When starting an online business, one of the most important decisions you’ll make comes when choosing your domain name. And while you may already know some of the basic tips for choosing a domain name, like making sure it’s relevant to your niche and memorable, there’s another important tactic that’s often overlooked but could make all the difference when it comes to your success – domain age and history.
For all intents and purposes, there are really two main types of domains to choose from when making your decision – brand new domains that have never been registered before or aged domains that have been used in the past for other websites. I know what you’re going to say, “Why would I want somebody’s old, used domain? I want something brand new.” But hear me out. We aren’t talking about buying cars here. An old domain, when chosen carefully, can be far more valuable and beneficial than any new domain.
There are many factors that determine how well a website will rank in Google. These include the quantity and quality of backlinks a website has, its PageRank and Domain Authority, and domain age, among many other things. When you choose a quality aged domain that already has good back link profile and good Domain Authority, you have an immediate head start and could rank faster and more easily in Google, significantly shortening the time it takes for your website to get quality traffic and to become profitable.
But beware. Not all aged domains are created equal, and some can actually be harmful and should be avoided at all costs.
With that in mind, there are some key things you need to look for when buying an aged domain.
- Does the domain name make sense for the website you want to create? The normal rules apply here. No matter how great a premium aged domain might be, if it doesn’t have a clear connection to the niche of your website, it’s probably not worth getting. Your domain name is part of your brand, and whether you’re starting a blog or any other kind of online business, it needs to fit with what you’re offering so your audience knows they’re in the right place.
- Is there an extensive, clean backlink profile? To this day, links pointing to your website still have one of the biggest influences in determining how well you will rank in the search engines for relevant queries. Search engines like Google use advanced algorithms to evaluate your website and all of its individual pages based on the quality and quantity of backlinks you have. By acquiring an aged domain that already has a clean backlink profile, you give yourself a competitive advantage since link building is a long, tedious process. But you’ll notice we’ve used the words “quality” and “clean” when talking about backlink profiles. Just because a domain has a bunch of backlinks doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a premium domain name. You need to dig into the backlink profile and make sure those links are coming from quality, trusted websites with good Domain Authority, and that they aren’t coming from spammy websites as those links will actually harm your domain. Personally, I recommend using ahrefs or Open Site Explorer to closely examine a domain’s backlinks before deciding if it’s worth acquiring or not.
- Does the website have any bans? It’s very possible you could find an aged domain that has a great backlink profile, high Domain Authority, and looks great on the surface, but the site is actually banned by Google for one reason or another. If the site is banned from the search engines, it’s of no use to you. There are plenty of free tools available for checking if a domain is banned by Google. If you do discover the site you’re interested in has been banned, there are steps you can take to petition to have the ban removed, but it’s probably not worth your time.
- Does is still have good Domain Authority? Another thing you need to look at when choosing an aged domain is its Domain Authority and other associated metrics (Page Authority, PageRank, etc.). Domain Authority is a score the SEO experts at Moz created that indicates how well a website will rank in the search engines. It’s on a 0-100 scale and is calculated by combining a number of different link metrics. You can use Open Site Explorer to find a site’s Domain Authority.
Here’s the thing – an expired domain might have a clean, high quality backlink profile, but it could have been stripped of its Domain Authority if it has been inactive for too long. Ideally, you’d find an aged domain that has at least a 20 Domain Authority (DA) or higher. While a 20 DA isn’t necessarily great on its own, it will give you a good head start in building your DA to a higher level more quickly than if you were starting from 0 DA.
Buying an aged domain could be a competitive advantage for launching your new website, but it’s important that you do your due diligence to ensure you aren’t getting a lemon. To find your d0main name, head over to BuyDomains.com. With over 1 million domain names to choose from with strong history, you’re sure to find your perfect domain name fit.