Most of the bloggers prefer old domains over new domains for their niche blogs. They do this because of the fact that old domains have inherent domain authority, backlinks, and can rank well.
Even some of them buy it for branding purposes.
This is perfectly fine.
However, before buying any expired domain, you must consider some things, that I explain in this post.
Because, you likely are investing huge amount of money buying expired domains.
In this guide, you'll learn
- 1 Keep these following things in mind
- 2 Final words
Keep these following things in mind
1. Determine whether the expired domain had spam
This is the first thing you need to do when you are opting for expired domains for SEO or branding benefit.
If the expired domain was used for spam purposes by the previous webmaster, then there are huge chances that you will get affected from it.
The question is, how can you determine the content that was on an expired domain?
That’s where Wayback Machine comes into play.
Just head over to it.
Now here, search for the expired domain you are looking to buy.
Chances are there, Wayback machine has recorded the snapshots of the pages that were earlier on the domain. By seeing the content, you can determine whether the content was spam or not.
Another signal that determines whether the expired domain was used for spamming or not is by checking the historic backlink profile.
That’s where Majestic SEO comes to play.
When you head over to it, you’ll get two options – fresh index and historic index.
Enter your expired domain URL, select historic index and hit enter. You’ll get all the old backlinks that were pointing to the domain.
Just by analyzing the backlinks, you can determine whether they are spam or not.
You can also check all the existing backlinks using Ahrefs. The tool that has the biggest database of backlinks across the web. It is a must do as some of the backlinks may be missed out while checking in any other tool.
If the domain has a couple of spammy backlinks, it may not be a big issue to disavow them after acquiring them a domain name. But, if there are hundreds and tons of spammy backlinks, the domain name would be not recommended.
If you are going for expired domain, then it may be due to the brand name or the SEO benefit it carries.
For example, my domain BloggingX is en expired domain when I bought it and I bought it solely for building brand around it. I didn’t consider SEO while buying it.
If you are buying a domain for SEO benefit, you need to make sure that the domain you purchase has D.A of at least 20+ and is topically relevant to the niche you’re looking forward.
You can check the domain authority of any domain by simply using Open Site Explorer.
The tool will return the domain authority and as well as the page authority of the entered domain name.
4. Check Google AdSense ban
Google bans AdSense on the domains that do not comply with their terms and conditions. Chances are there, you may be trying to go for an expired domain that is banned by Google for displaying AdSense ads.
I recommend you check for AdSense ban, even if you are starting an affiliate site as things may pivot on your end in the future. Or you may consider monetizing your blog with AdSense too in the future.
There is a tool called AdSense Sandbox. It displays the ads for the site when you enter the URL. Just enter the URL of the expired domain you are willing to buy. If the ads do not pop up for the URL, then there it’s banned by AdSense.
This is the most neglected part by bloggers. If you rely mostly on advertising revenue, checking the AdSense ban is a must for a blog.
5. Check Trust Flow and Citation Flow
This is the greatest way to determine the quality of the existing backlinks to the domain.
I have a separate post regarding the topic. You can check it out – Citation Flow and Trust Flow: Everything You Should Know.
You can check out the scores at Majestic SEO. The trust flow should be at least 25% of the citation flow of the domain. If the trust flow is way too low, chances of spam backlinks are more.
If you are in a dilemma to choose among multiple expired domains, choose the one that has relatively high trust flow when compared to its citation flow.
If the trust flow is more, it means that the backlink profile of the domain is mainly comprised of high quality links.
6. Check Facebook ban
You need to also check whether an expired domain is banned from Facebook due to spamming.
BloggingX was banned from Facebook before I acquired it. The previous domain owner did some spamming on Facebook with the domain name.
Once I acquired the domain name, I created a very professional homepage and published few blog posts. Now, I tried to run FB ads for my site and ads were dispproved.
I reached out the Facebook business chat and explained them about the issue and my newly acquired domain name was unbanned from Facebook within 30 minutes.
But still, even though I knew Facebook has banned my domain on their domain, I betted and bought it for a premium price.
7. Verify if it has any manual penalty
If you have used Google webmaster tools, you may have noticed the section where you’ll be notified if there’s any manual penalty on your site.
Whenever you acquire new expired domain, just verify it that you own it in Google webmaster tools and wait for say 5 days.
If no manual penalties come up in webmaster tools, you are safe. If the site is blacklisted as spam by Google, there will be manual penalty.
Then, you need to submit reconsideration request to Google on the subject – “Newly acquired domain”.
If you are building a long-term authority site that will be your online home, I advise you go for a domain name that’s brandable.
If you manage to get an expired domain name that’s both brandable and carries SEO-benefit, you’ve hit a jackpot.
If you sacrifice the brand aspect by chasing behind SEO, you may regret it later.
Hope this post discussed all the issues you need to consider before buying expired domains.