Is Expired Domain good for SEO? John Muller Explains

During Google Office-hours hangout, Google’s John Muller talks about the benefits of parked domain content on search rankings.

John Muller from Google explains how Google handles expired domains.

Also read: check google ranking for keywords

Expired And Parked Domains

Expired domains are domains that were previously registered but closed and then returned to the shared group to be registered by someone else.

A parked domain is a domain that is registered but not used.

When many people buy an expired domain from a domain broker, they are actually buying the pre-registered domain.

What is the Authority Of Expired Domains?

The person asking this question wants to know if there is any “authority” left from the dock that will speed up the Google index and rank domains.

Although Muller did not address the site authority in his previous responses, he categorically denied that Google used any form of measurement representing the authority.

This is the question:

“I have a domain that hasn’t been used in four years. The blog I had was doing great in its niche. But because I didn’t want to sell it I deleted all the content and left the domain parked.

I want to revive the content on it but I want to take a slightly different approach.

My question is, does Google need to learn about my blog again as if it was new or do I have a better chance to be an authority in my niche faster than usual because of this old domain?”

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 Expired And Domains Google

John Muller argues that using the expired domain has no benefit to rankings and explains what the next step is when it comes to SEO.


“So if the content was gone for a couple of years, probably we need to figure out what this site is, kind of essentially starting over fresh.

So from that point of view I wouldn’t expect much in terms of kind of bonus because you had content there in the past.

I would really assume you’re going to have to build that up again like any other site.

Like, if you have a business and you close down for four years and you open up again then it’s going to be rare that customers will remember you and say oh yeah I will go to this business.

And it looks completely different. They offer different things. But it used to exist.

I think that situation is going to be rare in real life …if you will, as well.

So I would assume that you’re essentially starting over, here.

This is also one of the reasons why it usually doesn’t make sense to go off and buy expired domains in the hope that you’ll get some kind of a bonus out of using those expired domains.”

Expired Domains Have No Ranking Bonus

For those of us with twenty or more years of SEO experience, Muller’s explanation that domains have no bonus is no surprise.

We already know this because this is the generation of our SEO specialists who first started buying and expiring domains when Google implemented an algorithm update to suit them.

This is why we are the first to see how the completion of domain sites have helped to improve their ranking.

Not only are they useful for ranking purposes, but we can see how much they offer in the Google Toolbar.

And this is not just a busy PageRank related domain. Links to corrupted domains can also be a source for PageRank.

The purpose of this application is to run a scanner on a known Web site and look for external links that give an error message 404. Page not found.

These are links to 404 pages and websites that do not exist.

So all SEOs did was buy domains that they typically mistyped and then redirected those domains to the right websites.

Within a few weeks, PageRank will start ranking and relevant pages will rank higher.

This is the way to buy domain links with multiple inbound links and to buy the domain that is part of the PageRank refinement exercise without having to create a link to help websites.

They were link building shortcuts.

Also read: how to create backlinks

How Google Algorithm Handles Expired Domains

Google learned about this process and eventually changed the algorithm for their links to determine PageRank for domains that expired in 2003.

This can be surprising for those who are just starting out in SEO, have 5 or more years of experience and believe in expired domains.

But it is true that Google’s algorithm restores PageRank and the effect of links to domains that have expired since 2003.

I practiced SEO when it happened and because I wanted a picture of that change.

Google Expired Domains Update

The PageRank reset for expired domains was announced by a Google engineer using the GoogleGuy WebmasterWorld nickname.

In most cases, GoogleGuy is Matt Cutts. But other search engines also use a title to advertise on Google.

In a WebmasterWorld post called Good News About Expired Domains, Google posted this:

“Hey, the index is going to be coming out real soon, so I wanted to give people some idea of what to expect for this index. Of course it’s bigger and deeper (yay!), but we’ve also put more of a focus on algorithmic improvements for spam issues.

One resulting improvement with this index is better handling of expired domains–the authority for a domain will be reset when a domain expires, even though dangling links to the expired domain are still out on the web. “

Google has confirmed that excluded domains may still be classified, but not because of existing links, as they are no longer included.

Source: English Google SEO office-hours from November 19, 2021

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