How to Buy Expired Domains with Traffic and Quality Content


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Expired domains often have the advantage of an established SEO potential. It’s possible to purchase a domain that’s already capable of attracting traffic or full of good content.

While not as good from the creative side of things, there is a lot of practical value in old domains. But there are rules to buying them.

Let’s take a look at how you can find the best domains that your competitors are overlooking with minimal effort. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to buy expired domains with traffic and quality content.

Step 1. Choose the Right Keyword for an Expired Domain Purchase

Here are some tips I would give for choosing an effective keyword when buying an expired domain for SEO purposes:

  1. First, make sure the keyword accurately reflects the content and offerings of the new business that will be using the domain. You want searchers who find the site to immediately understand what it’s about.
  2. Look for a keyword with decent search volume – not something too obscure, but also not the most competitive keywords out there. Use Google’s Keyword Planner or similar tools to research volume. Just make sure there is search demand.
  3. Ideally, pick a keyword phrase that is 2-3 words long. For example, “organiccannedgoods” rather than just “organic” or “canned goods.” More specific tends to be better for SEO relevancy.
  4. Check that the keyword doesn’t have high domain competition already if you search exact match domains in a domain marketplace. If you see multiple expired domains with the keyword already, that suggests high historical demand.
  5. Consider buyer intent when searching. Keywords like “buy duct tape” or “duct tape reviews” are better signals of commercial intent rather than just “duct tape.”

Step 2. Get a List of Domains Available for Registration

Perform domain expiration check to find the domain that are free. Take a keyword or a list of keywords chosen at the previous step and download them to the Domain Expiration Checker Tool – the link is above.

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This way you will find all the domains from whois database with the stated keywords. Very convenient, simple, time-saving and free!

Step 3. Estimate SEO Metrics for Chosen Domains

In this step, take the domains you collected earlier: now you need to identify the key SEO metrics like domain authority, backlinks and their quality, presence of text or images on the pages of the domains you’ve chosen and so on.

Use the Domain Authority Checker for this purpose. Just download the list of your domains, and you will get the results after the tool finishes its work:

  • Backlinks – The count of backlinks to your domain

    The higher the number the better. Over 25-50 backlinks at minimum indicates some SEO value and authority has been built up already. Focus on quality over quantity too.
  • Dofollow / nofollow – The count of backlinks that carry the “dofollow” or “nofollow” attribute.

    Dofollow links pass more “link juice” so a higher dofollow percentage, like over 70-80%, is best if possible. But some nofollow links are fine too for branding signals.
  • Gov or edu TLD backlinks – The count of domains in the .gov TLD.

    .gov or .edu links indicates stronger credibility. But don’t expect many, even quality sites average less than 1 typically.
  • Refdomains – The count of domains that refer to your site.

    Variety matters here, so 20+ referring domains is good to indicate third-party endorsement.
  • Refips – The IP addresses of donors
  • Redirect – The count of domains that redirect to your site
  • Domain rating – The rating reflecting the backlink quality of your domain

    Scores above 30+ suggest respectable authority has been achieved, with higher being safer for stronger rankings potential.
  • Text – Whether text exists on the referring donor pages
  • Image – Whether images are present on referring pages

You’ll have all the information at your fingertips and, again, it’s completely free.

Step 4. Find Expired Domains with Content

Expired domains that still have relevant content can be a great asset for link building and ranking opportunities. Use the Rush Analytics tool to find expired domain with the keywords you want to rank for.

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Using this tool is quite simple. First, you would enter in one or more keywords that you are targeting or that are relevant to your business. Let’s say for example you entered the keywords “garden supplies”.

The tool will then search through its database of expired domains and analyze any archived pages, posts, or other content that was previously on those domains. It looks for an exact match of those keywords you input anywhere in the HTML text.

Once it finishes the search, it will return a list of expired domain names that had pages containing your keywords “garden supplies” in the past content. You can then review these domains further to see if the content is a good fit and could provide value to your SEO strategy.

