How to Find and Buy Expired Domains: Benefits and Use Cases

Expired domains are a great way to launch a website or invest in long-term domains. However, it can be difficult to find the right one. A lot of expired domains can be a powerful tool to jump-start a website and help it rank for competitive terms.

Expired domains are becoming more popular for a reason. The right ones can do great work. For beginners, it is important to distinguish between the good and the bad backlinks. This includes domains with juice from those without.

It takes a lot of work to find and buy domains that are worth their time and ensure they are priced right in a hot market.

  • What is an expired domain?
  • Four Benefits to Buying Expired Domains
    1. Branding
    2. Existing backlinks
    3. Traffic already in existence
    4. Domain Age
  • What can you do with expired domains?
    1. Building Authority Sites
    2. 301 Redirect to the Main Site
    3. How to build a PBN
    4. Recover an old site
  • How to Value and Find Expired Domains
  • Be selective
  • High Quality Backlinks
  • Traffic
  • Previous Content
  • Website History
  • Google Index Status
  • Four Best Places to Find Expired Domains for Sale
    1. GoDaddy Auctions
    2. Dropl
    3. Dropcatch
    4. ODYS Global
  • How to buy expired domains
  • Most Frequently Asked Questions
  • Can expired domains still be used?
  • What about domains that are no longer in use?
  • How can I determine when a domain expires
  • What time can I register the domain after it expires?
  • Take a bow

What is an expired domain?

An expired domain is one that was once home to an active website but has since expired or been cancelled. This indicates that there is no active website at the domain.

This could potentially make the domain that is now available worth a lot. All backlinks to that website’s history point to the domain name. This could be a great way to launch a new website if the site has a long history with good backlinks.

Although there are millions of expired domain names, only a few are worth your time. There are still thousands to tens and thousands of good expired domain names available that can be used to provide SEO juice or start a new website.

Four Benefits to Buying Expired Domains

There are many benefits to buying old domains, but these four stand out.

1. Branding

It is essential to have a good brand. Websites might have a unique or easily recognizable name. It can be very beneficial to use an old domain name.

It can be in many forms such as:

  • Locally famous restaurant closes but positive brand history remains
  • A professional-sounding website name with a website that had a history of traffic
  • Domain name with a 20+ year history of multiple sites at the domain

Expired domains can have a significant benefit in branding. Your site can borrow credibility and branding from other sites in order to improve your own.

Warning! It’s also important to avoid domains that have a bad reputation or history. This can attach to domain names.

2. Backlinks already in place

Backlinks point at the domain. If a website is not renewed, the domain name will still have the strength of the existing backlinks.

Many website builders have had success in niches such as defunct websites for restaurants and online newspapers. These sites are likely to receive a lot of backlinks once they’re in existence. However, some can get some very difficult-to-get backlinks.

Prospective buyers consider the backlink profile of expired domains as the most important aspect.

3. Traffic already in existence

Websites that are just starting can benefit greatly from existing traffic. These visitors might be searching for a site by typing the domain name. Or, if they are familiar with an old site, they might try to find it again or check what happened to it.

Existing traffic can be a way to show Google value immediately. It’s traffic that comes directly from other sources, which diversifies Google. Many SEOs consider traffic from multiple sources at best a mild SEO indicator.

You can also get traffic from existing visitors. Every bit of traffic builds your brand and increases the chance to earn revenue.

4. Domain Age

Older domains are generally better. A long history in search engines is a good sign for Google and other search engines. This makes indexing new content much easier. It is just one part of EAT and could even be one factor that goes into Google’s algorithm to rank sites.

A domain’s age can be a positive sign, especially if it has a history of 15 to 20 years that can be seen on Wayback Machine.

What can you do with expired domains?

Domains that are no longer in use have many uses and can be of great value.

1. Building Authority Sites

This is the most common use for an expired domain. A domain with a strong history and backlinks to major authority sources such as Business Insider or the big brands in a niche is a great starting point for building a new website.

An experienced site builder can determine if a backlink profile is sufficient to show that it is possible to build a top-ranked website in a niche based only on the juice from an expired domain.

Authority sites can be extremely profitable. It’s much easier to buy an existing domain and build it once you have it than to start from scratch.

2. 301 Redirect to the Main Site

A 301 redirect can be a great way for you to grab backlink juice from expired domains and pass it forward to a new website. This is why it’s so important to hire a competent tech man who can properly do it.

If done correctly, the 301 will pass that backlink juice from the expired domain to your site, giving it an enormous boost.

Learn my guide to 301 redirecting domains for niche sites.

3. How to build a PBN

Although a PBN can be controversial in the SEO/website building community, it is extremely profitable. Website owners will be attracted to a backlink from an established domain. PBNs can prove to be very powerful and lucrative if done right.

4. Recover an old site

Sometimes, you had to tackle a site that was too difficult for you or just not enough time. It expired, fell through the cracks of potential buyers and is now sitting there. It is possible to get the domain name back and then rebuild the site later.

