Great article on what to look for when buying expired domains! I’ve looked at the domain and page authority of expired domains but haven’t checked if they are blocked by Google like you’ve listed. I haven’t pulled the trigger yet to purchase one (probably good that I didn’t since I didn’t do all my homework) but this will make it easier to finally go. Thanks for the great info!
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

I don't necessarily agree with some that dropped domains don't have value for SEO purposes but either way one thing you can do is to check out our tool for finding auction domain names (the tool has a database of domains available buy from GoDaddy and SEDO and also give additional SEO criteria to look up for the domains like backlinks, Compete data, CPC, Google stats, Alexa stats, etc. and there is also an option to schedule auction domain alerts so that you can be notified via email if a domain name meeting criteria you specify gets put up for sale) or you could use our tool fo domains dropping soon that shows all domains dropping in the next 5 days that way you can be ready to snap them up right away.


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.
Good point. Is the amount of work that went into getting a successful sale worth a $400 profit? Keep in mind, this is providing speculative numbers for the sake of debate. The real world hours invested in gaining position or page rank, and time a agency would sit on a domain before a sale would be much higher. We interviewed a few agencies that practiced this, not only those that supported our theory.

Domain names have been on sale ever since the Internet revolution began during the 90s. Just because some entrepreneurs had the foresight to buy profitable domains before the rest of the world caught up with the trend, doesn’t make them domain hoarders. Domain names are just like the real estate sold in the off-line world. Anyone is free to buy/sell as many properties as one likes if his/her means permit.


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:

You can find the new fields in the Column Manager and the Majestic Filter Tab. Majestic Crawled URLs, Information about the Outbound Links of the Domain and Information about the types of Incoming Links (follow, homepage, ...). Also you can now see the detected language for the website (or previous website) on the domain and the language of the anchor text links referring to the domain. The filter for the website language only includes values with at least 20% and the filter for anchor texts only with at least 10%. When you hover over the column, you still see all values (even lower percentages), but lower values are not used for the filter. If you only want to see domains matching the majority language, use the "majority language" filter. Unfortunately that filter doesn't work in the domain name search


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 appraising value. 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.
Hi Kulwant, these are great tips as usual. I particularly like the way to tell us to check the google pagerank in case the domain has been banned – that could lower the usefulness of the domain quite a bit. One thing though, don’t you think that buying domains is sometimes immoral? Like sometimes you accidentally buy a domain of somebody elses website who forgot to renew.

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.

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There is always a learning curve in buying domains with the purpose of reselling them. Don’t hesitate to ask a lot of questions to those who went before you, participate in forums such as namepros.com and dnforum.com, keep abreast of industry trends via resources like domaining.com, and reach out to the Afternic and GoDaddy Aftermarket support teams.
Hi I totally agree with you Domaineer42. My partner and I are web developers and are seeing a lot of ‘hype’ selling and not enough ‘real value’ selling based on actual search engine criteria. Recently brokers have knocked back selling domains with great potential value based on some pie-in-the-sky logic, defying even Estibot values we’re told to use. The domains were not our best but with four figure value, according to Estibot, I thought it was a great start as a newbie to domaining. In an industry which should flourish, some of these domain ‘fashionistas’ are making rods for their own backs by devaluing domains that have REAL potential value based on customer search. I don’t understand what is going on, but I have decided to opt out for awhile. We have quite a few domains in our repository, with data backed search criteria, trending upwards. Will bring them out of the closet when the industry is ready to get real.
I OWNED DOMPERIGNON.ORG, incredible, but true.  Lost it, back in the days when internet in India was not a readily accessible utility. And I was a casual domainer.  You had to go to a cybercafe. Did that late in the day, towards the expiry of the domain. No chance of renewal. The domain is now with the owners of Dom Perignon and is redirected to domperignon.com! 
If domains are real estate, then the same rules of real estate should apply. In real estate, taxes are based on the value of the property. So, a person asking $10,000 for a domain shouldn't be paying the standard $15-30 renewal fee as a person asking $200. The renewal fee should be based on the domain's value. Domainers want to claim it's like real estate without applying the most fundamental rules of real estate.

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/
Aside from places where you buy and sell domain names, there are some companies around that support the business of domain flipping. GoDaddy is one of the bigger names out there that does. There, you can not only trade domain names but also park those you’ve bought. The buying, parking and selling is relatively painless and all you must give up is a small percentage of your selling price.
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 appraising value. 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.

