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SEO Scam #6

September 1st, 2010 by Troy Newport


“Buy expired domains and point them at your website!”

This tactic is frowned upon by the search engines, and Google has vociferously announced their displeasure with this tactic and their plans to change their algorithm to combat it.  The reason it works is because as a website builds history and “trust” with the search engines, it becomes more powerful.  When that website links to another website, it paases some of that power (or “link juice” as some in our industry call it) over to the other website.

Fast forward to the day that business closes its doors and liquidates its assets, including its website and web address.  If a company purchases that web address and “301 redirects” (permanently redirects) it to their own website, the search engines will automatically pass all that trust and good will to them.  TripAdvisor allegedly notoriously used this tactic early on.

Does it work?  The short answer is currently yes.  Is it a good long-term strategy?  Since the search engines are aware it is happening and don’t like it, simple speculation suggests it won’t be long before they shift their algorithms to prevent its effectiveness.  Purchasing these domains can be expensive, and you can pay thousands of dollars for one.  As a business owner, does it make more sense to spend thousands of dollars on a short-term strategy that won’t work in the near future, or to spend your budget developing engaging content for your website and social media platforms that will attract an audience and make your website more sticky and position you as an expert in your field? I suppose it depends on which SEO company you ask.

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