Searching for a suitable domain name for your website can be quite trying. The reason for this is that the names that you want to get have already been assigned and are not available. As an SEO you know the importance of getting a domain name that describes your business as closely as possible. For example, if you are running a car rental service, you will look for a domain name that has the words ‘car’ and ‘rental’ in it. So if you can’t find a suitable name, you could use the expired domains tool which might show you domain names that would meet your requirements.
What about option #4 - Redirect your existing domain to the old domain? I bought an old domain that is 100% relevant to my current domain but currently has with very little content. It did have more content fours years ago. The old domain is 13 years old, pr=3, while my current is 7 months old pr=1 and a decent amount of content. The old domain I purchased was not expired though and I do not know if this makes a difference. What are the pros and cons of option #4? Am I correct to think that option #1 would result in no benefit from the old domain's age value and if so why is it not listed as a con, a MAJOR one. Its hard to believe that a 301 using option 1 would give my existing domain 13 years credit but I'll take it if it does.
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.

Quite a lot of the time majestic trust flow will be great but ref domains below 10 but when I check ahrefs its considerably higher for ref domains. Without ahrefs I would of passed over these domains and missed out. Worthwhile addition if your building a lot of pbns. I also use linkultra backlink for my final spam check as it checks language,site type and if backlinks are comment, profile spammed etc enabling me to check if the backlinks of the domain are solid very quick.

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.
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).
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.
Surely if you purchase a domain (domain1.com) and redirect it to your existing domain (domain2.com) you expect to loose all ranking for domain1.com. If 301's are used then the objective is simply to pass on authority, not dominate the search results with 2 domains. If you want to keep domain2.com in the index then you would take Rebecca's option 2 or 3.
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.

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.

1) pending delete auctions.  These are domains that were not renewed and are going through a pretty complicated drop process.  You can backorder these names at the auction venues and then each attempts to "catch" the dropping domain.  If one is successful you win the domain at $59 if you're the only one to backorder the name.  If more than one person backordered the domain a 3 day private auction is held.  Once the domain goes through the drop process, the back links have pretty much zero SEO benifit to the new domain owner.
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.

If you buy a domain from a 3rd party, the backlinks are valuable.  I always wait a few months before redirecting, so just set up a quick minisite until two page rank updates have passed and then go ahead and 301 redirect.  However, it seems that you'll get the link juice from the back links, the anchor text is ignored by Google.   Buying a domain at Godaddy TDName expired auctions, seem to not count as a dropped domain if you immediately set up a mini-site.


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.
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"

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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