For the last two weeks, I’ve been working on a very interesting thing – I’m buying Expired domain names and restoring websites that used to be on those domains.
I would also like to tell you about this great opportunity to get used domain names. Much like cars, many old domain names are “rusty” – at some point in their existence, they end up in the nails of “spammers” and have a damaged backlink profile. However, by searching well, it is possible to find real pearls – websites, which previous owners have done everything good, but for some reason have lost their domain.
When I was just starting out, I wanted to buy all the domains that I saw, but gradually I began to understand the things that are really worth paying attention to in order to buy really high-quality domains that could start earning you passive income as soon as possible.
So far, I’ve only spent money and now I’m waiting for Google to index my new websites on the search engines and start attracting new visitors. I do not expect a profit from this project right away – I will watch how each website behaves, I will try to find the best monetization solutions for each website and hopefully I will cover my investment within a year and will be able to start earning passive income.
What tools do I use to find good Expired domain names?
To make sure that a domain name is worth buying, and that will restore organic content from the very beginning from a Google search engine, I use several tools. My main goal when buying expired domains is to get an organic visit to Google, so I’ll look for domains that have already had one, whose backlinks profile won’t be compromised, and whose former websites will have a lot of quality and original content.
SpamZilla.io – the best Expired domain database
SpamZilla.io is the most comprehensive database of Expired domains. With this service, you can find many millions of Expired domains, filter them by dozens of criteria, see where you can buy this Expired domain, whether it is auctioned or freely available for purchase.
The monthly subscription fee for this service is $ 37. Using this service, I have come to the conclusion that it is worth every penny!
With a little effort, you will be able to quickly understand which domains are worth further research and which are not worth the time.
Once you’ve found a domain that matches your search criteria, you’ll be able to research it in depth to see if it’s “spammed” and if its previous content is worth restoring.
Internet archive (Wayback machine)
The Internet archive, or Wayback machine, is a unique, free service that stores more than 615 billion copies of websites (visible, html part). Before the adventure of buying Expired domains, I didn’t know about such a service, but it’s really amazing!
This service will allow you to rewind time and see what every web address looked like 5, 10 or 15 years ago.
By looking at copies of the past website, you will be able to judge whether the Expired domain you are viewing is worth renewing.
It is important to explore as many pages as possible and try to dig as deep as possible into the depths of the website, as often “deeper” copies of the website are not available. Sometimes, you won’t go beyond the home page at all, so this is an important factor in your plan to update the content of the website.
DupliChecker – check the originality of the content
DupliChecker is a free duplicate finder. If you have found a domain with quality content, then you should definitely check if this content is not already used on other websites. Copy 3-5 articles (up to 100 words) from the Expired domain website and copy them to the DupliChecker website to verify that this content is still genuine. If these articles are at least 80% original, then you can be sure that this content is good.
SemRush – Check out your historical organic visit to Google
Once you’ve found your real domain, which will have unique content in addition, then the next step is to check how that content performed when the previous website was still available. You can do this for free at SemRush.com. Open your free account and you will get 10 free searches on the SemRush platform every day. You will feel how valuable each search is when you start receiving news that 10 free searches are over!
In the picture above, you can see the statistics of my other website – epelna.lv organic traffic since 2012. Wouldn’t it be great to own this domain for 12 euros? Since May of this year, this domain has been redirected to epelna.com, so it no longer has any organic visitors. However, I will continue to pay 12 euros a year for this domain so that it does not enter the Expired domain market and I do not lose all the work I put into improving the SEO of this domain.
This organic visit tool of the past will be one of the main factors that should influence your choice – to buy or not to buy the Expired domain name you are looking at.
It will often be the case that the topic discussed on this website will no longer be relevant today – the content will be naturally outdated. But sometimes even one-fifth of a past organic visit might be enough to make that domain bring you passive income.
Check Ahrefs DR and backlink profile
Ahrefs is one of the most accurate domain name authority rating providers. Ahrefs also offers free viewing of ~ 30 backlinks to your domain. Here you will be able to understand whether the domain name is not “spammed”. If you see backlinks with anchor texts “viagra”, “casino”, etc. then at some point this domain name will be in the hands of spammers and will have a backlink profile, which may negatively affect your position or even inclusion in the Google index.
