How Aged Domains Can Improve SEO
No one is sure what to make of aged domains right now.
Common sense in the SEO world tells us that the older a domain is, the better its chances of increasing your online traffic.
This was certainly true in the past, but some argue that domain age isn't as useful or relevant these days.
Their case is that other metrics, like your click-through rate, are far more important.
Despite what you may have heard, though, existing aged domains aren't obsolete yet.
A domain name that has collected a solid backlink portfolio, a Google index, and accumulated PageRank will always be an asset to any web owner.
For this reason, you may want to buy aged domain URLs either for your own use or to re-sell, whenever you find ones that score high in SpamZilla's criteria.
What's in a Domain Name?
For anyone new to the world of aged and expired domains, let's do a rundown.
A domain is the core of a website's home URL, by which a visitor can always identify that site.
For instance, the "youtube" in youtube.com is that site's domain name, while the ".com" portion is called a top-level domain (TLD) or a domain extension.
Individuals, businesses, and organizations can lease domain names from a registrar like GoDaddy or NameJet.
This rental period usually lasts around one year but can be extended to ten years, depending on the host site's rules. You can't purchase a domain permanently, but you can renew one year after year.
Occasionally, though, someone neglects to renew their domain.
These former registrants are either unable to keep their name or are uninterested in doing so, which means the domain returns to the registrar.
After a grace period of around 30-60 days, the domain finally expires for good and re-enters the public market, where anyone can snatch it up.
People usually buy expired domains at auction in either a public arena (such as GoDaddy Auctions) or a smaller private affair between a few interested buyers.
Sometimes, though, an investor will buy a large host of domains with the intention to resell them at a higher—but stable—price.
For those who want to know what they're getting into and not risk a bidding war, buying from a broker is often the more reliable choice.
What Makes Aged Domains Different?
Any pre-existing domain name comes with some of the benefits of age, but an expired domain name isn't particularly useful in most cases.
For many an expired domain, the registrant signed up for a new domain and never put much work into it. At most, a new admin might see a branding opportunity if the domain name suits their business niche.
Only a tiny fraction of expired domains are what SEO experts would describe as an "aged domain." You want these names to have qualities such as embedded links, traffic, rank, applicable keywords, and the following.
Relevant Backlinks and Brand Connections
A backlink is an external hyperlink from a different website. They are valuable because they denote:
- related business sites, services, or products
- the overall popularity of a site that has a high volume of them
You can think of them like citations, in the sense that the more times someone else cites your work, the more authoritative you appear to be.
Because a domain's backlink profile is so important in terms of Google ranking, it helps to start with an established portfolio rather than spending the time and money to build it up yourself.
The best aged domains can boast years' worth of backlinks that one or more previous owners cultivated in a methodical process.
Backlinks aren't universally good, though. If you're building SEO, the source these links come from is essential to consider.
Some links lead to websites that are defunct or untrustworthy and therefore aren't helpful.
The best links come from established authority sites in your niche—for instance, a bookseller benefits from having frequent listings on Amazon.com.
Most websites revolve around a handful of authority sites, which are domains that act as a database for other sources.
A marketplace seller like Amazon or GoDaddy is an example of a service authority site, although the term can also apply to a wiki.
These power sites host thousands of hyperlinks to other domains and are, in turn, supported by thousands of links from others.
Finding a domain that already carries respect and trust within your niche is rare. If you have the opportunity to purchase an authority domain page, we can think of very few reasons to pass it up.
That said, even sites that are not "authority sites" can have built-up authority (and traffic).
While this quality is closely related to a domain's number of backlinks, it also depends on a less measurable metric: trust. If you think you might own an authority site, it's never a bad idea to research a domain's history.
Finally, it's worth remembering that a domain's age is only one of many solid ranking factors.
Right now, buying a dropped business website at auction can be of greater value than the domain itself, as the former has a reliable base that may have dwindled after its domain expired.
That said, you can always rebuild aged domains under new management and work to bring that old traffic back.
