Q: Is buying expired domains that are years old, but contain a good amount of established backlinks good to purchase? Sure, you could just 301 the old domains to your target site and the value of the old backlinks would carry over right?
A: FALSE – This used to be the way to go, but it’s just not true anymore. However, if it is direct traffic that you may benefit from then this could be a good possibility. This used to be a great tactic until Google started putting up flags in their algorithm to detect expiration and renewal dates of a domain. You could privatize your name but Google will know, since they are a registrar. Google resets a dropped domain for rankings and link value.
Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land discussed this with Google’s own Matt Cutts last year: “There are some domain transfers ( e.g. genuine purchases of companies) where it can make perfect sense for links to transfer. But at the same time it wouldn’t make sense to transfer the links from an expired or effectively expired domain, for example. Google (and probably all search engines) tries to handle links appropriately for domain transfers. The sort of stuff our systems would be designed to detect would be things like someone trying to buy expired domains or buying domains just for links.”