What are expired domains

Begoña Garrido
6 May, 2021

As their name indicates, they are domains that have expired since they have either forgotten to renew or have ceased to exist as a business.

It should be remembered that you do not own a domain for life and that your registration must be renewed every year. During a renewal period, about 30 days for a .COM, 10 days for a .ES, for example, the domain is inaccessible and its owner not only cannot use it but also receives alerts of its expirations.

The interest of capturing and registering an expired domain resides in the moment of its liberation since an expired domain keeps all the SEO history of when it was active.

Expired domains for what and why?

Beyond the intrinsic SEO potential, they are also usually acquired because of:

Their uniqueness or Exact Match Domains: and the possibility of launching a business with a short, generic or high semantic value domain; 

Their organic traffic: and the possibility of generating income thanks to affiliation or advertising through parked domains.

Their digital identity: and the need to reserve domains about to expire to preserve a brand or its activity.

Do expired domains help for SEO positioning?

Good web positioning has two facets: the first, on-site, consists of improving the content and structure of your main website; the second, off-site, is based on everything you can build around it to propel it towards the first search results.

Expired domains are often used for an off-site Linkbuilding strategy. The idea is to send all the accumulated SEO force towards the page you want to position.

How? Well, doing simple 301 redirects; spreading the strength of the domain specifically through its anchor texts or using expired domains in the construction of PBN (Private Blog Network); advanced technique that many SEOs use to position one or more clients in a lasting way.

How to know if the domains are worth it?

There are many methods to detect domains that are worth your while; But it is best to apply the same logic in the analysis of domains about to expire that you use for the analysis of media when you want to hire a sponsored post or are looking for the hashtags that you should use to be visible on Twitter.

The key is to respect semantic coherence and find a good metric balance. To do this, several things can be analyzed:

SEO Metrics

Most of the expired domain directories indicate the associated SEO metrics: Moz Domain Authority (DA), Majestic Trust Flow (TF) or Citation Flow (CF), the number of backlinks and Referring Domains (DR)…

Some dropcatching platforms, or domain capture, like Youdot.io, avoid many headaches by creating their own metric and thus helping in the search for authoritative domains.

It is convenient to check directly in Majestic, a paid tool or free of charge through some dropcatching platforms, that the Topical Trust Flow or the referring Topics are consistent with the theme of the searched keywords; and if these words are in the anchors, so much the better!

Paid tools like Ahrefs or free ones like Openlinkprofiler.org will allow you to check what kind of links the domain receives, it’s authority and consistency. Domains with links that come from Wikipedia, the press or state institutions are highly appreciated.

View the website and previous information

It is important to know what was in that domain in the past and what that website was like. Webarchive will allow you to check its internal skeleton, its old activity and content; although it is not advisable to duplicate previously used content.

Pros and cons of expired domains

✅ Pros

You will save a lot of time in your SEO positioning strategy. 

They transmit the SEO strength accumulated during the time they were active.

They help launch new projects with SEO authority, without starting from scratch.

They increase the organic traffic of your website by transmitting your residual traffic. 

They can be used to position one or more websites at the same time.

They generate income with affiliation and advertising.

❌ Cons

They require advanced SEO knowledge to get the most out of them. 

Obtaining a 100% free authoritative domain is almost impossible.

Expired domains with penalties.

Expired domains with prior or reserved rights, such as domains with Spanish trademarks or place names.

Cybersquatting: in the wrong hands they can damage the brand image.

Where can I buy expired domains 

Youdot.io is a tool that will help you detect, analyze and capture domains about to expire with SEO authority. Registration, consultation and order is totally free; only the domain obtained is billed.

Youdot uses the SEO metrics recognized in the market (Moz, Majestic…) and helps detect domains according to your keywords (anchor texts, Topical Trust Flow, Referring domains). With 9 active extensions, customer service is available in Spanish, Italian, English and French.

Expireddomains.net : Domain listing expired or about to expire. It will help you detect domains that have already been released. 

Frequent questions 

Is it safe to use an expired domain to start a website from scratch?

On the contrary, it is not only safe but it is recommended since the web will benefit from all the SEO strength of its past. An expired domain with SEO authority will save you time in the positioning strategy of your website.

Behind the security issue, there is a fear of penalty or the legitimacy of using expired domains. Do I risk penalties? Do I have the right to use a domain that belonged to someone else? Two questions to which we answer below.

Does Google penalize the use of expired domains?

The use of expired domains is an integral part of the linkbuilding strategy and that since the SEO trade exists. On the other hand, if this were the case, it would not make sense for the Registry to accept the change of ownership. Google does not penalize the use of expired domains in particular, but it can penalize you for the way you use them. The essential thing is to use them naturally and with common sense. Select domains with metric authority, and with them and anchor texts related to your money site and everything will go smoothly.

To check whether or not a domain has been penalized, you have to submit it to the Search Console, as soon as you purchase it. A good capture platform will return your money if the case occurs; although you can always repudiate harmful links.

Can they take away my expired domain if a brand that has had it before claims it?

The legislation relating to the protection and registration of a trademark, in the hands of WIPO, and the legislation relating to the use of a domain name, determined by Red.es, is often confused. They are two different laws.

It should be remembered that you are not the owner of a domain for life, that hundreds of domains are released due to cessation of activity and that their registration is totally legal and practicable.

In the event of a claim, the brand or the former owner may withdraw the domain if it shows that you used it with the intention of damaging or taking advantage of its brand image notoriety; for this reason it is not recommended to use the content visible through Webarchives or to create a website that competes with it.

How many expired domains could I use to redirect them to my website?

It all depends on your SEO positioning strategy and the time and money you want or can dedicate to it. There are blog and link building networks with 3 or 4 domains up to 2,000 websites. Keep in mind that what should prevail is quality, and consistency with your base theme.

First of all, to say that without links and expired domain has little SEO potential.

Once again, it is better to look at the quality of the backlink and not the quantity.

Tools like Majestic, Ahref or Moz will help you check the type of backlink that the domain receives. Three metrics will be essential to analyze them: the Topical Trust Flow, the Trust Flow and the anchor text.

Any doubt about another definition that is still not entirely clear to you. Check out our Dictionary:

Begoña Garrido

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