If you have a website with great content but was damaged by spammers in the past, this method may work. Find a quality domain that expires if the content is great.

This could give your site a fresh lease of life.

A new domain name, a new profile and quality content could make an old website that was unsuccessful at its old URL profitable.

How to Value and Find Expired Domains

Be selective

Although there are many expired domains, not all will provide a significant boost to your website. Do not overpay for expired domains that have questionable backlink profiles or a poor history.

It can be difficult to find the best expired domains, but it is worth it.

High Quality Backlinks

Some backlinks simply have high quality. High domain authority sites that have strong EAT are a great indicator of whether the domain’s history is good.

A domain name should have as many quality backlinks as possible.

Traffic

It’s a good sign if an expired domain still gets traffic. This means that the domain name is still brandable, that the site receives traffic/attention even though it no longer exists, or that some backlinks continue to send traffic to the site.

Each of these signs is a good sign that you are a potential candidate for an expired domain. If all of them can be true, even better.

Previous Content

You can access previous content using the Internet Archive (also known as Wayback Machine) or other tools. Both the quality and quantity of content you are viewing is important.

What was the size of the site before? What quality was the content?

Ahrefs can help you find specific posts that have a lot of backlinks. When creating content, make sure you look at the URL. Make sure links from old sources and direct traffic end up on active pages on your website.

Website History

A website history is an important part of finding a good expired site. A domain name can be very strong if it has a good history.

You should look at the following things for domain history:

  • It first appeared in search results
  • What number of years has an active site been built using that domain name for?
  • Did the site have any history of spamming, gambling, or other sketchy content?
  • What was the most recent time a site was active on this domain?

These questions will help you determine how history may affect the effectiveness of an older domain name.

Google Index Status

Do you still get results when you type your domain name into Google? Link juice is lost from a domain’s history the longer it goes without having an active site.

It’s a sign that a domain name that has been expired is still appearing in Google search results.

Four Best Places to Find Expired Domains for Sale

There are many places to find expired domains. However, these four options stand out as the best.

1. GoDaddy Auctions

GoDaddy Auctions is an excellent place to search for domain names that have expired recently and just hit the open marketplace. It also lists premium expired domains.

A $4.99 annual membership is required, but it’s worth it to access their active auction room.

2. Dropl

Dropl is an excellent tool that locates expired domains. It scans multiple sources constantly to find new ones and can be used to sort them by age, niche, or other factors.

Anyone who spends a lot of time buying expired domains should know about this tool.

3. Dropcatch

Dropcatch is an open-source domain marketplace that lists domain names that have been dropped. These auctions include thousands of domain names that have been dropped recently, as well as many gems.

4. ODYS Global

ODYS Global has been focusing on the acquisition of top-quality expired domain names, and then selling them off to website builders. This company is a group of professionals that focuses on finding good expired domain names. This saves newbies lots of time and effort on the due diligence side.

If their stock isn’t available, they can help you find an expired domain that’s branded to your niche.

How to buy expired domains

It’s easy to buy expired domains. It is easy to follow the steps wherever you purchase it.

You must have the highest bid if you are buying domains that are expired from an auction. Remember that domain names can be lost and snipers might try to buy them. Use the “Maximum Bid” tools whenever possible.

See if the price can be negotiated if the domain name is on a market. If your domain name has fallen through the cracks and is now available, you can immediately go to your preferred registrar and buy it!

It’s not the buying part that is difficult about purchasing good expired domains. The hardest part is finding the best expired domains at a great price to actually pull the trigger.

Most Frequently Asked Questions

There are many important questions that must be answered when buying domains that have expired.

Can expired domains still be used?

Good domains that have been expired still work. However, professional SEOs and website builders believe it works even better than ever before. Google’s increased competition has created a lot of confusion.

What about domains that are no longer in use?

Expired domains can be a great way to increase SEO. You can get all the benefits from the backlinks to an expired domain by starting a new website on it.

A 301-redirect can be used to increase an existing website. It “passes” the juice from an expired domain to your site at another domain.

How can I determine when a domain expires

The ICANN Lookup Tool (often referred to simply as the “Who Is Tool”) will show you when a domain’s expiration date is. You can either find it on the site of most domain registrars or follow this link to access it.

What time can I register the domain after it expires?

It will vary depending on many factors. If you placed a backorder, the domain may be open within two weeks. This is based on the policy of the registrar on expired domains. They also give owners the time to reclaim them.

If an expiration protection was granted to the previous owner, it could take up to six months before the domain is available.

Most domains that are expired are available for backorders and open auctions within the next 4-6 weeks.

Take a bow

Expired domains can be a powerful way for a new website to get a great start or to increase its SEO. It takes some time to learn how to sort through the junk to find the treasure, but it becomes easier as you get more experience. This skill is well worth learning.

A domain name can make a great foundation for your next niche website project.

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