I've seen some people comment about losing the link value of domains that have expired and picked up, but what about non-expired domains? Let's say a competitor is going out of business and they still have a year or two left, and we buy their domain and site. Is there a risk changing registrant info and registrars, even if I keep their site up and mostly the same as before? I was under the impression that I'd want to keep it under their name so as not to hit the uber-reset button on the domain's inbound link value.
Backlinks – These are basically anchor links present on external websites that take the visitor back to a domain. The higher the number and authority of backlinks, the higher the authority of a domain. For example, if a domain has a backlink from Forbes, TechCrunch or BBC, it’ll gain a lot of authority in the eyes of Google and other search engines. It’s like attaching a reference letter from Bill Gates to your CV.
Here's an old post on search engine roundtable that claims google's policy is to discount previous backlink juice when a domain changes ownership. I'm not convinced whether this is actually true or something Google says to discourage excessive domain buying / 301 redirecting for SEO benefit. The comments above seem to give varying opinions on this matter. Would be great to get to the bottom of that one!
Since high quality expired domains are in low supply, the huge numbers of marketers competing for those drop domains tend to drive prices up. Also, if you use an exchange, you’re basically lucky to get whatever you can afford. In other words, niche specificity isn't guaranteed. This is going to be a problem because as Google continues to evolve, it is cracking down on domain niche relevance. In other words, its software is fast evolving to the point that it can tell what the niche of a particular domain is. If your private blog network is a patchwork of expired domains that involve many different and dissimilar niches, then you might be in trouble. You are at great risk of being penalized by Google.
Why does this matter? What's the big deal? Well, unfortunately, the vast majority of domains registered are eventually abandoned. For some reason or another, people just fail to re-register or renew their domain name and that domain name drops or becomes available to the public. Of course, the obvious reason is that these people simply did not make money off the website that they put up with that domain. Other bloggers and website owners simply don't have the time, so they just gave up on their online projects. Whatever the case may be, by simply registering these expired domains, you can resurrect the value they bring to the table. With the four situations that I outlined above, you can benefit from those situations by simply registering a drop domain.
Some jerk stole my .com domain name after I had owned it for 10 years and accidentally let it expire, and he’s trying to extort lots of money from me for its return. On the site where it says who owns it, it says “Domain Status: clientTransferProhibited”. What does that mean? The domain expires on September 26. He’ll probably automatically renew it, like he has for the past couple of years. But in case it becomes available, I want to grab it. I’m the only person in the world with my name, and I posted at a blog for 10 years with that domain name. So I’m really upset I don’t have my own name anymore.
The whitelist filter for wanted characters is now split into three filters. The old whitelist is now named whitelist (only). When used, the domain has to consist only of the defined characters or numbers. No other characters are allowed. The new whitelist (any) filter finds domains that have at least one of the defined characters or numbers. The new whitelist (all) filter finds domains that have all defined characters or numbers at least once.