domain names

How To Buy Expired Domains

Utilize the work earlier website owners did and find the perfect domain name for your website or business for $8.99.

Expired Domains, Advantages and Disadvantages

Registering domains is a huge business. Millions of domains get registered every year. Registering a profitable domain name is the most important decision of your online business that ties directly in to niche selection and keyword research.

Registering expired or deleted domains is an effort to reduce the work you have to put into getting traffic to your site. Done correctly can be very profitable, but also many expired domains get purchased on different auctions that will not help the business of the purchaser.

First I will give some more details of the domain expiration process and what expired and deleted domains are. If you already know this, you can skip to the next section.

How do domains expire?

Some people register a domain, have no clue what they are doing, then after a year or two they simply do not pay the registration fee and let the domain name expire.

Some people register a domain, start a successful business, continue it for a while, then something happens, they change their mind, get sick or die, and no one takes over.

Some registered a domain, built a successful niche or Adwords business with spammy links. Then Google’s algorithm changed, and not being able to make money any more with the site, they let the domain expire. You will see domains dropped because of Panda and Penguin.

And I am sure there are multiple other variations.

When you set up a website, however beautiful it is, if it has no visitors, it will not make you money. If you are able to get a recently discontinued website where the previous owner successfully put in time and money to drive traffic to it, and step into his boots, you are ahead of the game and your website can become profitable much sooner than starting it from scratch.

However, some domains are spam or blackhat domains, connected to link farms, banned from Google, banned from Adwords. You need to avoid these, as these are not only unhelpful, they are outright toxic to your business.

Some domains have a good backlink profile or traffic. If they have traffic, this traffic is targeted, which will give you much better conversion rates than any old traffic. You are trying to grab these as early as possible, before the benefits disappear.

These websites may also have mentions on FaceBook, Twitter, Reddit, other Web 2.0 sites, links from e-books. People may still be typing them in looking for the site. Establishing this kind of presence takes a while, which an expired domain can save you time with.

The Domain Expiration Process

Once someone decides to discontinue a website, there are still several months before the domain registration expires. As there is no site, just a parked domain, the indexed pages of the site start to disappear from the search engines. Affiliates remove their links and the broken links can get taken down with time.

All domain names that have not been renewed before their expiry date are expired. They are called “expired domains.” You can look up the expiry date and other data in the WHOIS record here:

Domaintools Whois (better tool but limited number of searches per day)
Whois

After the registration expiry date the domain name will enter the so-called renewal grace period. At this point the original owner still has the right renew the domain name without additional fees. The length of this period varies depending on the registrar.

Once the renewal grace period ends, the expired domain name will be under registrar hold. During this time, which can be 30 to 45 days, the domain can still be renewed by the original owner by paying a redemption fee (around $100, depending on the registrar).

While under registrar hold, the registrar tries to sell the domain name in an open auction to the highest bidder. If sold, the winner must still wait till the end of the registrar hold period before taking ownership. If the original owner renews the domain name during this period, the auction winner is refunded their money and the original owner regains possession. Otherwise the domain name is transferred to the auction winner.

Some registrars, like GoDaddy, auction only their own expired domain names. Other registrars have an agreement to pool their expired domain names and make them available for purchase on a separate website, like SnapNames and NameJet, where expired domain names from multiple registrars are sold at auction.

If the domain name is not renewed by the original owner, and it is not bought at auction, some registrars attempt to sell it in a “closeout sale”. A closeout sale offers the expired domain names at a discounted Buy It Now price (plus the regular domain name registration fee). If you buy a domain name in a registrar closeout sale, the registrar hold period is still applicable, and the original owner still has a chance to renew.

If the registrar’s grace period expires and the domain name has still not been renewed, it is placed under the status of PENDINGDELETE. The domain name will remain under this status for five days, during which time it cannot be restored.

On the sixth day the domain name is deleted or “dropped” from the registry. The moment it’s deleted from the registry, it becomes available for registration by the general public. Most registries typically delete their domain names once a day. Thus we have “Deleted Domain Names”.

Technically it is possible to manually register an expired domain name the moment it is deleted, however at that point most of the domain names that have value are already gone and there is only a small percentage remaining. Professional backorderers have a lot more resources than regular people, therefore it’s worth looking at domain you can get through backordering services.

