Catholic School or Plastic Surgery? Expired Domain Link Building

Shocked Nun
Imagine how HORRIFIED you would be…

…if you discovered that a Catholic English school you linked out to from your .edu domain was no longer an English school, but now a budget plastic surgery site?

And just imagine how GRATEFUL you would be to the person who pointed that out?

You’d want to return the favour right?

This is the principle behind expired domain link building and why it WORKS.

How to Build Links with Expired Domains VIDEO

In the video below I’m going to take you through the entire expired domain link building process, from prospecting to outreach using my favourite tools for link building:, Majestic SEO and BuzzStream.

I made a little niche site about laminate flooring just for this video, so all the outreach you see is REAL and I even landed an amazing link on a PR4 page whilst filming!

Want more tutorials like this? Click here to subscribe to my NEW YouTube Channel: Clambr Up.

Tools used in order of appearance:

Here’s the FULL TRANSCRIPT and an explanation for each step of the process:

What is expired domain link building?

Expired domain link building is when you find an expired domain and tell everyone who’s linking to it that they’re linking to an expired domain and then suggest your link as a replacement.

What does an expired domain look like?

Expired domains can take many forms…

Sometimes they’ll be a parked domain like this:

A parked domain

Often they’ll be a 404 page and other times, they’ll have been hijacked and transformed into a low quality one page site that is totally unrelated to what the old domain used to be.

E.g. this domain, which was once owned by a Catholic English language school, is now a dodgy plastic surgery site:

English School or Plastic Surgery

Case Study:

For the purpose of this tutorial, I’ve created a little niche site called

My niche site about laminate flooring

You see, I used to be in the laminate flooring industry back when I was working in China, so I know A LOT about the industry!

The particular page I want to build links to is all about how to clean laminate flooring the right way. (Incase you were wondering, the right way is with microfiber mops!)

Let’s get started by finding an expired domain!

To find expired domains go to and type in your keyword, e.g. “floor”.

Sort the results by DP (Domain Pop = number of backlinks from different domains) to find the best opportunity. This one really stood out:

Expired Domains Keyword Search

Open up the site in a new browser window to make sure it is indeed expired (sometimes the sites on are still live).

Go to and enter the domain into the Wayback Machine to see what the site was before it expired:

Using Wayback Machine to See What a Domain Was Before it Expired

Click on the time period when the site looked like it was fully operational:

The Site Looked Pretty Active in 2008

This site turned out to be a flooring manufacturer that had its own laminate flooring collection, making it a great fit for expired domain link building:

They had their own laminate collection

To find out who’s linking to the site use Majestic SEO

Go to Majestic SEO and download the backlinks of all the URLs linking to the root domain:

Search Root Domains in Site Explorer

High Trust Flow and similarly high Citation Flow is a good sign of a decent backlink profile:

Trust Flow and Citation Flow Similar

The more those two match up the better!

Download backlinks in Excel format, select all and sort by Source Trust Flow, Largest to Smallest:

Sort by Source TrustFlow

Why sort by Source Trust Flow?

Because Trust Flow tells you…

  • Exactly how much link juice a site will pass on to you
  • And sites with high Trust Flow
  • …have more trusted sites linking to them
  • Which means you ONLY want links from these sites
  • And can quickly decide which sites you DON’T want links from

Copy all Source URLs with Source Trust Flow above 10 (because you only want links from quality sites).

In the video example only 1,417 of the 76,785 URLs had a Source Trust Flow above 10, which just goes to show why it’s so important to do this!

Paste the URLs into Ontolo’s Remove Duplicate Host Names tool to de-dupe the list. (If you have Scrapebox use that instead).

Remove Duplicate Hosts

Copy the de-duped list of URLs and create a new Excel sheet.

In this new Excel you’re going to…

  • Strip the URLs to their root domains
  • Run the root domains through Majestic SEO
  • Delete any root domains with Trust Flow below 9
  • And prepare the list for email outreach

Name the first column “Linking From” and paste in the de-duped list.

Now, delete any broken URLs, then use Ontolo’s Extract Unique Hostnames tool to strip the URLs to their host and put the unique domains into a separate column named “Domain”.

Here’s what it should look like once you’re done:

Excel with Linking From and Domain column

In the video example this left me with 327 prospects (down from 1,417).

From now on let’s call this Excel the “Primary Excel”, because this is the one you’ll be working in throughout the rest of the tutorial.

Now it’s time to check the Trust Flow of the root domains.

Why do you also need to check the Trust Flow of the root domains?

Because even if a URL has high Trust Flow, it DOES NOT mean the entire domain is trustworthy.

That’s why you MUST also check the root domain’s Trust Flow to catch the sites that slipped through the net and remove them from your list of prospects.

How to check the Trust Flow of the root domains

Copy the first 150 root domains from your Excel.

Why 150?

Because the Bulk Backlink Checker tool you’ll run them through in the next step can process a maximum of 150 URLs at a time.

This tool is in Majestic SEO > Tools > Bulk Backlinks:

Majestic SEO Tools Bulk Backlinks

Paste the URLs into the Bulk Backlink Checker and click the Check Backlink Counts button:

Check Backlink Counts

Download the report, copy these 3 columns: Item, RefDomains and TrustFlow, and paste into the Primary Excel:

Paste in the Item, RefDomains and TrustFlow

Rename the Item column, “Domain” and repeat the process for each remaining block of 150 domains.

