Building Authority Sites with Aged Domains

This is something I’m doing exclusively as of a few months ago and its something that I rarely ever read about.

Oftentimes when people are buying aged domains they are usually using it as part of their link building network or maybe to drop into a network like Authority Link Network so they can get a decent daily post-queue.

I rarely ever hear people talk about the benefits of starting an authority site on an aged domain and this is exactly what I want to touch on today.

Why Build a Site on an Aged Domain?

Starting your website with an expiring domain name is like starting a marathon 1 mile ahead of everyone else.

Unless the domain was previously used for some kind of malicious activity, the domain comes with its own “old site authority” that you can take advantage of. This completely removes the time a new site is going to need to build up this trust, possibly avoiding any kind of new site filters (like the sandbox) which are a royal pain in the ass.

2 Visual Examples: New Domain vs Aged Domain

I’m going to share a couple screenshots of 2 different sites built around the same time. Each has had a relatively equal share of love regarding links and content and they were both started around the same time.

New Domain

Here’s a graph of a site I started building in late September. This was on a brand new domain name that I regged because I thought of a clever name. The only time I would recommend doing this is if you have BIG PLANS for the site and want to turn it into a real business, something more than an affiliate site. Only then would a good name actually benefit you beyond the benefits you’d get from getting an aged domain with a less-nifty domain name.

As you can see from the graph traffic has been just a few uniques per day, minus the part it jumped out and back into the sandbox. This was 3 consecutive days which the site earned around $20 a day off of around 20 decent pages of content. It gave me a good idea of what I could expect to earn from the site in the future when it does actually start ranking. If I could do it over again I would have started this site on an aged domain, I just didn’t realize how much of a difference it makes.

Aged Domain

Here’s a graph of a site I started building in late October, 1 month after the site on the new domain. The domain itself is 8 years old and came with a handful of links. It’s actually not even a .com, it’s a .net, but it works fine.

The steady rise in traffic corroborates with the weekly links and content added to it. In an alternate universe of affiliate marketing heaven, all sites built would look like this with a steady uphill slope of traffic.

The Biggest Downsides of Aged Domains

No good thing comes without a price, literally.

The Expense

Good domains can sometimes come at a hefty price. I’ve noticed especially in finance niches, domains with a decent name and thousands of backlinks can go into the thousands.

However, it doesn’t take that kind of investment to get by with this strategy.

If you’re like me and you want to get by on a budget, I will show you how to do that using one of my favorite programs a little later.

Limited Supply

You can’t cherry pick the name of your site, which I think a lot of people really like to do. The novelty of this wore off on me a long time ago, so I’d rather take the SEO benefits of an aged domain than a new domain thats going to take a lot longer to rank.

Good domains on the market can sometimes be few and far between and 99.9% of what you look at will definitely not suit you.

Where to Buy Aged Domains

Digitalpoint Domain Market

A lot of people discount DP and for good reason, the forum just isn’t what it used to be. However, I still like to browse their domain marketplace once in a while.

It’s laid out in a nice format so you can easily get what you’re looking for:

Dropday

I remember the good ol’ days when tools like Dropday and Freshdrop were free. These days they want a subscription from you but if you’re looking to register several domains at once it could very well be worth it. The data they give is invaluable and this is the easiest way IMO of picking up a good quality domain name without having to do a ton of manual research on it.

The Flippa Alternative

One thing I have experimented with is buying aged domains with a little bit of content on Flippa. These can be had for just a couple hundred bucks or less. What you can do is basically pick off where the original owner left off and create a diamond out of a piece of coal without having to do a lot of waiting for teh Google to trust your site.

If you’re looking to do something like this I would avoid the influx of EMDs on the Flippa marketplace. EMDs, in my opinion, for this will pidgeonhole how far you can really take a site.

My Favorite: Scrapebox TDNAM Scraper

Ah, one of the many uses of Scrapebox. They have a really cool scraper that I’ve been using for a long while to pick up little gems in the rough. The nice thing about these domains that you’ll find with the TDNAM scraper is that they are fist come first serve, there’s never any bidding.

You can find PR domains, domains 10+ years old, all for about $5-$10 plus the standard domain reg fee. It’s definitely a great option if you’re on a tight budget. This is actually how I bought my aged domain shown in the graph above and its how I’ve acquired domains for probably the majority of my now successful sites.

GLB

22 Comments Building Authority Sites with Aged Domains

  1. Adam

    Morning Andrew,

    You say about not cherry picking domain names. How far would you stray from the the standard EMD or keyword rich domain? Would you aim for getting one or two keywords in your aged domain, or buy stuff that is only loosely relevant to your niche?

