Expired Domains 301 Acquisition Case Study | 40K Monthly Traffic & 2X Revenue

Last Updated: December 20, 2021

Here’s a very real case study from my client who boosted his website (created on a fresh domain) using the power of expired domains.

  • Traffic increased from 18K to 25K in just a month and over 40K in 3 months. 
  • Amazon affiliate earnings increased from USD 1k to 2k in 3 months. 
  • A double rise to 100K monthly impressions in just 3 months.

All you need are a couple of months and the right expired domain to get these mind-blowing results.

Let’s start!

If you are a registered SerpNames member, you might remember receiving a mail like this from me.

In July 2021, I ran an expired domain giveaway. Let me take you through what it was all about.

I was looking for someone to test our 301 acquisition strategy on an expired domain. 

What is 301 acquisition? 

We’ve explained it in detail below. But, in short, you can use this strategy to fill the lack of backlinks and authority on your niche website.

What’s the result? 

A boost in rankings and traffic. It takes approx 1-3 months to see the results. 

For the giveaway, we took the risk on us and if you got the ROI and felt satisfied, only then you had to pay us. Otherwise, the domain was yours for free. 

I found a suitable tester in the form of Andy, who was also at that time looking for a robust expired domain to redirect to his original site. 

Here’s Andy’s story:

Andy is a digital marketer with 10 years of experience. 

Three years back, he and his partner decided to start an Amazon affiliate website without a prior affiliate marketing experience. 

He started the project on a new domain at the end of 2018. Only after a year and a half did he see a rise in traffic.

In his words, ‘the revenue was insignificant in the beginning.’

These are the website stats before the 301 Acquisition Strategy.

What is 301 Acquisition Strategy?

301 redirection strategy is about transferring the link juice from one page to another page.

This strategy boosts an existing domain by transferring links from a strong expired domain.

You can't just use any random domain with low-quality spam links as that’ll only harm your existing site. 

As cliched as it may sound, an expired domain is like wine - the more it gets old, the more powerful it becomes.

These domains have strong backlinks from high authority sites e.g. CNN, The Huffington Post, TechCrunch, The New York Times to name a few.

If we talk about metrics, these high authority domains may have DR ranging from 80 to 90+.

Though, it doesn't mean sites with less DR are not strong. We mostly see having links from a site that got DR 25 and above as a strong one.

So, coming back to the 301 strategy, here is how it works:

Let's say you are the owner of domainB.com, and you have tried your best like content optimization, technical SEO, even guest posting to build some links. 

Even after putting all your efforts to rank, it’s not working.

Now, you already know the importance of getting links from a high authority site, but if you want such a site to link back to your website, then you also know it’s close to impossible.

Even if you get the chance, it will be way too expensive, sometimes costing you more than your average profit. 

Here comes the expired Domain to the rescue where "price per referring domain" is unbeatable.

An expired domain’s already got links from several high authority sites for you. All you need is to execute the plan carefully.

At SerpNames, we recommended our clients recover the expired domain from the Wayback machine.

Then host the site for some time, aka from a few weeks to a month, so that Google can index it naturally and recover the link juice.

After this, create an acquisition page on your niche website like "xyz.com/abc-acquired"

Add 400-800 words of content to that acquisition page about your abc.com expired domain. You can mention that xyz.com has acquired abc.com, history and brief info about abc.com, etc. 

Please don't add any false information like abc.com owner has decided to partner up with our xyz.com.

Add your internal links to the most important and relevant pages or categories within that acquisition page. You can add as many as you want but don't make it look spammy and preferably choose the mix of commercial and informational articles.

And after some time, you can also redirect all links to specific pages e.g., money pages, or homepage. You can also redirect specific links to specific relevant pages.

So, now that you understand the logic behind it all, let’s come back to our case study.

The first 301 redirection

Andy made his first 301 redirection in March 2021 after which it took about 3 months for it to reflect in the DR and traffic metrics.

These are the stats of the first expired domain he redirected to his niche website.

There was a threefold increase in the revenue after this redirection. He created an acquisition page and did 301 redirection of all the URLs to this page.

Main niche website stats of RD’s and DR after first 301 acquisition strategy:

Main niche website stats of organic traffic and keywords after first 301 acquisition strategy:

The second 301 redirection

After the first successful redirection, Andy wanted to try another one for a greater boost in the DR. That’s also when I launched the giveaway.

The giveaway domain was a powerhouse with high relevancy and strong backlinks.

I was right about the result. Andy utilised the domain well and notched up his original website.

The strategy was the same - create an acquisition page and 301 all pages to it. This time the results appeared faster, just within a month! 

There was a boost in DR and revenue as the traffic grew.

Here’s the screenshot from the 12th of August, just before the 301 was carried out:

Here’s a look at the results after a month:

The traffic grew from 18K to 25K in just a month and over 40K in 3 months. 

You see, the result was mind-blowing. There was a steep rise as the redirected domains passed the authority to the original site. 

Here are the main niche website’s current stats:

You can also see the huge growth in traffic (around 1324% compared to initial stats) and other metrics too.

Let’s take a look at the earning report:

Now, fast forward to 2021:

In July 2021, before the second 301, the earnings were less than 1k. In just 3 months of the acquisition strategy, it has risen to 2k and continues upward.

Let’s take a look at the GSC traffic data as well:

Monthly impressions were about 50K in Aug 2021. There’s a double increase in just 3 months to 100K!

That’s all about the case study. Let me share Andy’s experience:

Were there any link building strategy?

We do not build any links besides the 301s. We are getting a lot of spam coupons and Blogspot links.

What was your content strategy?

We write mostly information content, between 30 and 100 articles per month.

Have you done any kind of speed optimization, does it affect your rankings in any way?

We cleaned all unnecessary plugins, and we are using Cloudflare caching, but I don't find any ranking impact on our keywords.

What are the mistakes you made, and what did you learn from them?

I think one of our main mistakes is not starting the website on an expired domain and not pushing harder on high-quality content.

What’s your next plan to grow this website’s page. 

We want to make more 301 acquisitions and continue to write content. Our target is to get to 1 million page views per month.

What do you think is the risk of using an expired domain based on your experience?

So far, we don't see risks as we do it naturally just as a normal business would acquire others.

What's your advice for someone's investing in expired domains?

Invest in a high-quality expired domain with high-quality content, and you will get the best of this strategy.

What was your overall experience with 301 acquisition vs any other link building process? 

Overall, this is the best strategy when you compare it to the other. The price per referring domain is absolutely the best.

It was great participating in the giveaway, the domain transfer ran smoothly as the previous ones.

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