In my previous posts on building a private blog network to help you rank, i've highlighted why finding powerful expired domains can make or break the link juice power from your PBN.
That said, finding expired domains as outlined in my follow up post to the PBN for SEO guide - all boils down to having a good "seed list" - because a good seed list will help you plant the right seeds to begin your hunt for expired domains - using link crawlers.
In this post I'm going to write about how you can go about mining good seed lists as starting points form where you can launch your crawlers to uncover those hidden expired domain gems that others missed out on.
New to the world of PBN? Read what is a private blog network - and then come back to read the rest of this post for advanced level SEO experts - where we discuss the high level tactic for expired domain hunters, PBN builders, domain sellers and expired domain backlink sellers and brokers.
What is a Seed List?
A seed list marks the start points of running your desktop or web based site crawlers. We use them as a starting point because they have either link juice power or authority, or are in our niche AND they have a higher probability to contain out-bound-links (OBLs) that are broken and thus potentially point to expired domains...
The error code in Link Sleuth free tool that you may use for this is “12007” or “no such host”
The basic method involves recursively mining seed lists from other sets of seed lists. That is, you find a starting group of seed lists and then use that to find more seed lists.
When we find expired domains from a seed list, we can then recursively find all the backlinks of those expired domains (using a backlink checker tool like AHREFs).
Here is a diagram I made trying to explain the logic...
The logic here is that because the list of backlinks of the initial seed list pages are pointing to one expired domain - they could be pointing to many others (probably in the same niche) because the webmaster or person who made the post has not updated the list and removed any of the broken links - thereby possibly leaving other potential broken links with power on the same page. They have probably not updated other broken links too on the site that could be pointing to other authority expired domains.
Of course we will have to check the authority or potential of each expired domain we find - with the set of metrics we are looking out for (links, DA, PC, TF etc) which is all covered in my other post on finding and anlyzing expired domains.
In other words...
We want to extract all the broken OBLs on the backlink pages (that we found using Ahrefs) of the initial seed list of expired domains.
We extract the broken OBLs using a tool like Xenu Link Sleuth or Scrapebox or any other crawler, and check to see which OBLs found on them are broken or return a - error code that says "no such host" which will display as “12007”.
Once we gather these broken OBLs - we strip them down to domain level using a tool like scrapebox and then check each domain (using several of the domain registration check modules like in Scrapebox or other bulk checkers like Dynadot) to see which domains are in "expired" or "dropped" status, and therefore open for registration.
Why not use automatic Expired Domain Web tools?
Other than the fact that Expired Domain Crawlers are fairly expensive to use, many of these tools have internal algorithms that will be common for everyone on their platform. Manytimes, the way they go about finding the initial seed lists (which is where the trick lies) is not ingenious enough. This means that if you go into some of the common niches out there - you're going to end up wasting your "crawl budgets" with them and also your money, time and resources.
Many of tools do not have perfect methods to feed in seed lists.
If you understand and uncover the right techniques to discover these seed lists you will be able to uncover Expired Domains that are not only powerful but also highly relevant to your niche - so you get a powerful and relevant niche backlink - which is a very important factor for ranking.
Here's a few methods that I use while hunting for Expired Domains without paying hefty monthly subscription rates to expired domain hunting web services or spending money to buy expired domains in marketplaces and forums.
You can also use the free "Xenu Link Sleuth" as a crawler for this method. Its amazingly fast, and it has some powerful features. It wasn't made for hunting down expired domains like Expired Domain Miner, but it does the job if you know what to look out for and how to read the signals.
Here's how the process would look step by step...
Methods To Find Powerful Seed Lists
Here are some of the methods I sue to uncover seeds lists, in no particular order. They all mostly rely on the recursive crawl method that I have written about above.
Using Mass Expired Domain Lists
There's a whole bunch of tools that mine the central registry for domains in dropped stats or that have expired. These databases are available publically and are uploaded to a central repository on a daily basis. These tools simple download these lists and use APIs of other tools to list out the metrics for each of these sites. Its not complicated when you think about it.
