12 Years a Slave SEO Domainer.

A post by Jason Duke as he drank lots of tea posted live on 13th May 2016 22:00 BST

So who thinks using expired domains for SEO is a new thing?

Yup I thought so, I can see quite a few hands up there. Well here we are nearly half way through the year in 2016, over 12 years since I wrote a blog post about using expired domains for SEO.

I thought it was worthy of a trip down memory lane and if nothing else I hope it leaves you with one simple question….

Would you rather work with an SEO team and the domain system that’s been delivering success with these “new techniques” for way over a decade and intimately knows the best and most stable way to deliver success or do you want second best?

Here’s the post, archived on the Wayback Machine for your viewing pleasure and copied and pasted below…

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Can Expired Domains deliver Money ?

Or How do I convert old domains to cash ?

Over the years many domain names have been registered and their owners have either forgotten to reregister them or decided to let them lapse.

These domain names are available to you to register and construct a site with. Nothing revolutionary yet but let’s throw some science into the equation so that your chances of generating those old domain names into cash for your pocket increases!

Before I go on I should explain these 2 facts.

  • Many domains have multiple links still pointing to them when they expire
  • Links = Pagerank but Pagerank vanishes as soon as domains expire

Using expired domain names to tap into traffic has been going on for years and as I said above there is nothing revolutionary yet.

I have found that although links to a domain still point to it they will be on topic to the specific page they point to and if you do not make sure that the request that you receive sends relevant on topic information then the traffic is worse than worthless

I say worse as it will cost you money Remember this simple phrase:

Important: When someone comes to your page you spend money in bandwidth and server charges.

If the overall visitors you receive do not convert into more money than you spend then they cost you cash and your expired domain name site will fail commercially.

What I hope to do is by undertaking some simple yet I would say scientific analysis, you will increase your chances of taking an expired domain name and making money with it. 🙂

When you trawl your way through those expired domain list services of which there are many, take some time looking at the domain names and take look at the domains with higher link popularity than others, ones with nice sounding, easy to remember names.

This also gives you the PageRank of the domain name in question but don’t worry too much about trying to register domains with a pagerank of 6 and higher as unless you use a service like SnapNames.com which charge a fee to help you grab a domain name the odds are against you in securing it and you’ll just get depressed !

My advice is to look at multiple PR 4 and 5 domain names. With an all time low cost with domains available from multiple sources at silly prices (under $10 is common) get more domains with lower PR and actually succeed in your registration endeavours 🙂

Once you have compiled your list of potential domains you MUST make sure that you understand what the domain used to be about

Thankfully there is a wonderful service available at The Archive.org site that will show you the old content of a specific page or site used to be about. They have crawled terabytes of web sites and made it all publicly available for you to research.

Be aware they have NOT archived the whole of the old internet as many sites exclude the archive spider and others simply haven’t been processed, but it’s a damn fine resource and one well worth using.

Once you have reduced list of domain names to register that are ON TOPIC to your target traffic then put them aside for a moment and start thinking about your site and specific links:)

This is the important bit.

Most links that are out on the web point to specific pages NOT to the plain old vanilla domain name.

Don’t redirect all the links to the home page, recreate the pages and URLs that earned those links

What you MUST do to ensure that the search engines see the page as relevant to the old link that points to it is to make sure that the content you display is relevant and on topic to what is expected to be seen

One of the problems is that your new site structure is unlikely to be the same as the old site and many of those extremely valuable links that will point to your newly acquired domain name will result in a Page Not Found / 404 error !

This is horrible as the search engines will probably drop that page from their index and the links being sent will hold no real value to you. You need to make sure that you reduce ( aim for eliminate) the 404 pages and most importantly that the content you return is relevant to what the old page used to be about.

N.B. A generic 404 is better than nothing but there are better ways to deliver content and I always aim for delivering a 200 AKA normal safe standard response code

So to summarise you should look at:

the overall theme of an old web site

the Pagerank of specific pages of a web site

work out the keywords of the specific pages of an old web page

work out some basic relevant content for the old web page

Build your new site based on the old site layout

Make sure you NEVER use the 404 error code

You can do this manually at the www.archive.org site mentioned above but doing this manually for every potential page can be a horrendous task and one that could take forever. I have tried to assist you in this process by building a simple tool that will do the following for you:

You can feed it a URL and it will go off and:

Tell you the current PageRank for that page if the domain has not yet expired

Analyse the ARCHIVED version of the page and give you the keywords that the page used to target

Give you a textual summary of the old page content

There is nothing in the tool you can’t do manually but it should reduce your workload a touch 🙂

It is free and is available by clicking the link below

Expired Domain Analysis Software I’ll keep the application free for everyone as long as it doesn’t get abused and if you use and like what it does I would welcome a link back to this site as thanks :)It is a simple text based DOS application, it has multiple bugs (which I will fix in time) but it does its job pretty well and it can safe hours and hours of clicking 🙂

Moving on from the theory think about this:

If you take the principles above and the methodologies contained within the free application then you can build a site that does the following:

Never returns a 404 code except where deserved and real… due to there never having been a page there

As every request comes in analyses what the old page used to be about and automatically generates on topic relevant content based on the old theme

The software to do this already exists and I use it 🙂

I keep it in house for my own use but if you want it I MIGHT be coerced to release it. Just let me know if YOU think it is valuable in increasing the money in your pocket.

My email is so just click here to let me know




I'm just an old SEO :)

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