Should you buy and expired domain for traffic

Should you buy an expired domain for traffic?

As I’m waiting for my keyword golden ratio niche website to start ranking in the SERPs I’ve been reading about expired domains. The question in my mind is, should you buy expired domain for traffic advantage? Let’s find out.

One of the oldest tricks in the book in online marketing has been acquiring expired domains with powerful backlink profiles. The idea is to leverage the “link juice” and domain authority for building a new money site or acquiring several of such domains to build a private blog network (PBN for short).

The idea behind a PBN is to point powerful backlinks to your existing money site with complete control over things like anchor text. This is considered a gray hat/black hat technique by Google and will certainly lead in severe penalty or complete sandbox and deindexing if you get caught. And this can include every domain in the network.

PBNs aren't safe

That’s why I have no interest in using expired domains for building a PBN and I can’t encourage anyone else to do it either. I just wanted you to know this is one of the most common ways to use expired domains and you are bound to bump into information and marketing about PBNs if you look more into expired domains.

So once more, just so we’re clear: Private blog networks are highly frowned upon by Google and you should not risk using them. Still, many experienced marketers swear they are the way to go if you want to dominate the first page rankings. But if you hear about PBNs for the first time right now, you are definitely in the position to leverage them safely.

I’m still at the beginning of my online marketing journey and someone with more experience might be face palming hardly right now for me even thinking about using expired domains for SEO and traffic advantage in 2018. My research shows the topic is highly controversial even between very experienced marketers these days.

Some say that a deleted domain loses all its link juice as Google disavows any incoming link once the domain expires. Some say this is simply not true and that expired or dropped domains work just as well as before and give you an enormous advantage in building a new site versus on a fresh domain. Especially now as the time it takes for new sites to acquire trust and start ranking in Google seems to be getting longer and longer.

I like to do my research, but when my research is inconclusive I like to take things to my own hands, do some research and testing of my own to find out how things work. That’s what I intend to do with expired domains and I promise to share my results with you!

Let’s start by looking at what expired domains actually are.

What are expired domains

Just like the name suggests, expired domains are domains that have been expired. Meaning that they had been registered before but the owner decided to let the domain expire and did not renew the registration.

Should you buy an expired domain for traffic?

The reasons for this are many. Maybe a company that owned the domain went bankrupt, maybe someone got tired with blogging or simply didn’t have time and decided to let it go.

Some times a domain can get expired simply because the owner forgot to renew it. Even though that’s unlikely since the owner will receive several notifications and most registrars will keep the domain in backorder for a month or two to give the original owner a chance to redeem his/hers property.

This still happens when people and companies have so much online property and limited time to process all the daily information they receive from those properties. Make sure that you are not one of these people and always keep your domain registrar contact information updated.

 

TIP: It’s generally a good idea to use your best personal email to receive domain expiration notifications straight to your smart phone.

There are some more worrisome reasons that someone looking to acquire an expired domain should know. The domain might be a part of a previous shady activity and it might already be deindexed. The owner simply let it go because it has lost it’s monetary and SEO value.

This is why it’s extremely important to check the history of a domain even if you are not especially looking for an expired domain. If you just come up with a good domain name and it happens to be free, the chances are high that it was registered at some point.

There are tools like Wayback Machine that have snap shots of the domain dating all the way back to the 90s. You can usually spot a spammy site easily.

The other thing you should check is the backlinks of the domain. If there are thousands on a free expired domain, I would steer clear. It’s a clear signal that the domain was subject of artificial link building that can lead to penalty.

If an old domain has several thousand high quality, natural backlinks it’s probably too valuable for anyone to let it just expire for free.

Just the fact that the domain was used before doesn’t make it worthless (or worthy) it depends on what it was used for. So don’t panic if you find your domain was used 10 or 15 years ago.

Why use expired domains

Backlinks

The idea in using expired domains is that they can have significant domain authority and good backlink profiles. Some old domains can have some very high authority backlinks from large companies, archives or news sites. In case you didn’t know backlinks are links pointing to your domain.

