If you want to step it up a level and you are serious about ranking your sites, you better get good at finding expired domains!!
For a long time now I have been purchasing expired domains and building a private blog network. A while back I thought it would be a good idea to start picking up expired domains because the future benefits would be worth it.
We all know that SEO and ranking sites is getting tougher, so having your own private blog network is the only way to guarantee solid back links to your money site!
Now don’t get me wrong. I am not expert at expired domains, but I have learned a lot over the past couple of years and I’ve gathered a wealth of knowledge that I will share with you here.
So why are expired domains important?
If you have read my post on Building your own private blog network, you will know that expired domains are important to give us a big head start when building our network.
You see… when a domain expires, it usually goes up for auction or becomes available to register again. Now the great thing about an expired domain is that it still carries forward all of it’s SEO metrics…
- Domain authority
- Page authority
- Page rank
- Trust flow
And everything else that contributes to the strength and authority of a domain!
By purchasing a domain that already has these metrics means that we don’t have to spend a whole lot of time doing SEO on a new domain.
We simply add content and links and build sites on these expired domains, we then link to our money sites to give them a shove up the rankings
What to do with my expired domain!
There are actually a few of things you can do with an expired domain.
301 direct to your money site.
This is the lazy way of doing it and is a good way of boosting the authority of your site.
By adding a 301 redirect from your expired domain to your money site means that when Google crawls the domain, it is re-directed to your site and the authority from that domain is also passed on.
Do this with a few different expired domains and you have immediately increased yours sites authority without actually building any links!!
Although this method used to be a great way to quickly rank sites, I wouldn’t 301 too many domains because this may look spammy. Therefore I would only recommend a small number, and then concentrate on building out Private blog network sites.
Here’s how to easily 301 re-direct your domain!
Put this html code into your public_html folder, usually you can access this via your cpanel or ftp.
$redirectlink = ‘http://www.urlToDirectTooGoesHere.com‘;
//do not edit below here
header (‘HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently’);
This will now pass the:
- Page rank
- Moz rank
- Domain authority
- back link profile
onto your money site!!
Warning – This is something I am going to come to shortly, but if you use this method, you must make sure that the expired domain from which you are 301 re-directing from, was in the same niche as your own site that you are directing too!!
It’s no good having an expired domain that used to be a site about cats, and has a back link profile from cat and pet websites if your site is about forex trading!
** You must have niche relevant domains.**
How do you check this? use a site called archive.com, keep reading and i’ll explain exactly how to use it and how to find niche related expired domains!
Build a blog network (or feeder sites)
This is my favourite method and it’s something you should seriously consider. I wrote a post on How to build your own private blog network here.
This explains how to set up your PBN sites. You want to make them as natural as possible. Add unique articles, add images and videos.
Use different themes and topics.
Add links to other authority sites in your niche
Link to your money site!
You can find all the details right here
You should aim at building these kind of sites around your money site as it’s a great way to get high authority, niche related links! You also have total control over them so if you need to remove any, you can!
Aim for at least 5 PBN sites per money site. This will give you a real boost in the rankings! and this is a tactic that the big boys use to rank for highly competitive keywords!
I have many PBN sites in all different niches, just drop me an email if you are interested in acquiring links from them. These are my own personal sites. Not the rubbish you see on the forums! I don’t advertise them anywhere.
Build a site and sell for a profit
Something else worth thinking about is buying expired domains to sell on for a profit. If you can get your hands on a really good one, you can turn it into a website and sell it on sites like flippa!
Although this is not something I have done myself yet, I am actually in the process of doing one of these kind of sites, and it will be interesting to see what kind of profit I can make out of it!
I’ll keep you updated on that score!!
What am I looking for in a Domain?
When searching for an expired domain there are certain metrics that I am looking for, and here they are:
I like to set a limit of at least 15 for Domain Authority. This is basically a metric by Moz that measures the actual domain according to age, popularity and size.
