Been asked this question a few times over the last few months - can you take an expired domain that was originally in one topic and start posting articles in a completely different one?
Can you repurpose an expired domain?
The short answer? Yes, it can work. The long answer? You can, but personally, I wouldn’t. Here’s why.
What not to do: Theatre Domains
If you want an idea of the kind of money you can make from repurposing these types of domains, check out GreatCometBroadway.com, currently for sale at Investors Club with an asking price of over $270,000.
If we take a look at the traffic and the revenue, we can see that it made almost $13,000 in March alone, with more than 200,000 pageviews to the site;
Great stats! You can pick up a site for that just made $13k in a month for $270k? That's less than a 21x multiple, right?
Well yeah, but if you look at the actual site itself, it’s absolutely horrendous - filled with garbage irrelevant content that makes zero sense.
And if you actually click into the articles to read them, they’re even worse.
Who doesn’t need a good masterbater to soothe muscle pain?
If you don’t need one of those, no drama - they’ve got you covered with the “best tampad reviews” - thankfully, they’ve evaluated 96231 reviews to find the top ranked tampads on the market…
Anyway, no-one in their right mind would buy this site - unless maybe they were also churning out loads of AI content and think they could make it pay within a short time frame.
BUT, the reality is that it does make money. How much did the domain cost? $4650. Content? Largely automated and relatively low cost.
If we add all of the money together the site has made so far based on revenue charts, it’s made $50k. Not a bad return.
And if they do manage to sell the site to someone, it’ll definitely be “worth it” for them, with relatively little effort involved.
I say “worth it” in a strictly financial sense - not talking about the ethics of selling someone a site that’s going to tank. When will it tank? Who knows. But it will at some point (IMO, obviously).
So, you have the complete scattergun approach of filling a site with automated content.
And yes, the site can rank through its authority even in topics completely unrelated to the original website - but it’ll likely die at some point, and usually sooner rather than later.
A sliiightly better idea: Rabbits
You don’t necessarily need to go full spam mode to repurpose a site - you can pick up an auction domain and just manually add content yourself.
If you want to see how this kind of site plays out live, you can check out GoJackRabbitGo.com. Picked up from GoDaddy a few months ago, this used to be a restaurant in Portland, with links from the NY Times, People, Thrillist + more.
The new owner has just added Wordpress and filled it with “rabbit” related content, and it seems to be doing okay so far;
It’s still early days for this site though, so if you’re interested I’d keep an eye on it and see how it fares over the next 3-6 months. One thing to note is the anchor text, which is largely branded + naked URLs (e.g. https://gojackrabbitgo.com).
It helps that the name of the actual name of the restaurant was just “Jackrabbit”, and this definitely makes a difference when it comes to repurposing the domain.
If all of the anchor text was food related containing terms like “restaurant” or “cocktail bar”, it would make less sense to repurpose it. In this case, you might be able to get away with it.
Will this site last longer than the Theatre site mentioned? Probably. Is it still a pretty dodgy approach? Also probably.
My take: Be clever
Personally, I still don’t see the point of repurposing a site completely like this, especially if you’re new to SEO/niche sites. Well, there is a point, as you can obviously make decent money from doing it.
But most of the folks you see building burner sites as above have been around the block - they know what they’re doing. It’s much better to stick with building good sites, writing helpful content & monetising it that way (again, all opinion).
I always stick within the broad niche if I am slightly repurposing a site.. travel = travel, tech = tech. It doesn’t have to be exactly the same niche, but trying to be smart with the domain is a good idea.
Here’s an example: BossKey.com, which sold at GoDaddy a few days ago for around $4-5k. This used to be the domain of Boss Key Productions, a game developer that closed down.
They have some amazing links from Playstation, Digital Trends, Engadget & way more;
It’s originally a gaming domain with links from highly authoritative gaming websites, so it only makes sense to stick within gaming - but it doesn’t have to be in gaming development.
If you search for “Boss Key”, we can quickly see that the production company takes its name from a keyboard shortcut in PC games. So, you could easily recreate this site into something around PC gaming.
Alternatively, if you keep looking at little further you’ll see that the term is pretty commonly used in Zelda to describe the keys needed to enter into the “Boss room”.
So again, you could rebuild the site into a website about Zelda, with Breath of the Wild 2 walkthroughs (when it’s released, obviously).
And then, if you run out of topics with just Zelda, you could eventually turn it into a gaming site about the Nintendo Switch - it’s definitely a brand-able name, and exactly what I look for when building a site.
That’s it. Thanks, have a good weekend. I will try to cover more stuff in detail over the next few months but am also getting it in the neck from some that this is “blackhat” etc etc, so will probably add a disclaimer or something 😂