June 25 139

How to Buy Expired Domains with Traffic in 2021 — A Step by Step Guide

Everyone involved in website promotion knows well that using an expired or dropped domain is often better than running a website/blog/satellite on a new virgin domain.


How to Find Expired Domains and Identify Freshly Dropped Domains

When selecting names for your future website, you should also consider the domain zones. The officially recognized US domain is .us. It is perfectly suited for Internet resources whose activities are in some way related to the United States. Most often, the U.S. domain is acquired by individuals and companies that are physically located in the United States. However, if your company is planning to enter the market of this country, you need to buy a domain name in the .us zone. This way, you can attract the target audience by occupying a niche on the Internet. Before registering a U.S. domain name, you need to confirm that the server hardware for the domain will be located in the United States.

There are no restrictions on purchasing a U.S. domain name. The domain becomes available a few hours after the money is transferred to the registrar's account. A U.S. domain name may be transferred to service from other registrars for a one-year renewal. To initiate a domain transfer to service, you must have a special authorization code. You can get it from your current registrar. You can transfer a domain only if it does not have “HOLD” or “REGISTRAR-LOCK” status. The transfer is carried out within 5-7 days. If an incorrect e-mail address is specified in Whois or alike resources, you should ask the current registrar to correct errors in your domain data before the transfer. Whois contains information about the owner of the domain name (name, phone number, address, etc.). At the moment the administration of .us zone does not provide services to hide registrant data.


Interception of Domain Names

The registration of free domains can attract many optimizers. Removing domains is better to register immediately after release before dropping out of the search engine index, and if the address has reliable indicators in view of the high competition is better to create an application for an interception from the registry. For example, the interception service provides Mydrop.


What are Dropped Domains, Grid-Based Websites, and Satellites

Expired domain (or dropped domain) is a domain that has already been used, but the owner decided not to renew it. After the expiration of the lease, such domains are available for registration by anyone.

Private Blog Network (PBN) is a network of blogs of one owner, which is used to occupy a niche fragment and is part of the strategy to promote the main project or projects. More often, one grid is dedicated to only one topic.

Satellites are small, usually, 4 to 10-page websites dedicated to a particular topic. In contrast to PBN, they are more focused on attracting target traffic to the main projects, but their value is similarly low.

Unlike the CIS, western countries do not have such diverse opportunities to buy links. Therefore, experts create a whole grid of websites, links from which help in promoting major projects. In this matter, good dropped domains are better than new ones, because they have a history, may already have backlinks, and even the trust and good credit of trust from search engines.


Methods of Finding Dropped & Expired Domains

One of the most common ways to find domains that aren’t used anymore is to use services like Expired Domains and auctions like GoDaddy. With these services, you can register a domain that suits your needs. But finding a really good expired website is sometimes like finding a needle in a haystack.


First Method

This one is probably the easiest method to find a domain at the Expired Domains website. You need to filter domains by including certain words and then filter by the number of incoming links by MajesticSeo.

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It is desirable to check each of the obtained sets of domains for the contents of the web archive, basic web ranking like Moz Domain Authority, and check the reference mass, check the domain name, and its importance.


Second Method

The examination of search output — the study of output is one of the foundations of modern SEO. This work allows one to learn how competitors work and form his/her own promotion strategy. Besides, the study of issuance allows finding dropped domains that have not yet fallen out of the search and websites that may be free really soon.

To get this information it is enough to upload all domains from the top (top 10, top 20 ... top 100) and using Whois domain search service to check the end date of the lease of the domain. One request within the niche is not enough, because even on a slightly modified phrase the output will be different.

For example, let’s take a look at a narrow niche “Michael Kors crossbody bags”. In Google top 100 of the American output by the phrase “Michael kors crossbody bags” 95 unique domains. According to the phrase “Michael Kors crossbody bags” — 98, of which 36 are missing in the first set. And the “black Michael Kors crossbody bag” provides 39 new domains.

