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Like clockwork, I receive an email or phone call every few months from either a prospecting or existing customer questioning me about the value of buying and forwarding expired domains to their website.

Most of the time, those that are inquiring about such SEO magic usually have run across some forum thread, or an outdated article claiming to have achieved increased rankings or page one ranking across major search engines.

Obviously, just because one reads this type of SEO nonsense on the Internet, without a thorough and deeper investigation, does not make it search safe, nor the gospel truth.

I know, if this is you, I’m putting a damper on your newly found silver-bullet SEO.

However, there are pros and cons to consider when buying and forwarding expired domains as a part or the sum of your SEO strategy and effort.

In fact, you can find and buy expired domains in auction at this very moment.

And yes, expired domains can boost your website’s profile by forwarding to your website.

But here’s the caveat:

When the expired domain has relevant backlinks from 3rd-party websites associated to your line of business, then your website capitalizes on the domain’s existing backlink profile.

In addition, knowing this can be good news or bad news, depending on the type of links used when linking to the expired domains.

Blank-slate expired domains are the best, and here’s why…

My experience with finding and buying such expired domains has been much like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

I tend to find and buy expired domains that consist of generic keywords and could be considered businesses in a box.

I purchase these blank-slate expired domains, having no previous backlink profile, and develop each into thriving lead generation websites or websites that I lease to other businesses for a nominal monthly fee.

Most expired domains like this have been held by other domainers who chose not to develop the domain or they didn’t have the resources to develop.

When you hit the jackpot of expired domains worth forwarding

Developing or forwarding expired domains with no previous history is just one side of the coin as not all expired domain auction purchases lead to a tangible pot of cash and page one search rankings.

However, there is the occasional one or two domains that I stumble across with jackpot backlink profiles.

When this happens, it’s like Christmas coming early as I am able to glean hundreds or thousands of industry specific links from these domains due to their high page and domain authority.

The bad news bears of expired domains

But with the good comes the too good to be true expired domains that cause you more pain, and cost you an arm and leg in both money and time.

The typical expired domain with a penalized search and backlink profile has likely been used as a churn and burn website.

In short, black-hat SEO was purposely used to achieve search rankings in an effort to sell the website to an unsuspecting domain or website buyer, or to make as much money selling a hot product before search engines de-indexed the website.

In my humble opinion, it’s just not worth it to buy, develop or forward damaged expired domains.

If you have the time and money, then plunge into buying, developing and forwarding expired domains until your little heart is content. But do be aware of the common pitfalls of such actions.

No matter what, always ask yourself this question…

In closing, when I stumble across what I deem to be spectacular expired domains that are less than 5 years old in auction, I have to tread lightly.

I ask myself a multitude of questions about expired domain auctions at hand. However, the most important question is always answering why the expired domain is in auction in the first place.

Just something to think about… 😉

Meet Alvin Brown

Alvin Brown He's an experienced and passionate serial entrepreneur and founder of Kickstart Commerce. Alvin possesses a great love for startups dominating their market using profitable internet marketing and domain name strategies for greater commerce.

4 Responses to Is buying and forwarding expired domains an effective SEO strategy?

  • NextDrop.com says:

    Buying relevant expiring domain and then developing them as supporting business is a good way to send traffic to main business. Forwarding is not good as old these days.

    • Alvin Brown
      Alvin Brown says:

      Yes, I think each domain is a case-by-case review. Sometimes it makes sense to forward. Sometimes it makes sense to migrate from old domain to expired domain. Sometimes it makes sense to create a microsite. It all depends on the overarching goal the customer is trying to achieve as it relates to their overall SEO strategy.

  • Mike Patch says:

    You make good points here Alvin, and close out your article with the best advice yet. If you can live with the potential damage, then it’s worth trying if the expired domains are in the same niche. But you need to be conscious of what they’re doing to your site.

    • Alvin Brown
      Alvin Brown says:

      Hi Mike,

      Agreed. It’s imperative to watch metrics and analytics like a hawk when using such a strategy. I’ve had stellar and less than stellar moments buying and forward expired domains for myself and a few customers that executed this strategy at their own risk.

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