The second option requires a bit more time and effort than a 301 redirect. You could do a mini overhaul of the site and turn it into a microsite for your main domain. This option is good for exact-match domains for your targeted keyword, and there are other reasons for going the microsite route that Rand's highlighted in his post about root domains, subdomains, subfolders and microsites. This strategy also works better if the old domain has decent rankings for the keywords you're targeting. 

Link popularity: the link popularity is a parameter that is used to quantitatively evaluate incoming links to a website. This is measured depending on the number of links to a domain according to the mantra 'the more incoming links, the more important the site'. Link popularity is generally determined by the PageRank algorithm. The PageRank only plays a minor role in determining the domain’s relevance.
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.
Many top-level domains, or TLDs, out there have the potential of being sold at top dollar rates. Gone are the days when domain names with ‘.COM’, ‘.ORG’ and ‘.NET’ were known as top-level domains. Newer domain names with ‘.US’ and ‘.IO’ are also worth their weight in gold. All you have to do is conduct thorough research in order to find all the good domain names you can park.
Link popularity: the link popularity is a parameter that is used to quantitatively evaluate incoming links to a website. This is measured depending on the number of links to a domain according to the mantra 'the more incoming links, the more important the site'. Link popularity is generally determined by the PageRank algorithm. The PageRank only plays a minor role in determining the domain’s relevance.
The backlink profile of a recently-available domain is a double-edged sword. While some expired domains have been well cared for by their previous owners and have high-quality links from reputable websites, some contain quite questionable backlinks. The worst case scenario is that the domain was merely used as a link farm to strengthen a major project in a satellite domain network and has already been penalized by some search engines.
By default we show the following metrics - Age, Ahrefs Domain Rating, Moz Domain Authority, Moz Page Authority, Moz Trust, Majestic Seo Trust and Citation Flow, Alexa Rank, Moz Referring Domains, Majestic Seo Referring Domains, Open PageRank, SimilarWeb Rank, SEMrush Monthly Traffic and Domain Price. Apart from these there are around 40+ metrics that you can see by customizing columns
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.
The IP popularity and domain popularity each play a part in the overall quality evaluation. If you come across an expired domain with a high link popularity (i.e. a large number of backlinks), but then poor values when it comes to IP and domain popularity, you can assume that these links were obtained in an artificial way. Domains like these will have already caught the search engines’ attention. Perhaps this is the reason why the domain was abandoned. Users that want to start a serious online project should steer clear of these domains.
Be careful! When searching for domains, it might be tempting to, for instance, buy mcdonalds.net (if it were available) and then try to sell it to McDonald's. The logic here would be that they own the .com and wouldn’t want anyone to own the .net and use their name, right? Also, it’s a big name so there’s gotta be a biiiiiiig payday comin’, RIGHT? Wrong, and wrong.

You can still buy two word or three word domain names incorporating your target keywords. Moreover, there are millions of domain names out there which haven’t been used at all and are bound to expire soon. All such domains keep coming back to the domain marketplace. What more, there are useful tools available to research and filter through such expired domains.
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! 
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.
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.
The third option is the one that's the most time consuming but also has its benefits. It's like having a successful restaurant and buying another restaurant and operating them simultaneously. They're not the exact same restaurant, but both are popular in their own right and make you money. The same goes for Option #3. You could update the content on the old domain and sell the same products that you're selling on your current site. If you can get both sites to rank alongside each other in the SERPs, you're increasing your conversion chances and sales potential.

I'm not against making money in any way, but $400 doesn't really seem worth the effort and coffee expense invested (I like the good stuff). This is a very basic example used to put the costs in perspective. Most SEO providers charge more than $50 per hour, and you get what you pay for. The above example of a final labor estimate is probably much higher, or if the domain is already ranking high and the owner wants to sell, so is the initial purchase price. Since this is often repeated many times over for multiple domains, it could get time consuming, and expensive.
So how do you develop that instinct? NameBio maintains a database of over 500,000 historical domain sales (as of writing this post). They have interesting filtering features by which you can narrow down domains by price range, date sold, keywords and more. Simply sifting through the listings on NameBio long enough will quickly develop your domain appraisal “instinct”.
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