Aged domain case study: The goal is to Mediavine in 6 months

Why aged domains?

There are many courses and case studies on aged domains. And most people do the same – they search for aged domains either to avoid building links or to speed up their site rankings.

I have a little different approach.

Here’s what I believe is true about aged domains, which may be different from the majority of publishers’ views.

  1. Links in most aged domains do not have power, at least not much. For example, if you find a domain that had the last link acquired in 2013, those links are pretty much useless. So, if you think that you don’t have to build new backlinks, you are wrong.
  2. You have to stay in the niche of the domain. And when you start, you have to publish posts only in the domain niche. This means that you have to research the keywords the site used to rank for. That’s why buying a domain that belonged to a restaurant, even if it has 50+ DR in Ahrefs, will not do anything good for you. Because the keywords the site was ranking before are about the restaurant itself and its menu. If you buy this domain and try to build a site about the keto diet, you will most likely fail because your new posts will not be in the same niche.

I listed negative things about aged domains. So, why I only build sites on aged domains for the last two years? I believe that aged domains can be beneficial for two reasons.

  1. Since there are so many vulture SEOs that search easy targets, having a high DR domain will keep your site from sniping your best keywords. NWB coined the term “tomb raiding” – when they and others buy aged domains and then search for sites with DR lower than theirs for keywords. Interestingly enough, they often succeed, but I don’t think their successes can be attributed to using aged domains. If you target low-competition keywords, you can win them with fresh domains too.
  2. If done properly, you can speed up the site’s growth, and that’s what I am planning to do.

My track record so far

I bought several aged domains.

This one is the best so far (bought from Odys). I 301 redirected the fresh domain with some traffic to the aged and traffic took off.

This one was accepted to Mediavine in 6 months (bought from a GoDaddy auction for $250) – I started it in April 2021 and applied to Mediavine on October 2nd.

I also have some flopped sites – bought directly from owners, or bought in other auctions.

Plans for my new site

I have been looking for a new domain for several weeks. I think I found a good one, but it’s in the YMYL niche.

I won it on a GoDaddy auction and paid $2025.
So, here’s my plan and the timeline.

Oct 6
Won auction bid

Oct 14
GoDaddy released the domain.

Plan – reach 40,000 user sessions in 6 months. Since I am a Mediavine publisher, I believe I can get the domain into Mediavine with less than 50,000 sessions.

Nov 14
I will post my one-month update.

What can go wrong

  1. As I mentioned earlier, the domain is in a heavy YMYL niche, so depending on Google’s mood, the experiment can go wrong. As always, there is no guarantee that your website will succeed even if you do everything right.
  2. I am not sure if Mediavine will accept the niche for monetization. So, Ezoic and Google Adsense will be backups.