As a website- or web shop owner you have undoubtedly heard of purchasing expired domain names. Therefore, the following question often arises: why on earth would I buy a domain name that someone else has cancelled or neglected to renew? It seems like a completely counterintuitive decision. So, why do so many successful domain owners do it, millions at a time, day after day? The answer might surprise you. Little do many people know, but expired domains have GREAT advantages for website owners. In this article you will learn exactly why you should buy expired domains, how domain authority is determined and what you can do with them. As a bonus; we will end with a number of do’s and don’ts when buying expired domain names with authority.
What is an expired domain name?
First of all, let’s start you off with the basics. A domain name is the address of your website i.e.: ‘CatchTiger.com’. This is the location where all your visitors and clients go, to visit your website or to browse your web shop. These domains can be registered and bought online and require timely payments to continue running. This means that sometimes certain individuals, for whatever reason drives them, cancel their domain names. This in turn gives them (and us) an expiration date of said domain and on that date; we will be able to catch it as quick as a tiger!
Why purchase a domain someone else cancelled?
The first thing that pops into people’s minds when being offered an expired domain is: “Why would I buy this domain, if someone else has cancelled it?”. Well this is where it gets a little bit more complicated. Everybody has their own reasons to cancel their domain. Sometimes a domain name owner has gone bankrupt and is forced to liquidize all of his/her assets, including the domains in their name. Another occurrence may be that the domain owner is changing professions and has no more use for the domain name or may have never used it at all. In some cases, the owner simply forgets to renew their domain name so it becomes available without their knowledge. However, the reason as to why a domain name is cancelled is not important for you. The only thing you have to worry about is whether or not a domain name would be a valuable asset for your business and if it is in an affordable price range. The rest; you can leave to us.
Expired domains are worth so much more than most people think. Even some domain owners have no clue about the gold they have in their hands. There are many classic “diamond in the rough” situations going on; the only problem is that most people have no clue that the piece of coal they bought can be turned into a diamond. You might have heard the success stories (or horror stories depending on the way you look at it) of people buying an expired domain name for a small price and selling it for a fortune. So, before we can explain why you should buy an expired domain; you have to understand what makes them valuable. Because once you know what makes an expired domain name valuable, you will be able to pick out the true diamonds in the rough. For a truly bizarre tale about one of those VERY lucky domain purchasers, keep reading to the end of this article and find out about the man who once bought Google.com for a price so ridiculous you wouldn’t believe it.
Valuation of domain names
The value of a domain name is partly determined by its authority (‘domain authority’). Domain authority (DA) is determined by the number of backlinks referring to a certain domain combined with the authority of those backlinks. A higher domain authority could mean better search results, thus increasing the “worth” of a domain. One must remember that domain authority is not the only thing that determines whether or not your domain will be high up in the search results. A good SEO campaign is what really get you up there. However, purchasing expired domains with traffic is a great start to pump your SEO strategy to the desired size. There are several points a domain name can score on that determine its authority. We will highlight the most important aspects that make a domain name more valuable so you will be able to pick the perfect domain.
MOZ is a company that specializes in determining domain authority and page authority. They take all the things into account that we are about to mention. If you are solely interested in the best ranking, you should take the MOZ rank in consideration. For the real internet detectives among us; they have also developed a very effective browser extension called “MOZbar”. This extension gives you the ability to see the page rank and domain rank of every website, page and Google result you access with your device. By using the extension, you will get a sense of what makes a valuable domain and/or page. It is especially useful for those whom are looking to improve their SEO and online marketing strategies. However, the highest MOZ ranking domain might not be the best domain for you. That’s why we will explain to you what MOZ rank is based on, below.
Majestic SEO metrics
Majestic is a company that specializes in analysing everything that has anything to do with links. They have the largest database of link information that is accessible by public entities. Therefore, just like MOZ; they have their own special ranking system because they are simply the best at what they do. Their score is based on Citation flow (CF), Trust Flow (TF), Backlinks and Referring Domains (RD). These indicators are the backbone of what divides the garbage from the great when looking for domains. If you study these terms correctly; you will not only be able to tell good domain names apart from the bad ones; you might even be able to improve your own domains as well. It’s all about understanding how search engines think, that’s right; not work, but THINK! Knowing these indicators will help you become a successful domain name owner. So, what do they entail?
