How does buying an expired domain to use for a website work?

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How does buying an expired domain to use for a website work? Meaning, once the domain is in your possession, do you just install WordPress, etc. like you would for a new domain? Or, do you need to add content from the Internet Archive that previously existed on the website?
 

Ryuzaki

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How does buying an expired domain to use for a website work? Meaning, once the domain is in your possession, do you just install WordPress, etc. like you would for a new domain? Or, do you need to add content from the Internet Archive that previously existed on the website?

People will argue about the initial steps. Some feel they need to recover the site from the archive and let it sit. I don't. I tested that theory and felt it wasn't needed, and have done this a solid 50 times over the years, including recently.

What matters is using a tool like Ahref's to identify which old pages have quality backlinks pointing to them. Then you have a choice to make for each URL with worthwhile backlinks: 1) Do I recreate that page and URL or 2) Do I create a different page and 301 redirect it to the new URL?

The biggest winners in terms of backlinks should be recreated to some degree so that the topic remains the same and the content similar. This is so you don't lose those links over time as webmasters and users notice they don't match that well any more.

You don't have to recreate each URL exactly, like .com/2008/03/whatever.html when you'd rather have a setup like .com/slug/. You can 301 each one to a new destination that matches your desired URL & Slug structure.

Typically you'll have a ton of links to the homepage. There's nothing to do there. Then you'll have links to boilerplate pages like /about/ and /contact/. I recommend 301-ing those to the right pages even if they don't have backlinks.

Otherwise you'll have a handful of posts that got a lot of links. You can rewrite those, make them better, etc. But do that and then 301 the old URL location to the new.

Finally you'll have a lot of posts that got 1 or 2 okay links. You'll find that it wouldn't make sense to recreate all of that content. You can redirect them to similar pages that you intend to create or to category pages that best match.

You'll also have a ton of trash you can let become 404 errors and drop out of the index. You'll notice a lot of pages will have links, but those links will be trash links like image scrapers, etc. Don't worry about recovering those pages.

I also think it's important to hit the ground running on the above work. So much so that I always prepare a Wordpress installation on a staging server and start building out content for the niche before I even hunt for a domain. And when I settle on the domain, the first things I do are order a logo, do the 301 / Content recovery fiasco above, and try to recover any social media accounts with a catch-all email address. If I can't recover them, I register new ones.

But you need to have a site live and all the 301's in place sooner than later, because there's no telling how long the domain has been without a site and recrawled that way. It could be ready to drop out of the index at any moment. I prefer not to let that happen because I want uninterrupted indexation (age in the index), which I see as not quite as important but still similarly important as domain age (not being dropped from registry).
 
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People will argue about the initial steps. Some feel they need to recover the site from the archive and let it sit. I don't. I tested that theory and felt it wasn't needed, and have done this a solid 50 times over the years, including recently.

What matters is using a tool like Ahref's to identify which old pages have quality backlinks pointing to them. Then you have a choice to make for each URL with worthwhile backlinks: 1) Do I recreate that page and URL or 2) Do I create a different page and 301 redirect it to the new URL?

The biggest winners in terms of backlinks should be recreated to some degree so that the topic remains the same and the content similar. This is so you don't lose those links over time as webmasters and users notice they don't match that well any more.

You don't have to recreate each URL exactly, like .com/2008/03/whatever.html when you'd rather have a setup like .com/slug/. You can 301 each one to a new destination that matches your desired URL & Slug structure.

Typically you'll have a ton of links to the homepage. There's nothing to do there. Then you'll have links to boilerplate pages like /about/ and /contact/. I recommend 301-ing those to the right pages even if they don't have backlinks.

Otherwise you'll have a handful of posts that got a lot of links. You can rewrite those, make them better, etc. But do that and then 301 the old URL location to the new.

Finally you'll have a lot of posts that got 1 or 2 okay links. You'll find that it wouldn't make sense to recreate all of that content. You can redirect them to similar pages that you intend to create or to category pages that best match.

