Hacking domains is a phrase that can have connotations with hacking, sham and the gray area of operations on the Internet. In fact, however, it is completely legal and, in addition, a very beneficial venture from the SEO point of view. Thanks to it, you can significantly increase the visibility of the website on the Internet, although in order for it to happen, you need to wisely choose the domains to take over. We’ll explain exactly what domain hijacking means and why it’s done in the following article.
– The intercepted domain may have a positive impact on the website positioning process.
– Before using the captured domain, check its history carefully.
– Capturing domains can be used not only to create the main website on them, but also, for example, a good background supporting the SEO of the main portals.
But let’s start by explaining what the domain itself is. This concept covers the most important element of a web address, containing the name of the website and the extension, or the ending. Let’s show it on a specific example. At https://www.paraphrase-online.com/, the domain name is part of paraphrase-online.com, where “paraphrase-online” is the page name and “.com” is the extension.
Buying domains – what is it about?
If we want to run any website on the Internet, we first have to buy a domain – this way we get a unique address where users will be able to find our content. Then such a domain should be paid regularly, because if we do not do it, it returns to the secondary market and someone else may take it. Buying unpaid and expired domains is called domain capturing.
Capturing domains – why do it?
The question automatically arises, why capture a domain, if you can buy a completely new one, on which there was no website before. This is a beneficial process for a variety of reasons. In some cases, you may find that your preferred domain name is already taken and the only way to get it is to wait for it to be released. You can also capture domains with a name very similar to ours, if the customers are wrong and find someone else’s site (e.g. when they differ only with the extension .com -> .co.uk, com.au, co.in, com.ph). Then, on the intercepted domain, we can create a permanent redirect to our website to avoid mistakes among users. Most often, however, domains are captured due to website positioning, i.e. SEO activities.
Captured domains and SEO
So the question remains why it is worth using “reclaimed” domains to position your website. Well, older domains already have a specific opinion in search engine algorithms. Web robots have already scanned a given domain, sometimes for many years, so by buying it, we can benefit from what someone else has achieved in the context of positioning. How? First of all, we can set up our own website on the captured domain. Then we don’t start building a reputation from scratch, but use the power that the previous site had. Of course, this works well in cases where the page on the expiring domain was thematically related to the one we intend to run.
Another way to use captured domains is to treat them as backend pages. If we set up a portal on an expired domain with topics similar to the one that dominated on the old website, there is a chance that traffic will remain at a similar level. Of course, it takes a lot of patience and effort to maintain it. We should create SEO-optimized content and regularly take care of the website so that its rating obtained by Google robots does not drop after interception. However, if we manage to keep the traffic going, we have an excellent backend. We can place an article on it with a link to our main page – the one we want to position – in this way, we provide the website with a valuable external link.
However, it is worth remembering that intercepted domains should be used carefully. A few years ago, they were used to place dozens or even hundreds of links, so that the positioned pages had the most extensive link profile. Today, such practices are no longer effective, and can even harm the website. Therefore, it is much more profitable to put one good quality link than to clutter the back pages with links, because then their value quickly becomes zero.
Capturing domains – is it worth it?
The intercepted domains can therefore pass some of their power to the positioned website. But do they always work so well? Unfortunately, it is not so rosy. First of all, the pages may not have had as much traffic as we thought. Therefore, before capturing a domain, it is worth checking it with SEO tools such as Semstorm, Senuto or Ahrefs. In this way, we can make sure that the domain is really well visible on the web, has satisfactory traffic and a good link profile that the search engine algorithms consider it valuable. Another thing that needs to be checked is the history of the domain in question. You can check it with the Wayback Machine website which saves and stores screenshots of websites from different time periods. Thanks to it, you can check what was on the site in the past.
One of the company’s potential customers found out about the importance of checking what a given site previously hid. It came to us with a big problem – despite many efforts and SEO activities, its website was practically invisible in the search results. After we checked the site, it turned out that it was set up on a domain that previously contained pornographic content. Therefore, the site was banned by the google algorithm, and although the new content was completely different, the domain’s opinion was so weak that the positioning did not work.
On the other hand, it is often possible to buy domains with a long and very good history in the secondary market for a song, thanks to which we can quickly strengthen our own site. So you can answer the question from the header: Capturing domains may be worthwhile, but you need to double-check it before you buy it.
How to capture domains?
Manually tracking domains that have been released or are about to expire is not feasible, so companies have sprung up to capture domains and resell them to other users. They have special scripts that search for such domains and buy them even in a fraction of a second after they are released. Therefore, it is through them that it is best to buy high-quality “used” domains. On the websites of such companies, you can view the list of available domains and a list of those that are expiring soon and will be available for sale.
How much does domain hijacking cost?
The domain interception service itself is not expensive – it usually costs several dozen dollars. However, the situation is different when we want to buy an already captured domain. These are put up at auctions and their price depends both on the attractiveness of the domain itself and the interest of users. Some addresses can be obtained for just one dollar, the price of others increases to several hundred or even several thousand dollars. The most attractive domains can cost even tens of thousands of dollars. So as in most cases – when asked about the price, you can answer “it depends”. First of all, whether anyone else is interested in taking over the domain. However, if we hunt for extremely tasty morsels, we must take into account that we will take part in a fierce auction.