Tools used in this video:
Cliff’s Notes Version
Start with a list. Maybe it’s from Scrapebox or maybe it’s a droplist from expireddomains.net. In this example I’m just using a droplist.
On that list, go and use netpeak to grab DA/PA maybe DMT and # of Links if you’ve got a large list and want to weed it out.
Now put the results in a spreadsheet. In this case it’s a droplist so we don’t have to worry about availability. If you do have to check though, I recommend dynadot to check 1000 domains at a time (name.com allows for more but is less reliable).
Once there let’s make a little formula that you can re-use just to make researching our domains a little easier. Ahrefs, Top Pages, WWW OSE links, Archive.
Respectively (assuming A2 is just the domain name without http:// and without www.):
Let’s filter the table for only DA>25 and DMT >4 to start. Maybe total number of links <100.
Why DA? Because lots of links also come in to inner pages, and after you 301 redirect those pages your PA should end up around 10 points higher than your DA.
DMT (higher the better) and # of links (lower the better) are just used to control spam. You will be throwing the baby out with the bathwater in some cases – this is just to save you time and is especially appropriate for LARGE lists.
Now comes the spam-checking part. What I’m really looking for are domains that have no artificial links. Ideally I want domains that show no sign of being owned by a marketer. Why? Because if they were owned by a marketer and they expired, there’s a possibility the marketer let them expire because they were damaged.
Now you could still pick up a domain if you think it expired out of neglect. What I do recommend however is launching the domain with a default WP launch, pinging the existing backlinks and seeing if the site gets indexed. If it does, you’re in the clear, and you can continue building it out.
Now first thing I’ll check is the Ahrefs Overview page. Scroll down to the anchor cloud and check for spammy keywords, foreign anchors, or unnatural percentages (anything above 70% is quite unnatural). After that, check the top pages.
Under top pages, your looking for obvious spam (through subdomain spam subpage spamming), but also looking for inner pages with genuine backlinks.
Next check the OpenSiteExplorer metrics of the www subdomain homepage, and the PA of any highly linked pages found above. This is mainly to define where to launch WP. Also check out the links here, as occasionally they will have different results from Ahrefs and you’ll encounter spam that Ahrefs did not see.
In terms of the actual backlinks, here’s what I find ACCEPTABLE:
Comments/forum links – only acceptable if they are on relevant blogs and are clearly well thought out, human generated comments.
Directory links/links pages – only acceptable if they are relevant.
Foreign links – only acceptable if relevant. A quick translate should show this.
Blogroll/webring/mirror links – basically these are pages with hundreds of links on them. I draw the line if a page has more than 50 or so outbound links – and I’d check if multiple pages that share the same outbound links are uniquely indexed in Google.
Mostly you want to see links within content of actual blog posts or websites.
Finally, check archive.org. Here’s what ok and what’s not ok in my book. It’s fine if there are drops. It’s fine if it used to redirect to another domain (as long as not Porn/Poker/Pills/Other spammy niches). It’s fine if it was taken and there was an incomplete WP install.
It’s not fine if:
It was recreated as PPP
It was recreated as part of someones blog network.
Remember your list is the #1 most important thing. Things like Closeouts/Reg Fee lists only return an ROI when you have an automated system to prioritize spam-checking or eliminate spam (as they’ve already been mined when they were expiring).
Questions? Anything to add? Feel free to leave a comment!