Finding “Seed Lists” that Lead You To Amazing Expired Domains For Your PBN

By vishy | SEO

May 28

In my previous posts on building a private blog network to help you rank, i've highlighted why finding powerful expired domains can make or break the link juice power from your PBN. 

That said, finding expired domains ​as outlined in my follow up post to the PBN guide - all boils down to having a good "seed list" - because a good seed list will help you plant the right seeds to begin your hunt for expired domains - using link crawlers.

In this post I'm going to write about how you can go about mining good seed lists as starting points form where you can launch your crawlers to uncover those hidden expired domain gems that others missed out on.

What is a Seed List?

A seed list marks the start points of running your desktop or web based site crawlers​. We use them as a starting point because they have either link juice power or authority, or are in our niche AND they have a higher probability to contain out-bound-links (OBLs) that are broken and thus potentially point to expired domains...

The error code in Link Sleuth free tool that you may use for this is “12007” or “no such host”

The basic method involves recursively mining seed lists from other sets of seed lists. That is, you find a starting group of seed lists and then use that to find more seed lists.

When we find expired domains from a seed list, we can then recursively find all the backlinks of those expired domains (using a backlink checker tool like AHREFs).

Here is a diagram I made trying to explain the logic...

The logic here is that because the list of backlinks of the initial seed list pages are pointing to one expired domain - they could be pointing to many others (probably in the same niche) because the webmaster or person who made the post has not updated the list and removed any of the broken links - thereby possibly leaving other potential broken links with power on the same page. They have probably not updated other broken links too on the site that could be pointing to other authority expired domains.

Of course we will have to check the authority or potential of each expired domain we find - with the set of metrics we are looking out for (links, DA, PC, TF etc) which is all covered in my other post on finding and anlyzing expired domains.

In other words...

We want to extract all the broken OBLs on the backlink pages (that we found using Ahrefs) of the initial seed list of expired domains.

We extract the broken OBLs using a tool like Xenu Link Sleuth or Scrapebox or any other crawler, and check to see which OBLs found on them are broken or return a - error code that says "no such host" which will display as “12007”.

Once we gather these broken OBLs - we strip them down to domain level using a tool like scrapebox and then check each domain (using several of the domain registration check modules like in Scrapebox or other bulk checkers like Dynadot) to see which domains are in "expired" or "dropped" status, and therefore open for registration.

Why not use automatic Expired Domain Web tools?

Other than the fact that Expired Domain Crawlers are fairly expensive to use, many of these tools have internal algorithms that will be common for everyone on their platform. Manytimes, the way they go about finding the initial seed lists (which is where the trick lies) is not ingenious enough. This means that if you go into some of the common niches out there - you're going to end up wasting your "crawl budgets" with them and also your money, time and resources.

Many of tools do not have perfect methods to feed in seed lists.

If you understand and uncover the right techniques to discover these seed lists you will be able to uncover Expired Domains that are not only powerful but also highly relevant to your niche - so you get a powerful and relevant niche backlink - which is a very important factor for ranking.

Here's a few methods that I use while hunting for Expired Domains without paying hefty monthly subscription rates to expired domain hunting web services or spending money to buy expired domains in marketplaces and forums.

You can also use the free "Xenu Link Sleuth" as a crawler for this method. Its amazingly fast, and it has some powerful features. It wasn't made for hunting down expired domains like Expired Domain Miner, but it does the job if you know what to look out for and how to read the signals.

Here's how the process would look step by step...

 
1 – Find your initial seed list of expired domains using some of the tools I mention below.
 
2 – Find the backlinks of all these Expired Domains using MOZ, Ahrefs etc.
 
3 – Grab all the broken links on the backlinks pages using Scrapebox Broken Links Checker
 
4 – Trim to Root (or take all OBLs that are broken only or host not found) … to get a seed expired domain list (which now needs to be detected for expired domains)
 
5 – Extract only .com .org .net (optional step) … first include .com .net .org from file footprint and then exclude .com. .net. .org.
 
6 – Take this expired domain list (or the one with all the TLDs) and double check one more time in Scrapebox Whois module twice over to make sure there are no false positives.
 
7 – LOOP 2 – (can Save this expired domain list and go back to step 1 above to recycle and use it again! IF you do seed expired domains that were still open make sure to exclude the seed list from this expired domain list before starting again)
 
8 – You can run a pre-check in URL Link Profiler or proxy GSA module (which may be deprecated as of this writing).
 
You can check the following metrics and sort / filter them according to what strength you are looking for…
 
URL/Domain   
Subdomain Spam Score   
Page Authority   
Domain Authority   
Linking C Blocks   
TrustFlow SubDomain   
CitationFlow SubDomain   
ExtBackLinks RootDomain   
RefDomains RootDomain   
PR RootDomain 

Methods To Find Powerful Seed Lists

Here are some of the methods I sue to uncover seeds lists, in no particular order. They all mostly rely on the recursive crawl method that I have written about above.

​Using Mass Expired Domain Lists

There's a whole bunch of tools that mine the central registry for domains in dropped stats or that have expired. These databases are available publically and are uploaded to a central repository on a daily basis. These tools simple download these lists and use APIs of other tools to list out the metrics for each of these sites. Its not complicated when you think about it.

Most of these tools are free and charge you to access premium features / data. Some of them are...

The AHrefs Broken Link Method

– Find a top site (in niche or top .. or use keyword + forum etc)
 
– Ahrefs broken links
 
– Trim in Scrapebox to Root
 
– Push into domain availability checking tool ( DomainMetricsTool.com )
 
– You can Try Scrapebox whois checker as alternative
 
– List of available domains need to be now analyzed – metrics first.
 
