So, you are looking to get an aged domain? Wonderful.

However, you cannot just buy ‘any’ aged domain, a thorough inspection of the domains would be required in order for you to get the best for your buck.

Before I show you the step-by-step process of vetting out an aged domain, let’s just first find out, where to find aged domains!

Where Do You Find Aged Domains?

So you want to buy an aged domain, but you don’t know where to find them.

You have a couple of options:

1. From A Marketplace
2. From An Auction
3. From An Individual

  1. From An AgencyDepending on where you find them, the prices will vary. Let’s break them down a bit deeper.

From a Marketplace

If you decide to buy an aged domain from a marketplace, it will cost you more.

Why?

Because the marketplace has typically spent all the time finding those aged domains and performing the full due diligence process. So, if the due diligence is done well, these domains are basically ready to buy!

From An Auction

If you decide to dig the aged domains yourself and begin a bidding war, then you have the chance of acquiring a very strong aged domain for a relatively low price.

However, remember, you are going to start a bidding war with others, who have also sniffed an opportunity, so the highest bidder will win the domain.

From An Individual

Let’s say you saw on a Facebook group that someone is selling an aged domain.

Oftentimes, you would need to perform a full due diligence process, as individuals, especially individuals you don’t know who are offering their aged domains for sale, may not be of good quality.

Buying an aged domain from an individual can be quite time consuming, as often, the deal won’t go through, so you end up wasting your time on people who are either not serious, or are asking for a ridiculous price.

From An Agency

Buying an aged domain from an agency (like Niche Website Builders) is very similar to buying from a marketplace. The due diligence process is already done, but one of the benefits of buying from an agency, is you can purchase content, link building and other things whilst purchasing the aged domain.

With marketplaces, you just get the domain, and off you go.

However, buying an aged domain from an agency will cost you more money, than if you had to find the aged domain yourself, done the due diligence process and won the bidding war.

But, ultimately, buying an aged domain from an agency or a marketplace will save you TONS of time.

Step By Step Due Diligence Process For Aged Domains:

If you decide to look for aged domains yourself and bid on them, or you decide to buy from an individual, you would need to do your due diligence.

The due diligence process consists of the following:

–  Site History
–  Trademarks
–  Anchor Text Profile
–  Backlinks
–  Historic Traffic
–  Domain’s Metrics-  Indexed Pages

Now, let’s break each one of these down step-by-step.

Site History

It’s imperative that the history of the domain is inspected carefully.

The Wayback Machine is the best place to inspect the history of the domain. Input the domain you are wanting to inspect onto the search bar:

Input the domain you are wanting to inspect onto the search bar:

You will need a snippet from each year. To do that, click on the black candles for your chosen year:

This will populate a calendar at the bottom, you will need to hover over a date that is clickable:

Click on that blue bullet point, this should open a window with a snippet of what the domain looked like in February the 3rd 1998:

Now, you will need to inspect 1 snippet from each year the domain was live for. This will give you an insight of whether the domain changed niches, ownerships and even language.

It’s imperative that the domain remained in the same niche throughout the years and remained in the same language.

The history check doesn’t stop here though. You will need to perform 2 more checks using Ahrefs:

Once you have inputted the URL on the search bar on Ahrefs, click on “all time” traffic, and check the date of which the domain was generating the most traffic.
Remember that date, as we will need it next.

Now, go on the left handside of Ahrefs, and click on Top Pages under Organic Search:

Now select on the year and month that the domain was generating the most traffic:

This will help us identify whether the domain was hacked, or whether it posted dodgy content like porn, viagra, casino, pay day loans, etc.

Now, you will need to carefully inspect what sort of posts the domain had during that time.

Based on the screenshot above, we are seeing some types of content that had we seen on a pet aged domain for example, the aged domain would be tossed away due to content not being related to the niche.

However, because it’s Healthline, they can get away with this.

The next stop is the keyword the domain ranked for. For all the years Ahrefs can go back to.

Once again, on the lefthandside on Ahrefs, under Organic Search, click on Organic Keywords:

Now, you will need to go all the way back, as far as Ahrefs allows you to:

Which as we are seeing on the screenshot, is June 2015.
You will need to inspect each year, 1 snippet of the year is fine, so June 2015, then July 2016, then March 2017, etc.

The purpose of this is to identify any potential unwanted keywords that the domain previously ranked for.

Let’s use the pet example again; if the aged domain was in the pet niche, and we notice that the domain ranked for the keyword “free casino spins online” or “How to change the car engine oil” 5 years ago, then this would be totally unrelated to the pet niche, and a major red flag, a red flag we cannot ignore. The aged domain will need to be tossed away, and you will need to move on from it.

Trademarks

Trademark check is essential. You don’t want to end up building a site, and invest money only later to find out that the domain actually has a trademark, and you could get into legal trouble.

So, you will need to go to uspto.gov and go place your domain on the search bar:

First, search for a trademark using the domain name including the .com.

If this appears, it means no trademark has been detected for this particular query, however, this is not the end of our trademark hunt.

Now, remove the .com:

And search again!

