Expired Domains - .301 Or Rebuild & Link Out

RomesFall

‍‍‍
BuSo Pro
Joined
Oct 7, 2014
Messages
469
Likes
686
Degree
2
Looking for some advice here, about 3 months ago I bought an expired domain that used to be a fairly big gaming site for just under $1,000. Absolute bargain as it has links from some of the biggest gaming sites, as well as Wikipedia, Forbes, Wired, Vice, Arstechnica, TheNextWeb, VentureBeat, Gigaom and many more. Powerful ass domain.

I bought this to utilize as part of my gaming project. So far all I've done is throw it up onto a WordPress install and rebuilt the pages with RDs, along with original publish date etc.

In that time the site hasn't really recovered any keywords. IMO I don't think many of those articles had "proper" keywords, as they were mainly interviews and news pieces on obscure indie games that are no longer around.

So I've published a few new, unique articles this last week to see if it pops for any of these keywords.

In my opinion the domain isn't toxic, there's no sign of any issues with it.

I was considering rebuilding it and using it to link out to my site, as well as maybe sell a few guest posts on and just drip content over time. Basically making it a bit of a backup site, or another legit site in my portfolio of tech/gaming domains.

I can't decide if it would be better to simply .301 the domain and be done with it.

This thread by @Ryuzaki is what has really had me wondering about this. Ryu, what do you think man? Is this best done when you're doing URL Specific .301s or is just doing a .301 of the entire domain from root > root a good idea?

Does anyone else have any ideas or advice with redirecting expired domains?
 

Ryuzaki

女性以上のお金
Staff member
BuSo Pro
Digital Strategist
Joined
Sep 3, 2014
Messages
3,731
Likes
7,075
Degree
8
Old domains without optimized content but with a lot of links are the perfect purchase for sure, but finding confirmation of the power gets tricky. I think you've done the right thing to put some new optimized content up and see if it ranks.

You're going to get far less value out of the domain by building it out and linking it to your site, even if you can sell some guest posts. Using it as a 2nd site in the related portfolio doesn't seem like a bad choice if you can fund it's growth with time and money. I'd argue that the best use, if all goes well with other content ranking, is to merge it into your main site.

That's also a complicated task that needs to be done right to preserve the power that's already there. You've covered the first part of making sure it's in the same niche. You won't confuse Google later and you won't risk the link power being 'deleted' by Google once they see your scheme. If you do it right, it's not a scheme. It's mergers & acquisitions and happens all the time.

When you merge an entire site into another, you'll do root-to-root and URL-to-URL 301's. You'll do About-to-About, Contact-to-Contact, and everything else you can to make it seem kosher.

This means taking the existing pages with great links and putting them on the new site, then 301-ing those old URLs to the new ones. Those, and the homepage-to-homepage are going to be the most critical. Do those plus all of the boilerplate pages. Any content that's on the old site without links might be retained if it's worth keeping and optimizing, otherwise you can let all that 404.

But buying old or non-earning sites with a lot of content can be ROI positive even if the content doesn't rank. You can re-optimize it and with the power of the new domain it can rank. You can also buy old un-optimized sites with great links, rebuild them, then add 'money posts' and interlink to them like mad. But that's all an aside from the main point.

I've done every variation of this. It all hinges on whether the domain is retaining it's power or not. But I'm always a fan of consolidating power into one project and going for the big prize. The big prize is always exponentially more valuable than the scattered little prizes you'll get by spreading your efforts thin.
 

RomesFall

‍‍‍
BuSo Pro
Joined
Oct 7, 2014
Messages
469
Likes
686
Degree
2
@Ryuzaki Thanks man, I think that's what I'll do.

See how this new content responds, the do a site merge with all the .301s as you recommended. Very interested to see how this all turns out. I guess it does hinge on if the old site has retained its power.

The original content on that site is much older than my existing site is overall. Does this matter at all? Just do a 'Updated on bla bla' with the new content and add some extra sentences? Legally is all this kosher? On the rebuilt site, I'm still keeping the same author names as an attempt to not cause any backlash.

Ultimately they didn't care enough to not let the domain drop, or restore the content elsewhere. But you know how people are.
 

ks1905

BuSo Pro
Joined
Jan 8, 2016
Messages
18
Likes
10
Degree
0
I have a similar situation, I have a bricks and mortar business site with no blog. I bought an expired Godaddy domain last week with wikipedia, edu links, news links, guides, my local geographic terms, etc. It was a legit brandable blog site that ends in IST.com for my niche. ie gothamist.com for NYC but for my niche.

My plan was to revive it (done), add new content, try to get back some of the dropped/deleted links back, disavowal the bad links and leave it up for 6-12 months before I ultimately decided what to do with it after the domain started to rerank.

I was planning on doing the 301 to all the relevant pages as Ryuzaki suggested but I had a new thought of just incorporating it into my site and making domain.com/blog (keeping the brand name for ONLY the blog while keeping the business name as it always ways). So two brands, business brand name and blogging brandname for the blog but all on my original 14 year old domain (sorry if it is repetitive, trying to be clear about it.)

Would I be better off making it my domain's blog (/blog)? This way I can get future links from it while adding DA to my domain after the 301 to create the blog on my site. Or should I just take the more immediate win and 301 everything the relevant pages after the domain starts to regain some of its health?
 
