Expired domains – boon or bane for SEO?

The question of the hour is “Do expired domains really work?” Is it plausible to rely on expired domains for all SEO? Well, the answer depends.

Expired domains sometimes work for SEO. But it is not something to completely rely upon. They also can be Google-friendly if not abused. Use expired domains for the main website keeping the restrictions in mind. You can also use them for websites that are not under your control in a limited manner.

What are expired domains?

They are domains registered by businesses, organizations, or individuals who aren’t renewed after a period. Expired domains are generally let go after the contract ends or terminated deliberately. Initially, they are available with the previous inbound links intact for purchase. Then they are available for re-registration. Later people show interest in buying these expired domains. Because they can redirect traffic and boost power to another website. They hope that the extra links will help improve the Google search engine rankings of the targeted website.

Why would one abandon a domain?

  • The web project would have failed.
  • The domain portfolio might have gone into liquidation.
  • There might have been some trademark infringement.
  • Simply due to nonpayment for the domains.

Can expired domains improve SEO?

Yes, expired domains improve SEO. But they cannot completely rely upon for the best Google rankings. You need to pick the right website to redirect. That is the key to effectively choosing the expired domain, one that is similar to the target website. For example, people who click on this website should receive the expected information they were looking for from the original domain. The users should find value, and their experience should be better than before.

We can conclude that expired domains work well for SEO if done right. You can check out the following steps to effectively use them.

  1. Spot the right expired domain.
  • Choose the one with high domain authority.
  • Find the domain that matches with the target domain. (You can use Wayback Machine for this)
  • The URL of the expired domain should be in the search phrase of the target website.
  • The surrounding text should be at least “OK” and in the same language.
  1. Purchase the expired domain through a domain registrar like “GoDaddy”.
  2. Use a 301 redirect to the target domain from the expired one.
  3. Wait for Google to analyze the links.
  4. Monitor, track, and measure your results.

Is expired domain for SEO a long-term strategy?

You cannot actually say so. It is difficult to push the target website to the front page without the usual SEO strategy. Expired domain for SEO can be used to get your website off the ground. Then it is the content that pushes it forward. So the expired domain helps to an extent.

What is the value of an expired domain?

Expired domains are very attractive. Because they are connected to an existing backlink profile. You can determine the value of a domain by inspecting its inbound links. The expired domain is assessed using relevant keywords present in the second-level domain. Therefore, references to products, sites, and brands are handy. Search engine rankings depend on the number and quality of the incoming links.

SEO experts offer the following characteristics for links that improve a domain:

  • The popularity of links: It is an important property that determines the incoming links for a domain quantitatively. The link popularity is based on the mantra – “The more the incoming links, the more important the site”. You can use the PageRank algorithm to evaluate it. The PageRank plays a small role in identifying the importance of links.
  • The popularity of Domain: Domain popularity is slightly more important than link popularity. Particularly when it comes to determining the value of the backlink profile of an expired domain. Incoming links are counted just once if they are from the same site. It prevents the manipulation of linking networks or black hat techniques.
  • The popularity of IP: You can determine the IP popularity if you move one step ahead. In this approach, links are counted only if they belong to different servers from different networks. Google includes the popularity of IP while listing search engine rankings. Hence it will unmask link networks.

IP and domain popularity plays an important role in the overall link quality evaluation. Links are artificial if it has dominant high link popularity. Because it will have low values for IP and domain popularity. Search engines easily spot such domains. They are invalid because of such reasons in the first place. If you want to start a clean website, then you should stay away from such domains.

What about the quality of incoming links from expired domains?

You should also look into the quality of the links and not just the quantity. The main points for assessment are – Where did the link originate? What kind of link is it? A high-quality backlink profile usually contains different link types. It includes:

  • Footer links
  • Sidebar links
  • Links in comments
  • Forum threads
  • Social media platform
  • Content links from similar websites

Expired Domains for SEO

Expired Domains are black hat SEO techniques to create quick backlinks. However, this practice is still alive even today. Although, SEO experts do not recommend this approach. Most of the search engines are smart enough to detect this strategy in the current situation.

Firstly, search engines consider inbound links as recommendations. Secondly, these links have a big influence on search engine rankings. Thirdly, modern search engines don’t appreciate link networks as much as before. Finally and most importantly, using expired domains is like playing with fire. Be cautious about how you handle it for your SEO needs. Because in the worst-case scenario, search engines ban or penalize the website. This is not a very pleasant situation to put yourself or your brand in.

The expired domains can come in handy or hazardous depending on how you handle them. Use it to your advantage and don’t overdo it.

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