If you have a website, you will need a domain name. It’s as simple as that. Having a free, sub-domain name simply doesn’t cut it; not only does it not look professional enough, it will be more difficult to rank your website well in the search engines.
If you do a search online, you will often come across expired domain names. Expired domain names were previously owned by some other people but for one reason or another, they have abandoned it and as a result, failing to pay for it on its renewal. When that happens, such domain names will be placed into the pool of domains for sale. Just like a new domain name, the expired name is also available to anyone who wishes to buy it.
The advantage of buying an expired domain is that the previous owner might have spent time advertising or optimizing the website associated with this domain. Because of that, such domain names may bring with it a great number of existing back links. Further, the expired domain could already be listed with many search websites, forums, directories, and a good range of other sites that have this link already on them. Since the previous owner has already done some of the work in getting the domain linked from other sites, you will have a head start with your SEO campaign.
Naturally, you must exercise some due diligence before buying an expired domain name. For one thing, it be a name that you are comfortable with. Or that it might be a domain name based on a generic search term used for your products.
However, there are caveats to purchasing a used domain name. For example, the domain may also have been used for illegal activities like spamming, and as a result, was banned or blacklisted by the search engines. Certainly, this will be a bad start for your website.
To protect yourself, you should check out www.archive.org. This website archives a history domain names and their respective web pages. By doing a search on the expired domain which interests you and checking out its history, you will be better advised as to whether you should go ahead and make the purchase. Who knows, you might land a windfall and get a domain name that has a good number of backlinks and authority. In which case, you will enjoy a headstart with your SEO endeavors.