It’s not clear how much Google and other search engines value backlinks these days. Some say recent algorithm changes have dropped the value of backlinks close to zero and it’s the on-page SEO, quality of content, social signals etc. that matter the most.

Yet there are some very experienced and successful SEOs and marketers that swear backlinks still matter the most. They have some pretty damn convincing data to back that claim too.

One thing that is sure is that it’s the quality of the backlinks that matter. Wrong kinds of backlinks will hurt your rankings and the right kinds can pull a page from the bottom of the top 100 search results to the first page.

This becomes obvious if you do some research on backlink profiles of first page search results in competitive keywords.

Previously all backlinks provided “link juice” to your domain/site but since it was extremely easy to manipulate this with artificial backlinks they changed it so that only more authoritative domains related to your niche will give your rank a boost. The anchor texts of the links also have to be natural and not keyword stuffed.

This is why PBNs can be so powerful but since the whole point of devaluing unrelated backlinks was to stop artificial manipulation, Google doesn’t like any kind of artificial link building.

So ideally the backlinks should be naturally received from more authoritative domains related to your niche. The problem is this never happens naturally. Especially on a young site, unless the content as absolutely phenomenal. That’s why gaining backlinks always involves some effort, time and sometimes money.

Domain age

Domain age affects how much trust search engines give trust to the website. A domain that has been registered and had a website hosted on it for ten years will obviously be trusted a lot more then three months old website.

The problem here is that the domain age apparently resets to zero when a website gets deleted or the domain expires. That’s at least the official story but I have read some experiences that suggest otherwise. Some people seem to have had considerable ranking advantage on a recently expired domain that had a website for several years before. This might be due to backlinks and returning visitors but it still makes you wonder.

You can find great brandable domains and niche ideas

One reason I love to go through expired domains is that you can find some great brandable domains you wouldn’t come up with yourself. The fact that there are hundreds of thousands of domains to choose from means you won’t run out of ideas very soon.

Talking about ideas, expired domains are also great from niche ideas and research. I’ve come up with some pretty interesting niches that I would have not come up on my own in a million years.

Where to find expired domains

There essentially three ways to acquire an expired domain. You can buy one directly or from an auction before expiration, you can backorder one or you can simply buy one for the normal registration fee if it’s completely expired.

The ones in direct sale or auction are not really expired since they many times have a website on them but sometimes it’s just the domain. Either way it’s still owned by someone and not really expired. These can be very valuable and I thought I should mention them. They are not what I’m after right now.

The ones that are in backorder are expired domains that the original owner has a change to redeem. If they decide not to get it back the fastest buyer can grap the domain.

The thing about backorders is that it can be pretty hit or miss. You can’t know when the domain will free up for registration and the fastest will grap it. That’s why there are services that are specialized in this. They have automated software on fast servers that keep at it at the time of expiration. You can’t really compete with them manually apparently so it’s wise to use them if you really want a domain in backorder.

So where to look for expired domains?

The best free resource is Expired Domains.net. They gather and publish all the information you need for finding good expired domains. They list expired, pending delete and backorder domains.

Their membership is completely free so I suggest you register right away because you will get access to a lot more comprehensive listing with more metrics for analyzing the results.

There are other services like DomCop and Freshdrop. For free services Expired Domains.net is by far the most comprehensive. You get so much information that you have to start by learning what everything in the result table means. Sure there are short explanations on every metric but if you are a new to this stuff, expect to do some Googling.

I plan to write a post soon on the most important metrics as there really is too much stuff to discuss for this one post.

My test

So do they really work? When in doubt, the best way is to try it yourself and learn from the process! That’s why I decided to get an expired domain with a decent link profile and build a WordPress site on it.

I’ll be documenting my results here and I will share them with you later on so make sure to check on me from time to time!

Like stated before, I’m not interested in PBNs for the quite obvious risks and possible future penalties, so my aim is to just build a pretty basic niche website and see if the history of the site has effect on the ranking speed and position.

