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Expired domains with good links


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#1 Gilad.G

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Posted 31 May 2006 - 01:19 PM

While doing some "expired domain research" I ran across a couple of domains with solid links from authoritative sites that are highly relevant to one of my sites.

I have two ideas in mind and am looking for some input:
1. The easy way, is redirecting the re-registered domain to my site, and by that gain at least some of the "juice" passed from the authorotative sites.
2. Place relevant content on the re-registered site and link that page to my current site, gaining a link from pages which are linked from the authoritative sites.

I can see value in both ideas, but am looking for your opinion.

PS. By saying 'authoritative sites' i mean newspapers, universities, state senates (not all link to one domain, but to several).

Thanks in advance,

#2 JohnMu

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Posted 31 May 2006 - 04:06 PM

If you're desperate, it might be worth a try.

I have bought a few expired domains (and nabbed one before it expired because I knew the owner was dropping it). I kept the same content as before (with help of the search engines cache :)) and just added a link to a test-site. The link still works for the 3 major search engines, so I assume that it is still passing value.

However, the value these domains have is so small that I doubt it would make any difference if I had them or not. Expired domains with a higher value are also much more expensive (if you get them after they expire), so I'm not really convinced it would be worth the hassle. If you can get a high-value domain name before it expires, perhaps directly from the owner who isn't aware of the value of the domain name, it might work. But finding domains like that will be hard...

John

#3 behindTheScenes

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Posted 31 May 2006 - 09:29 PM

I kept the same content as before (with help of the search engines cache ) and just added a link to a test-site

I think you may find that this is illegal, you may now own the domain name, but not the content of the old site. But I presume that you asked their permission before doing this? :)

#4 Gilad.G

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Posted 31 May 2006 - 09:29 PM

Thanks for sharing your experience softplus.

I don't know if I would call it desperate, but it is just another way of gaining quality links (?).

Considering the fact that buying links from such pages "under the radar" would cost me $20 / $30, that's right about 4 years of domain registrations.

My only hesitation was that it sounded a bit far fetched and maybe even "too easy" so I figured I'd ask the wonderful people on this board...

Anyone else mind sharing his thoughts on this concept?

#5 A.N.Onym

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Posted 31 May 2006 - 09:36 PM

Depending on the amount of expired domains and links, pointing to them, you'll need to pay a lot for that.
I'd simply pay the same amount to a copywriter to create some unique, intriguing articles on your topic.
If the copywriter is good enough, one or several articles should be good enough.
If the article is great enough, you can submit it to any of your online industry journals and get targeted traffic.

In a nutshell, if you can, focus on building content and links.

The only way I'd only buy an expired domain if it had several .edu, .gov or high PR links.
I'd buy it for a year, redirect it to my domain and forget about it.

#6 BillSlawski

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Posted 31 May 2006 - 11:07 PM

I'm not sure how much value there will be to doing something like this in the future, but I wouldn't rely upon it for much for too long.

This patent application came out last week:

Methods and apparatus for assessing web page decay
(Can't seem to link directly to it here. Maybe the URL is too long. I wrote a blog post about it, which has a link to the patent application here: http://www.seobythesea.com/?p=203 )



It's assigned to IBM, but two of the authors, Andrei Broder and Andrew Tomkins have since moved to Yahoo.

The patent focuses upon the use of some algorithms to handle web decay, and dead links, and specifically points out the use of parked domains as a problem they are actively working upon. At the point that the patent application was last revised before publication, parked domains aren't recognized by the heuristic that they came up with to identify "soft 404s," but the problem is one that they are aware of, and are starting to take some significant interest in:

An emerging phenomenon on the web is the one of "parked web sites". These are dead sites whose address was re-registered to a third party. The third party puts a redirect from those dead sites into his own web site. The idea is to profit from the prior promotional works of the previous owners of the dead sites. A report by Edelman [15] gives a nice description of this phenomenon as well as a case study of a specific example.



[15] B. Edelman. Domains reregistered for distribution of unrelated content: A case study of "Tina's Free Live Webcam". http://cyber.law.har...elman/renewals/ , 2002. [0144]



Just wondering out loud, here, but how significant of an impact would it have on search engine indexes if 301s didn't send over link popularity?

#7 A.N.Onym

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Posted 31 May 2006 - 11:18 PM

If 301 dont pass link value, it'd be a mess and hurt honest people, who moved sites or pages.

Of course, I'd understand if parked domains don't pass link value after expiring, but I hope this won't be applied to pages.

#8 JohnMu

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Posted 31 May 2006 - 11:55 PM

I think you may find that this is illegal, you may now own the domain name, but not the content of the old site. But I presume that you asked their permission before doing this?

I did contact the original owners before doing that; imagine your domain expiring and someone else renewing it, leaving your content in place? :D Since I was running tests it wasn't a problem with any of them, one of them even sent me a full copy of his old website to put back online.

I think the only sites that can really profit from this are the registrars that run parking sites. Even if the value of the link is only good for a short time, it will certainly add up when you have 1000's of such sites running. If they wanted to trick the search engines, they could always run a copy of archive.org for that site, with an appropriate header; I'm sure there would be a legal way to do so.

