Guide: How To Buy SEO Domains
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If you look up “What makes a good domain for SEO?” in Google, you may notice a bunch of information that doesn’t adequately explain the key considerations involved in selecting a domain for SEO purposes.
You’re likely to find a bunch of explanations on what a domain is, but nothing about the special aspects that make them useful for SEO in particular.
The main reason why there isn’t a lot of SEO information on domains is that most people don’t actually know what makes a target domain valuable in terms of generating organic traffic to it via its ranking positions in the search results.
Luckily for you, we do, and we’re willing to explain how to perform due diligence when you need a brand new site and you’re looking to buy a top-level domain for its SEO value.
We’ve used or worked with thousands of websites, and this experience has given us a genuine understanding of the search engine preferences that determine which sites show up in the top 3 positions.
Types of Domains Used in SEO
Let’s get started by getting some of the broader information out of the way. These are the general types of domains you will encounter when you go to buy SEO domains:
This is a unique domain that you purchase from a domain name registrar (an entity that reserves domain names) which has never been used before. These domains have no history (i.e. no domain age) in the SERPs and thus no preexisting backlinks, either.
You choose the domain name for the new site. It can literally be anything that’s globally unique. However, domain names for SEO are usually branded, partial, or exact match (sometimes requiring keyword research before deciding on the best name).
A new top-level domain can be used for any purpose. It’s usually the seed for a new website, test domain, or link building campaign. Personal, business, or part of a network of multiple domain names, etc.
Some people buy domains just to flip (like real estate). Sometimes having an inventory of extra domains is useful if you tend to work on a lot of projects. Although it can be fun to collect websites, you are ultimately responsible for filling all the pages with content.
These domains have already been used (i.e. it’s an old site), indexed in search engines, and have a history in the SERPs. They typically have links pointing to them from their prior use (though that’s not always true since not all sites get referring domains linking to them over time).
Aged domains are sought-after assets by SEOs and digital marketers because they can be rebuilt or repurposed as a niche-specific target domain for ranking or affiliate projects. Some people prefer to purchase an aged domain and make it their main domain instead of building a single website from scratch.
Aged domains can also be used for specific SEO strategies such as PBNs, 301 redirects, and money sites. Because an aged domain can potentially have a high quality backlink profile or high web page authority, new outbound links added to its content will deliver an extra boost to other sites.
A high-quality aged domain is one that’s never been dropped (i.e. expired) and has a strong/healthy link profile filled with relevant and authoritative backlinks. It should have individual pages with relatively quality or niche content (which can be updated by the new owner).
These are dropped domains that were owned previously, but the owner did not renew the domain with their domain registrar. These domains are often deindexed as well. This can be due to being out of commission for too long or from picking up a penalty.
Whatever the case, just know that buying expired domains comes with a lower price tag for a reason – they can carry a little more risk or can be a little harder to get working.
Just like aged domains, buying expired domains is somewhat easy if you know what to look out for. You want expired domains with strong and healthy backlinks. An expired domain is applied in many of the same ways as aged domains. Turning them into a niche-specific target site is one useful purpose.
Benefits of Different Types of Domains
When it comes to deciding what kind of top-level domains you want to purchase, you simply need to weigh out the options for each.
New domains can be bought for around $10 from a registrar and essentially serve as a clean slate for building your brand. You have full control over what the domain name will be and the site’s SEO performance, and you know exactly what has been done to these domains in the past – which is nothing at all. They will take some time to get going, though, as they don’t have any quality backlinks.
Aged Domains are great because they take no time to index and are therefore ready to use immediately as a money site, keyword domain, or whatever. They have preexisting backlinks (and important metrics) which is an insane shortcut to speedy rankings. Aged Domains are more expensive because of these reasons. High domain authority is preferable.
Expired Domains can be a great option if you have the time to build something out and wait for it to become indexed again. An expired domain has preexisting backlinks like aged domains, but it’s much cheaper. This is because they are a little more of a gamble. You don’t know if and when it will re-index, and it can sometimes take a good amount of time or effort. Having said that, a history of high domain authority is preferable.
In short, aged domains are the premium option and are a consistent growth hack for projects. An expired domain is riskier, but can often provide the same results in the search engines for a lot cheaper. New domains are like starting from square one.
Purposes of SEO Domains
Now that you understand what kinds of domains exist in regards to SEO as well as the benefits of each, you’ll want to consider what your goals are for your domain.
