The checklist before buying expired domain names


The checklist before buying expired domain names - There are reasons why people choose to buy a used or expired domain name. The domain name they want is a domain name previously owned by others. But most people choose to buy an expired domain name because they want to gain advantage from the fact that it's an old domain name that also comes with some SEO benefits.

When buying an expired domain name, it makes sense to choose the best domain name in the segment where the new website will be launched. There is little SEO benefit if someone wants to start a new cooking site and buy a domain name used for a car blog.

There are a number of things that will be done to ensure the domain name you choose will benefit the new website and without any hassle. Therefore, we have compiled a list of things that you should know before buying an expired domain name.

There are a number of tests you will perform before you buy, get rid of the most malicious stuff, and there are some other tests you will do after you have bought the domain name, after which you prove ownership. It works with services like Google Webmaster Tools.

Checklist before buying an expired domain name

A simple Google search will reveal information about the domain's previous history, but there are other means to see what happens to that domain name. Here are the main things you should check:

1. Check out Google's current penalty


Before buying a domain name, do a simple search on Google (website: If nothing is displayed, it will be a sign that the site is being penalized from Google, either an automatic or manual penalty. Either way, that's not a good sign. Of course, the ability the previous owner has chosen doesn't appear in Google's search index via robot.txt, but as such, you'll see a few hits referring to this fact.

2. Check out various SEO metrics


Tools that will generate a score for a domain such as Domain Management or SEO MOZ Page Authority. Google has stopped ranking pages, but there are other metrics you will rely on to find out. Look for extremes - if the DA or PA of a certain website is abnormally high or low and there is no clear explanation why, you need to dig deeper into that domain.

3. Check the content type hosted on the domain


You do a Google search (Wikipedia's website: and, if possible, check if there are any cached search results in the index. Even if cached content doesn't look right because of the lack of CSS, the text-only version will tell you what kind of website is hosted under the domain name.

You can use the WayBack Machine to view older versions of the website and you will see a few snapshots.

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4. Investigate the Backlink profile of the domain name


Check the type of backlink that the domain name has. When seeing many low-quality directories of backlinks or spam like fake social media profiles, forum profiles or forum signatures with just a few real editorial links, it's time to hit Price to see if it's worth your purchase. Sometimes it will be the perfect domain name for your brand, but if that name doesn't matter, then it's better to look at the next domain name.

When those links are rejected in GWT, you can't know for sure unless you buy the domain name.

Check more after buying a domain name

After you purchase the domain name, there are a few additional checks that you perform before hosting a real website on it:

1. Search for incoming traffic


You investigate the amount of traffic coming in, when you set up a small HTML page just using Google analytics code on it and will be an upcoming message or by viewing the web server log. Check out referrals, when it comes to traffic coming from random websites that appear to be legitimate, but you don't find a link to your domain name on it, which is an indication that the previous owner has participated in a shady businesses like hijacking other sites and driving traffic to your site.

2. Google webmaster tools


After you have purchased the domain name, register with Google Webmaster Tools, because you have proven ownership of the website. Wait a few days or a week to see if anything appears in Webmaster Tools like messages related to manual penalties or basically any other issue. It is impossible to guarantee a clean domain name even after a week you do not see any messages from Google, but if you receive messages, it is better not to host your new website under that domain.

3. Check spam


Create a new email address on the domain and send a few emails to you or some of your friends that link to the page. Check for incoming emails or in the Spam folder. This is a simple check that you should do and when the emails are in the Spam folder, you should consider why.

There are also tools to identify domain names used in spam campaigns:

It will help you check the domain blacklist status and help you remove it from certain blacklists.

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This article will make many readers think that buying an expired domain name is risky. This is because it focuses primarily on the issues and worst-case scenarios that occur when buying used / expired domain names and is aimed at people who want to dig into a domain's history. Sometimes, the situation is not so bad and there are success stories when people buy extremely valuable domain names that have been previously owned.