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The second option requires a bit more time and effort than a 301 redirect. You could do a mini overhaul of the site and turn it into a microsite for your main domain. This option is good for exact-match domains for your targeted keyword, and there are other reasons for going the microsite route that Rand's highlighted in his post about root domains, subdomains, subfolders and microsites. This strategy also works better if the old domain has decent rankings for the keywords you're targeting.
Finally, if you were to manually check for drop domains, you have to jump through many hoops. It's a very labor intensive and often confusing process. When you see that a domain name is available, you shouldn’t just stop there. You should also pay attention to how many backlinks it had, how niche-specific the domain is, what kind of websites link to it, did it get signals from social media, and other indicators of quality. If you were to try to look for drop domains manually, it can be a very, very intimidating process. Thankfully, there is an easier solution.
Answer: Yes. For a vast majority of domain names that expire (greater than 99%+), the rules and processes listed above are valid. However, there appear to be exceptions to these rules. For example, registrars “warehouse” or take for their own domain name portfolios some domain names, and other domain names a renewed even past their expired or redemption periods. In addition, there is at least one registrar that does not have an auction partner, allowing expired domain names to simply drop and be available for hand register.
Lately I've noticed a lot of questions in Q&A centering on purchasing expired domains. A lot of our members have expressed interest in buying old domains for a variety of prices (some are cheap, some are going for upwards of $50k) and want some advice on what to do with the domains once they've been purchased. I'm no domainer, nor am I an expert in such a business tactic, but I generally recommend one of three different options for an expired domain (and would love to hear more if you've got any).
Why does this matter? What's the big deal? Well, unfortunately, the vast majority of domains registered are eventually abandoned. For some reason or another, people just fail to re-register or renew their domain name and that domain name drops or becomes available to the public. Of course, the obvious reason is that these people simply did not make money off the website that they put up with that domain. Other bloggers and website owners simply don't have the time, so they just gave up on their online projects. Whatever the case may be, by simply registering these expired domains, you can resurrect the value they bring to the table. With the four situations that I outlined above, you can benefit from those situations by simply registering a drop domain.
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2) prerelease auctions.  These are domains where the auction venue has contracted with the registrar, like Fabulous or Moniker, to auction off non-renewed domains.  Just before a domain enters the pending delete process, it goes to a private auction to any person who has backordered the name.  Some people feel that back links on these type of auctions still provide a SEO benifit. My testing indicates that there is zero SEO benifit when these domains are redirected into another site.  So if you get a domain with "pink squirels" in a lot of achor text to a domain and then point it at your domain, you don't rank for "pink squirels"
Once you get to this point you know there have been DMAS listed. They have a number of domains linking to them and according to the way back machine which is WBY, you can see their site age. So, if you want to go with an older site you can see right here whether or not this is a site that you might be interested in, but before pulling the trigger you do want to check two things.

Trust flow refers to the number of quality backlinks that a website has. If backlinks from websites that have a high domain and authority ranking point to your site; your website’s trust flow will increase. Trust flow is also measured on a scale of 1 to 100. If your website has a large number of backlinks, but they are not from trustworthy and reliable domains, your websites trust flow will be low. On the other hand, if you even have just a handful of backlinks to sites that search engines rank highly; your trust flow will increase.

While getting a new domain name will give your site a clean slate and allow you to start a fresh marketing campaign, you may not be aware of the fact that some expired domains come with a high Page Rank value. A company that buys such a domain will not have to work so hard on website promotion and backlink building techniques. Thanks for updating this really informative post!
A domain name that reaches expired status and is not renewed by the owner will be listed at an auction service (see FAQ for exception to this rule). The domain name does not immediately go into auction, but is immediately listed on the partnered auction service with an auction scheduled for the near future. Such a domain name will be exclusive to that specific auction service.
[1] On April 11, 2016, SnapNames (owned by Web.com) and NameJet (partnership between Web.com and Rightside) combined resources on pending delete/dropping domains to better compete with other drop catching services. Going forward, backorders placed on either platform for pending delete names will go into a common backorder pool and will be fulfilled either by NameJet or SnapNames depending on which platform the backorder was placed. Pending delete names that have multiple backorders will be placed in a common private auction accessible to bidders from both platforms to participate in the live auction. Minimum bid increments and proxy bidding rules for NameJet will be modified to match those of SnapNames. Registrar expiry, and direct lister inventory will not be affected by this integration.

Alternatively, you can monitor a domain name for free at a number of locations. DomainTools.com offers a free domain name monitor tool, as does DomainHole.com (both available with free member registration). Once you receive an email notification that a domain has changed status from active to expired, you can follow the process listed above to enter a bid at the auction partner site.
You can easily find domains using the best metrics available from Ahrefs, Moz, Majestic, SEMRush, Similar Web, SEMrush, Domain Scope and Social Networks. We buy only the best, the latest, and, the most comprehensive industry wide metrics so you have the maximum amount of information to make a decision. No other tool gives you access to 90+ metrics.
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