SEO 101: The Power of Using Expired Domains
There’s more competition than ever when it comes to ranking in Google. SEO has come a very long way from keyword percentages and backlinks with no other core components insight. At least none were obvious from testing.
However, those Wild West days of SEO are long gone and with Google’s algorithm better understood than ever, there are literally hundreds of known points that have either a direct or indirect effect on website rankings.
One incredibly powerful SEO strategy that doesn’t get nearly the attention it deserves is the use of expired domains. These are domain names that used to have an active URL and website but for whatever reason are now no longer active. Sometimes also referred to as “aged domains,” there are several ways to use these that have incredible ranking benefits in Google.
What Is an Aged Domain?
An aged domain is a domain that once held an active website but no longer does. This is important because many sites naturally gather backlinks over time, which is a major part of SEO and ranking in Google.
So if a website managed to get links for years and then the site is no longer there, you suddenly are looking at a domain name that can be bought, have a brand new site put up, and have all those backlinks still pointing at it.
Google doesn’t just stop counting those backlinks. That means instead of spending months in the Google Sandbox, struggling to gain any type of authority, you can start out being crawled, recognized, and ranked with each well-written new article.
Generally speaking, the more recently a domain had a good active site the better, but this isn’t 100% hard and fast.
Starting a Site on an Aged Domain
For many bloggers or marketers starting a new site on an aged domain is the way to go. They have an idea or a business already, have the keyword research, are developing a product, or otherwise are ready to go. But they need a domain name, and an aged one means getting a head start on ranking and building authority.
Whether working as an affiliate or doing something else, if you’re in a position where you’re starting something new then this is the way to go. It makes the path ahead much easier to build a site and you will get results faster.
But what if you find a great used domain and you already have a website or blog? That’s where this next strategy comes in!
301 Redirects with Aged Domains
If you already have an established website an aged domain can still be a really powerful way to boost your rankings to the existing site. This is where a 301 redirect comes in.
A 301 redirect is when a site is set up to automatically direct visitors to a new destination. The 301 tells Google that a website has moved, meaning the new destination is approved by the previous owner.
Not only is that just good practice but this does another thing that is very important: it takes all of the “link juice” from backlinks pointing to the aged domain and pushes all of that to the new site.
That is an incredible strategy that can basically pass on dozens or hundreds of backlinks worth of juice to your established site.
Now an important point: even veteran SEOs who know how to do this strategy often don’t get as much out of it as they could.
Don’t just use the base URL and 301 direct it. Look at the pages on the old site that received the most links. Create those “pages” even if they’re blank and then re-direct all of them. This gives an even bigger boost passing along the SEO boost from a 301 direct.
Which Technique Is Better for SEO?
Honestly, both of these are incredibly effective. Which one you should use depends on what your exact goals are. Are you building a new site from scratch or are you trying to boost up an existing site that already has content and history behind it?
Depending on what you’re doing and what the long-term goals are, the best way to use an expired domain is different. Keep in mind that if you have a brand new site with great content, but it’s not getting traction, and then you get a great aged domain, it might be worth moving that content.
Each situation is different but one thing remains undisputed: aged domains are an incredibly powerful tool for SEO.
The Power of Using Expired Domains
About Salterra Digital Services
Salterra was started in 2011 by Terry and Elisabeth Samuels; nothing fancy and nothing pretentious. Quality work at a fair price. Starting with a web design focus, they both quickly learned that while having an amazing website to highlight your business is a great start, marketing is intrinsically foundational for our clients. When several clients were not seeing results through the search efforts of other companies, Terry took it to the next level. While digging into SEO and marketing, he found something he was very passionate about. His inner geek pushed him to focus solely on the data and analytics side of the business while Elisabeth built on her creative and visual strength and expanded the design side. In the industry, it is not always common to have both designers and digital marketing so closely connected, but to them it made perfect sense. Salterra’s World Headquarters is in Tempe Arizona