The total number of three alike phrases search in the Google's top 100 is 170 unique domains. To pick up the phrases and get the domains from the output manually is a very long-lasting business. But it is extremely easy to get many phrases even for a very narrow niche. In the case of “Michael Kors Crossbody Bags” in the U.S. database, it can be found as many as 65 phrases. For each phrase, you can take the top and copy the domains. You don't even have to go make a search on Google. For the obtained set of domains, you need to get the Whois data and determine the date of registration and lease termination. For this, there are a lot of services and software, like Neapeak Checker.


Why Use Dropped Domains Instead of New Ones

Unlike new domains (new registries), dropped domains have history. Previously, the expired domain could be a well-functioning website, which referred to several hundred other normal sites. Such drop domains are much more trustworthy and effective than usual new domains.

There are many different strategies to find available domains with history. Someone prefers to search in the ExpiredDomains database or use paid analogs like DomCop, other performs searches on outgoing links of old authoritative resources like Forbes, CNN, BBC.

It is also possible to search for dropped domains in search engines. The above methods help to get many free domains with backlinks already standing on them, Ahrefs Domain Rank, Serpstat Trust Rank, or Moz Domain Rank. However, it is not known

what real trust search engines have in these domains. It is quite possible that most of them are under filters or search engine ignorance which makes their use a waste of time.

Fortunately, there are always plenty of dropped domain names. Current search engine capacity is not enough to instantly remove documents for free and no longer working domains. Because of this, many low and medium frequency queries find exactly dropped domains.

There are two ways to get a domain with history: you either wait for the desired domain name to be expired, or you make a deal with the current owner of the domain address you want to own. Often you can buy a domain along with the website that is based on it.

Most often, old domains are bought simply because the domain name has simple and suitable for the project spelling, which is easy for users to remember. But this is not the only advantage of domains that have already been registered earlier. They also have a good performance in terms of search engines and, according to some experts, they are easier to promote.

Besides, you can simply buy the old domain and preserve until better times, and then create your own project on it or resell it to someone else.


Strong Sides of Dropped Domains

Drop-domains predominantly are already ranked. This confirms that such domains have at least some kind of trust from search engines. Due to this, there is a higher chance that after the restoration of the domain they will remain in the output, and new pages will also be ranked. Much better when your website refers to a page that is ranked by the promoted key, than just a thematic page.

In rare cases, such domains after a proper recovery immediately give little traffic. Here are the statistics from Google Search Console of such a domain:

However, drop-domains are much harder to find in the search engine. You need to go through a large number of tops and check each domain. If you do it manually, it will take a few years or a huge building filled with workers doing it for you. But with the Netpeak Checker functionality, you can speed up and simplify the process many times in a few clicks.

The main advantage of acquiring an old domain is its beauty and harmony. You can choose exactly the domain that you want, without adding additional words to it, changing the domain zone, and other tricks. Such a simple domain name will be easy to type and remember for your potential users.

The old domain is a good option in terms of promotion in search engines. A site that was previously on this domain, may have a good website quality index, it can have a volume of references, which will have a positive impact on the promotion of the new website in search engines.

Search output is built in such a way that the above are the addresses at which the websites have been working for several years. So, buying a domain with history, you already get a certain advantage. You can get it also in case if the domain you choose includes keywords, as it also helps to promote your website in search engines.

After all, the old domain can be registered in order to sell it afterward (which is often done with new domain names). In this case, buying a domain with history can be a kind of investment, a contribution to future profit.

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Weak Sides of Dropped Domains

The purchase of domains with history has the other — negative side of the medal.

Let's start with the fact that the previous website on this domain may have been subject to sanctions from search engines. If that is true, then your new website can also get under the same sanctions. And then there are also situations when you buy old domains, place your websites on them and end up with a poor promotion or without promotion at all. Specialists know that it is not always easy to get the website out of the sanctions, so if you doubt the good reputation of the domain, it is better to think several times before you register and purchase it.

Sometimes there are situations when the previously used addresses are indexed slower than the new domains. This happens rarely but is still possible. The second point is financial. If you buy dropped and/or expired domains, their value maybe a few thousand dollars lower of their real cost but domains with the most positive history will always be expensive.


Is It Worth Buying a Domain with History

There is no clear answer to the question of whether it is better to buy a new domain or the used one. When choosing a domain name you need to consider many different factors, so your situation will be different from all other cases.         

