I’ve spent over a decade studying up on proper search engine optimization (SEO) techniques and developing quality keyword rich content all in the pursuit of the all important Google pagerank. I’ve been relatively successful increasing the rank of my various web properties but I had never breached the level of Google pagerank two (PR2) through my own efforts.
A few months back I discovered a web site that lists expired domain names that you can sort by pagerank – it’s at www.ExpiredDomains.net (for proper disclosure, I’m not affiliated with this site) I was amazed that it even listed and facilitated sorting of the expired domains by pagerank (some of the domains listed even have a pagerank of six !) I immediately sensed an excellent opportunity here. Registering for a free account there does have its definite benefits.
So, for example, click on ‘Deleted .com Domains’ You’ll see a multi page listing of expired domains that you can sort by pagerank but know that some of those pagerank figures aren’t accurate and for one reason or another some of the domains aren’t available for purchase quite yet. This is where the filter (click on ‘Show Filter’ at the top of the list) comes into play.
I’d suggest checking the ‘only available Domains’, ‘no Fake PRs’, ‘no unsure PRs’, and ‘no PageRank –1’ checkboxes and hit ‘Apply Filter’ There, that’s better. Now click the PR heading to sort the domains by pagerank and amaze at the possibilities! Yes, these domain names are truly available for purchase and they come complete with a built-in pagerank!
There’s nothing that’s telling you that you have to buy the domain from any specific registrar too! You can feel free to shop around the registrars for the absolute best price (don’t forget to look for a suitable coupon code at www.RetailMeNot.com) If you are new to GoDaddy then they usually have some sort of $0.99 domain sale going on for new customers (Google ‘cheap domains’ and notice the ‘sponsored results’ ads at the top of the listings. I ended up buying two domain names with a PR3 and one domain with a PR4 all at only $6.99 each at Domain.com with the promo code PURCHASE30 !
Ok, granted, purchasing an already ranked domain name doesn’t assure you that you’ll be able to keep that rank the same for very long but if you’re smart about it then yes there’s a pretty good chance that you can keep the domain ranked and popular indefinitely.
Doing your due diligence may include double checking the domain pagerank through alternate means (I have a handy browser add-on installed called ‘PageRank’ (http://any-tech.ws/page-rank/) that displays the true pagerank of each page I surf to in the corner of my browser), then you may want to type the domain name into any registrar’s domain search field to make sure it’s actually still available, then I’ll usually do a quick Google search for the domain name (in quotes) to check the domain history and to double check that there’s no active negative bias on the part of the public that you may run into, and lastly I’ll check what the site used to look like at www.Archive.org (truly helpful to see what content actually earned the pagerank)
Once you purchase a domain name then simply wait until the domain name propagates meanwhile checking out what content the domain used to have that earned that pagerank in the first place. This is NOT to try to duplicate the previous content but just to notice the subject matter and get an idea of what types of topics you may want to come up with along the same lines. Also, take a look at the source code of the previous content and make a note of the META keywords, etc. If the previous content had any type of web site badges such as top site list ranking code then you may also want to note that code for future reference in making your own account at those sites and posting your own code.
Create Unique Quality Content – What I recommend is that you carefully choose the domain name(s) you purchase with the idea of taking what had been there and building upon that. Choose domains that have something to do with topics you know that you are good at writing about and have something useful to contribute to that conversation.
If you’re familiar with the topic that the domain name implies, that’s great. If not then think about another more familiar topic that the domain could conceivably cover and pivot the site topic towards that. Ideally I’d suggest that you choose a topic that you can write from the heart about authoritatively. If your not familiar with the subject then it helps to do your homework in researching it.
Once you have a robust amount of unique quality content then you may go back and weave advertising in sparingly here and there where it’s warranted (but don’t go overboard!)
Once you are done with all the preliminaries in building your site then make sure that you periodically freshen your content by adding new an interesting articles (if it’s a blog) and new features. If you’re heart is into the project and you build with being helpful in mind then I’m sure you will do well with keeping your pagerank.
The benefits to having a higher pagerank might include a more popular site with generally higher amounts of traffic , commanding a higher rate for purchased advertising on your site, being able to do well with commercial ad units placed on your site such as from AdSense, an implied higher level of ‘authority’ commanded by the statements in your site’s content, etc.
Link Farm / Banner Farm (not recommended) – The immediate opportunity (that I don’t recommend) would be to just ride on the coattails of the previous domain owner’s blood, sweat, and tears building that pagerank by building a cheap and simple blog there and then post ads on eBay offering lifetime backlinks on your PR5 blog (yes, some people will pay you a surprising amount of PayPal cash just for a mention on your well ranked site) Just keep in mind that yes, this may be a way to earn (term used loosely in this case) quick cash but do know that there are definite consequences. Google bots will eventually ‘notice’ that the domain has suddenly taken a downward turn into ‘link farm’ / ‘banner farm’ territory by posting low quality links in bulk. That, along with the likely low quality content (poorly though out), will make your pagerank nose dive. I guess that’s ok if you’re not concerned with being a good citizen of the internet interested in building rather than killing good quality content. I’d rather be seen (‘be’, and feel like) a force for good.
Thou Shat Not Steal – Again, do not copy any content from the previous content – this is considered plagiarism (theft of content) Anyways, why would you want to do this in the first place? Just write your own new and exciting content! One thing that I do suggest, however, is that you note the URLs of the main content of the previous content. If at all possible then find a way to either post your own content at those URLs or make them redirect to your own content.
Don’t Jump-the-Gun with Submission (and shoot yourself in the foot) – It’s important that you do not submit your new domain name to search engines yet until you have a decent amount of good quality content displayed on the site that you’re building (if you submit too soon then Google may notice the drastic change and downgrade your pagerank) Only submit your new site built at the old domain when you have accomplished ‘pagerank worthy’ (or as close as you can get) content there. Oh and when you do submit then this is an excellent place to start – EntireWeb Free Submission ( http://www.EntireWeb.com/free_submission/ )
Don’t ‘CyberSquat’ – if you do see a domain name on the list that’s an obvious trademark then don’t get too excited and don’t even bother buying it. For example, if you find a domain like www.Pepsi.com on the list then don’t bother. If you buy it and refuse to sell it reasonably back to the the rightful trademark owner or if you hold out and expect some huge price for it when they do want it back then case law has confirmed that this is called ‘cybersquatting’ and they are entitled to take it back from you despite what you intend.