A good domain name is like a fine wine – it gets better with age…
This is because an aged domain carries trust with Google. Especially if its comes with a established link profile.
Recently I have been trying to get hold of a few expired domains to build out a private blog network. It’s for a niche I aim to dominate. Because it is high value I am willing to put the time and effort into doing it properly.
I want to be in it for the long term, so smashing my hand crafted money site with low grade GSA links just wont cut the mustard for this one.
So here are some of the methods I’ve been using hunt down and find expired, aged domains with some link juice left in the tank:
1) Using Scrapebox
This is the old school way using one of my favorite tools, Scrapebox.
Using the “TDNAM Scraper plugin” to find “keyword” based domains up for auction:
Then “Export To Harvester” and run a PR test:
Then clear out the crud and run the remaining domains through the Fake PR Plugin to find those sneaky ones…
Finally export the real ones back to the Harvester and run the MOZScape Page Authority Plugin to get some link stats. Most of them will have nothing, but we are looking for the few that still have links pointing in.
You’ll need at least one Opensite Explorer API. Just create a free account and grab the goodies. For speeds sake you may want to set up a few accounts…
You can see after a few passes it pulled up some links for www.cottagehillmontgomery.com with a Page and Domain Authority of 22.5 and 11.97 and 6 links.
Not really a very exciting example I know, but it serves a purpose. If I was to let the software run it would continue to uncover more and more domains with pre-existing links.
Once you’ve identified domains of interest, run them through Ahrefs to see if the link profile is clean and has any sweet backlinks.
Keep a sharp eye out for DMOZ, Yahoo Dir, .edu and .gov links. All nice to have’s. 🙂
Finally, once I have a domain in my sites, I then use the WayBack Machine to see what the site was previously used for a make sure it was legit.
Looks fairly harmless.
Although this is a fairly straightforward method, it means doing searches in batches.
It’s a bit like panning for gold…
Once you find your nuggets of joy, head over to Godaddy Auctions and get bidding.
Remember, it’s a bit like eBay. Just set a watch on the domain and hold off from putting any offer on until the last minute. Then decide what you are willing to pay and put the bid on in the last few minutes.
Getting too hasty may flag the domain up to other buyers that would have normally ignored it.
2) Domain Hunter Plus
This is more time consuming but can yield some amazing rewards. You need a free Chrome plugin called Domain Hunter Plus for this method.
Once installed run some phrase search queries for things like “Favorite niche theme websites”.
For example “My favorite art websites”.
You must then set the search results in Google to only show results from say 2000 – 2009.
This way old pages will be displayed containing lots of hopefully broken links:
Then start to pull up the pages looking for ones with lists of domains.
Then run Domain Hunter Plus:
It will search the page for broken domain links, how many inbound links it has and whether the domain is for sale.
Note, this takes some patience and time, plus creativity to find some good search strings that give you domain rich pages. Just get a pot of coffee on the go and get searching…
If a domain is available go check it out. Even if its gone back in the domain name melting pot and lost its PR, if the links are still pointing to it, a little first aid can get the domain breathing PR life again!
3) GoDaddy Auctions
You can also use the GoDaddy auctions. This is great if you don’t own Scrapebox or the have the patience to use the previous Domain Hunter method.
It costs $5 a year to access the service. If you already have a GoDaddy account just add auctions to it, else you’ll have to set one up.
When you head over to GoDaddy start using the “Advanced Search” option you can set the parameters you are looking for. I tend to ignore anything with numbers or hyphens as they reek of affiliate spam sites.
A .com is always my preference but .net or .org is exceptable as well.
The downside with this is only basic info is returned such as domain age. If you want aged domains with links, then you will need to research them further using other tools.
Freshdrop basically supercharges all of the above methods and makes aged domain hunting a breeze.
It pulls in all the domain expiry and auction data from the main auction houses, GoDaddy, DynaDot, Namejet, Snap and Name and puts them in one place.
Not only does it put everything in one place; it also pulls in Age, Page Rank, Fake Page Rank, Dmoz & Yahoo Dir listings, Inbound links (from a variety of sources like MOZ and Google) plus a whole load of other data.
Plus it allows you to set filters on everything including niches, words within domain so you can simply pull up a name you like the look of, check the link profile in Ahrefs and WayBackMachine and get bidding!
The first time I used Freshdrop, I found a 15 year old domain, with a generic name, in the right niche with DMOZ and Yahoo Dir and another bunch of industry relevant high PR links for auction. I paid just over $100.
Freshdrop was $98 a month, which to be honest was just too much for me to justify the ongoing costs.
However now its come down to just $20 a month…
Which makes it a no brainer.
Try Freshdrop now.
Before you rush off and buy anything, USE these extra resources to help prevent the heartbeat of buying an already abused domain:
Find out the full history of the domain. If the domain has been dropped regularly it could mean its been hammered and banned by Google.
Adsense Ban Check
A quick check to see if Google Adsense has banned it.
Google Ban Check
Is the domain indexed? An aged domain still live should appear indexed. If not be suspicious. Brand new domains will appear to be banned as they don’t actually exist yet, so ignore it.
Happy Domain Hunting!
Thanks to Brian Dean and Jacob King for the Domain Hunter Plus and Scrapebox turn on.