How to Use Expired Domains for SEO


As we said in our previous blog also, Expired Domains are one of the best effective and untapped potential ways in which you can increase your SEO performance.

We are writing this article for you to understand how you can use expired domains to increase your SEO performance in 4 simple ways. In order to make most of the outcome, here is a guide that will help you to find and vet the domains.

Bonus: Here is absolutely free downloadable expired domain vetting checklist which can land you the best-expired domains in the market. Just sign up with your email address to download the checklist.

Why Do You Have to Pursue Expired Domains?

Before we dive into the ways in which you can leverage expired domains, we need to understand why is it important to pursue expired domains? Well, the answer is expired domain does not have a value for itself.

These expired domains become valuable only when –

  1. They have quality link profile with unoptimized anchor text
  2. They are relevant to your website
  3. They are free from Spam Histories

These pointers can seem straightforward, but it is difficult to find an expired domain with all these requirements.


4 Ways to Leverage Expired Domains

Here are 4 ways in which you can leverage expired domains to enhance your organic search traffic –

  • Private Blog Networks (PBN’s)

Private Blog Networks are the most effective ways to leverage expired domains. Using Private Blog Network is also a high-risk method on this list. Here Nathan Gotch, the founder of Gotch SEO, discusses at length about how he was a PBN freak and how that all changed.

He says “Private Blog Network comes with substantial risk. It all boils down to your mere decision of using PBN’s in the pattern of risk and reward analysis. If you think the “reward – organic search traffic” is more important than “risk” it poses, then go for it. For it, I do not necessarily rule out the fact that using Private Blog Networks does not entirely work out.”

The truth is you do not need a PBN to get SEO results. Generally, staunch believers of using PBNs cannot think of ways other than using PBns to achieve SEO results. Actually, I have also come across many narrow mindset individuals establishing the fact the anyone who aren’t using PBNs to rank search traffic, are lying. Putting all your eggs in a basket will destroy your success over time. While we all try to grow our traffic organically, why wouldn’t you wish to keep your approach organic? Do not be rigid with the approaches you choose to use while the concept of SEO and Businesses are varying constantly.

You need not use risky tactics to enhance your organic search traffic. Consider the patterns of risk and reward analysis before using any SEO strategy. Envision the outcomes of both short and long-term possibilities. In this journey, you will stumble upon both positives and negatives and make sure that you aware of every possible situation.

If you want to risk using PBNs, you should check out bigwig Matt Diggity’s Blogs known for just using Private Blog Networks.

The next three ways to leverage expired domains are less riskier than using PBNs

  • White Hat Alternatives to PBNs

If you are not willing to take risks, you can use White Hat Alternatives to PBNs. This approach has practically zero risk penalty. On the contrary, you need to invest a huge amount of time because you have perform outreach.

However, time investment shouldn’t be an issue because all other tactics take the same amount of time to implement. You can outsource these products by easily creating procedures.


  • Find a relevant and high quality expired domain
  • Derive the backlink profile of the expired domain
  • Find the contact information for all the quality of link opportunities
  • Reach out to the linker and let them know you are redirecting this link to dead source/website
  • If they respond, pitch the idea of associating links to your website than associating with a dead link.

This approach works best when you can promoting relevant content assets.

  • The Merger Technique

The Merger Technique is the simple and easiest method to get best ROI and ROT with least efforts. The method can be less time consuming but finding high quality and relevant domains require the most time among all other processes.

Here is a detailed explanation of what is Merger Technique.

I’m going to briefly explain this technique here for your understanding. The Merger Technique is the method where you find relevant expired domains with strong backlink profiles and then 301 redirect them to your website.

Nathan Gotch says “he stumbled upon his tactic when I was working with a data center company that would frequently acquire other data center companies throughout the United States. Every time they acquired a new company, we would 301 redirect that company’s website to the appropriate local page. For example, when they would acquire a Dallas data center, we would 301 redirect the website to our client’s “Dallas” landing page. This was incredibly effective in accelerating our client’s website authority. This made their SEO campaign a breeze.”

The reason why this method is popular among the domainers – it precipitates the business module by providing link quality and quantity.

  • Niche Websites

Referring to Niche Website technique is more of a strategy than a link acquisition method. If you have ever tried starting a niche website, you would found yourself in a situation often referred to as “Sandbox”. In other words, this means Google restrains new websites from performing well in organic search ranking until the website establishes age, trust, and authority.

So when you are starting a new website, it can take months to get the traction. The one way you can surpass this Sandbox situation is through starting your niche website on an expired and aged domain. We do not secure that this method is foolproof but it is known to be effective.

Now that you know the four ways in which leverage your expired domains, we will see how can you find the expired domains.

