Link Building with Expired Domain Names: The Only Guide You Need
An expired link could be the missing piece of your link-building puzzle. Imagine purchasing a domain name that already has an impressive backlink profile. In just a few clicks, you get to access hundreds of high-quality inbound links that would have otherwise taken you months or even years to build.
Here’s what you can do with expired domain names:
- Build authority to catapult your rankings past your competition.
- Build out a powerful private blog network.
- Resell them for a profit (you can learn more about domain flipping in this guide).
Link building with expired domains is an often-overlooked strategy that could mean the difference between your website ranking on the first page of Google or buried somewhere in obscurity.
Seasoned SEOs are already privy to the power of expired domains. Now, it’s your turn to join the ranks and introduce this technique into your link-building repertoire.
But before you get started, there are a few things you may need to understand about expired domain names and what makes them such an attractive addition to any SEO campaign.
What’s an Expired Domain?
Simply put, an expired domain is a web address that was previously registered but hasn’t been renewed by its owner and is now available to be re-registered. Anyone can snap up an expired domain if they know where to look and how to vet them properly.
A domain name can expire for various reasons. It could be that the domain owner simply forgot to renew it, or the person might have changed their mind about using it. Another plausible explanation could be that the business closed, and the owners let the domain expire.
Whatever the reason, expired domains come with a wide range of potential advantages, such as:
- High levels of authority can lead to higher rankings.
- Links from the previous owner, including backlinks and social media profiles.
- A proven history of traffic that can be harnessed for your own advantage.
- An established domain name that looks professional and trustworthy
What Are Expired Domains Good For?
Let’s forget about domain flipping and focus on what expired domains can do for your SEO. As we’ve already established, they come with plenty of perks that could significantly help improve your website’s online visibility.
- Boosting Domain Authority – A high-authority domain looks more reliable to search engine crawlers and has a better chance of ranking in SERPs.
- Building a Private Blog Network – You can use expired domains to create a network of PBNs that link back to your main website.
- 301 Redirects – You can use an expired domain to forward traffic from older campaigns or pages that have been decommissioned. Redirect the domain name to your website to forward some of the traffic these sites used to get to your site.
Of course, we’ll show you the easiest way to find the best-expired domains for your needs, but before we do that, we’d like to help you understand what you can do with these domain names.
Method #1: Building Authority Sites
A brand new domain name means building your domain authority from scratch. But when you use an expired domain name, you inherit the authority it’s built up over time.
Here’s a real-time example of an expired domain and the amount of authority it’s built up since 2015.
The domain (listbass.com) already has a DA score of 8. That’s not too shabby for a domain you can purchase today and start building from. It’s a huge head start, and when you combine it with high-quality content, you can easily rank your site in the top 10 results.
Now imagine if you could find domains with a DA score of 20, 30, or even higher.
It’s not impossible, and luckily for you, that’s what we’ll teach you in this guide.
Method #2: Creating a Private Blog Network (PBN)
In essence, you’re to use the expired domains to build a fleet of high-quality, relevant websites that you can use to link back to your main website.
An expired domain lets you set up a fully-fledged website quickly and easily. You don’t have to worry about building your website from scratch. It’s purchasing someone’s website, overhauling it, and building relevant content on it.
The main advantage of this strategy is that you can build high-quality links to your main website from websites with authority and trustworthiness.
For example, if you find a domain with a DA score of 40+, and your website has a DA score of 20, you can quickly boost your website’s authority by linking from the expired domain.
The key here is to ensure that the content you create for these websites is top-notch and relevant, so search engines will take notice and reward your efforts with higher rankings.
Just remember: never spam. The goal of a PBN isn’t to fool or mislead search engines but rather to provide users with relevant and valuable content.
Method #3: 301 Redirects
Take the domain name you bought and redirect it to your main website. It’s one of the easiest ways to use expired domain names: you don’t have to build content from scratch, and it’s a lot faster than the previous two methods we’ve discussed.
Twitter uses it with x.com, and you can too. If you remember, Elon Musk co-founded x.com, which would merge with Confinity’s PayPal.
Elon Musk has retained the name ever since, and after purchasing Twitter, Musk directed x.com to redirect to Twitter’s homepage. That’s an excellent example of how you can also use an expired domain.
I don’t recommend this as a link-building strategy. You can use it for one or two domains but don’t make it a habit to redirect every expired link that comes your way.
How to Value Expired Domain Names
Not all expired domain names are valuable. While some domains have a rich history and can help boost your website’s authority, others are nothing more than a jumble of letters.
Even worse, some expired domains have been used for malicious activities, so it’s important to do your homework and research the domain you’re interested in before investing your hard-earned cash.
