In recent posts, I’ve talked about how PBN (private blog networks) is a very effective way to build link juice, boosting your rankings. In my 25 Best Traffic and Link Building Series, I went over several ways to find the right domains using ExpiredDomains.net and implementing a strategy using web.archive.org. For those of you NOT familiar with web.archive.org, it’s a website that provides a look at the domain over several years before expiring. I used this tool to find domains relevant to my niche hosting content that I can utilize when building PBN’s. I will normally purchase a relevant expired domain and then forward each URL to a corresponding page on my “target” website. To learn more about the entire process, please visit my case study. However, there are some major changes taking place that will interrupt the entire process.
Over the last several weeks, web.archive.org has been updating their interface and now will only be displaying screenshots of ONLY active websites. This means if you’re looking to do research on an expired domain, you might be limited on the information you can gather. I’ve started to look for an alternative that provides the relevant information I need while being effective at the same time. Here’s what I think will work, however, you have to be careful how to utilize this strategy. There are two ways you can do research: Ahrefs.com and OpenSiteExplorer.org.
Because much emphasis is given on anchor text and keywords used during on-page SEO, we can still find out how relevant an expired domain is by getting a breakdown of their “target” keywords. The premise is we often publish content and add relevant keywords within the URL, title, and body. However, during our link building process, we use relevant keyword anchor text to point it back to the corresponding page. Again, by getting a complete breakdown of the keywords used, we should be able to understand how relevant the domain is to our niche.
You can see in the illustration how I have a breakdown of keywords relevant to the domain. From this information, I can conclude what the page and content was about. I’ll have to do some more research, going through a few more pages, but this is a good start. If you are actively building private blog networks, then use this process to start finding out more about the domain before purchasing.
Step 1 – ExpiredDomains.net
This is the website I use to find relevant domains based on keywords. I’ll filter the search to eliminate fake PR domains and those that have been deleted. This will allow me to purchase the domain right away without having to bid on it, waiting a couple of days for the auction to end. I’ll gather a list of 5-6 domains to do some research and head over to Google.com.
Step 2 – site: example.com
If the domain recently expired, then I’ll still be able to get a breakdown of the URLs indexed by Google. This list will also provide me with a better understanding of the type of content published and how many pages the website had. The larger the website, the more redirect opportunities I have and the higher chances I’ll find corresponding pages to redirect to my “target” website. However, from my experience, many expired domains have been removed from the SERP’s because of the time that’s passed from the last day they were active.
Step 3 – Ahrefs.com
Lately, I’ve been using Ahrefs.com because I find they are more up to date with the indexing, keywords, links, etc. However, this tool does have a monthly fee of $79.00/mo. If you have money to invest, this tool is awesome and it provides all the information you need to get started. Head over to Ahrefs.com and type in the first URL on your list then click “Search”. Next, you can click on “Inbound” or “Outbound” anchor links and you’ll get a list of keyword links pointing to an external page or those pointing to your website. In this example, I’m generating a report on RankTactics.com.
I’ve narrowed the results by clicking on “Inbound” > Anchors. Here are some of the keywords generated for RankTactics.com…
- high quality content
- effective link building techniques
- Best content
- how to build a website from scratch
- PBN case study
From these keywords, I can get a good idea of what this EXACT URL is about. However, to find out more, let’s look at “Outbound” links from this page that I’m pointing to.
- SEO Smart Links
- A list of other domains – Simply visit the other domains and skim through content to find out more about them
You can simply apply this strategy to any domain and get a breakdown of keywords and external URLs the page is pointing to. This way, you can understand the relevance and if the domain a good match to purchase for your PBN.
Step 4 – Keep Research
In step 1, you compiled a list of 5-6 domains so it’s important you go through the entire list before making your final decision. You might notice 1-2 domains are better than the others and you can proceed to purchase them. However, your main objective is to find domains relevant to your “target” website so your link building campaign adds value.
If you have any questions or feedback, please post them in the box below and I’ll be more than happy to help you out.