Back in the day, which would be six or seven years ago, the practice of buying expired domain names was extremely popular. If a site had built up a good amount of links and then the owner let the domain expire, many savvy marketers were snatching up these domains by the dozens (if not more).
These marketers would then either start a new site using the old domain or create a re-direct back to their main website. This was an extremely useful traffic generation strategy to piggyback off the popularity of the domain. I was personally able to take advantage of this very strategy and make a nice profit for myself.
However as is par for the course, all good things must come to an end. Google has now claimed that when an expired domain changes hands, all backlinks are reset and the domain’s PR is set back to zero. Of course there are still a number of marketers who swear this strategy still works. I can tell you from my experience that if you are in the practice of buying expired domains for their SEO value, it is no longer effective.
An alternative to this method is to buy a domain before it expires. This is usually more expensive, but Google is said to not frown on this practice. This means of course that the domain you purchase will retain its backlinks and PR rank. You will then benefit from the traffic and established page rank for this domain.
Buying domains that are already established can be a very effective way to get a big head start in any niche. Some people may scoff at paying upwards of $1000 or more for an established domain, but when you consider the time and money it takes to build notable traffic and search engine ranks, many of these domains can be downright bargains.
Of course you must do your due diligence before buying any domain. Be sure that the site’s SEO and traffic value is in line with the cost and that it isn’t being linked to from any bad neighborhoods. This could save you from many unexpected surprises in the future!
There are thousands of marketers engaging in this practice of buying established domains on a daily basis and reaping the rewards. Why shouldn’t you be one of them?