Just to make the list of definitions complete, there are also premium domains. A premium domain is one that is already registered and is being offered for sale by its current owner.

The Basic Problem with Buying Expired Domains

To see the basic problem you run into when buying an expired or deleted domain, let’s compare it to buying a pair of shoes. You go to your favorite shoe store, you look for your size, which is let’s say 8.5 if you are in the US or 40 if you are in Europe. You try it on, it will hopefully fit. If the numbering of the company is a bit off, it will be either a bit to small or too big, you will look for the next size up or down, see if the shoes are comfortable. End of story.

However, when you shop for an expired domain, you deal with metrics like backlinks, Trust Flow, Domain Authority. These unfortunately don’t exist in the touchable universe, unlike a pair of shoes, these are only in the cyber universe. Also, these metrics were created by different companies that are not the company that is actually going to rank your site.

This opens the door to several “hallucinatory” realities on the subject, with the end result that without a proper guide you are likely to buy something that on the surface looks good, however when you build a site on it, it is useless, or even worse, outright harmful. Or you pay thousands of dollars for something that is mediocre.

Many tools will not even analyze the domain for you if there is no existing site with it, which in many cases makes make the tool half useless. Also, several of these tools require a $100 range per month subscription, so if you do not know what you are doing, you are wasting your money on the subscription and on domain names with hallucinatory links that only exist in the software’s database and do not help you achieve your goal, which is building your business.

To illustrate all this, I am going to give you an example. I was looking at expired domains connected with gifts. I found the following expiring domain on an expired domain auction and I happened to use it for testing: uniquegiftshoponline.com

As I do not necessarily just believe all the numbers I see, I decided to do a bit of digging around with different softwares. This is what I found.

SEOmoz, which I had been using as a free version, said the domain had 0 backlinks. Also, I had checked several other domains with this tool previously, and there were a suspiciously high number of zeros on the link count using this tool.

When I entered my own site, daytradingbuddy.com, and SEOmoz spit out a big fat zero for backlinks, I knew it was wrong. The site was my earlier unsuccessful attempt with expired domains in the Forex niche, but I knew from Google Webmaster tools that it had more than zero links. It was an earlier successful site that I bought based on its old age and apparent Domain Authority of 25, however after setting up the site and spending a bunch of time on it, it is averaging a visitor or two a day.

Therefore I entered these sites into Majestic.com.

It said External Backlinks for uniquegiftshoponline.com: 88

And Majestic also gave me over 100 links for daytradingbuddy.com.

At this point I was looking for an answer for the difference, as the number of links were reported differently and this can greatly influence the success of buying domains. I found the following answer on MOZ.com:

“How does SEOmoz Crawl the Web?

“The reason that we don’t immediately crawl links we find during a crawl is because of scheduling. Any links the crawler sees must first go through the scheduler and be deemed important enough (we don’t want to spend time crawling spam or in honey traps). This means there may be a few days gap between seeing a link for the first time and when the link is actually crawled. Also, if a link is not in a high-ranking root domain (or in a root domain that has lots of links), then it may not even make the cut to be in the schedule.”

This is clearly the answer. While MOZ can potentially uncover good sites, it will tell you that sites that are deemed unimportant have zero backlinks when they do not, thus potentially losing good sites. Therefore searching for expired domains based on MOZ backlink count is not a good idea. (You can still use it to verify backlinks after you found the domains and the linking sites happen to be important enough to be in their data base.)

Also don’t forget, if MOZ doesn’t have the backlinks in its data base, its DA and PA will also be wrong:

“We calculate Domain Authority combining many of our other link metrics — linking root domains, number of total links, MozRank, MozTrust, etc. — into a single DA score. This score can then be used when comparing one site to another or tracking the ‘ranking strength’ of a website over time.”

I did some further research, tried some additional sites and software and I used the above mentioned sites for test.

I checked backlinkwatch.com. While it was giving me backlinks for many sites, I found that some percentage of the backlinks was completely nonexistent, and they site itself is promoting scammy and spammy affiliate programs, so I ruled this one out.

The next software I checked out was SEO SpyGlass.

Per SEO SpyGlass the expired domain uniquegiftshoponline.com has 27 links from 13 domains.

