Stop Caring about Page Rank!
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When I am analyzing expired domains to either setup as part of my private blog network or to setup as an adsense site, I look at quite a few metricsThe least important to me is Page Rank.


Toolbar Page Rank is no longer correlated at all with ranking.  This is something that smart SEOs have known for many years, but people in the IM industry still use TbPR  as the #1 metric to appraise a link or site.    Because of that, page rank really only has one value, and that is the ability to sell links and to sell the site itself once it has regain TbPR.  Eventually this will change – the webmaster community will come around and figure this out – but for now people are still focused on Pagerank.


So if you are analyzing a list of expired domains, STOP CARING ABOUT PageRank!  In order of priority I would look at:

Root Domain MT, DA, PA (check www and non-www version of homepage), LRDs, Age, and finally, firmly in LAST place, page rank.


When to care about Pagerank

If you want to, you can easily exploit this silly market inefficiency and buy high PR sites to sell or to sell links on.  If you decide to do this, it is important that the site is minimum PR4, ideally PR5 and higher.  You can rent a PR5 link on Textlinkads for $50/mo easily, and you can flip a PR5 site for anywhere between $300 and $1000.  The ROI is huge, and it’s easy money.


I would encourage you to only do this if the other metrics are also strong, so the buyer/renter gets ranking value from the site.  TbPR can be extremely easily manipulated by sending nepotistic links (if you own 1 PR7 and link to 50 sites on the homepage they will all become PR5s).  Don’t do this.   You would just be taking advantage of beginners who don’t know any better, which is bad for your soul and bad for business long-term.

Stop Caring about Page Rank!
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  1. I am really finding it hard to believe people would spend that much for a dropped PR5 domain. Or that it would be easy to sell an expired domain, period.

    I do find your techniques very fascinating though. And I am glad you are documenting these business models and sharing it with us. You’re making me think about ways to make this work for me, and for that I thank you.

  2. Interestingly I had a look at text-link-ads page and I cant find PR mentioned anywhere, they only have an internal metric and some of the moz ones. Would be interesting to know a little bit about your experience with them since I think you mentioned that you did make some money with them. What type sites do you put there, what kind of earnings can one expect, what should one think of to maximize earnings with them. Anything else?
    Thanks for sharing all this info with us.

  3. What is your view on drops and how long the site has been down when evaluating a domain. Does it matter if it has been down for say 3+ years? Do you feel this factor affects the link strength of the domain?
    A lot of sites that I find have been redirected for a couple of years to some new site when they changed domain for whatever reason and now finally after a few years of redirect they decide to drop (or forgot to renew) the old domain and it becomes available. Wouldn’t Google have learned that all the links pointing to the expired domain ‘belongs’ to the new site and just because one stop doing the redirect when taking ownership of the domain you don’t get all the old link juice? What is your view on that? Or as a new domain owner you get credit for all old links even it they have been redirected for ages? Obviously no black and white answer but would be interesting to know your thoughts about it.

    • I am also curious about the definition of a “drop”, since I’ve run into several expired domains that don’t say anything about a drop.

      They might say:

      NS History: 4 changes on 3 unique name servers over 7 years.

      Nothing said about a drop.

      But, wouldn’t the fact that the domain is currently available mean that there is at least 1 drop???

      • If it was once registered and now it is available it is a dropped domain. It is implied by Hayden’s technique that it doesn’t matter how long it has been dropped, or even how many times.

        What matters is: did a spammer pick up the domain and ruin its link profile? If so, this also means it could have been deindexed.

  4. Heard your interview with Spencer on also finding “free hosting blog” domains.

    I didn’t quite understand what I need to find (footprint) for blogger, typepad and
    What would you use(type in to google) to find these?

    Thank you

  5. A little bit of topic question. Hope that someone can answer it to me and explain why.

    Which is better in terms of SEO, free blog domains, like blogspot domains and other, or regular domains that you register with godaddy or any other company?

  6. I found a site with a MozTrust of 5.8; Domain Authority 22; Page Authority 35; 7 LRDs; Age: 7 years. So the only low side scores this has is the LRDs and the highest PR of any page linking to the domain is 3. Would this be a buy? I would suppose that it would be.

    Also, 2 drops and there doesn’t appear to be any spam links.

    Anyone care to give me any thoughts?

  7. I was looking to set up a text link ads blog network for another stream of income but I am finding that 50% of the domains I register go to PR0 a few days after being indexed, while the others get the PR I expect within a few days of being indexed. I check the backlink profiles etc very thoroughly and don’t see any spam.

    Do I need to wait for the next TBPR update for the PR0 domains to update or are they most likely lost causes?

    • I am interested in finding out about when a stable TBPR appears. A few of my domains showed up as PR1 that have PR5 backlinks. Is this just temporary and within a few months the actual potential PR of 3 will show up for these domains?

      I realize that we should not place much importance in PR but my plans are to flip PR4+ while still increasing the size of my private network.

  8. Hi Hayden,

    I have to say your posts are by far the best I have seen on link building, I can’t thank you enough for the information. It has really got my brain going and I’ve been trying to automate everything as much as I can with databases, excel and the mozscape api etc.

    I have nailed down a process now, and I have a slightly different approach which has seen me find lots of Premium, quite a few Premium+1s and some Premium+2s as well.

    The strange thing about these domains is although they have great metrics, a lot of them don’t seem to have high PR links pointing to them. Would you buy domains that are probably just going to be PR 1 or 0 or could it be that these domains have spammy links pointing to them and I just can’t see them in seomoz or ahrefs?

  9. I takes a lot of time and effort to grow or increase the Page Rank of your site. You can do it more effectively when you master how to do Link Building.

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