Why look for expired domains
Every purchase of a domain is followed by a contract for its use for a specific period. At the end of the term, it’s necessary to renew this contract. The domain is treated as expired in the absence of such renewal and gets into the domain enlistment center where it becomes available for other buyers (for re-enlistment).
What are the benefits of using an expired domain?
Target relevant traffic to your website
Plenty of the forlorn websites are abandoned together with their audience that could be rather helpful since growing huge traffic takes months to accomplish.
Use 301 redirect to drive users towards your website. It’s a kind of a protocol (status code) that highlights the way to the most relevant page and ensures that the backlink value is directed appropriately without landing visitors on the old page. The setup process depends on the webserver you’ve got.
Create a microsite
One can use an expired domain if it’s necessary to build a separate web-page or a cluster of web-pages. It allows them to work independently but within the same website, helps increase brand awareness and reach high ranks in the SERP along with the brand’s main web resource.
Build the website network
If you’re going to acquire satellites or PBN (Private Blog Network developed to grow incoming links), expired domains are right here to provide the main website with the top-quality external backlinks in order to increase its current citation index and PR (Page Rank).
Recover the old website
Even the perfect website might fail when its owner has no opportunity to make investments for keeping the site afloat. Fortunately, there’re tons of top-notch sites on the internet that feature large traffic and excellent reputation. An expired domain comes in handy for restoration.
How to spot expired domain names with traffic
Expired domains with poor traffic are useless and winning a chook raffle can be a challenge. It’s crucial to check the domain you’re going to grab, and plenty of advanced platforms and software can help a lot. Let’s see how you can find a great domain with traffic.
Check the domain you like
You probably have a preferable domain name in mind. To make it work for your sake, it’s important to initiate WHOIS Lookup and check its registration and expiration date, the current owner and their contacts. To that end, you can enter the dedicated platform WHOis.net, GoDaddy or other provider’s solution.
For example, you’re interested in the blog Migrationology domain. Here is what its registration information looks like:
Sometimes, it may be necessary to verify the details since some registrars prefer not to share information. To make it available, you should enter that company’s website and get all that you need right from the “weasel’s mouth.”
Resort to domain registrars
You can directly address domain registrars that are mandated to create new domain names and extend their validity. They store all domain name records in the dedicated registry and are licensed to sell domain name extensions.
As a rule, such platforms feature the expiring domains for auctions. FreshDrop delivers tons of settings to pick the optimal domain – extensions, age, price range, etc. For example, you can choose the “Travel” category if it’s relevant to your niche.
Then, you can analyze the results and choose the domain to bid or to add it to your watch list.
However, such services are not free and you should buy a plan to make all the domain names and the settings available.
Go to auctions
Auctions are another type of platforms that sell domain names, only in this case, the price depends on demand.
- NameJet allows bidding if you create an account and attach credit card details. You should pay a 2.5% fee for either a purchase or a sale. On the flipside, this aftermarket platform has no paid packages.
- Flippa is remarkable for the opportunity to buy domains, websites and applications. The platform includes many tips and tutorials to help people understand its services. If selling the domain, you should pay $15/month plus commission from a successful sale.
- Sedo offers more than 18,000,000 domains, but doesn’t display their pricing on the website. This domain auction provides you with a broker to negotiate with the seller. It’s possible to even ask a broker to complete a sale of a domain that hasn’t been listed with Sedo yet.
How to buy a domain at the auction? As a rule, sellers estimate the price (a starting bid) and bidding timeframe, while buyers make counteroffers, and the most attractive proposal wins. Some auctions display fixed prices and it’s possible to get a domain without bidding on it. The costs depend on the domain age, traffic, ranks and niche.
Besides, to get more accurate results, it’s possible to use such filters as domain extensions, high and minimal bid amount, the number of characters, date of expiration and some others.
Use domain name marketplaces
Some online tools can also facilitate your search of the expiring or expired domains. ExpiredDomains.net is free to see all the expired domains and their prices. It’s also possible to pick variants according to your niche.
FreshDrop.net is free, easy and also one of the most popular services. You can enter any keyword and use filters to achieve precise results fast. Moreover, this software considers plenty of SEO and traffic parameters to let you find out the most appropriate domains. However, to get more desirable results, it’s necessary to pay $32.95 per month.
RegisterCompass also helps find expired and deleted domains. To access its database records, you’ll need to provide personal information and pay $347/year.
Audit the domain
Since the domain characteristics have an impact on the website’s promotion, it’s crucial to audit an expired domain you’re going to acquire. Here are some benchmarks to consider before the purchase.
How to make an objective assessment of the backlink profile? It should contain valid links from other websites within the niche. Also, pay attention to the balance between the links from small blogs and large, authority platforms. For example, many spammy links lead to the assumption that the website was a cell in a private blog network, which Google strongly opposes. A reputable natural-looking profile is able to initiate SERP visibility since it demonstrates the website’s true value.
It’s possible to check backlinks with dedicated software. Google Webmaster Console, one of the most popular tools, is suitable for domain leasing, while other tools like OpenLinkProfile have wider functionality. If you enter the URL, you’ll be provided with the following options free:
- Check the website’s rankings in Google, Google mobile and Bing.
- Identify your ranks on YouTube, Facebook and AMP.
- Track keywords’ positions.
- Create keyword groups automatically.
- Monitor local businesses.
Another great tool is Majestic. It helps analyze backlinks and understand the goals of the previous website owner. It features plans from $49.99 to $399 per month and from $41.67 to $333.33 per month if paid annually.
PageRank and MozRank
This metric is indispensable to check how high your website ranks. MozRank analyzes DA (domain authority)/PA (page authority) on a scale from 0 to 100. The higher the score, the more chances you have to reach top ranks. Note that DA checks the performance of the whole website while PA evaluates one webpage value.
To measure these indicators, it’s possible to use a range of free tools – MozBar, Link Explorer, Keyword Explorer’s SERP Analysis section, etc. Almost every reputable marketing platform features such tools.
Don’t look for the perfect DA since you should focus on your main rivals and just try to get a higher score than they managed to achieve.
Basically, the older the domain, the larger its value. Google and other engines pay more attention to old domains, and you should take that into account.
One can find out the domain age when making WHOIS lookup. Below is an example of how to check the domain age for the travel blog Travel Break.
The date of the domain’s first registration is the starting point of its age, meaning that if you buy the expired domain and register it again, there’s no need to count the website’s age anew. The website age is counted from its publication date, so the domain age is not really important if you build a new website.
This metrics is necessary for search engine optimization and is used by Google to evaluate a website’s value. Non-indexed web pages don’t exist on the internet.
That’s why it’s important to check whether the website is indexed by Google and how many pages are indexed. There are several ways of checking Google Index:
- Enter Google Console, open the fold “Index Google,” and choose “Index Status.”
- Type the operator “site” in your search queries – “site:URL.”
- Use relevant SEO tools, like Small SEOTools, DupliChecker and more.
Besides, it’s necessary to check whether the pages are indexed correctly. To that end, you should check a sitemap and robots.txt file.
How to take full advantage of expired domains
Acquiring a solid expired domain allows you to make use of the website’s previous ranking and SEO power. You’ll be able to develop the domain authority on the base of existing content and backlinks. Besides, you can take up domain flipping and just resell the expired domain for profit after you’ve bought and added more SEO value.