I wish I could tell you that expired domains are some sort of magic bullet solution to all your traffic problems and headaches. Unfortunately, if I were to say that to you, I would be lying. There are drawbacks. Just like with anything else in life, there are advantages and disadvantages. The problems with expired domains is that they are often hard to find on your own. You can take wild guesses and waste a lot of time, effort and energy, and end up with nothing. Also, if you were to try to scope out drop domains by trying to find them in the most common way, which is to use a drop domain exchange, expect to pay a lot of money. Why? Because of heavy competition. Keep in mind that you’re not the only person who knows that dropped domains can bring a lot of traffic to the table. There are many other online marketers out there that realize drop domains' traffic value.
Thanks, Michael. I cannot find the auction site house of this registrar. It IS up for auction, but it’s NOT fully expired nor dropped – so it appears as though using an automated domain name backorder service may not be the best course of action. The URL still renews every year and is not set to expire until June 2016. The registrar is DOMREG LTD and seems to be tied in to LIBRIS.com. Any suggestions? I just need to ensure my $ is going to the actual entity that’ll grant me the URL. I’m unclear how to avoid paying $ for the URL to a company/service that can’t actually do anything for me (i.e., getting ripped off). Thanks for any direction you can offer.
If you bought the domain name, the typical procedure is to unlock the domain name, then either push it to your account at the same registrar (such as https://www.domainsherpa.com/how-to-push-a-domain-name-at-godaddy-com/) or send you the authorization code so you can transfer the domain name to a different registrar (https://www.domainsherpa.com/how-to-transfer-a-domain-name-to-another-registrar/).
See https://www.domainsherpa.com/domain-name-dictionary/life-cycle-of-a-typical-gtld-domain-name/. They start it in auction listings after it expires and before pending delete. I don’t know the exact dates, but if you monitor it you’ll see it go from auction, to closeout, to drop. You’ll need an auctions.godaddy.com account (I believe $5 per year) to bid and buy.

The easiest way to see that is to go to HREFs and look at the anchor text. It reveals right away whether or not the site has been spammed. You also want to see if it’s been SEO’d too much. Right? In this case, it’s not because it has a brand name here and some natural keywords, but if the number one anchor text was like, cell phone management system and then the next one was like cheap cell phone management system, you’d know that the anchor text was manipulated and probably overly SEO’d. So, what you want as a site that has a natural link profile.
A brand new domain, for instance, will have to wait for a few days before getting indexed by Google and other search engines, and then its owner will need to go through the tedious process of search engine optimization, which takes time and financial resources. High authority expired domain names on the other hand, offer a short cut and allow you to get down to business straight away.
If you bought the domain name, the typical procedure is to unlock the domain name, then either push it to your account at the same registrar (such as https://www.domainsherpa.com/how-to-push-a-domain-name-at-godaddy-com/) or send you the authorization code so you can transfer the domain name to a different registrar (https://www.domainsherpa.com/how-to-transfer-a-domain-name-to-another-registrar/).
The biggest advantage of using expired domain names to earn cash online is that they belonged to a website that had already establish, registered with several search engines companies and has existing backlinks and traffic. In general, by making use of expired domain names you tap into the resources that were created by someone else to get rich within a short time unlike when you do all the dirty work to get your website recognized immediately.

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.

Your course of action really depends on how much work and effort you can put into the expired domain. If you're barely able to maintain and optimize your current site, you probably want to just 301 redirect the old site (note: see my amended comment above about the link value not likely to be passed). If, however, you're more creative and have some time on your hands, you can try your hand at crafting a microsite. If you really know your stuff and are experienced at making money off various websites, you'd probably do well with the third option.


Lets look at some settiings, so you could enter a list of websites to crawl for expired domains on, or you can enter a search query say you're looking to form a pbn to boost your money site, that's about horse riding or something you could put horse riding down there and then it'll search, Google for horse riding and then crawl all the domains that Google brings back to you. Then we've got endless crawl and you basically you put in a few seed websites and then it will just crawl endlessly from those websites. So it will take all the domains off those websites. First they'll check whether they're expired or not. If they're not expired, then it'll start crawling them and then it will crawl the ones it finds from them and so on so on and so on. It will just keep going ok.
Alternatively, you can monitor a domain name for free at a number of locations. DomainTools.com offers a free domain name monitor tool, as does DomainHole.com (both available with free member registration). Once you receive an email notification that a domain has changed status from active to expired, you can follow the process listed above to enter a bid at the auction partner site.

Thanks, Michael. I cannot find the auction site house of this registrar. It IS up for auction, but it’s NOT fully expired nor dropped – so it appears as though using an automated domain name backorder service may not be the best course of action. The URL still renews every year and is not set to expire until June 2016. The registrar is DOMREG LTD and seems to be tied in to LIBRIS.com. Any suggestions? I just need to ensure my $ is going to the actual entity that’ll grant me the URL. I’m unclear how to avoid paying $ for the URL to a company/service that can’t actually do anything for me (i.e., getting ripped off). Thanks for any direction you can offer.
The other way you could profit off expired domain names is redirecting the traffic to your affiliate link. For illustration, if you have an affiliate link that sells beauty products, and the expired domain name was mentioned or ranked in a high authority website for terms related to beauty products you can redirect the traffic there to make sales. One sale is enough to make you a decent profit.
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 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.
The better quality links (From Google, Wikipedia) that a website has the higher will be its domain authority. New websites start with a ranking of one, and as the number of links increase the domain authority rises. For example, a sports website that has links to sports newspapers and sports reporting sites will have a higher domain authority than a sports website that only has links to other sports and sports blogging sites.
I wish I could tell you that expired domains are some sort of magic bullet solution to all your traffic problems and headaches. Unfortunately, if I were to say that to you, I would be lying. There are drawbacks. Just like with anything else in life, there are advantages and disadvantages. The problems with expired domains is that they are often hard to find on your own. You can take wild guesses and waste a lot of time, effort and energy, and end up with nothing. Also, if you were to try to scope out drop domains by trying to find them in the most common way, which is to use a drop domain exchange, expect to pay a lot of money. Why? Because of heavy competition. Keep in mind that you’re not the only person who knows that dropped domains can bring a lot of traffic to the table. There are many other online marketers out there that realize drop domains' traffic value.

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.
Hi Michael, thanks for the excellent writeup. I followed your steps and found that the domain name I’m seeking is currently registered with GoDaddy. Interestingly enough, I actually owned this domain name almost a decade ago, but out of laziness (at the time), I didn’t renew the registration. Someone else snatched it around the same time and has had it since. The website is dormant, with only an embedded video playlist from a YouTube account last updated over a year ago. The website itself hasn’t changed in appearance for several years.
Hundreds of thousands of domains expire everyday. While most of them are trash, quite a few are aged domains having excellent backlinks. These can be easily filtered using metrics from Majestic (Trust Flow) & Moz (Domain Authority). These are great for your money sites or for building private blog networks. Some of these domains have natural organic traffic, that can be determined by their SEMrush rank or the SimilarWeb data. These are great for domain parking or for promoting affiliate offers.
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