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!
I would like to take a moment to address those bloggers that I have met that have found themselves in the situation where they were convinced that spinning articles for content will help them to earn a lot of money with their blogs. On top of that perhaps they have arranged for cheap hosting for their blog on a hosting server that has been flagged by Google as what they call a “bad neighborhood.” Oh, and they also were told that they could make a lot of money from buying an expired domain name with pre-existing PR and using it to blog for money! (Please understand that I am not being judgmental here, and accept my apologies in advance if you get the feeling that I am being judgmental. I truly strive in my life to not be judgmental.) These above listed activities and situations are some of the types of activities that Google SEO experts call “Black Hat” and Google is trying very hard to find those blogs and penalize them. They are getting better at it, and advertisers are starting to realize that doing business with those bloggers might penalize them, too!
Recently I found myself flooded with private messages from some bloggers that have found themselves in this position and they have been asking me to help them to increase their income with their blogs. After a few questions about their techniques, I determined that these bloggers, whether on purpose, or by accident, were using “Black Hat” techniques. Now I am not an expert by any means, but I have learned a few things that I don’t mind sharing, so I decided to address that situation here in the hopes that this post may help all bloggers to understand what is going on, why it is happening, and what can be done about it. This might be the perfect time to change hats.