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.
Next, some of these expired domain names have ranked in high authority sites that are ranked or had ranked themselves. Besides, some of these domain names are worth a fortune. For example, domain names sell for about ten to twenty dollars each. However, those that are the most sought after can go for over $ 2500 a month because they have lots of traffic back links or rankings.The last advantage is that you don’t have to spend much to find expired domains.
Great article on what to look for when buying expired domains! I’ve looked at the domain and page authority of expired domains but haven’t checked if they are blocked by Google like you’ve listed. I haven’t pulled the trigger yet to purchase one (probably good that I didn’t since I didn’t do all my homework) but this will make it easier to finally go. Thanks for the great info!

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.
Hi Michael, thanks for the excellent writeup. I followed your steps and found that the domain name I’m seeking is currently registered with GoDaddy. Interestingly enough, I actually owned this domain name almost a decade ago, but out of laziness (at the time), I didn’t renew the registration. Someone else snatched it around the same time and has had it since. The website is dormant, with only an embedded video playlist from a YouTube account last updated over a year ago. The website itself hasn’t changed in appearance for several years.

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.
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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