What to look for when buying expired domains

Evaluating an expired domain before purchase is absolutely essential

Most website owners prefer to find an expired domain over a new one, and there are various reasons for that. For a start, it means that you have a history and backlinks that can help you when it comes to SEO. Your website can rank higher and be easier to find for customers with the right expired domain. But you need to think carefully about what to look for when choosing the right expired domain because you can easily make the wrong choice if you don’t do that.

There are some things in particular that you’ll want to look for when choosing expired domains. You need to know about the history of the domain and learn about any of the things that might negatively affect your website going forward. You don’t want to be dragged down by things that exist in the history of the domain. Read on now to find out what you should be looking for when buying an expired domain and why these things matter so much.

Weed Out the Worst Options Using Moz or Majestic

You can first of all look at which options can be dismissed without any further thought. And this is done by making use of tools that help you assess the metrics of any given domain. This first stage of the process is essentially about sorting the wheat from the chaff so that you don’t end up considering domains that are clearly not good enough for what you’re looking to achieve. Things like domain authority are assessed to make these calls.
Moz and Majestic are two of the providers that can assist you with this because they provide tools that show you the important metrics relating to expired or expiring domains. The Majestic Trust Flow and Moz Domain Authority metrics will all be very useful for you as you assess the basic health of these domains before potentially purchasing them. At this stage though, it’s about narrowing down a shortlist.

If you find that certain domains have no authority and are not trusted, you will want to rule these out. Once you’ve weeded out the expired domains that are clearly not good enough and not suitable for what you’re looking to achieve, you can move onto some of the other things you should be looking for.

Luckily Domain Hunter Gatherer Pro includes Moz and Majestic stats via the DomDetailer API so most users won’t even need any 3rd party services to assess these stats before purchasing a domain.

Check the Backlink Profile to Find Out if it Was Used for Spam Links

Next, you’ll want to look at the historic backlink profile of the domain because this will tell you how the website was used in the past and what kinds of backlinks it was getting. Majestic can also help you with this. You simply need to go to the site, use the ‘Use Historic Index’ option and enter the URL of the expired domain that you’re assessing at this time.

When you do this, you’ll see all of the old backlinks that were heading towards the domain URL. You can then have a closer look at these backlinks, and you’ll very quickly get an idea of what the links were used for and what the website was all about. At this stage, it’s about determining whether the links were just spam or not. Ideally, you don’t want them to be spam links because that doesn’t say positive things about the website.

It’s possible to check existing backlinks as well because it’s not just the historic profile that matters. Ahrefs is one tool that you can use if you want to do this it; it should tell you a lot about the domain. Ideally, you’re obviously looking for good links and a backlink profile that your website can really benefit from going forward.

Use Wayback Machine to Check Content and Originality of Content

As well as the history of the backlinks relating to the expired domain, you will always want to look at the history of the content. This is important because high-quality original content being linked to the domain will only help it when it comes to judging the quality and authority of the domain itself. You want to find good content that’s not just copied and pasted from elsewhere.

The tool you’ll use to check and judge the quality of the content in the domain’s history is Wayback Machine. It’s an impressive resources that allows you to look at the archive of the internet, showing you how the domain was used in the past and what kind of content was published on it. It tells you a lot about the domain, so give it a try.

Look for content that was original on the site because you don’t want to be using a domain that was simply hosting ripped off content that had been picked up from elsewhere. But if the content was good and original, it definitely says good things about the history of the domain and how it might be useful to you going forward.

Check if There’s a Google AdSense Ban

You also need to look for problems that might be present in the history of the domain because these things stick and they can make the domain completely useless to you going forward. For example, you will want to look at the status of the domain on Google AdSense. AdSense is the thing that makes it possible for you to simply and easily use things like banner adverts on your website.

Some domains get banned from Google and are not allowed to run AdSense on them. This can happen for all kinds of reasons, and in some instances, it might even explain when the domain was left to expire. The last thing you want to do is pick up an expired domain that is banned on a platform as important as Google AdSense.

If you have any intention of using adverts on your website, you will almost certainly want to use AdSense on one way or another. It’s the most common tool for adding adverts to your website, so you can’t afford to make this mistake. It’s been made before and it only causes big problems for you further down the line, so be careful and always check this first.

Check for manual Google penalty

It is possible that a domain was the recipient of a Google manual penalty  in the past. If this is the case then it will make it much harder to get reindexed and start ranking with it again so it is advised to steer clear of these types of domains. Penalties can affect a website in plenty of different ways, and they can stop you from achieving the outcomes you’re looking for.

Luckily there is a simple check for a manual penalty with regards to expired domains so it is highly advised to add this as an extra step to take before purchasing as a domain free of any previous penalties is advised if it is possible.

Newly acquire domains can have the penalties removed, but it is an extra hassle and it will take some extra time before Google reconsiders and wipes any penalties that are already in place. Ideally, you should try to find an expired domain that doesn’t have these kinds of issues to content with in the first place if possible. If you do choose a domain with manuel penalties, work to get them removed as soon as possible.

Expired domains are better than new ones, but only if you choose the right ones. The tips and advice laid out about should help you to make sure that the expired domain you choose is the right one for your website. When you know what you’re looking for, it’s much easier to get this right.