I am a rather gray-hat affiliate marketer by trade, but I"m looking more into going into local SEO and blogging ventures that I feel will be most sustainable. I am having serious moral issues with using any of my link building strategies, but the one I'm struggling morally and long-term strategy-wise is the use of a manufactured link-juice-flowing-thick private blog network. I believe the majority of these will ultimately fall by the wayside in the future when their social value and content are proven to lack substance by machine reading and advanced social metrics. 
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). 

You can add it as part of a private blog network or you can 301 redirect an expired domain to your site to bring some trust and authority to your site. Now, in my experience, the best place to look for expired domains is this free website called expireddomains.net. So, you just have to head over there, make a free account and this is the page that you’ll see when you log in.


Now a lot of time, you'll search for things and you'll think you're getting niche website's back, but actually, in fact, because of Google's shift towards big authority websites, you'll get things like Amazon listings. So if you don't want to end up crawling those big authority websites - and you want just the smaller ones, then you can make sure that the website, you'll crawl from the search engine results, is relevant by putting in a metadata requirement here. So any results that come back from the scrape of Google for any of these search terms, here you can say that they must contain one of these things, so what you can do is you can just put that your search terms in there back into there into the metadata requirement. So then, when a result comes back from google, it will loop through these line, separated terms and it'll say this is a homepage metadata, so the title, the keyword, the description, does it contain these?

Warehousing: I have no clue to a percentage of warehoused domains but I know it happens. Tucows even admitted it on my blog “I know you don’t like that we’re allowed to select expiring names for the Tucows Portfolio rather than letting them all go to auction or drop but that seems to be something we have to agree to disagree about.” ~ Ken Schafer (1st comment) http://www.dotweekly.com/could-you-explain-tucows
If it contains any of those, then I am going to crawl it. Otherwise, I'm not going to because it's probably just something like an Amazon listing. Okay lets move on to the endless cruel. So this is the endless crawl. Basically, here you put your seed websites, one will do if it's a big website, because there's probably loads of domains on it. If it's a tiny, tiny a website, then you might want to stick a few more in so, as I was saying before, it will crawl on all the pages on these websites and then for each external domain that it finds on that website. It will check whether it's expired if it's not expired, it'll try and crawl it and then it will start the loop again, it'll try and take all the domains from there check that they are expired.
For example, placing your backorder at NameJet will reveal your interest to other potential buyers so if no other backorders are present you should wait until the last possible moment before the deadline to place your backorder — because if you’re the only backorder, you’ll get it for the minimum $39 bid on expiring names and it won’t go to auction.
I had two domains, a .com and .net with godaddy. I’m beyond their redemption period ($80 fee), but they said it should be released back to the public domain soon and I may be able to get it back. Before I knew this, I paid $12.99 plus ican fees for the .com thinking it was available as the rep told me she was able to add it their cart, and I paid a $24.95 fee for back ordering my .net domain. Shortly thereafter, I received an email from godaddy saying:

As you can see just within expired domains they have over two million deleted .com domains. Now, this is obviously overwhelming if you’re trying to look for domains. So, you should use a few filters to make the search process a lot easier. To do that, click on the search filter button. Down here I like to click on the Only With A DMAS Entry because that just filters out sites that are really spammy. For sites that that have been in DMAS ever, it means that the site had to be of some quality.
Sometimes people purchase domains that they plan to build a website on or sell in the future, but it just doesn’t end up happening. If an individual decides that it is no longer worth the yearly investment of keeping the domain in their account, they may choose to let it expire. Or, someone might just forget to renew the domain before the expiration date. If this happens, it’s a great chance for other domain investors to score rare domain names that are pending delete. Spending time perusing the list of recently dropped domains can be a worthwhile way to find high quality domains.
See https://www.domainsherpa.com/domain-name-dictionary/life-cycle-of-a-typical-gtld-domain-name/. They start it in auction listings after it expires and before pending delete. I don’t know the exact dates, but if you monitor it you’ll see it go from auction, to closeout, to drop. You’ll need an auctions.godaddy.com account (I believe $5 per year) to bid and buy.
For many reasons, these domain names expire and become available to the market. Perhaps the domain renewal fees are unpaid. The owner no longer needs the domain or business came to a halt. With the large pool of domain names that become invalid daily, investors who are looking to cash in on the traffic that they generate have to do extra work to find the most profitable every day. The trick is to find expired domains.
At the end of the day, this article is geared to startups, business entrepreneurs, webmasters and marketing professionals who need to understand the process, and I guestimate that the process listed in the article above accounts for 99%+ of all expired domain names. All of your points are valid and appreciated, but if someone is interested in buying a good, brandable domain name for their business, they should follow the instructions above to have the best chance of grabbing it.
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If you buy keyword specific domains, you're really buying the type in traffic.  I use the URL builder and redirect through that URL so you can see how much traffic your getting from the keyword domain.  There seems to be no rythme or reason to what keyword domains deliver traffic and what don't.  By tracking traffic with the Google URL builder you get a feel for what names are giving you traffic and which are not. ie. the plural, the singular, two words, three words, the possessive, etc.
Thanks, Michael. I cannot find the auction site house of this registrar. It IS up for auction, but it’s NOT fully expired nor dropped – so it appears as though using an automated domain name backorder service may not be the best course of action. The URL still renews every year and is not set to expire until June 2016. The registrar is DOMREG LTD and seems to be tied in to LIBRIS.com. Any suggestions? I just need to ensure my $ is going to the actual entity that’ll grant me the URL. I’m unclear how to avoid paying $ for the URL to a company/service that can’t actually do anything for me (i.e., getting ripped off). Thanks for any direction you can offer.