However, general advice that you can get, is the following: “If you are good at promotion, working with search engines and can easily track the history of the domain name — choose a domain with a history from previous websites working on this domain. If you are a novice webmaster, it is better to choose a new domain or contact more experienced colleagues.”

Of course, much depends on the domain itself: if it is beautiful, easy to remember, and suits your project, these aspects may be shaded by the hypothetical difficulties you may face with the unfamiliar domain.

But if you want to minimize the problems associated with the address of the website, it is better to choose a domain without previous usage. After registering the address is worth taking care of its protection.


Domain Name Protection

Securing the domain name is very important. Fortunately, this activity does not take much time. The following 6 ways to secure your domain name are easy to implement and will take the top positions on your list of security policies and procedures.


Be Wary of Domain Thieves

Domain thieves use the owner’s confusion with registrations. Therefore, it is necessary to know from whom you buy the domain, and what company provides hosting of your website. For example, many users register their websites with the authorized registrator company, but they may not be the hosts of their websites. And this is exactly the situation that Internet-thieves use to steal a web address. There are a few ways that allow thieves to steal domains. For instant, fraudulent domain name renewal. This way that cybercriminals steal web addresses by transferring ownership of the domain name to another user. In the beginning, the website owner is notified that it is time to renew the domain name. If he decides to use this service, the thieves are authorized to transfer ownership from the rightful owner to some other people. Another cheat method is access to the website data through the WHOIS database. Smart criminals make a request to the WHOIS database to determine the name, address, and phone number of the website owner. Here are a few ways to keep yourself safe from such intruders:

  • Enter your domain name in the WHOIS service to find out exactly what information a potential attacker can access;
  • Before making any payment for a domain, check the WHOIS database and make sure that you were billed by your domain name registrarator company and that your domain name really needs to be updated;
  • Never pay the invoice for domain registration or renewal without verifying its authenticity. Many companies automatically pay your incoming invoices without verifying their legality.

Usually, people use WHOIS to check if a web address is free and when it expires. By learning how WHOIS works and how to use it, you reduce your chances to be tricked by thieves.


Protect Your Personal Data

The WHOIS database and other similar public data repositories may also provide information such as the home address of a business owner. Unfortunately, anyone, including domain thieves, can access this information unless you take extra precautions to protect your privacy. For example, such as a private registration service.


Private Registration

Many domain name registration companies offer a private registration service that hides the domain owner's real name for public viewing. The service allows users to use the name, address, and phone number of the registrar in the registry, rather than displaying the identity of the owner or administrator.

How does it work? The registration company creates a special code to allow legal messaging between the domain owner and those who want to contact him. If a hacker tries to use this address to contact the real owner or administrator, it will immediately be obvious to them that the message did not come from their registration company, as the email will not match the real data provided by the customer.

For example, if a cybercriminal wants to send an email to the owner of DomainPro.com, then they won't have access to the real address and name of the owner. Instead, the message will be sent to some other similar address.


Check the WHOIS Database for Errors

Like any other database, WHOIS may have incorrect information. Periodically visit this service website and make sure that the information published is accurate. If you choose to register privately, please agree with the company on how this registration will be listed in the database.

If you find an error in the database, you can report it to the ICANN WHOIS Data Problem Reporting System Domain Name Management Corporation. Also, send yourself an email from the registrar's anonymous address. If the email comes through, then everything is fine. If not, report it immediately to your registration company.


Memorize the Expiration Date of Your Domain Name

This may seem obvious, but knowing your domain name's expiration date may help preserve it safely. Check the seventh line in the WHOIS database to know exactly when a domain expires. Then put a reminder in your calendar to extend it in time.

If you don't renew a domain before it expires, you could lose it forever. There are companies that specifically look for and want to buy expired domains with the sole purpose of selling them back to the original owner. If someone else buys your domain, you may be asked to pay a large sum of money for it.


Use Blocking Software

Blocking a domain transfer or registration ensures that no one can transfer your domain name to another registrar, either intentionally or accidentally. 

