301 Redirecting an Expired Domain – Case Study

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Case Study – 301 Redirecting SEO Domains to TRIPLE monthly organic visits!

Method #1: 301 Redirect with an expired domain

So this is quite a quick case study on how powerful a 301 redirect can be.

My client, Ian, purchased a domain from me in March and instantly redirected the expired domain to an existing site via what’s known as a 301 redirect.

It’s a very simple way of redirecting the whole domain to another domain, or a page on a new domain using the .htaccess file. This is how it would look in your .htaccess file:

Redirect 301 / https://example.com/

It’s slightly unconventional but definitely still used, and clearly still works (despite those who say ‘redirects are dead’ – you know who you are).

Method #2: Redirecting an expired domain page by page

Recommendations: If you’re going to redirect a domain instantly, the better way to do it is to redirect it to a page relevant to the domain being redirected.

So if you buy an expired domain about garlic to a domain about cooking, then create a page about garlic on the cooking site and do a 301 redirect to the new garlic page.

This is how that could look within the .htaccess file:

Redirect /old-page-about-garlic.html http://www.example.com/all-about-garlic.html

Even better if you can create new pages and redirect to a page by page level. Especially important on expired domains that had large sites.

By this, I mean, looking at the expired domain in Ahrefs, the “Top Pages” or “Best by links” will show you if there are a bunch of pages that got most of the links (excluding the homepage) as per the screenshot below:

top pages for 301 redirect expired domain

Then you create X pages on the new site (going on Ahrefs data), then 301 redirect each page to the new page on the new site. Doing it that way, it’s much more likely to stick. This is how that might look in a redirect:

Redirect /old-page-about-garlic.html http://www.example.com/all-about-garlic.html
Redirect /old-page-about-spices.html http://www.example.com/all-about-spices.html
Redirect /old-page-about-tumeric.html http://www.example.com/all-about-tumeric.html
etc 

There are other ways to redirect domains that are said to be more sustainable and with much better results.

Method #3 – Redirecting an expired domain after rebuilding most linked pages

One such method is to set up a site on the expired domain and re-create the old pages from the old site but with new content (so you don’t lose any of that all-important link juice), and then after a few months, redirect the newly created pages on the expired domain to the domain you want all the link juice & traffic to go to.

Results of Redirecting an Expired Domain with backlinks…

In this case, Ian did a very simple 301 redirect (as per the first example); which resulted in… drum roll please…

An increase in unique visitors by around 27,000 for the first 3 months!!!

Average visitors dropped to 20k a month after 3 months, which may not have happened if he’d used method #3 above. But it’s still 8k visitors more than the average!

So the biggest success by far was an SEO domain I bought from you back in March and 301’d to an existing site. Didn’t add any extra content or do any extra link building beyond the domain name. Average traffic in the 3 months before was 12,700 visitors a month and for the 3 months 39,700 a month. Has dropped a bit since then, but still averaging over 20k visitors per month.

Ian

If you want to chat more about expired domains and their multiple uses, you can email me on matt@premiumdomainnames.co.uk

If you need any help deciding on a strategy for an expired domain, just email me and we can take it from there!

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References:

Ahrefs.com