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The Value of a Solid Domain When Starting a Site

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by BassTrackerBoats, Nov 17, 2016.

  1. BassTrackerBoats

    BassTrackerBoats Super Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    There was a time, back in the old days when linkwheels and hidden text was good off and on site SEO. People had land lines, Twitter wasn't even an idea and MySpace was the end all of social media sites.

    Beer was a nickel too if I remember.

    You could build a site from a fresh domain, content that puppy up and linkwheel it to page one and fill your pockets with easy adsense cash.

    Ahh... the good old days.

    The world has taken a turn though as things have certainly changed. Use Lemonarian's idea of a linkwheel and you'll ruin a perfectly good website. Keyword stuff your site with hidden text and Google will beat you up and take your lunch money. Most people don't even know what a land line is and your Myspace account is so dusty you sneeze and cough when you go within 6 feet of it.

    And a beer cost a lot more than 5 cents.

    The way you choose the domain to start your new site should also be adjusted to the times if you want to rank quickly and not have to beat your brains out SEOing it to death for months on end. Starting a new project with a fresh domain is not the best way to go about a site in most instances as the value of fresh domains in SEO is waning.

    Sure, it is fine to still begin a project with a domain that is hot off the press but you'll usually end up spending more in SEO that you would have to should you have bought a domain that has some backlink history and is fairly clean in it's previous content. In fact, in some instances you actually cannot buy a reused domain as you need one specific to a situation. An instance like that would be if you were building a site for a local fence guy and you need the domain to be something like LocalFenceGuyCompany.com or some such thing.

    But if you are operating on a global basis you are almost always better off buying a domain that has a decent set of backlinks in place and has a clean history so that you can save some money in your ongoing SEO and start to generate traffic sooner than later. There is always going to be a cost to get a decent piece of real estate in Google but you can eliminate the loss of time with a better quality domain.

    The last few projects I have started have all been done with domains that have some quality historical backlinks in place and have a clean on site history as well.

    Why am I bringing this up today?

    The past 6 or 7 weeks I've done little to no work at all... I've just been coasting along, kicking back. Riding my bike, taking the canoe or kayak out, walking the dogs and doing minor projects around the house.

    I've just been on a bit of a little lazy vacation sort of thing working 2 - 4 hours a day or so and bumming about the rest of the day.

    But during that time I had an idea for a particular kind of news site that I thought I could easily write for daily as this niche is of interest to me and thought it would be a good way for me to get back into action.

    So I did some research and saw that this was not going to be an easy task and I'd be walking uphill both ways to get much of the content ranked without doing Uber-SEO. It would take some time to get rolling and I would have to work fairly hard at it so I went on the hunt for a domain that had a good backlink infrastructure and was related to the type of site I wanted to build.

    The one I got has links from the NY Times, Wikipedia, Huff, Bloomberg, USAToday and some other very strong sites and is pretty relevant to my niche. According to ahrefs it was ranking for a bunch of KWs (none of which I am targeting) related to my niche news site idea and some of the backlinks were image backlinks which, to me, have decent value due to the diversity of the type of link.

    I set the domain up using a premium wordpress theme, added in a 404 to 301 plug in, did a little design adjustments, had a logo and favicon made and now I was good to start working on it. The favicon and logo are named KWs as that has some on site SEO value. Don't name your logo something like logo1234, name it a KW or at the very least an LSI KW so you're not wasting an opportunity and do the same with your favicon.

    I then started writing a few articles a day. My day usually begins at 4:30 AM unless one of two things happen. Either one of the dogs has to go out earlier than that (if it is 3AM or later I just stay up) or I'm just going to bum out and sleep in until 6:00 or so. But being back on track the sleeping in is done and over with for a while.

    I've been writing a few articles a day and then scheduling them to publish at various times during the day. Northing exotic, little 4 and 5 hundred word articles targeting KW phrases that I know, just from reading and watching the news, would be searched. The first few articles I added into Google manually so they would get indexed and then after that they would get indexed inside of a few minutes as G was seeing that there was new content being posted on a regular basis.

    The other day I wrote one and it went to #3 in Google very quickly with competition in the 600K range which was nice to see. Today, one I wrote with 6 million searches went to the top of page 2 inside of an hour (image below). I won't make much from an article on page 2, we all know that, but it is a sign that the idea is a good one and the domain is the bomb as there have been no backlinks added since I bought it and stuff is ranking.

    My content is not the world's greatest as, although I consider myself an above average writer, I have no business comparing my content to the professionals in any arena at all. I'm not KW stuffing as that is not how I build sites and I'm not even interlinking my posts yet as there is just not enough onsite to do that at this point.

    What is ranking my site is the domain, not the writer.

    If you want to have a successful site quickly, find yourself a domain that will do a lot of the heavy lifting for you. Don't be the guy that buys a domain from Godaddy that is covered in embryonic fluid and expect to see immediate results.

    Chances of that happening are similar to Ford bringing back the Edsel.

    Ain't gonna' happen.

    You'll need time and SEO to get that site to where you want it to be and time cost money as does SEO. There can be a significant money value for time if you have a site that, once ranked, is going to put decent cash in your pocket. Do the math when starting a project and see if it makes sense for you to put some of your projected expenses into a domain that has some backbone as opposed to just spending on SEO and content.

    You might be surprised how much money you are leaving on the table by starting off with an el cheapo domain each month while you work to get it ranked.