How does it work? At your request, the registration company can place a transfer lock so that all requests to transfer your domain name to another registrar would be automatically rejected. Depending on the options, this option allows you to clamp your domain to your registrar and protect you from thieves.


Protect Yourself from Cyber-Piracy

Cyber piracy is an action to register a domain name similar to an existing site or get an unused domain name, which may seem legitimate, but is not.

Cyberpirates try to confuse website visitors, making them think that they logged in to the right website. Domain owners can fight cybercriminals by purchasing alike domain names, but not always. Secure yourself for sure by purchasing all major domain names in each country where you do business is not always possible as there may be thousands of variants. And also all the similar domain names in addition to the main ones.


What Are Compounds of Domain Names

Any domain consists of levels. Domain levels are the parts that are separated by points. They are needed to organize the work of domain names. The registration office is responsible for the first level. It stores information about the second level. The second and subsequent levels are the responsibility of the domain registration company, which is the company from which you buy the domain. This hierarchy helps the browser to find the right server faster and open the site.

By default, each domain consists of two levels, but there can be more: three, four, five, etc. The levels are usually counted from right to left. Let's take a closer look at them.

First Level

The first domain level is also called the top level. The first level of the domain is the part of the name that is to the right of the last point. When you register, you can not come up with your first-level domain. You'll have to choose from the existing ones.

The full list of the first-level domains is stored on the website of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority company. Office for Assigning Numbers on the Internet. Here are some of them: .com, .net, .org, .biz, .info, .ua, .ru, .me.

Second Level

The second domain level is also called the primary or maternal level. The second domain level is the part of the name that is to the left of the last point.

The third domain level is also called a subdomain. The third level is the part of the name that is to the left of the second right point. Subdomains are used when you want to assign a unique address to different sections of the site.

Subdomains make the domain structure clearer. Let's presume that your website has two versions: Russian and English. Each of them can be assigned a subdomain: ru.site.com and en.site.com. This way it is easier for users to go directly to the desired version of the website. Also, search engines index each section separately. This means that you can promote different sections of the website in search engines.

Let's presume that the company runs a blog on the website. In order not to go first to the main page, and then look for the “Blog” section you can VISIT a separate address: blog.site.com. Then the blog can be accessed directly, and the search engine will index the page separately.

Following the same logic, the part of the domain to the left of the third domain level will be a fourth domain level or subdomain.


Domain Types

Domain names are divided into two groups: common and national. Knowing the difference between them is a must-have knowledge to make a decision about purchasing the domain for your business.

Domains of different groups have different registration requirements. Let us consider the features of each group.

Common domains mean a certain field of activity. For example:

  1. .com — for commercial enterprises, short for company;
  2. .org — for non-profit organizations, short for organization;
  3. .edu — for educational enterprises, short for education.

Over time, .com domains became so popular that they began to be registered not only for commercial enterprises. Therefore, this is a conditional division. No one will prohibit you from registering a .com domain if you are not engaged in commerce.

The main feature of popular common domains — simple registration. .com, .net, .org, .biz, and .info have no registration restrictions. They can be registered by any legal or natural person. You do not need documents to register.

Since 2011, a new category has been added to common domains: “New common domains”. These domains are made up of whole words. Here are some of them: .bank, .site, .shop, .website.

Registration offices are constantly adding new top-level domains. There are now more than 1,000 of them. So do not be upset if .com is already taken. Check the domain with a different ending, it may be free.

Most people choose domain names like .com, .net, .org, .info, .club.

National domains are top-level domains that have been designated for specific states. In most cases, national top-level domains were based on the two-letter country codes. Therefore, all national domains of the first level consist of two letters. Thus, .UK means — the United Kingdom, .UA —  Ukraine, .ME — Montenegro, etc.

Top-level domains of some countries are popular around the world because they resemble common abbreviations. For example, the national domains of the islands of Tuvalu .tv are registered for TV channel sites and the domains of the Federated States of Micronesia .fm — for radio station sites.

A national domain is usually more difficult to register than a general domain. Some states allow only their citizens or official residents to register their national domains. If this is the case, you will need to give your internal address, passport number, or driver's license number when you register.