Select all and sort by Trust Flow (Largest to Smallest):

Sort Domains by TrustFlow

Then remove anything below Trust Flow 9 or 10:

Remove anything below Trust Flow 9

(This condensed my list of prospects from 327 to 305).

Finally, delete domains not worth contacting, e.g. Wikipedia, competitors, sites with less referring domains, etc.

This will leave you with much less prospects (151 in my case), but only quality, relevant sites:

Less prospects but only quality domains

You can now remove the RefDomains and TrustFlow columns from the Excel.

I add a Link Tag to keep track of my prospects later in BuzzStream. (This is a Custom Field I created in BuzzStream to keep track of each set of prospects I upload):

I add a link tag to sort my prospects

Email outreach with BuzzStream

You are now ready to begin outreach with BuzzStream!

Login and create a new project for the post you’re building links to:

Add a new project

Name your project:

Step 1 set up a project

And enter the URL of the page you’re building links to:

I am building links to

Upload your list of prospects to the project via the Link Monitoring tab:

Import links from an existing file

When you upload the file, make sure the data fields match up correctly:

check those data fields match up

Whilst BuzzStream is scraping contact details from those sites, you can create an email template for outreach:

Create a template

Use the [ul:Linking From] field:

add the linking from field to the template

By the time you’ve finished creating your email template BuzzStream should have finished scraping those contact details!

Sort by discovered contact info and select all the people BuzzStream found emails for so you can begin outreach IMMEDIATELY:

select contacts after sorting by discovered contact info

(Naturally, for the remaining contacts BuzzStream couldn’t find emails for you’ll either need to visit those sites yourself or outsource the research to someone else).

Click “Start Outreach” and choose the email template you just created:

choose template and start outreach

The [ul:LinkingFrom] field should now be replaced with the correct URL:

the linking from field has been correctly replaced

You can schedule your emails for later or send now:

confirm to send the emails at a specific time

The Result?

After just sending 4 emails I received this reply:

Link Confirmation

Which was a VERY nice link on a PR4 page:

Link on a PR4 page

And that’s my process for expired domain link building! I hope it helps you create your own efficient routine!

I just wanted to share with you the exact way I build links using expired domains because this is one of the main methods I’ve been using to build a ton of links to my new niche site and take my traffic from 220 visits a day to over 500 a day in less than a month:

220 to 550 Visits a Day in One Month

I’d like to give a big shout out to Brian Dean of Backlinko for introducing me to link building with expired domains in his post about SEO for Ecommerce, also to Aaron Hawkins who taught how to get the most out of Majestic SEO and most importantly to Matthew Woodward for his EPIC guide on how to create and optimize YouTube videos!

Here’s a recap of the tools I used in the tutorial:

And if you’re looking for more KICK ASS resources on expired domain link building be sure to check these posts out:

Other Rocking Resources

Wrapping it up

Leveraging expired domains to build links is hands down one of the most effective link building techniques out there!

It took me a hell of a lot of time to learn Illustrator, iMovie, Powerpoint, video editing and put this whole damn thing together, so please do share if you liked it :)

Tweet: Catholic School or Plastic Surgery? Expired Domain Link Building:

Also do make sure you subscribe to my brand spanking new YouTube Channel: Clambr Up to get more over the shoulder videos just like this one!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and if you have any questions about expired domain link building, or a suggestion for my next video please leave them in the comments below.


  1. says

    Hi Richard

    These are two great videos you’ve posted recently, full of actionable information that I’ll be tinkering around with for ages :-)

    This strategy combined with your deep broken link building method is killer!

    Great stuff man keep it up.



    • Richard Marriott says

      Hey Loz you rock mate and sorry for my late reply!

      Really thankful for all your support and hope we’ll be able to meet up and have an ale (or a few ales) sometime soon ;)

  2. says

    Nice Richard.

    I have never really explored expired domain link building but think I need to give it a go after watching your video. Nice work on the video by the way, nicely produced. I would prefer to listen and watch rather than read and watch though ;)

    I have a few things that might help you and others speed up this process a little.

    First being you can remove duplicate domains from within Excel by going to data > remove duplicates when you are removing duplicate links/domains.

    Second for trimming URL’s instead of doing it twice you could use my little tool to do this here

    Third I know you are using MAC but for people on windows when bulk checking trust flow of domains they should use SeoTools for Excel. It has a neat Majestic API UI. Check it out if you haven’t heard of it although I’m sure you have

    Anyway keep up the awesome posts Richard, look forward to reading more.

  3. says

    Hey Richard.

    Very detailed guide on expired domains.

    Well have to bookmark this.

    How about other services that can do all the above steps? One you should definitely check out is : – Great option for those that don’t want to spend time on finding them and spam checking them.

  4. says

    Richard, really good resource and very well written and described with supporting pictures. Read many posts on this topic but it is one of the most complete of them. Indeed, this one is a good outreaching approach to build links.

    Great job and thanks for the share.

    Soumya Roy


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