Aged Domains can help you rank and grow niche websites faster than ever! However, you must do your research and avoid pitfalls that could harm your ability to rank. In this video, we'll help you understand what aged domains are, how to find them, and the important metrics to look at.
[00:01:10] What is an Aged Domain
[00:03:26] Why use an Aged Domain
[00:06:45] How to use an Aged Domain
[00:09:18] What to Watch Out For
[00:12:33] Important Metrics When Buying an Aged Domain
[00:20:25] Tools to Find an Aged Domain
[00:21:56] Case Studies
[00:33:26] Weekly SEO Tip – Video Content
Links and Resources Mentioned
Bryon Brewer: I'm Bryon Brewer. And today we are going to be covering age domains, what they are, why they're important, why you think you should think about using one to grow your website fast. We'll also cover this week's SEO tip and featured service for helping to grow your website.
You can find all the links and materials for this podcast on our website at humanproofdesigns.com. So let's go ahead and get started. So our agenda for today is really around what is an aged domain we'll discuss what they are, why you might want to use one, why other folks are using age domains.
We'll look at how to use it , some possible uses. And then some of the most important aspects we're going to look at today is really around what to watch out for. And what are the important metrics you should be looking at when buying an aged domain? I will also look at some of the tools for helping you find aged domains to use with your sites.
And then we'll also look at a couple of case studies.
[00:01:10] What is an Aged Domain
Bryon Brewer: So let's first get started with what an aged domain is. So anytime a domain owner fails to pay the renewal fee to their registrar, then the domains eventually going to expire. So that's what we mean by an aged domain or expire domain. Most of these have very little value, probably 150,000 or more domains expire every day.
And most of these have no value at all. Some are going to have some significant SEO value though, and that's what we're looking for with an aged or expire domain. If you can find an aged domain with a good quality backlink profile. As well as something that is relevant to the website niche that you're targeting, then it's possible that could be a good candidate to use as an aged domain. However, the top rule when looking at aged domain is really to do your research, understand the domain history and determine as quality based on the metrics that we're going to cover today. To make sure you're, you're buying something that's going to be safe for your site, you, the last thing you want to do is spend lots of effort building out a great niche website, and then find later that that domain you've built it on is going to prevent you from ranking well, or has some type of Google penalty associated with it. Now when can you grab a domain this chart that we've outlined in the podcast on our website outlines exactly when it's possible.
It's called the drop catch activity period. And those are typically when a domain is going into pending delete status, or once it has been released by the registrar. So pending delete will happen five days prior to it actually being released. Now, prior to that period the original owner has a redemption period where it goes into a grace multiple times they have opportunities to get that domain back. So while it's in grace those are probably not good candidates to start looking at right away. Those that are pending deletes though, are more than likely going to go to a delete status and then be available for reregistration.
So you can take a look and monitor those.
[00:03:26] Why use an Aged Domain
Bryon Brewer: So why don't we use an aged domain? A number of reasons here. First, we want to avoid the Google sandbox and get a jumpstart and building our site. When we say Google sandbox, we're talking about a brand new domain in the period of time, probably four to six months for a new domain where Google does not trust that and we're not going to get a lot of good rankings out of that domain. So it's, it's going to take time before we get out of that Google sandbox, before, we see our site traffic and organic rankings coming in. Lots of folks are don't want to wait. Especially when you're starting a new business that long to start getting traffic in revenues and profits coming in.
So an aged domain is going to help us skip that entire Google sandbox. So you get started much faster. Another good reason is powerful backlinks without the expensive costs. Now we do have the cost of acquiring the age domain. However many of you know, backlink building is a time-consuming process.
And it can be costly. Here at Human Proof Designs, we offer guest posts backlink building and those links can cost from a a hundred dollars up to over $200, depending on the domain authority of the site we're getting links from. So it's expensive. If you go and look at an age domain that already has say 200 backlinks, 500 back links to it, that could be in a very expensive endeavor to replicate that many backlinks.