Here’s the thing: 95% of an expired domain’s value comes from its backlink profile. The more high-quality backlinks the domain has pointing to it, the more valuable it is. And it’s not just about the number of backlinks, but the quality and relevance of them as well.
Imagine getting a backlink that was previously linked to an authoritative website such as the BBC — now that’s valuable.
In addition, domains with a history of being used for spammy purposes should be avoided at all costs. You want to check the domain’s history before investing in it because you don’t want your website to be associated with anything negative.
Here’s a simple question you want to ask yourself:
How much would it cost me to replicate this backlink profile organically?
And not just in financial terms but in time and effort too. That is a great way to determine the value of an expired domain.
Link-building can be a costly and time-consuming undertaking.
- A reputable link-building service charges about $170 for a single high-quality, niche-relevant link.
- A single editorial link from a site like New York Times or BBC could cost between $2,000 and $5,000.
So, if you’re looking for an easier and cheaper way to build backlinks to your website, link-building with expired domains should be your go-to solution.
Here are a few factors to consider when valuing an expired domain:
- Domain Authority (DA) score: This score is calculated by Moz and will tell you how much authority a website has. The higher the DA, the more valuable the domain.
- Page Authority (PA) score: This score measures a website’s link profile strength, as calculated by Moz. The higher the PA, the more likely it is to rank better in SERPs.
- Number of backlinks: You should look for domains with many high-quality links pointing to them. You also want to review each backlink and ensure they’re not spammy or from low DA websites.
- Anchor text: You should check the anchor text of all the backlinks. Too many exact-match anchor texts are a red flag. They could be a sign of manual link building or manipulation.
- Link diversity: You should also look for domains with diverse links pointing to them. That indicates that the website has built up its authority organically over time through different types of content and link sources.
How to Find Powerful Expired Domains
Now let’s go shopping for these domains. You know what to look for, so let’s find the right ones. Here are some of the best places to buy expired domains:
Spamzilla is a cloud-based domain search platform that helps you find powerful expired domains. It has detailed metrics for each domain, including DA, PA, and number of backlinks.
- Expired Domain Spam Detection
Spamzilla has an advanced algorithm that detects and flags potentially spammy domains. That will help you identify and stay away from suspicious domains.
The tool selects the best domain name for automated spam checking.
It also analyses historic backlink data to detect any signs of manual link building.
- Backlinks Miner
Spamzilla’s Backlinks Miner allows you to analyze the top 100 backlinks for each domain.
- You can filter the results by keyword, anchor text, and link source type to ensure you get the best domain for your project.
- You can review their anchor texts, DoFollow/NoFollow, DR/UR, Outbound links, and more.
- You can click on the anchor text or the referring site to get an overview of the website. It’s a great way to ensure the backlinks you get are from trusted websites.
- Advanced Filters
Spamzilla has over 70 filters you can use to search for the perfect domain. You can filter by DA, PA, language, country, etc.
You can select an auction or an expiring or expired domain. You can also search for domains with specific TLDs, such as .net or .org.
You can also set it only to receive domain lists from your custom filters.
- Amazing SEO Tools
Spamzilla allows you to review the expired domain’s authority, power, and link quality.
It also has advanced SEO tools to help you analyze the domain’s potential.
Here are some of the amazing SEO Tools Spamzilla offers:
- Wayback Exporter: You can easily download an entire website’s archived pages.
- Private Domains: Spam check your own lists of domains,
- Domain Availability Checker: Make sure the domains you want can be purchased.
- Registrar Comparison Tool: Compare different registrars and their pricing.
- Domains Supported
350K plus expired, pending delete, auction, and closeout domains processed every day from all the major registrars.
GoDaddy, Namesilo, SnapNames, Namelet Auctions, PreRelease, DropCatch, Sedo, and more.
200K plus pending deleted and expired domain names processed daily.
60+ country code TLDs (ccTLDs) supported (.com, org, .uk, .de, & more).
Spamzilla has two plans:
- Free: You can only review 25 domains with their free plan.
- Standard: For $37 per month, you get unlimited searches plus access to all their tools.
Domain Hunter Gather
The second tool you can use to find expired domains is Domain Hunter Gather.
The tool will help you find aged/expired domain names with amazing backlink profiles and traffic.
You can use the tool to automate most of what you would normally do manually when searching for aged domains.
It’s a desktop-based software that gives you total control over the process.
You can set filters for specific domain types, keyword match patterns, and TLDs (.com, .net, etc).
It also has a powerful backlink analysis tool to help you quickly review the quality of links in the domains you find.
- Free plan: the free plan gives you access to domain auction search, limited support, and video guides. However, you won’t access Web 2.0 search, niche domains, keyword domains search, authority domain crawler, or the backlink analyzer.
