The Domain Name Free Ride

Every day thousands of domains ‘expire’ and are put back into the pool of available domains that anyone can register. They can be very valuable if you are looking for a quality domain for your online business, or if you want to re-sell them for profit. But wait! There is another huge advantage to a domain that was previously owned — instant traffic!

As I said above, expired domains have all been owned by someone in the past. Many of these previous owners built Websites for these domains, advertised them, registered them with search engines, and even exchanged links with other sites. All translating into traffic to that domain name.

Now, why would someone who took the time to do all that work let the domain expire? It could be one of several reasons:

  • the author simply lost interest
  • an online venture ran out of funding
  • poor management of the domain
  • they couldn’t afford the fees

Whatever the reason, it happens. And you can reclaim some of the wasted traffic and use it to your advantage. You can either point it to your existing site, or use it to jumpstart and add value to a new site.

How do you know if an expired domain has traffic?

While there is no way to gauge the actual amount of traffic going to an expired domain, you can find out its link popularity in the major search engines. This will tell you the number of Web pages listed in a particular search engine that link to that domain. The more links, the higher link popularity and the more traffic that domain is getting (in some search engines, the higher ranking, too). A free online tool to help you find the link popularity of an individual domain at five top search engines can be found at Webofsuccess.com.

Another way I recently discovered is to use a powerful software program called Popular Domains. Among other features, it allows you to import a list of expired domains and automatically check the link popularity of each one. To learn more, check out the software.

As you can see, this can be an affordable way to gain instant traffic to your site. Be nice, though, and do not abuse this technique – make sure the site you are sending traffic to relates to the domain. For example, don’t register the expired domain ‘ehairplugs.com’ just because it has a high link popularity, and then forward the domain to your site about Internet marketing. Other than that you may use your new domain with ‘built-in’ traffic however you wish!

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