7 Things to Think About When Buying Aged Domains for SEO

Many people think about buying aged domains for SEO as a shortcut.

You skip the process of building a new website from scratch…

  • No need to worry about low domain authority. 
  • No need to worry about backlinks. 
  • No need to worry about driving traffic. 

On the surface, aged domains have all of these things already built in, which can help with SEO. 

However, many people think about buying aged domains incorrectly. And they end up getting bitten in the butt.

This guide shares exactly what to think about when considering buying aged domains for SEO.

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Contents

What Are Aged Domains?

The concept of aged domains is pretty simple.

Aged domains are already built, live on the internet, and function like a working website.

People think about aged domains in two ways:

  1. Aged domain names
  2. Aged domains + the working site

Basically, people might want to buy an aged domain name because of its value. 

You can think of an example as “plumbers.com.” Let’s say that somebody bought the domain name of plumbers.com and is waiting to sell it to an interested buyer. Since buying it, they never built a website using that domain name.

Just like the example above, many of these “aged” domain names have never had a website built on them. They’re “aged” because someone might’ve bought them a couple of years ago. However, in Google’s eyes, they’re not “aged” at all.

On the other hand, “aged domains” that have had a functioning website for years are considered “aged” to Google.

Does Google Care About Domain Age When Thinking About SEO?

Yes, Google does care about domain age when thinking about SEO. The older the domain name, on average, the greater the domain authority and trust that Google has.

This is obviously assuming that an aged domain has NOT:

  • Done any grey or black hat SEO strategies
  • Had any penalties from Google; and
  • Gotten tons of spam backlinks

However, this isn’t an extremely important factor to Google. Here’s what Backlinko has to say:

“[Google does] use domain age. But it’s not that important.”

Here’s an example of how to think about domain age:

Let’s assume that there are two websites. They both are very similar in terms of content. However, one website has been around for 8 years while the other has been around for 30 days.

In Google’s eyes, the website that has been around for 8 years is likely going to perform better than the website that has been around for 30 days.

This is part of the benefit of buying an aged domain for SEO. But, there are still many more advantages.

Advantages of Buying Aged Domains for SEO

Below are some of the benefits that you would get from buying an aged domain for SEO:

Domain Authority:

It is likely that an aged domain has a higher domain authority than a new website.

While there is no data to confirm this, we would be confident to say that of every single website that still exists that was built in 2010, on average, all of those websites would have a higher domain authority than every single website that was built in 2019.

Why? Websites that have been around longer have had more time to:

  • Create content
  • Generate backlinks
  • Generate brand mentions
  • And other strategies that increase DA

Backlinks:

Getting backlinks is one of the most painful parts of SEO. However, it’s critical to increasing a website’s domain authority.

Aged domains, since they’ve been around for a little while, are more likely to have generated some high-quality backlinks to their website.

Website Traffic:

A big draw of buying aged domains for SEO is that they already have website traffic organically from Google.

Instead of starting a brand new website and starting from zero organic traffic from Google, buying an aged domain for SEO allows you to already have website traffic when you get started.

Revenue:

If you get lucky and buy an aged domain name that already has recurring monthly revenue, then this is also something that you don’t have to worry about.

Instead of starting a website from scratch, which will have $0 in monthly revenue, you can buy an aged domain that already has a built-in. However, you’ll likely have to pay a premium for it.

Disadvantages of Buying Aged Domains for SEO

Below are some of the disadvantages that you would get from buying aged domains for SEO:

The Price Tag:

To get a great aged domain for SEO, you’ll likely have to pay quite a bit of money. Those domains that already have revenue, great organic website traffic, and high-quality leads will likely cost way more money.

Outdated Systems:

While some domains might have great metrics, they might have outdated systems. 

For example, they may be hosted on a slow server and all of their lead forms, plugins, etc might be outdated. Therefore, you’ll have to spend a lot of time and effort in changing those systems (without negatively impacting SEO).

Offline Work (Could Be A Lot):

Buying an aged domain for SEO does not mean that you will automatically start making money with ease.

