how to utilize expired domains

How To Utilize Expired Domains

If you’ve been thinking about buying a domain name, then you’ve probably come across expired domains.

Expired domains differ from a fresh domain in that someone else has owned the domain name before you. In other words, you can receive it after the domain expires. Depending on who the owner was this can either be advantageous or disadvantageous.

Whether you’re looking to get a head start in the SEO game, or you found the perfect domain name that you want to build your own site on, you’ll find some value in expired domains.

Below you’ll learn what an expired domain name actually is, as well as the various ways you can use them.

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Why Are Expired Domains Valuable?

Expired domains aren’t inherently valuable in themselves. But, they become valuable when:

  1. They have a quality link profile,
  2. They aren’t spammy, and
  3. They have some level of relevance to your existing site or new project.

The biggest challenge you’ll face when looking for expired domains is finding one that meets all three criteria above.

For example, if you find a relevant expired domain with a strong link profile, but it’s been used for spam purposes, then using this domain will only hold you back.

However, if you’re absolutely in love with the domain name and are looking to build a new brand from scratch, you might be okay with purchasing an expired domain that doesn’t have a strong link profile,

We offer more information on how to do proper due diligence on an expired domain in the final section of this post.


The Best Ways to Utilize Expired Domains

Buying expired domains is typically used for SEO purposes, but they can also be used to create a brand new website.

Keep reading to learn the four most common ways people use expired domain names:


1. Start Your Own Website

If you’re building your own site with the goal of ranking it in the search engines, then you’re probably familiar with, or have a least heard of, the Google Sandbox. Essentially, this is a period of time where Google won’t rank your site until you have enough authority and trust built up.

But, you can skip this process by building your new site on a domain name that already has trust and authority through search engine traffic.

This method isn’t perfect, or guaranteed, but it’s usually pretty effective in helping you avoid the sandbox.


2. Redirect an Expired Domain to Your Site

If you’ve found a relevant, high-quality domain, then you can actually redirect this domain to your site. This has the benefit of boosting the authority of your site, so it’ll be easier for you to rank in the search engines.

The crux of this strategy relies upon the type of redirect you employ, namely a 301 redirect, and the link profile of your site’s you’re redirecting.

If you’re looking to boost your SEO efforts this can be an effective way to do it.


3. Buy the Domain to Source Links

Have you found an expired domain that’s relevant to your existing site? If so, you can purchase the domain and use that domain to source links from.

Of course, this is only useful if the expired domain has a strong link profile.

With this approach you’ll reach out to the webmasters of every site where the expired site is linked. Let them know they’re linking to an expired resource, and see if they’d be willing to link to your site instead.

Not everyone will say yes, but you should be able to pick up a handful of quality links.


4. Flip the Domain

Domain flipping is the process of buying a domain name and flipping it for a profit. You can either buy and flip plain domain names, or entire websites.

The crux of this strategy relies upon finding a domain or site that isn’t reaching it’s potential.

Let’s say a domain hunter finds an expired website that’s getting traffic, but isn’t being monetized fully, you can buy it, improve it, and sell it again.

You can also buy domain names, because they have good branding potential. For example, sites like Brand Bucket have a ton of quality domain names that sell at high fees due to their branding potential. Typically, domains like these are catchy, short, and simple, and can be effectively used by startups and new businesses.


5. Build a PBN (Private Blog Network)

Private blog networks still remain popular in the SEO world. We are not endorsing creating your own PBN, as it’s a pretty risky method to rank your site, but it’s still a common practice.

Essentially, the process of building a PBN is where you purchase expired domains that have decent authority. Then, you create content for these sites and link to your main site with a link that you control.

Typically, you’ll have a network of these sites, which you host on different accounts, while hiding that you’re the owner of the domain. Starting to understand why this is risky?


Where Can I Find Expired Domains?

There are a number of resources that’ll help you track, find, and purchase expired domains.

Some of the most common sites include:

If you’ve found a domain name you’d like to purchase make sure you do your due diligence. You’d hate to purchase a domain name only to find out that it has a shady past and can’t be used for your future projects.

  1. Run the site through to see what it used to look like.
  2. Run it through a tool like Majestic to see the domain’s authority and trust.

Keep in mind that if something looks too good to be true, then it probably is. You want to buy an expired domain that used to be a tangible website, not one that was used for a PBN, or something else.


Do Expired Domains Make Sense For Your Site?

Hopefully, you have a better idea of the different ways you can use an expired domain name. The most common approaches are to build your own relevant site, or for use within an SEO campaign. Share your experiences below or browse HostGator’s affordable web hosting packages. 

Kevin Wood writes about technology and human potential. You can find him at his virtual homes Wooden Writing and Counter Culturist.