Expired domains have been the hot thing for over a decade. PBNs use them extensively to gain SEO mileage. So, what exactly are expired domains? These are domains which were once registered and not renewed by the owner. The owner might have forgot to renew it or just left it. The domains which were websites of considerable authority in a niche are highly sought for. People try to catch them as they drop. There are services that gives you access to a gigantic list of expiring domains. They employ certain metrics like DA and PA as filters to bag valuable domains.
What is domain age?
We do understand expired domains can come with link juice. You can even restore an entire website. We understand the tangible benefits of links and domain metrics. How relevant would it be to factor in the domain age? How much of a role does it really have? Does it necessarily affect your SEO, if you chose to build a website on it? Let’s find out.
For starters, we have personally seen some website do very well in SERPS based on domain age alone. There are not many SEO elements or site updates in these sites. The hard hitting question is does it still work in 2019, with evolving algorithms and immense competition for rankings.
Does Domain age matter for SEO?
In short, yes it does. The common belief is that the domain age is a contributing factor to domain authority. There’s always been talk of something called legacy domains. These are domains that are older than Google itself. They were registered on or before 1998.
Compare a domain registered just now to a domain register five years ago. The latter has more SEO value than the former. It has a rich history to it. Google doesn’t give tremendous amount of value to freshly registered domains. Let’s see why.
Tons of thousands of domains are registered every day. Majority of those domains are used for creating backlinks and basically for PBN activity alone. That’s definitely a negative ranking factor. Google considers this simple fact and hence takes time before giving value to any domain. That’s where domain age really comes into the picture.
However the impact of domain age is of varying intensity. There are more than 300 variables in Google’s algorithm. Thus, each variable is a fraction of a per cent. Domain age is no exception. Domain age alone won’t land you on top of SERPs. Nevertheless, you must appreciate the perks of owning an old domain.
Moreover, from a search engine perspective, longer standing websites are trustable. The longer you maintain a spam free record, you are creating value. In other words, it also requires you to make sure your domain is free of scam. You need to do a thorough check, especially when buying a very old domain.
Domain age can contribute. But it alone won’t rank you high. It gives you a kick start to the journey. While website is doing good and being useful, it would be a blunder to change domains. Rebrand your website by changing site title, but let the domain stay the same.
To conclude, older domains have a better ranking capacity. Owing to the trust quotient, they are promoted by search engines. The newer domains are yet to build trust or relevancy. It may take more than a year to rank, if you are targeting a larger demographic. It’s always preferred to build your new website with a recognized domain name.
- Though domain age plays a role, you must pay attention to scam alerts. A few basic tools or even a search on Google returns you spam reports.
- Moreover, Google is equipped with advanced tools now. They track every move of your websites. It’s a good idea to make your old domain active. Even if you have a domain that’s a year old, you can gain value with activity.
- If you are buying a domain today, old or new, immediately put up something. Even a splash page or basic information will do. Employ a countdown ticker, contact forms, social media channel links, etc… if you don’t have content.
Difference between fresh and expired domain
We have covered what’s an expired domain. Entire domains registry minus expired domains is fresh domains. These are domains which were never registered by any entity. It’s something you found or stumbled into or it’s yet to be registered. Above all, their domain age is plain zero. They come with no affiliation or rankings. There is no positive or negative value in them. In other words, you have a clean slate while buying these domains. You don’t have to check for metrics like in the case of expired domains. Nonetheless, it doesn’t mean, there is no evaluation process involved at all.
How and where to find expired domain names?
There are many effective ways to find expired domains. For most part, you can either do it manually or use third party services. To do it manually, you need scrapers which can make use of keywords and metrics. Alternatively, crawl specific websites and find expired domains they link to. There are more ways you can scrap for expiring domains. Regardless, manual methods involve more time and resources.
The novice friendly way to find expired domains is via third party services. There are backorder services, domain brokers and auctions. Auctions offer you maximum flexibility. There are no advance payments involved. It isn’t as expensive as choosing to go with a broker. Auctions are great for all type of players. Auctions are pretty much straight forward. Thus, you don’t have to worry about too many variables. What you see is what you get.
Amongst the top domain auction system is Godaddy auctions. You can search based on keywords. GoDaddy bring up domains which are expired or which are about to expire. You can see how many people have bid on them. You can see the price and make bids too. Some of the listings feature ‘Buy now’ option. Importantly, you can see the age of the domain and traffic data.