We are 3 parts away from completing this series and have covered enormous ground. I hope all of you have enjoyed my series so far and learned a lot, applying it to your link building campaigns. I welcome all types of questions so please type them into the comment box below. In this part 22, we’ll be looking at expired domains and simply forwarding them correctly. The strategy is to forward them so Google thinks the website has been moved to another domain. In other words, you are forwarding a high authority expired domain to your “target” website, adding value to your main website. I’ll be going over how to find an expired domain and then what to do to forward it so it adds value to your bottom line.
The main objective is to get a breakdown of the URLs on the expired domain and then forward each page to the corresponding page on your target website. However, the pages you forward will depend on the keyword distribution on the expired domain. Anyway, let’s jump right in and I’ll be more than happy to answer questions you have so please leave them in the comment box below.
Let’s get started…
I’m not going to go into too much detail on how to find the right expired domains. I’ve written content on the entire process right here on JohnChow.com and in my case study. Here’s a link to Finding Expired Domains and what to look for before purchasing your domain.
First, make sure the domain is relevant so when searching, target your main keywords. Always make a list of domains then head over to OpenSiteExplorer.org and Ahrefs.com to get a list of relevant anchor keywords. For example, if my main website is on link building, then I should focus my search on finding domains with related anchor text. Here are some examples…
- Link building
- SEO campaign
- Article directories
- Long-tail keywords
Any of these anchors will work well because they are related and add value to my target website. When using OpenSiteExplorer.org and Ahrefs.com, you can find anchors by clicking on the inbound links tab then “Anchors”. Once you find the right expired domains and purchase them, it’s time to start the forwarding process.
Forwarding Expired Domains
There are two ways you can forward your domain to your target website. I’ll start with the easiest, then explain a more advanced system.
From my experience, many of the domains will be registered through GoDaddy.com. Once you purchase your domain, you can log into your backend then head over to domain forwarding. Make sure you select “301” permanent redirect with masking. The masking option will allow you to add the following during your forwarding process…
- Meta Title attribute
- Meta description attribute
- Relevant keywords
Once you input all the information, GoDaddy.com will start the forwarding process and within minutes, it will be completed. The only restriction is you’ll be forwarding the root expired domain and keywords associated with that root page. This means you can’t target sub-page on your “main” website if you are trying to rank them within the SERP’s. I have several pages and keywords I’m ranking on my target website so prefer to use the second alternative.
Through Hosting WordPress –
If I find the right expired domain that had several backlinks pointing to different sub-pages, then I’ll use this strategy. To implement this strategy takes more time, but is great for deep linking to several pages on your “target” domain. I’ll do my research, gathering keywords relevant to sub-pages on the expired domain, then will match correct keywords on my main website. Here’s an example from Ahrefs.com and, if RankTactics.com was expired, how I can find sub-pages perfect for redirection.
Next, I’ll purchase hosting and install WordPress so I can have access to the backend to install plug-ins. I’ll install the following “WordPress Redirection”, which will allow me to forward individual pages to other sub-pages. Because, during my research, I have a list of anchor keywords and URL (from) to URL (To), I can go ahead and set those redirections up. This way, I’m able to create more links from a single expired domain adding value to different pages on my domain.
Remember a few things if you’re going to be utilizing this strategy…
- Conduct in-depth researching gathering domain list, anchor keywords, from URL and To URL
- Find hosting and install WordPress to make things easier
- Forward individual URLs to the correct corresponding URL
- Go back in a few weeks, making sure things are done correctly