the site has been expired?
Yeah, you never know what's going to work or fail. If you can get a domain soon after it dropped, that's better. Get WhoIs privacy on it and get something live ASAP and get your 301's in place. But that's why I'm talking about testing it with a basic install and very little content before putting in tons of energy.

In this case I actually had it 301'd to a "less than relevant but not completely irrelevant" site. I'm going to build a perfectly relevant site on it years later. We'll see how it goes.

2. How do you deal with 4100 backlinks? Say they're pointing to 100 pages. Do you just create those 100 pages?
In this case they're pointing to the homepage and about 3 other pages. So I recreated one, 301'd the others to the one, and the rest land on the homepage. The one I recreated is going to be orphaned but link back out to the money page where I want the juice to go.

Otherwise, yeah, I'd figure out all the pages with links, trim out anything with weak links not worth saving, and then see what I can create, merge together into a super post, or 301 to a new post, in order to save as much page rank as possible.

The one thing you do not want to do is mass 301 all of the old pages to the homepage. Google knows that trick and it's a sign of a person scaling for PBN reasons, which we aren't doing here, so might as well not look that way. Laziness is your enemy when doing this.

3. Are you just using something like Godaddy auctions & bidding on them during the auctions?
That's probably the best way to get good stuff, but you're going to pay for it because everyone else gets to compete too. Catching drops is what the registrars do, and you can do it too as a registrar but it's slim pickings. In the past when I was building PBNs I'd pay $250 - $ 500 per "okay" domain. This particular one I'm talking about now was $6,000 after a bidding war.

4. Does it still work if you 301 the domain to your current domain, or do you have to build on the domain itself?
You can do that. I've done it and seen many others do it. Works fine. Just make sure you're using an extremely relevant domain where the content topics match as do the backlinks. A problem with doing this is you'll get your homepage's brand anchors all out of whack if you go homepage-to-homepage. Something to consider.
 
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This particular one I'm talking about now was $6,000 after a bidding war.
Sounds like a bargain compared to the cost of getting all those top industry links yourself. Again as you say, there is risk since you don't know if the site will work as expected but there is also risk involved with a brand new domain cos Google might not like it. Worst case scenario you could probably resell it.

I recently purchased a DR 23, 20-year-old completely relevant auction domain with 200+ RDs and it's brilliant. Currently doing 200+ visitors a day after 2 months since the site launch (with around 50 posts).
 
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I tried this late last year, with massive content. It worked for a while (The toy niche didn't give the site much profit), but it gained massive traction. Anyway, few months down the lane, I got a mail from Google about Unnatural link. I have been submitting reconsideration requests for months, no luck.

Now, I can't say if it's the domain that attracted Google, or because of the PBN link I sent, because few weeks after sending the first set of links (About five of those), I got the mail. I have since then disavowed and sent several reconsiderations; no joy.

I had hope for the site, because it picked up within three months, more like from 0 to 15k+ per month. Although the earnings weren't impressive as I was monetizing with Amazon in a poor commission category (3%).

Site is still online, but I am seriously thinking of taking it offline so I can use my contents on a new domain. Spent so much on the content, I wouldn't want it to go to waste.

Any suggestion?

I would be happy to share URL with trusted experts.

On the domain relevance ish, I got an educational resource site old domain, and the initial contents was on Educational toys.

Cheers!