How to buy an aged domain: Best practices for purchasing an aged domain name
What Are Aged Domains?
The internet is a vast universe, each web address representing a unique destination. Within this digital landscape, a special category of web addresses exists – ‘aged domains’. But what is the story behind these digital antiques?
When we talk about ‘aged domains‘, we’re referring to those web addresses which have previously been registered, have served as online homes to various entities, and are now back on the market. Imagine these as pre-loved or seasoned web addresses. They aren’t newcomers to the digital scene; they have been around for quite some time, sometimes stretching to several years, and occasionally even crossing into decades.
In an analysis performed by SEO analytics provider Ahrefs, it was found that a whopping 91% of all registered domains can be classified as ‘aged’, having been in existence for a minimum of one year. Many of these aged domains have hosted diverse content over time, interacted with their audiences, and gathered backlinks, creating a rich and varied digital history. This history sets them apart from newly minted domains, both in terms of their inherent attributes and their potential advantages.
Identifying an aged domain is a straightforward process thanks to site age checker tools. These tools offer valuable insights into the domain’s initial registration date, its expiration date, and its active duration. They also reveal how many times the domain has been ‘dropped’, or transferred between owners, an important aspect to consider when assessing the potential worth of an aged domain.
The significance of aged domains lies in their capacity to fast-track SEO efforts. Their accumulated history and digital interactions can provide unique opportunities for SEO initiatives. However, to truly harness their power, it’s vital to fully comprehend their advantages and potential pitfalls.
Does Google Care About Domain Age When Thinking About SEO?
The role of domain age in Google’s search algorithm is a topic of intense debate among SEO professionals. Google’s official stance, as stated by Matt Cutts, a former head of the web spam team, is that the age of a domain is a very minor factor in determining search engine rankings. However, the indirect benefits of domain age can be significant.
Aged domains often come with a history of content and backlinks, which can play a main role in SEO. They’ve had time to accumulate trust and authority in the eyes of search engines. Furthermore, Google’s algorithm considers the age of backlinks, making older, more established links potentially more valuable. So while Google may not directly reward domain age, the SEO benefits of an aged domain are hard to ignore.
Advantages of Buying Aged Domains for SEO
Buying an aged domain can offer several SEO advantages. First and foremost, they bring a level of domain authority and trust that new domains simply cannot match. This can potentially result in higher search engine rankings and improved visibility.
Secondly, aged domains often come with a pre-existing backlink profile. The backlinks associated with these domains can enhance your SEO strategies, acting as endorsements from other websites, and indicating to search engines that your content holds value and reliability.
Additionally, aged domains can have residual traffic from previous users. This means you could start with a visitor base already in place, which could lead to immediate conversions and a jumpstart on user engagement metrics.
Disadvantages of Buying Aged Domains for SEO
However, buying aged domains for SEO is not without its pitfalls. A significant disadvantage is that the domain’s history may include penalties from search engines due to previous owners’ black hat SEO practices. This could negatively affect your website’s performance in search engine results.
Furthermore, the existing backlinks that are usually a benefit can also be a drawback. If the backlinks are of low quality or from spammy websites, they can harm more than they help.
Also, aged domains often come with a higher price tag. The cost of acquiring these domains can be substantial, especially if the domain name is highly sought after or has a significant amount of traffic or backlinks.
5 Things To Consider When Buying Aged Domains For SEO
When considering the purchase of an aged domain, keep these five points in mind:
- Determine whether the expired domain had spam: Use tools like the Wayback Machine to inspect the domain’s historical content. If it was used for spammy practices, it’s best to avoid it.
- Determine if there are spam links: Review the domain’s backlink profile. Tools like Ahrefs or Moz can help identify low-quality or spammy backlinks.
- Check brandability: Consider whether the domain name aligns with your brand. Is it memorable? Easy to spell and pronounce? If it doesn’t fit your brand, it might not be the best choice.
- Verify if it has any manual penalty: Use Google Search Console to check for any penalties. A domain with a manual action against it can drastically affect your SEO efforts and may be difficult to recover from. 5. Check the number of drops: A drop refers to the number of times a domain has expired and been re-registered. Frequent drops can be a red flag for search engines, indicating instability. You can use a domain age checker tool to find this information.
The decision to purchase an aged domain should not be taken lightly. While there can be significant SEO benefits, such as an established backlink profile and inherent domain authority, there are also potential downsides. These include possible penalties from past misuse, spammy backlinks, and a higher purchase cost.
Before buying an aged domain, do your due diligence. Determine if the domain was used for spam, examine the backlink profile, evaluate its fit with your brand, check for penalties, and investigate its drop history. By taking these steps, you can increase your chances of reaping the SEO benefits of an aged domain while avoiding potential pitfalls.
Remember, SEO is a long-term game, and while an aged domain can provide a head start, it is no substitute for quality content, a well-optimized website, and solid SEO practices. Whether you opt for a fresh domain or an aged one, the key to SEO success lies in providing value to your users and meeting their needs in the best possible way.