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.
Since high quality expired domains are in low supply, the huge numbers of marketers competing for those drop domains tend to drive prices up. Also, if you use an exchange, you’re basically lucky to get whatever you can afford. In other words, niche specificity isn't guaranteed. This is going to be a problem because as Google continues to evolve, it is cracking down on domain niche relevance. In other words, its software is fast evolving to the point that it can tell what the niche of a particular domain is. If your private blog network is a patchwork of expired domains that involve many different and dissimilar niches, then you might be in trouble. You are at great risk of being penalized by Google.
What DomCop does for you, is show you a list of all these domains along with important metrics for every domain. These metrics, along with our powerful filtering and sorting capabilities, will help reduce the size of the daily list from 200,000+ to just a handful of the very best domains. What would take you hours, will now literally take you seconds to do.
I like to also click on the No Fake PR’s and No Unsure PR’s because a lot of fake page rank or page rank that’s been manipulated in the past and you want to make sure any authority that you see is real. Once you’ve picked all the criteria you want to choose, click on the apply filter button. This took our list from two million to 237. Now, even within that, that’s kind of overwhelming.
Also, I currently have two other domains that are registered with Squarespace, and I have their annual payments set up automatically so I never have to manually pay (and so nobody else gets that window of opportunity to take the domain away from me). Would it be possible that the owner of this domain might just have a similar system in place and that I might be wasting my time?
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!
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.  
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.
NameJet is $69 or $79 per backorder, so there’s that. And they don’t have the best drop catching technology. If they’re an auction house partner, then they always get them but that’s because they’re partners not because their drop catching technology is great. Plus, when you put a backorder at NameJet that’s public information and other investors can see your domain name backorder with one bid.
[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.
When you see one that looks pretty good you can just click on the bid button and you’ll be taken to Go Daddy Auctions which shows some more information about the domain bidding process, how many people have bid, the traffic potential per month, the price which is now $12. How much time is left? You can make a bid. It’s based on the link profile and it’s relevancy, authority and your budget. This domain looks like a good bet for you.

Finally, if you were to manually check for drop domains, you have to jump through many hoops. It's a very labor intensive and often confusing process. When you see that a domain name is available, you shouldn’t just stop there. You should also pay attention to how many backlinks it had, how niche-specific the domain is, what kind of websites link to it, did it get signals from social media, and other indicators of quality. If you were to try to look for drop domains manually, it can be a very, very intimidating process. Thankfully, there is an easier solution.
ExpiredDomains.net gathers all the information you need to find good Expired Domains that are Pending Delete and you can Backorder. Depending on the domain extension you can search through thousands of domains every day before they get released to the public and pick what you like. ExpiredDomains.net currently supports 473 TLDs. From the classic gTLDs like .com, .net, .org to Droplists for ccTLDs you can only find here and now we even support some of the best new gTLDs like .xyz and .club.
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