You'll also have a ton of trash you can let become 404 errors and drop out of the index. You'll notice a lot of pages will have links, but those links will be trash links like image scrapers, etc. Don't worry about recovering those pages.

I also think it's important to hit the ground running on the above work. So much so that I always prepare a Wordpress installation on a staging server and start building out content for the niche before I even hunt for a domain. And when I settle on the domain, the first things I do are order a logo, do the 301 / Content recovery fiasco above, and try to recover any social media accounts with a catch-all email address. If I can't recover them, I register new ones.

But you need to have a site live and all the 301's in place sooner than later, because there's no telling how long the domain has been without a site and recrawled that way. It could be ready to drop out of the index at any moment. I prefer not to let that happen because I want uninterrupted indexation (age in the index), which I see as not quite as important but still similarly important as domain age (not being dropped from registry).
Thank you for the detailed response! So, does this mean that if you were to just not redirect pages with good backlinks to newer versions of the pages (or as close to similar pages as possible) or re-write those pages, then the domain would lose the links over time and become less valuable?
 

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Thank you for the detailed response! So, does this mean that if you were to just not redirect pages with good backlinks to newer versions of the pages (or as close to similar pages as possible) or re-write those pages, then the domain would lose the links over time and become less valuable?

The domain would lose the links as soon as Google encounters the 404 error enough times and decides the destination page no longer exists. If nothing exists at the destination page of the URL, then the backlink is a broken link and doesn't count for the receiving domain. The only way to fix it is to bring that URL back live or to redirect it to another live URL.
 
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The domain would lose the links as soon as Google encounters the 404 error enough times and decides the destination page no longer exists. If nothing exists at the destination page of the URL, then the backlink is a broken link and doesn't count for the receiving domain. The only way to fix it is to bring that URL back live or to redirect it to another live URL.
So the old content itself is essentially irrelevant unless the original linker discovers their link goes to a page they don't like- it's the URLs that actually matter?
 

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So the old content itself is essentially irrelevant unless the original linker discovers their link goes to a page they don't like- it's the URLs that actually matter?

Yeah. You want the content to be on topic so that if a webmaster checks, it all still makes sense. They likely won't remember exactly what they linked to, so it just needs to be in the ballpark. You want to worry about this for the most valuable links.

Not every backlink will point to a page that has content you want to keep. You can recreate it and make it a lot better or 301 it around if the backlinks aren't that good, but worth keeping. My point is you could spend forever on this stage if you want to be overly concerned about it.

You don't need to be. Just make sure the best of the best links point to a killer page similar to the one they pointed at before, and the so-so links at least redirect somewhere that's not the homepage so you don't lose them.
 

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Be careful with restoring content from the archive, especially if the domain dropped not long ago. The previous owner may discover it and make you some troubles. The more secure way is to grab some content from related sites from archive.
 
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Be careful with restoring content from the archive, especially if the domain dropped not long ago. The previous owner may discover it and make you some troubles. The more secure way is to grab some content from related sites from archive.
I second this. I acquired an auction domain and when I restored it, got a DMCA email from the original owner. I had to pull the content down.
 
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It could be ready to drop out of the index at any moment. I prefer not to let that happen because I want uninterrupted indexation (age in the index), which I see as not quite as important but still similarly important as domain age (not being dropped from registry).

Sorry for the stupid question, could you explain the different in expired, deleted and dropped domains? If your buying expired domains wouldn't they already be dropped from the registry?
 

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Sorry for the stupid question, could you explain the different in expired, deleted and dropped domains? If your buying expired domains wouldn't they already be dropped from the registry?

I don't use the terminology "expired domains" because it's come to represent something different in the SEO community these days, though the old term "expired" still follows it arround. I call them "non-dropped domains" now.

An "expired domain" isn't renewed at the registar and eventually drops out of the registry altogether. Nobody owns it, the WhoIs date is reset, etc. It's done for and deleted and anyone can register it again at this point. This is the same as a "deleted domain" as far as I'm concerned.

