There is multiple reasons why you would want to find an expired domain or a domain under auction. Many huge business are buying domains for huge price. For example, Lottery.com was sold for a huge amount after the business operating it stopped updating their website. The domain business is very lucrative, from companies that manage auctions to companies that hold domain names to sell them directly.
In 2017 and during the next years, it will be harder and harder to find the right domain name as there is a lot of other businesses registered under the name you want, or at least they are holding the domain you want, even if it is not under operation. By past experience, a lot of my customers had no other choice but to buy the domain they wanted for a couple thousand dollars, even hitting the five or six figures.
Here is a couple reasons to buy expired domain names;
Match your current project or company name
Think about it: You are starting a project and you want a specific name or pattern. You cannot find anything fitting your need. Sometimes the domains are taken, sometimes you can put your hand on the .net or .co or .io TLD (Top level domain) but you find out that there is another business using the .com and their SEO strategy is very strong. You don’t want to live in the shadow of this business and you drop the name, trying to find another one.
If the domain is taken or you cannot find any pattern, you must use tools to find expiring domains such as Domain Hunter Gatherer. There is a free version of this tools, but the real tool is a monthly paid version. More on this tool later in this article.
When we created iShopFood, and online ordering and self-serve kiosk application for restaurants, we used this tool to find our domain. Back in 2015, we were seeking for a domain name. Through the expiring list, we found out that ishopfood.com was expiring. It was a name we wanted back then, but the company holding it was in operation and it was not for sale. While we were developing the software, we were still trying to settle for a name until, during our researches, we found out that this one expired even if it was registered since 2007. It was luck, but without the expired domain hunting tools, we would have lost it.
Niche website and SEO
During the past years, a lot of things changed in the SEO industry. There was a lot of updates to the algorithm of Google and it changed the way we were doing SEO. In the early 2000s, if you had a domain with your keyword and you stuffed a couple of articles with the niche keyword, adding to that a couple of backlinks and internal linking, you were surely going to rank in the search engine for that niche keyword.
The techniques changed as the search engines upgraded and the goal was to provide really helpful content instead of “hacked” content just to rank up in the search engines. One thing that did not change is the factor that an aged domain will be more likely to rank than a newly registered domain name. We saw that during the first few months of a domain, it is very hard to rank for medium and higher competitive keywords. When we worked with older domains, we only had to create website with a good structure and do the right keyword researches to rank up the client and bring new leads from his natural SEO. We even ranked first ins Google a couple of our customers’ website for a very competitive keyword in local or global marketing efforts. You know what? The phone is now ringing a lot and they were inboarding a lot of new customer from this. Even 5 years after they stopped the SEO efforts.
It may seems hard to enter the domain industry, but sometimes it is so clever that expiring domains will be coveted be huge businesses that you are most likely to buy it for less than $20 USD and hold it for a couple of months/years and sell it a couple of thousands of dollars later on. You can even try to reach targeted busineses to sell them the domain.
Some people build niche websites on top of expired domains, rank it up and then sell the website or the leads generated from the website to businesses.
Tools to find expired domains
There is a couple of tools. We used mainly two to find the domains that were not renewed by their owners:
- Domain Hunter Gatherer
The first one is a freeware, which means it has a free version but you unlock the full features when you pay a subscription. Here is my advice: You should buy it. It is very helpful and it save enough time to repay the $87 USD monthly fees. Time is precious, we work at a $125 USD per hour rate and it saved us many hours in a month, which means we paid it in triple and more.
The second one, ExpiredDomains.net, is totally free and you can use it to begin to master your journey as a domain hunter. It is limited in filters and you cannot save your query to track domains. You will surely need to migrate to Domain Hunter Gatherer sooner or later, but it is a begining.
You can now start to hunt. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.