Build Links By Purchasing Websites & 301 Redirecting To Your Main Domain

The title of this video post might get me in trouble because it might be a little bit misleading; but by purchasing “established” INDUSTRY RELATED websites and setting up a permanent 301 redirect to your main domain, you can quickly build authority and link equity. Enjoy the video!

For those of you who would rather read than watch the video, here is the recap.

This video is about a question that a few of us at SEO.com have received lately. The question is about purchasing websites and 301 redirecting those websites into your main domain to increase search engine rankings and increase link equity for your overall domain.

I’ve mapped out a website about snowboards. Your money site is where you are selling snowboards which is the home page of your domain. You then have your category or sub pages where you go into detail with each brand of snowboards like Burton Snowboards, K2 Snowboards, and Sims Snowboards.

I want to discuss the concept of purchasing brand new domains for the purpose of 301 redirecting those to your site to increase search engine rankings. For instance, I want to purchase a site about Burton Snowboards (www.burton-snowboard-reviews-by-greg.com), a site about snowboard tune ups (www.the-best-snowboard-tune-up-tips-from-greg.com), a site about snowboard boots, and a site about snowboard bindings. Each of these are all brand new sites that your purchased through a domain registrar like GoDaddy.

The question is, If I buy these domains and I permanent 301 redirect them to my main site, will that help boost my rankings? The answer is no. It’s not going to help you whatsoever with your search engine rankings.

This strategy can help you when the sites have been on the internet for awhile, have age, content and back links coming into to them from other external websites. This builds up the reputation and link equity of each of the sites. At that point, this becomes a valuable strategy. For instance, you have site A, or the site about Burton Snowboards that has 800 links coming into it. If you are buying this site solely for the purpose of building links to your money site, you would take that site and 301 redirect it to the home page of your website, thus passing through the 800 back links to your website. (If you didn’t notice in the video, yes, I said client links and looked away because there was a loud noise coming from the SEO floor.) This will help you because you are building up your link equity and the overall reputation of your website.

If you want to purchase the domains and keep the community that is already functioning, continue to work on the site and funnel the established link equity to your website with strategically placed anchor text links pointing to your main website.

Where the sub pages come into play is if site D, or the site about snowboard bindings, has sub pages about Burton Snowboards, K2 Snowboards, and Sims Snowboards and the sub pages have deep links coming into them, you will not want to take those sub pages and 301 redirect them to your home page; instead, 301 redirect them to the related sub pages on your main site. This will pass the appropriate anchor text and link authority to the right pages on your website and help those pages to rank for their keywords.

In conclusion, do not buy brand new websites in hopes to 301 redirect them to your website to achieve higher rankings. If you are going to pursue this strategy, you will want to purchase already established websites that have trust, authority and links coming into them and then 301 redirect.

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13 Comments

  1. Matt Joswick says

    Yeah, this is a bit misleading. I mean, nobody buys Sims snowboards! K2, come on … all the cool kids get local with Never Summer or even support the boys who split from Burton at Rome – if you’re feeling cocky try YES boards they’re the shiz-nit this year.

    On a serious tip, Greg Boser has a cool tool to see 301 redirects called Espion. Buying authority domains can get expensive, which makes it a big-boy tactic in my book. However, it does work in passing juice.

    Tip: Any SEO out on the mountain riding K2 or a Sims, you better be sporting neon, saluting Craig Kelly or taking your antiques out of storage for one last joy ride – otherwise you might get pegged as another gapper – and that’s not how you score the chicks.

  2. AZ says

    I’ve heard this concept before, but I’m interested in specific tactics or tools to find expired domain names that are specific to a vertical that use to have content. For example, I have a rap music blog. I want to find expired domains that deal with hiphop and point them to my main site. How would I go about finding them? I guess I could use something like dailychange.com and then manually check them on the Web Archive. This seems like a pain. Any other ideas?

  3. Ron Chmara says

    A small nit, but worth mentioning:
    If you are buying domains such as:
    exampl.com
    and there are already dead/unworking links already extant to your competitor, who’s site is actually found at:
    example.com

    …you can siphon off some typos of any existing mis-spelled links, as well as pick up some traffic of typists who miss (or miss-type) a letter or two in the URL of their browser.

    It’s often not much, though, (and they’re hard to find) so it’s only really worth it when good (but broken) inbound links already exist to that domain, or you just want to upset competitors.

  4. Craig Broadbent says

    the theory behind this video is reasonable, but you haven’t accounted for search engines checking registrar information. I think the search engines themselves have stated that if you buy a domain, change registration information and then 301 that domain to your own site the link equity won’t be passed. If they haven’t stated that themselves there’s certainly enough anecdotal eveidence around to suggest buying domains for link equity alone won’t work.

  5. says

    I believe Google has been frowning on this practice:

    http://searchengineland.com/do-links-from-expired-domains-count-with-google-17811

    While there is no clear proof of this, you should at least put a footnote citing this. I have also personally seen the devaluation of domains purchased for this purpose. While they may pass some initial juice, within a few months, it tends to fade away.

    Also, the big question that was not asked is which is better, redirecting for the supposed link benefit or running the new site on its own?

  6. Greg says

    Craig & Gennady,

    I believe that you both have raised legitimate concerns and made good points.

    However, this practice has proven to work well for me and others in the past. It all depends on how you go about it.

    I will not say that Google and other search engines don’t look for indicators that might signal them to devalue or ignore the links altogether like flat out purchasing dozens of expired domains and redirecting them to build your link equity. This is a completely different scenario. Yeah, if you look spammy and are doing this with a ton of old, expired domains, you are going to get nailed.

    If buying up a bunch of old domains and redirecting them is your ultimate goal, there is a completely different link building strategy that needs to be executed and it doesn’t involve buying the domains.

    Let’s look at the following scenario…

    Let’s say that I own SEO.com

    That is a brand that will never change its name.

    I decide to acquire some other seo companies that ranked well for terms like seo and seo company. I also acquire some companies that rank well for online marking firm and pr agency.

    If I redirected those sites to the appropriate pages on SEO.com, you cannot tell me that it wouldn’t help my search engine rankings for those keywords. It is a legitimate acquisition and even if registration information changes, I can’t see Google penalizing the links or devaluing them altogether.

    So, yeah… I guess I should have been more detailed in my video and more clear on what are the best practices when it comes to this strategy. Thank you for bringing up these points.

  7. Greg Beddor says

    It’s brilliant the way it all works right now, and this method does work good. I’ve tested something like this recently because I had to find out for myself and we did end up seeing the search engine rankings increase for our target words.

    The redirected site was 8 months old and redirected to an already established page that was on SERP #5 for it’s terms. After being patient for about 3 weeks, the page is now at the top of the second page of Google for its target term. That’s pretty good IMO, but I’m wondering how long this technique will work? We’ll see!

  8. Jorgo G. says

    Hello,
    If i buy many related old domains and redirect them to main domain,can this hurt my ranking?
    Thanks

  9. Spunky Jones says

    Recently I moved one of my web directories to a new Domain. I did a redirect to it and Google moved the PageRank over to it.

    However, I know a few directory owners that purchased Domains just to redirect the PageRank to an existing site. There sites got de-indexed from Google.

  10. Kaddy says

    So you mean, if I register an new domain, redirect it with 301 to my money page and build links to the new domain, it will have no effect on my rankings?

    Damn I bought an new webhosting paket yesterday, only for this reason :/

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