As long as links give domains value, there will be people looking for creative ways to avoid having to do too much work to get them...

John

#9 dotplanners

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Posted 03 June 2006 - 11:25 AM

As the creator and administrator of an expiring domain site that shows the member three weeks of traffic just before the domain drops, I can tell you that having domains with built-in traffic are probably the least expensive way to promote your website there is.

Depending on what dropsite you're at to get your expired domains (some charge high minimum bids, we only charge $10, which includes registration fee), your costs for picking them up could get high quickly.

But how much does it cost to run a basic ad campaign on the internet that gets you results? Adwords, RPMs, newswires, email campaigns (ehhh)... you need to spend at least $1000 monthly to get results.

Take $1000 a month and pick up 20 expired domains for $50 each that in total bring you 2000 visitors targeted to your subject matter, that $1000 soon ads up to $12,000 a year but you now own 240 domains bringing you from 50-500 uniques EACH a month (12,000 to 100,000 uniques a month). You've invested $12,000 on your domains throughout the year, but next year, those domains only cost you $2,400 for renewal. Now you have auto-uniques coming from the expired domains, all which if are pointed to a decent website, will regain their PR or retain it.

Without taking in consideration any resell value of the domains you buy, if you think that having even 50 targeted visitors come to your website each month for a purchase of $50 a year (600 visitors a year total), then expiring domains are definitely a good investment.

If you would like to find out more information about my new Drop service that shows traffic before you buy, you can contact me at my email address listed. Membership is limited and each new account is reviewed first before acceptance.

Buying expiring domains is a valuable tool in promoting your website if you know how to use the tool.

Stephen

#10 Black_Knight

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Posted 03 June 2006 - 10:13 PM

Google specifically addressed the issue of people buying up second-hand domains for PageRank a few years ago now, if I remember correctly.

They didn't do a perfect job, but they did well enough that people who'd been using this as a major technique, particularly for the quality directory links that were often still alive, stopped bothering. In other words, Google's remedy was enough of a change for some pros to change their business models in several cases.

Of course, the links that drive actual traffic will still have value, provided you can use that demographic of traffic (same theme or close enough). However, the link popularity score gets pretty much zeroed when a domain expires.

Look for old articles about it and you'll probably find some of the references and methodology used/suspected.

#11 ToolInventor

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Posted 10 June 2006 - 09:28 AM

And nothing is preventing you from using some smart steps to get good links quite quickly.

With usual link exchange the response to offer for link swap give 10% of positive answers. Sad statistic for those who do link exchange traditional way.

I use another strategy. There are many sites that have automatic links exchange directories on it, and pages with links are usually PR 3 to 7. And the difference is that web sites with automatic directories are very easy to get negotiated for link exchange. And many of the sites can fully automatically handle link exchange with you.

So, getting few couple of links on relevant sites with nice PR is not that difficult. If you face any problems with expired domains, feel free to resort to this strategy.

#12 JohnMu

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Posted 10 June 2006 - 01:10 PM

ToolInventor, you should read Matt Cutts blog, he's got a few words about those kinds of link-exchanges :D.

Those sites are usually 1-2 clicks away from a drug, porn or poker website - not really something that is very valuable anymore. It might work for MSN & Yahoo, but Google seems to ignore (or worse?) those links.

John

#13 ToolInventor

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Posted 11 June 2006 - 09:19 AM

Softplus, I read Matt's blog daily (at least check every 2 days) and WebMasterWorld forum, and others.

Matt is fully right when he shares the cases of irrelevant link exchange. But who says to make IRrelevant choice? If my eyes don't trick me, I wrote about relevant links too. Because those who spam link exchange, trying to get as much as possible, providing no care for relevancy sooner or later face sad consequences.

Everything can be used a proper way and improper way. Why choosing the last one?

Edited by ToolInventor, 11 June 2006 - 09:20 AM.


#14 A.N.Onym

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Posted 11 June 2006 - 09:34 AM

Well, instead of just accepting link exchange requests, you can build business relationships with sites of your topic. Also, you can spend time on other link-building strategies. More links on link-building (and more).

#15 JohnMu

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Posted 11 June 2006 - 02:17 PM

ToolInventor, I did read what you wrote :) - but I was not really talking about the choice the site you try to get to link to you, but the other sites that the site links to. (does that make any sense? ;)) If I get a link-exchange with site B (relevant to my site) but site B also links out to all sorts of junk (free / automated link-exchange), couldn't that backfire on me? Do I want to take that risk when I could be working on non-reciprocal, perhaps even "natural", links? Perhaps it depends on how desperate I am ;).

They seem to work for the other engines, so at least that's something for it.

John

#16 Xenith

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Posted 20 June 2006 - 11:47 PM

Expired domains are nothing but easy money. I registered one (totally expired) domain back in April, cost of registration was something like $45 for two years (ccTld) and I think it was back in Google maybe 10th of this month.

So the first two months I used MSN and Yahoo traffic, so far I have made over $500 US doing nothing but Adsense. Now I have the site back in Google I am on track for over $400 a month in Adsense alone.

Google have shut down expired domains somewhat, but depending upon how you structure your sites, the names you use and how you link your network (and hosting) up it's still very easy money. Not like old times, but still far more fun than building content and links.



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