Installment 5 in an opinion series by Linda Bradshaw about blogging and SEO
Now let’s think about purchasing expired domains with PR that have expired. Well that sounds just wonderful, doesn’t it? I did that at first myself, being brand new to the entire concept of blogging and getting paid for blogging. I had no idea that anyone would have any kind of problem with that. Until, that is, the company that I was blogging for (which was an Izea company now called inpostlinks.com) sent me an email telling me that one of their advertisers accused me of “cloaking” which was a violation of their Terms of Service, and they suspended my account and froze my payments for ninety days! Well, at the time that was the only company that I blogged for, having never heard of any other company, and I had never heard of “cloaking” before. I was very upset, as I was in a very bad financial position and desperately needed the income! So there were a lot of emails sent back and forth about what “cloaking” is and I learned a lot. Although “cloaking” is different than having purchased a domain with an expired page rank, they explained that they considered it to be a misrepresentation of the true worth of the blog and they would not allow me to use that blog again until the next re-indexing. They said that they considered it to be a form of “cloaking”, which is a violation of their terms of service. Their reasoning was that at the next re-indexing (sweep) Google would give an updated page rank and then it would be OK.
At that point in time I learned that buying an expired domain with existing PR was very risky and I stopped doing it. Whether “right” or “wrong,” “ethical” or “unethical” the consequences of buying expired domains could (and did) cost me money, and I did not like that!