I will be aiming for low competition and KGR keywords and it will be interesting to see if this site gains traffic faster then my other niche website I’m using to test the KGR terms.

The domain is actually in my professional niche of environmental sciences, so I have some pretty good ideas for content and I’m fairly confident I can bang out a dozen medium length, high quality posts fairly quickly.

My plan is to publish the content in the coming weeks and then I’ll just let the website sit for a while and hopefully start to pick up some organic traffic. At that point I might outsource some of the content creation efforts since I feel I’m spreading my resources too thin with three websites at the moment.

I can’t justify paying for content creation just yet since my online business is not bringing in enough money to have me convinced it’s going to work on the long run. It’s something I’ll definitely look into once I have a steady online income.

I plan to reinvest every dime I make online for the foreseeable future. Either in content, education or software and marketing. I figure this will grow my business at a much faster rate then doing everything manually. But I have to know I can do it on my own first!

Do they still work?

That’s what I aim to find out. I will update this part once I have some data on the results. For now, I will show how I found a domain for my first test site.

I began by just scrolling the domains list until something sparked my interest. I stumbled upon something to do with the environment or maybe renewable energy, can’t really remember exactly. As I mentioned I’m an environmental engineer by profession so this got my interest.

I decided to do a search on the term environment.

Environment keyword results

I then sorted the results by the ABY metric, which is the oldest date in archive.org and exported the domain listing 25 results at a time through the import function. I wish there was a function to import the whole table or at least a few hundred ones but I didn’t fin one?

Import function

I then pasted the results to DomCops Open PageRank tool. Google gave up the PageRank data in 2016 and since then it’s been hard for webmasters and SEOs to compare domains efficiently for free. They have had to use paid services like Moz, Ahrefs and Majestic.

Open PageRank is free and can give a quick gauge on the potential of a domain. It’s a great tool for comparing large volumes of domains like we have here to find the most potential ones. You still need to do some more work but this helps to narrow it down. Or that is my logic at least, can’t really vouch for this just yet but feel free to try it yourself.

You can just copy paste the exported data from Expired Domains.net to Open PageRank.

Open pagerank import

I then list the results by PageRank and pick the ones that have PR of 3 or more. After going through hundred or thousands of domains I noticed that finding dropped domains with PR over 3 was rare and finding ones with PR over 4 and a healthy backlink profile and history was exceedingly rare. The ones with higher PR are probably too valuable for anyone to let them expire.

PageRank results

Once I had a bunch of “high” PR domains I looked at the amount of backlinks they had. ExpiredDomains.net shows this info as well. If the domain had several thousand backlinks I ditched it. It’s highly unlikely the link profile would be natural and there’s no way of easily checking all the links for free. Several hundred backlinks was a no no as well, especially on younger domains.

I found a good domain name that was registered around 2000 initially. It had only 16 backlinks and a clean looking history. I made sure of this by checking it with the WaybackMachine. It belonged to a small American environmental consulting company and the site had mainly contact information.

What really struck gold was the backlinks. 3 of the 16 links were from pretty damn authoritative domains with the domain name as anchor text. Two of the high value ones were dofollow links as well. I checked the backlinks manually with Ahrefs free backlink checker.

After thinking about it for a minute I decided to register the domain and install wordpress on it. I’ll start creating content on it as soon as I get this post finished, so I think it’s time to call it a day!

Conclusion

Well that’s it for now about expired domains. I hope to have some interesting info to share with you sometime in the future.

Thanks for reading if you made it this far. I bet you have a bunch of questions after my ramblings so please don’t hesitate to drop a comment, I promise to get back to you as soon as possible.

I will be updating this post once I have some results or more info to share. Might be three months or might be a week so please bookmark for future reference! I promise to add an email list soon to anyone interested receiving updates.

For now that’s all!

 

 

 

 

Wealthy Affiliate Black Friday deal if you are already a yearly member?

