Is it worth buying a domain for its link value?

adrianland_linksThis is something that I have just had to think about for my day job.  The question comes in, “…well there are these sites that rank above us [for vaniety terms] and they are not very good or really being used”, and then “… we are in negoitiations with their owner to buy them, that should help our SEO  position shouldnt it?”.

So, this is a difficult position, as they mean well and generally get SEO, especially as they are talking some serious amounts of money.

In my experience buying domains can generally work for a few reasons.

  1.  You want to set up a business with that name.  Including microsites or support sites to your main business.
  2. A defensive position.  You own it so someone else can’t.  Most business hoard hundreds, if not thousands!
  3. To benefit from their links ! Well lets discuss this one.


Types Scenario Value passed?
Buying Expired Domains Bought from the domain common pool. And not from someone directly. Not likely
Buying domains and redirecting pages Buying a site and redirecting just for link benefit. Not likely
Buying a name and then running it yourself You buy a going concern either a whole website or you start again but keeping it on topic You should benefit from its history
A company merger Your company buys another and transfer ownership Should be fine.

So, the advice I gave was, buy for defensive reasons if you really want.  But dont buy it and ‘close’ it and expect to inherit all its good inbound links.  Personally when I reviewed those sites, I think we can (only launched recently) out rank them when we get going anyway !

Inspired to write after reading an article on Search Engine Land.

And a follow up reference as of the 1st May 2009

3 thoughts on “Is it worth buying a domain for its link value?

  1. Adrian Post author

    Hey Mark, done some buying in the past, with no, absolutely provable results. But no negative results either. So, when they were talking about $mm sums and asking for my say as part of that biz case, I could honestly confirm any value.

    If you are able to share or have written up, very happy to link to you or if you could share with me personally.

    Yep, DSullivan prompted me as this happened to me last week. And now fully referenced up above.

  2. venezuela

    An impressive share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a friend who was doing a little homework on this. And he actually ordered me lunch simply because I discovered it for him… lol. So let me reword this…. Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending some time to talk about this subject here on your website.


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