How to Find Expired Domains

There are many tools and ways in which you can find expired domains but here we are going to provide you with the most effective tools in this list.

  • Freshdrop

Here is the video showing how you can use FreshDrop to find quality expired domains

  • DomCop

DomCop is next best tool for finding the relevant and high quality expired domains


The third best effective tool in providing the best-expired domains is

These are three effective tools in helping your search for high quality and relevant expired domains. Let me now show you how to qualify an expired domain.

How to Qualify Expired Domains

Here are top 4 qualifying questions you should ask yourself to qualify any expired domains in the market.

  • Domain History

To search the history of the domain, go on to to examine the previous use of the domain. Generally,it is understood the previous use of the expired domain is original, that’s why is it ideal to have a search.

For example, if the website was a web design company, then the last version of the website should be a web design company.

Look for domains that are repurposed or used as blog networks. How can you find if it is repurposed domain? A repurposed domain is when the topic of the domain is not relevant to the original or if there is a new foreign language being used on the domain.

Generally, most blogs are easily identifiable because the website looks generic, the outbound links will be irrelevant, and each piece of content is on different topics. These conditions are most likely to be concerned with public blog network.

It is difficult to identify relevant well developed private blog network especially if they exported the previous website from You can look for irregularities in domain ownership or overall changes within Do not disregard a domain immediately if is just used as a part of a blog network. Why? Because you can use the White Hat Alternative to PBNs.

Whilst the domain itself might be considered toxic because of its previous use, it shouldn’t necessarily mean that backlinks that are going to that domain are toxic. Basically, you can also extract the links that you don’t require from that toxic domain. The best part is that you can leverage the fact that the domain is now a part or was a part of blog network in your outreach.

Domain Index

When you are focusing on purchasing expired domains in the auction, then it is critical that is domain is indexed in Google. Some domains which are already expired are not indexed. In this case, if the domain becomes live again, Google usually will reindex it.

Domain Indexing isn’t a huge process, all that is required the quality of the domain and the domain’s reputation.

Domain having Clean Link Profile

The simplest way to audit a link profile is to understand what a quality link looks like. These are the four ways in which you can test the quality of link profile. A backlink profile will have at least one of these quality if not all.

  • Relevant Domain

Finding backlinks from relevant domains is a gospel of effective link acquisition. There are at times where finding relevant domains isn’t always crucial.

For example, if the expired domain used to be an SEO company. After reviewing its link profile you can discover that it has a backlink from the New York Times.

The question which might arise in your mind is the New York Times relevant to SEO? No, the New York Times is a trusted, secured, respected, and authoritative source for information.

In this situation, relevancy is the least concern because New York Times’ authority counteracts the lack of relevance.

  • Is it from a real website?

It is not business to judge our intelligence quotient and tell you what a real website should look like. Now that you are looking at this real website reading up on this article, you should understand that this website has a voice, user engagement, and most importantly real traffic. So, it is recommended that you use your best judgement on this because it is probably right.

  • Does Anchor Text make any sense?

Having keywords with rich anchors in the link profile is fine, however, the keywords with rich anchor text should be relevant and sensible. Let’s take the same SEO company as the example from the above point.

Now let’s say that you’re evaluating the link profile and find a link from You can now see that is linking to their prospective domain’s homepage with the anchor text – “replica ray ban sunglasses”.

Does this anchor text make any sense for a domain that was previously catering to an SEO company? Undoubtedly the answer is “NO”.   

Whenever you see an anchor text, make use of your own judgement and ask yourself – “Does this make any sense?”

The next important point is that bulk of anchor text profile for the domain should be unoptimized. Because you do not want work with a domain that has been abused from an SEO point of view.

  • Linking Domain Has Authority Itself

The expired domain has many backlinks from the websites that are unauthoritative then it might not equal opportunity. And when I say “unauthoritative” that means the linking domain does not have many backlinks themselves. This would mean that the expired domain will have low trust and low authority. This combination of low trust and low authority exhibits a weak opportunity.

Are the backlinks “sticky”?

You should always want the existing backlinks that have the high probability to stick, which means there is very less chance that the backlinks will be removed.

For example, a backlink type which has a low probability of being removed is the one from a dated article. On the contrary, a backlink that is inserted into a website’s footer has a high probability of being removed. That is why it is not advisable to leverage domains that were previously used by web design companies since it is usually the bulk of their link profile.


To conclude, we have provided you insights on how to leverage expired domains for SEO. Then we dived into ways to find expired domains and also learned how to vet each prospective domain you could find. Hope you can learn all these through this article in a simple way.   

About the author

Rachael Chapman

A Complete Gamer and a Tech Geek . Brings out all her thoughts and Love in Writting Techie blogs.

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