So it can save you quite a bit of money in time. It can also give you a relevant backlink profile. So depending on the age domain and how relevant it is to your niche we may have some really good backlinks there that are relevant, that'll help us rank faster. So for example, if your site is maybe in the camping niche and you get a link from somebody like Bass Pro or Cabela's our REI those are all really strong websites that if you had a back link from them would really help Google understand what your site is about, provide you with a relevency. You may also get from an aged domain backlinks and brand mentions from well-known publications. Maybe the Wall Street Journal or the Washington Post or other large organizations like that, that could bring you some good authority to your website. And some of these links are nearly impossible to acquire naturally or through, through link building efforts.
So you know, if you can find a domain that has the, those types of backlink profiles it can have a huge advantage. To you ranking and growing your site to large numbers. And then domain age is also a ranking factor. We see that through numerous studies Ahrefs just published one this month that showed three millions of results they looked at those that are on page one of Google typically have domains that are five years or older. So domain age can have a big factor in how Google is ranking your site. So for all of these reasons aged domains are, can be a great asset in your toolbox for building your websites. And it's just going to help you get going faster. All right.
[00:06:45] How to use an Aged Domain
Bryon Brewer: So how do we use a an aged domain? So first we w we can use it obviously to build a branding niche authority website. So think about building. This could be an affiliate website. Certainly that is a very common use to using this, an aged domain with the right profile, the right metrics building a brand new site off of it.
So that would become your the domain of your site. You know, it can be tricky finding an age domain sometimes that has relevancy and the domain kind of makes sense from a branding standpoint for your website. But if you can find the right one they can be a huge benefit. It can work for not just affiliate sites, but also e-commerce sites.
E-commerce sites who are looking to gain more traffic from organic rankings and have less reliance on paid advertising. Then a age domain could give them that jump they need to get organic rankings. A second use of it could be to redirect a domain to your brand. So you already have an established website.
You already have a brand or even if you don't have an established website and you want to build off of a different domain. You can do that. You can register a new domain and redirect the age domain to your new domain, or use your existing brand and website and redirect the age domain to your existing website.
So we do that through 301 redirect, which allows us to redirect the domain to your branded website and let Google know to flow the link juice and domain authority of the age domain over to your domain. We'd also go into Google search console and let Google know about that so that they understand that that domain is been redirected.
So you can use it for that. That's going to give your existing site a big jump in authority based on the relevancy and backlink profile of that age domain. And then third, you could also, which a lot folks are doing is flipping domains. So you could buy and sell for a profit. If you can find an aged domain, that's just expire that has good SEO value. Purchase that for 10 bucks and turn around and sell it for say $2,000. It can be quite profitable. All right.
[00:09:18] What to Watch Out For
Bryon Brewer: So what are some things that you need to watch out for? So here's a list of some of the major things you want to think about. Number one is spammy links. The backlink profile is really what we're purchasing when we get an aged domain and spammy links are going to have a negative impact on your ability to rank well with a new site or if we redirect it to our existing site. So you want to look at that backlink profile, do your research and make sure that doesn't have a lot of spamy links. Now, keep in mind that every website out there just about is going to have some spammy links. It seems like there's robots and crawlers and other tools out there that are creating these types of spam links. And so it's inevitable that you're going to get some but overall we're looking for those that could indicate the site's been hacked or some other you know, trend that shows lots of spammy links coming. That could be a unnatural. Google penalties. We also want to check out that.
Now Google penalties. The best way to detect these is if you own the domain is to go into Google search console and see, does it have a penalty applied a manual penalty applied from Google. However, if you don't own the domain, you cannot check Google search console. So we've included with this podcast in the link section, a couple of tools you can use to check, to see if a domain has any type of Google penalty.
We also go through the AdSense checker tool that will help you understand if that domain potentially has any Google penalty. Of course, if it does, it's a domain you want to skip, you want to stay away from if you do end up with an age domain that does have a Google penalty when once purchased it, you go in and you see in Google search console that it does, it's not the end of the world. What you're going to need to do is just submit a request to Google, to have that penalty removed. Let them know that you purchased this domain new. That all the offending content or whatever the penalty were is related to is gone and has been resolved and a likelihood is, is Google is then going to remove that penalty for you.
