Five Ways to Use Expired Domains to Optimize Search Engine Rankings


Last updated on June 4th, 2014 at 06:00 pm

Expired domains are what happens when a person fails to renew his or her website name. This has nothing to do with hosting as that is a different animal. When a website is at the end of its paid lifetime the web master is allowed to renew. If he or she does not then eventually the domain is expired. You may copy that domain name and register it as your own. You may then use the expired domain name to enhance the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) on your website. Here are five ways that you may use expired domains to optimize your website for a better search engine standing.

improve SERP from expired domains

  • Resurrect a few pages and backlink from them to your other websites

This is a cunning little trick that takes a bit of thinking. You use the search engines to see what website URLs they still have registered for your expired domain. This sort of thing can be done with numerous search engines but here is how you do it with Google. You use the “site:”  function and put your domain name after it (including the www bit). It will then show you all of the pages that the search engine still has on its index.

Copy those URLs and construct pages made of them. Make it so that they are correctly optimized for whatever you are planning to do with your website. Then submit a sitemap to Google about your new website. It will not create new entries for the old URLs; it will just update the index data. The URLs will look as if they never left and their standing on the search engine will grow far faster than your newer pages will. Use this to your benefit by backlinking from those pages to your website and enjoy a slightly elevated SEO benefit.

  • Use the goodwill of the expired domain to gain more backlinks

The website that just closed down may still have a bit of goodwill still left in it. You can use this to convince a few people to link to you. You can test the water on social media to see if people still like the website and want to link to it. You could convince them that you have simply changed the website design or that you are simply going in a different direction to the previous owner.

  • Build up a successful website from the expired domain

It is easier to rise up through the search engine results pages on Google if you have an older domain. Google likes older domains so you will rise up the search engine results pages quicker and may even start at a higher position. Soon after you have achieved your lofty position on the search engine results pages you can start to link from your website to the website you want to rank up.

  • Redirect from old expired domains to your new website

This is going to redirect people from the old domain to your new website that is under a different domain name.  Any traffic that is interested in your website will help increase your rank over time as your website becomes more popular. People will start to go to your website domain instead of typing in the old expired one. This does not work so well if the visitors are not suited for the website you are directing them to.

  • Turn the expired domain into a blog on the same theme

This is a clever thing to do if you both want to improve the SEO of another website and if you want to start a blog with a slightly better search engine standing. The expired domain had a purpose or a meaning. You have to find out what that was. You can probably look at the Meta data on the websites when they appear on the search engine. Their URLs will lead nowhere but the Meta data should still show beneath them.

Now that you know what the website was all about you can create a blog on the same theme. When Google updates it information for the website then it updates itself on the new stuff but has lots of the same keywords as it always had. It makes the website appear as if it has been on the same topic for a long time and so will rise up through the search engine results pages quicker. You then link back to your website in order to enjoy the SEO benefits.

Kate Funk is a freelance writer at She is mainly focusing on technology, gadgets and all the latest SEO trends which are interesting for networking enthusiasts.

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