Last edited:

Ryuzaki

女性以上のお金
Staff member
BuSo Pro
Digital Strategist
Joined
Sep 3, 2014
Messages
3,731
Likes
7,075
Degree
8
Ultimately they didn't care enough to not let the domain drop, or restore the content elsewhere. But you know how people are.
This is the risk we take on domains I purchase from auction or whatever. They abandoned the assets for XX years but I don't really know how the copyright works. If you abandoned it off your physical medium (the server) for years, you probably don't even have a backup. Not sure how that would hold up in court, and I wouldn't even go to court over it. I'd take the content down and keep the domain aimed at my homepage, and rewrite those pages to keep the juice. That's something you can do up front if you want. They might be able to cry about the content, but the domain is yours, fair and square.

If you buy the site from the owner that's a different story and the direction I'd be working towards if you continue this kind of tactic of absorbing content.

Would I be better off making it my domain's blog (/blog)?
What exactly is the benefit you're perceiving here? Having the old brand name up for marketing purposes? It sounds like it's a dead brand at this point. There might still be a trademark on it too, which you should check for. I don't really see that an beneficial, trying to maintain two brands on one property instead of one. If the brand is really that valuable they wouldn't have dropped it, you know.
 

ks1905

BuSo Pro
Joined
Jan 8, 2016
Messages
18
Likes
10
Degree
0
Ryuzaki said:
What exactly is the benefit you're perceiving here? Having the old brand name up for marketing purposes? It sounds like it's a dead brand at this point. There might still be a trademark on it too, which you should check for. I don't really see that an beneficial, trying to maintain two brands on one property instead of one. If the brand is really that valuable they wouldn't have dropped it, you know.
No trademarks. It is a hobbyist blog about my niche; he never monetize it. When you get busy the first thing to go is the time for your hobbies, it seems like he got a new job that took up most of his time and required a lot of traveling.

I thought that I could use it as a brand persona for the blog on my domain and keep it going. The blog has lots of images(watermarked) that it has shared with other sites and blog-brand name links in articles. Just a thought.
 

Golan

BuSo Pro
Joined
Nov 13, 2014
Messages
273
Likes
120
Degree
1
This is the risk we take on domains I purchase from auction or whatever. They abandoned the assets for XX years but I don't really know how the copyright works. If you abandoned it off your physical medium (the server) for years, you probably don't even have a backup. Not sure how that would hold up in court, and I wouldn't even go to court over it. I'd take the content down and keep the domain aimed at my homepage, and rewrite those pages to keep the juice. That's something you can do up front if you want. They might be able to cry about the content, but the domain is yours, fair and square.
You never know when the old owner wakes up from their lethargy. And then you need to delete/replace content from your pumper site which is always bad time investment etc.

What i'm doing in this case, - and i've rebuilt/restored hundreds sites both for myself and for my clients - is: i'm trying to re-build every page which has significant backlinks, with 301's to the new URL structure of course, but i never use the old content from the same site. But the content is there, just lying there idle in the archive, in vain. It's pity it's there with no use. So what i'm doing: i grab content from many dropped sites in the niche and then just shuffle it between restored sites. Trying to more or less match content to the title/anchors of every page. If i have content from like 10 dropped sites, it's enough for 10 new/restored sites and no single piece of old content is going to be at its original domain. This way the old owner will never ever spot his content anywhere.

Yes not exactly white hat tactics, but if they abandoned their content, why not to pick and use it.
 

RomesFall

‍‍‍
BuSo Pro
Joined
Oct 7, 2014
Messages
469
Likes
686
Degree
2
You never know when the old owner wakes up from their lethargy. And then you need to delete/replace content from your pumper site which is always bad time investment etc.

What i'm doing in this case, - and i've rebuilt/restored hundreds sites both for myself and for my clients - is: i'm trying to re-build every page which has significant backlinks, with 301's to the new URL structure of course, but i never use the old content from the same site. But the content is there, just lying there idle in the archive, in vain. It's pity it's there with no use. So what i'm doing: i grab content from many dropped sites in the niche and then just shuffle it between restored sites. Trying to more or less match content to the title/anchors of every page. If i have content from like 10 dropped sites, it's enough for 10 new/restored sites and no single piece of old content is going to be at its original domain. This way the old owner will never ever spot his content anywhere.

Yes not exactly white hat tactics, but if they abandoned their content, why not to pick and use it.
So you have multiple sites, then you use content from Site A on Site B and vice versa?

Are you then doing .301 redirects from Site A's content to Site B's content?

Or...

For example, I have a site where I don't actually own the sites that are no longer live (but not dropped/expired) but I've still used the content from those sites on a live money site. Ranking quite well too. It was an interesting test... Is this what you're doing?
 

Golan

BuSo Pro
Joined
Nov 13, 2014
Messages
273
Likes
120
Degree
1
So you have multiple sites, then you use content from Site A on Site B and vice versa?
Rather, from sites B-F on site A, from sites A + C-F on site B, etc.

Are you then doing .301 redirects from Site A's content to Site B's content?
No. I don't do any x-site redirects. I meant, redirect from the original url to the actual url of your newly built page - because you not always can reproduce url structure of old sites.

Just for example, you have backlinks pointing to romes.com/web/articles/mesothelioma_cure?305.asp , or similar shit, you know how messy it can be, but in your new site it's simply romes.com/analytics/cure-mesothelioma-with-acai-berry , so you build a nice 301 table if you know how to do it in htaccess or at server level, or just use good ole Redirection plugin for WP.

For example, I have a site where I don't actually own the sites that are no longer live (but not dropped/expired) but I've still used the content from those sites on a live money site. Ranking quite well too. It was an interesting test... Is this what you're doing?
Mmmm, not sure i ever do this, i only use content from drops... It's a question of how blackhat you are ready to go, i think. No moral fagging here, just saying i never done this. Maybe because i never stumbled upon such dead but not dropped sites LOL