For example, when you register a French domain .fr, you must give your name, year, and place of birth. If you do not do this, the domain will not be registered. Different national domains have different requirements.

Some domains can be registered in the national language of the state. These domains are called “internationalized” or “IDN-domains”.


Domain Registration History Check

You can start searching for domain information with a specialized service that displays your registration data. If you are lucky, you can contact the owner of the address and discuss with him details about the domain name that seems interesting to you. However, if the owner is interested in selling the domain, he may not say the most truthful information.


Verify Resource Content

You can see what kind of website was registered on the domain before you bought it on special resources like the Internet Archive, with over 343 billion pages saved. You simply insert the domain name you are interested in into the search box and see which website was previously registered with that address.

It's also a good idea to check the address in search engines to see what information they have about the previous website. This will give at least a general understanding of how the domain was used (and whether it is worth buying).

It is especially important to make sure that the domain doesn’t contain content that is contrary to the law.  You will hardly want to place your website on a domain name with a questionable reputation.


How to Search for Dropped Domains with Netpeak Checker

To search for free domains in the search output we need a lot of phrases, which will gather the tops. The more phrases, the better. One can use the following methods to get phrases:

  • Generation — In some niches, there are many products or objects. One can take all the names and by adding additional words, generate a lot of phrases. These could be product articles, names of athletes, or even sport equipment. The main thing is to make sure that there is some demand for these keys, otherwise, you can find dropped domains ranked by phrases without traffic.
  • Uploading — Services as Serpstat, SEMrush, and Ahrefs currently have the largest databases of keywords. Not to waste a lot of time, you can simply upload phrases from these services.

For example, I took half a thousand keyword phrases from Google's US Serpstat database. I selected the phrases at a frequency between 50 and 110. Usually, keywords with such frequency can give some traffic and have low competition.


Checking Domains by IP

Now you need to check domains for availability in a classic way through Whois parsing in Netpeak Checker. But for thousands of domains, this process can take hours. That's why checking for IP first is more convenient: Choose “DNS” → “IP” in Netpeak Checker settings. This is a standard ping that sends only 4 packets, which is much smaller and faster than any of the other checks.

The point of this checking is that any domain after registration is bound to the hosting or receives the registrar plug. In this case, it is connected to some server that has an IP address. It means that All domains that have IP-address are busy. This check allows one to very quickly cut off those domains that are occupied for sure. This takes a little but it is thousands of domains in a few minutes, which is times faster than any other check.


Search for Free and “Soon to be Free” Domains

The lack of an IP address does not yet say that the domain is 100% free. To find really free or soon-to-be-free domains, you can check domains through Netpeak Checker for “Expiration Date” and “Availability” by Whois. Those domains whose “Availability” is “TRUE” and “Expiration Date” is “NULL” are probably available.

Take into consideration. Checking for “Availability” must be done along with “Expiration Date” or “Creation Date”. Free domains have an empty Whois, which does not have an Expiration and Registration Date stamp. Domains with this value are very likely to be occupied.

As a result of the availability and expiration date checks, only a couple dozen domains will remain. After cutting off the subdomains, there are only 5 left. Five really free domains out of 15,000 found in the top.


Checking by Basic Parameters

Despite the availability of the found dropped domains in the search results, this is not a reason to register them. It is even recommended to make a quick check of the domain on the basic parameters. In Netpeak Checker, one can use the following list of parameters for such analysis:

  • The total domain traffic by Serpstat;
  • The number of key phrases in a domain by Serpstat;
  • Domain Rating by Ahrefs;
  • The number of links by Ahrefs;
  • Number of referring domains by Ahrefs;
  • Date of first scan in Webarchive (Wayback Machine).

Note: For the first five you need the paid accounts in Serpstat and Ahrefs.


Final Verification

For domains you like, we do the final check.

  • Checking real availability through domains.google.

At the time of writing this article, the domain was really available.

  • Then you will need a Key analysis in Serpstat, SEMrush or Ahrefs.

SEMrush confirms a fairly large number of keys that ranked the domain before it was released.


Check of Backlinks, Traffic in SimilarWeb and Content Analysis

Links can be viewed by Ahrefs, Serpstat or Majestic. Choose the tool you prefer more.