- Premium Plan: $27 per month for unlimited searches and access to some of the features. However, you won’t access niche domain hunter, keyword domain hunter, or the authority domain checker.
- Professional plan: $97 monthly for unlimited searches and access to all the features. It’s the best plan if you can afford the $97/month.
Wrapping it All Up
Link building with expired domains can be a great way to quickly improve your website’s SEO performance. However, it should only be done after extensive research and careful consideration — you don’t want to end up buying a domain name that will do more harm than good.
This article equips you with all the information you need to start link-building using expired domain names. With the right approach and a bit of patience, your efforts should pay off in no time.
The question is – are you ready to take the plunge and get started?
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What’s a Dropped Domain Name?
A: Dropped domain names are expired, or domain names whose buyer didn’t renew their registration, and the domain has been made available for sale. There are plenty of reasons why someone may let their domain name expire. It could be that the company closed down, simply forgot about it, or just didn’t want to keep paying the renewal fees. Whatever the reason, these domain names can be a great source of backlinks and traffic for your own website.
Q: How do I find Expired Domains?
A: The easiest way to check if a domain name is expired is to look for them on a free WHOIS lookup tool such as Whois.net. The tool will not only tell you if the domain name is expired, but it will also show the current owner’s contact information. Another way to find expired domains is through domain registrar websites like GoDaddy or Namecheap, which offer their own tools and search filters for finding available domains.
Q: How do I determine the quality of an Expired Domain?
A: When evaluating an expired domain, you want to look at three main metrics: Domain Authority, Page Authority and Backlink Profile. These all provide valuable insight into the quality of your domain and can give you an idea of how much traffic it could generate for your website. You should also check the domain for potential risk factors, such as spam links, that could harm your website’s ranking.
Q: What is Domain Authority?
A: Domain Authority (DA) is a metric created by Moz that measures the power of a domain name. It considers various factors such as the age of the domain, its backlink profile and other metrics to calculate a score out of 100. The higher your DA score, the more powerful your domain will be in terms of search engine rankings.
Q: What is Page Authority?
A: Page Authority (PA) is a metric developed by Moz that measures the power of a web page. Like Domain Authority, it considers various factors such as the age of the page, its backlink profile and other metrics to calculate a score out of 100. The higher your PA score, the more the page will likely rank.
Q: What is a Backlink Profile?
A: A backlink profile is a collection of websites that link to yours. This collection can come from internal links within your own website or external links from other websites. An effective and high-quality backlink profile is essential for increasing your website’s visibility and improving its rankings in search engine results. You can use tools like Moz Link Explorer or Ahrefs to analyze the backlinks pointing to your domain.
Q: What Happens After a Domain Expires?
A: Once a domain expires, it will enter a grace period (usually 40 days), during which the owner can still renew the domain. If the domain is not renewed within this period, it will be deleted and made available to the public for registration again. Anyone can then register this domain and use it to build a website, create links or redirect traffic. That’s where expired domain names come into play for link building.
Q: What Happens After the Grace Period?
A: The domain will enter a redemption period after the grace period ends. During this time, the original owner can attempt to reclaim their domain by paying a fee. If they do not redeem the domain in this period, it will be permanently deleted from the registry and made available for public registration again.
The redemption period is usually around 30 days, but some registrars may have different policies.
So if you’re interested in using expired domains for link building, it’s important to act quickly once the grace period ends to ensure that someone else doesn’t snatch up the domain before you do.
Q. Why Should I Buy Expired Domains?
A: Reasons abound.
For starters, expired domains often have existing backlinks that can boost your website’s SEO. Link building can be slow and tedious, so this is a great way to get ahead quickly.
You can also use the domain names to start your own PBN (private blog network) and build numerous backlinks to your website.
Here’s one way to look at it:
Let’s say you’re in the wedding photography business, competing with other photographers in the same city. If you purchase an expired domain related to wedding photography that already has a few backlinks, you’ll be able to quickly establish yourself ahead of your competition and get some extra SEO juice.
Also, you could keep an eye out for which of your competitors falls out and has their domain expire. That’s a great opportunity for you to take over the domain. That will be like buying their business and capitalizing on their previous SEO efforts.
So don’t just ignore expired domains — they can be a great opportunity to get ahead in the SEO game.
Q. Is It Illegal to Buy Expired Domains?
A: Absolutely not!
Buying expired domain names is perfectly legal, and many experienced SEOs actively seek them out.
The only thing you need to watch out for is making sure search engines haven’t blacklisted the domain name you purchase. If it has, then you will have a hard time using it to improve your SEO efforts.
It’s also important to be aware of the domain name’s history and ensure you’re not buying a domain with a shady past — such as a domain associated with spam or malicious activity. That could cause serious problems for your website, so always do your due diligence and research any domain name before buying it.