It is the opinion of many bloggers that expired domain names are a great buy anyday. The argument is usually simply: by buying expired domain names, you benefit directly from the efforts of another webmaster who has done quite serious work and for some reason, cannot continue with the domain name. The benefits range from free (pre-existing) traffic to already established backlinks pointing to such a domain.
However, such arguments are short sighted and stem from the basic instinct of greed and the unrealistic expectation of getting something for nothing. Enumerated below are 5 very great, cogent and compelling reasons why you should never consider buying an expired domain name (no matter how good the deal seems).
Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Never Consider Buying An Expired Domain Name
That Expired Domain Name Could Have Been Hit By A Google Update!
These are the days of Google updates and it no doubt that the manner and pattern Google enjoys penalizing websites leaves even hard working and very ethical bloggers in very deep doubts as to the rightness of their actions…and many a time, the sites of such very sincere bloggers are penalized without a second thought. I have seen this happen many times over.
Now, this refers to ethical bloggers who would ordinarily not do anything to warrant landing in Google’s black books. However, they end there anyway. The question is: how are you sure that someone who abandoned his/her domain name wasn’t even running away from the consequences of some blackhat?
Why willingly inherit someone else’s ‘curse’ if you can avoid it?
Spam, Spam, Spam!
I recently published an entry about how to avoid your legitimate comments landing in spam. That entry was borne of the original research I conducted on the subject matter and the results were amazing. Most of the domain names that kept landing in my spam folders when their owners commented on my blog were actually bought expired!
This is not entirely surprising…many webmasters actually bought domain names and started blogs with the hope of making money fast blogging. In that time, these newbie webmasters spammed more than a hundred misguided bloggers put together! Needless to say, the various spam filters registered them as spammy domains and their owners never bothered to renew them after the very first year.
You may just be thinking of buying one of such domains!
When a domain name expires, the links that you so desperately think you would benefit from (by buying the domain – and for which you are heavily charged), do not expire. Instead, they become very active waiting patiently for when a new owner would take possession of them. And when you do, that’s when you start noticing that there are things referred to the blogging world as 404’s!
404 refers to a server’s error when a client (or visitor) attempts to accesses a non existent page on that server. Since you have actively bought the domain and hosted it, the 404’s would be directed at your end and would prove seriously detrimental! Google, other search engines and visitors generally hate clicking on a much advertised link and landing on a 404.
The backlinks you so craved for and bought the domain name for would be meaningless now as the organic traffic would easily bounce off. The readers you also wished to ‘inherit’ would hardly take you (or the blog serious) and they would hardly convert! The worst part of this is that no one would be willing to believe that the non existent pages (or 404’s) are as a result of another’s action. It’s your fault – and your fault all the way!
Why would you cherish 404’s…are you a die hard Peugeot fan?
Less Than An Honourable Reputation
It may be very difficult to decipher what an expired domain name had been used for. Why many may have actually been used for great and worthy causes (or at worst ordinary blogging activities), there are some domain names that may have been used to defraud, promote violence or even engage in indecent acts and it’s promotion.
Now, many persons may have associated that particular domain to something less honorable than you would ever imagine. And I can imagine you paying for that domain…
How would you feel like, buying off the unique address of a former porn site with the intention of turning it into a blogging site especially if a third of the world already knows that your domain is actually porn related?
The Price Isn’t Simply Worth It!
The fact that expired domain names are classified ‘premium’ and attract a hefty price tag is common knowledge. The logic is that traffic, backlinks etc benefits are also conferred to you and you are expected to pay a ‘very reasonable price tag’. The price tag varies with the ‘brandability’ of the domain name and the perceived value such a domain name is adjudged to have. The price of such domains could be anything from $100 to $45,000!
However, my logic is that, with about $45,000 to throw away, you could get a fresh domain name, build a very fantastic site, hire some real cool staff, produce awesome content and escape the predicaments listed above but still derive all the benefits within a year aside having a nice business by the side!
The Real Grand Folly!
All the perceived merits of an expired domain name that make it damn expensive (existing traffic, high pagerank, Alexa rank etc) are variables that require real effort to keep. Buying a PR 9 domain for $40,000 may only ensure that the same domain is ranked at a miserable PR 0 in the next few months and worth perhaps, a thousand times less than the value you paid for it!