An aged domain may be an entire workflow process that is done offline. 

For example, you may buy an aged domain that sells custom woodworking tables. Let’s say that the domain name is bestwoodtables.com – it’s a great domain name that is already making $21,000 per month in revenue.

However, whenever a new lead comes in for a custom woodworking table, you then have to… 

  1. Consult with a woodworking specialist
  2. Ensure that the design is something that they can do
  3. Get a mock-up done that the client approves
  4. Have the woodworker actually build the table
  5. Ship the table to the client
  6. Have customer support whenever clients have issues

7 Things To Consider When Buying Aged Domains For SEO

Below are seven things that you should consider when buying aged domains for search engine optimization.

1. How is the technical SEO of the site? Any previous penalties?

When buying an aged domain for SEO, you need to run a comprehensive technical SEO audit of the website.

Here are some things that you should be looking for:

  • Mobile-friendliness
  • Page speed
  • Broken internal and external links
  • Duplicate content
  • Title tag and meta description issues
  • Lack of alt text in images
  • And much more

Most technical SEO audits come back with errors. However, some technical audits require dozens and dozens of hours of work to fix. If you need help with your technical audit, our Portland SEO team can assist you.

You should also look to see if there were previous penalties from Google.  If a website was previously penalized from Google, it likely will be a problematic website and should not be considered when looking for aged domains.

2. What are the site’s current SEO metrics?

Before buying an aged domain for SEO, you should look into all of the website’s metrics, including:

  • Keyword rankings
  • Organic traffic
  • Bounce rate
  • Time on page
  • Leads
  • Lead quality
  • And more

These metrics will start to tell a compelling story about how valuable the website’s current SEO is.

3. What does a comprehensive competitor analysis tell you?

Before buying an aged domain, you should look into that domain’s competitors. 

  • What are those competitors doing?
  • How have those competitors set up their site? What does their site architecture look like?
  • What are those competitor’s calls-to-action?
  • What is the content strategy for each competitor?
  • How are those competitors ranking?
  • How much organic traffic are competitors getting?

By looking into that domain’s competitors, you’ll be able to figure out what they’re doing, why they’re doing it, and if it is working or not.

4. What does a comprehensive gap analysis tell you?

Here is where it starts to get really interesting:

Conducting a comprehensive gap analysis will allow you to determine where the opportunities lie.

  • What keywords are your target audience searching for that no competitors are dominating?
  • What pieces of content on this aged domain’s website can be optimized in order to outperform competitors?
  • Will creating video content put you ahead of competitors?

This gap analysis will start to create a roadmap of what we’ll need to get done in order for this aged domain to increase its performance.

5. How much would you have to invest in content optimizations and content creation?

Based on the gap analysis that you completed above, you’ll start to get an idea of what you’ll need to get done in order to outperform competitors while also increasing the domain’s performance.

Then, it’s a simple calculation to determine how much investment you’ll have to put in to complete the actions that you discovered from the gap analysis.

This investment will need to be considered on top of the actual investment of buying the domain name in the first place.

6. How much time would it take to recoup your money?

This question is hard to answer. There is not a definitive answer as SEO is an ever-changing landscape.

If it would take you more than three or four years to recoup your money, then it’s likely not going to be the best investment. 

This is a blanket statement and is not always true. It’s just that a lot of SEO changes, competitor changes, and more can happen in the span of 3-4 years, making your investment riskier.

7. What is the long-term viability of this site?

This question needs to be answered with logic.

Let’s say that you’re looking to buy an aged domain for SEO that sells used video games through an e-commerce store.

This would likely be a poor investment because most of the new video game consoles are no longer selling physical games. They are moving to downloadables that you pay for through a digital store. Those games are then downloaded to your device.

So, buying an e-commerce store that sells used physical video games will likely not be viable in 4-5 years. This is something that needs to be considered. 

To learn more about buying aged domains for SEO, contact one of our expert Portland SEO consultants.

Joey Randazzo

Joey Randazzo

CEO of Becoming Media

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