If you were thinking about buying a domain name, then you probably came across expired domains.
As you may already know, domain names are not issued without a deadline. You pay an annual fee for maintaining ownership of any domain, and if you do not pay at the indicated time, you will lose your ownership.
The domain is again for sale, and anyone can buy it. That’s why, to get your recently expired domain name at your disposal, you can buy it through a domain auction or do your own search on an expired domain. Depending on who the owner was, this may be beneficial or disadvantageous.
If you want to gain an advantage in an SEO game or find the perfect domain name on which you want to create your website, you will find some value in expired domains.
Below you will find out what an expired domain name is, as well as various ways to use them.
Why Are Expired Domains Valuable?
Expired domains are not valuable in themselves. But they become valuable when:
- They have a quality link profile,
- They are not spam, and
- They have some relevance for your existing site or new project.
The biggest problem you will encounter when searching for expired domains is finding a domain that meets all three of the criteria above.
For example, if you find a relevant expired domain with a strong link profile, but it has been used for spam purposes, then using this domain will only delay you.
However, if you are absolutely in love with a domain name and want to create a new brand from scratch, you might want to buy an expired domain that does not have a strong link profile.
Even though SEO-manipulators use massively purchased expired domains for promotion, often making them part of blog networks, the method itself is not Black Hat.
- Although Danny Sullivan wrote back in 2009 that links from drops may not transmit “link juice,” practice shows that in 2017 a redirect from thematically related to the drop recipient site works.
- The Quicksprout guys say that it “ just works,” and the professionals in the Moz community agree that the method is useful if applied correctly and not abused.
Best Uses For Expired Domains
Buying expired domains are usually used for SEO purposes, but it can also be used to create a brand, depending upon the domain name you have just acquired.
Continue reading to find out the four most common ways to use expired domain names:
1. Start your website
If you create your site intending to rank it in search engines, then you are probably familiar or least heard of the Google sandbox. This is the period when Google will not evaluate your site until you have enough authority and trust.
But you can skip this process by building your new site on a domain name that already enjoys trust and authority through the traffic of search engines.
This method is not ideal or not guaranteed, but it is usually quite effective to help you avoid the sandbox.
2. Redirect the expired domain to your site
If you find a relevant, high-quality domain, you can redirect that domain to your site. This gives an advantage in increasing the credibility of your website, so it will be easier for you to rank in search engines.
The essence of this strategy depends on the type of redirect you are using, namely 301 redirects, and the link profile of your site that you are redirecting.
If you are looking to increase your SEO efforts, this can be an effective way to do this.
3. Flip the domain
A domain flip is a process of buying a domain name and flipping to make a profit. You can also buy and flip simple domain names or entire sites.
The essence of this strategy is to find a domain or site that does not reach its potential.
Suppose a domain hunter finds an expired website that receives traffic but does not receive full monetization, you can buy, improve and sell it again.
You can also buy domain names because they have good branding potential. For example, Boss Funnel has a ton of high-quality domain names that are sold at a high price because of their branding potential. Typically, these domains are catchy, short, and simple and can be used effectively by startups and new businesses.
4. Create a PBN (Private Blog Network)
Private blog networks are still prevalent in the SEO world. We do not approve of creating your own PBN, as this is a rather risky method of ranking your site, but it is still common practice.
Essentially, in the process of creating a PBN, you buy expired domains that have sufficient authority. Then you create content for these sites and link to your main site using the link that you manage.
As a rule, you have a network of these sites that you host in different accounts while hiding that you own the domain. Do you begin to understand why this is risky?
Where Can I Find Expired Domains?
There are a number of resources available to help you track, locate, and purchase expired domains.
Some of the most common sites include:
If you find the domain name you would like to purchase, make sure that you exercise due diligence. You would not want to buy a domain name to find out that it has an obscure past and cannot be used for your future projects.
- Launch the site through Archive.org to see how it looked before.
- Launch it through a tool as stately to see the authority and trust of a domain.
Keep in mind that if something looks too good to be true, then this is probably true. You want to buy an expired domain that used to be a material site and not the one used for PBN, or something else.
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Where Can I Find Expired Domains? A Detailed Study
There are many sites offering domain names for sale, but I prefer to use the expireddomains.net expired domain meta-search engine. It provides an opportunity to experiment with a search filter and shows small statistics on the submitted sites, although it is not always accurate.
Register for free on the expireddomains.net platform. And login with your credentials.
After successful sign-in, you browse to Marketplace Domains.
