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[Grey Hat] Can You Replace an Existing Website or Forum That's Closed Down? Register Here

Posted by BrettB
Registered User
20 Apr 2018 15:35

Guys - here's a new experiment you might be interested in: can you replace an existing website that's closed down for some reason?

Well 2 days ago I bought a domain name and put up a website to test precisely this. Will it work? I will post my results here...

The backstory...

I started FindAForum in 2013 and it is now an authority site on internet forums. It's a really nice example of an authority site. However, it never makes any money.


The time has come for that to change. Instead of making money from advertising or other conventional means, it's time for the data on the site itself to make me some money.


By making more use of the site's data itself. And one thing the site has become is a health monitor for 1400 internet forums. If any of these die, then I hear about it first. And so can you when you buy Niche Laboratory Pro, because then I'll give you free access to the broken and closed forums list.

How valuable is this data?

Well just recently I noticed that a particularly large forum has gone offline. Will it come back? It's hard to tell. But my experience has been that when large sites go offline, they never come back.

So that's where you or I come in!

Forums in particular have a large membership base and if your beloved forum went down, would you want somewhere else to post on?

I'm betting that you would!

So what have I done in this example?

Now I'll point out that in my case the website has simply gone offline. The domain hasn't expired. So I couldn't have bought the original domain name. Instead I bought one fairly similar, i.e. instead of the original site's

Progress so far: Google appears to have indexed the site already, and has sent me one visitor.

That fast? I'm guessing it *really* wants to replace a missing site!!!

To avoid copyright claims I've not added any content from the waybackmachine. I've also changed the topics somewhat to reflect more what I'm interested in, and where I think the forum should go in future.

I'll also just mention that I did a US trademark search just to make sure that redwidgets wasn't trademarked as a community or something. I didn't see anything, so it looks like it's safe to establish a community using this keyword phrase.

The next stage is to use Niche Laboratory and other keyword tools to find some question type topics that I can add to the forum. I guess the flaw in my plan is that people are unlikely to sign up to a forum with just 1 member. So I need to break out of the chicken-egg loop.

If you want to do a similar experiment then get to know the players in your niche(s) and be on the lookout for any sites that disappear. Then you can go to the waybackmachine and try and recreate their sites.

It's worth mentioning that many people expire domains and kill of sites for a reason. I've expired and because I never succeeeded in getting any traffic in these pretty tough niches (insurance and property). However I like the current experiment because it's in a niche where us amateurs CAN get traffic. I already have sites in this niche so getting some relevant backlinks is going to be very easy. And finally I know that this niche is an awesome one for monetising.

If you want to know how this experiment is going then post a reply in this thread and I'll update it with some progress data.

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