While numbers like the ones seen above are impressive, most domains sell for significantly less extravagant prices and are generally in the two or three-digit range. Not long ago, those who were able to secure general terms (like icecream.com or pizza.com) not protected by trademark rights often found themselves sitting on virtual gold mines. The glory days of this boom have long since passed, and those looking for a profit in today’s market need a keen sense for coming trends.
Since search engines regard inbound links as recommendations, these links have a decisive influence on the ranking. The search engine definitely doesn’t appreciate link networks and won’t give new projects a jumpstart by allowing a former website’s backlink profile to be used when registering a new domain. Using an expired domain is like playing with fire, where the worst case scenario is that you’ll be penalized or be excluded from the search index.
Some people in the advertising and marketing industry have expressed fear that considering the way social networking portals are taking over our lives, businesses will soon operate from these websites and stop building their own websites altogether. Although such fear is justified to a certain extent, if looked at thoughtfully, the benefits offered by an independently hosted and controlled website far outweigh the promise held by social profiles.
Think of ways that the domains you buy would be a valuable asset to the buyer. Picture someone who would benefit from buying the domain in a space you are very familiar with. If this was you and someone was trying to sell you this name, would it be beneficial for you to own? Be honest. If so, why? If not, why? Use those answers to refine your search for 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
Length: This is pretty self-explanatory. Generally the shorter the domain name, the more valuable it is. This difference in value decreases exponentially as the name gets longer, though. For instance, the difference in price between 3 and 4 letter domains are significant, while the price difference between a 7 and 8 letter domain would usually be much less significant.
There are currently two main types of domain speculators: those that buy domains, build sites around them, and then flip the domain and accompanying website, and then there are those that buy and sell domain names without web sites attached. While both can be very lucrative businesses, the second type is much easier for novices to learn, and as such, shall be the topic of discussion for this article.
With over 25 million .com domains registered with Google alone, this top-level domain is by far the most popular choice worldwide. According to the domain marketplace Sedo, the average sales price for a .com domain name during the second quarter of 2015 was 4,701 dollars. The most expensive publicly traded domain names have been known to fetch eight-figures. But don’t quit your day job just yet: such sales are the exception rather than the rule.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying marketing your domain is not important. But, if you’ve bought a bad domain and you do (and overdo) everything laid out in this section and more, it’s still very unlikely that it would sell. It’s like spending car flipping and spending a huge amount of money, time and effort perfecting a car’s paint job, except that this car’s engine is completely fried. You’ll never be able to drive it anyway, no matter how awesome the paint job is, it’s irrelevant.
Great post! I tried to repurpose an expired domain to build an authority site (your method 1) – but it doesn’t rank as it should. i checked the backlink profile via majestic and archive.org and it’s clean. also checked the metrics of the competition. with the amount of trust and link juice my expired domain has vs. the competition, it should be on page 1 for those keywords. is there something i’m missing here?
It’s also not so easy to manually re-register. This is due to backorder providers which are paid to keep an eye on expiring domains over a certain period of time and then register them for the customer as soon as they become available. Promising expired domains are therefore usually sold before they have a chance to be put back on the registry menu for the public to look through.
Here's an old post on search engine roundtable that claims google's policy is to discount previous backlink juice when a domain changes ownership. I'm not convinced whether this is actually true or something Google says to discourage excessive domain buying / 301 redirecting for SEO benefit. The comments above seem to give varying opinions on this matter. Would be great to get to the bottom of that one!
Choose Niches that make money: People will buy a website domain if they think they can use it to make money. So buying popular phrases/words that could be associated with selling something like computers(.com) or hotels(.com) could be used by a company to sell computers or hotel reservations. However, something like Warof1812(.com) may not have the same business potential.
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.
Once you’ve settled on some domain name ideas, you can head over to a bulk domain search tool such as DynaDot’s to mass check all the names against different TLDs. When you’ve found one (or a few) good candidates, you can simply go ahead and register them for approximately $10 each. The next step would then be to market them. Then finally, it’s a waiting game.