If you have a brand new domain (i.e., you just registered it and it's "create date" is very new), then you'll want to buy an expired domain that has some history behind it...and a create date that's at least one year old. Redirecting an old expired domain will give your brand new domain a lot of benefits, especially when it comes to search engine rankings.
How do I find a quality expired domain?
I actually like the free service called Fresh Drop. You can search through the various auction listings like Godaddy's auctions and others. Sorting is pretty easy, I personally like to pick up domains that have .GOV backlinks (you can sort the domains and see which ones have .GOV links) and I also like to pick up domains that are currently in the Yahoo Directory (can help you save the $299 submission/review fee if you redirect the domain to your current domain).
If you find a domain that's not necessarily the "best sounding domain" or if it's not a keyword rich domain then using a 301 redirect from the expired domain you buy to your new or current domain will help with traffic and rankings.
If you're not practicing this (by purchasing expired domains and redirecting them) then you're losing out.
If your competitor's site goes down (and their domain name expires) then why wouldn't you take advantage of that by sending their traffic to your site?
This method is pretty much out-dated because:
1. 301s do not pass as much link juice as before.
2. This technique would qualify as a form of doorway spamming and there are chances of getting a slap.
3. When a domain name drops - it loses its toolbar PR and most of its link juice.
Perhaps, but I'm still seeing a benefit from it.
>> doorway spamming?
I don't think so. What if one company buys another? They would 301 the old company site to the new one. I'll take my chances. Isn't what this is all about anyway?
>> when a domain drops - it loses its toolbar PR
You still have that toolbar installed? I removed it back around 2005 or so, I don't look at it anymore. Haven't cared about PR for several years now.
But, the 'trick' is to get a domain before it actually drops or even goes Pending Delete. Just purchase the domain from the right registrar/auction and there won't be an issue at all. The "create date" remains the same in many cases.
But, its still an indicative "number" - everything is pretty much indicative when it comes to data according to the G god.
Could you please elaborate on picking a domain before it drops or even goes pending delete?
I thought there was a wait period and you couldn't pick up the domain until it drops?
Never thought of this before.
I don't care about PR, or any of that SEO stuff. With most of my websites. But if that domain has any traffic, it would be valuable to me.
Thanks for this advice man.
>> quality one way links.
Agreed, buying expired domains with traffic/links is only one part of link building, you have to acquire the other links, as well.
>> unless you notify google about the change
You're notifying them by setting up a 301 Permanent Redirect. I have never seen a penalty from Google because of a 301 Permanent Redirect. Would love to see an example of it.
>> Could you please elaborate on picking a domain before it drops or even goes pending delete? I thought there was a wait period and you couldn't pick up the domain until it drops?
Some registrars' domains never "drop" and never go "pending delete", the registrar automatically renews the domain for a year if the former owner doesn't renew the domain. The domain is then auctioned off by the registrar to the highest bidder. The domain never "drops", never goes into "pending delete" status. If you buy one of these domains the "create date" will still show the old create date. You can easily buy a domain from 1999 or even 1996 if you want. Namejet, Godaddy, Snapnames, just a few of them that do this.
>> But if that domain has any traffic, it would be valuable to me.
Of course, just search for domains that have traffic that you can buy. No problem finding them.
Godaddy does let them drop I have bought a couple through there auctions and once you buy you have to wait until a certain date to take possession of the domain. As the previous owner has until the official drop date to renew it and would be huge legal mess if these periods are followed as per the godaddy staff. Here is one deliciousdrinks.net I bought and as you can see it did drop even though it was bought through godaddy td auctions the other registrars I dont know about.
>>Godaddy does let them drop
Technically speaking, the domains do not "drop" like those domains are "supposed to" drop through the 'normal' process. They never go "pending delete", they're automatically renewed for a year and put up for auction. Once you win one at auction, there's a certain period of time that you have to wait (a few days) until you take control over the domain. Of all the domains that I have won at auction, only 1 or 2 have been claimed by their former owners within that period.
When I refer to "dropping" I am talking about the period where the domain isn't renewed, it ultimately gets set to "pending delete" and then it actually drops (according to the actual whois record).
As an example, let's take a look at Local Home Builders, a domain I bought recently through the Godaddy auction. You'll notice that the create date is 2002 and it never actually dropped.