And Daytradingbuddy.com had 11 links and it disregarded the about 100 links that supposedly exist from yelowpages.com per majestic.

This got me thinking again. Which number is correct?

Then I saw that during its link search, SEO SpyGlass actually displays what it is doing. SEO SpyGlass uses the data base of webmeup.com, which has 642 billion links in its data base. Then it also verifies some of the data from Google, Bing, etc.

Then I checked how Majestic collects its link data. It has its own crawler that actually seems to be more thorough than Moz. Additionally I discovered that Majestic has two different data bases, a short term one that “forgets” a link after 90 days, and a long term one that keeps the data for about 5 years.

And this is where the penny dropped: The FAQs of Majestic.com were describing a “memory effect” which it describes as a problem that every single link crawling operation has. Even Google. Have you ever searched in Google and come across a result that took you to a removed webpage or website that has been discontinued? This is an example of the memory effect. Google also has an index that gets updated periodically based on its crawls, and when you search for a phrase, it gives you the results from its index and does not actually go out and search the web to give you its answer.

Additionally, I came across an article on matthewwoodward.co.uk that compares the different backlink services, and he additionally found that these services were only finding about 10-20 percent of the existing links.

So the memory effect and the failure to crawl all sites regularly basically makes ALL of the link counts given by the different services incorrect. While there is probably no perfect solution to this problem, the best resolution I came to is from asking the following question and answering it:

Q: When it comes to your site getting ranked in the search engines like Google, who makes the decision and based on what?

A: It is the search engines that rank your site, and they rank it based on the links of their own database.

So what does this mean?

Majestic.com is probably right, minus the memory effect, when it tells me it has crawled 88 backlinks to uniquegiftshoponline.com. But if you buy the domain, it will be ranked by Google and Bing based on the links that is in the data base of Google and Bing, which is probably somewhere in between the 27 and 88 links. However there is no way to know exactly what Google, the biggest search engine sees, as its index is also faulty. Even in the Google Webmaster tools you will not see all your links Google is aware of, which you can only use when you are the owner of the website. But Google will not be aware of the links you recently built but haven’t been indexed, and you will see removed links that are still in its data base.

Of course you can go out and manually check every single link listed in Majestic, see if you can find them, and get the missing ones indexed… But the main thing is that YOU need to understand or correctly estimate what you are buying and YOU need to have a plan what you are going to do with it, i. e. how YOU are going to make it into a profitable website that fits YOUR needs! And you’d better know your stuff!

My personal conclusion is that we would need to have a subscription to all these services to cross-verify data, which is out of the budget of most people. I personally decided to use SEO SpyGlass to verify the backlinks. I may be wrong, but that will mostly be in the direction of less links, to the safe side. Later in the book where I present the metrics I found for several domains, you will see that I would be completely wrong if I based my buying decisions on Majestic’s link count, which is even provided by Expireddomains.net.

I always inspect the data that a software gives me and try to make an informed decision. I am not telling you that you need to check every single link (even though you probably should). What I am telling you is, once you did your pre-selection of domains, randomly select a few, maybe 5-10-15 links and find them manually and see them for yourself. Doing this kind of verification, not just in link building but in any area of life, will give you extra information and knowledge that otherwise you would never get. This is very important.

E. g., In the above example for uniquegiftshoponline.com, this is is what I found:

Here is a linking page first (you can probably still pull up the page and verify what I am saying):

http://www.smartcityindore.org/safety-security/…

and then the actual backlink:

leaky toilet tank screws
http://uniquegiftshoponline.com/about_us

Here is another linking page and then the link to the same domain: (link not there any more)

http://support.ropnoy.com/hc/en-us/community/po…

easy essay help
http://uniquegiftshoponline.com/hotessay/linguistics-and-…

This goes into the second problem with expired domains, which is link quality.

Leaky toilet tank screws are not exactly on the subject of unique gifts and hiring essay writers either. You always need to look at link quality.

