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How Expired Domains Can Give You a Headstart

If you are in the process of buying your first domain or are in the process of reassessing your SEO strategy, don’t overlook the benefits of buying an expired domain. An expired domain is a domain name that was once owned by another webmaster who didn’t renew the domain. After it expires, it becomes available for purchase again. While not all expired domains are worth it, a good expired domain could help you rank higher on search engines. 

Why should I buy an expired domain?

Just because a domain is expired doesn’t make it valuable. However, if you’re able to locate the right expired domain, it can help boost your SEO. A good domain that wasn’t used for spam purposes, that is relevant to your site, and that has existing backlinks gives you an advantage over a fresh domain. 

If you buy the domain of someone that was trying to rank high, chances are that domain already has a backlink profile. If there are quality backlinks that led to the domain, you’ll start receiving immediate traffic. You’ll start receiving visitors from the very beginning, and each of those visitors has the potential to become a customer. Plus, backlinks improve your organic ranking on Google and can help you rank higher. Older domains also tend to rank higher on Google, because the algorithm views older sites as being more established and less spammy. 

If someone has already put the effort into ranking high on search engines, you can capitalize on their efforts. You’ll, of course, need to take the domain and make it your own with high-quality content while implementing your own SEO strategies if you want to continue to keep the domain ranking high. 

How can I utilize an expired domain?

There are a number of ways to utilize an expired domain. Some of the most common practices are starting your own website, redirecting to your existing site, building a private blog network or sourcing links

If you’re just developing your first website, using the domain to start your own site is a great option because you can still customize the domain the way you want to while benefiting from existing search engine traffic. 

If you already have your own site but find a relevant expired domain, you can purchase the expired domain and have it redirect to your existing site. This will redirect the traffic from the expired domain to your site while also building authority so you can rank higher. Another way to use a relevant expired domain is using it to gain access to previous backlinks and then contacting those sites to let them know they’re linking to an expired site and that they should link to your site instead. 

Some individuals that already have existing sites choose to use expired domains to build a private blog network. With a network, you create quality blog posts that have backlinks that led to your existing site. This increases the traffic and ranking of your existing site. 

What should I consider before buying an expired domain?

Before you buy a domain, you do want to make sure that it is actually going to benefit your business. You want to make sure the domain has SEO or branding benefits. 

Avoid sites that were once used for spam content or that have spammy backlinks. If it was used for spam, chances are that you’ll be negatively impacted by it. To check for spam, utilize Wayback Machine and Majestic. Wayback Machine will allow you to see if the site used to contain spam, while Majestic will provide you with a historic index of all the sites that used to point to the domain. If these backlinks are coming from irrelevant sites with bad anchor text, you probably won’t receive any SEO benefits from the site. On the other hand, Majestic will also tell you if the backlink profile is full of high-quality links. 

You’ll also want to check to make sure the domain doesn’t have any penalties against it, such as being banned from Facebook or by Google Adsense. 


Expired domains can be utilized in a variety of ways and can boost your SEO, however, you do want to make sure that you’re buying an expired domain that wasn’t used for spam. The good news is, there are companies out there that are dedicated to helping you find the best expired domains. For example, Spamzilla ( analyzes backlink data for spam before the domain appears in their database of expired domains.

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Adam Torkildson
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