Some people distinguish between "expired domains" and "dropped domains" as two different things, but I think the terminology confuses people. What they mean by "expired" in these cases is that the domain expired but did not drop from the registry. I call these non-dropped domains just to simplify and remove the confusion.

So the difference between non-dropped and dropped would be that, while both expired, non-dropped domains were scooped up by a registrar and resold or auctioned before they officially dropped out of the registry. Dropped domains expire and drop out, resetting all the time metrics in the WhoIs registry.

You don't want that to happen. The other thing I don't want to happen is for it to drop out of the Google index. I want to acquire the domain and build something new as fast as possible so that it never gets un-indexed. That uninterrupted time period is as important as the WhoIs time period. Hope this helps.
 
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scooped up by a registrar and resold or auctioned before they officially dropped out of the registry.

Just to clarify how can you tell the registrar has picked it up? (other than searching for it and seeing its available?)

Thanks for the great reply, the industry does seem to use the terms interchangeably.
 
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@Ryuzaki - where do you find non dropped domains?
 

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@Ryuzaki - where do you find non dropped domains?

I used to have a sophisticated method of exporting the results from several auction houses and scraping their metrics and filtering down to what I'd want, sent to my email daily.

Eventually I knocked that off and started using expireddomains.net. That was helpful at the time.

Fast forward to the present and I've been using ODYS.global. That's how they came to learn about BuSo and join us here. An acquaintance connected us when I was on the hunt about a year ago. They do all of that sorting and scraping and filtering work for us and just present us with the best and most brand-able choices. The site I built in The Eternal Grind case study is on an ODYS domain.
 

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Great thread.
I have my 2 cents as well, @Ryuzaki

I recently sold a domain that was an Affiliate site, ROI of 75,000% [absurd, I know]

It was an expired domain, dropped or whatever you call it, it was lying there to be taken, I found it via a custom scraping tool for the same, but the good part was that many pages were still in Google index.
I registered the domain at the same nominal price...

Not to mention, the niche of the topic was completely different like media related, and I used the domain to build a health website lol and promote offers, the most powerful pages with good backlinks were even used to create health pages lol (silly I know) but they ranked like a charm coz backlinks yo :tongue: as it was a churn and burn it worked out pretty well...

Just my experience, I believe everyone can benefit =)
 
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I used to have a sophisticated method of exporting the results from several auction houses and scraping their metrics and filtering down to what I'd want, sent to my email daily.

Eventually I knocked that off and started using expireddomains.net. That was helpful at the time.
Regarding your WHois reset, all domains from dropcatch are date resets, and most other drop catch, except I think godaddy.

Now what i am confused about odys and other expired sellers for 100-200% mark up?
All the pending delete domains with a decent history and 100 referring domains show up in an auction.
There is no way any domains with back links will show go under the radar. And all active auctions show up on expired domains. So what is it that the resellers provide, that you can't find using the expired domain active auctions sorted by referring domain/domain pop?
This is a genuine question. DO they catch domains that go under the radar? What kinds?
The only domains I can see that are available with backlinks have had a history of chinese or japanese spam. Now even they are going into gdd auctions if they have good enough back links

ODYS do have some domains, but there is another BIG reseller that have more inventory also sells 200% markup. They are selling a lot of domains with dirty history. Either they have no clue or they selling to unwitting customers.

What do you think of domain that have been parked or 1 year?



Great thread.
I have my 2 cents as well, @Ryuzaki

I recently sold a domain that was an Affiliate site, ROI of 75,000% [absurd, I know]

Not to mention, the niche of the topic was completely different like media related, and I used the domain to build a health website lol and promote offers, the most powerful pages with good backlinks were even used to create health pages lol (silly I know) but they ranked like a charm coz backlinks yo :tongue: as it was a churn and burn it worked out pretty well...

Just my experience, I believe everyone can benefit =)

This is my question. How did the domain slip under the rather. Hundreds of people are parsing and backordering?
Was it dropped earlier? Was it spammed?
 

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Regarding your WHois reset, all domains from dropcatch are date resets, and most other drop catch, except I think godaddy.