Some of the things you will run into:

  • High backlink count but all anchor texts in Chinese, Japanese or some Arabic language. I even ran into a link that had an anchor text that included something in English along the lines of Osama Bin Laden’s registered domain.
  • Tens of thousands of backlinks, but they are all from a few domains, like two or three
  • Links with anchor texts of porn, pharma, casino, Viagra, etc. A few years ago you used to be able to rank an expired domain for any keyword by pointing the right anchor text links to it, that’s why you get this kind of spam.
  • Many times a domain name word could mean something else. E.g.: While searching for a domain name with the word “domain” in it I found several domains that were along the lines of “perfect domain” that had to do with the subject of a female body and had sexual links.
  • Sitewide links. An example would be a link in the footer, e. g. “Powered by xyz.com”. These appear in the footer on every single page, inflating your backlink count, but they are useless for your rankings.
  • Over-optimized anchor texts, e.g. the expired domain Personal-Domains.info has 280 links from 271 domains, but all anchor texts say www.Personal-Domains.info. Google penalizes this.
  • Domains that were already used for redirect. In this case you will see something like this on Wayback Machine: “Got a HTTP 301 response at crawl time. Redirecting to …”
  • Membership sites will have a huge amount of backlinks, but they will be pointing to hundreds of different sub-domains created for the different members. Also the content will greatly vary as the members all write about something else. In this case the backlinks will be highly irrelevant and will not help your rankings very much.
  • Links from article directories, link directories, spam forum comments, sites where the last post was in 2012 and other sources that are penalized. Also unnatural link profiles, such as only 3 anchor texts for all of the links.

Forums are especially spammy. Even though they usually have a lot of backlinks, these are not worthy as domains and many times as backlinks either. Here is an example of a spam backlink from a Forum:

Expired Domain Search says

“September 15, 2010 at 10:54 am

“Hi, at the moment I’m seeking with my iphone four new design suggestions and so I have uncovered your web page. Your design is definitely simple but also compare it for a posts. I consider I would use it for my primary draft. Thank you for this concept!”

Of course there is no person named “Expired Domain Search” (with a link to the site) and Google is aware of this kind of spam to the point where your rankings will be penalized if you allow such to occur on your own site. Also the site was the most horrible-looking website I ever saw.

The final point I want to make about backlinks is the quality of the linking sites. Ideally you want links from trusted sites. If you cannot find such, you will need to do link building afterwards. (You will need to do that anyways.)

Trust is measured by the Trust Flow metrics of Majestic. Also SEMRush has a trust metric indicated in its backlink report. The point is that low quality sites have zero trust, high quality sites have high trust. You obviously need high trust links in addition to the regular ones.

Many people use metrics like Trust Flow, Citation Flow, Domain Authority, Page Authority for picking an expired domain. This makes things even more confusing. There is a whole debate about this, some people say you should only buy domains that have DA and PA, CF and TF over 15 or 20 or whatever and spam score whatever.

Others argue that these are not Google metrics and they fluctuate even within a few days time. You may have heard mention of the DA yo-yo. Also DA, PA, CF and TF all depend on what links the measuring software is aware of. If the links are not there any more but they haven’t been removed from the software’s database, you will get falsely better metrics than the reality. (DA and CF are even different for the www version of the same domain, many times higher than the non-www version.)

I cannot give you an answer if you should use these or you should not. However in my opinion, these are all just metrics that give you certain guidance. Please do not lose sight of the fact that these come from a software’s perception of real linking domains and links, which could or could not be faulty. Manually looking at the quality (or lack of) the actual linking sites usually tells you the story.

Relevance of the individual links and anchor texts is very important. Is the visitor who clicks on the link going to find on your site what he is looking for? This is crucial in Google’s algorithm and the final purpose is always to ensure your visitors have the best experience ever and get helped with what they need.

You should get into niches where you can actually make a difference with your quality content or services. I also read somewhere that Google will not rank a small site in a niche like credit cards or Apple products. There are already big authority sites for such subjects and why would your little micro-niche site would get ranked for such? What value can a small Johnny come lately site add to the big boys?

Whether this is correct or not is not the point. Only get into niches and buy domains if you are sure you can be relevant and provide real value that is missing in the area and your site could become a real authority.

What Are You Going To Do With Your Expired Domain?

Expired domainBefore you you put in all that time into hunting for expired domains, you need to have an idea what you are going to use them for. Otherwise you will find yourself going through the list over and over.

