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Is It Worth Buying Aged Domains?


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10 replies to this topic

#1 nanovation

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 01:19 PM

I'm starting a new website and I need some feedback. I'm trying to decide whether I should buy a new domain name that's keyword perfect or get one that is not exactly keyword perfect, but is 7 years old and is expiring.

I've heard that the older the domain name, the better for ranking quickly. In fact, when I look at my Top 10 Competitors on G, I see that all of their domains have been around since 1998 to 2004.

The expiring domain will be bought at auction to avoid it being dropped of course.

The expiring domain has no PR and only 15 inbound links, but hey, it's got a 7 year history in archive.org (10 pages).

What do you think? Does buying an aged domain really make that much of a difference?

#2 Randy

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 01:43 PM

Welcome nanovation ! hi.gif

QUOTE
Does buying an aged domain really make that much of a difference?


Nope. Especially not in the situation you described.

It's not the age of the domain that counts so much as it's the age and number of links, if you can figure out a way to keep those counting for you after purchasing a used domain. Not to mention that when you're buying an already used domain you basically have no idea if someone has done something with it before that might have attracted a penalty.

FWIW, Google at least tries to reset domains when they get bought and sold. It's a difficult thing for them to determine with complete certainty when a domain doesn't actually expire, however if they see the Whois information change, see the nameserver pointers change and see the actual content change significantly that's usually enough to raise plenty of red flags for them. In which case the domain would be reset to be as if it were brand new.

Even if that didn't happen in your case you're still not going to gain anything by purchasing the older domain. It sounds like it's been basically dormant for some time, if not its whole life. So there's simply no advantage to be had, but are possible down sides you'd end up having to overcome.

#3 nanovation

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 02:17 PM

Thanks for the feedback Randy. I figured that if I had to start from scratch, I might as well start with an older domain name. I've checked the archive.org pages and they look legit. The last owner basically threw up 10 pages and then did nothing with it for 7 years. Now he's letting it lapse. The inbound links are nothing to write home about. It's just that the domain has them.

I have read about Google resetting, but since this old domain is a PR0 already, there really isn't much resetting that needs to be done. I would be getting it before it expires so it wouldn't be a "new domain name". It would still show up in the Whois as being registered 7 years ago.

My gut still tells me to jump at the expiring domain though as I know once I build up enough links to the site that I'll look better in Google's eyes because the domain is not brand new.


#4 BBCoach

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 02:29 PM

Agree 100% with Randy's assessment and you stating
QUOTE
The expiring domain has no PR and only 15 inbound links, but hey, it's got a 7 year history in archive.org (10 pages).
puts the final nail in that coffin. Why spend more than you have to when there is no appreciable/measurable gain? Get your own domain and market it.

#5 nanovation

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 04:21 PM

Sorry, I messed up on the PR. The domain name does indeed have a PR1. Don't know if that will make a difference or not.

#6 Randy

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 09:52 PM

It wouldn't in my mind. PR 1 is too easy to attain, so I'd be going with my perfect, brand spanking new domain name.

#7 seoseattle

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 11:32 AM

The only time that I recommend the purchase of an aged domain is if the domain under consideration has an attraction such as easy to remember or an obvious connection to an important keyword. It is my belief however... I am seeing one case where a local business connected to a busy generic industry just went under. My thought is there could be some value in checking out and considering purchase of those. I won't hold my breath for GM.com. But, some smaller local companies. There could also be some value in those who have bookmarked this local and frequently visited site.
I would defenitly purchase when available if the aged domain is easy to remember or has an obvious connection to an important keyword. eek.gif

#8 Hic

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 11:14 AM

If I'm allowed to, I think that this article from seomoz is helpful
http://www.seomoz.or...-ranking-factor

Also read the source mentioned in that article : "17 ways a search engine values a link" , there are some good points about the domain age and in which cases it will help you rank better ..

#9 Randy

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 11:50 AM

The article however doesn't speak to the original question Hic.

The OP asked if buying a domain with age on it will help. Not if having a site on a domain they had already owned for years would gain a bump over a brand new domain.

Google have stated that they attempt to reset a domain's authority and trust when it changes hands. What they've not said are what exact signals they look at when making this determination. One could surmise a change in the WhoIs information to denote new ownership could be one signal, though I can tell you I've edited some WhoIs details over some of my domains over the years and never been hit by a reset.

I will note however that when I do this I don't make a WhoIs change at the same time I'm doing a site redesign or some other mass change to the content of a site.

On the flip side of the coin I do buy the occasional domain that's already somewhat established but just not performing very well. This of course means there is not only a sale of the domain, but I'm typically making a lot of changes to the pages in a relatively short period of time to maximize the sites potential. I have seen what are obvious resets in these situations.

Only the search engines could tell you where the line in the sand is. But I've seen these domain resets enough times to know it's probably not wise to count on gaining any extra bump simply by purchasing a domain that already has some age on it, because it's at least a 50/50 chance there is going to be no such benefit.

#10 Hic

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 12:05 PM

QUOTE(Randy @ Oct 21 2009, 11:50 AM) View Post
But I've seen these domain resets enough times to know it's probably not wise to count on gaining any extra bump simply by purchasing a domain that already has some age on it, because it's at least a 50/50 chance there is going to be no such benefit.



This is so important ..
You know people are buying aged domains for $500 and more just to get such benefit ..

Even if that domain have some PR, probably the links will disappear with the time ..


Thank you for the clarification.

#11 PatrickGer

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 09:07 PM

QUOTE
FWIW, Google at least tries to reset domains when they get bought and sold. It's a difficult thing for them to determine with complete certainty when a domain doesn't actually expire, however if they see the Whois information change, see the nameserver pointers change and see the actual content change significantly that's usually enough to raise plenty of red flags for them. In which case the domain would be reset to be as if it were brand new.


Interesting...I know randy must have sold quite a few domains, so i expect him to know a bit about this (wouldnt expect him to say soemthing like this without any evidence, anyway)...but i can remember a few times when some of the well-known SEOs out there (I really dont want to quote them, because im not exactly sure who exactly said that only 90% sure...and dont want to misquote anyone) said that buying aged domains does work. I think I even remember one of them stating that despite everyone saying it doesnt work, it did if done right... Maybe they've figured out how to use the gray area where google just can't be sure...?
(then again if it doesnt help anymore anyway :-))

QUOTE
This is so important ..
You know people are buying aged domains for $500 and more just to get such benefit ..

Even if that domain have some PR, probably the links will disappear with the time ..


and this one I cant help but comment on....ever tried contacting someone about a broken link? I have. I was surprised how many webmasters dont even care enough to remove it if you tell them about a broken link on their site lol. of course, it might depend a lot on the type of site & niche... I can think of one popular domain that got sold in 2008 and basically has a "we promise we'll update this page in 2009!" page on it, now.....and it still has a ton of links pointing to it...

EDIT: my bad..only saw Randy's other post where he mentions his evidence, now!




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