Be careful! When searching for domains, it might be tempting to, for instance, buy mcdonalds.net (if it were available) and then try to sell it to McDonald's. The logic here would be that they own the .com and wouldn’t want anyone to own the .net and use their name, right? Also, it’s a big name so there’s gotta be a biiiiiiig payday comin’, RIGHT? Wrong, and wrong.
Lately I've noticed a lot of questions in Q&A centering on purchasing expired domains. A lot of our members have expressed interest in buying old domains for a variety of prices (some are cheap, some are going for upwards of $50k) and want some advice on what to do with the domains once they've been purchased. I'm no domainer, nor am I an expert in such a business tactic, but I generally recommend one of three different options for an expired domain (and would love to hear more if you've got any).

This is similar to house flipping, where a home is purchased and fixed up in order to sell for a fast profit. Unlike house flipping, however, there is essentially nothing to be done with the domain name in order to increase its value. Therefore, the key to a successful domain flip is being in the right place at the right time in order to acquire a valuable domain name before it is given a higher price.


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Check backlink profile: If you’re not familiar with what backlinks are, they’re basically any public website that “links” to the domain in question. Since there are numerous shady tactics in the SEO world, expired domains’ backlink profiles should be examined carefully. Check if too many links are coming from the same domain or if links have weird anchor texts/use foreign languages. You can use a tool such as ahrefs for these purposes.
Buying a trademarked domain name could get you into a lot of hot water. Best case scenario is for the trademark holder to force you into handing the domain over and call it a day. Worst case scenario is you get into a legal battle and end up spending an arm and a leg. This is why it might be a good idea to use the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) website to check for trademarks if you’re unsure about a domain name.
A suspiciously high number of backlinks from some related niche websites that aren’t too great in quality. In my opinion, this could be an indicator that the domain name was using a Private Blog Network (PBN) service or their own PBN to boost their authority…this blackhat tactic can work, but it places your domain name at risk and the PBN owner could pull backlinks at any time.
Each of the third parties we integrate with charge for getting metrics for a domain. DomCop pays for their API to get this data for you and therefore you do not need to purchase additional accounts to get these metrics. One DomCop account will do it all. As new players enter the market, we integrate with them so that you always have the best and most comprehensive set of metrics to help you decide which domain to buy.
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.
Domain names comprising of a keyword have long since been regarded as a strong pointer when it comes to search engine ranking. This connection has been proven true over time. Nevertheless, keyword domains are still popular in the domain market. One reason for this is that keyword domains are seen by potential visitors as more relevant and are therefore taken more seriously. Catchy URLs containing strong search-volume keywords are therefore often monitored by potential customers over the years. It only makes sense to purchase an expired domain when the domain name coincides with the content, products, or services that you plan to offer with that address in the future.
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.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying marketing your domain is not important. But, if you’ve bought a bad domain and you do (and overdo) everything laid out in this section and more, it’s still very unlikely that it would sell. It’s like spending car flipping and spending a huge amount of money, time and effort perfecting a car’s paint job, except that this car’s engine is completely fried. You’ll never be able to drive it anyway, no matter how awesome the paint job is, it’s irrelevant.
Premium Domains are domains that have already been registered by someone else but are now being resold for a premium rate. This means anyone can buy premium domains as they are being sold on the open market. At 123 Reg, we have a variety of fantastic premium domains for sale that you can now register. Buying a Premium Domain is the best way to secure popular domains that you would otherwise be unable to register. This means you can finally buy domains that you have had your eye on for a while but have previously not been able to as someone else has already registered them.
No, no, no. ToysRUs made a perfectly logical decison that most any business would do and Google tanked them for it. ToysRUs wanted the url toys.com to direct to their site.  They're all about toys and they simply bought a url that described their business and told the url where to take people.  Google tanked them in the rankings because Toys.com came with link juice. Google assumed that Toys.com was doing this to manipulate the search engines but there is just, to my knowledge, ZERO evidence of this.  This is another case of Google caring more about the possible spam threat than the actual rankings for searchers.
There are many different ways to make money in the Domain Name game, but rather than skim over half a dozen of them at no great depth, Buffet takes a detailed look at Domain Flipping, one of the simplist and most effective ways to make money online. He lays out a step by step plan to guide you through the process, as well as a list of free resources that are invaluable.
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.
Everybody going to start using old domains should also know how to get them, I'm going to post soon article about it on seomoz as there are several ways starting from online rankings and lists up to dedicated seo tools that you can run on your computer and get precise and actual data on demand for any domains lists. Anybody intersting in such tools please visit our website: http://en.exdomain.eu/
Unfortunately, most domain names take at least a couple of months to sell, especially without an attached website. Thus, there is no need to become discouraged if your domain name does not sell immediately. Most people make the mistake of quitting their domain speculation endeavor after waiting for several months to sell without success. In reality, domain name squatting can be just as profitable, and it is a valid form of long term investing.
This is in response to a question a fellow Moz community member once asked in Q&A, and we thought that it deserved its own article. Buying up expired domains, or purchasing keyword-driven domains is becoming more popular amongst the internet "get rich quick" crowd. The big question is: Can you make a profit by buying and selling domain names? If you get the right one, sure. If you plan on repeating the process over and over, probably not.
If you are feeling ambitious, you can link each of your domain names to its matching “buy it now” purchase page at one of the marketplaces. Another more sophisticated option would be to “park” your domain with one of the leading domain parking companies, such as DomainSponsor or SmartName and enable their built-in “for sale” message and contact mechanisms.
The third option is the one that's the most time consuming but also has its benefits. It's like having a successful restaurant and buying another restaurant and operating them simultaneously. They're not the exact same restaurant, but both are popular in their own right and make you money. The same goes for Option #3. You could update the content on the old domain and sell the same products that you're selling on your current site. If you can get both sites to rank alongside each other in the SERPs, you're increasing your conversion chances and sales potential.