As we are seeing based on the screenshot, we have quite lot of results showing up.
What you need to do now is inspect each one of these that are LIVE and make sure none of them are related to the niche or the purpose of the aged domain.

As we are seeing here, Healthline has a trademark, so if you were to buy it as an aged domain, you wouldn’t be able to use it due to risking of getting into a legal trouble.

Once you have checked all variations of the URL, and none of them come back with any results or potential trademarks, then you are good to go.

Anchor Text Profile

The anchor text profile can tell us a lot about the domain.
A through inspection would be required in order for us to identify any possible issues, such as link schemes.

Using ahrefs, input the domains URL onto the search bar:

Now click on Anchors under legacy on the left side:

Now click on Referring Domains, this will help you filter them highest to lowest:

Once you have done that, you will notice whats right at the top, and whether the anchor text profile is natural or not.

As we are seeing in this case, the top anchor text is branded, which is exactly what we should be looking for.

There are no anchor texts in the mix that are unrelated to the purpose of the site, or any foreigners language anchor texts.

Backlinks

One of the biggest benefits of acquiring an aged domain is its backlink profile.
You will want to inspect the quality of the backlinks, as well as the relevancy of those backlinks.

However, dofollow links from news sites are also a good asset to have even if they are not directly topically relevant. Links from sites like the New York Times or the BBC will be great assets for our domain and will usually come with page-level topical relevance which we’d take all day long.

Once you have imputed the URL of the domain onto Ahref’s search bar, click on the number of referring domains:

Click on the DR so you can filter the referring domains highest to lowest:

Now, let’s take a look at what are top quality referring domains that are pointed towards the domain:

Because Healthline is such a big popular site, we have all sorts of backlinks in there, some not so relevant to the niche, however, these are exceptionally rare backlinks to get, so even if the aged domain you are looking at has got any of them in the mix, you should accept them happily.

However, typically, what you should look for, is aged domains that have got no real high quality backlinks.

You don’t want to spend time or money on an aged domain that has a backlink profile full of scrapper types of websites. You want at least 2-3 high quality referring domains in there.

If you are unsure on whether the backlinks an aged domain has, has got topical relevance to the niche of the aged domains, go to SemRush and input the aged domain’s URL onto the search box:

Then press “Search”.
After that, scroll down, and click on backlink analytics on the left handside:

Now click on the categories where it says 9 more to expand on that list:

As we are seeing, at the very top, the backlinks are totally relevant to what Healthline is:

So the backlink relevancy is certainly there!

Historic Traffic

It’s imperative that the aged domain you are inspecting has previously generated traffic.

If you buy an aged domain thats a couple of years old, but it never generated any traffic, you are risking of not getting the domain indexed, or potentially running into some other issues you don’t want to have.

Obviously, we won’t have access to the domains GA or GSC, so the best way to check whether the domain has had any previous traffic is through SemRush of Ahrefs.

SemRush goes back further back in the years than Ahrefs, so SemRush might be your best shot.

To check for historic traffic, input the aged domain’s URL onto SemRush’s search bar and press “Search”.

Scroll down, and click on “all time” to see the traffic several years back – as far as SemRush can go:

As we are seeing below, SemRush can go all the way back to 2012, and we can see that the domain was generating traffic in 2012:

Another benefit of checking the historic traffic of an aged domain is potential content opportunities around certain posts that generated huge amount of traffic. You would want to recreate those pages and try to bring that traffic back.

Domain’s Metrics

You will need to check the metrics of the domain carefully.
This is not only important for you to get an idea of the strength of the domain, but also this give you an opportunity to identify any potential manipulated metrics.

Here’s a list of the metrics you will need to check:

– DR (Domain Rating)
– UR (URL Rating)
– CF (Citation Flow)
– TF (Trust Flow)
– DA (Domain Authority)
– PA (Page Authority)

The DR can often be manipulated. So, the best way to identify manipulation is by comparing the referring domains to the DR. For example. If a domain has 100 referring domains, and a DR of 55, then obviously something is not right. Common sense is key!

To find the metrics for the domain, you will need to use a mix of tools:

1. Ahrefs
2. Websiteseochecker.com
3. Seometricschecker.com

Indexed Pages

One of the final steps in the due diligence process is to look at the pages that have been indexed for the site on Google.

This can be achieved using a site:*thedomain*.com  search on Google. (See example below) This check serves two purposes.

The first is to see if there are any indexed pages that would run afoul of our ‘red flag’ checks.

The second is to give some insight into how the site can be reused for future performance.

If a number of pages are still indexed with Google, these pages can be recreated on the new site and we can take advantage of the trust Google already has in the site. This can help speed up the process of generating traffic for the new website.

Summary:

The due diligence process is a long process that requires an enormous attention to detail. It can also be quite frustrating, because you may end up ticking off the majority of the boxes, but when you reach the final check, it doesn’t pan out, so you end up having to leave that domain and move on to the next one, after you have just spent a good 30 minutes to 1 hour checking the domain.

If you don’t have the time to perform the due diligence process,or the tools and confidence required,  you can trust Niche Website Builders who are experts in the field of aged domains – we do all the due diligence for you, so you won’t have to worry about this part!
Get in touch with us, if you are interested in aged domains!

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