Google Employee Says, “It Usually Doesn’t Make Sense to Buy Expired Domains”

For years, SEOs have sworn by buying expired domains, but a recent comment from a Googler puts that in question.
SIA Team
November 23, 2021

What Are Expired Domains?

If you’re not sure, an expired domain is basically a domain name that wasn’t renewed, and is past the renewal grace period. 

Expired Domains and SEO

In some SEO circles, there’s a consensus–and even a sub-industry–around the benefit and process of buying expired domains. 

The belief (and in some cases, anecdotal evidence) is that expired domains (particularly those that had websites on them) were a good way to accumulate time. 

That is, there’s a belief that when a site on a domain is first indexed in Google, some type of time benefit begins to build, and the belief further goes to say that, even after a domain name has expired, Google still has a sort-of memory of that domain. 

Further, the belief goes on that when that domain is reactivated (indexed) in Google, Google ‘remembers’ that domain name, and that time benefit plays into the domain’s increased ability to rank and gain authority. 

John Mueller is a Search Advocate at Google, and during the most recent English Google SEO Office-Hours From November 19, 2021, at 35:33 into the recording, he replied to a question/description that led him to make a comment about expired domains: 

(The video below is queued to the right spot.)

The question read:

“I have a domain that hasn’t been used for 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?”

John’s response, for some, might be a bit surprising: 

“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, kind of, in real life. I would assume that you’re essentially starting over here.”

John’s Remark About Buying Expired Domains

“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. ”

So, what do you think?

You may have to do your own research, and have your own experience of properly buying expired domains, and then decide for yourself if they’re worth it.

Source: Google Search Central YouTube channel