Now obviously the higher the DA, the more trustworthy it appears to search engines and the more authority is has! If a site has a high DA, then you know it has quality links pointing too it.
You can use opensiteexlorer to find the DA of a site.
Here is a full explanation of Domain Authority: http://moz.com/learn/seo/domain-authority
Similar to DA, but this time Page authority looks at the probability of a specific page appearing on the search engines. it looks at the relevance of information and links to the page.
This is an important metric because we are looking for relevant ‘domains’ to purchase. So I always look for a PA of 20+
Here is a full explanation of Page Authority http://moz.com/learn/seo/page-authority
Google Page Rank
PR is something that everybody focused on at one point, it was the bee’s all and end all of SEO metrics. The higher the PR the better.
However, times have changed and I don’t factor PR as important anymore. I would much prefer a site with good DA and PA than a site with PR4 that had a poor back link profile and low PA.
Don’t get me wrong, if you can find an expired domain with pr4+ then great! but make sure it is backed up with all of the other metrics!
There are tons of pr 5 and pr 6 sites that have no back links and poor DA and PA. These will not stand the test of time and the majority have fake pr’s. So keep away from them!
Remember, relevance is what we are looking for!!
This is a metric from MajesticSEO.com and as you guessed, it measures the trustworthiness of a site. I for a trust flow of 15+
Here is a detailed explanation on Trust Flow
Another metric from MajesticSEO.com – Again it measures the likely hood of a site ranking depending on the links to it. Basically it’s measuring the popularity of the site. Again, look for 15+
I try to get domains that are at least 2 years old. If you follow the requirements above, then you will probably find that the domains are aged anyway!
- Domain Authority = 15+
- Page Authority = 20+
- Page Rank = 0+
- Trust Flow = 15+
- Citation flow = 15+
These are the minimum requirements that you should be looking for, but don’t worry if you don’t meet all of them. You might find a great domain with high trust flow, high domain authority but the page authority is only 15.
It’s ok, you can easily improve that! these are just guidelines to follow.
When you find a suitable domain you need to check the back link profile to see if it has genuine, relevant backlinks, and nothing spammy going on!
I use Ahrefs and here are the things I look for:
– Number of links
– Number of referring domains
– Anchor links
Where to find expired domains
There are some good free sources to finding expired domains and my favourites are:
This is the best place to start:
Head over to ExpiredDomains.net and sign up as a free user.
Now type in your niche or relevant keyword into the search box:
For this example I’ll use the muscle building niche:
Ok, I typed the word ‘muscle’ into the search box, and I was shown 8,040 domains!!
We now want to narrow this down a bit, so click on ‘show filter’
Now select – ‘no fake PR’s’
Select minimum back links 10+
Now click on ‘Adwords & SEO filter’
Select ‘min MOZ domain Authority’ 10
Select ‘min MOZ page authority’ 10
(It doesn’t give us the option to select 15, therefore I prefer to select 10 rather than 20)
Now click ‘Apply Filter’
This has now narrowed it down to 172 domains!
Already I can see some decent domains, starting with the first on the list. 3daymusclebuilding.com. Currently on $10.
f there is a price (in green) next to the domain, then this means it’s a Godaddy auction and you can bid on that domain.
If it says ‘register’, then you can simply register that domain right now and pay just the small registrar fee!
These are the 2 types we are going to focus on.
Check the metrics and backlinks
Look through some of the domains that are either free to register or are in your price range.
Highlight the domain and copy it.
You will now need these 3 sites open in separate tabs:
1) Check opensite explorer
Paste the domain and click ‘search’
As you can see, this domain has a DA 14 and PA 28, which is ok for us!!
It’s all showing that it has established backlinks, which is also what we are looking for.
2) Check the backlink profile
I personally use Ahrefs because I think they are the best. You can actually do this on MOZ opensightexplorer.
