SEO Crack: Old Site Addicts Anonymous


Jim's been busy feeding his new habbit, buying old domains. He's picked up 5 nice ones over the last few days in an effort to "screw the sandbox", but leaves some questions unanswered.

  • Will changing the whois affect their sandbox proofing?
  • How do you find suitable prospects?
  • Would repurposing the content damage their sandbox proofing?

I suspect the first would not affect, but if combined with the third, you could be in trouble. Anyone have any experience worth sharing in this area?


Here is mine:

I've had the same situation. For 3 1/2 month after getting the domain name transferred and the content changed, Google was still showing the same title and description that it had before I have registered it. Right now there is a domain I have let expire, and it still shows title and description that has been out of the tags for 6 months !!!

If I can't nickel-ppc-click

If I can't nickel-ppc-click it, I've gone in and bought old sites. Like I've mentioned earlier, I've also been consulting to a Bay Area firm that is raiding some of the most competitive niches with huge bags of VC cash.

I'll say it one more time, the Sandbox screws the undercapitalized part-timers...the Mom & Pops. With search volume and commerce levels what they are, buying sites is well worth the cost of removing the barrier to entry and time to market. Anybody I represent is willing to spend a month's revenue or so to skip the BS.

Another result I think we could see out of this is the indirect degradation of DMOZ. It might just turn out to be the world's largest volunteer-edited spam churn in history...

Only Five Sites?

Come on, Jim. You've only bought five old sites? That's it? There's actually a registrar out there that's got a great auction system--and it's fairly easy to pick up old domain names just like you're doing.

I have to admit, too, that I'm addicted to buying domains that aren't sandboxed--and never will be. You actually don't necessarily need to buy an entire site from the previous owner--just get the domain from someone before it expires and perform a transfer from the old owner to the new owner.

Check your assets

You never know what you will find in your own stock. I found several of my sites were vintage '99 and even more in the year 2000. I purchased these sites in the last 2 years and never used them so they were just sitting around collecting $3 or so via Adsense each day. Time to put them to good use.

Do anyone shop eBay for old

Do anyone shop eBay for old sites? I have spotted a few here and there. Lots of scammers to though.

I search ebay weekly

I've got a saved search on ebay (be sure to include "established" in your search). But have bought only a few....yea, most are crap, and those that aren't tend to sell for a pretty high's not easy to get real bargains there, because those selling or buying at ebay tend to really know the "truer" values for the "real" sites. You either get crap cheap, or pay a price bidding against others for "real sites"...and finding sites related to existing opportunites is even harder.

What are some of the better

What are some of the better auction websites everyone uses for searching for old domains to buy?

new service

Ah, Jim's now offering a service to find sites for you (at $500 a go paid in advance). And he deleted a link in the comments that led to a site where you could do that yourself for free ;)

Good luck, Jim.

Deleting links to other

Deleting links to other services?


OK, here's some lowdown on

OK, here's some lowdown on finding sites:

Apart from the webmaster forums ....

DMOZ: Browse the cats you're interested in or train a monkey to do it for you. Compare with to identify sites that haven't been updated in yonks. Good targets.

Business Brokers: Unlikely resource but far better than eBay. You do still get some crap but you'll have to wade through a lot less rubbish at businessesforsale than at ebay. But, they're not your Sitepoint type of $50 lisitngs, expect to pay a fair bit more.

Backlinks: Old links pages can be a goldmine. One niche proved particularly productive when an old link page disclosed the only four other players none of whom had updated their sites for years. Three were willing to sell. Imagine owning 80% of the sites in a DMOZ cat.... (now dream of doing it for a competitive cat ;))

Most countries have a record of companies filing for administration/bankruptcy. Get on the mailing list. If they're going bust they'll have little use for that PR7 site with 200K IBLs. What odds that the administrator knows how to value the website? He'll go by book value or the amount paid to the company who designed it.

There's also, of course, the very simple but very effective SE search using a variety of terms.

Or you can develop a "tool" to do some of the sniffing around for you.

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