July Goal Update #1
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So it’s been just over a week since I posted my goals for July.  I promised you weekly updates, and here they are!  After looking at my goals and how my time was laid out, I decided I’d approach this a little differently for three reasons:


  • My two site managers were vacationing in Bali together (one of the few issues of having great people refer other great people).
  • I was overwhelmed with domain list requests.  To the point where I just decided to refund a bunch of people.
  • Right now my passion is teaching and I’ve got some good momentum going here.  It’s all I seem to think about  – while I shower, while I play video games with my kids, while I play soccer…  It got so bad that my wife has banned me from talking about work.

So my approach is to get people to help accomplish my goals for me, while providing training and giving them access to my tools.   I got an amazing response from my post on looking for interns, and because of it I think I will be easily able to achieve my goals for this month, and have even loftier goals for August.


So onto the goal updates!


Setup 10 expired domains as Adsense sites.

I have chosen half the targets and bought the domains for them.  I chose to go with  .ca domains as it’s easier to rank for terms with ccTLDs, and most people reading can’t buy the .ca :)  I also chose a few sites that I normally would not develop into my own sites due to their link profiles, to make it a little more interesting.


#1 – deckmen.ca.   I chose this because I want to test something.  Note that this is a domain I would NEVER normally pickup.    Based on the backlinks, some local SEO tried to rank this guy for Deck keywords in the Toronto suburbs.  The links are mainly article directories.  I’m guessing either the guy lost his client, or the domain got penguined for the local terms or he just gave up because of place pages.


In either case, my goal will be to rank this site for “deck plans” and “how to build a deck” on google.ca, which I figure will be each $20-30/mo terms on Adsense.    It will be interesting.  I just purchased the domain.



#2 – retirementincanada.ca.  Another domain I normally would not pickup, probably penguined, and looks like part of a private network.  I will be optimizing it for “retirement calculator”, where even a lower page 1 listing will earn huge bucks.   I already put this domain up without content and it’s already a PR3.



#3 – sustainabletimes.ca.  This one will be a test for redeveloping it into something that is unrelated to the niche.  I will also target retirement calculator, and focus it on financially sustainable living for those 65+.  I already put this domain up without content and it’s already a PR5.


#4 – pukwis.ca.  This was a site on a community wind energy project, and I will develop it to target “coupons canada”.   It’s already launched and regained PR3.


#5 – momentumplanet.ca.   This site was on cycling and used to redirect to momentummag.com – looks like they had momentumplanet.ca as their main URL for a long time and they let it expire.  Oops.  rdMT of 4.34, PA49, DA40, 128 LRDs, and potential PR of 5 make this a very strong Premium+3 domain.   With this domain I will repurpose it and target “car insurance” on google.ca.  It’s a long shot without further link building, but I may linkbuild it more if need be, and worst case car insurance pays well on TLA :)  I already purchased the domain but haven’t launched it yet.


So the first 5 were my true experiments.  The next 5 will be just good domains re-done as Adsense sites within their niches.   But that’s boring, so I will do it next week.


Portal Sites and New Product-based Biz

My portal sites for the furniture business and product based business have been bought and launched.  They are just waiting on content.  I got closer to 40 domains.

For the product business, I got a sample of 20 products in from China and the quality is good, as are the margins.  I will get my designer started on the site next week, as well as banners for the portal sites.   I will be launching with the bare minimum to test my visitor values before purchasing more stock (and will likely just refund any orders that come in).  I will post more on this later.


Remaining Adsense Sites

I haven’t even started on these, I’m still behind on content for the portal sites and experimental sites which take priority.   I’m hoping some interns can help on this front though.


50 premium+3 or better domains

Thus far I have picked up 19 Premium+3 or better domains, and 14 premium+0-2 domains (aside from the ones I have sold).    Here I really hope the interns can come through for me, otherwise I will come a little short on the Premium+3s, but still should get 50 premium domains total.


Update on Josh the Intern

Josh is making good progress and is on track to meet his July goals.  He has found 70 keywords with values >$30/mo (which will likely net on average more than double that), he’s selected the domains and categorized them.  I’ve launched the domains for him on my CMS, and he’s just in the process of outsourcing content on Iwriter and textbroker.


The expired domains have a steep learning curve, and he’s only picked up a handful thus far.  He has gotten the hang of the tool though and I’ve nudged him in the right direction as far as list sources, so we’ll see what he gets over the weekend.   Next week he will be focusing almost exclusively on finding expired domains, and as the tools run he will be setting up the ones we have found as a private blog network.


He will be reading the comments here so if you have any questions feel free to ask.  Right now he’s enjoying the process, his only concern is that he’s just a little stressed out by the 30 day time limit.


How did you guys do on your goals?  Leave a comment!

July Goal Update #1
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  1. Sounds like a solid plan. Looking forward to seeing your progress.

    I’m interested in the fact you are purchasing domains you believe have been ‘penguined’ In doing so I take it you believe the penalty does not carry over after the domain is dropped?

    • I’d like to know this too. If Google keeps a permanent black list or at least a temporary list of deranked/deindexed sites. Do these sites pass to be used after expiration? I would suppose by putting different content would “soft” reset it’s Google state.

      • I’d be surprised it’s a blacklist as such, I would think it’s more an algorithm.

        I actually emailed Hayden about this, my concern is since Penguin there are going to be a lot of domains that are essentially worthless due to unnatural distribution of the KW in the anchor text. Once these domains are purchased by another party the link profile may still incur the penalty?