If it's previously been used as a PBN site, you also want to stay away from that domain. Typically PBN sites are going to have less natural link building to them. They're also typically going to have a lot more non-relevant content in the actual website, which you can go through the way back machine, the internet archive tool and take a look at the actual domain to determine if the content looks like it was used by a PBN or a public blog network. Alright. So keep, keep out, keep a watch out for those things. The other things you kind of want to understand too, is a Google, alogarithm update is something that could affect your age domain. And we always, you know, even new sites, existing sites can face that. All right.
[00:12:33] Important Metrics When Buying an Aged Domain
Bryon Brewer: So some of the important metrics when buying an aged domain.
So probably the very most important aspect here you want to look at is the topical relevancy of the backlinks. What we have experienced in building sites over the last number of years. , and some of those on age domains is we get, we don't get penalized and it doesn't affect us negatively. But if the age domain does not have relevancy to the content we're building, then we're basically getting no benefits, been wasted money on the age domain.
So you want to make sure that it has very high relevancy to what you're building. If you're, if you have a site that is around guitars, then you find an aged domain that maybe was selling guitars or had something really to guitars that would be of course, have a good match. You could also expand that a little bit.
Maybe it had guitars in it, but also other musical equipment. Maybe it had music lessons and those music lessons relate related to guitars. Then that would certainly all be relevant. If it was just a site based on pianos and you want to build one on guitar. Even though they're both musically related, it's going to be very questionable if that age domain is going to provide you value or not. So the, the tighter, the better the relevancy the more likely you're going to have success with that domain. So it's probably the most important metric you want to take a look at is scan through the relevancy of those backlinks and make sure they match.
Now, one tool that we use frequently is SEMrush. When you go into SemRush and look at the backlink analysis screen, it will categorize all the links into topics of what they fall into as well as the category or topic that the domain itself falls into. So you can get an idea of how SEMrush sees that site and what category or topic it puts it into.
And then what types of backlinks, what are all the different categories of backlinks it has. So that that'll give you a good indication of some of the topical relevancy. And then you can scan through all the backlinks, just manual, looking through the back links, to find ones that seem to have high relevancy to the niche website you want to build.
All right. You also want to look at the age of the domain. We're typically looking for domains that are at least five years or older when we're building on an age domain. You can start to get some that are, you know, less than five years. But five years from now tends to give us better results.
If it's site has a great backlink profile it's a very highly relevant and all the stats check out and it's a year old, I would tend to stay away from it. You know a domain that's only a year old still lacks the history that we're looking for. And when we jump in and put a new website on that domain it can confuse Google.
You can lose any kind of value that you thought you get out of that domain. So certainly look for those that are five years or older. Number of referring domains and number of backlinks. Now it is true that you know, backlinks can be manipulated. So that's not as an important metric, although it does have to some degree to help us understand you know, what is going to be the value of this domain? What power is it going to give to our new site? Certainly referring domains can be a better metric as well to look at since it's manipulated less. So look at those, we're looking for those that have at least 50 referring domains, and then we want to make sure that the majority of those referring domains have some relevance and providing good value to the backlink profile. All right. Trademarks, you certainly want to do a search on the trademark database to make sure that there are no trademarks on the name within the domain name. So if you have a trademark issue, you could build a site a year or two later, you could get hit with the lawsuit or some claim against your domain that it is violating someone else's trademark and then all the work that, and money and time that you spend on that website is going to be wasted because you'll lose that domain. So make sure before you go into buying any age domain that it has gone through a trademark search.
You may think something like thebestCrossFitequipment.com is a perfect domain for your fitness site, but the word CrossFit is a copy is a trademark term. And the owner of that trademark could come back in in place a claim against that domain. So we just stay away from anything that has any type of trademark somewhere inside of that domain.
Website quality. This is a big one as well with web star quality. What we typically do is go to the way back machine or internet archive, and we pull up the actual website. We take a look at the screenshots from the site itself and understand what was the site about? How was it built? What did it look like?
