One of the greatest difficulties in being a new webmaster is trying to acquire traffic. This is because trying to build legitimate traffic requires both time and money. How is this so? Well, if a webmaster is trying to obtain traffic through search engines, they will need to spend a great deal of time with link-building and content creation. If they are trying to get traffic through a pay-per-click program, they will have to invest hundreds to thousands of dollars if they want to take advantage of a high-performance keyword. However, there is another alternative that can allow a webmaster to get tons of traffic without having to invest too much in time or money. It involves purchasing expired domain names.
What is an expired domain name? An expired domain name is a domain name that never got renewed by its owner. This could be for a variety of reasons such as disinterest in the original website, lack of funds or something more serious, such as an owner's death. Whatever the reason when the renewal fees aren't paid, the expired domain name sits out in cyberspace still functioning as any other domain name. There is just one difference... an expired domain name doesn't have a website attached to it, so it instead points to a 404 error page.
Indeed, it is a waste of traffic when an expired domain name points to a 404 web page. Many domain name companies have realized this, which is why quite a few sell expired domain names either through a regular, upfront sale or through an expired domain name auction. The prices for these domain names can range from less than $100 to over $1 million. Some of these sales may even include a website.
So, how does a webmaster know if an expired domain name is worth buying? First, they need to check to see the Google page rank of an expired domain name. To do this they need to download Google's toolbar and then type in the URL of the expired domain name. The toolbar will then let them know what the page rank is. If the page rank indicator is gray, the expired domain name must be avoided since this means the site has been banned by Google. Otherwise, it should be okay, though webmasters should also take into consideration the actual number associated with the page rank. If the number is between 6 and 10, they should strongly consider buying the expired domain name.
Secondly, webmasters need to find out the Alexa rating of an expired domain name. The Alexa rating determines how much traffic has actually gone to a domain name. If a website has not received a significant amount of traffic, it will not have an Alexa rating. To determine the Alexa rating for an expired domain name, webmasters need to visit Alexa.com.
Finally, webmasters need to see how many websites are linking to the expired domain name. To do this they need to put the command link: followed by the URL of the expired domain name into a search engine. If a lot of links are returned, this is a sign that the traffic coming to the expired domain name originated from legitimate sources.