The Friendly Takeover
With the decline in the real estate markets around the USA, there are many many agents who have made the decision to pursue other opportunities. Chances are, a lot of those folks had websites and maybe even blogs. Probably some of those websites are still active. Maybe you know some of those people, and maybe, you are on good terms with them?
Here are the opportunities:
By taking over their website (with their permission of course, please don’t really Shanghai them), you can redirect their website content to your own website and pass some of their pages’ authority on to your own.
Or, maybe it’s such a good website, you’d like to just leave it up and point some strategically placed links at your own site.
The 301 Redirect
In the event that the website you are taking over doesn’t have a ton of aged, high quality, indexed pages, you might choose to simply redirect the said websites’ links to your own pages. You’ll accomplish this with what we call a “301 redirect”.
A 301 redirect is tech speak for the response a webserver returns to a web browser or other inquirer as to the status of the requested web page. If the page exists and is in good order, the server normally returns a 200 response, however, if the page has been permanently moved, the server can return a 301 code to the browser with the new web address and the user is automatically forwarded to the new link.
The advantage to the 301 redirect is the search authority that the indexed page had can be transferred to your page (because the search engine is informed the next time it visits that the page has been permanently moved to your website) and the visitor to the other website is automatically forwarded to your site. Pretty cool right? Arguably, the authority that is transferred is not going to last forever, however, if there are other sites linking to the retired agents’ pages, then that link juice will continue to flow through the redirect to your site. Free links!
Creating a 301 redirect varies depending on the web server your website is hosted on. If you want to get all technical, you can check out this 301 redirect tutorial for multiple platforms. If you’re using WordPress, you can use a plug-in like Redirection to easily create software driven 301 redirects.
Dropping Some Links
Suppose the site you’ve inherited is just too large to fail. 😉 Well it shouldn’t be hard for you to figure out which pages the search engine already has indexed for that site. Go drop yourself some good links into those pages that point at your site. For example, let’s say the page mentioned “…beautiful real estate along the James River…” and you have a page on your site that features river or water-front property for sale. That’d be a perfect place to drop the link (starting with the word “real” and ending with “River”). Make sense?
New links on old pages may not get as much authority passed through them but as they age that should also change.
Don’t know anyone with a spare website they will give you? You can actually buy old websites or new websites and use it for such a purpose. Check out Flippa. Before buying though, you should see if any of the site or domain’s content is currently indexed or has a backlink profile.
If not, skip it and move on to one that does. Happy redirecting!
The article previously mentioned, and you will find related conversation in the comments on buying expired domain names. This practice is frowned on by some and regularly used by others. Proceed at your own risk after informing yourself.