Your options are the following:

The most obvious option is to build your own own site fully from scratch just like you would be doing it with a freshly registered, never-before-used domain. Your purpose would be to build an authority site. Make sure the pages your backlinks point to actually exist, or are 301 redirected to a page with similar, so that the anchor texts people click on match the topic of your page. If you don’t do this, you will lose the benefit of the backlinks, as Google will treat them as a soft 404 (and not transfer link juice).

The next option you have is to “clone” the original site. You would reconstruct the site using WordPress and the content available in Wayback Machine. You would have the same URLs as the original site with similar content (you could get into legal trouble for stealing the content and using it straight.) Then you can add to your clone site using newly created content based on your keyword research.

You can use both of the above types as a money site or as a feeder site with a connected niche.

You could use a 301 redirect. Usually you have one domain that fits the main keyword or brand you are trying to use, but oftentimes these perfectly named domains don’t have many backlinks. You may consider using a similar or related domain that has a higher number of backlinks and merging it with your main site.

This is based on the situation when one company buys another one and the two company websites get merged together. Content gets moved from one site to another and links get redirected. Watch out, just plain 301 redirecting one site to the other one’s home page will not work. Again you need to make sure the links, anchor texts and target pages are relevant to each other, otherwise you lose the benefits of links due to soft 404.

Many people use Private Blog Networks and link these to their money sites to increase its rank. Google started to crack down on PBNs. If you decide to use your expired domains as PBNs because of your own decision, be aware that the rules have majorly changed in this field and you cannot get away with a few pages of horrible spinned content, as Penguin or a manual review could penalize your site. Your sites need to be able to pass a manual inspection, at which stage you might as well just build real sites for real visitors and not just for Googlebot.

The last use of expired domains is to sell them as expired domains or sell them as reconstructed websites with a profit. This is a huge subject that is outside the scope of this e-book.

I recommend that you keep an excel grid of all of your examined domains, with all metrics you check. Check all domains that seem to have great link count from the outside, even if you don’t see an immediate use for them. Many times things get re-evaluated as you go and domains that seemed useless may suddenly become useful, and doing a thorough job will make it unnecessary to go back again and having to redo the job.

Always look at the larger area and related, as this will present opportunities otherwise you will miss. E. g. when I researched expired domains, I also researched domains, dropped, deleted and even web hosting, as these are closely related.

Checking the sites ranking for your niche keyword

The first thing to do before you even go near any expired domain is check out the top sites in your niche to see what kind of link profile they have. This includes both the number or the quality of links. This way you see how many links you will need for your site and if you can get away with some lower quality links.

At this point you should already have done a niche research, decided on your niche. If you picked your niche incorrectly, what I am explaining in this book is almost totally pointless to you, as you will not be able to find domain names you need.

You should also have a basic keyword research done in Google Adwords to see which are your keywords. I have categorized them into rough categories by entering a category number into the front column and sorting with Excel’s sort option. You will need to find a domain with one of the keywords from your research. In this case I got a total of 112 keywords.

In Google, Expireddomains.net ranks on the top place for the keyword “expired domains”.

Now download the free version of SEO SpyGlass through this link. If you are on a shoestring budget, you can use the free version, but to get the full benefits, it is recommended that you get the full version, which is a one time fee and not a subscription like many other software.

The full version gives you vital data, like the quality of the backlinks and it does not have limit on the number of links analyzed per website. You can also save your projects in the full version.

OK, so let’s input the name of the site, expireddomains.net. SEO SpyGlass will give you the following:

backlinks found: 4298
backlinks analyzed: 2083
Linking from homepage: 43
Other domains: 1137

The program only analyzes up to 10 links from the same domain, that’s why there is a difference. So if you have a high number of links found and low number analyzed. Keep an eye out, that shows poor link quality.

Look at the data at the following tabs of the software:

Summary:

Look at the number of do-follow and no-follow links.

Compare the number of links with the number of domains the links are coming from. If you find a domain with 100,000 links from 3 domains, that is a bad link profile and you will see this right away.

Anchors and Pages:

Look at the anchor texts themselves. Most of them should be along the lines of the niche, but there should be a variation of anchor texts to avoid Google penalty. Expireddmains.net has a great link profile.

Linking domains:

Here you can look at the specific domains that link and the pages it links to.