You can add it as part of a private blog network or you can 301 redirect an expired domain to your site to bring some trust and authority to your site. Now, in my experience, the best place to look for expired domains is this free website called expireddomains.net. So, you just have to head over there, make a free account and this is the page that you’ll see when you log in.
Yes, buying existing domain names can be profitable too. Existing domains with a potential for profit can be found using Sedo. Make sure you pick domain names that have good traffic, backlinks and Google PageRank under 17 characters. Also, steer clear of existing domain names containing special characters or numbers because they are not likely to be sold.
GoDaddy’s domain auction space serves as a “marketplace” for buyers and sellers to get together and make deals. When a domain expires, it typically goes right back to the registry. If it’s a valuable domain name, however, registrars will try to sell it through auction, and buyers are always eager to capitalize on potential deals. Participating in a domain auction can be a nuanced business, so take a look at our Auctions FAQ page for more details on the process.

There are many risks that would-be domain investors should carefully consider before buying and selling. The three largest risks are liquidity, subjectivity and legality, but there are also many other ranging from misleading appraisals to faulty escrow payments. Would-be buyers should carefully consider these risks before investing in domain names.
There are many different ways to buy and sell domain names. Many standard domain registrars, such as GoDaddy.com, will facilitate sales via auction. Meanwhile, specialized websites, such as Sedo, are designed exclusively to buy and sell domain names. Finally, parking domains with a for sale page is a great way to draw targeted interest from potential buyers.
Choose Niches that make money: People will buy a website domain if they think they can use it to make money. So buying popular phrases/words that could be associated with selling something like computers(.com) or hotels(.com) could be used by a company to sell computers or hotel reservations. However, something like Warof1812(.com) may not have the same business potential.
Granted, it is not bad information, however, if EVERYONE rushes to namejet and signs up, the only people that really benefit are namejet 😉 The increase in competition means there are more bidders in the pool which will likely increase bid amounts (because the newcomers will not be able to ascertain a “true value” as much as a “pro” flipper would). The result is a lower profit margin as the method becomes saturated.
Dictionary Word/Pronounceable/Memorable/Brandable: A dictionary word domain name is very valuable. Of course, the more popular and widely used the word is, the better. For example, “marketing.com”, “cars.com” and “hotels.com” are 7-8 figure domain names. Even if a domain name isn’t a dictionary word, being pronounceable and/or memorable and/or brandable are all big pluses that add to its value.
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