Going into the expired domain names business can be very rewarding if you know what you’re doing. Most people purchase expired domains as a quick way to make money from them while a few just want to get hold of a particular domain. Here we’ll be talking about how to get the most of expired domains.
How long after a domain expires do you have to wait until you can purchase it?
There are hundreds and hundreds of domains which get expired everyday because they are not renewed by their owners. However I’ll be concentrating my efforts on the .uk domains here. After a domain expires, there’s a 30 day grace period where the owner can still renew the domain. If the domain is not renewed, it goes into a 60 day suspension period where the name servers do not resolve. After that, there’s an additional 2-9 days before the domain becomes available again. So basically, you’re looking at 92-99 days before you can grab an expired .uk domain name.
Why would you choose an expired domain name over another?
There are two essential things to take into consideration when buying a domain that has expired. First is the Google PageRank (PR) and second is the traffic that it receives. There are ways for you to get a glimpse of the traffic for a particular domain like hitwise.co.uk but unless you keep all of the website’s content, the traffic will soon vanish. The problem with reconstructing the same content is that you will end up infringing intellectual property rights. That being said, traffic can also come in terms of referrals from other websites. For example, if there’s a link to that expired domain on a popular website, then you can get a lot of traffic from that.
Most people find it easier to work with PageRank though. The higher the PR of the expired domain, the better it will be for you because we will be able to sell links on that domain at a much higher price and that’s what a lot of link sellers do, ie, grab expired domains, and sell links on them. Link buyers will look at the PR and think there’re getting a really good deal when it’s not really.
If you can see the PR of the expired domain just before it expired, you can make your own decision on whether to get it or not. However PR is just a reflection of the quantity and quality of backlinks. So if the important backlinks are removed, the PR of the website will decrease as well. The best way to know if an expired domain is really worth buying is going to Yahoo Site Explorer and looking at the backlinks. Go to the webpages where the link is placed and check the corresponding PR of the webpage, if it has a high PR, then it’s good. Also check how far down the bottom the backlink is placed. The higher up the webpage, the better the backlink and the fewer the number of outgoing links, the greater link juice you will get.
Backlinks from .ac.uk or .org.uk or gov.uk websites are likely to have a higher PR than others. However sometimes sites with other extensions have high PR as well and that’s why you will need to check them all to make sure you’re not missing out. Somestimes you’ll get a decent backlink from bbc.co.uk and other newspaper as well.
How to maintain the PR of an expired domain?
Once you’ve got a expired domain with a decent number of backlinks, you can pretty much guess what PR it will get during the next PageRank update. This will depend on the quantity and quality of the backlinks. However there are some steps that you will need to take to ensure that the PR is not reset for that domain. Some people just buy the expired domain and throw in content which is completely different to what was on that domain before and then wonder why the PR has been reset to zero and become N/A (not applicable). If you want to preserve the PR, you will need to have a similar theme to what was there before. Go to archive.org and look at the website when it was live. Make sure you write content similar to what was there before and try to keep the title tag of the homepage as closely as it was before. It is important that you do not just copy the same exact text from archive.org as this would be infringing copyrights. And do not attempt to ressurect the website by reconstructing the website from archive.org’s copy.
How to get revenue from your expired domain?
You can get a decent income from buying an expired domain by selling blogroll (sitewide links), blog posts with links to sponsor sites or placing banners on it. You can also put relavant ads by using Adsense, in-text advertising like Kontera/Infolinks or Adsense for Domain. You will find a lot of interest on forums.digitalpoint.com Link Sales section and most people will prefer to pay through Paypal.
Expired domains and SEO
Many seo professionals will say that it is useless to buy expired domains but that’s not entirely true. For a Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) point of view, the domain will lose its authority once it is dropped. That is why it is better to transfer ownership before a domain get dropped if you still want it to rank for its search terms afterwards. In the case of expired domains, what I’ve seen is that you will still get traffic from referring sites where your backlinks are placed and some organic search as well if you keep the same theme. You will need to check the raw log file access and see which deep pages are being requested from referring sites and try to ressurect these ones to preserve the pagerank and possibly get organic search traffic from it as well.
It is more difficult to make an expired domain rank for its search terms as it was before but you could try link building for the site and keeping the same content. And if you just want to make quick cash from it, then all you need is a high PR and some naive link buyers who do not take the time to research the domain onto which they’re buying links to see if it has been dropped before.