Backlinks:

Here you can see the actual links, the anchor texts, the title of the linking page and the page linked to.

This was the number one on the list. On the other end, domainhole.com ranks number 10 for the keyword “expired domains” (at the time of writing).

Again, we input it into SEO SpyGlass. I did go through all the other sites in between, paying attention to which sites had the keyword in the root domain. However number 10 is important, as it gives me an idea what I will need to beat if I want to get onto the first page of Google.

backlinks found: 599
backlink analyzed: 510
dofollow: 450
domains: 250

Again, take a look at the Anchors and Pages, Linking Domains and Backlinks tabs.

I wanted to show you one more thing – an exact match domain still has value, even if it has a hyphen. Many people consider a hyphen in a domain name is low quality, not pretty, but this doesn’t make a difference in Google’s eyes. It is true though that more than one hyphen usually indicates a spam domain.

expired-domains.co is #6 on the search results.

Per SEOSpy, it has 42 backlinks from 33 domains.

Per SEMRush, it has 70 backlinks from 30 domains and 237 organic traffic.

Its backlink profile is mixed, while it has several on-topic links, it also has some article directories and even a beauties site.

Now that we see what we are up against, we can start searching for domains.

Checking for Your Niche Expired/Deleted Domains

Go to ExpiredDomains.net and enter your keyword. You will see a list of expiring and deleted domains. Sort it by BL, Majestic backlinks, or by DP, which is Domain Pop, the number of domains linking back. This is the fastest way to find a quality domain. Start entering the domains that fit your niche into SEO SpyGlass, starting with the highest link count.

Keep track of your results in an Excel grid. To give you an idea, I have included here the grid for subject of Domains. You can see the huge difference in link count between Majestic and SEO Spyglass. Expired domains without a website lose links, and these probably haven’t been cleaned out of Majestic’s index.

