- What Are Expired Domains?
- Why Consider Buying an Expired Domain?
- Do Expired Domains Still Work?
- Should I Buy an Expired Domain Name?
- What Are You Looking to Do With an Expired Domain?
- Can I Buy an Expired Domain?
- How Do I Find Out When a Domain Expires?
- Why Buy a Premium Domain?
- The Benefits of Buying Expired Domains
- How to Find Expired Domains
- How to Vet an Expired Domain
- Conclusion on Buying Expired Domains
If you’d like to discover how to buy expired domains, you’ve come to the right place. For years, we’ve been buying expired domains and benefiting from them, and you can too.
Here’s a word of caution: some expired domain names are duds, and may be of little benefit to you.
In this article, you will learn all about what expired domains – what they are, why to buy them, where to look for them, and how to look for expired domains that have value.
Before we go further, let’s really define what we’re talking about.
What Are Expired Domains?
We’re using the word buy, but as you might know, domain names are never really owned, but rather, rented (or, simply owned temporarily).
An expired domain is simply a domain that was registered at one point, and when the date for its renewal came up, it wasn’t renewed, and hence it’s currently expired (unless someone else renewed that domain name).
As a side note, expiring domains are domains that are either soon going to hit their expiry date (at which point the current owner can renew), or are domains that are in a grace period, which would allow the owner to renew.
Why Consider Buying an Expired Domain?
The biggest reason why one may consider buying an expired domain is the idea that an expired domain that once had a site on it may have some authority and SEO value.
That’s a broad statement, and domain names will vary in their past history and SEO value metrics.
Do Expired Domains Still Work?
That depends on a few things.
If you’re looking to buy an expired domain, then SEO vanity metrics are probably factors that help you determine which domains you may–or, just as important, may not–buy.
Should I Buy an Expired Domain Name?
Well, hopefully by the end of this article, you’ll have greater insight into whether you should buy an expired domain name–and not only that, but which domain names you should buy and which you should probably avoid.
What Are You Looking to Do With an Expired Domain?
There are a number of things you can do with an expired domain, and these include any combination of the following:
- Use it as a money site?
- Take advantage of the authority of its incoming link signals (sites that link to it)?
- Use it as part of a private blog network?
- Redirect it?
- Build a site on it and flip it?
Can I Buy an Expired Domain?
Yes, you definitely can. It’s more of a question of which metrics you should look at.
How Do I Find Out When a Domain Expires?
You can do a whois lookup for this.
Also, if a domain name is at an auction marketplace (like the ones listed below), it would be safe to reason that it’s either expired, or close to expiring.
Why Buy a Premium Domain?
A premium domain name is not necessarily an expired domain.
That said, a premium domain name is one that has some sort of branding potential to it. It’s usually a short, memorable .com domain.
The Benefits of Buying Expired Domains
There are a number of potential benefits of buying the right expired domains–emphasis on the word right.
Helps You Target the Right Traffic
If a domain name had a site that’s in the same market that you aspire to, then the belief is that if you build a site on that domain, its past authority will help it rank quicker and target the same type of traffic that it used to get.
Possibility of Pages Still In Google’s Index
This is rare, but depending on how recent an expired domain is, it could still have several pages in Google’s index. This is great because it could mean that if you build a site on that domain, and had content on the old URL, your new site could rank quicker and start getting traffic.
Let’s suppose that you find out that an expired domain you’re considering had content that’s targeted toward the same market that you’re in. You could essentially re-create the site that was on it (something easier said than done), and use that site as a feeder site for yours. The topical similarity of that expired domain would make it relevant to your site.
Previously, I mentioned metrics–saying things like vanity metrics and SEO value metrics.
To explain this, we have to go back a number of years ago.
Years ago, for practically every web page in its index, Google publicly displayed that page’s associated PageRank.
PageRank, in my definition, is a way for Google to show how important it thought a given page was. PageRank was on a scale of 0 to 10. Although there wasn’t a direct one-to-one link between a page’s PageRank score and its ranking, there was a lot of correlation, meaning that the higher a PageRank, the easier it would be for that page to rank for its given keyword.
These days, PageRank (although we think Google uses it privately) is not something that’s publicly displayed anymore.
But thankfully, SEO research houses, namely Moz and Majestic, have attempted to come up with their own metrics that reflect Google’s PageRank.
When it comes to buying expired domain names, some prospective buyers may look at a domain’s metrics in Moz and Majestic. Domain Authority and Page Authority are metrics that can be seen in Moz, and Trust Flow and Citation Flow are seen in Majestic.
You Can Possibly Rank and Restore Traffic Instantly
If an expired domain is still indexed in Google, you could, theoretically rebuild the site that was there and benefit from any traffic that goes to those pages. Again, it’s easier said than done, but it is a possibility.
Google Considers Domain Age When Ranking a Website
In a way, indexed domains are like wine: the older they are (that is, the longer they had a site in Google’s index), the better.
If you’ve ever had a new site on a new domain, you would have observed that it may take a while for it to rank in an appreciable position. The converse is also true: older sites tend to rank easier.
How to Find Expired Domains
There are many ways to find expired domains. Below, I’ll list a few expired domain marketplaces you can use to prospect for expired (and expiring) domains.
GoDaddy Auctions Domain Name Aftermarket
GoDaddy’s domain marketplace is probably one of the more well-known places where you can find expiring domains. As the name implies, these domains are at auction, so you may pay a steep price for a domain.
Domain drop catching is the registration of a domain name as soon as it ‘drops,’ or after the grace period where the owner has not renewed the domain.
That’s the idea behind Dropcatch, which is an auction marketplace where you can buy recently-expired domains.
The name says it all. As with the previous two markets, ExpiredDomains.net is where you can buy expired domains.
Of the four marketplaces listed here, I have to say…the home page of Spamzilla.io looks the most welcoming. It promises features that can be used to make the buying process much easier.
Of the expired domain marketplaces I mentioned, Spamzilla is one to consider.
How to Vet an Expired Domain
Earlier in this article, I gave a caution, stating that some expired domains are duds.
That’s why vetting an expired domain is a crucial step in the domain-buying process.
I mentioned domain metrics such as Domain Authority and Citation Flow. These, as well as others, are key factors to look at when buying an expired domain name.
Another factor you should also consider is the anchor text of the links coming to that domain. Anchor text is simply the clickable text of a link. If a significant portion of the anchor texts are spammy, or otherwise cause you to doubt, then perhaps think twice about buying such a domain.
Conclusion on Buying Expired Domains
I hope you now have a good understanding of how to buy expired domains. Just remember to properly vet an expired domain you’re considering to purchase (or rather, rent). This way, you have the assurance that the domain has value and that you can benefit from it.
SIA STAFF SEO WRITER
DK Fynn full bio here.