Using Expired Domains to Build Links

Using Expired Domains for Link Building

This isn’t a new strategy by anyone standards, for many years people have been using powerful expired domains and using them to power up their own websites, and even now this is a technique used by many ( even if they claim they dont ).

There are domains that expire every single day, some of them are 15-year-old websites with backlink profiles like you wouldn’t believe, do we sit back and let all that link juice go in the bin? Not a chance, if someone has retired, rebranded, went bust or whatever this creates an opportunity for us, we can utilise all that power and authority their domain has to power up our own projects.

Now we have to be sensible, we can’t just run out and buy up all the expired domains we can, that won’t work there has to be a process and some common sense applied. You would want to for example as an SEO consultant buy up some old SEO website that had a ton of power, you can get all of the backlinks pointing to you’re website by simply implementing a 301 redirect.

It can really be that simple, but you have to figure out your own process as other SEO will tell you that 301 redirects dont always have the desired impact, and of course that is correct.

How long do 301 redirects take to have an impact?

Well, this depends on a number of things, sometimes previous SEO efforts where they have burnt the domain by using shady tactics is likely to mean that certain domains will never have any impact.

Other instances people watch for expired domains dropping out of `Googles index and simply take all of the content off the website, its a great way to get free content and a strategy used by many, now if they do that and then get the credit for your old content. When you repurpose the expired domain it will struggle to rank due to duplicate content issues.

So in this instance, you may simply want to do the 301 redirects asap to pass any of the link value to your domain.

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My process for 301 redirects

I have a process in place where I simply repurpose the site from the way back machine using Archivarix using all the old content and URLs this allows me to determine what I will do with the domain. If the site recovers quickly it does mean that I might be able to build some additional links to the domain and whilst waiting on all the old broken links etc kicking in.

After around 8 weeks I can make a choice on whether to simply do a 301 redirect or build a PBN, or use the expired domain as a money site.

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If the domain works well and has a lot of power then I have more options, it doesn’t always have to result in a 301 redirect to your site, you can use it as another site, or use it as a PBN, or use it as both.

What passes more value, 301 redirect or setting it up as a PBN

People will argue either way here, I think you need to mix your link building strategy up anyway so no harm in doing either but what I would say is if the opportunity is there to make a mini affiliate site and use it as a PBN I would always lean towards that way of working 70% of the time. In around 3/10 cases ill do a 301 redirect.

Where do you do a 301 redirect to, homepage or internal pages?

If I got an expired domain and it was an SEO training one, I might point that to the SEO training section of my website, I’d always advise pointing the domain the most relevant place you can.

If it was an old SEO blog, I might simply point it to my homepage if that was the best thing to be doing for my site.

Read more: Domain expiration SEO

Just bear in mind you dont always have to 301 redirect to your homepage.

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Craig Campbell

I am a Glasgow based SEO expert who has been doing SEO for 20 years.

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