1) pending delete auctions.  These are domains that were not renewed and are going through a pretty complicated drop process.  You can backorder these names at the auction venues and then each attempts to "catch" the dropping domain.  If one is successful you win the domain at $59 if you're the only one to backorder the name.  If more than one person backordered the domain a 3 day private auction is held.  Once the domain goes through the drop process, the back links have pretty much zero SEO benifit to the new domain owner.
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.
If you *really* want to be sure the auction partner is NameJet (because it’s a name you cannot afford to lose in the drop), you can email the technical support team at SRSPLUS and ask them if they follow the same expiration/auction procedures as Network Solutions. Be specific and ask, “Will the domain name, (fill in), expire and be available for auction on NameJet.com as the process is listed at https://www.domainsherpa.com/how-to-grab-an-expiring-domain-name/?”
The advanced search feature lets you limit by domain extension What URL Domain Extensions Stand For and Why They Are Needed What URL Domain Extensions Stand For and Why They Are Needed There's a lot more to the internet that just .com, .org, and .net sites. The world of top-level domains exploded a few years ago. But what is a TLD? Let's find out. Read More , age, number of characters, and type. Types include expiring, auction, buy now, and more.

If you are pursuing option 1, then you will want to use an automated service for the reasons mentioned in the article. Follow the process in the article to see which registrar the domain name is located at. If it’s at a Auction House like GoDaddy, NameJet or SnapNames, I believe they publicly share if there is a backorder on a domain name but not who placed that backorder. (Any interest in a domain name may be enough for someone else to place a backorder, thereby driving interest in the domain name that may be visible to the registrant.) So if the domain is at a registrar partnered with one of these companies, then you’ll have to monitor it manually (via calendar entries based on the whois expiration data) to maintain your distance.
That’s awesome. For someone that’s willing to “dial for dollars”, I bet there would be a percentage that would convert. It’s a funnel, and the more you put in the top, the more you’ll get out the bottom. 66% success rate sounds high, but I have no data…one would have to try it and see. If anyone is interested, I’d love to interview you after you’ve made the calls and gathered the data!
Referring domains for anchor phrases usually reveals similar information. What you really want to look out for is whether or not the site has been picked up by a spammer in the past. A lot of times these expired domains were dropped, picked up by a website owner who then tried to rank it for keywords like Viagra, Cialis and whatever. You obviously don’t want that kind of domain.
The whitelist filter for wanted characters is now split into three filters. The old whitelist is now named whitelist (only). When used, the domain has to consist only of the defined characters or numbers. No other characters are allowed. The new whitelist (any) filter finds domains that have at least one of the defined characters or numbers. The new whitelist (all) filter finds domains that have all defined characters or numbers at least once.
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