What kind of content did it have? And this tool is also going to help you understand you know, how, you know, when was the site active? Okay. How long ago was it that this site was launched and how long did it live? A domain authority is another important aspect. We're looking for those that have a domain authority of 10 or higher.
Domain authority as well as something that can be manipulated all though. Typically it does give us a good indication of the power of that domain if we use it on our website. So we're looking for those that are 10 or higher and certainly the higher, the better. It usually is an indication that the backlink profile is strong.
Citation flow. Now citation flow is giving us an idea of how popular are the websites that are linking to the age domain. Are they very, very popular sites? Are they, it doesn't give us an indication of quality of the links, but it is going to give us an indication if they are from larger sites with more traffic, which is going to lend to a better backlink profile search engine bans – we talked about that any type of Google penalty penalties are going to be important to look at. And then finally, the last date, the site was active. So when was this site last active? If it's been dead, meaning that the owner brought the site down, or for some reason, discontinued the website. We're looking, we're usually looking for sites that have been active within the last two years.
Sometimes you can go out a little bit farther, but the farther the site's been dead then the more likelihood is, is that Google is not going to give us the type of you know, link juice and power from the age domain that we expect. So the newer, the sooner that, that, that site has been live and active, the better.
Typically a lot of these are going to be dead for at least a year. Because the domain goes through a period of about a year when they allow the domain to expire, and then it goes through the process of grace period and finally deletion. So typically most are going to have at least a year, we'll go up to two years that we want to see the site being last active.
So these are all the metrics here that you want to pay attention to. You know, there's quite a few here. That's why the research is so important. If you find a great domain meets all of these requirements here, it could be a really good candidate for your site. All right.
[00:20:25] Tools to Find an Aged Domain
Bryon Brewer: So how do you go about finding these domains?
So of course Human Proof Designs here, we have kind of curated a list of aged domains that are offered with the domain and plus a site package to get you started. You can check out humanproofdesigns.com. Look under, start a business age domain packages or you can click on sites for sale and go through the inventory to see what we have available.
All of these domains of course have gone through due diligence to make sure they qualify and they meet all the requirements of the metrics we just went through. So you know that they're going to be quality if you're getting them from Human Proof Designs. Some other places you may want to look at Serp domains. They're a great partner of ours and SerpDomains.Com is a great resource to find quality domains that have already been vetted. Other ones that you may want to look at here SpamZilla. DynaDot and DomCop, expired domains.net as well. All four of those, you're not going to see that the domains have necessarily gone through a vetting process. So you're going to need to look at those go through their databases and then do your own due diligence on those. A domain coasters is one that I use a lot. They tend to have better quality domains, although you still need to vet all of those domains. And then of course, Google or auctions, you can look at GoDaddy to find those.
All right. So quite a few places you can look for them.
[00:21:56] Case Studies
Bryon Brewer: So I want to get into a case study. So how effective are. aged domains and are they going to be beneficial for you? So it can take a look at a couple of examples here. So the first one comes from our friends over at Serpdomains, and this is a site an aged domain that was purchased in the technology gaming products niche.
They built a brand new site off of this age domain with both informational, how to tutorial articles and money articles linking to affiliate products. Within just a few months of launching their website, they were receiving over 90,000 monthly page views and earning $3,500 or more per month on this website.
So. those that had been building a niche websites for many years is achieving that result within just a three month time period is not typical, but with an age domain, it certainly is possible with a brand new domain, we know that we take much longer typically to get to that earnings and page view level.
So this owner published two to three articles per week averaging 2,500 to 4,000 words each also added links through some guest posts links have continued that link building effort to get some fresh links on the site and then saw that huge growth within just two months. The first articles went live in December and revenue started in February and it's just been growing.
The total cost for this was for the domain and the content was just under $6,000. So pretty good results for the money spent. We can see here some of the stats on here had a DR of 44, 450 referring domains, and we can see the organic traffic here. Really, it just started peaking and going up here, we can see just in January and then February, it really starts to go up.
