When you use an expired domain, what you are essentially doing is leveraging the power of an already existing link profile and the potential for targeted traffic that you would otherwise have to build yourself from scratch. Expired domains can be a great option if you are looking to start your own authority site and gain momentum in your rankings from the get-go, or if you are thinking about building a PBN (or private blog network) with some actual power under the hood.
In any scenario, there’s no question that using expired domains is a cost-effective alternative to brand new domains, given that you can benefit from its already existing backlinks, authority, and trust while saving the hundreds or maybe even thousands of dollars it would cost to build up a robust link profile.
Therefore, if used correctly, buying expired domains can give you a truly unfair advantage over your competition and allow you to rank for your targeted keywords sooner and start generating organic traffic faster while spending significantly less money.
So, without further ado, let’s get into the details of how we can find expired domains for our projects:
How Can You Benefit from Using Expired Domains?
There are many things you can do with an authoritative expired domain, but there are mainly three situations where they can come in handy to give you a head start:
- Building a new authority site
- Building a PBN or private blog network
- Doing 301 redirects
Now, let’s dive into each of these alternatives to understand how we can make the most of acquiring an expired domain.
Use #1 – Build a New Authority Site
Whenever you set out to build a new authority site, you have to start by setting up your website, creating some quality content, and then promoting your site to build backlinks and authority, so it can start ranking in the search engines and bringing traffic which will ultimately turn into conversion and revenue.
If you use a regular or brand new domain, this process can be time-consuming and very costly because you would be starting from zero, but if you build your new site on a powerful expired domain, you are giving yourself a nice head start depending on the quality of the domain you buy, given that you will be leveraging the existing authority and trust coming from the link profile already built into it.
Therefore, unless you have very specific reasons to build your website on a brand-new domain (such as branding requirements, big budget, etc.), you should always prefer an expired domain that offers high authority, trust, and -if possible- some already incoming traffic, given that this will save you a ton of time and money as it pertains to your SEO efforts.
Indeed, by using an expired domain, it is entirely possible to shoot the rankings of your website straight to the first page of Google and other search engines within a matter of weeks, instead of months or even years.
Just as an example, a while ago, I got myself an excellent expired domain from Authority Outreach and got to work on building a site for the next month or so, I wrote around 50 articles averaging 2000 words each, and after a little over a month of it going live it positioned itself on the first page of Google for several keywords I was targeting.
Achieving that kind of result using a brand-new domain is simply impossible in this day and age where almost every single niche has some level of competition. Long gone are the days where you could “snipe” your way to the first page of Google with a brand-new domain containing your targeted keywords. Nowadays, you need some serious link juice supporting your website to gain traction in any of the search engines.
The problem is that building up a solid link profile on a new domain can easily set you back several thousands of dollars, sometimes with no guarantee that your SEO efforts will get you to the first page of the search engines.
However, if you go for an expired domain with a solid backlink profile, trust, and authority already built into it, you may spend a few hundred dollars to get it. Still, you will spare yourself thousands of dollars’ worth of link building expenses while increasing your chances of actually dominating your niche in a fraction of the time.
Use #2 – Build a PBN
If you are in the process of building your own private blog network, using authoritative expired domains is a must, given that your PBN will do you no good it does not have some solid link juice pointing to the sites in your network.
Building a PBN is always a costly process because you need a significant number of sites to make an impact. Still, if on top of that, you add up the expense involved in putting everything together from scratch (especially in terms of link building efforts to your network) you will have to spend a small fortune to get it up and running.
Using expired domains can spare you the hassle and expense associated with building up authority and trust to the sites in your network, by allowing you to benefit from already existing links pointing to the domains.
With this approach you will have to pay nothing except the price of acquisition of each domain, an amount that will usually be a small fraction of what you would have to invest in building backlinks to your network.
Use #3 – Set Up 301 Redirects
This is a tactic that can still render some decent results as long as you do not abuse it. This method involves merely taking the expired domain you purchased and setting up a 301 redirect to your money site.
The idea behind this strategy is to pass some of the link juice coming from all the backlinks that are pointing to the old domain to prop up your rankings, which means that if you purchase a domain with high trust and authority, you will get a boost on the metrics of your target website and eventually a bump in your search engine rankings.
