New vs Expired Domain Names - An SEO Perspective

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You don’t need us to tell you that having the right domain name is a crucial factor when it comes to determining your website’s SEO score. But how to choose a domain that will help your business thrive? 

In the article below we’ll attempt to break down the differences between buying a brand new domain name and getting hold of an expired one. We will also go into details on the pros and cons of using expired domains, and how you can buy one quickly and affordably. 

Choosing The Right Domain For Your Business 

We should start off by saying that, unfortunately, there’s no hard and fast rule on choosing the right domain name. Whether you go for a new or expired one will depend on a multitude of factors. You will need to do your research, see if an expired domain has negative SEO associated with it, and take your business goals into consideration before you make a decision. 

The good news is, both new and expired domains have something to offer when it comes to SEO. If you have a clear business strategy, all you need to do is weigh the pros and cons of each option to find out which one works best for you. 

The Pros And Cons Of Buying A New Domain 

Buying a new domain name is very much a fresh start. This can be both a positive and a negative, depending on your needs. 

A new domain will represent a clean slate, free of any preexisting SEO problems you might have when you buy an expired domain. This also means that you have to build up the domain from scratch. You will need to build up domain authority, develop new valuable content, and work on getting links from other credible websites. 

You will also have to build up the infrastructure your new domain will need. This usually involves building a website, setting it up for SEO, and creating social media profiles you need to for a basis of an online marketing strategy. 

What Do You Gain With Expired Domains? 

Like with buying a new domain, getting an expired one also comes with benefits and drawbacks. In fact, if you choose the right one, an expired domain can give you an edge over the competition. 

One of the pros of using an expired domain is that it can give you an initial boost in traffic. If you start with a new domain, it might take you months or even years to build up the organic traffic your business needs. Expired domains can help speed the process up, especially if the previous owner was in a similar industry. 

To get the most out of this, you will have to do a bit of research first. Ideally, you will look for an expired domain where a previous website already has a solid amount of daily traffic and is ranked well by Google. You can then build upon this basis by adding valuable content to your own site to further increase the visits. 

Another thing to consider is the age of the domain. If the domain you intend to buy has been around for a while, this is a good indicator that it already has a solid SEO score. This is because websites that use black hat SEO and spam don’t tend to last. Also, you can cut down on the time you need to establish domain authority. 

Talking about domain authority, you can also expect an established domain to have a fair number of backlinks from other sites. If this is the case, it will significantly cut down on the time you need to raise your SEO score. Google still considers link building to be one of the most important aspects of domain authority, so any help you can get in this area will be very useful. 

Finally, all of the above is summed up by Google’s PageRank system. A high PageRank score directly contributes to your website’s place in Google search results. If you did your homework and chose a domain with solid traffic, backlinks, and domain authority, you will be able to hit the ground running when it comes to SEO. 

Things To Look Out For 

Of course, buying an expired domain also comes with certain risks. Again, research is your best friend here - taking a bit of time to do your due diligence can save you a lot of headache in the long run. 

One of the possible issues you may run into happens when a previous site on an expired domain was from a completely different industry than yours. If this site had already built a solid following, this can increase the bounce rate on your new website. Essentially, if older customers see that the domain now features something completely different, they will likely leave your site for one that better suits their needs. 

While this can cause an initial drop in visits, it’s certainly not the end of the world. It does mean, though, that your domain’s SEO score will suffer and you will have to spend time and effort to regain the lost traffic. 

Another problem you may run into is that the domain comes with penalties from Google and a low SEO score. As we mentioned above, getting backlinks from reputable sites is the best way to build your domain authority. However, if these links are considered to be spam by Google, it won’t take long for the domain to get penalized. 

Another thing to look out for is irrelevant backlinks. Essentially, if the website that was hosted on the expired domain was for a business in a different industry, all the links leading back to the domain will likely be related to that industry. Because of this, once you post your new website, these links no longer provide value to the users, and won’t help raise your SEO score. 

How To Use Expired Domains 

We’ve already gone over the first and most obvious use of an expired domain. If you’re planning on hosting a new website on an old domain, you can gain a starting edge by eliminating some of the SEO work you’ll have to do. 

Similar to this, you can also use the expired domain to build backlinks to a domain you already have. You can also use this method to solve the difference in industry we’ve mentioned above. 

To do this, you’ll need to build a smaller website on the expired domain that will then link to your main website. This will still take work, as the smaller website has to have enough content to look natural. You can even do this with a group of expired domains, essentially building your Private Blog Network (PBN), with every smaller website pointing to your main site. 

If you don’t feel like doing all the work to set up a PBN, you can simply set up a 301 redirect and have the expired domain send visitors directly to your main website. This method is somewhat riskier since visitors tend to be suspicious of websites that instantly redirect them. On the other hand, it takes significantly less time and effort to set up. 

Finally, you can always treat the expired domain as an investment opportunity. You can get the domain for an affordable price through an auction and then work on increasing its SEO score. In time, the domain will increase in value, and you will be able to sell it for a profit. 

Buying An Expired Domain 

Getting your hands on an expired domain isn’t that difficult. There are a number of websites that offer domains for sale, like Flippa or GoDaddy Auction. The trick lies in finding the right domain for your business. 

To find out what that is, you will need to do some domain vetting. This usually means checking the expired domain’s background so you can determine its SEO score. Fortunately, there are online tools that help make this process easier. 

First, you should check the domain’s authority, SEO score, and backlinks. Online tools are essential for this step since they will make the research significantly faster and easier. You can also check the domain with Google penalty checker tools, to see if it received any penalties. 

You can use the Wayback Machine to find out what kind of content was featured on the domain. This will also help you plan out content for your new website. Once you have that, you can start figuring out how to integrate the previous backlinks into your SEO strategy. 

Once you’re sure that domain wasn’t penalized for bad practices and that you can use the backlinks it already has for your new website, consider the domain name. If you find a domain name that satisfies all these conditions, you should strongly consider buying it. 

Conclusion 

Hopefully, the guide above has shed some light using new and expired domains, and the distinct benefits that come with each. Even though they might seem like an unconventional step at first, expired domains have a lot to offer if chosen and used correctly. We hope that this post will help you find the right one and give your business an edge when it comes to SEO.

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