Domainers, you can quickly skip this article – this is for the seo pro looking for some “quality scores” for their domain.
In the past Google has stated that buying an expired domain passes no value to the new site except for certain conditions. For example, if a company acquires another, those domains under the purchased company could be re-directed to the acquiring company.
For a better explanation, read the Danny Sullivan’ post: Do Links From Expired Domains Count With Google?
I’ve always felt that Google’s logic doesn’t apply when buying expired domains that point to new sites that are very similar in content. The story that Google provides is that if a coffee shop closes and then re-opens as a bank, they now serve a different target audience. But, what if Starbucks opens up where that old coffee shop was? Wouldn’t the customers who bought coffee at the previous store find them selves at least somewhat compelled to visit the Starbucks?
For the past 9 months, I’ve been actively purchasing expired domains either for their traffic, unique backlinks or are just a great domain name. I wanted to test this theory on this site, and luckily, I found some old expired seo blogs that were left to expire. After acquiring the domain, I pointed those sites here.
I noticed in about 2 weeks that all of my rankings jumped dramatically. I purposely did not get any links, and purposely did nothing that might otherwise influence those rankings.
So while I was happy with those results, I needed to try it on other web properties that I own. On average, I would acquire anywhere from 3-7 domains that had at least 100+ unique backlinking domains and pointed them to my other sites.
The same thing happened for those sites as well. In fact, as of this writing all the sites that I used this method with are all in the top 5 results in Google. But, to be fair, I did get links and create content for those sites at the same time.
I still firmly believe that having a website that used to talk about World of Warcraft pointing to an active site about WoW can only help. Sprinkle in some links and some of that authority that the previous site had gets passed along to yours.
Of course, I can’t prove any of this, and Google would never let us in on this even if it were true. But, when it comes to having a diverse online strategy to getting your site ranked, expired domains are easily one of the more unknown opportunities that can get your site ranked.