The only problem with this strategy is that it is not as effective as it used to be. If abused, it can be counterproductive, so if you decide to use this method, make sure to keep the 301s to no more than a handful while using only quality expired domains.
In other words, don’t make this strategy your primary link building method but a complement to a more solid all-around SEO strategy.
How to Easily Find Expired Domains with High Metrics
As much as an expired domain has the potential the help you push your rankings almost instantly while saving you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in the process; the truth is that not all expired domains are created equal.
Indeed, it is no use to acquire an expired domain and start building a website or a PBN if it does not have a solid link profile. The question is, what makes a solid link profile?
Well, in a perfect world, Google would have a tool to let us know whether an expired domain has a link profile solid enough to help us rank our website, but since nothing like that exists (because Google is not in the business of helping our SEO) we have to look at a set of multiple metrics in order to build our own picture of what a solid link profile looks like, so we can determine with some level of accuracy if the domain we are about to purchase has the potential to give us a head start or not.
Therefore, over the next few lines, we will go over the metrics you must consider in order to measure the strength of an expired domain so you can tell beforehand if it is likely to have a positive impact in terms of SEO.
What to Look for In an Expired Domain
- Trust Flow or TF
This is a metric provided and trademarked by Majestic SEO, and it measures the trustworthiness of a website by focusing on the site’s quality. In other words, this metric pays attention to the authority and quality of sites pointing to your website, so if you have a good number of quality sites linking to yours, your trust flow will be higher.
Also, some experts have stated that traffic can also play a role in a higher the trust flow metric, so the higher this value, the more potential for traffic you can expect.
- ahrefs Domain Rating or DR
This metric is provided by ahrefs, and it measures the strength of a website’s backlink profile compared to the others in ahrefs database on a 100-point scale. The higher the DR, the strongest the domain.
DR correlates with Google rankings pretty well, and while it alone is not a guarantee of success in terms of SEO, in conjunction with other metrics, it can provide a very good idea of what to expect at the time of competing for top spots in Google and other search engines.
- Moz Domain Authority or DA
This metric is provided by Moz, and it measures a website’s ability to rank on the search engines.
DA is calculated based on over 40 factors such as root domain and the total number of inbound links; thus the higher the number of quality backlinks coming from authoritative websites, the higher the DA.
This metric is comparative, meaning that it is most useful when compared to the DA of the sites against which you will be competing.
- ahrefs Referring Domains or RD
As the name suggests, this metric tells you how many domains are pointing to the expired domain, and in this case, the analysis is simple, the more, the better.
Building backlinks from many referrers, particularly quality sites, can be an expensive process, so if you find an expired domain with a lot of RDs, combined with a high TF, DR and DA you know, you have a winner.
- ahrefs Backlinks
This metric measures how many backlinks are pointing to the expired domain. While the most important number is the number of referring domains or RD, this one also carries weight at the time of determining the strength of a domain’s link profile.
The reason is that when a domain has a backlink count into the thousands, it is less prone to having its link profile affected by the drop or removal of one or more of those links. In contrast, a domain that has just a few backlinks can get hit pretty hard if it loses a few of them, even if its profile contains powerful backlinks.
Therefore, it is always a good idea to look for expired domains that not only carry high trust, rating, and authority, but that have a large number of backlinks supporting those metrics.
As a rule of thumb, you should look for domains with 100 backlinks or more, this of course, in addition to good all-around metrics.
Where to Find and Buy Quality Expired Domains
You can find expired domains at any registrar such as Godaddy, Namecheap, and others. However, these venues will not provide you with the data you need to make an informed decision regarding your purchase.
In other words, none of the registrars will provide you with the metrics of the domains available for purchase, which means you will have to spend money subscribing to Majestic SEO, ahref, and Moz in order to evaluate hundreds of domains and weed out those with a non-existent or weak link profile.
The easier way to go is to take advantage of domain finding services which not only provide you with a list of expired domains available for purchase but also with the metrics you need in order to assess the expired domain profile’s strength.
