Tens of thousands of domains expire every day, but what happens to the content that’s on those sites? It just disappears into nothingness, never to be seen again… right?
What if you could magically get the content that other people have abandoned, even after it’s gone from the search engines?
You can, and I’m going to show you how!
There’s a website, archive.org, that saves and archives every page on the internet! Even after a website is taken down a copy of that site is saved at archive.org.
But (and here is where the magic happens) Google doesn’t crawl archive.org! If the original owner just let his site expire then obviously he doesn’t want it, and if it doesn’t appear anywhere in the search engines then we can use it without it being considered “duplicate content.”
Now before we go any further let’s talk about the ethics of this….
Is this stealing?
No, I don’t consider it stealing. Taking unused web pages from archive.org is, to me, the same as taking something out of the trash. If I walked into your house and took a piece of furniture you made then that, of course, is stealing. But if I saw that same piece of furniture in your trash out by the curb then obviously you don’t want it, so taking it is fine.
I see websites the same way. Yes, the original owner created it, but if they let the site expire then they obviously don’t want it anymore, so I have no problem taking it!
So Let’s Get Started
The first step to rescuing this abandoned content is to find a recently expired site that had good quality, handwritten content. To do this we use ExpiredDomains.net.
ExpiredDomains is a free site, but you will need to create an account in order to use all the advanced features.
Once you’ve logged in to your free account the first step is to find the expired domains for your niche. Let’s say I’m looking for content for a food blog, I’ll start out by doing a search for the keyword “food.”
That gave us over 75000 results! There’s no way we can sort through that many sites, so we need to eliminate the junk domains that probably don’t have any good content.
Thankfully ExpiredDomains has search filters we can use for that. To see all the filter options just hit the “Show Filter” link right above the search results.
Here are the things I look for to help me separate the junk sites from those that probably had good content.
High quality sites usually have…
So let’s add those filters onto our search. Under the “Common Filter” tab check the following options.
Now click the “Additional Filter” tab and choose these options…
If you want domains in other languages besides English then, of course, choose the appropriate language.
Now we can see that those 75,000 domains have been narrowed down to 247, which is a much more manageable number.
All we have to do now to look up each domain at archive.org and see if there’s any content we can use. Yes, it will take some time, but your hard work will pay off!
Head over to archive.org and start looking up each site. Once you search for the site you’ll get a list of all the dates that site has been crawled by archive.org. The most recent ones might be “expired domain” messages, so you may have to look a few weeks or months back to get the actual site.
As you can see from the picture below I’ve found what looks to be a good expired site with some quality abandoned content, RealFoodFreaks.com.
In fact, it looks like that site has hundred of pages of unique recipes and health food related content.
But hold on! Before we start to do anything else we need to make sure this content is actually abandoned. The owner could have let the site expire because they moved to a new domain, so let’s do a quick Google search using a random sentence from the page.
Everything looks good! This article isn’t found anywhere else, so it’s unique abandoned content we can use on our site.
Now it’s your turn… Try it yourself and let me know how it goes, and if you have any questions just ask them in the comment section down below.
A few extra helpful tips….
1: When you choose your random sentence to search for, make sure you pick one that is at least a few paragraphs down from the top of the page. If you choose a sentence near the top of the text you’ll pick up excerpts from social media sites in the search results. Short excerpts like this are fine, and they shouldn’t stop you from using the content.
2: Never pretend to be the original author. I always include a disclaimer at the bottom of my pages that says “Originally published on whatever.com by author’s name”
3: If someone contacts you claiming to be the original author and asks you to remove the content, do it! Even though it’s abandoned it is, after all, their copyrighted work and we shouldn’t use it if they still want it.