It’s that time of the year again, Black Friday is here! If you are a Wealthy Affiliate member you will know there has been a great Black Friday deal almost every year.

But how about the Wealthy Affiliate Black Friday deal if you are already a yearly member? Are you paying for nothing? Well no. The offer is just as good as if are a free or monthly member.

If you are not a yearly membership yet and are already familiar with Wealthy Affiliate the time to take action is now!

The offer is only runs runs between November 23rd, 2018 (Friday), through November 26th (Monday). So act now and click the link below!

>TAKE ME TO THE DEAL<

 

If you are not familiar with Wealthy Affiliate or the yearly membership let’s look at how it works!

What is the Wealthy Affiliate black Friday deal?

 

Wealthy Affiliate Black Friday deal if you are already a yearly member?

The Wealthy Affiliate black Friday deal is a special offer on the yearly membership of Wealthy Affiliate. Wealthy Affiliate is an all-in-one online platform for affiliate marketer.

They teach you how to create an online business using the content creation and affiliate marketing principles. It essentially involves creating a website or several websites in specific niches, creating content around that niche on low competition keywords to gain organic traffic through search engines.

You then market relevant offers in that niche to using affiliate links. If a reader of your website/blog clicks that link and makes a purchase you will receive an affiliate fee. Simple as that, check the previous link for more info.

What’s included in the Premium offer?

The yearly membership has everything listed in the table below under the monthly Premium membership below.

 

The Black Friday special offer will include some bonuses as well. Kyle has hinted there will be some great improvements this year on the platform and there are at least four bonuses included on the special deal:

  • A “Secret Sauce” live class with Kyle
  • Something called the Secret Sauce, White Paper (not really sure what this is, probably a cheat sheet of the live class)
  • 5 weeks of live training about creating a niche website in 2019, this is not included in your normal training.
  • A beta access to a new are for yearly members, not surprisingly called Yearly Members.

 

What if I’m already a yearly member?

If you are already a yearly member at Wealthy Affiliate when you purchase the Black Friday offer, you will pay the $299 and add an entire year to your membership.

So if you for example paid your yearly membership fee this July, the Black Friday offer will continue you yearly membership to July of the next year.

How about an existing monthly member?

If you are a monthly member you will be pro-rated on your monthly billing cycle. Meaning they will reimburse for what ever you have left of your monthly payment during the time of the yearly membership purchase.

So you won’t lose any money, that’s the important part.

Not sure yet?

Check out this post by Kyle for more info on what’s to come and why you should really take advantage of this incredible offer!

I don’t have time to write more about this right now and the counter on the offer starting is just an hour away and I want to share this offer with you as early as possible!

If you have any questions this post or Kyles post didn’t answer, please don’t hesitate to ask! I will get back to you as soon as possible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is the point of working all your life?

What is the point of working all your life?

Feeling stressed? Feeling burned out? Wondering what is the point of working all your life? I really don’t think there is point in working all your whole life so let’s look at what you can do about it!

Here’s the thing. People these days are stressed with working life. This is a fact. They are also stressed with life in general. There are several reasons for this that I will get on to shortly but it’s painfully obvious that working life is putting a big strain on most peoples life when you talk to people.

Sure there are people who absolutely love their jobs. They usually work in a field that is their passion and they dedicate their lives to their careers. That is one of the big choices you have to make in life if you don’t want to feel like working your life away. Dedication to career. There simply isn’t enough time to have a fulfilling, full-time career (not just a job), a family and time intensive satisfying hobbies.

Sure they can be managed simultaneously to some extent, but something is going to wind up half-assed. Think of the stereotypical family with a stay-at-home mom and a distant father that only comes home from the office to eat his dinner and sleep (these days the roles can obviously be switched, but you get the example).

The father might actually love his career, but this kind of situation will without a doubt lead to resentment from the wife and the kids towards the father. In the best case scenario the stay-at-home parent is happy with the situation and there won’t too much resentment between the parents but either way they both have to compromise between career and family.