    Cheers,

    Adam

    Reply
    1. Andrew Scherer

      I can usually find aged domains of TDNAM with a keyword in there somewhere. In fact, I just bought 3 earlier today all with the keyword contained in the name somewhere/somehow. They were 4-8 years old.

      Reply
      1. Adam

        Ah cool, cheers for replying.

        Have you still seen improvements on domains with age but no backlink profile? I’m personally finding a lot of great aged domains with my keywords, but a lot seem to be lacking any links.

        Reply
        1. Andrew Scherer

          Right, you’ll have to pay more to find decent domains with PR and a decent link profile. However, I wouldn’t worry too much about it. The links can always be built, but snapping up a good domain for a money site that’s 5-6+ years old..that’s a lot more valuable in my eyes.

          Reply
    1. Andrew Scherer

      Hi, I do both actually. Strangely enough, the ones I use for linkbuilding cost a lot more because they come with PR.

      Reply
  2. Rahul

    This is great idea to speed and skyrocket online business. What you think about the specific niche related traffic. Suppose i want to make in tires but i got domain related to freeinternetmachines.com do you think it is good to target tires with that site. I mean not keyword in domain for these sites?

    Reply
    1. Andrew Scherer

      If you already have the domain then it could always work, sure. But like I mentioned on an earlier comment its usually possible to pick up a super-aged domain on TDNAM that contains the word tires somewhere in the domain for $15-$20.

      Reply
  3. EVgueni

    Can u please describe what are you looking for as far as backlink profile for those high PR sites. iI know you can buy a high pr site that will tank in couple of months. So how do you decide? .edu, .gov links are a must?

    Than you!

    Reply
    1. Andrew Scherer

      If you want to buy domains for PR then look at diversity more so than .gov or .edu (IMO). A site which has 1,000 links all from the same domain can tank if that domain tanks too, so look for links from a lot of different places. If you really want to go deep you can use SEO Spyglass and get a general idea of the power of the incoming links to the domain.

      Reply
      1. EVgueni

        Makes sense. When you do buy high PR sites – do you try to put them on a different c-class IP? Do you look for a diversified cms profile as well? Interlink or not?

        Reply
        1. Andrew Scherer

          I only put money sites on different IPs if I am looking to interlink which is rare, I don’t interlink much and usually advocate against it since theres risks involved with interlinking. If you’re looking to build a private network for linkbuilding then yes different B/C IPs are a must. Diversified CMS – it depends on what you’re looking to do with your network. The best link networks are diversified across many CMSes though, to avoid footprints.

          Reply
      2. Jon

        Hey Andrew – Thanks for taking the time to write the article

        Just wondering about your preference for the different factors and how you would prioritise them when choosing a domain.

        Assuming that the domain is being registered to build a site on (rather than to build links *from*) would you mind ranking the following in order of your personal preference:

        - Keywords rich domain
        - Link volume
        - Existing PR
        - Domain age

        In your experience, are GoDaddy closeout sales and similar OK to use even where the domains have been dropped and the registrar holding page is now indexed rather than the original website?

        Cheers :)

        Reply
        1. Andrew Scherer

          1. Age.
          2. Keyword Domain
          3. Links
          4. PR

          PR is overrated and will probably be phased out eventually. Links can always be built.

          I avoid domains that have drops on their whois record.

          Reply
  4. Jod

    Hi Andrew

    Thanks for writing this article, I have found it very interesting.

    I am too wondering if godaddy closeout (dropped) domains are OK to use. Do you avoid dropped domains completedly or domains that have been dropped in their past history?

    I’m just trying to avoid entering auctions for domains as I would prefer to find “buy now” domains.

    Thanks for your time

    Reply
    1. Andrew Scherer

      I generally I avoid domains with a dropped record in their history.

      There are many buy now domains without drops on record that you can buy.

      Reply
  5. Beau

    Interesting. Do you find that this ranking effect is true regardless of whether the domain was used before?

    Reply
  6. Jay Soriano

    Andrew – Interesting case study, I recently just scored a domain backorder of an aged domain (6 years) and this was exactly what I was looking for. Things worth noting though, the aged domain came with a “handful of links,” meaning _____? Are they high authority links? What’s the aged domains PR/DA/PA? What’s generating the traffic; long tail or the root domain?

    The domain I acquired is on a clean slate, it will be interesting to see if I notice any differences as this is the first time I’m working on an aged domain.

    Reply

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