In SimilarWeb, it is desirable to look at traffic dynamics and sources.

Content should be analyzed by Webarchive or search engine caches.

If your domain was not specifically registered, you can verify if that is really free, and check its characteristics.

Thus, thanks to Netpeak Checker parsing functionality, more than a thousand search queries can be processed in less than two hours and a few free domains can be found and ranked.


Step by Step Guide on Buying Expired Domains in 2021

        A person who buys something on the Internet should always stay on alert to every detail. This is important to make the right investment. However, there are some online resources that simplify some purchases. For instance, if your goal is to buy the expired domains of extreme assistance to you might be Flippa — the website for business sales improvement. It allows selling domains, websites, and applications. It covers a lot of interesting materials. When searching for dropped or expired domains on Flippa it is better to omit expensive domains.

        The first step is to click on this link. Flippa is a site where domains, sites, and applications are sold. If you look at the coverage, there is often something to see.

Then you have to choose a filter “established sites”:

Further, you will need to work with the filter like this:

One can use the filter as he wants. But it is recommended to look at the following aspects:

  • websites with the price up to $500 (better $200-300);
  • websites that have confirmed traffic;
  • website income does not matter, only search traffic is important;
  • the website should be at least 1-2 years old older;
  • monetization types are not important;
  • desired keyword.

An example:

Let's take a look at the example. In case you need a weight loss-related domain, you need to apply the filter presented above to get this result:

The first result you can buy for $150. At first glance, the age of this domain is normal — 6 years, and it even has some traffic:

Important: it is the search traffic that you should look at first. And it looks as follows:

As you can see it is a pretty bad option as it is possible to create a better domain from scratch by yourself 5-10 times cheaper. That is why you have to look further and slightly change filter settings as it presented on the picture below:

This way you will get a little better results. But when there are hundreds of results on website search, it's important to sort by filter: “buy it now”.

Let's presume that you have already found the domain by the filter settings, but there is no traffic data, although the website looks well visually.

First thing you should do:

  • check ahrefs/semrush for organic traffic;
  • if there's not a lot of traffic, check ahrefs/semrush for the key potential;

It often happens that there are domains that you can immediately buy for $150-300. You have to choose different filters, choosing only the best ones. And if you find something worthwhile, you immediately have to try buying.


Important Aspects to Pay Attention to

Pay attention to:

  • domain age;
  • subject matter;
  • organic traffic must be No1 for traffic in the tablet;
  • traffic potential which depends on keywords visibility;
  • when domain started to work (for example, if the domain is 5 years old, but the website has been working on it for 4 years, while the traffic influx was registered only 2 months ago);
  • try filter method;
  • choose domains with a price no more than $250-500 (more expensive domains are worth only if the website is really good);
  • check back-references (the anchor sheet should be natural);

Note: it is often worth looking at general topics and related topics rather than the main one. Such websites can also be useful.

For example, by the same filter, without a keyword it the result is as follows:


Other Sources
There are a number of resources where you can buy domains with fairly good statistics promising a good income, but the prices for them are appropriate. One of such useful resources is Empire Flippers.

There are also a number of resources on which to look at the URL of the website you need to deposit a certain amount of money (a percentage of the cost of the website). Then the service opens data about the site. But this percentage is not for all as it might be expensive. Using such services you can find very interesting niches, analyze how things work, but you do not have to buy the domains, even if you deposit huge amounts of money. If you don't buy it, all money comes back with the lowest commission. Also, other resources can be viewed by entering Google: but the web site.


Conclusion

You can buy expired domains with traffic easily when following all the mentioned advice and tricks on how to make it properly. In a number of cases, this will be a profitable strategy for your website promotion. As previous qualitative traffic from your newly acquired domain can be beneficial for your future website promotion.

Besides, dropped domains are frequently are a better option than new ones taking into consideration their pricing and further investments in website promotion with the help of this domain name. Domain with previous traffic is a powerful boost for the website with any topic. From the very beginning, such website promotion will be much more effective and you won’t need thousands of dollars of investments and a lot of people to moderate your website to make it profitable.

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