And then by mid year, by July, August timeframe, we're getting almost 70,000 views here and then organic keywords starting to, of course, almost nothing jumping all the way up to 21,000 within that six month time period. So pretty steep. And this is what is what we see a lot with age domains is these very, very steep increases in traffic after a few months of launch that typically is not going to be so steep with a new domain. It's going to take longer to get to that point. Now I have another case too. I mean, that, one's great. Another case story, this is a really pretty amazing story, and it's got a little of, a bit of a twist to it.
And you can read about this. This is actually in Wikipedia and is where I found this information. They mentioned that this site was purchased and, and, and reused by another buyer. So the domain was freedom251.Com and it was originally created in 2016 for an India company that was offering the world's cheapest smartphone.
Now, some of you may remember this story, but they were offering it for, in us dollars for like $7 or something really cheap like that. Regulators came in and thought this, something sound fishy about this, but they did offer this on a promotion. And at its peak this site that actually went down because it got so much traffic.
In crashed, it was getting nearly 45,000 visitors in February, 2016. And for the, a number of months following that it got lots of publicity in, in news organizations and everywhere had 188,000 backlinks and 10,000 referring domains. All really, because it went viral over this offering of a really cheap smartphone.
The site was shut down. Eventually the phones no longer for sale. It was shut down for about two and a half years. So from 2017, after they finished selling this phone through mid 2019, the domain expired and a new owner picked it up around March of 2019. So freedom251.com The new owner started up an Amazon affiliate site focused in the technology niche, particularly in laptops. So it wasn't phones, but somewhat close technology related and tp laptops. So you can see in the chart here, back in 2016, the monthly volume was hitting 54,000 monthly volume. And just for a short period of year during the month they were selling it.
And then we see in this chart as well, which you can get the links to all of this in the podcast notes that it went from basically zero in 2019 and had a huge steep incline up through 2020. All the way up to the end of 2020, it just kept growing and growing and growing over 300,000 monthly volume with the new owner on this domain selling laptops and it was all monetized through Amazon links or laptop purchases.
I would can see the corresponding increase here as well in the number of keywords. So pretty, pretty amazing growth off of an aged domain. And this owner was likely making you know, in lots of money you know, 10,000 or more per month on that amount of traffic selling laptops, kind of a higher dollar item as well.
So pretty good use probably got the domain very cheap, make tons of money off of this. Now the twist is you can see there's a drop. So within you know, within the year he had reached 300,000 and then we see that just at the end of 2020 in December of 20 20, a little over a year after it launched, there was a very, very steep drop.
So what happened here and why did this happen? Well, we don't know exactly, but more than likely this site was hit by a Google, a logarithm or a manual penalty. Now in December of 2020, there was a Google logarithm release that had a lot to do with backlink relevancy. So it's possible this site got hit by that a logarithm because although the site was related to technology, one of the things that we're seeing is that the original domain had nearly a hundred percent of its traffic from India and Saudi Arabia. And then the new site was built and was almost exclusively focused on USA traffic, and audience. That could be, that's a big red flag. When you're looking at an age domain, you want to go and look at where was the traffic coming from? The SEMrush backlinks analytics tool can give you that.
And typically we're looking for, if you're going to target a USA audience, then you want to have 50% or more of the traffic coming from USA historically on that domain, this one had almost no USA traffic. So Google would have eventually caught this and it's likely what happened to the site in December 2020 is that it was hit by either a penalty or that a alogrithm that was released and had a massive.
It should not really have been used as a US-based affiliate site now, was it a bad decision? That's kind of debatable because the owner probably did make tons of money on this. So it's not like he lost money. It's just that the site could have, if we'd had the right domain, could have grown and, and been steady and not have this decline and maybe be making lots of money to.
Another issue that we see with this site here is that it was based off of a single product. And so all the keyword rankings were really around the, the name of that product. And we've tried this before with other sites where they were single product based and the keyword rankings and the backlink profile were extremely tight around that one product is it then becomes a very difficult to rank and use that age domain for a broader set of products or keywords. So when we're looking at an age domain, we're looking for those that are going to have a little bit of a broad spectrum. If it's in the music industry you know, we don't want it to just be one particular model of guitar.
