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If you think this is a post about buying an expired domain name and 301 redirecting it to your site, you’re wrong. Search Engine Land has covered this strategy and explained why is doesn’t work. The post is older, but still holds true.

However, that still doesn’t mean you can’t use expired domains to your advantage. Let me show you how…

  1. First, find a good list of expired domains. One site we use for this is www.dropday.com. Every day they update their list of domains that are expired and up for auction. They also give some pretty good data on pagerank, inbound links, etc.
  2. Look through the domains and find one similar to your (or your client’s) niche. For example, let’s say you sell really cool custom-painted bicycle helmets. Are there any expired sites that would match your site? Check through the list.
  3. I found one today (which will be gone by the time you read this, but that’s okay) www.whohelmets.org. So this site (a bicycle helmet site) is now a goner, and anyone linking to it will have a bad, or maybe sometime soon, a broken link.
  4. Pop the URL into one of your cool link tools (Raven, OSE, or even Yahoo) and look for links pointing to that site.
  5. Again, using your SEO tools, analyze the sites linking to the expired domain and try to find ones that are passing decent value.
  6. For this example, we found that an interior page on a bicycle helmet law website (http://www.helmets.org/mandator.htm) was linking to this expired domain. You can find the link by viewing the source code of the page and looking for the URL
  7. Contact the webmaster and let him know that he is either linking to a graveyard page or possibly a broken page. While you are at it, check his page for other broken links as well. Give him something of value he can utilize – in this case, bad link information.
  8. Then ask him to replace the dead link with a link to your site. Make sure you have the right content on your site, though. In other words, create the content that was behind the purpose of this original link.
  9. Hopefully between the value added and the new content the webmaster hooks you up with a very fine link.

Special thanks to Napoleon Suarez whose post on Broken Link Building inspired a lot of the methodology in this article. We just took it in a new direction. But check it out, it’s another good read.

Categories: SEO
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