How Much is An Aged Domain Worth?

charles sipe - technical analyst
Charles Sipe Charles Sipe is a niche website investor and SEO specialist with a degree in Marketing from the University of Washington in Seattle, WA. Charles writes technical content that analyzes market trends in the website flipping and SEO industry. Connect with Charles on LinkedIn.
charles sipe - technical analyst
Mushfiq
Mushfiq S Mushfiq has been buying, growing, and selling website assets since 2008. His first exit was in 2010. Since then, he has done 200+ website flips with multiple 6-figure exits. Learn more about Mushfiq.
Mushfiq

If you are interested in building a website on an aged domain, it is important to understand how aged domains are priced so you don’t overpay.

Over the past several years, I have acquired multiple aged domains that have grown to earn significant monthly income.

In this article, we’ve analyzed 313 domains across three marketplaces that sell vetted aged domains: (1) Odys, (2) SerpDomains, and (3) SerpNames. 

We’ve calculated metrics such as average domain age, referring domains, cost, and much more.

These metrics can help you value domains if you were to buy them from auctions like GoDaddy, Sedo, or through direct sellers. 

Let’s get to it!

BATTLE-TESTED RECOMMENDATIONS

🔥 SerpDomains – Premium Aged Domains

If you are looking for vetted aged domains, make sure to join SerpDomains. I’ve purchased domains from this marketplace as 301 redirects and to build out authority sites. New members get 15% OFF using code WELCOME15. Check out SerpDomains!

🔥 SerpNames – Aged Domains Company

Celebrate SerpNames biggest site makeover with a flat 25% OFF on all aged domains. This deal is valid from September 14th to 27th. Use coupon code WEBSITEFLIP for the discount. Check out SerpNames!

How Much Does a Typical Aged Domain Cost?

For our analysis, we reviewed aged domains listed on the ODYS Global, SerpNames, and SerpDomains marketplaces. 

Note that each marketplace is different. The goal of this analysis is NOT to compare vetted marketplaces against each other since EACH underlying aged domain is different; it’s not apples to apples comparison.

The purpose is to provide raw data you can keep in the back of your mind when buying aged domains privately or through auctions.

We analyzed 313 domains. Of those, 48 were from Odys from our previous analysis, 98 from SerpDomains, and 167 from SerpNames. 

Based on our sample of 313 aged domains, here are high-level metrics:

  • An average of $2,186.15 for an aged domain
  • An average of $177.45 per year of domain age
  • An average of $15.08 per referring domain (dofollow)

Prices for aged domains at auctions like GoDaddy Auctions can vary widely from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousand dollars based on the key metrics discussed below.


View Raw Data

If you would like access to a Google Sheet with a breakdown of all of the data, check it out below:

Raw Data of Aged Domains

What’s an Aged Domain?

An aged domain is a domain name with a history of being used for a live website, typically for a period of several years.

This can include currently active websites or domains that have not been renewed by the owner and are auctioned by the domain registrar. 

Aged domains are analogous to abandoned real estate because the domain retains some valuable characteristics when it is abandoned and improvements can be made to make it a more valuable asset.


Valuation Framework for Aged Domains: 5 Important Metrics

There are 5 key metrics to consider when valuing an aged domain.

  1. Number of years old
  2. Number of unique referring domains
  3. Domain index status
  4. Domain character length
  5. Domain TLD

Note: there is an argument that some of these domains have direct traffic due to their branding. This is a bonus metric that will enhance the value of the domain. The challenge here is that there is no unbiased way to vet this traffic unless the aged domain marketplace provides Google Analytics access.

Number of Years Old

The number of years since the domain was first put into use is important because an older domain has an established history as an active website. During this time it typically accumulates links and pages that are indexed by Google. 

Takeaways: For Odys, the average cost per year for aged domains was $259.17. For SerpDomains, it was $155.39 and for SerpNames it was $165.90.

Number of Unique Referring Domains

The number of unique dofollow referring domains provides a good estimate of the overall link authority of a website.

Additionally, if there are links from high authority sites or niche relevant sites, there could be a premium added to the price because these links have greater perceived value.

Watch out for an inflated number of unique referring domains from low quality sites (such as scraper sites hosted on Blogspot). It is a good idea to check Ahrefs to get an idea of how many of the referring domains are legitimate sites with traffic.

Takeaways: For Odys, the average cost per referring domain (dofollow) was $20.28. For SerpDomains, it was $13.04 and for SerpNames, it was $14.64.

Domain Index Status

The number of pages remaining in the Google index can be a useful signal about how Google perceives the website at the present time.

If a website goes offline, it will start losing pages in the Google index because Google doesn’t want to send users to a “dead” site.

While many sites have been successfully resurrected after they have dropped completely out of the Google Index, it can be a quicker rebuild if many of the URLs are still in the Google index and you can simply publish articles on the same URLs.

Takeaways: For Odys, the average domain had 24 pages in the Google index (this equals an average cost of $143 per indexed page).

Domain character length

A short domain length can significantly increase the price of a domain. For example, Voice.com was reportedly sold for $30 million in 2019.

We featured a 4 character domain in the weekly Deal Flow email newsletter that was not a real word but had a GoDaddy estimated value of over $23,000 despite having just 11 referring domains (dofollow).