When you are selling a domain name, you don’t want to suffer because of failed transactions or being tricked by defaulters. Safeguard your monetary dealings; the best way to do this is to take the help of a secure domain transfer and escrow service. The escrow system is highly beneficial because a buyer has to deposit money at the trusted source prior to purchase, and the dealing between a buyer and a seller takes place through a secure domain transfer and escrow service. This makes the transaction safer for both parties with the involvement of a neutral third party.

Selecting a profitable niche is very important when it comes to domain flipping. Having adequate knowledge in searching domain names is critical. It will help you with fishing as well as parking domain names. Carving out a niche for yourself will enable you to seek out prospective buyers actively who would be interested in the domain names you are offering.
Now it’s time to transfer the domain name. Every site has its own process. Generally, the domain-selling sites require sellers to submit the authorisation code, which will initiate the transfer process. Once the transfer is completed, the seller can transfer funds from the escrow account to his personal account. Do check for the minimum number of days the amount must stay in the escrow account before the transaction can be completed.

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.
Let’s just say for example we wanted this site, crystalgiftsworld.com. It looked good based on our analysis and we’d head over to Snap Names, Nameja is another one and what these service do is they have special technology on their site that allows them to try  to register a domain on your behalf over and over again. Okay? If you tried to do that your IP would get banned, but they have some system where they know how to do it just enough to get the domain, but not enough to get blacklisted.
Here’s what you DON’T want to do: Target prospective buyers based on their perceived economic status, without any insight into the industry you’re targeting. “Lawyers seem to do well,” you think, “maybe I should start selling names to them.” So you rush out and buy a bunch of domain names you think would appeal to the law firms you’ve identified as potential buyers. Without knowledge of the space, you may not know that the American Bar Association and other industry-specific organizations set rules that govern some aspects of legal advertising. You’re not going to strike gold selling names your target buyers can’t use.

To join, you’ll need to purchase an annual GoDaddy Auctions membership for $4.99 a year. Once you’ve purchased a membership, you can take advantage of member benefits such as our Auctions Tools, which can help you prepare before buying or selling any domains. After joining the auction community, you’ll quickly learn how to navigate the world of domain buying and selling and can begin to make money by investing in domain names.


Prospective buyers can contact domain holders directly in cases where the desired domain is no longer available. Most registries openly publish the names and contact data of domain holders. Once this information is gained, buyers can get in touch with domain holders and make them an offer for the name. Sales are also known to occur even when the original domain owner may necessarily have never had any prior commercial ambitions


Here’s what you DON’T want to do: Target prospective buyers based on their perceived economic status, without any insight into the industry you’re targeting. “Lawyers seem to do well,” you think, “maybe I should start selling names to them.” So you rush out and buy a bunch of domain names you think would appeal to the law firms you’ve identified as potential buyers. Without knowledge of the space, you may not know that the American Bar Association and other industry-specific organizations set rules that govern some aspects of legal advertising. You’re not going to strike gold selling names your target buyers can’t use.
Domain flipping is the art of buying a good domain name at a wholesale price and successfully selling it at a resale price and making a profit. I’ve been helping clients flip domain names for over 10 years. The skills needed to be successful is some working capital, knowledge of domain valuations and a good information flow from a trustworthy domain broker who knows the landscape and can help source you the best deals.
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.

You can’t tell us (with a straight face) that aged dictionary word .net and .org domains won’t sell easily. The .net extension is technically OLDER than .com, and holds an equally intrinsic value to that of its .com counterpart. These LLLL .com’s that are just letters slapped together may be cute to look at and easy to sell, but in the eyes of Google, ANY aged domain that makes sense (i.e. a dictionary word) is going to be much easier to rank for than some acronym or hodgepodge .com…and at the end of the day, that holds more value than whatever society sees in these nonsensical “wqij.com” names.
When a domain name that was previously registered expires, it goes through a grace period that allows the previous registrant one last chance to reclaim their domain before it becomes available to new buyers. If the previous registrant still has not renewed their domain after the 77 day deletion process, the domain name will officially expire and enter the Aftermarket.
The domain name industry is quite similar to the real estate industry in a lot of aspects. There are end users, brokers, consultants and domain flippers or “domainers”. Domain flipping works similarly to buying a house, renovating it (or even sometimes just sitting on it) and then selling it again at a higher price point. The gist of it is: you’re purchasing a domain name and betting it’s worth (or will be worth) more than you paid for it. If you’re right, you get a nice paycheck and move on. Those who make a living out of this just rinse, repeat, and scale.
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