Regarding my statement above, “Any domain name that reaches expired status and is not renewed by the owner will be auctioned by an auction service.”–it did overstretch. I’ve modified it to be: “A domain name that reaches expired status and is not renewed by the owner will be listed at an auction service (see FAQ for exception to this rule).” Then I added a FAQ to clarify. Please check my thinking:
Searching for a suitable domain name for your website can be quite trying. The reason for this is that the names that you want to get have already been assigned and are not available. As an SEO you know the importance of getting a domain name that describes your business as closely as possible. For example, if you are running a car rental service, you will look for a domain name that has the words ‘car’ and ‘rental’ in it. So if you can’t find a suitable name, you could use the expired domains tool which might show you domain names that would meet your requirements.
Your best chance of getting it is contacting the current registrant and negotiating to buy it. After that, your best chance is buying it in auction or finding it listed with a “buy it now” price at a marketplace. Your other option is to find a broker who can negotiate on your behalf (if the domain name sells for a few thousand or higher…brokers likely won’t have the time or inclination to negotiate smaller deals).
To get the most from GoDaddy Auctions, you should first decide on the way you want to evaluate the domains. Domainers tend to look at the words in the domain name, while SEOs care about the backlink equity. If you are a domainer, you should look at Estibot, Domain Index or Valuate scores. If you are an SEO, you should look at the Ahrefs, Moz and Majestic metrics to gauge the value of the backlinks. Once you have figured this out, you should look at these numbers for every domain you find on GoDaddy Auctions. Do not be afraid of bidding on the Closeout auctions, as you can get good domains for cheap.
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.

2) prerelease auctions.  These are domains where the auction venue has contracted with the registrar, like Fabulous or Moniker, to auction off non-renewed domains.  Just before a domain enters the pending delete process, it goes to a private auction to any person who has backordered the name.  Some people feel that back links on these type of auctions still provide a SEO benifit. My testing indicates that there is zero SEO benifit when these domains are redirected into another site.  So if you get a domain with "pink squirels" in a lot of achor text to a domain and then point it at your domain, you don't rank for "pink squirels"

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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.
* “Thousands of domain names that reach expired status never make it to any auction service and are released by the registry.” I think this is only if the registrar a) has an auction partner and b) nobody places a bid at the auction house. In that case, it drops normally and is deleted from the registry and available for anyone to hand register — including backorder services like SnapNames.com or Pool.com. I’m not sure why a registrar wouldn’t list an expiring domain name at the auction house as it could lead to extra revenue for them. Can you, Jamie?
When you are searching for the expired domain which you might consider buying, you can conduct expired domains search and learn how to buy expired domains. Or you can take an easier route and go to searchenginereports.net from your browser’s search bar. Once you are on the site, click on the ‘Free SEO Tools’ icon. Scroll down the list of free SEO tools icons till you come to ‘Expired Domains Tool’ icon.

The dropdate for the following TLDs is not verified. Domains might drop earlier or later: .eu .cat .travel .ae .af .as .at .aw .be .bg .bi .bj .bo .bw .cl .co .cx .cz .dk .dm .es .fi .fo .fr .gd .gg .gi .hk .hr .hu .ie .io .iq .ir .je .jp .ki .kz .lt .lu .lv .md .mg .mx .nl .nc .nf .no .nz .pe .pf .pl .pt .ru .sg .si .sm .sn .so .st .su .sx .to .uk .uz .za .berlin .cloud
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