Domains that are indexed on Google and highly ranked are particularly attractive to traders. Other SEO aspects, such as backlink profiles or the search volume of the keywords in domain names, also play a significant role in calculating thevalue. Design can also positively affect the price of a domain. Short and succinct names that are easy to remember are especially advantageous. Endings are further factors that should be taken into account. Top-level domains (TLDs) such as .com or .org are by far the most sought-after endings.
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.
Chris takes us through his stages of domain investing: educating himself, antique picking previously owned dropped domains, buying brandable expired domains and his first 2 profitable flips. We touch on the tough topics of frontrunning and GoDaddy expired auction changes, plus the 4 letter word of domainers, CALL- with Chris’ current 100% success rate on phone calls!
Here's a test I have in process. I bought an old $5 closeout domain from Godaddy TDname expired auction. I put a quick minisite up and linked to it with a crazy anchor text phrase. The domain is ranking for that crazy term now. It's gone through one pagerank update and I'm waiting for a second to come. Then I'll redirect the domain to another minisite. I suspect the second site won't rank for the anhor text, but we'll see.
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.
Namejet is a domain clearing house (at least that is my term for it). What happens is that people let their domain names expire everyday. Some people just don’t need their domain anymore, some people forget to renew it, some people die, I mean there can be hundreds of reasons why a domain will not be renewed. What the domain registrars want to do is cash in on the domain that someone forgot to renew, so they offer that domain to Namejet to auction it to the general public. Think of it like a storage unit, someone doesn’t make their payment and the storage company hires an auctioneer to come and auction the storage unit to the general public. Namejet is doing this but for domain names. The bid for each domain starts at $69. What I LOVE about Namejet is the process… they let you search through the domains that are coming up for auction 30 days in advance. Whoever places a $69 bid on a domain will be entered into an auction when the 30 days runs out with everyone else who placed a bid. If you are the only bidder than you get the domain for $69. If there are 10 other bidders than there is a closed auction, meaning only you 10 guys can bid now against each other in a 3 day auction with the highest bidder taking the domain when the clock strikes zero. I love this because let’s say there is a great domain and it flies under the radar. If it goes to auction with only 3 or 5 or 7 bidders my chances of winning this domain at a very low price are great. I’ve won domains for $100 which I was able to flip for $2,000. I won a domain for $2,500 which I flipped within 4 months for $7,500. I won a domain for $1,000 which I’ve turned down $5,000 offers on because I think I can get $10,000 for it. The key is to not overpay in order to leave yourself plenty of room to turn a profit when you flip the domain.
Use the advanced search option to quickly hone in on the type of names you are interested in. You can narrow the results by price, top-level domain (i.e, .com, .net, .org, .club, etc.), keyword, and many more filters. Using this feature will help you quickly sort through the millions of domains on the aftermarket and find the domain names that best fit your end goals.
In order to maintain ownership of a domain, you must renew it yearly. If you don’t, it “expires”. An expired domain goes through several stages before being released again for general registration. The process differs slightly from one registrar to another but it’s more or less the same. GoDaddy explains what happens to domains that expire with them here.
Acquiring what you believe may be a valuable domain name is the easiest part of the equation. Finding the right buyer is much more difficult. Using auction sites and forums is perhaps the best way to find qualified buyers that are interested in your domain, and using auctions will take some of the stress away from establishing the value of a domain name yourself.
Using the keyword search feature you’d also be able to familiarize yourself with how much domains typically cost on average in a certain industry or niche. Even better, they have an addictive little app called “The Domain Game” available for iOS and Android. They basically give you a domain and you try to guess whether it sold for three, four, five or six figures. You get points for each correct answer and lose points for incorrect ones. You do this for a while and you start to see patterns. Your brain starts connecting the dots and you get better it. Now you’re ready to go out there and scout some domains!