Now if both parents go to work (in jobs they don’t like) when the kids are young and try to have hobbies of their own somethings gotta give. Either the parents find a way to compromise or they end up splitting up due to resentment. The tragedy is that this can lead to even more stress as you now likely have a shared custody situation which makes planning life that more difficult. Especially when the new partners come into the picture.

But I digress. Let’s look at some of the reasons and factors why people hate working these days so much to figure out if there’s actually any point in working your whole life.

The demands of work

The reason most people can’t truly enjoy their careers is that the working life is too demanding to have a balanced life without stress.

Even if you like the field you are in, the working hours probably take most of your day, leaving you only few hours to have quality time doing what ever it is you love doing. That is, if you have the energy.

Studies show that over working is more common and even expected in many positions these days. Also, digitalization has lead to a situation where many employees are expected to answer emails and calls with their smart phones even from their home, outside office hours. Especially if they are looking to move forward in their career.

Work is too demanding in general. It’s very common there is too little time to complete all the tasks required by your job. Many positions are not filled when an employee retires and the tasks are assigned to other employees due to financial reasons.

Introduction of the work and workplace to new employees in many companies is either nonexistent or inhumanely short. This can lead to extreme stress even on the most diligent worker. Studies show that it takes on average three to six months to get accustomed to a new job. Sometimes even longer if the job is exceptionally demanding and complicated.

What is the point of working all your life?

If you are not given enough adjustment time, this can lead to extreme stress and sub par performance which can unfortunately lead to getting fired. In the worst case scenario you might end up with a burn out.

Working hours are also too long. The average American works about 40 hours per week, as does most Europeans. This is the typical 8-hour working day on week days. The problem with these averages is that they don’t take in to account all the overtime people put in on their spare time without compensation.

Of course there are also people working 50, 60 or 70 hours a week. And the sad part is many of them do this at two (some even three) different jobs and still barely make by since the minimum wage these days is not enough to live or raise a family.

To most people even 40 hours is simply too much work to truly enjoy life. It means you have to give up on something important to you and choose to rest every now and then. A six-hour work day or four day work week of around 30 hours would be much more humane in many fields.

But wouldn’t that lead to decrease in productivity? Actually, in experiments conducted in Sweden, they found out that shorter work week actually yielded superior productivity in jobs requiring lots of thinking and creativity. The obvious reason for this is the fact that thinking and creativity are highly dependent on motivation and low fatigue.So in intellectual work (which most positions are these days) more hours don’t equal better results and productivity.

In many countries the holidays are very short. I remember reading that the average American has about two weeks completely of from work each year. Here in Finland we have around 5 weeks, which still feels too little most of the time. It’s OK for the summer but in all honesty you should have a week off every couple months to keep your sanity.

Holidays are short in many countries

Combining work and family can be tough. Especially in situations where both parents are career oriented. If both parents are working long days, the family life can get very stressful very fast. Both parents will have to pretty much accept the situation and compromise by giving up most of their leisure activities.

It’s no wonder divorce is very common these days, especially after having children. It’s also natural for every adult to strive for financial security on their own. This requires work experience and you can’t really have long absence from work in your resume if you wish to attract the interest of employers.

All I do is work and sleep

I got the idea to write this post from the fact that recently I have felt is all that I do is work and sleep. And maybe catch some chow every now and the.

I’m still working full time in a rather demanding specialist position while I’m reading and learning everything I can about SEO, marketing and the whole online business in general. Naturally I’m also putting what I read into action by working on this website and couple other ones.

This has led me to feel all I do is work and sleep. It has also led me to lose productivity both in my day job and in my online business. I simply don’t have the resources to keep working 100% on both all the time.

The whole reason I started this whole online endeavor was to eventually work less. Not to quit working, but to work less. I truly feel like there is no point in working your whole life for somebody else, especially if it takes most of your time and energy.