Above you can see the DR or domain rating of epelna.com, the number of backlinks and the number of domains pointing to epelna.com. Attention should be paid to the number of Dofollow Reffering domains – the higher the%, the better. You should also manually scroll down and see what resources the backlinks are coming from and how good their quality is.
What domains have I purchased so far?
Do you want to see my catch in the Expired domain in the market? I have got both good and not so good domains so far. Let’s look at them so you can learn from my mistakes! Of the 8 domains I have purchased so far, 4 have been acquired through GoDaddy auctions, and 4 have been purchased on the GoDaddy platform.
CasinoPokerTube.com – I purchased this domain, because I wanted to add a website to my portfolio in the gambling niche. I had to enter the auction to get to this domain. There was little competition in the auction and I won with a $ 40 bid. Along with the domain subscription fee, this domain cost me ~ $ 60. I’ve restored this website, updated the content, and look forward to some visitors from Google’s organic results. This is definitely not my best purchase!
RingOnTheFinger.com – this website was active until 2015. This website was about proposal stories. Interesting website with a lot of original content and good organic traffic. I didn’t manage to restore all the videos, but about 160 short articles were added to the website. Also, I immediately ordered 3 new articles on marriage and engagement rings in which I posted links to Amazon products.
This domain’s auction had already ended, so I was free to buy it at the usual Godaddy prices.
Monrezo360.com – I got this domain at auction for $ 12. Adding a subscription fee, I pay about $ 30. After that, I discovered that it was not possible to get the content of this website from Wayback Machine and instead of building a website for this domain, I redirected it to onlinemoneyspy.com.
TopSlotsReview.com – This domain I bought at auction is the lowest bid. Then I found that the domain name has a very bad backlink profile and I will not be able to recover the content of the previous website. But the domain name includes very good keywords, so I could try to resell it at a more expensive price.
TalesOfCroatia.com – website + domain name previously owned by a Croatian travel agency. Copies of the previous website were found in the Internet archive and its content revived. Two years ago, the organic visit to this website was ~ 700. I only revived the English part of the website, because I don’t really understand Croatian. I tried to create an eye-catching website so that new visitors could really use it.
TravelAsia360.net – probably my best purchase so far. This website has served as a travel diary for a world traveler. The previous website contained about 300 articles on various tourist places in Asian countries. Currently, I have restored about 2/3 of the content. Before I add the rest, I want to see how Google Search responds to existing content. I hope that this month’s traffic to this website will be in the thousands and that I will be able to earn from AdSense ads.
SemRush.com does not show any great website visits, but I believe that the author of this website was a good traveler, but she did not understand much about website monetization and SEO.
Ecigarette-starter-kit.com – I bought this website because I am a passionate user of electronic cigarettes. Also, because this website had an organic Google visit of about 14,000 at one time.
I have started to update this website with the hope that I will be able to get at least 1/3 of the visitors that it had in 2013. When I added the content, I realized that it is very outdated and that its searches will naturally be much lower than 8 years ago. But since I paid $ 25 for this domain for two years, it’s definitely worth a try! I will also be able to add affiliate links to the Amazon trading platform to this website.
MyMoneyCode.com – I got this domain at auction for the lowest bid. Below this domain was once a website about a book that is still available for purchase on the Amazon platform. I think it is worth restoring it.
This is also a pretty good sounding domain name that you could try to resell for a profit. This domain also has a good backlink profile!
Top Forex Strategies TopForexStrategies.com – isn’t this a good domain name? It is just perfect for making an affiliate site on it. Also you will not have to think what content to produce, because name says it all! I managed to get some old content back. Very good buy in my opinion – I paid only $12!
How do I plan to make money with Expired Domains?
Profits from Expired domain names will certainly not be immediately visible. My goal when buying Expired domain names is to increase revenue from the Google AdSense advertising platform. I have set myself a goal of earning $ 1,000 a month from the AdSense advertising platform.
As you may have noticed as I wrote, AdSense is not the only way I plan to monetize my newly acquired websites. Affiliate link placement is one of the best ways to monetize any website. Once I understand the approximate visitor profile for each website, I will be able to try to find suitable affiliate partners.
Another way to make money from these websites is to offer paid posts. I will add a section on paid post opportunities and a contact form on all new websites.
My expectations about this project are not too high, so I hope that in a while I will be able to share with you the results, which will be even better than I would have expected.