Expired Domains Can Give You a Head Start
It’s tough getting a new Website started. You’ve got no history, no incoming links, and no traffic to your site. You’ve got to start from scratch and build up a reputation for yourself and get yourself discovered before you’re going to have any visitors or make any money. Sure, it’s something that everyone in affiliate marketing has to deal with, but what if there were a shortcut? Expired domains can help you, if you use them correctly.
Expired domains are domain names that used to represent real Websites but are names which their owners, for whatever reason, have allowed to expire. It might be a case of someone deciding they don’t want to pursue a particular venture anymore or it could simply be an oversight of some kind. But many expired domains can be useful to you, even if the Website is no longer active. Why? Because many expired domains still have active links from other sites pointing to them (backlinks) and quite a few still have incoming traffic. How can you benefit from this?
Put Expired Domains to Work
There are a number of ways that expired domains can be useful to you, and I’ll go over the two most popular ways of using them. Both can help you get traffic, and it’s easy and relatively affordable to do. I’ll even recommend a useful tool that makes it very easy to find expired domains in your niche that can send traffic to your sites.
Buying Expired Domains for your main Website – If you haven’t purchased a domain name for your Website yet, you might consider looking at expired domains, rather than simply making up a name that hasn’t been used before. If you can find a recently expired domain name in the marketing niche you plan to use, you can set up a site that will already have backlinks pointing to it the day your site goes live. Even better – it’s possible that people will be following those backlinks, and you might get traffic right away. Granted, the people visiting your site via old links are likely to be looking for the old site that once had that name, but if they see your site and like what they see there, you might be able to sign them up to your mailing list or sell something to them.
Using expired domains for traffic – An alternative way to use expired domains is simply to use them for sending traffic to you. If you buy expired domains that have incoming backlinks or traffic to them, you can set up those expired domains to do a 301 redirect to your primary Website. You will benefit from the backlinks, traffic and pagerank of the expired domains. You can make this even better by buying backlinks and/or using link building tools such as Ultimate Demon or SENukeXCR. The links you build and the traffic they generate will pass on to you.
It’s one thing to talk about buying expired domains with backlinks and pagerank, but how can you find them? It would seem pretty unlikely that anyone would allow a domain name with links and rank to expire, but it happens every day. Each day, hundreds or even thousands of domains with useful pagerank, backlinks and traffic expire, and the names are there for anyone who wants to buy them. Even better – you can buy them for the same price as you’d pay for a new domain name – about $10 or so.
There are a number of useful tools for helping you find expired domains, and they all have their strengths and weaknesses. I’ve had good luck using Register Compass. Register Compass is essentially a search engine for expired domain names. As I write this, they currently list more than three million expired domain names, including some with pagerank as high as 7 and some with thousands of incoming backlinks. Of course, searching through millions of expired domains can be tough, but Register Compass has some pretty useful filters that allow you to find what you want pretty quickly.
You can search for expired domains by name, Google Pagerank, the number of incoming links, the date when the name expired, whether the domain is listed in DMOZ, the number of pages listed in Google or Bing, and even the amount of traffic the site receives. You can also search for expired domains that contain particular words in their name, or you can filter out certain words or phrases. Once you find it, Register Compass will check to see if the domain name is still available, and then you can purchase it for the price of a new one.
One other useful tool that comes with Register Compass is the ability to check the backlinks pointing to a domain. That way, you can see what sorts of sites are linking to the name you’re considering buying. This is useful because not all links are alike, and some types of links are actually harmful. Something I didn’t do when I purchased this particular domain was check the backlink history. It appears that while the old site that used this name didn’t have much in the way of content, it did have quite a few links coming in from sites that had, for lack of a better phrase, content for adults on it. Fortunately, it was easy to disavow these links in Bing, and Google didn’t even list them, as they were low-quality links. Still, it’s easy in Register Compass to avoid this problem.
Another good tip for buying expired domains is to use the Internet Archive. This tool allows you to see a snapshot of what a particular Website looked like in the past. You’ll often have a number of dates to choose from, so you can see what sort of Website formerly used the name. This can help you determine if the name you’re thinking about buying is suitable for your niche. By purchasing several carefully-chosen expired domains, you could easily set up a small network of sites with incoming links and traffic that all point to your new site, giving you a head start on getting traffic to your new business.
Expired Domains Summary
Expired domains can be a useful tool in giving your new site a “jump start” so that you won’t have to work as hard to get links and traffic. Tools like Register Compass make it easy to find useful domains that can be purchased for regular price in just a matter of minutes. It’s a smart thing to do if you’re eager to build your business.