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.
Domain Hunter Gatherer also makes expired domain detection less painful. As I've mentioned above, finding drop domains on your own can be like taking shots in the dark, or trying to find a needle in a haystack. You’re more than welcome to try it, but I’m telling you, it’s not going to be a pleasant experience. With Domain Hunter Gatherer, you have many different options on how to search for drop domains. You can enter a search term and it will spit out sites that you can then crawl for dead links. You can then filter these dead links to see if they can be registered. You can also enter a site URL of a competitor and get dead links that way. You can even import web pages from Wikipedia or other websites to scan for dead links.
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?
DomCop has a great offer that all of you buying expired domains should consider. For the price of a couple domain names, you can use DomCop for a month, snag some excellent domain names, which would otherwise cost you thousands of dollars. If you're considering expired domain software and don't have the knowledge to program your own crawler, I'd lean towards DomCop.
The great thing about this is that it’s kind of like a metasearch engine for all the places that you can find expired domains around the web. First, let’s look at deleted domains. Okay? To do that, you go click on the deleted domains button here and then click on any top level domain that you want to get. I prefer .com because it’s obviously the most common top level domain.
Now a lot of time, you'll search for things and you'll think you're getting niche website's back, but actually, in fact, because of Google's shift towards big authority websites, you'll get things like Amazon listings. So if you don't want to end up crawling those big authority websites - and you want just the smaller ones, then you can make sure that the website, you'll crawl from the search engine results, is relevant by putting in a metadata requirement here. So any results that come back from the scrape of Google for any of these search terms, here you can say that they must contain one of these things, so what you can do is you can just put that your search terms in there back into there into the metadata requirement. So then, when a result comes back from google, it will loop through these line, separated terms and it'll say this is a homepage metadata, so the title, the keyword, the description, does it contain these?
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.
Sometimes people purchase domains that they plan to build a website on or sell in the future, but it just doesn’t end up happening. If an individual decides that it is no longer worth the yearly investment of keeping the domain in their account, they may choose to let it expire. Or, someone might just forget to renew the domain before the expiration date. If this happens, it’s a great chance for other domain investors to score rare domain names that are pending delete. Spending time perusing the list of recently dropped domains can be a worthwhile way to find high quality domains.
When searching from keyword DHG will take your list of keywords and search each one, the pages will then be crawled to find unique domains to check availability of. The process is relatively simple but very time consuming when done manually or semi automated as was necessary in the past. Luckily now the job can be set and left to work while you do something else.
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