Buy Expired Domains For SEO Link Value?

Jan 15, 2008 • 7:46 am | comments (10) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Link Building Tips & SEO

Link building is a crucial aspect for SEO. SEOs have and continue to try everything to build quality links quickly for their sites and their clients. Often, the topic of buying a an expired domain - to leverage the links from that site, as opposed to starting fresh.

A HighRankings Forums thread talks just about that. A member asks, should I buy an expired domain, so he doesn't have to start from scratch.

Forum owner, Jill Whalen responds:

Google claims that they reset all backward links from a site once it has new ownership. In which case it won't do you any good.

Now, I have heard this claim before, but I have also heard time and time again that this is a valid and useful strategy. So I asked Jill for the source, since I don't remember ever hearing that from the "horses mouth." Jill stepped up and provided the source from a WebmasterWorld thread dating back to March 2003 where "GoogleGuy," an official Google representative, posted "you can get that domain into Google; you just won't get credit for any pre-existing links."

GoogleGuy's response is that Google will know the domain name expired and then reset it to start from scratch. But what if a company accidently let their domain expire? What happens with domain name transfer of ownerships? What happens when you buy a preexisting site where the domain did not expire? What happens if you change the whois information? These are all questions that have stemmed from this post and has been lingering through the SEO community.

Many SEOs still believe in buying existing sites and leaving the whois information alone. But if a domain expires, it appears Google knows about it and will note it in their database.

Forum discussion at HighRankings Forums.

Update: Matt Cutts of Google commented adding that he recently wrote a bit about this at a comment on Michael's blog, where he said:

Hey Michael! If you buy typos, I'd 301 them to your main site. Even things that you win in UDRP arbitration can be 301'ed. For example, if someone bought and Google won it in UDRP, it would make sense to 301 it to your main domain.

What I *wouldn't* recommend is try to register unrelated expired domains in an attempt to get those pre-existing links to count toward your domain. I would also avoid registering-and-301'ing typos of competitors' domains or other completely unrelated domains.

Pick up more of that comment (there are two) at Wolf Howl.

Previous story: Daily Search Forum Recap: January 14, 2008
blog comments powered by Disqus