Because it's probably only going to ever rank for that. We're going to have a hard time expanding it. And that's exactly what we see here with this is that eventually you know, Google caught up with that and the site, the site traffic basically crashed. Now, there is a little bit of twist here. So if you check out the site today, you'll notice that freedom251 is now redirecting to laptop251.com. So the site is back and going as strong as ever. So after almost a year of sitting there, so back and basically in, in the first part of 2021, the site had no traffic. It was just about dead. All the rankings had been lost. So it's has set there for most of the year for 2021.
And in October of this year of 2021, laptop251.com was registered and freedom251.com was redirected over to laptop251 and now the traffic is going back up. It's almost back up to where it was at its peak of nearly 300,000 visitors a month. And and keyword rankings as well.
So it appears that letting the domain sit there for awhile, freedom251 and then redirecting it to a new domain. So we talked about redirecting domains to a new brand, a new domain. Is exactly what they've done. They've just done 301 redirects to laptop251 and built a site brand new site off of a brand new domain on laptops and have been able to recover. So freedom251 is passing over kind of that link juice of had, and that authority, but it's not passing over the penalty or the logarithm update that, that probably occurred on that domain. So it's an interesting twist that they are able to recover that.
And it's pretty clever. It's not something we would recommend because you know, the there's a huge risk in this and it's, it's something that's hard to replicate, so, but it's happened here. You can see just the power of these aged domains and exactly what they can do if you know what you're doing with them.
So they definitely can work. But you want to take your time and do the due diligence on these. All right. So I'd be kind of enjoyed those case study. And kind of understand that a little bit about what's occurred there. So before we wrap up today I do want to jump over and talk about our weekly SEO tip.
[00:33:26] Weekly SEO Tip – Video Content
Bryon Brewer: So moving on here, where weekly SEO tip this week is on using video. Lots of us are not doing anything with video today. We do have quite a few clients who have some good results with this. And it's something that is growing. So using video to rank your articles video is more valuable than ever.
If you notice the Google search results have gone from in the past year of very text-based to Google search results that are now much more richer, they have more images. More videos, more products photos and so forth. If Google shows a video thumbnail next to your search result , next to your article, and it does that for about 25% of search results users are going to be much more likely to click and read your articles. So you're going to get more traffic from it. It makes basically your article at rich snippet in the search results, and you will have higher click through rates. So video is going to help with a couple of things here.
One is the time on page or site you know, that's an SEO tactic to get a basic it's included in the Google logarithm of looking at how long is someone spending on your site? If you have video that time's going to go up because they're going to play that video spend more time than scanning through your article, potentially leaving with little time on your site.
So those metrics improve as well as the number of backlinks referring to your domain can improve. Obviously higher quality content tends to get more backlinks. So having video on your page, your article is going to increase the number of backlinks, increased time on site. All of those are going to have a positive effect for you in Google's a logarithm is increasingly prioritizing websites with with video content.
So I really highly encourage you to think about including video and it's, it's not going to give you a good SEO result if you're just you know, embedding someone else's YouTube video in your article needs to be unique content. Otherwise you're not really going to get credit. You're not going to get as much SEO value by just reusing other people's content.
You need to create unique video content. For this to work, but if you do, it's going to have, can have a huge impact from an SEO standpoint on your your rankings. So we do have a featured service here to mention today. This is our storyboard videos. So probably one of the easiest ways to create unique video for an article is to take that article and basically create a two to three minute long video that goes through the outline, the major topics within that article. And that's exactly what a storyboard video does it has animations, it has background music. It has photos. It takes content from your article, places that as text blurbs over the audio video and creates a compelling video that someone will watch to understand that can be embedded on your content plus share through social media. Post on your YouTube channel as well. That's going to be associated with your niche website. So the link to check this out is in the podcast notes as well. So check it out think about using more video within your content. All right. And that is it for today. Thanks everyone for listening.
And we'll be back next week.