Most of these tools are free and charge you to access premium features / data. Some of them are...
- Register Compass
- ExpiredDomains.net (free and recommend if you are just starting out)
- DomCop (has some other amazing features too)
Other free public Databases of Expired Domains
The AHrefs Broken Link Method
Using Ahrefs To Find Backlinks of Seed Sites to Uncover Sites with Expired Domain OBLs
The goal here is to find seed sites that have broken OBLs to Expired Domain and that also link out to competitors found in historical google search.
- use google history search to find TOP SITES in the niche- find say 10 top industry sites
- then using ahrefs intersect tool we find all the sites linking to these top 10 sites
- these are sites that link out to the main industry sites and have the lists ... this is your seed list ...we can now try and find broken OBLs to Expired Domains on these sites......this is probably a very slow (manual) method and other methods may be faster
Expired Domains with Many Drops
You could very easily find expired domains with many drops, but that have been re-registered and go back to find their backlinks and use those backlinks as seeds to find more expired domains.
Lurk on PBN Groups on Facebook, or other forums, or marketplaces like HammerHead Domains, T.B. Solutions (there are tons of others and maybe I will make a post with a list of all these places online!). Try and get the URL of Expired Domains people are selling (without buying them!) - as many of these providers list them openly. Then push these domains into a backlink analysis tool like Ahrefs and viola! you have a new seedlist for your crawler.
If you can find a way to detect domains that are being recycled in the Auctions - you can rinse and repeat the above method instead with these Auction Domains.
To find relevant domains dropped in local business niche, Google these...
Then if these sites, have local business type links it would still be good since those local sites are relevant to us. Take a step back even more, do other big cities in California not just San Diego. Maybe do roofing domains in other states if you can find some good ones.
Power up the method by scraping the crap out of Yellowpages and a couple other authority directories!
Once you find expired domains listed in these directories, you can either grab them if they meet your metrics or you can get their backlinks and use for your seed lists.
Out Bound Links (OBLs) on Authority Sites
With this method you are trying to find OBLs that are broken on top sites in your niche. You can start by scraping for similar sites using moreofit.com and then scrape for the seed list from that.
inurl:usatoday.com *health*inurl:cnn.com *health*inurl:reuters.com *health*inurl:edition.cnn.com *health*inurl:msnbc.msn.com *health*inurl:foxnews.com *health*inurl:iht.com *health*inurl:english.aljazeera.net *health*inurl:msnbc.com *health*inurl:nytimes.com *health*inurl:abcnews.go.com *health*inurl:cnn.com *health*inurl:guardian.co.uk *health*inurl:independent.co.uk *health*inurl:usnews.com *health*
site:domain.com/2009/ … as an example.
The Variation Method
First, do a search on Register Compass or PR Powershot for your topic (RC lets you put in a Majestic TTF value. For me, it's Health/Beauty TF>10) export the top 100-150 results from RC (any kind - auction, buy now, whatever), load them into Majestic's bulk importer, sort by your topic, then hold ctrl+click on "referring domains" then download the whole page for each domain that fits the profile you like. Then sort by topic in your export and just highlight all the domains in the download for your topic and paste them into the url crawler. You can get a HUGE seed list this way. I do try to keep urls to around 50 and crawl 40 pages at a time, otherwise, you burn through minutes because a huge list takes forever. You don't just want to skim a few pages because sometime there are awesome links deep inside a site.
How To Find List of Top Sites on the Web for a Niche
site:alexa.com inurl:http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/ “1. android”site:alexa.com inurl:http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/ “100…200”site:alexa.com inurl:http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/ “100…200” “lose weight”inurl:http://www.sbup.com/audit/ “PageRank = 3.00”inurl:http://www.sbup.com/audit/ “$3000…$10000”