Hello, happy Monday, and welcome to Domaining MBA Monday here on MorganLinton.com. Today I wanted to talk about expired domains with traffic, or more realistically, the lack thereof. While companies like Go Daddy can do their best to give traffic estimates, many new investors run-into trouble when they buy these domains and expect parking fortunes to come rolling in.
The problem is that many domains with traffic that are expiring are names that someone else sent junky traffic too that is still getting some residual stream. Not only will the traffic itself fall off a cliff sometime after purchase but it could be next-to-impossible to get the domain ranked if developed due to the spammy traffic.
So how can you tell if an expired domain has fake traffic numbers? Here’s a good way to find out:
- Plug the domain into OpenSiteExplorer.org – if you haven’t used this tool it’s about to become your best friend. Just enter the domain and you’ll get to see the backlinks coming to the domain. If you find an expired domain apparently has thousands of visitors a month and the domain has incoming links from less than ten domains, something is fishy. Sure, it could be type-in traffic but look at the word and see if that really makes sense to you, if not, and if the links don’t add up, there’s someone sending spammy traffic to the site.
- Use Screenshots.com – you should actually get in the habit of using this every time you buy an expired domain because it’s incredibly useful. Look at the website that used to be on the domain, if it looks incredibly spammy and low-quality, and you already know it has almost no backlinks, then the 20,000 unique monthly visitors you think you are going to get only exist in your head. No matter what, knowing what the previous owners put on a domain is a critical part of the research process.
- Look at the Alexa rank – the lower the Alexa rank the better. Sites with tens of thousands of visitors/month should typically see an Alexa rank under 500,000 and below 100,000 if the niche is at all related to the Internet, SEO, etc. An Alexa rank in the millions does not make sense for a site getting solid traffic numbers. Alexa can also tell you what countries the traffic comes from so you can dig deeper to really validate if the traffic is real or not.
Next time you see an expired domain with big juicy traffic numbers take a step back and take the time to do the research. As with most things in life, if it seems to good to be true…it probably is!