You may have heard many a rumor about just how good for business buying aged domains can be. Perhaps someone has told you that they provide traffic, for free, or that they can provide you with a search engine boost before you’ve even launched. While all of these things can be true, you also need to take care when buying an aged domain. In this guide, we explore all the benefits of aged domains, but also provide some tips for ensuring your investment acts as an asset (and not a liability).
What are aged domains?
Aged domains are domain addresses that have previously been used on past websites, before they were discontinued. This may be for a number of reasons…
- The original owner of the now aged domain may have forgotten to renew it
- The owner no longer needs the domain
- The domain was for a business that has since gone bust
This last example is important, and you must always rule this reason out before buying a domain (after all, you don’t want to deal with an avalanche of disgruntled creditors mistakenly seeking financial recourse for their losses!).
Those who buy aged domains will almost always pay more than the original owner, as they’re typically retained by the domain registrar the domain was purchased from (or, in other instances, domain resellers will pick up the domain upon expiration).
The many benefits of buying aged domains
Each and every day 100,000 domain names expire, leading to a huge secondary market for aged domains. If you’re considering this tactic, here are the plus points you should consider…
Aged domains can make directory listings fast and simple
If you’ve read up on SEO and how to work your way up the search engine rankings, you’ll know that being listed on online directories is important. You may also know that getting into the most powerful directories, such as DMOZ and Yahoo, is today almost impossible.
With some aged domains, there’s an existing directory portfolio, with the past owner having registered the domain with the old business name years ago. In a case like this, the new domain owner will simply be able to contact the directories to update their details.
Aged domains are trusted by search engines
When business owners look for aged domains for sale, what they’re often really seeking is ready-made Google trust. Old domains that have been previously active in terms of promotion will always have a better Alexa rank, Google Page rank and social networking shares than a brand-new domain, all of which can kickstart your marketing campaign.
Aged domains can provide a flow of traffic
Aged domains often have many referring websites that are already linked in – which can be a valuable source of traffic if you’re careful to purchase a domain relevant for your industry. But (and take heed of our words) this can also have a negative impact. Some domains will have been involved in spammy backlink building techniques and other Blackhat SEO tactics. To ensure that you don’t make a poor investment in an aged domain with dodgy backlinks, use a free link checker tool before purchasing – Ahrefs is a good tool with a free search.
Buying aged domains – The issue of length
Many business owners and entrepreneurs face a search through aged domains for one reason – they simply can’t find a 4 – 5 letter domain, as they are all already registered. While it’s certainly true that there are more aged domains than unregistered ones that come in at under 6 letters, purchasing an aged domain isn’t always your only option for a concise domain. For more guidance on this topic, check out our words of advice on buying short domain names.
Buying an aged domain can help you target sub-niches
So far, we’ve discussed the benefits of buying aged domains for a new business, however there is at least one situation where an aged domain can be useful to a long running company – and that’s where they want to target sub niches. For example, if a pet store wanted to run more effective marketing campaigns, they may decide to target dog owners, in which case a dog related domain would be useful (especially if it was an aged domain with existing page rank, trust and an established backlink portfolio).
Warning! An essential step before buying an aged domain
Before you go ahead with an aged domain purchase you MUST visit the Web Archive and search for the domain using the Wayback Machine search tool. Take care to ensure that the domain wasn’t previously used for any industries or purposes that are blacklisted by Google, such as gambling, pornography or questionable money-making websites.
With that out of the way, you should also follow these aged domain buying tips…
- Don’t pay over the odds for an aged domain that doesn’t offer additional value.
- Don’t bid too soon or approach the domain owner yourself (again, this can lead to you paying above the market value for a domain).
- Don’t believe that an aged domain will do the marketing for you – all domains require continual promotional activities – such as social media marketing and link building efforts, to protect and push up their ranking. An aged domain is no substitute for a lack of a marketing plan.
Brandnic – The branded aged domain finder
Brandic is much more than a domain marketplace. We specialize in the creation of brand names, with matching domain and bespoke designed logo. We also offer trademark protection for domains that cost $1500 and upwards.
As the domains you’ll discover on our website are catchy, short and memorable, many are aged domains that were registered years previously. To find out, go ahead and explore our business name ideas, clickthrough to the domains to hear how they sound, then use a tool such as this Domain Age Checker to discover whether your domain has all the benefits that come with buying aged domains.