Finding Expired Domains
Today I would like to go through the process of finding expired domains, researching some metrics and putting them to good use.
Expired domains are domain names of websites that used to exist. These websites have gone out of business for one reason or another.
To find domains you cold pay a service a monthly fee and pray that you grab the domains with the best DA before someone else does. The good thing is that they have done all the work for you for a premium. Sometimes it does get kinda steep.
If you’re like me, you want to learn how to do everything on your own and not depend on somebody else’s service, as reliable as they may be.
Here are the steps I take when looking for expired domains.
First stop is expireddomains.net – create an account, it’s free
Here I usually look for “deleted .com Domains. Why? Because of their value. Focus on .com , if you can’t find any domain names that match your niche, then look in .net. I wouldn’t bother looking into any other top level domain.
On the next page click on “Show Filter”. I usually select the following options:
You can type your keyword under the “Domain Name Contains” to find domains in your niche. Additionally, I usually select the following options:
- no Hyphens
- Backlinks min 10
- Listing Type “Buy Now”
- only available Domains
And under the “Adwords & SEO” tab I usually filter for a minimum DA of 20 under the “Moz.com” section.
When I apply the filter I sort by Backlink and ignore sites with outrageous amounts of backlinks. You will see domains with hundreds of thousand or even millions of backlinks. Those are more than likely spam websites or PBNs whose owners got careless.
Those domains have quite possibly been deindexed by Google, making them useless for our purposes. We need good, clean domains. You could check some out, but generally, I stay away from them.
But How to Know Which Ones Are Good?
This is where you need to roll up your sleeves and spend a good portion of your time researching the domains. These steps have not failed me yet:
- Check Majestic
- Check Moz Site Explorer
- Check the Wayback Machine
- Google site:domainname.com
I usually go to the Wayback machine first so as not to waste my time researching any further if I see signs of either:
- Chinese websites
Also look for obvious PBN content – content that is obviously different than what the domain name suggests. Like casino or a bunch of ad banners, or a directory or affiliate marketing etc
Remember, Google deindexed a LOT of PBNs with their updates, that’s what most of these domains are going to be, deindexed crappy domains.
Don’t despair, there are some really good ones in there.
Found Some Domains, Now What?
So you found a few that passed the eye check on the Wayback machine. Now plug them into MOZ Site Explorer. Write down their DA for both the domain (domain.com) and subdomain (www.domain.com). Taka e a look at the link profile and spam rating. If you see a bunch of spammy links, discard this one.
If you see a bunch of Chinese links, discard the domain.
If it passes, now plug it into Majestic. Write down the TF/CF for both the domain and subdomain. Now go to the Backlink profile and dig through. Click on as many backlinks as you can . For a beginner, I would recommend you to click on all of them, seriously. You’ll learn to get a “feel” for the domain and eventually you’ll “know” what a good expired domain looks like.
There are other tools you could use, like ahrefs. Their backlink profile is phenomenal. But, like I said, after a while you get a feel for it and need fewer tools. Just by looking at the Wayback machine you can tell a lot from a website, it’s owner and it’s intended purpose.
Now that you have a list of good domains, plug them into Namecheap’s bulk domain checker and see if they’re in fact available, and that it’s not selling for some outrageous amount.
Buy your domain and use it for whatever you want. Make sure you don’t leave it hanging for too long. You went through all that trouble to get a domain with a decent DA/TF to just leave it parked.
Time to Make Money!
Some of the things you could do include forwarding it to an affiliate offer, using it as a landing page or rebuilding a website in order to use it for its link juice.
You could also get into link sales if the DA is strong enough. I’ve written an ebook on backlinks and also have market research report on link sales, which niches are hot and how much are they’re selling for.
If you’re interested in selling links you should definitely check it out.
Resurrecting the Previous Site
Resurrecting the saved copy of the website is an optional step and could either save you time or cause you more troubles. I have done this a few times with mixed results.
In reality, I’m just being picky. The fact that I have a website I can just throw in there with existing content is always a plus. But I prefer to just build it with the latest WordPress release, premium themes (even for PBN) and good quality layouts. That’s just me.
NOTE: In my books, I talk a lot about Zombie sites. Zombie sites are sites that are still active, you can still reach them, but their owners for some reason or another have stopped updating them.
When I talk about resurrecting a dead site I’m referring to expired websites, no longer reachable. You can find most (if not all) of their content as it was during their life in, you guessed it, the Wayback machine.
** Zombie sites, dead sites … Maybe I should stop watching The Walking Dead **
If you want to resurrect a dead website, there are a couple of paid services that will do it for you in a matter of minutes. Again, I have gotten mixed results. You could also manually download the website content using blah tool.
Like I mentioned before, I prefer to just rebuild the website myself. You could either copy what you see in the Wayback machine or, if the domain name is generic enough, create something completely new.
Give this a try! Even if you end up paying a fee for someone to find domains for you, it’s always a great idea to know exactly how the process works. If anything , you’ll at least value the effort others are putting into this.
I hope this information has been useful to you. If you have any questions or have anything to add to this please do so in the comments below.