There are two categories of expired domains that you can look for-
- GoDaddy Expired- These domains are on auction, anyone who is interested in these domains can place their bids and participate in the auction. When the auction time is over, the bidder with the highest bid wins the domain. You can then proceed to the checkout page and acquire the domain. We will discuss how to find expired domains through auctions below.
– It takes up to 10 days to appear in your GoDaddy account.
– Recommended only for people with a good budget or experience.
- GoDaddy Closeouts- The domains that did not get any engagement during the auctions, and are not available with a BUYNOW price. The domains are available for a maximum of 5 days after which they are deleted. The price on the first day will be $12 and goes to as low as $5 during the closeout period of 5 days.
– If you are a beginner, start with GoDaddy closeout domains.
There are 1000s of junk domains available on closeouts, so how do you filter them?
Here are some points to keep into consideration-
- No-Numbers: I personally prefer not having a number in my domain name, so this is 100% optional.
- No-Hyphen: The same goes for a hyphen in a domain name, since I personally do not like hyphens, I avoid them.
- Backlinks: Set backlinks to minimum 50, it will filter out all the junk domains that aren’t valuable to us.
- English Domains: Try to opt. for English domains, this will help you get meaningful domain names.
- Domain per page: Keep it to 100, as we will be bulk searching for them.
And apply the filter.
Sort the filtered results according to WBY (Birth year of the domain), it will help us get the most aged domain first.
Open domchimp.com, this will help us evaluate some major metrics of the closeout domains. Copy the list of 100 domains on this page (see the image), and paste them on domchimp.com.
Run the set of 100 domains through domchimp.com and evaluate the results.
Keep looking for domains that have DA > 20 and SPAM SCORE < 50, and copy the domain name. Now we will be looking at their backlinks.
Now the main question would be on how you are planning to utilize these domain names.
- If you are planning to start a blog, you need to focus on the name.
- If you planning to use the domain name for re-direction, you need a strong and powerful backlink profile.
- If you are planning to use the domain name for an affiliate website, you need an EMD domain with a strong backlink profile and traffic.
Run the selected domain through Ahrefs and Moz to monitor the backlink profile. Ahrefs and Moz are high-priced tools, you can buy these tools as a group buys. Here are some websites that you can use-
So you have been able to select a few domains now with good authority and fulfilling your requirements. The research is still incomplete, now you need to focus on how this domain was previously used.
Note: A domain is useless if-
- It was used for a re-direct previously.
- It was a Chinese website that was spammed.
- It was used as a PBN.
We use archive.org to see the previous look.
Now you need to use google and check if it was previously banned.
Sometimes the easiest way is the most effective. Type the domain name in the search engine to check the reputation of the site. It is also useful to type site: domain.com in the search bar to check if the site’s pages are indexed by the search engine – in some cases, the lack of results for the query may or may not mean it is banned by Google. In this case, you will have to use your own brain, check archive history and many other factors.
Conclusion: How To Find Expired Domains
- If you are a beginner or have less budget (<$30), never step into auctions. You need to work with closeout domains first, do your research, get some experience and then start with the auctioned domains.
- If a domain has a spam score but it was wisely used before, you can go with the purchase. SPAM SCORE is just a 3rd party metric and Google doesn’t care about it.
- If you are looking at an auctioned domain, never place the first bid. Just add the domain to your watchlist and wait for the auction to end. If there are no bidders, you can automatically grab the domain after few hours through closeouts.
- Make your plans first on how you are planning to use the domain. You are bound to get confused if you haven’t planned it.
- Do not over re-direct domains, google can find it suspicious which can result in adverse effects. I would suggest you go with a maximum of 5 domains.
- If you planning to work on an expired domain, make sure you retrieve the old posts. This can be done with the help of archive.org. It will not only help keep the backlinks alive but will help with traffic as well.
- If you looking for domains for re-direction. First, search for niche relevant expired domains. Niche relevant domains will be much healthier than other domains.
During my searches, I checked about 40 sites for one purpose (setting up a blog, re-direction or, affiliate blog), there were some factors that were in my favor and some did not. The point is, it is better to find two or three domains that suit you than to buy ten domains that will drown your reputation.
And do not forget- more is not better. If there are too many redirects to your main site, this could trigger a reaction from Google. Keep testing!
BONUS- How To Get Free Benefits Without Investing in Expired Domains
Here’s how to get a net profit from a dropped domain without buying it and not getting involved in the gray SEO zone:
- We find dropped domains in related topics with the target site.
- We export the incoming links with tools like Ahref.
- We select the least spam sites.
- We contact the webmaster and inform that he has a broken link.
- Offer your link as a replacement.
Do not rely on a large percentage of positive answers, but even if 10 people agree, you will get 10 free and absolutely moral and legal links.
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