Here are some potential uses for domains:
Start a New Brand – A new brand would probably want to name their company something that has never existed before, and therefore they would need a new domain with that name.
Ex: Dan The Duck Hunter wants to buy DuckHuntinDan.com.
Exact or Partial Match URL – This would be a domain that you would probably buy new, although they can be found aged or expired with a little work and luck. The purpose would be to match the URL to the target the keywords you want to go after.
Ex: BeverlyHillsToiletCleaners.com – The intention is to be very relevant to Beverly Hill Toilet Cleaning Services.
Local, National, or International – By deciding on your target audience, you can find better domains that resonate with a specific geographic location or be broader to resonate to a much larger audience.
Ex: AustinTxPestBoyzzz.com might be better for a local site in Austin, Texas, while MegaPestBoyzzz.com could serve a broader audience. Both will resonate differently in the SERPs.
Repurpose a Brand as a New Money Site – Maybe you find an expired or aged domain that matches the niche you want to target, so you just buy that domain and start building under what is essentially a repurposed brand (Trademarks are rarely an issue. Remember – there’s a reason the site no longer exists).
Ex: You buy ClearMangleSeas.com which has a long-standing history as a sailing domain. You get it and start repurposing it as a watersports affiliate site using its history to propel you into higher rankings.
Redirects – Maybe you already have a website and want to give it an extra kick. You can purchase a domain in a similar niche and then 301 redirect it to your domain. This is supposed to mimic a company buying out another company and then completing the online merger. Essentially, you add the history of both sites together.
Ex: MySuperSite8882.com buys out MySuperSitezzz.com and then 301s the domain to their own domain. This basically points all of its backlinks and power at it.
PBN – PBNs are a great way to pass an insane amount of juice to a money site. You can purchase expired or aged domains and rebuild them in order to push juice from their homepage to your money sites based on the backlinks they had historically. Any domain with preexisting links can be a PBN domain.
Ex: You buy mag77898.com which has 600+ clean referring domains to it and build it out as a PBN to point at your affiliate site. You now get the benefits of all that authority, power, and relevance.
Other Factors when Buying Domains for SEO
Once you’ve considered your goals for your expired domain / aged domain / new domain, you may also want to consider a few additional things before you buy SEO domains that really help you refine what you can do with them.
The TLD (Top Level Domain) – The most commonly used TLD is .com, but you may want to consider other options depending on the types of things you are ranking for.
Ex: If you want to rank for geographically specific SERPs you may want to consider a TLD specific to that country. If you sell workout products exclusively in Estonia, a .ee TLD would be preferrable to a .com.
Is the URL Easy To Remember? – If you’re going to repurpose an aged domain to be a PBN, then the URL may not matter as much. On the contrary, if you’re trying to create a new and memorable brand, the domain name will be much more important to you.
Backlink Quality – You can use a tool like Ahrefs or Majestic to scan for a site’s backlinks and gauge things like niche, power, authority, and whether or not the site is going to resonate properly in the SERPs you’re targeting. This might be one of the most complex aspects when it comes to gauging the quality of a domain. That’s the point of our SEO Domain services – to remove the guesswork.
Internet Archive History – You can go to archive.org and get snapshots of a domain’s historical usage. By doing this, you’ll get an idea of what type of content the domain had on it previously or if it was used for anything nefarious.
Domain Age – We’ve talked about what aged domains are, but you can go to whois.com and get a registration date on any domain as well so you’ll have an idea of how long it’s been owned/active.
Researching and buying top-level domains for SEO can be complex, but the sky is the limit once you’ve found the ideal new domain for your project. If you focus on the sites that are winning in the SERPs and what they’re consistently doing right, then you’ll be able to better understand what search algorithms are targeting.
You can experience SEO success whether you’re buying expired domains, aged domains, or choosing a domain name and building a main website from the ground up. Each option requires a different set of resources but the necessary skills to grow them overlap. Websites with high authority are always best when choosing an aged domain.
Being SEO experts, it’s very rare that we start a project without having an aged or expired domain in the mix somehow. We research and buy expired domains to build up our inventory (because having extra domains is useful). Whether we’re starting as a rebrand or using them as redirects to a fresh brand, SEO Domains are integral to our toolkit.
Hey I'm Chris, one of the founders here at SirLinksalot. I'm into building internet money machines (affiliate websites) and specialize in building backlinks. Find out more about me and my link building team.
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