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An Unexpected Benefit of Buying a Domain Name that’s Already Been Used by Somebody Else

When I made the announcement that I was resuming my blogging activities on this new domain, Pat B. Doyle left a comment saying, “Ryan, I think this is a good idea. I checked out your new blog–how did you get to a Page Rank 2 already?”

The reason is because I bought this domain from another Ryan Healy up in Seattle. He had done a bit of blogging back in 2004-2006, so he had a couple of inbound links. This is why the domain already has a PageRank of 2.

Of course, I expect to see it go up fairly quickly because I have a fairly strong readership. Plus, I intend to do things differently and better from my last blog. I think this will affect inbound links as well.

So what’s the lesson here?

If there is one, it’s that it can sometimes be helpful to purchase a domain that has been used in the past but has expired and/or can be purchased from somebody else. If the domain has already been used, it will probably have inbound links and a small trickle of traffic already coming to it. By acquiring the domain, you “own” those inbound links and the residual traffic as well.

You can’t build a business on this strategy, but it’s better than starting a new site from ground zero.

If you’re interested in looking up expired domains, there are some web sites available for that. I just typed in ExpiredDomains.com and there is a working web site there. You can also do a search on Google. If you see a domain you might be interested in, you can use The Wayback Machine at Archive.org to look up the domain. It will tell you details about the domain, including if it has been used before, what the pages looked like, etc.

This is how you start a “new” web site with PageRank from day one. My suggestion: only use the strategy if you discover the specific domain you’re looking for isn’t already available. Otherwise, you could waste hours digging through expired domains looking for what amounts to “a needle in a haystack.”

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Ryan Healy

Ryan Healy is a freelance copywriter, list manager, and the author of Speed Writing for Nonfiction Writers. Since 2002, he has worked with scores of clients, including Agora Financial, Lombardi Publishing, and Contrarian Profits. He writes a popular blog about copywriting, advertising, and business growth, has been featured in publications like Feed Front magazine, and has been published on sites like WordStream.com, SmallBizClub.com, and MarketingForSuccess.com.

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