I am interested in a domain name that is set to expire in April 2016. The domain is registered with Domain.com, so I have placed a backorder on Snapnames.com (thanks for confirming I at least did that part right). I also placed backorders with NameJet.com and Pool.com, based on previous advice I received. Now I’m wondering if that might be overkill since Snapnames is the designated auction house. Will I ultimately end up bidding against myself?
While traffic, as an abstract, is fairly easy to understand and get, getting it on a consistent basis is another matter entirely. That’s why a lot of affiliate marketers who are serious about generating online traffic are quickly paying attention to drop domains. Drop domains is not a new phenomenon. People have been registering drop domains for many years now to scoop up traffic that those domains still attract. However, as Google continues to crack down, and as more social media platforms impose anti marketing rules, or rules that have an anti marketing effect, drop domains have become more prominent in the online marketing landscape. If you would like to tap into a fairly easy and potentially powerful source of online traffic, consider drop domains.
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Finally, just because you have an idea doesn’t mean that you have more rights to a domain name. That’s not the way the system works. For example, Microsoft owns more than 75,000 domain names. Surely they’re not using them all — but they were acquired through purchasing businesses, hand registering them for business ideas, defensively registering them, etc. And they have the right to do so, just like you do for any idea that they have yet to come up with…just like a real estate investor does for a plot of land they have no intention of building upon for the next decade…just like an art collector does who wraps a Picasso and puts it in their basement.
It’s easier to rank higher with expired domains: Depending upon your domain age, page authority, trust flow, expired domains tend to rank really well when compared to new domains. Most new domains don’t have any DA, page authority or trust flow so it’s really harder to rank well in Google. This won’t happen with the expired domains as they are already established well and might be getting decent amount of traffic from search engines.
At the end of the day, this article is geared to startups, business entrepreneurs, webmasters and marketing professionals who need to understand the process, and I guestimate that the process listed in the article above accounts for 99%+ of all expired domain names. All of your points are valid and appreciated, but if someone is interested in buying a good, brandable domain name for their business, they should follow the instructions above to have the best chance of grabbing it.
Finally, you want to head over to domaintools.com. Then put the domain into here. What this will do is it’ll show you the history of the domain, because a lot of times these domains have been dropped like four or five times and a lot of people in SEO feel this way. I’m not sure about it. If a domain has been dropped several times, then Google does actually devalue the links pointing to that domain. So, as you can see I just changed registrars a few times and it hasn’t been dropped or else it’ll say one drops or two drops.
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).

When a domain name that was previously registered expires, it goes through a grace period that allows the previous registrant one last chance to reclaim their domain before it becomes available to new buyers. If the previous registrant still has not renewed their domain after the 77 day deletion process, the domain name will officially expire and enter the Aftermarket.

Simple question: say I get the URL I want via auction for however umpteen hundreds of dollars, what about the renewal prices? Am I at the mercy of the auction house every year I want to renew it? Is it as simple as paying 10 or 15 bucks a year like with GoDaddy with a URL I got not through an Auction? I’m willing to pay for the desired URL up front but I don’t know what that entails down the pike.

There is no easy way to explain “all” things about expired domain names. As you stated Michael, Network Solutions domain names go to the partnered domain auction service NameJet.com BUT, not “all” do… NSI customers have the option to opt-out of having expired domains go to auction. If a customer picks this option, the domain name would go through the drop process and go PendingDelete around the 71st day after the expire date. When it is released from the registry, the domain name is fair game to the major dropcatching services and the private ones. This still doesn’t mean anybody would grab it, and the domain may become available to hand register.
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?
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.