Step 5. Check Your Domain for Spammy Backlinks

A high number of low-quality or spammy backlinks can negatively impact the site’s search engine rankings. The spammy backlink checker is a useful tool for domain buyers to analyze the link profile and quality of a domain they are considering purchasing. 

To use the toxic backlink checker, enter the domain name you want to analyze into the tool. It will then crawl the site’s backlink profile archived on the Wayback Machine or other web archives. It analyzes the anchor text of each backlink and checks it against known spam keyword databases.

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The tool will return a report listing the total number of backlinks, as well as how many were flagged as potentially toxic or spammy.

A high percentage of toxic backlinks could mean ongoing search engine penalties that are difficult to overcome. It also shows what cleanup work may be required to remove bad links before ranking the site yourself.

Checking for these issues proactively helps you assess risks and avoid overpaying for a domain with underlying link quality problems. The tool is a quick and easy way to evaluate link profiles as part of the domain research and due diligence process.

Step 6. Set a Realistic Budget

Effective acquiring an expired domain with traffic and quality content necessitates the establishment of a pragmatic budget. Striking the right balance between your investment and anticipated returns is crucial.

While expired domains can present substantial advantages, it’s imperative to consider not only the upfront purchase cost but also the ongoing expenses associated with domain renewal.

Factor in the domain’s age, the volume of traffic it generates, and its potential for monetization when formulating your budget.

This holistic approach will allow you to gauge the financial viability of your investment and make informed decisions about your acquisition.

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Step 7. Plan Content Migration and Optimization

Finally, after all these steps, you have found your perfect domain that suites best for your business and SEO purposes. What’s next?

Upon successful acquisition of the expired domain, formulate a well-structured plan for content migration and optimization. The objective is to harness the domain’s existing assets effectively. Start by strategically redirecting traffic from the acquired domain to your primary website or designated landing pages.

You can also use Wayback Machine Recovery Tool to restore website from Wayback Machine. It accurately recovers all data, including text and images, and saves you from routine manual work, especially if the site contains tens of thousands of pages.

All you need to do is upload the ZIP archive to your hosting and your website is ready to go!

Monitor Post-Purchase Performance

The journey doesn’t culminate with the acquisition of the expired domain; rather, it marks the beginning of a new phase. Continuous monitoring of the post-purchase performance of the domain is indispensable.

Keep a watchful eye on traffic trends to ensure that the acquired domain’s audience remains engaged and responsive.

Implement ongoing improvements to the content, SEO, and user experience to sustain and potentially increase traffic over time. Regularly analyze key performance indicators (KPIs) to assess the return on your investment.

This data-driven approach empowers you to make informed adjustments to your strategy as needed, ensuring that your objectives are consistently met.

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If you keep these in mind, there is a high chance that an old domain you’ve obtained will actually yield you great results.

There is always a risk that the domain became expired for good reason, but this approach is in general very advantageous. If you can manage it properly, that is.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do expired domains still work?

They work, otherwise you wouldn’t have come to read this article 🙂 Yes, expired domains can still be very effective if used properly.

The main benefit is that they come with existing backlinks and authority that can give your new site a boost in search engine rankings.

However, you need to carefully vet expired domains to ensure the prior content and links are still relevant and high-quality.

Can you make money buying expired domains?

Yes, there is money to be made in buying and reselling quality expired domains, especially those with strong backlink profiles and search traffic.

With the right knowledge, you can buy domains at low prices, develop them, and resell them to end users at a profit.

However, extensive research is required to evaluate and optimize domains before finding good buyers.

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Does buying multiple domains help SEO?

Buying multiple expired domains with existing authority can help boost your SEO if used strategically. Point them to your money site using 301 redirects to funnel link equity.

However, low-quality domains could hurt more than help. So thoroughly vet each one before purchasing to ensure you’re only acquiring domains that will benefit your site’s rankings.

Picture of Julian Goldie

Julian Goldie

Hey, I'm Julian Goldie! I'm an SEO link builder and founder of Goldie Agency. My mission is to help website owners like you grow your business with SEO!

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