        I have been building niche sites for about a year, so not that experienced but I have definitely noticed there are more EMD’s available which kinda makes sense as they would most likely be let go once they cop the penguin penalty.

        I am checking every domain I buy nowadays for history of drops or in majestic for bad linking but as Hayden has mentioned ahref’s and majestic tend to crawl different parts of the web so it’s hard to really know for sure.

  2. I’m curious, you aren’t concerned about the whois records on your domains? I noticed on your site watchingthewheels.net, you listed yourself and your company and 2300 other domains were associated with your company. It seems much like having sites on the same block of IPs it would be very easy for Google to see that all domains were owned by one person / company and then significantly reduce the link juice that flows from one to the other.

    I haven’t heard of Google doing this, obviously, but I’m just thinking ahead.

    You’re not worried about your whois data showing the same company info for all your domains?

    • I don’t renew whoisguard on failed domains. But believe me, the domains that are earning are protected. Not from Google, I’m not paranoid about that, no, but from other SEOs.

      If anyone does look up those 2300 domains, I would advise you not to copy them, as those ones aren’t ranking anymore :)

  3. Doing pretty well. Half-automated KW research with SEOmoz and setup 30-ish domains on my private network, and have them all centrally managed in various systems. I think I may have bought some duds as some of them won’t index (or I’m impatient). Anchor text is clean so I’m wondering what’s going on there. /shrug

    Only building out about 6 sites currently but I had about 20 more keywords picked out. Yet again my writers held me hostage on content for about 2 weeks so I’m back to TextBroker for the next batch. I’m looking to hire a content manager soon to get my WP sites setup, but first I have to make some training videos for the would-be candidates. A busy month since I have a lot of personal stuff going on too.

  4. Does nofollow really matter when analyzing the value of a link? I found a domain tonight that I’d really like to buy based on the MozTrust, but the linking site with the highest PR is a nofollow link. I’m curious if that will diminish the PR assignment value. By the way, I’m not looking at PR first but last. I’m just hoping that nofollow doesn’t hurt the site because I may be able to flip it or use it.

  5. Goals for the next four weeks for me:

    Find 25 Premium +3 domains in the next four weeks (week ending 8/20/2012).

    I’ve finally got this process down and it is terribly addictive. It is like mining for gold but you don’t have to get dirty.

    Also, my wife quit her job and will be working my seed lists I’m gathering now.

  6. Another thing I’m curious about, is it normal for sites to regain PR so quickly? I thought you’d have to wait until the next major PR update. What’s normal? Do some sites come back quickly while other have to wait for the next PR update? At what point to you decide you bought a dud. I found several and some have PR after about 3 weeks, some have zero, and some have N/A. Are the zeros duds?

  7. Goals for the next 4 weeks:
    – Finish my expired domain finder tool, and use it to find some premium domains.

    It’ll currently take a list of urls, check for expired domains, and then figure out which ones are available for registration. Tomorrow I’ll tap into the seomoz api and teach it to analyze those available domains based on what I’ve learned here.

    Within the next couple of weeks, I plan to develop it into a web crawler that will find and register valuable(but not spammy) expired domains on it’s own. Should be an enjoyable challenge.

    BTW.. for those of you who are using the manual Xenu process.. be careful. I was running some large lists(500k+), and my virus scanner was constantly alerting me about malware. Not because it doesn’t like Xenu, but because the urls it was opening were infected.

  8. Hi Hayden, I bought this domain on a rush…CLASSIFICASITI.COM, check it on opensaiteexplorer. But as Spencer said on his las post “is to much work!” for me. So if anyone is interested on this domain, please can contact me :)

  9. July Goal Update:

    Goal of 25 aged domains/40 adsense sites.

    So far I 15 aged domains up and 7 adsense sites up with content on them. Need 10 more aged domains and 33 adsense sites to meet goal. 10 days to go…

  10. What do you guys think is a better strategy?

    A) Launch 50 sites with one page of content
    B) Launch 20 sites with 2-3 page of content

    I leaning towards A, but would love to get some second opinions.

    • Josh the Intern says:

      I’d launch the 50 sites with one page. Of those 50 not all of them will rank or earn so why add extra articles to a site that hasn’t proven itself? As you see your sites begin to rank you can focus on the winners.

      Just my $0.02.

      • This is the way I’m doing it. Launching sites with one page. Wait a week and see which ones are ranking. Then I order more content for the ones that are ranking.

        Some of the sites that I thought would rank right away don’t rank.

        Then I wait until site has 5 articles and is ranking top 20 before I put adsense on it.

  11. FYI….

    I just got my adsense account disabled due to having 1-3 page sites. The letter said my sites had little content so they were banning the account.

    Be careful…

      • I am debating whether I want to put adsense on the sites again. When they closed the account it had ~$1k in there. The worse part is all of the data is gone. I can’t even sell the sites because I have no earnings data.

        The account was about 1.5 years old. No warnings or anything. Pretty crazy. Just makes me wonder about posting on public forums like this. The information here is really awesome though…

  12. @Jason

    I’m not too concerned about commenting on blogs like this…but maybe it’s just me.

    Do you have another Adsense account? I’d wait some time and then put Adsense back on the ones that were earning.

    I’d love to chat and discuss strategies.

  13. Hayden,

    Is flipping expired, high-pr domains part of your workflow, and if so.. are there any specific sites other than Flippa that you’d recommend listing them on?

    Any chance you’ll be doing a post on what to do with the expired domains once we have them?

    I’d certainly like to hear more about how you monetize them via textlinkads, or what your process is like when your goal is to simply flip them.

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