On July 2nd, 2014, I purchased my first ever expired domain through GoDaddy Auctions. The objective was to find a domain that wasn’t renewed with a high enough domain and page authority. Remember, these are expired domains which, at one point, were active websites with content, internal/external links and if I’m lucky – traffic. Let’s take a look at why Page and Domain authority matter…
Domain Authority – measured using these 3 factors: age, popularity and size. These 3 factors are important because after the recent Panda update, Google has paid more attention to them when ranking websites. The older the domain means the longer it’s been around and built credibility over time providing a valuable resource to visitors.
Page Authority – relates to the pages within the website and the likelihood of those specific pages ranking high within the SERP’s. The metrics involved are relevance and inbound links pointing to that page from external resources.
You now have a better understanding of why “domain” and “page” authority are significant and how expired domains play an important role when setting up a private blog network. If you purchase the right domain than automatically you have a website with value. When we build links to our “main” website from our PBN network, the link juice passed through is of greater value. If everything is done correctly, you’ve decrease the amount time required to boost your rankings.
Before I continue…
- What is a PBN (Private Blog Network)?
- Private Blog Network Case Study Overview
- Building A Private Blog Network Website
Criteria When Choosing a Domain
- has a domain age of 3+
- PR 2+
- has a domain authority of 15+
- has a consistent page authority of 25+
- has a diverse backlink profile from previous owner
These numbers are flexible so don’t worry if you’re (+) or (–) a few numbers.
Let’s looks at ways you can search expired domains.
The longer way is through GoDaddy Auctions which holds that largest catalogue of expired domains. However, no matter how large their data, they don’t have an effective way to narrow down your search. This was the first method I used when searching domains and was complicated. I’ll still show you this method, in case, you still find it much easier.
Here’s a quick overview and after I’ve posted a video showing you the process.
Searching Domains Using GoDaddy.com
Start by navigating over to Auctions.GoDaddy.com and clicking on “advanced search” next to the search bar. You’ll need to configure a few options to meet the criteria above. You’re limited at what you can choose but fill in the search fields available.
Under keyword, enter a relevant “term” to your main website. In this example, I’ll be using “blogging”. You have a few options…
- exact match
- begins with
- ends with
Fill in maximum price depending on your budget. I’ve left it blank so I’ll get the complete search results. Under “type” I’ve selected “All” so the search results will display all types of domains. Here a quick breakdown of the important options…
Expiring Domains: displays domains about to expire
Public Auctions: displays domains you can bid on
Public Buy Now: display domains you have the option to bid or buy now
Closeout Domains: A closeout is your last chance to capture great expired domain names at rock-bottom prices
Offer/Counter Offer: Sells when you accept a buyer’s offer or counter offer within the binding period.
In my experience, selecting these will give you an awesome set of expiring domains.
You can select what type of extensions you’re looking for and purchasing .com, .org, .net or .info is acceptable. Make sure you select these before submitting your search.
Don’t worry about filling out the following fields: “characters”, “attributes” and “traffic”
It’s important to fill in the “domain age” field using the criteria above. You can set it to minimum “3” since this number is flexible. Once you’re done, click “Run Search”
You’ll notice that GoDaddy.com did not allow us to filter “page” or ”domain” authority and set a minimum “page rank” during our search criteria.
Once you’ve narrowed down a handful of domains, you’ll still need to search the “page rank” and “page authority” for each. To check “page” authority, browse over to OpenSiteExplorer.org and have the domains you narrowed down in GoDaddy.com by your side. I’ll use this domain “bloggerbiz.com” from the search results…
You still need to check “page rank” for the domain. Browse over to checkpagerank.net which is a FREE tool. Simply add domain and click “check page rank”. Unfortunately “bloggerbiz.com” has PR of “0” so we need to keep looking for a domain that meets our criteria.
Video – Searching Domains Using GoDaddy.com
There is a much quicker way to search expired domains which allows us to filter everything we need to. It’s very effective and will cut our search time in half. Let’s go ahead and…
Search Domains Using ExpiredDomains.net
This method will cut your time in half once you get the hang of it. It’s a simple and effective way to narrow down everything we’re looking for in a domain.
Start by browsing over to ExpiredDomains.net and either log in or register.
In order to get into the filtering options, click on “deleted .com”
After, select “other domains” then “GD Closeouts” and “show filter”.
You have several options to narrow down the domains to fit your EXACT criteria.
Start by entering your keyword in the appropriate field. You have several options…
- starts with
- ends with
- starts NOT with
- contains NOT
- ends NOT with
You have several more options but let’s stick to our criteria and filter minimum “page rank”. I’ll set the number (2)
Select “Additional Filter”
Here you can set the type of domain, i.e .com, .org, .net or .info. You can set the minimum and maximum price so that the results fall within your budget.
Finally, select “Adwords & SEO Filter”
Filter the following options: min “page” and “domain authority”. I’ll set domain authority (10) and page authority (20) because this will keep it in the range.
Once you’ve configured the filter, click “Apply Filter”. If there are no results, select the other options above: GD Expired, GD Buy Now and others. “GD” stands for GoDaddy.com.
Here’s a snapshot of the results I got for my search criteria. You’ll notice the “page rank” is displayed. Even though you can’t see the “domain” or “page” authority information, expireddomains.net is very accurate and will only display results for those domains that fall into your search filter. Watch my video below where I’ve gone into more detail.
Video – Searching Domains Using ExpiredDomains.net
Check Domain History Using Archive.org
Once you’ve narrowed your domains and they meet “all of the criteria above, it’s important to check the history of the domain using archive.org. You want to make sure of a few things…
- If the domain was redirected to another before it expired. In most cases, the link juice will remain with the site the expired domain redirected to. If you find that a redirection was setup than DO NOT purchase the domain. Browse over to archive.org, type in the domain you’d like to purchase in the box. A snapshot of the “domain” will generate and you can click on the dates circled in “blue” to view the snapshot. If there is a redirection, you’ll see it jump to a different domain when loaded.
- If the domain wasn’t redirected, you need to check what happen to the old content published on the expired domain. Find out if it was moved to another website, wasn’t moved or simply removed from Google search altogether. When the snapshot opens, copy and paste the content using quotations (“”) within Google. If the results fall under the expired domain URL or RSS feed than that’s a good sign however if you notice a different URL bringing up the same content DO NOT BUY domain.
- Check for relevance by skimming through the content. You want to make sure to purchase a domain which published relevant content. If the content doesn’t make sense than you know the domain was used as a spammy site to build links or was previously purchased as an expired domain. DO NOT BUY!