– May need to first filter the list of domains if its too huge using Scrapebox first… filter the .com then .net then .org sequentially // alternate step only if too many exist
 
– Then check quickly all the parameters.. using a tool like URL Profiler or Majestic > Link Map Tools > Bulk Backlinks

Using Ahrefs To Find Backlinks of Seed Sites to Uncover Sites with Expired Domain OBLs

https://ahrefs.com/blog/find-backlinks/

The goal here is to find seed sites that have broken OBLs to Expired Domain and that also link out to competitors found in historical google search.

- use google history search to find TOP SITES in the niche- find say 10 top industry sites

- then using ahrefs intersect tool we find all the sites linking to these top 10 sites

- these are sites that link out to the main industry sites and have the lists ... this is your seed list ...we can now try and find broken OBLs to Expired Domains on these sites......this is probably a very slow (manual) method and other methods may be faster

Expired Domains with Many Drops

You could very easily find expired domains with many drops, but that have been re-registered and go back to find their backlinks and use those backlinks as seeds to find more expired domains.​

Lurk on PBN Groups on Facebook, or other forums, or marketplaces like HammerHead Domains, T.B. Solutions (there are tons of others and maybe I will make a post with a list of all these places online!). Try and get the URL of Expired Domains people are selling (without buying them!) - as many of these providers list them openly. Then push these domains into a backlink analysis tool like Ahrefs and viola! you have a new seedlist for your crawler. ​

If you can find a way to detect domains that are being recycled in the Auctions - you can rinse and repeat the above method instead with these Auction Domains.

​To find relevant domains dropped in local business niche, Google these...

"contractors" site:yellowpages.com/san-diego-ca/
"construction" site:yellowpages.com/san-diego-ca/

Then if these sites, have local business type links it would still be good since those local sites are relevant to us. Take a step back even more, do other big cities in California not just San Diego. Maybe do roofing domains in other states if you can find some good ones.

Power up the method by scraping the crap out of Yellowpages and a couple other authority directories!

Once you find expired domains listed in these directories, you can either grab them if they meet your metrics or you can get their backlinks and use for your seed lists.​

Out Bound Links (OBLs) on Authority Sites

With this method you are trying to find OBLs that are broken on top sites in your niche. You can start by scraping for similar sites using moreofit.com and then scrape for the seed list from that.

inurl:usatoday.com *health*
inurl:cnn.com *health*
inurl:reuters.com *health*
inurl:edition.cnn.com *health*
inurl:msnbc.msn.com *health*
inurl:foxnews.com *health*
inurl:iht.com *health*
inurl:english.aljazeera.net *health*
inurl:msnbc.com *health*
inurl:nytimes.com *health*
inurl:abcnews.go.com *health*
inurl:cnn.com *health*
inurl:guardian.co.uk *health*
inurl:independent.co.uk *health*
inurl:usnews.com *health*
You really just need to put in a little thought. The most obvious expired domains are most likely going to be taken. Scraping Wikipedia diet related pages for example, would be a good seed page to start off on. You need to think outside of the box.
 
Same goes for links pages, they tend to have a lot of domains available but high chance someone already came along and used em for spamming. 
 
I’ve had luck going broad, like maybe your niche isn’t coming up with much but then you take a few steps back.
 
Take some authority sites, use Alexa for a list. Then take a peak at the pages, and make sure they don’t have free comments with links because the results will be filthy as people are spamming comments with GSA with links to terrible sites.
 
Pay attention to the URL structure and try to make a footprint to find old archives, like…
 
site:domain.com/2009/    … as an example.
 
It helps to scrape older pages on the authority site as there is a higher chance of domains being expired. So figure out a way to dig into good authority sites and aged pages, without comment spam.

The Variation Method

First, do a search on Register Compass or PR Powershot for your topic (RC lets you put in a Majestic TTF value. For me, it's Health/Beauty TF>10) export the top 100-150 results from RC (any kind - auction, buy now, whatever), load them into Majestic's bulk importer, sort by your topic, then hold ctrl+click on "referring domains" then download the whole page for each domain that fits the profile you like. Then sort by topic in your export and just highlight all the domains in the download for your topic and paste them into the url crawler. You can get a HUGE seed list this way. I do try to keep urls to around 50 and crawl 40 pages at a time, otherwise, you burn through minutes because a huge list takes forever. You don't just want to skim a few pages because sometime there are awesome links deep inside a site.​

How To Find List of Top Sites on the Web for a Niche

Here’s a couple of methods to find top sites in your niche that you can use to generate seed lists from authority sites.
 
 
Alexa.com – use their top sites list found here…
 
 
Fire up scrapebox this with keyword…
 
site:alexa.com inurl:http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/ “1.  android”
 
site:alexa.com inurl:http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/ “100…200”
 
site:alexa.com inurl:http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/ “100…200” “lose weight”
 
inurl:http://www.sbup.com/audit/ “PageRank = 3.00”
 
inurl:http://www.sbup.com/audit/ “$3000…$10000”
 
 
Some other places you can visit to find top site globally or in niches
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
You may also find top sites in a niche via SEMrush and check then check all their broken OBLs via Ahrefs tool (just look for broken OBL module option), or if you don’t want to spend money then crawl each site via Xenu Link Sleuth and look for broken links. Alternatively, you can try the Bluechip Backlinks (paid) broken OBL checker module.
 
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About the Author

" Do, or do not. There is no try." - So that's my favorite quote (for now at least). I dabble in all things tech, although I work a lot with SEO, Internet Marketing, eCommerce, eLearning, SAAS... yada yada yada the list goes on. If you like what you read, just sign up. You never know what secrets of the universe I reveal when I'm down a couple of spicy woks.

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