Takeaways: As niche site builders, while beneficial, a short domain character length is often not worth the cost because the majority of traffic will come from organic search rather than direct traffic.

Domain TLD

A great majority of successful niche sites use the .com top-level domain and the popularity of .com means it will typically cost more. 

According to research by J. Clement, 54% of global websites use the .com TLD.

There are some very large content sites that use other TLD’s when the .com is not available. These include:

  • .org (examples: Science.org, Consumerreports.org, Lifehack.org, Marketplace.org)
  • .net (examples: Boingboing.net, ​​News-medical.net, Eurogamer.net)

Takeaways: It is almost always best to go with the .com TLD because it is well recognized and trusted by visitors. This may require creativity to come up with a brandable and relevant domain name that is still available with the .com TLD.


Valuation Metrics for Each Marketplace

Valuation Metrics for Odys Marketplace

  • Average cost = $3,369.17
  • Average age = 13.0 Years
  • Average cost per year of age =  $259.17
  • Average referring domains (dofollow) = 166
  • Average cost per referring domain (dofollow) = $20.28

Valuation Metrics for SerpNames Marketplace

  • Average cost = $1,921.29
  • Average age = 11.6 years
  • Average cost per year of age = $165.90
  • Average referring domains (dofollow) = 131
  • Average cost per referring domain (dofollow) = $14.64

Valuation Metrics for SerpDomains Marketplace

  • Average cost = $2,058.06
  • Average age = 13.2 years
  • Average cost per year of age = $155.39
  • Average referring domains (do follow) = 158
  • Average cost per referring domain (do follow) = $13.04

Note: The average age was calculated based on the earliest date saved by Archive.org rather than the self-reported age by the marketplace.

For domains on the SerpNames and SerpDomains marketplaces, we noticed that several domains had a WHOIS creation date that was less than a year old.

This suggests that these are “deleted domains” that were deleted from the registry, but have existing backlinks. These were registered by the two marketplaces.


Open Questions

Is it worth paying for an aged domain?

In many cases it makes sense to buy an aged domain as it can help you grow your site faster than starting from a brand new domain.

However, an aged domain is not guaranteed to rank highly in Google when you relaunch the site. It is often the best approach to test whether a few articles gain traction before investing many thousands of dollars into a domain that doesn’t rank well. 

There is risk in spending several thousand dollars on an aged domain because it is uncertain whether the site will receive high Google rankings right away. Some aged domains don’t rank well when new content is published and organic traffic levels are similar to a brand new domain. 

Where can you buy aged domains?

The two main places where you can buy an aged domain is through a domain auction or an aged domain marketplace. 

Examples of domain auctions include:

  • GoDaddy Auctions
  • Namecheap Auctions

Examples of aged domain marketplaces include:

Takeaway: ExpiredDomains.net is an excellent free tool that shows aged domains that are available from all the major domain auctions.  

Where can you sell aged domains?

Since many niche website investors have “shiny object syndrome”, they may purchase an aged domain that they don’t end up using.

You can list aged domains for sale on a marketplace like Flippa or list them on a domain auction like GoDaddy Auctions.


Actionable Takeaways

  1. An aged domain from a marketplace will cost an average of just over $2,000.
  2. With an average cost per referring domain of just over $15, aged domains can be more cost effective than building links, which can cost hundreds of dollars per link.
  3. The most important metric to consider is referring domains (dofollow) because the link authority is the primary reason to build a site on an aged domain.
  4. Check AHREFs for links with actual traffic, since some referring domains may be low quality links that inflate the total number of referring domains.
  5. GoDaddy Auctions is the best source for aged domains if you have time because they are typically less expensive and domains on marketplaces can sit for months and lose links and pages in Google’s index (marketplaces can be a better option if you have limited time).

BATTLE-TESTED RECOMMENDATIONS

🔥 SerpDomains – Premium Aged Domains

If you are looking for vetted aged domains, make sure to join SerpDomains. I’ve purchased domains from this marketplace as 301 redirects and to build out authority sites. New members get 15% OFF using code WELCOME15. Check out SerpDomains!

🔥 SerpNames – Aged Domains Company

Celebrate SerpNames biggest site makeover with a flat 25% OFF on all aged domains. This deal is valid from September 14th to 27th. Use coupon code WEBSITEFLIP for the discount. Check out SerpNames!


Final Thoughts

An aged domain can be an excellent investment if it fits a niche with a good opportunity for growth and you can take advantage of the retained link authority.

Sometimes aged domains do not perform as well as expected, so keep in mind that there is risk in paying a premium for an aged domain rather than a fresh domain. 

Subscribe to our Weekly Dealflow email newsletter to receive a curated list of hand-picked aged domains every Wednesday at 9:00 am CST.



charles sipe - technical analyst

Analyzed by Charles Sipe

Charles Sipe is a niche website investor and SEO specialist with a degree in Marketing from the University of Washington in Seattle, WA. Charles writes technical content that analyzes market trends in the website flipping and SEO industry. Connect with Charles on LinkedIn.


Mushfiq

Analyzed by Mushfiq S

Mushfiq has been buying, growing, and selling website assets since 2008. His first exit was in 2010. Since then, he has done 200+ website flips with multiple 6-figure exits. Learn more about Mushfiq.


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