Referring domains for anchor phrases usually reveals similar information. What you really want to look out for is whether or not the site has been picked up by a spammer in the past. A lot of times these expired domains were dropped, picked up by a website owner who then tried to rank it for keywords like Viagra, Cialis and whatever. You obviously don’t want that kind of domain.

[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.
So, what to do? Simply, you must use someones other hard work and thinking. People have already contemplated all possible variations, synonyms, they know how domain names are valued, know about keywords, type-in traffic etc. Every day tens of thousands domains names are expiring. Every single day. That is hell of a lot expired domains to pick from. The reasons why people "let" domains expire are various. Could be somethins as banal as forgeting to renew, could be as serious as physical death. Many let domains expire because they don't need them any more. But that is not your bussiness to think about.
Answer: Many auction sites will allow you to backorder the domain name for free. Follow the process above to find the domain name registrar and auction partner site. Then sign up for an account at the auction partner site and enter a backorder. But remember, the domain name may transfer to another registrar at some point so refer to Step 1 above periodically.
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.
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.
But unless the domain name you want is undesirable to anyone else (e.g., it does not include real words or have a high search volume for the words), the odds are not in your favor. With over 210 million domain names registered and an active, worldwide domain name investing community, it is highly likely that someone else will also find interest in the domain name you are watching. As such, skip to Step 4.
What you really want to do first is scroll down to where it says, referring pages for anchor phrases. All that is is the anchor text distribution to that site. As you can see here this looks like a very natural link profile. Brand name, a product that they had, no text, URL, shopping cart, wireless government. These are the keywords that were related to what that site was about. Okay?
Now, a lot of times these great domains that have pending delete will get snapped up in a flash. Okay? You want to use the same system that’s 500,000 domains so you can always sort them by whatever you want to do to make sure you’re only looking at quality domains and look at the link profile the same way. Once you find one that you like, you can’t just sit on your computer at Go Daddy and wait for it drop on 6/14 and expect to get it because there’s going to be a lot of other people gunning for that domain. You actually have to use a service like Snap Name.
But unless the domain name you want is undesirable to anyone else (e.g., it does not include real words or have a high search volume for the words), the odds are not in your favor. With over 210 million domain names registered and an active, worldwide domain name investing community, it is highly likely that someone else will also find interest in the domain name you are watching. As such, skip to Step 4.

While getting a new domain name will give your site a clean slate and allow you to start a fresh marketing campaign, you may not be aware of the fact that some expired domains come with a high Page Rank value. A company that buys such a domain will not have to work so hard on website promotion and backlink building techniques. Thanks for updating this really informative post!
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!
While getting a new domain name will give your site a clean slate and allow you to start a fresh marketing campaign, you may not be aware of the fact that some expired domains come with a high Page Rank value. A company that buys such a domain will not have to work so hard on website promotion and backlink building techniques. Thanks for updating this really informative post!

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:
If your domain name was in fact stolen from you, please go file a police report as soon as possible. If, instead, you allowed your domain name to expire through carelessness or ignorance, then you’ve learned a valuable lesson: domains have value. I’m not saying this to be a jerk, I’m saying this because words matter and saying something was “stolen” when in fact it was allowed to expire is not truth. I’m happy to share my knowledge as clearly as possible for others to benefit from, and all I ask is that others do the same.
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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