What I like to do is sort by DP which stands for domain pop, and this is basically the number of linking root domains. So, BL is the number of back links. As you know that can be somewhat misleading if they have a lot of site wide links or multiple links from the same domain. I like to sort by domain pop. What that does is it brings up the sites with the most amount of referring domains.
Answer: Registrars are not set-up to negotiate the selling price of expiring domain names. Their technical support team likely won’t even know what you’re referring to, let alone who to refer your inquiry to. It’s likely your offer won’t even be worth their time to handle. Unless you know the founder, president or chief operating officer of the registrar, you won’t even be able to have a dialogue about it. In addition, depending on how they interpret the ICANN registrar rules, it may not even be possible.
See https://www.domainsherpa.com/domain-name-dictionary/life-cycle-of-a-typical-gtld-domain-name/. They start it in auction listings after it expires and before pending delete. I don’t know the exact dates, but if you monitor it you’ll see it go from auction, to closeout, to drop. You’ll need an auctions.godaddy.com account (I believe $5 per year) to bid and buy.
A brand new domain, for instance, will have to wait for a few days before getting indexed by Google and other search engines, and then its owner will need to go through the tedious process of search engine optimization, which takes time and financial resources. High authority expired domain names on the other hand, offer a short cut and allow you to get down to business straight away.
It will just go on and on and on endlessly, so that really is like a set and forget setting. Okay, now before I show you it in action, I'll just skim over some of these stats stuff. Here this is pretty self-explanatory really so that's the amount pages crawled so far, that's how many pages were crawling per minute, so once it's been running for a minute that that'll date and they'll update every minute after that. That is if the websites are blocking are crawl. Thatw how many websites currently are been crawled, so how many websites have been crawled. That's if we have it have it had any registrar errors, so we fired off some domains to see if they're available or not and there's been any errors in checking them it displays there.
Finally, you want to head over to domaintools.com. Then put the domain into here. What this will do is it’ll show you the history of the domain, because a lot of times these domains have been dropped like four or five times and a lot of people in SEO feel this way. I’m not sure about it. If a domain has been dropped several times, then Google does actually devalue the links pointing to that domain. So, as you can see I just changed registrars a few times and it hasn’t been dropped or else it’ll say one drops or two drops.

If it contains any of those, then I am going to crawl it. Otherwise, I'm not going to because it's probably just something like an Amazon listing. Okay lets move on to the endless cruel. So this is the endless crawl. Basically, here you put your seed websites, one will do if it's a big website, because there's probably loads of domains on it. If it's a tiny, tiny a website, then you might want to stick a few more in so, as I was saying before, it will crawl on all the pages on these websites and then for each external domain that it finds on that website. It will check whether it's expired if it's not expired, it'll try and crawl it and then it will start the loop again, it'll try and take all the domains from there check that they are expired.
Page authority ranking criteria are similar to domain authority. It’s ranked on a scale of 1 to 100. Page Authority measures the predictive ranking of a web page. The page authority of a website can change depending on various metrics. Search engines examine the relevance and authority of a page based on its contents and external links. If a webpage has links to higher authority sites and has keywords in it, its authority ranking will increase.
Although I have one query (this answer does answer it, but I have a doubt)… I just bought a domain which had the creation date as 2010 but after acquisition upon checking I found that it has been reset to 2014. So, from what I understand from your article, this could not be undone anyways because this particular domain’s status said as ‘Expired’ and I got it for under $10 from godaddy?
1. Some domain names don’t go to auction and are instead held by the registrar in their own portfolios (you called this “warehousing” by the registrar). This is probably less than 0.001% of the domain names….actually, probably even less. I suspect it would only be premium domain names with massive exact match local search quantities. Not surprisingly, I cannot find any information from registrars about their procedure, quantities of domains their keep, or ICANN’s rules (if any) about this.
Your course of action really depends on how much work and effort you can put into the expired domain. If you're barely able to maintain and optimize your current site, you probably want to just 301 redirect the old site (note: see my amended comment above about the link value not likely to be passed). If, however, you're more creative and have some time on your hands, you can try your hand at crafting a microsite. If you really know your stuff and are experienced at making money off various websites, you'd probably do well with the third option.
I wish I could tell you that expired domains are some sort of magic bullet solution to all your traffic problems and headaches. Unfortunately, if I were to say that to you, I would be lying. There are drawbacks. Just like with anything else in life, there are advantages and disadvantages. The problems with expired domains is that they are often hard to find on your own. You can take wild guesses and waste a lot of time, effort and energy, and end up with nothing. Also, if you were to try to scope out drop domains by trying to find them in the most common way, which is to use a drop domain exchange, expect to pay a lot of money. Why? Because of heavy competition. Keep in mind that you’re not the only person who knows that dropped domains can bring a lot of traffic to the table. There are many other online marketers out there that realize drop domains' traffic value.
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