Restoring expired domain’s Google positions (SEO experiment)
How do I restore expired domain’s Google positions after buying an SEO-valued domain with a backorder service? This article will describe my testing experience in regaining the SERPs of a domain name that I found by using an expired domain service and Ahrefs. Let’s dive into my experiment.
Expired domain name hunting
I started by exploring some pending-delete .com domain names at expireddomains.net. It is easy to find domains that might already have an SEO value by using different expired domain settings, such as majestic values like live links, majestic topical trust flow, and majestic languages for anchor links. I also like to set the filter to only look for domains that contain two English words and a length limitation of around 11 characters.
Why .com gTLD
Why.com domain names instead of .eu or.net, for example? Almost everyone in the industry says that .com is the best domain name and the only one you need to look for. Here’s the deal – any domain name can be beneficial, mainly when you target a specific local. Location-specific domain names can be even better than .com; however, when following a strategy like this, you may want to select the .com domain name because most likely it will be available with different backorder services, while country-specific domain names are not always available for backorders and some country-specific domain names don’t even offer any backorder services such as .gr or Greece domains.
Inspecting the domain name with Ahrefs
The essential metrics that I look at in Ahrefs are domain rating or DR, URL rating, traffic value, organic keywords, and keywords positions. I noticed a past position as high as 6 on Google for USA local for the domain name I found. That seemed to be a good catch and a perfect material for this research.
Setting up all things for the experiment
As soon as the domain name was caught with the backorder service, I set up a website with WordPress. I installed all the usual tools to ensure the website has a high technical SEO quality. Things like Cloudflare, SSL certificate, and ad caching plug-ins are must-haves for good quality and fast-loading websites.
I used a web archive to scrap some old content from the same website and restored the old posts for a quick start. The text did not have the best quality, so I updated it with more information, better structure, and grammar improvements. To work faster, I like to use services such as SurferSEO for generating more content and Grammarly for the final perfections.
Waiting for results
When all is set up, there’s not much else left but to sit back, relax and check the progress in the Ahrefs keyword tracker a bit later. This might sound surprising, but after a couple of months, I noticed that my target keyword had position 14 in the USA local. A couple more months later, I reached the target – sixth position at Google.
The experiment was successful, and the traffic started rolling in. It was not very high in numbers, but still, it was a good start. The SERP position was restored with a five-year interval, meaning that the last time the specific keyword was in position six was about five years ago. During this time, the website even had gibberish content on it, but that was not an obstacle to achieving the goal.