Paste the domain and click search:
Ahrefs is indicating that this domain has 176 backlinks from 6 reffering domains.
I would like to see more reffering domains, but at least it does have some.
Now click on ‘Anchors’
Just check to see that the anchors match the niche, and that there aren’t any spammy anchors such as adult or other spammy links.
Although this domain does not have many, it looks clean!!
3) Check the history of the domain
Go to http://archive.org/web/ and paste the domain and click ‘Browse History’
This will bring up a calendar. Now click one of the dates highlighted in blue. This will show you what the site looked like on that date.
In this example I clicked on August 7th, and it brought up a very good looking site on building muscle, which is exactly what were hoping for, and it proves that this site was used for that purpose!
You can go back and check other dates if you like.
Just make sure the domain has not been used a number of different times with completely different sites on there.
4) Check the PR is real
Enter the domain and click ‘Check PR’
Blog Networks will die out! Be smart, Be relevant!
We’ve all seen ads promoting high pr blog network links. Maybe something like…. ’50 pr2-6 private blog network links for $199′
’30 pr5 links for $85 a month!’
Problem is, although having 50 pr 2-6 backlinks sounds good, they are a waste of time because pretty much none of them will be relevant to your niche!
Not only that, but the sites from which they will come from will also be linking out to hundreds of other completely random sites.
Now this does not look good does it?
Google will be able to detect this sooner or later.
I would much prefer to have 5 highly relevant backlinks than 50 backlinks from random, none relevant sites!
Not only that, but if you purchase these link packages, there is a chance that the blog network will get shut down by Google, and you will be left with no links at all!!
So put a bit more time and effort in and build your own mini network that you can be certain is relevant and will not come under Googles radar! Or drop me an email if you would like to use some of my personal pbn sites!
Protect yourself, Don’t leave a footprint
When building your mini blog network with expired domains, it’s important that you don’t leave a footprint. If you stay 1 step ahead then your network will be completely safe!
Here are some things you can do to ensure that you don’t leave a footprint:
– Use different hosts. There are some cheap hosting accounts:
There are tons of them!
– Don’t use SEOHost or SEOhosting as there is a good chance that Google monitors IP addresses from these host! Best to be on the safe side.
– Use a VPN when buying and setting up the new sites. I personally use HMA VPN which changes my IP address when Im working on Blog network sites
Make all of your sites different:
– Use different themes
– Use different usernames
– Don’t use exactly the same plugins on every site
– Use different images and videos
– Add a unique about page to each site
– NEVER interlink your sites
– Use different anchor text when linking back to your money site
– Interlink articles on the same site
– Vary the length of your posts
– Link out to other authority sites in your niche
– Add some form of monetization to some of your sites! Make it look real
– Basically, Just mix everything up as much as possible
Relevance, build a niche specific network!
Forget big blog networks and monthly packages! just forget them! If you want to get ahead in this game then build yourself a mini blog network for each niche that you are in.
For example, Im in the SEO niche, so I start out with a mini network that looks like this:
Expired Domain 1
Expired Domain 2
Expired Domain 3
Expired Domain 4
Expired Domain 5
web 2.0 (1)
Web 2.0 (2)
Web 2.0 (3)
Web 2.0 (3)
Web 2.9 (4)
Web 2.9 (5)
All 5 expired domains were sites originally based around SEO, internet marketing, blogging etc, they all have a decent backlink profile relevant to my niche!
The 5 Web 2.0’s are all SEO based blogs that I have created.
That’s 10 highly relevant authority blogs linking to my money site. This will boost my own DA and PA and also shoot me up the rankings!
Finding expired domains requires a bit of work, but the rewards are great. If you follow my advice you can pick up some really good domains for next to nothing.
Remember to focus on your niche and build a mini blog network around that!
This is a really powerful method to boosting your rankings. I have been purchasing domains for a few years. If you are looking for some niche specific blog network links, just drop me an email and I maybe able to help you out!