The true meaning of citation flow is often misinterpreted. Citation flow actually means: the basic number of links referring to a certain domain. This means that CF solely depends on quantity, not quality. You might think: the more links; the higher the authority. But this is only partially true. A high number of links referring to your domain might not always be ideal since search engines also look whether or not the domains those links come from are any good. In the very early mud pool of SEO it was possible to just bomb your website with domains from s much garbage domains as possible and score the number one position on any search engine. Unfortunately, Google and other search engines have gotten a lot smarter and truly UNDERSTAND when a domain is really worth something.
Trust flow is based on the number of links referring to your domain emerging from trusted seeded domains. In other words; a link coming from ‘Times.com’ is worth A LOT more than a link coming from your annoying neighbour’s website dedicated to her obese cat. Majestic doesn’t literally release their list of domains with the highest trust flow. However, the Majestic Million list will get you started. Getting a link from these websites will increase your trust flow more than any other.
A backlink is simply the physical link referring to your domain on other websites. They are worth a lot or absolutely nothing depending on the TF and CF of the link. Therefore, it’s quite an important goal to collect as many “valuable” backlinks as possible. Keep in mind that when you are collecting backlinks from websites that have bad ranking; you will not only reduce the value of your own domain but might also be punished by search engines. Therefore, make sure you read this entire article before you do anything that will make Google spank you. If you’re into that kind of thing, well hey, we don’t judge! Backlinking can be categorized in three different ways (i.e. SEO techniques): White hat, grey hat and black hat SEO techniques. As the names might suggest, there are normal "light" techniques but also, "darker" techniques. To learn everything about the definition of these terms and how to apply them; read our article: Backlinking: what colour should your hat be? [white, grey and black hat SEO].
Referring domains are the location from which a link is coming. It basically means the domain a person “uses” to get to your website. For instance; when you type your company name into Google, your website comes up and you click on the result. Google is the referring domain. If you search for it on Bing, this means that Bing is the referring domain. However, everyone knows that using Bing is about as cool as using Internet Explorer. Therefore, Google will probably be your best bet when it comes to referring domains. Unless if you browse with Bing on Internet Explorer, in that case we wish you good luck on your 21-day journey searching for a cookie recipe. A referring domain doesn’t only come from search engines. When any website whatsoever refers to your domain; the search engines also consider them as a referring domain. Therefore, always keep a look out for shady websites that are referring to your domain.
The ‘Archive’ is a website on which you can check the history of a domain. This website awards domains with a certain score avidly called: “Archive score” (I know, about as creative as a stale potato, right?) A domain name with a high archive score has been indexed multiple times. The handy calendar gives you the opportunity to see a screenshot of the URL on any given date since that domain has been active. This in turn gives you the option to see what types of sites have occupied your domain before you will. So, if you check the domain in the archive before you purchase it on an auction; you will be able to see if there have ever been spam sites, parking pages or any other negative types of websites parked on the domain. This could lower the worth of the domain. You could also check if the previous owner has used the domain for malicious goals for years, but just changed the content right before selling the domain. Never forget to check your domain in the archive.
SimilarWeb is a company that has the largest consumer product based global panel of information on which they base the authority of a domain. In laymen’s terms this basically means that they gather and process information from the following 4 sources:
- “Global panel data from hundreds of millions of desktop/mobile devices”
- “Global ISP (= internet service provider) data from partners with millions of subscribers”
- “Public data sources from over a billion sites and app pages every month”
- “Direct measurement Data from hundreds of thousands of sites and apps”
Based on the information gathered by SimilarWeb’s system; advice can be given about the authority of any domain name. The amazing aspect of the information gathered by SimilarWeb is the vast amount and great detail of usage statistics it entails. There is no guessing game entailed within this information; it’s actual usage data. There is nothing more valuable than the actual digital usage behavioural data. In other words; to know what your potential users are doing. Another valuable asset SimilarWeb’s information entails is the fact that it is collected from the largest user databases in the world. For instance, the clientele-usage information of Ebay, WallMart, Amazon and many more huge information gatherers out there. In this age where information is about as valuable as any Kardashian’s sex tape; players like Ebay and Amazon are among the richest out there. So, gathering their usage information is extremely helpful to determine domain authority. Moreover, SimilarWeb Metrics will allow you to make a fairly accurate estimation about the traffic and history of a domain.
Another great advantage of us using this information is that there are never any errors. Normally, statistics like this are present in abundance, however sadly, the information overload will make everything impossible to oversee. The extensive teams and sophisticated systems over at SimilarWeb order all the information they gather. This means there will never be any junk-info, everything is structured extremely accessibly and you are never looking at sole raw data. In other words, all the raw data is sorted, processed and ordered in just the way we like it. This in turn gives us the opportunity to make optimal use off all the usage and behavioural information SimilarWeb can get their hands on.