This will not only help you make the wisest investment but also save you a lot of time and money as you will not need to go through thousands of domains to find a good one. Instead, you will be able to access a previously vetted list of expired domains with good metrics that you can review before making your purchase.
There are a few companies that provide this service, and I will share them with you in order of preference:
- Authority Outreach Premium Domain Marketplace
This is my favorite venue to find good expired domains ready for purchase at a reasonable price.
There are a couple of reasons why this service is at the top of my list:
First: Accessing the marketplace featuring the metrics of all the listed domains is always 100% free, whereas other ones like Spamzilla or Domain Hunter Gatherer will charge you for the privilege of looking at their database.
Second: While they don’t have the most extensive inventory, they only have domains with good all-around metrics, and all of them are ready for purchase at a previously set price that is very reasonable compared to other options such as Spamzilla or Domain Hunter Gatherer, which most of the time will feature inflated prices resulting from auction battles or simply highly optimistic owners expecting to make a fortune off domains with less than acceptable metrics.
For example, if you go to Spamzilla, you will find domains like this one:
As you can see, this domain features some decent metrics but by no means qualifies as a particularly strong domain. Yet, it is priced at a whopping $699, and what’s worse, that’s is not even the final price given that this and most of the domains you find in this platform are auction domains, so you will likely pay a lot more for it once the bidding war gains momentum.
On the other hand, if we go to Authority Outreach and look at a similar domain with comparable metrics, we will see that the price is only $233, a fraction of what you would find at Spamzilla:
But the best part is that unlike Spamzilla, Authority Outreach prices are fixed, meaning that you pay what you see, no bidding wars, no surprises.
Therefore, I strongly recommend you check out Authority Outreach Premium Domain Marketplace first, as this will help you find an expired domain with a solid link profile and healthy all-around metrics for a fraction of the cost, without the hassle of having to enter a bidding war and risk paying an even higher price for your expired domain.
While this service does not make the top of my list for some of the reasons already outlined above, it can still be an option to find expired domains provided that you are willing to pay a higher price (often after going through an auction process) as well as spend some extra money on their subscription.
I find Spamzilla useful whenever I am looking for domains with some specific attributes that sometimes you may not find at Authority Outreach Expired Domain Marketplace.
Indeed, if I’m looking for an expired domain with let’s say DA60, TF50, and DR 40 plus an RD count of 100,000 or more, Authority Outreach may not be a good fit as they usually do no offer such level of metrics at their marketplace.
Hwever, if you go to Spamzilla and pay for their subscription to gain full access to their database, you may be able to find expired domains with this kind of link profiles.
But there’s a catch: You must be willing to pay prices that often run into the thousands of dollars given that these domains are only sold at auctions, and the bidding wars around them tend to be ferocious.
So, the upside to Spamzilla is that even though you have to pay to access their database, you will be able to find more expired domain options and check the metrics of each one before making a decision, which can be useful if you have a bigger budget and a need for domains with higher metrics.
This service is at the bottom of my preferences for a couple of reasons. First, you have to pay to even look at their database (Spamzilla at least gives you free access to a small preview), and, second, they require you to download software in order to use the service.
This service works similarly to Spamzilla, only that it is less convenient and less friendly, which is why if I need expired domains with higher metrics or that fit a certain link profile, I will only use Domain Hunter Gatherer as a last resort.
Using expired domains is definitely the best way to go if you are looking to get a head start in you SEO efforts, not only because of the initial push you may gain from an aged domain with a solid link profile, but also because you will often save hundreds if not thousands of dollars’ worth of link building work that you will have to take on if you buy a brand new domain.
Before buying expired domains, always check the most important metrics as discussed above to make sure that the link profile is strong enough to have an actual impact on your SEO.
Lastly, instead of going straight to registrars to look at thousands of domains and spend a fortune vetting all of them, use expired domain services such as Authority Outreach Domain Marketplace or Spamzilla.
Both of these services will provide you with information about each domain’s metrics before making a purchase (in the case of Authority Outreach access to their database will cost you nothing).
Therefore, get out there and kick-start your new project on the right foot by taking advantage of a quality expired domain.