Expired Domain Names: 5 Reasons Why You Should Never Buy Them

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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).

Why You Should Not Buy Expired Domains

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!

Serious 404’s

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!

How much stupid can you actually get with your money?

 

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Comments

  1. Emmanuel says

    I have tried flipping domain names as well. In a s much there are lots of uncertainties surrounding the purchase of expired domains, there are also some interesting benefits.

    A domain name like menu.com was sold at more than $300,000 simply because a restaurant wanted so badly. The original owner sold it for $50 and I guess he will still be weeping by now.

    Anyway, it is really great highlighting some of the disadvantages of buying expired domains. One obviously ought to be careful.

    Do have a nice day bro!

    • says

      Hello Emmanuel,

      On the selling part, there are really no challenges…you net a clean profit and the challenges are there for the subsequent buyer to worry about. There, if Cudjoe is a seller of expired domains, I would rather not comment because, there is technically no risk at your end.

      But what if Cudjoe wants to purchase an expired domain? It’s a no – no affair! Don’t buy them if you care about the blog you wish to start!

      Thanks for your time and awesome comment! Do have a very great day!

      Always,
      Terungwa

  2. says

    The only use of expired domain names in my opinion is to monetize through parking. But finding those gems that will give you a decent roi is a hard task.

    • says

      You get the gist! Monetization through passively parking the domain is a very great idea. However, for you to get domains that have heavy existing traffic is real work that may not at the end, be worth the efforts!

      The sad part however is that the majority of bloggers buy expired domains not for parking purposes but with an intention to build a great site round it…Can you imagine?

      Always,
      Terungwa

  3. says

    Agree with you my friend, and all webmasters who want to start a real business should consider buying virgin domain names and begin development without any fear when time will come for “SEO” that website.

    Expired domains are very good to park or resell them, that’s my opinion. Thanks for sharing, see you next time!

  4. says

    HI Terungwa,

    That was an informative post indeed about expired domains :)

    Honestly speaking, I’ve never really ever thought of buying any such one, and the ones I’ve brought are always the new ones – well thought of by myself, so I have no idea whatsoever about the pros and cons.

    But I do know of some bloggers who have gone ahead and purchased PR8-9 ranking domains for a hefty price, and some only are doing well, not the others. For that much of a price, just as you mentioned, you can do a great deal of other things and better your new blog yourself. More so, where do you put the efforts this way, you just try to make merry on the efforts someone else has put – not my cup of tea certainly :)

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week ahead :)

    • says

      Hello Harleena,

      I guess its the joy of actually getting something for nothing that impresses itself on persons who see the ‘gold’ in expired domain names. As pointed out here by other commenters, expired domain names only have a single use: park them and monetize.

      What is the intelligence of buying a domain name alone for over a hundred grand when you can start a nice company with that sum and brand any domain to get the impressive stats you envy?

      Thanks for your time and comment…they are really appreciated.

      Always,
      Terungwa

  5. says

    It is true, I bought this expired domain name some years ago and a lot of my comments are still going to spam folder after commenting, it pains me so much that i have to contact the webmaster to unspam me.
    Who knows, this comment might lands in your SPAM Folder 😀

    • says

      Hello Frank,

      There is really nothing great in buying expired domains; its however a great idea that you’ve learnt your lessons and hopefully, will do better in subsequent domain purchases.

      I regret to inform you…you landed deep in my SPAM folder!

      Always,
      Terungwa