page rank and expired domains

Context - I've been asked by a friend if it is worthwhile investing in expired domain names in order to obtain their page rank and traffic.

I've read that when a domain that expires and is re-registered, Google wipes the page rank, etc.  I've read in other places that this is not the case.  Which is true?

I presume that even if this does happen it is of limited relevance, because once a new website is created the new site will be credited with any incoming links whether the pre-date the new registration or not.  Even so, the links may be of lesser value if the content/them of the website are substatially different.  Is that reasoning sound?
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humeniuk -

You are on the wrong side of the fence :)

99 times out of a 100 Google wipes out the PR of expired domains and they also now get automatically dropped from DMOZ and hence the Google directory.

I hear stories from people who claim to have purchased domains based on the name only and then find out subsequently that it was previously expired. Usually they discover this because Googlebot arrives and starts looking for non-existent pages and some of them are still having problems one or two years later. Personally I think the risk of a glitch is high enough to avoid them unless the client insists in which case you should make them aware that there may be a problem - caveat emptor!

- duz

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humeniukAuthor Commented:
That makes a lot of sense.

Part of my thinking was due to the fact that I have a couple of domains that have previously been used for websites that had a good amount of traffic.  At this point, both sites consist of a single 'parked' page and have been in that state for the past 16 months.  Nevertheless, they appear to retain a PR of 5 and 4 respectively.  I have assumed this was due to remaining inbound links simply because I can see no other reason - ie. there's no "there" there.  Admittedly, neither of these domains has expired in the interim.

If you have any comments that might illuminate that situation further, I would appreciate hearing them.  Either way, thank you for your insight.  As always, I am much obliged.

humeniuk -

>neither of these domains has expired in the interim.

The residual PR of 5 and 4 will be because of back links still in place as you thought. Unexpired domains that have been dormant can take on a new life without triggering unwanted effects so don't worry about resurrecting them - just don't let them expire.

- duz
humeniukAuthor Commented:
I kept them alive as this is what I had thought/hoped . . . although I have no immediate use for them :)  Thank you.
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