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.
GoDaddy Auctions is a marketplace where GoDaddy lists domains that have expired and are in the renewal grace period. Apart from these GoDaddy also lists other domains, but the expiring auctions at GoDaddy are the most popular. Based on the percieved value of the domain, domainers and SEOs bid on these auctions. If the original owner does not renew the domain, the top bid wins the auction and gets the domain name.
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.
For example: If the domain name DomainSherpa.com is registered with Moniker (the registrar) and the domain name reaches expired status, within a few days of expiring the domain name will be listed at SnapNames.com (auction house partner to Moniker). Domain names are exclusive to one auction service, as an auction cannot take place at two locations.
What about option #4 - Redirect your existing domain to the old domain? I bought an old domain that is 100% relevant to my current domain but currently has with very little content. It did have more content fours years ago. The old domain is 13 years old, pr=3, while my current is 7 months old pr=1 and a decent amount of content. The old domain I purchased was not expired though and I do not know if this makes a difference. What are the pros and cons of option #4? Am I correct to think that option #1 would result in no benefit from the old domain's age value and if so why is it not listed as a con, a MAJOR one. Its hard to believe that a 301 using option 1 would give my existing domain 13 years credit but I'll take it if it does.
Backorders don’t take place if a domain name expires at a registrar that has an auction partner, unless no bids are placed at that auction partner prior to the expiration date. Backorders (when domains are “caught”) only happen when a domain name goes through the full lifecycle and expires, is removed from the registry’s database, and becomes available for new registration.

If you bid at NameJet *after* the domain name moves to Pending Delete status, then it’s too late for NameJet to take advantage of their relationship with eNom and take control of the name. So then eNom thinks, “no interest from NameJet users; we’ll just drop it” and it goes through the regular deletion process — where the fastest fingers can register it. In some cases, investors don’t want to pay the $59 or $69 fee at NameJet and if there are no bids they can likely get it for $18.99 at Pheenix or using other dropcatching services.
If you buy a dropped domain from Snap or Namejet, the backlinks seem to be worthless for SEO.  They are valuable for traffic if it's targeted to your site.  Go ahead and 301 redirect into your site because it's the traffic from the back links that is worth something.  I use the Google URL builder to redirect these names so you can see the domain the traffic is coming from.
Great post! I tried to repurpose an expired domain to build an authority site (your method 1) – but it doesn’t rank as it should. i checked the backlink profile via majestic and archive.org and it’s clean. also checked the metrics of the competition. with the amount of trust and link juice my expired domain has vs. the competition, it should be on page 1 for those keywords. is there something i’m missing here?
Ultimately, I was left with a semi-automated process of scraping sites and running an intricate series of processes to come up with a list of expired domains that I then had to evaluate by hand. This meant I had Majestic and Moz open to check the backlink anchor text and Archive.org to check for obvious spam for every single possible domain. The process was excruciatingly slow and tedious, but absolutely necessary to find domains that would be suitable for building out.
Great information! I’m actually looking to transfer one of my websites to other domain and I wasn’t so sure which should I choose it to make the best choice. I had no idea until now that you can use an expired domain. But what are the costs of such domains? But the expired domain aren’t very expensive? Due to the fact that they belonged to websites with great daily traffic? What is the price range of an expired domain?
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.
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.
We are a LauncHUB funded Startup that focuses on big data research of domain names and Whois information. SEO experts can use our unique system for finding expired domains with authority and backlinks. Investigators can use the same database to find information for domain owners and hosts with Reverse Whois and Reverse IP tools. We can also offer brands trademark monitoring in the vast pool of ccTLD domain names.

[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.
The biggest advantage of using expired domain names to earn cash online is that they belonged to a website that had already establish, registered with several search engines companies and has existing backlinks and traffic. In general, by making use of expired domain names you tap into the resources that were created by someone else to get rich within a short time unlike when you do all the dirty work to get your website recognized immediately.
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.
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