Now what i am confused about odys and other expired sellers for 100-200% mark up?
All the pending delete domains with a decent history and 100 referring domains show up in an auction.
There is no way any domains with back links will show go under the radar. And all active auctions show up on expired domains. So what is it that the resellers provide, that you can't find using the expired domain active auctions sorted by referring domain/domain pop?
This is a genuine question. DO they catch domains that go under the radar? What kinds?
The only domains I can see that are available with backlinks have had a history of chinese or japanese spam. Now even they are going into gdd auctions if they have good enough back links

ODYS do have some domains, but there is another BIG reseller that have more inventory also sells 200% markup. They are selling a lot of domains with dirty history. Either they have no clue or they selling to unwitting customers.

What do you think of domain that have been parked or 1 year?





This is my question. How did the domain slip under the rather. Hundreds of people are parsing and backordering?
Was it dropped earlier? Was it spammed?
Yes, maybe because it was a domain extension that not many people care for, it was dropped for a while as the media company moved to a new extension, and some dumb tech guy didn't even redirect it to the new domain. So yeah.
 
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Would buying an expired domain that was once used for a local business be a good or a bad idea?
 

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Would buying an expired domain that was once used for a local business be a good or a bad idea?

I don't like it. I bought a domain for a restaurant, without checking if it was trademarked. Luckily it wasn't, but it isn't ranking well.

I think the problem is that the context that Google puts a local business in, might be different than what you think.

In the case for the restaurant, I thought the context was "food" and more important: "kitchen", but it seems like it might be more "Entertainment".

So check for trademarks first. Then check if the company has shut down completely, because if it goes bankrupt or gets bought out, that old domain name, might be legally belonging to someone else.

Second, make sure that the contextual relevance is good.
 
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I don't like it. I bought a domain for a restaurant, without checking if it was trademarked. Luckily it wasn't, but it isn't ranking well.

I think the problem is that the context that Google puts a local business in, might be different than what you think.

In the case for the restaurant, I thought the context was "food" and more important: "kitchen", but it seems like it might be more "Entertainment".

So check for trademarks first. Then check if the company has shut down completely, because if it goes bankrupt or gets bought out, that old domain name, might be legally belonging to someone else.

Second, make sure that the contextual relevance is good.
What if the domain doesn't feature the company name or the geographical location? I've looked at the archived website and it was essentially an eCommerce website but for a local business. However, it doesn't look like any products were actually sold on the website- it was used more as a product catalog.
 

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What if the domain doesn't feature the company name or the geographical location? I've looked at the archived website and it was essentially an eCommerce website but for a local business. However, it doesn't look like any products were actually sold on the website- it was used more as a product catalog.

Ecommerce is a good choice.

I've had good results with that.
 
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Ecommerce is a good choice.

I've had good results with that.
Do you pay much attention to citation flow and trust flow when purchasing domains or more so the domain DA and the quality of the referring domains?
 

bernard

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Do you pay much attention to citation flow and trust flow when purchasing domains or more so the domain DA and the quality of the referring domains?

Referring domains and DR with Ahrefs, you also need to check which links are likely to stick. Which is another reason to be careful with some types of businesses (like restaurant). If it's an active subculture, people are quite likely to remove links.
 

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I just bought 4 niche specific expired domains, hobby niche.

They have all been legit sites, 1 a webshop, 1 a forum, 1 niche site and 1 a local organisation. 3 of 4 rank for keywords according to Ahrefs.

Would you rather:

1) Re/create content on each domain, index, then redirect to main site

2) Create contextually relevant content on main site, then redirect each site to relevant page
 

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I'm personally not a big fun of redirection.

I would take each of domains; create some simple site on it; make sure you don't loose any of inbound backlinks; silo stuff it with heavy pyramid interlinking. Then put them all on different hosts even the cheapest ones (although many say that now when every site is on CDN you don't need to worry about IP diversity any longer - but i'm not 100% sure) and put a link from the most powerful page which is the top of your silo pyramid to a relevant page of your main site.