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.
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?
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"

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.
I'm running the new Mac edition of Domain Ronin and I have to tell you it's extremely stable. I'm getting about 250k pages every 5 minutes which equates to about 2700 checked domains. At the moment it's only using about 1 gig of memory for 100 threads. I've got the page count and other settings to the max. The builtin features like TF and spam checking on the fly are wicked helpful.
Premium Domain names are domains that are already registered, but are available for sale at a higher price. Sometimes it will be an individual selling the domain, or it could be the domain registry (Like Donuts Inc. or Radix) selling their top quality inventory at a higher price point. These domains can be priced anywhere from a couple extra bucks to millions, depending on the domain name, the level of interest, or the amount of traffic it organically receives.
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.
I've seen some people comment about losing the link value of domains that have expired and picked up, but what about non-expired domains?  Let's say a competitor is going out of business and they still have a year or two left, and we buy their domain and site.  Is there a risk changing registrant info and registrars, even if I keep their site up and mostly the same as before?  I was under the impression that I'd want to keep it under their name so as not to hit the uber-reset button on the domain's inbound link value.
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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