In PBNs 2019 Part 1 we discussed some logistics of organization on a high level concerning Cloudflare, Spreadsheets and above all randomness. In this the second part of our private blog network series we’ll focus on expired domains and the assessing of their value.
Domain Authority Is One PartFirst, we will look at Domain Authority but before we do lets note Domain Authority in and of itself is worthless. It IS NOT used by Google. It is made by a company called Moz and it is their best guest how Google interrupts the content on a site based on a lot of factors but not all the factors and not in the same ratio. Why do we use it then? Google doesn’t have to tell us their formula for ranking a site in their results…in fact to do so would likely be a disservice to everyone involved. So based on observation and conjecture Moz provides us with an imperfect rating called Domain Authority. It is though in the end a made up number that is flawed. It was so flawed that DA 2.0 came out in March 2019 where many sites saw their rating plummet. Search results didn’t change … why would they when they are not connected to DA. Now thats out of the way…
Expired DomainsWe should start with https://expireddomains.net its a good site that has aggregated the domains being deleted from multiple registrars and it provides some base metrics that we can use to qualify domains for a closer look. There are millions of deleted domain names and we need someway to filter them down to something you can work with. Why do we care about expired domains? Your PBN is attempting to mlmic organically earned backlinks. In the real world backlinks would likely come from sites that have their own backlink profiles and no two organic sites would likely have the same backlink profile. Buying a new domain name will come with 0 backlinks. Buying a used one will likely include some backlinks therefore giving your PBN its power. Think of these like telephone numbers…and you want someone to call you…you wont want to use the old number of someone who didn’t have any friends, but if you get a popular person’s old number then your phone is more likely to ring. Sure they are after the former owner ( or site in our case ) but if you can answer their questions and keep them happy they may keep calling. Same with expired domains. Another site that focuses on expired domains is domcop.com. They are expensive and I’ve never used them because I can do all the work it does pretty swiftly and save the 100 dollars a month. Sure they have a cheaper plan but you cant do anything with it. Access to the expired section and archived section isn’t included …. making it relatively worthless. Back to expireddomains.net its free. Once we log in we can choose filters to sort down to the domains we want. Some of the filters I always put into play are:
The Main Tab
- Domain Name CONTAINS – If I want a domain about a hospital I’ll type ” hospital ” then may remove some domains that would have worked but its helpful. If you get too few results you can remove the filter.
- Length – I set this to no more than 15 characters. Longer ones are likely created for some weird purpose.
- Hyphens – I set this to no more than 1
- Backlinks – I set this to 10 or more. Keep in mind that the metrics reported may not be accurate all the time but this at least fishes out all the domains that have 0 links.
- Only New Last 7 Days – 7 days is ages in this kind of hunt but for our purposes I leave a few extra days because those that set it to 12 or 24 hours may have missed a gem. After a week though the pile is looted beyond use.
- Only Available Domains – who cares about it if its already registered for someone else.
- Domains per page – change this to the max … 200.
The Additional Tab
- I check NO CCTLDS and NO SECOND LEVEL DOMAINS – the quality of the domains aren’t worth your time in these country codes unless you are specifically targeting that country…but even then a .org or a .info is better usually than a .bi
The Adwords & SEO Tab
- Domain Pop – How many domains point to the expired domain? A site with 100 backlinks from 1 domain is less valuable than a site with 10 backlinks from 10 domains. So we want to make sure we have the most domains pointing to our site. I generally set this to 50 or 100.
- Wikipedia – If I have a ton of results after all these filters then I may put a minimal of 1 here…but thats a secondary search if iI need to filter more.
The Majestic Tab
- Trust Flow – I’ll set this to 7. Its rare to find a high trust expired domain as they’ve been picked up usually in an auction but you don’t want a trust flow of below 5 so I put that number in here to ensure the site has some trust.
- I may use the drop down filer Majestic Topical Trust Flow for specific niches but be careful here because the sites often lose context of the domain name… for instance a domain named “ThisIsHealthInsurance.com” can very easily be miscategorized as transit.
Filtered ResultsSearch and gain these results…. Now most of these values are worthless to me. They are cached results usually and not exactly accurate. SO I use the clip board icon to export the top 200 sites that made it through our filters. I sort these results though first by Domain Pop or DP in the graph. Use the clip board to export just the domain names to your clip board.
Domain Detailer – Accurate SEO MetricsWith these export names in order of domain pop I paste the results into a speed-sheet for safe keeping. And then I use a program called Domain Detailer. You can download it … its an application on PC. You can buy credits and each domain name looked up takes a credit. But you get a ton for your money. Ive probably spent 80 bucks on these credits and looked up over a hundred thousand domains in this tool. The metrics reported are more accurate than expireddomains.net metrics. From Domain Detailer I paste the domain names I have selected and click “Add From Text Box” with credits the program will build you a spreadsheet with metrics that should be semi self explanatory. The metrics I focus on are Moz DA, Majestic Domains, Majestic TF and the categories. Backlinks are often off and its good that we have two sources … Moz and Majestics counts … if either has some I believe the higher one. When I find a domain that has a mix of these metrics that seems above the group I move to the final phase.
Anchor TextI open SEMRush.com and search that domain name and verify that the domain pop is as good as I expected. I then check the anchor text and if the anchor text is consistent with the keywords I’d like to be pulling in I then say … its time to buy. Remember to use a registrar that offers free private registration and shop around they are not all the same price. We’ll talk soon about PBNs and the onsite things that you’ll need to consider when building the site up. You also may decide that you just want to help a specific site out and skip building a PBN site and 301 redirect all backlinks to the main domain…we’ll cover that as well in Part 3.