Domain Name

Status

Price

Majestic Links

SEO SpyGlass

SEO SpyGlass Analyzed

Notes

PremiumDomainServices.net

Deleted

196000

90000

6000

All Japanese anchor texts

ExpiredDomains.com

GoDaddy

$20.00

98861

0

0

vlogdomainnames.com

NameJet

Backorder

63000

9564

1600

Pharma anchor texts vicodin

Domain-Junkie.org

Deleted

61400

9471

881

4 referring domains

ByDomains.net

NameSilo

$50.00

54700

40131

5218

Many Chinese/ Japanese anchors

DomainBlend.com

GoDaddy

$50.00

42200

2

2

tldomain.org

DynaDot

make offer

33600

8

8

SuccessfulDomains.com

goDaddy

$195.00

16400

18

18

EasyMoneymaker-Domain.com

Deleted

12600

328

48

DomainAuctionCleaner.com

backorder

11700

4848

68

bestdomainameregistration.com

Deleted

8000

666

301

All Japanese anchor texts

SimpleDomainForum.com

Deleted

5700

2681

738

off subject forum links

BuyExpireDomain.com

Deleted

4600

1069

44

Only 5 domains, misspelled, Joggerstroller.net sitewide link

DomainSystems.com

nameJet

$80.00

4200

681

297

10 bids

DomainNamesTips.com

Deleted

4100

0

0

Japanese anchors

SellDomainForum.com

Deleted

3900

525

237

Forum

BoldDomain.com

Deleted

3500

44

32

ExpiredDomainGains.com

PendingDelete

3000

195

103

24 domains

DomainMaximizerMonthly.com

Deleted

2500

362

169

Forum

DomainsForSaleToday.net

goDaddy

$12.00

2400

74

10

Register-Domains.co

Deleted

2100

431

350

sex site

domain-seo.org

SnapNames

auction

1900

685

380

Exp 2018

domain-apprasial.com

Deleted

1600

0

0

misspelled

FreeDomainListings.com

Deleted

1500

1117

284

off subject spammy links

0costdomain.net

Deleted

1500

845

239

16 domains

idomainbrokers.com

Flippa

auction

1200

343

122

expires in 2 months

topdomainandwebhosting.com

Deleted

1200

11

11

DomainFlipForum.com

Deleted

1100

0

0

getdomaindata.com

GoDaddy

$11.00

1000

1175

410

Directory Links

registerdomains2day.com

Deleted

997

336

197

Directory links

thedomainstore.com

Flippa

auction

950

2466

714

Exp 07/31

DomainThriftStore.com

Deleted

869

165

53

spam links

Expired-DomainNames.com

Deleted

799

554

25

8 referring domains only

BuyDomainNamesForSale.com

goDaddy

$50.00

780

526

54

10 referring domains

PersonalDomainNames.eu

Deleted

696

329

329

Membership site

ReuseDomains.com

Deleted

571

398

267

Links from GoFuckYourself.com

FindExpiredDomainNames.org

Deleted

141

0

0

YourExpiredDomains.com

Deleted

74

43

57

NewExpiredDomainList.com

Deleted

88

253

181

spam links

expireddomainexpress.com

Deleted

46

1

1

BuyExpiredDomains.org

Deleted

19

2

2

ExpiredDomainEmpire.com

Deleted

6

5

5

ExpiredDomainTraffic.org

Deleted

4

8

8

What do you do with the deleted domains you come across? You can register these as a regular domain. I know that most people have their favorite domain registrar they use, however I want to ask you to stand back for a moment and read the following.

Per survey, a majority of people want to register their domains as cheap as possible. Unfortunately the usual registrars you go to are not the cheapest. I went through the different domain registrars and I found that the cheapest registrar, with great customer service, is NameSilo.

  • It has the lowest registration fees. A com domain costs $8.99 per year.
  • At the time I am writing this, the com domain has a special at an insane $5.99!
  • FREE Whois Privacy Forever, which is a $10 savings
  • They never charge more for renewing a domain than it would cost to register that domain (with the exception of .mobi and special promotions)
  • No hidden fees, which means the price includes the ICANN registration fee.
  • Free domain parking
  • Free Domain Defender Protection
  • The Cheapest SSL certificates
  • Check out the full price list here!

Once you have a list like the above, I recommend going through each domain more thoroughly. You can crosscheck them with Majestic.com, SEMRush, pull up some backlinks.

Actually open the referring pages and see what the website is about, if the link is really there (use CTRL-F). When you do this, also look for content ideas, affiliate programs you can promote from your site, blogs you could do guest posts on. Keep your eyes peeled for other expired domains that are not on your list! This is a lot of work.

Also go to Archive.org and see what the website actually looked like when it was active. With the full version of Domain Hunter Gatherer you can actually download the old website with a few clicks. You can then use this to recreate the site by writing similar content, you can see the inside link structure and page titles.

Also, go to the Google Banned Checker and make sure the domain is not banned.

You can check the value of your domain at Estibot.

Scraping the Internet Yourself for Deleted Domains

Just to be complete, the last method of finding expired domains is scraping the web yourself. I am not going to detail this very much, but basically the idea is to find old pages, blogrolls, directories on the web that have a lot of links. You can check these with a broken link checker (not very efficient) or you can use a software to crawl and find the domains for you.

Domain Ronin costs $37 a week or $97 a month. It gives you all the metrics and even has a link spam checker.

Summary

So what are really your options when creating your domain list? Domain availability of course depends a lot on your niche.

  • In the best case scenario you can find an expired domain with an awesome link profile and thousands of links.
  • You can find a premium domain auction and buy a live domain for a few hundred dollars and verify its link structure.
  • You can find a deleted domain with a few hundred or thousand links.
  • You can find a deleted domain with a good keyword and no links, in which case you start from scratch just like when registering a new domain, but you can get ideas for availability from the list of deleted domain names.
  • In the worst scenario, you can decide not to buy the domain that looked so good just by the name and its age, and you can save all the trouble you would have gone through!

Finding a quality expired domain is a lot of work and it is not easy. After going through thousands of domains I can spot the patterns much easier.

My experience shows that the best domains with tens of thousands of backlinks get snatched up before expiration, or become subject of bidding wars.

If you follow the above procedure, you will find a few occasional gems with several thousand backlinks. Most of the domains will be in the 50-150 backlinks range with some slightly higher and some with close to zero links.

Here are some examples of what you can find for some keywords:

Hello Kitty domains

If you liked this post, please share it with your social media followers so they can also enjoy it.

I wish you the best luck!

Next to read: Building a $5K Site On An Expired Domain

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