This one is quite self-explanatory. The age of a domain says a lot about its authority. Basically, the older the domain; the higher the chance of gaining higher authority. This is because the domain in question has been indexed at the search engines for a long time. Therefore, the search engines are aware of their existence and already have a pretty good idea what they are about and what kind of traffic they receive. Furthermore, an older domain name also has a higher chance of having a large number of backlinks. This is due to the fact that older domain names might have been used by several -if not a many other organizations. All these owners have, most likely, been optimizing the domain name for search engines in whatever field they were using it for. Therefore, after you purchase an older expired domain; chances are, you will have many backlinks from a lot of different other domains from all over the place. And these backlinks are most likely highly ranked because the older the domain; the longer the previous owners could perfect it. Win-win.
Why do search engines think this way?
The reason why we say “think” when discussing search engines is because we should consider them as individual entities with goals for personal gain. Take Google for example. They are the most used search engine for a reason. Much like any website (possibly not unlike your own) their main priority is to ensure their users of the best experience ever. This entails the absolute perfection of their search results. Because if a user searches for something on their search engine, they must ensure that the user actually finds said thing. In other words, to keep their customers happy; search engines must present their users with personalized, correct and quick results. Search engines are companies with clients who make use of their service. If the clients are not satisfied, they will leave. The search engines do everything in their power to maximize user experience. Therefore, you must "show" the search engines why you are the right result when someone searches for particular keywords. The search engines need to know as much information about your domain as possible. By assessing all the things that give a domain authority, the search engines determine whether or not it will be the very best result for the user.
Why You should buy an expired domain with authority and what you can do with it.
Now that you know exactly what makes a domain name valuable; you probably understand how you can use them in your advantage. An expired domain name with authority will be one of your greatest weapons in your SEO toolbox. After purchasing an expired domain name with authority, backlinks and traffic you can fill it with relevant content and include some links to your main website. Et voila! You now increased the Domain authority of your own main website and therefore improved its ranking by the best way possible (in the eyes of search engines). As we explained above; search engines need to know exactly why your own domain name is the best result for their users. As you now know; raising the authority of your domain does the trick (in addition to your usual SEO routines).
The more expired domain names with authority you purchase, fill with relevant content and backlink to your website; the higher your ranking in search engines becomes. Another nice little perk that for instance comes with expired domains with traffic; is that you can include ads. This means that you will not only increase the ranking of your own website with an expired domain with traffic; but also make money with advertisements placed on that domain. You should see it as if you are a shop owner and a search engine like Google walks into your store. Google wants to buy your entire business for all the money in the world. However, within a minute, you have to pitch your product to Google. Do it wrong, and Google walks over to your neighbour, who sells the same product. After you tell Google exactly what you do, he registers it. However, you haven't made the sale yet because you can't pitch any part of your product without facts and proof. All the expired domains with authority you purchase are like satisfied customers yelling to Google why you are the best vendor in the world and why YOUR product is perfect. The expired domains with authority referring to your own domain are the nudges that pushes Google into your store instead of your neighbour's.
Private Blog Network
If you really want to score within search engine rank with your website or web shop, you can start building a private blog network. However, when doing so you should TREAD LIGHTLY. This is a typical example of ‘high risk- high reward’; if you do it right you will be scoring higher than ever before. But if you fail; search engines like Google could punish you. And you must never cross paths with search engines in a negative fashion. These guys make the rules when it comes to SEO and online marketing. If you get in their bad taste, you are royally screwed. They have the power to vanish you from the entire grid we call the interwebs. So, always be careful when performing gray-hat SEO.
A Private Blog Network (PBN) is basically a collection of blogs built on purchased expired domains with traffic. These high-ranking blogs then link to one another and to your website. The huge mistake people make however, is creating phony blogs. Google will find this out quicker than you can imagine and when they do; you are in big trouble. So how can you successfully build a Private Blog Network without getting punished by Google, moreover; while gaining ranking?
PBN for winners
The only way you can build a successful private blog network is by putting your back into it. Dedication is all it takes. Don’t create fake blogs; but actually, invest some time in it and update them regularly. If you do this; there is even a large chance that the ranking of your newly bought expired domains with authority will rise and keep rising! So, if you choose to build a PBN, make sure you write actual blogs that are relevant to the domain and traffic in question. Just think about it; you are now creating very valuable products. You're not only generating traffic on your well-written blogs, but all the subdomains that you are using to improve your own site's authority are improving too. This creates a sort of repeating cycle where your domains are improving each other. If you follow those steps; your website will be at the top of every search result in no-time. Some other smart things to keep in mind is when you build a PBN, try to spread out your domains over different IP adreses and hosting companies. Even using the same WordPress website theme for different pages could result in Google punishing you. To learn more about linkbuilding with expired domains and what not to do; read our article: "How to: SEO-linkbuilding with expired domains".
