In the past, expired domains were used as part of black hat SEO in order to generate backlink sources quickly and easily, and this practice is still used somewhat today. Getting links in this way is not a recommendable practice. All relevant search engines work nowadays with highly complex ranking algorithms, which can no longer be outsmarted by these link networks.
In the grey hat SEO world, the thought is that you can take a domain that is keyword driven, do a quick optimization to get the site ranking, and sell it off at a profit. It could, and does happen daily. How much time is invested in optimizing a site to get to page one, vs how much the site will sell for? (remember that quote at the beginning of this article?). Let's put it into simple math:
Hi thanks a lot for this. I appreciate your honesty. A lot of people need to hear this. I needed this to. When buying and flipping domains always ask yourself who would actually buy this domain, what they can do with this domain and how would you monetize this domain if you bought it. Always think of your customer and treat it as a business. I think you’ll avoid a great deal of dissapointment down the line. Thank you
Unfortunately, you probably won't like my tips. You need to look for quality domains at a good price and be willing to hold on to them to get your money back or know when you've invested wrong and get rid of them. Quality is in the eye of the holder, and believe me, I've looked at plenty of domain portfolios that the owner just knew were million dollar domains but in my opinion, they'd be hard pressed to get anyone to take them off their hands for just the registration costs. You have to figure that most of the best .com domains were registered in the 90's, and those are the ones you typically see the 6-7+ figure sale prices on. I'm not saying there isn't money to be made because there is. But it does take time, research and money, and maybe in some cases a little bit of luck. If you're thinking of getting into the industry, I recommend digging into the resources provided by Michael Cyger on http://domainsherpa.com and from there, moving to some of the other big blogs such as TheDomains.com or
Once you have a name in mind, how do you know if the price is fair? I like to use namebio.com to compare the domain I’m thinking about buying with similar domains that have sold. You can enter the keyword and also use some advanced search features to see a list of names similar to yours, what they actually sold for, and when they sold. You can also research current domain sales on venues like GoDaddy Auctions and Afternic. Finally, Ron Jackson issues a weekly report on DN Journal that covers the top public sales of the week. You can use all these resources to help you price your domains correctly.
Official marketplaces offer a third possibility for domain traders to peddle their product. Domain marketplaces, such as Sedo, GoDaddy.com, or BuyDomains.com, connect potential buyers with domain holders hoping to sell their valuable virtual property. These platforms function as a kind of domain real estate agency and are known to sometimes demand high prices for their services.
There’s an important distinction to make here between domain flipping and website flipping. The latter mainly refers to buying and selling full websites. By full websites, I mean websites that actually have content and more often than not have traffic and revenue. When buying and selling websites, the domain name matters less as the main value there is the content, traffic, revenue, history/reputation, sustainability and growth opportunities. The same can’t be said for domain names where you’re just selling “the name” and hence it’s all that really matters.