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Do Links From Expired Domains Count With Google?

June 1, 2012 by Larry Dozier divider image

Dave Thomas wrote an excellent article on Search Engine Land explaining the value of links from an expired domain name, such as a domain name purchased from Godaddy auctions or Here’s a brief excerpt:

From time-to-time, issues about how domain names can impact Google rankings come up. Is it true that if you buy a name, all the “link equity” that name has gained is lost? Below, a look at this and some related questions.

Several years ago, Google sparked some concerns when it said that buying an established domain name meant that links to that domain before the purchase were effectively lost. In other words, say someone bought a domain today that was registered in 2003 and which had built up hundreds of links over the years. All those links were effectively slapped with an invisible nofollow tag, passing along no credit. But links from after the purchase date would accrue credit.

Why did Google do this, way back then? Many people were buying old domains simply for the links – in some cases, also because they were listed well in the Yahoo Directory, when that was far more important than it is today. Putting the word out that buying domains wouldn’t gain link credit was a way for Google to dash cold water on the tactic.

Since that time, there have been any number of web sites that have had domain names change hands for various reasons, such as through acquisitions. For example, Company A absorbs Company B, which causes the domains owned by Company B to transfer to Company A. Was all that link credit was really lost?

You can read the full article at

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