    You have to pay to rank; that is a given.

    See if you are spending your dollars correctly when you lay them on the counter. I would bet that a domain that has backlinks in place will win out in your calculations 95% of the time and those are pretty good odds.

    [​IMG]
     
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    Last edited: Apr 6, 2017
  2. elavmunretea

    elavmunretea Elite Member

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    4:30 AM?! Now that is dedication right there Greg!

    Nice post, I like the way that you targeted something you're interested in, that's always a main concern of mine when writing.

    How are you finding your domains by the way, if not with GoDaddy? Are they expired or from an auction?

    Also, what sort of metrics does it have to go along with the nice BL profile?
     
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  3. Jayder

    Jayder Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Wow that's great! Where do you buy your domains?
     
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  4. chimatim

    chimatim Newbie

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    Wow nice, but where can one get cheap used domain
     
  5. Freddyjames

    Freddyjames Senior Member

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    I was talking to a partner about this very same issue only a few hours ago.

    We're in a position where we've found an extremely good niche, one I am very familiar with, which also has plenty of CPA offers to monetize. Found about 30 highly targeted keywords, all in single digit "difficulty" with 3k+ searches a month.

    We were actually considering buying an aged domain, rather than putting the content on a site we've had for around 7-8 mths with zero off site SEO done on it. Trouble is, the name of the site will be important. The site we have fits nicely, however finding an aged domain with a title that fits is gonna be a mission and a half.

    So, the question is: Since the keywords are extremely easy to rank for - is it worth bothering buying an aged domain (if in fact we could find one with a name that fits at all), or would we see little benefit from one as the keywords are so easy?
     
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  6. Hambone Oblivion

    Hambone Oblivion Registered Member

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    Good Post. I completely agree, to get a solid backlink profile and diversified anchor text, the SEO work up front on a new domain is costly if you have to out-source. Only time I start with a new domain is if what's available for used domains are nothing to do with my niche. As you mentioned "LocalFenceGuyCompany.com or some such thing" Sometimes causes issues with the Big G if you are switching domain keywords from Beauty Supplies to Used Cars. I agree with your post though, finding high powered used domains is a killer in the SEO game. The cost of the domain to the price of the SEO to achieve the same metrics is definitely depreciated with the used domain = Better Value. Great post.

    P.S. 3-4am is when I go to bed. Congrats on being a morning person, I'm a night owl.
     
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  7. Jeter62

    Jeter62 Registered Member

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    That is nothing compared to how much you would have paid for SEO services that would bring the website there (if they would).
    thank you! Useful information here.
     
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    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 6, 2017
  8. Nargil

    Nargil Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    With these huge domains with a lot of backlinks in place I've always had a fear of the anchors. There will never be just brand and URL and even though they are within niche, they are rarely targeting specifically what your new site is about. That's why I've been using domains with RD up to like 20 - 30 for money sites, because the anchors didn't matter as much there. But if you have a domain with thousands of backlinks, then that has to be counted. Haven't you had any issues with that?
     
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  9. eunicemartinez_21

    eunicemartinez_21 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Im also interested to know if you are using expired domains.
     
  10. BassTrackerBoats

    BassTrackerBoats Super Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    I don't consider the metrics other than the backlink profile. Those are what generate your metrics and I'd rather make sure that the domain as the links and make my own determination as to the quality. I do look in ahrefs to see if the domain is ranking for KWs although that is a minor aspect of me choosing one.

    I buy the domains from a seller here in the marketplace who is a friend of mine as I have a little less than zero technical skills to be able to find them using tools and such.

    I'm sure there are sellers in the marketplace that have cheap used domains.

    That is where I would probably not bother with a higher end domain but I would still buy/find one that has some backlink history that is clean. You can pick the lower level ones up fairly inexpensively (I know that fits your wallet) and get some benefit that would eliminate some of the SEO you'll be doing.

    If the name really matters though that may be a game ender for you and you'll have to get a fresh one. Easy KWs though, for you, that should not slow you down much in getting it ranked.

    I really have not; I have a domain that used to be in the employment niche that I use for a SEO blog. I'm not as active with it as I had been in the past but I have no issues getting KWs and KW phrases ranked that have zero to do with education.

    That is not ideal though as, for a "legitimate I want to rank site" I like the domain to be in the same niche or have some KWs that I can use as ancillary or LSI KWs.

    ---------------

    Edit to make things clearer:

    You can find great domains from a number of sellers here on BHW and I would recommend that you look at all the guys that are offering quality domains in your hunt for a domain for your project.
     
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    Last edited: Apr 6, 2017
  11. BassTrackerBoats

    BassTrackerBoats Super Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    Here is another one from yesterday - not as much competition but my spot is pretty nice and the domain is beating some big boys as well. I actually went to that Wikipedia page to gather some background about the topic and ended up outranking it.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. asap1

    asap1 BANNED BANNED

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    Great stuff.
     
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  13. Tosmekop

    Tosmekop Supreme Member

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    Beautiful post, BTB. Beautiful post.
     
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  14. MisterF

    MisterF Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Informative insight, many thanks mate.
     
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  15. talents

    talents Newbie

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    Some good info!
     
  16. eunicemartinez_21

    eunicemartinez_21 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    BTB, do you think this would be effective on a churn and burn sites? I mean would your site rank faster than getting a fresh domain?
     
  17. Nargil

    Nargil Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Tried dozens of times. Yes it wil.
     
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