Catching dropped domains can instantly provide you not only with a solid backlink profile decent but also referral traffic. In this blog post I provide some advice on how to catch them and bring them back to life, illustrated with my real life example.
Within a niche one of my clients works within, a satirical one page website generated hundreds of authoritative of links (TBPR5 if that ticks your boat). I first saw it on Reddit and dreamt I had come up with the idea, as it was a rare testament to the fact content is king.
In a moment of idle web surfing, I went back to revisit the site only to see that the domain was pending deletion. For those unaware, this is generally the ‘lifecycle’ of a domain.
- Expiration (around 40 days)
- Redemption period (around 30 days)
- Pending deletion (around 5 days)
Until it hits pending deletion, the owner can claw back their domain. Fortunate timing for me, as it was already pending deletion so I knew it would just be a matter of time before it would become available.
At this point, I wouldn’t recommend just hanging around. Instead, use a number of backordering services, and where possible, all of them. Three noticeable companies include Pool.com, Namejet.com and snapnames.com. Generally you don’t pay unless they catch it, in which case you are quids in. If two or more people attempt to backorder it, it goes to auction. That’s what happened with me on Pool.com, and so it was set to go the highest bidder.
My auction went on for about 45 minutes, and ended up at around £230 ($400). Anyone who is familiar with paid linking will know this to be good value. Not that I was concerned, I wasn’t buying it for link equity, but just for fun and lulz.
I haven’t done this technique enough times to suggest that how I resuscitated it definitely the cause, but there is logic behind it. When I speak of resuscitating a dropped domain, I mean that TBPR returns. From this, I take Google to algorithmically valuing it in regards to page and domain authority, plus TrustRank as it did before it dropped. Here is what I did…
- Visit archives.org and return what content you can find possible
- This includes page titles and meta descriptions
- My site was ODP listed, so I matched natural search copy with that
- Don’t add any links (yet) until the domain has been brought back to life
Sure enough, come the next TBPR update, that little green box was back. The site was receiving around 3,000 visits a month from referral links and continues to grow. Think about how you can use this approach, but don’t abuse it.
- Scrape around the Internet for sites with authoritative links that have dropped
- Keep an eye on content that goes genuinely unintentionally viral, but may be likely to drop in the future with automatic tools
- Harvest a list of dropping domains and pull SEOmoz data in to analyse strength to draw up a list of acquisitions
- (My favourite) Take the referral traffic the sites was getting and use it to get eyeballs on your new content. If you’ve got a ton of referral traffic from places like Reddit, invite people to check out new content. With that, you can amplify new content you are creating and leverage more benefit.