The bottom line is, drop domains deliver traffic. How come? When people register a drop domain and build a website on that domain, they often attract backlinks. They also can update their website and generate a community or a brand. Whatever the case is, there are four things that happen that results in traffic for those websites. They create a backlink footprint, which drives direct traffic. This backlink footprint also produces SEO benefits. The more these website owners promote their website, the more goodwill they build up in their target niches and online communities. Finally, the more they manage their online blog, website or information site, they gain some sort of presence on social media.
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).
[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.
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. 
Here's a test I have in process.  I bought an old $5 closeout domain from Godaddy TDname expired auction.  I put a quick minisite up and linked to it with a crazy anchor text phrase.  The domain is ranking for that crazy term now.  It's gone through one pagerank update and I'm waiting for a second to come.  Then I'll redirect the domain to another minisite.  I suspect the second site won't rank for the anhor text, but we'll see.  
Hundreds of thousands of domains expire everyday. While most of them are trash, quite a few are aged domains having excellent backlinks. These can be easily filtered using metrics from Majestic (Trust Flow) & Moz (Domain Authority). These are great for your money sites or for building private blog networks. Some of these domains have natural organic traffic, that can be determined by their SEMrush rank or the SimilarWeb data. These are great for domain parking or for promoting affiliate offers.
There are a lot of tools online that you can use to grab expired domain lists, but the tools that you can find here is unique because of its features. You will have great daily updated expired domains list with different TLDs that can be valuable for your work. This tools will find you deleted domains on different criterion. You can search by domain name search option and can have some great domains like you find on other websites like Fresh Drop, expired Domain, etc.
[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.
Hi Kulwant, these are great tips as usual. I particularly like the way to tell us to check the google pagerank in case the domain has been banned – that could lower the usefulness of the domain quite a bit. One thing though, don’t you think that buying domains is sometimes immoral? Like sometimes you accidentally buy a domain of somebody elses website who forgot to renew.
I’m trying to get a hold a domain name that’s the name of my business. The domain is “[domainremoved].com”. I own the “.US” version of it, but I really want the “.Com” version. It’s been registered since 2009 by Proxy Tech Privacy Services with Alpine Domains (registrar) and is expiring next month. They aren’t using the domain for anything other than a rip-off service to make websites. I got a quote to see how much they are charging for just the domain and it’s in the thousands! Ridiculous!!!
It is very possible that the owner has a recurring payment in place, or that the owner renews after it expires. Because GoDaddy gives a redemption period like all registrar, many domain name investors will actually allow their domains to go through auction to see what the “market value” is of a domain name and THEN renew it. It sucks if you’re the buyer thinking you won the auction. It happens often, unfortunately.
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.
So, what I like to do is also choose DMAS listed entry. No fake or no unsure page rank. Click the apply filter button and this will show us a much better group of websites, including a lot of high page rank websites. That’s one great thing about Go Daddy Auctions that you don’t have to guess about what the rank will be which is not the case with a lot of deleted domains which, because they were deindexed they didn’t have any content, they didn’t have any hosting, they don’t have any page rank. So, you have to make an estimation.
The third option is the one that's the most time consuming but also has its benefits. It's like having a successful restaurant and buying another restaurant and operating them simultaneously. They're not the exact same restaurant, but both are popular in their own right and make you money. The same goes for Option #3. You could update the content on the old domain and sell the same products that you're selling on your current site. If you can get both sites to rank alongside each other in the SERPs, you're increasing your conversion chances and sales potential.

The following TLDs are now fully supported with a deleted list and a droplist (pending delete list). .hn, .ht, .rw, .cr, .gl, .gy, .gs, .om, .qa, .ir, .pe, .com.pe, .tc, .ky, .th, .co.th, .ke, .co.ke, .uz, .kz, .pm, .re, .tf, .wf, .yt, .sx, .gd, .gi, .kg, .mu, .im, .ug, .sb, .tl, .st, .sm, .so, .sn, .pf, .nyc, .cloud, link, .ms, .mk, .af, .bi, .pr, .com.pr, .nf, .nc, .dm, .bo, .ki, .iq, .bj, .am, .as, .ax, .fo, .mg

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