Posted November 30, 2007 7:02 pm by with 21 comments

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It’s Google day on Marketing Pilgrim. Google is testing a way for people to customize their search results. Marketers shudder (but you know it was coming). Google keeps moving towards rewarding quality and delisting thin sites. As they get more sophisticated it gets tougher to game Google. If they can give people power to influence their own search results, it could have a quite an influence on the SEM industry.

If you have quality content it will only help you as your sites rise to the top. Along this theme, today Google said they have recently purged the search engine of thousands of malware sites.

I wrote a post a few hours ago about expired domains that I tried to salvage but have to start over. It was written in response to someone I know who recently bought an expired domain that was owned by company that has been in business for 11 years. He only paid $90 for it. I was sent news about how Google doesn’t transfer PageRank. I thought it was a current story but Google has been penalizing expired domains for years. I interviewed an SEO, and another internet marketer. None caught the error (but some of our readers did).

I spoke with another SEO just now who said it’s not always the case. You can buy an expired domain and keep the PageRank, if you’re careful. In fact, he does this frequently.

If you’re going to buy an existing domain name (since many are already taken) here are some considerations:

  • Be sure the domain has not expired. While you may get PageRank temporarily, it may not last.
  • You can buy a domain for some traffic (which many black hat marketers do, to run ads on the site) but the links won’t help you as far as search engine rankings.
  • If you want PageRank don’t buy a domain name that has been marked for deletion. During a hold phase the original domain owner has 45 days to re-claim their domain.
  • If you do buy an expired domain, keep the heritage content or theme. If you completely change the content you’re guaranteed to lose PageRank and credit for the backlinks.
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  • Great tips.. And dropped domains are big problems today in various marketplaces

  • I just wonder if you buy an expired domain, and make a good quality site would Google still penalize you because your domain was once expired?

  • If you think that a particular expired domains is a good business name, then go for it. The page rank would not last as Google would have re-set this site and re-index due to new sets of pages.

  • These days buying an expired domain is mainly meant to fool the newbies. These guys see the toolbar PR and pay for links thinking it’s the recent value, while PR is actualy dynamic.

  • Many people buy expired domains not for any pagerank but for the traffic that exists. There are huge businesses that then send that traffic to the websites that pay them for those visitors. The traffic is of better quality than those pop up companies they say, but who knows. I don’t use them . You can see many by just searching term expired domain traffic. It made quite a few people wealthy.
    If you do buy an expired domain just make arrangements to transfer ownership but don’t update your registry. Google looks at the updated registries. of course if you change the layout of the site search engines will also change your listings but I’m assuming you keep things the way they are when you bought the domain.

  • Hey Janet,
    Just a quick note to let you know the last link (be sure the domain has not expired) is incorrect…

  • Janet Meiners

    Thanks for the catch.

  • Thanks for those tips. This is what i like about this site: it offers a wealth of news, information and knowledgeable insights so that it has become a must visit for me everyday.

  • @lodispoto

    “but don’t update your registry.”

    Have you tested this? I am curious if it really keeps them at bay like you say it does.

  • I think expired domain still useful, at least for

  • I’m still stumped that so many think that a domain or even a whole website is only worth as much as it’s PR. Once again… it’s the traffic that a site generates that really proves it’s worth. If a domain name expired or not is relevant to your business then it is valuable. The PR is just a nice collection of green pixels

  • Janet Meiners

    Actually PageRank is only part of the story. It’s credit for backlinks that matter (which is part of PageRank). The more relevant links from quality sites the better your placement in Google.

  • I agree with Robert. As hard as it may be for us to accept it’s not always about search. Links are also valuable for the direct traffic they send and if you buy an old domain with a lot of links pointing to it you’ll get traffic.

    The traffic may not be from Google at first, but there can still be traffic.

  • Page rank is only one of the factor among hundreds factors in google algorithm. I think it sholud not be too emphasize….

  • Thanks for the post and these tips. I’ve always read that transferring a domain is tricky.

    Alot of people always talk bad about PR??? I think we all know that it’s a great tool available to us. There is a lot that PageRank does for a website and it’s unfortunate that so many people are jumping on the screw PageRank bandwagon. It’s definitely not the most important thing but a high PageRank means a lot and allows your website to do so much more.

  • Is pagerank so important these days as it was before? I have seen blogs with 0/10 pagerank having top results for extremely popular search phrases.

    Tom At The Home Business Archive’s last blog post..How To Use Twitter To Market Your Services Or Products

  • I would definitely say that Pagerank still has a great impact on rankings in Google. Say two pages were equally SEO-ized, but one had a higher PR than the other. The site with the higher PR would win out 9 times out of 10.

    Carolina Panthers Blog’s last blog post..Carolina Panthers Store

  • Janet,

    It,s me again, once again accidentally stumbling across one of your posts (via Google).

    I am not sure I agree with the requirement that you need to keep the site thematically similar. I can show you otherwise.

    Online Store Marketing’s last blog post..Link Building 101 – PART 1 – ?anyone can Google Map a sewage plant?

  • I think the PR will go to 0 after the domain has been deleted. However, if later someone buy it, wait for few months, I think the PR will go up again.Why ? because if there are many inbound links to this re-register domain, Google may think it is good website and give credit to it because there are many links to this domain

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