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SEO Effect of domain expiry on 301 redirects

By March 18, 2011 October 13th, 2021 4 Comments
3 min read

expired 301 redirect SEO effect

Study on the effects for SEO of a domain expiry with 301 redirect

An old site no longer in used is being redirected to the new version to funnel all its existing SEO authority.
We place 301 redirect on the old site using ISAPI rewrite (same as Mod rewrite on Ht access).
?The New site get a nice crisp bump in visibility score once the redirect is implemented and all goes nicely until…
Until we forgot we had the old site, the domain name expires and we realise it only 1 month after it is gone. A huge dip in our SEO visibility and traffic starts to disappear.
We repurchased the domain, by luck we had a full backup of all pages before the expiry date and put them all back up and decided to relaunch the 301 redirect to save/ restore any link value we may get.
Till this day we haven’t seen improvement and we are looking at a massive loss of opportunity
SEO visits after domain expired

SEO recommendations for expired domains

If your domain hasn’t expired,
Make sure you renew old domains for as long as possible. Most of the domain registrar don’t charge too much for just a domain registration
Keep your DNS, your IP address, Make the 301 redirect happen at the DNS level rather than at the ISAPI or Htaccess so you won’t have to pay for another hosting or have the only the cheapest of the cheapest options.
In short keep it low profile and you will most likely maintain most of the link juice.
Any 301 redirect is expected to have ta
If your domain expired,
Bring it back! you might still get a chance to get some value back.
Republish all your pages, re-301 redirect all re-published pages.
Consider doing a manual resubmission request within Webmaster tools

N.B: I am currently doing one, will update this post if I get a positive response from Big G
If you need help on your Technical SEO, visits our blog post or contact us to discuss SEO Solutions


  • Freddy says:

    I did run the test as mentioned earlier. No sign of improvement, my take on this is if your domain actually goes you probably have only a very short window, say 1 week to get the site back up.
    After that it is very likely that Google would consider the site definitely gone

  • How long to keep old domain for 301 redirects after moving to the new domain? Is it good practice to use the old domain for another usage?

    • Freddy says:

      Ideally, you should keep them on as long as you see value in the linkjuice they are passing on to your site. Some old but valuable links still pass some value.

  • Chris says:

    This is an interesting case . Does it mean that expired domains don’t pass SEO authority.

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