One well-known SEO tactic that has been used successfully is buying sites that have expired or are purchased at auction. The theory goes that you can take over a site that already has age and many different links pointing to it. You can then put your own content on it and link to whatever you want. You can put whatever content on the site and benefit from all the links that are still pointing to it. Think about it this way, if you bought the domain espn.com, you could take over the site and link to a sports site that you own. You would then get all the power and trust from all the many, many links that previously pointed to espn.com.
Sounds like a great idea, right? Well, it is, but you have to be very careful if you are going to employ this strategy. Google is well aware of this strategy, and it wants to crack down on people who do this for the sole reason of SEO. What should you watch out for if you are going to use this strategy?
First, you need to realize how Google can possibly track you. You don’t want Google to know that you are in control of the sites that are linking to your main website. If your expired domains are all put on the same host, or they have the same whois information, or you are signed into a google account and going to all the same websites, Google will be able to track that. I would recommend using all separate hosts, having private whois information, and not using Chrome or signing into Google while working on your sites.
You also need to be willing to treat these sites as real sites and put good content on them. Google has been really cracking down on sites with thin or little content. If they deindex the site, the site will have no value and can even be harmful. Make sure you can regularly update the site with new content.
When you take over a domain, most of the power will come from the homepage. If that is the case, when you link to your main site, you will want to make sure that your link is from the homepage. That is the best way to ensure that you get the most power from the link as possible.
As Google seems to be cracking down on using this strategy more and more, I don’t know how much I would recommend relying on it for your SEO. If your sites get deindexed, it can really hurt your main domain. I would recommend looking into other tactics that will work well for the long-term. There’s nothing that replaces putting out lots of good content. Using expired/auction domains can be very effective, but you definitely need to be really careful if you are going to use this strategy.