The Best Way to Use Aged Domains
By now, it's clear that an expired domain name could be an incredible tool in a way that a new domain is unable to match.
Buying expired or aged domains is a process we'll discuss later in this overview. For now, let's look at how you can get value out of them.
Private Blog Networks
A PBN or private blog network is an obvious use for aged domains and therefore is one of the most popular ways to take advantage of them.
PBNs are a collection of domains that the admin uses to backlink to their primary site. Most of the time, these extra domains get turned into WordPress blogs to maximize word count (always a plus from an SEO perspective) and include a high link volume.
Private blog networks currently have a significant problem, though: Google doesn't like them.
Because PBNs are considered spam, hosting one—even through a number of intermediaries—can result in the search engine dumping all of your data.
Several services exist to get around this restriction, but no method is foolproof. As a result, private blog networks have a negative reputation in the SEO world.
Explore a Niche
One organic method of increasing your authority is by focusing on your domain's particular specialty.
With a blog site, you can create new content and encourage others to post on your pages, thus building backlinks. Boosting your social media presence is also an excellent way to build trust and increase your rankings over time.
In essence, this approach naturally achieves what a PBN tries to imitate: a network of related platforms, each with its own special niche and data, that link to each other.
Invest and Resell
For an aspiring investor or broker, collecting aged domains is a great strategy.
Targeting aged domain names means you can support a reputation for supplying domains with high authority and extensive backlink profiles.
Soon enough, you'll find customers in your inbox asking whether the domain they want has dropped yet.
Where to Buy Aged Domains
Finding aged domains for sale is both easy and a significant challenge.
After all, purchase sites tuck aged domains into the same places where expired domains are bought and sold.
By checking out the metrics on an upcoming drop list, you can pick out which domains are aged and which aren't (or you can have someone check for you).
Alternatively, there are a few sources that specialize in aged domain registration.
Free Aged-Domain Finders
An aged domain finder helps you find and buy domains that contain multiple existing articles and a high page rank. A few easy-to-use services include:
- Small SEO Tools
- Website SEO Checker
- Instant Domain Search
- Expired Domains
Note that while these sites can help you in searches to find available domains, you should always check over and verify their suggestions after your search.
Cheap Aged Domains
On DomCop, you can check out available domains with high rankings or buy a relatively inexpensive subscription for the full package.
The site claims access to 4.7 million expired domains, some of which had promising names at the time of writing (such as nycny.com and nystream.net).
While its offerings tend to be extremely broad, it pre-checks for a minimum Moz Domain Authority score and Majestic Trust Flow level.
An easy way to save on your investment is by using SirLinksalot. This platform provides quality backlinks, offering domains for as low as 50 cents per referring domain (RD).
Because SirLinksalot charges based on the backlink source's quality, it allows you to see what sort of links you're getting without putting in additional research.
GoDaddy Aged Domains
Naturally, GoDaddy is a central and widely-trusted source of domains.
It's better known as a domain registrar, but some have speculated that it is going to expand into expired domain tracking and registry. It is one of the best places on the web to join a public domain auction.
While this sort of buying method can easily lead to a bidding war, it's one of the only ways to access the unique domains that GoDaddy hosts.
SpamZilla Aged Domains
SpamZilla is the most extensive collection of domain-hunting software available online. We can help you find either the exact domain name you're looking for or a grouping of related domains using a combination of keyword searches, spam filters, and SEO research.
Super-fast analysis tools allowing you to quickly check a domain for backlinks, anchor text and keywords, expiration dates, price comparisons, and more.
You can review 25 names for free right now or subscribe for the power to check unlimited domains for just $37 a month.
Catch High-Quality Domain Names with SpamZilla
If you're looking to register an aged domain for your PBN or authority site, SpamZilla has the search tools you need to find your dream name.
With 70+ filters - and compatibility with SEO tools like Ahrefs, Majestic, Moz, SEMRush, and more - you can pick and choose from among 350,000+ brand new domains every day.