Bonus: do’s and don’ts of buying expired domains with authority
Do: Check the topical trust flow
A great way to find out if your expired domain connects to the topic of your main domain (of which you want to increase the ranking) is to check the topical trust flow. No, not "tropical" but topical trust flow. Topical trust flow is the level of authority a certain domain has within a particular niche. This means that topical trust flow checks if the content of a domain is within the same realm of a particular "topic". Purchasing a domain about cars will not be very helpful in your ranking strategy for a website about shoes. Majestic SEO gives a broad overview of the topical trust flow per topic. Simply said, they tell you in a very visual way; how "good" your domain "scores" in certain topics. In this example on topical trust flow, you can see how easily Majestic SEO visualizes their research for you. This will make choosing your expired domains based on topical trust flow considerably easy.
Don’t: Forget to renew your domain name
Your domain name has an expiration date which you have to extend after a while. This is no rocket science, but it might slip your mind when you own multiple domains. A great story about this occurred in 2015 when a man by the name of Sunmay Ved (a former Google employee) was able to buy the Google.com domain for $12.- after he found out that they forgot to renew it. Google wanted to reward him with an undisclosed amount of money after he brought this issue up to them. Ved then told Google he wanted to give all the money to charity; at which point Google immediately doubled the reward amount. Luckily Google is powerful enough to get their domain back; but once yours expires, it might be impossible to recover.
Do: Include keywords in your domains
When purchasing an expired domain name with backlinks, authority and traffic; your best course of action is to also look for ones with keywords in its name. Keywords are terms people search for in search engines; relevant keywords are always powerful to improve your traffic. For instance, if you sell shoes and you have a corresponding website or web shop. In cases like this, it would be a good idea to find domains with the words "shoes" or "trainers" etc. in them. It's very likely that these domains used to belong to shoe brands and/or sellers. By purchasing those types of expired domains with authority and backlinking to your own website; you're basically showing the search engines that your domain has something to do with shoes. Relevant keywords are the "key" to teaching search engines what your website is all about. This will make your domain more relevant once people search for those specific keywords.
Don’t: forget to check the content of the bought domain
It might surprise you how many people neglect to check what kind of content is shown on the domain they just bought. Most of the time, the pages will just be empty due to a lack of hosting. However, through a loophole it might occur that a page still shows some sort of content. Now, if this content is irrelevant that’s bad. But imagine if there is something offensive on there; you wouldn’t want a site like that linking to yours, now would you? If you really want the best result; start adding relevant content on the domains you have bought and make sure you update them regularly. If you’d rather have the offensive content, go ahead, there is a market for everything.
Do: only 301 redirect when you HAVE to
When you purchase an expired domain with backlinks; you can simply 301-redirect this domain to your own website when you don’t want to go through the process of going through all the links on the domain. Although you should fish out the strangely named domains linked to yours firstly. Sometimes there will be an accidental backlink floating around that is called something in the sense of: https://www.therapistfinder.com. If you find links with domains that look like this; it might be a good idea to check them out. You see, when first looking at this domain you might think it would be something ENTIRELY different than a website to find a therapist. I will let you figure this one out by yourself. You should remember that this is only effective for a VERY short term. 301 redirected websites will decrease in ranking extremely quickly. So try to avoid this as much as possible and put effort into building good content for the domain combined with generating powerful backlinks.
Don’t: Forget to check the PA/DA
After reading this article you will probably know what to check before purchasing an expired domain with traffic. However, you might not know where to check it. The CatchTiger domain auctions on our website give a great overview of expired domain names. Here, every available domain name is accompanied by all the information you need to choose one. All the criteria of domain and page authority (and much, much more) is shown for each domain. All these shown criteria will make it possible for you to limit your search to certain key pointers that are important to you. For instance, if you are looking for a domain with the highest PA, our system can sort out the ones that have the highest PA. Or you could combine search criteria. For instance, look for the cheapest domain name, with the highest DA. All the tools you need are in our hands and you can use them for free!
For the best auctions on expired domain names with authority, traffic and backlinks; visit CatchTiger.com and create a free account to start bidding today!