I hope in few months I’ll be able to either quit my day job or at least do it part-time (if my employer allows is). I accept this is a transition period that’s going to require hard work without instant gratification. I will not give up, that’s the one thing I’m good at, but I will have to be honest with myself and accept it’s going to be thought to work two jobs effectively.

The thing is, we are individuals. Our stress coping skills, activity levels, passions and life goals differ vastly. What is the perfect fulfillment of every life goal to one person is the other persons absolute hell.

It’s just stupid how most people try to force them into the same mold that is seen as the golden standard by the society even though there are more options available in the free world than ever.

 

 

From a societal point of view it would be perfect if you had a decent pay check, so you can pay your taxes and keep the economy running by consuming all sorts of crap and useless commodities you think you need, because someone said so.

It would also be perfect if you had a few kids because in most western societies there are more old people and not enough young people and children to take care of them by paying taxes or direct fees to companies that run old folks’ homes and hospital. Since, as you know, that’s where old people end up these days when they can’t function on their own anymore.

And it would be perfect you worked as long as possible as hard as possible, since any down time will make you a burden to the society.

People want to fulfill their true passions through hobbies if their career and family isn’t what they truly strive for and love to do. There just isn’t time. Things like pets, music, sports, gaming, creating online businesses etc. can be very time-consuming.

The problem is that if you don’t have the time to do your true passions you will end up feeling resenting all parts of your life.

The stereotypical example would be a person who works a full time job in a profession that doesn’t give him/real satisfaction and decides to have children against his/hers own true desire out of social pressure from the spouse, family and the society in general.

Then the person has to give up on their true passions in exchange of things seen as chores. Sure, you can grow to like or even love the situation but let’s be honest, we all know people who are barely clinging to sanity in a situation like this. This might even be you.

These kinds of situations are where divorces and mid-life crisis’ live.

You have to do something

I sometimes (OK, constantly) fantasize about winning the lottery and quitting my job and my online business and even cutting out all my existing ties and responsibilities, just to chill out and relax. Deep down I know this would be very bad for my confidence, health, relationships and to everything that really matters in life.

You see, the thing is, you have to do something. You need a purpose to get out of the bed and get going. The problem is that to many, going to work isn’t a meaningful purpose. It doesn’t give the sense of accomplishment and joy that working on something you love can give you.

Procrastinating your life away is really not the answer. Just ask any depressed young man stuck in their home in front of a computer wasting their life away.

The obvious reason for most people for working their whole adult life is quite simply financial necessity. You have to pay the bills and eat something after all.

Alternative to working 9 to 5

Unless you have the potential to become a rocks star or the next Elon Musk I suggest you find an alternative to the 9 to 5 rat race as soon as possible. I’m sure you are not interested in working your life away for somebody else since you are reading this article.

Information technology is the career of the future. The money is in the internet. There are few ways you can learn to leverage the internet to earn an income.

You can become a YouTube content creator. You can learn how use crypto currencies to make money. You can offer writing services to bloggers and magazine.

The thing is that all those require active work pretty much constantly. I strive for somewhat passive income. There isn’t such thing as truly passive income, but there are differences in how much you need to invest time for maintenance.

For example in YouTube constant fresh content can make or break a channel. You have to keep in the feed or you will lose views and rankings.

That’s why I chose SEO (Search Engine Optimization) based content creation/blogging combined with affiliate marketing as the business model for my online business.

If you got interested in the alternatives to working a typical 9 to 5 career or full time in general, check out my Niche website journal, my Wealthy Affiliate review and this post about internet marketing as a career.

 

 

Conclusion

So what is the point of working all your life? There isn’t one. The point of life is to help others and enjoy the world without causing harm to other people, animals or the planet. If your job isn’t true to these goals there really isn’t any point in working all your life.

Doing nothing isn’t the answer either, so find something you love and helps other people and work hard on it. That’s the point of working all your life. It just won’t feel like working.

If you have any questions or just need some friendly advice, don’t hesitate to drop a comment. I answer every single comment I get.

Till the next time!