Just because something is legal does not make it ethical. While things that are legal can and often are ethical, there are practices like domain name flipping that are not ethical. Buying a domain name without intending to use it to make profit creates an unnecessary industry which costs people money and reduces general productivity and economic growth. This is the same with all practices that cost people money but do not contribute any value, most notably corruption. If we eliminated such practices our economic growth increases and general wealth is increased because our money is paying people for things that add to our lives and our communities. This does not. Evessariky reglect badly in people who choose to engage in such practices, but is a result of regulatory failure.
Most domains traders, or resellers, buy hundreds of domain names. This way, the chances of hitting the jackpot are higher. But, this takes some up front money. You can start with a handful of names and work your way up. This is the best way to begin. You may also decide to purchase a name from another seller if you think that a name will be big enough.
The most popular place by far is ExpiredDomains.net. The main advantage of ExpiredDomains.net is that it aggregates data from a lot of different auctions and websites around the web. There are also paid services like DomCop. DomCom helps you identify worthy domains faster by displaying some additional data points that allow you to vet domains easily and in a unified interface. And finally, there are services that curate domains they believe are worthy such as JustDropped.com’s newsletter.
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.
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If you buy a dropped domain from Snap or Namejet, the backlinks seem to be worthless for SEO. They are valuable for traffic if it's targeted to your site. Go ahead and 301 redirect into your site because it's the traffic from the back links that is worth something. I use the Google URL builder to redirect these names so you can see the domain the traffic is coming from.
I founded this site back in 2007. I lost $50 to a data entry scam when I was still in college. I felt ripped off and had no recourse, but to suck it up and pull an extra shift delivering food to make ends meet.I setup this site so no one would have to go through the same experience I went through. I wanted to stop scam artists from preying on the vulnerable and help regular people learn the true, legitimate ways of making money online.
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.
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.