Expiring Domain Case Study
In 2020 I want to put my SEO skills to the test, by starting an affiliate website on an expiring domain.
According to fellow SEOs starting an affiliate website on an expiring domain is one of the best ways to start a website and grow the organic traffic. I want to put this theory to the test and see what results can be achieved. This will be a completely honest and upfront test.
Let’s see what happens!
This case study might turn out to be an absolute failure – but it will be an interesting test. If it fails then I can only learn from those mistakes.
How I’ve Started the Site
After spending a few nights searching through Spamzilla, I purchased an expired domain through GoDaddy. I set myself a max £50 budget for an expiring domain in a niche I was interested in. I purchased the domain for £35.
Why I Chose The Expiring Domain I Did
- It was a 15 year old domain.
- It had a decent amount of content on the site when it was hosted, which led to a couple of backlinks from high authority sites including www.matthewwoodward.co.uk and neilpatel.com
- The site focused on a niche I am interested in (website building, SEO, WordPress & making money online).
- The stats on AHREFS were OK and looked like this:
What Did I Do Once The Domain Name Was Mine?
- I went to the Wayback Machine to gather all the sites previous content.
- Using my 20i reseller hosting account I created a blank WordPress install and pointed the domain name to my hosting provider. I wanted to get the site back up and running as quickly as possible.
- Images were not displaying on the Wayback Machine so I copied and pasted all the posts which had backlinks pointing towards them. This was around 20 posts in total. I made sure the site had the exact same URL structure as the old website.
- I installed the Astra Pro theme. It’s very easy to customise. At this point I’m still not sure how exactly I want the site to look, so put Astra on there so I can potentially change the sites look later. This month it was just about getting the content on there and making sure Google could easily crawl the website again.
- Installed the Rank Math SEO plugin.
- Installed Google Analytics & Google Search Console.
- Submitted the sitemap to Google Search Console.
30 Day Results
This is what’s happened since the site went live a month ago.
The URL and domain ratings of the site has increased in AHREFS.
The number of backlinks has significantly dropped and I have lost a couple of high authority backlinks.
This is how much content is currently on the website:
Here are the user numbers for January taken from Analytics.
The website had 18 users from Organic Traffic.
These are the Google Search Console Stats:
I plan to just leave the site for a couple of weeks and see what ranking position (if any) the current content gets. This will have an impact on what content I decide to add or optimise next month.
Next month I intend to:
- Complete in depth keyword research.
- Create a content strategy.
- Add 10,000 words of content.
- Improve the website and bring it into 2020 – at the moment it’s just text.
- Monitor internal links.
- Optimise existing content.
- Add my affiliate links across the site. (Currently they are still pointing towards the previous owner.)🤦♀️