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.
That said, my recommended budget for beginners would be $500+. Using this budget you could buy a bunch of high-potential $10 domain names, expired/dropped domain names or a mix of both. It’s very important to invest only what you can afford to lose and treat this as a side hustle till you get the momentum going. As you gain experience, industry expertise and some sales under your belt, you can then consider slowly growing your business into a full-time gig.
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.
Joe Styler serves as product manager for the aftermarket at GoDaddy. He’s responsible for marketplace products including any purchase, sale, or monetization of a domain name. During his nine-year tenure at GoDaddy Joe has served in a variety of directorial and supervisory roles. His passion is seeing his customers become successful in their business goals when using the aftermarket. He has been interested helping people with transactions on the Internet for more than 20 years. Joe received his B.A. from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, and his Masters in Divinity from Gordon Conwell in Massachusetts.
It is mind boggling how local search engine optimization has grown from a tiny market to a mammoth industry within a span of ten years or so. This is also one of the reasons why focusing majorly on local names is profitable. From doctors to pizza parlors to salons, everyone wants to see their business thrive on the first page of Google Search results with the help of target keywords.
That being said, many things have changed over the years. The days of MFA and quick flips are mostly gone. My advice to those new to domaining and wanting to give it a try is to take it slow, do your research, and if you do purchase a domain with the hope of turning a healthy profit - put some real time into it and build something useful. That way it's easier to monetize and easier to sell.
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.
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.