Tens of thousands of domain names expire every year. There is no shortage of people who want to pick them up because of the profit potential and other benefits.
However, I always tell people, expired domains are not created equal. While some are valuable, others are totally worthless.
So how do you separate the good ones from the chaff? In this piece, I will outline points to bear in mind when buying.
How do domain names expire?
You register a domain name for a specific duration of time, at the end of which it must be renewed.
The domain may be dropped, deleted or auctioned off by the registrar if it is not renewed. This leaves it open for others to pick up.
Why do owners allow their domains to expire?
Different factors may account for this. The owner may have lost interest in retaining the domain, or may be unaware it is due for renewal.
The closure of a business is another factor. Businesses come and go online and offline. Again, the lack of funds at the time of expiry may deter the owner from renewing. Ignorance on the importance of renewing in a timely manner can also be responsible.
Choosing a reputable and professional domain names registrar and hosting service, ensures you don’t run into problems that can be easily avoided. For more check out Domain Names NZ | Domain Search | Domain Registration | Freeparking
Types of expired domain names
There are different categories of expired domains. These include: Deleted, On hold, Pre-release, Close-Out Redemption period, Dropping. While these domains vary slightly in the specifics of their situation, the bottom line is that they have expired and are up for grabs.
Before you buy, there are important factors to consider.
Factors to consider before buying
There are different indices used in assessing the value of an expired domain. These include age, Domain Authority, Page Authority, and others. Let us take a close look at these factors:
After confirming a domain name is up for sale, the next step is to verify its ownership. Through the WhoIs portal, you can identify the site registrar and other information.
Age of expired domain
The age of a domain can be a plus. An older domain name is presumed to have generated more traffic, enjoy high search engine rankings and therefore be more dependable.
So how can you determine the age of an expired domain name? Once again, the WhoIs portal fills in the gap.
Verifying past content or archive of domain
It is important to know the content of an expired domain before you buy. Not only to determine its relevance to your own objectives but if there is a conflict in personal values.
A good way to catch a glimpse of the past life of a site or look at its archives is to visit the WayBack Machine. This portal offers a rich archive of websites from the early days of the internet.
Using metrics from Moz
Moz is a leading software company based in the US. The company provides defined metrics for evaluating expired domains.
These include Domain Authority, Backlink Data, Moz Rank, Page Authority,
Measures the performance of a domain in search engine rankings. Results are presented on a scale of zero to one hundred.
Moz employs a system which adapts itself to changes in the Google algorithm to make its result relevant and consistent.
Moz provides data on the number of backlinks to the domain while it was active. Such information gives a picture of how much traffic and rankings the domain name enjoyed before it expired.
This metric evaluates the quality of backlink to a domain page from zero to ten. The higher the figure, the greater the quality of the links.
While Domain Authority focuses on rankings in SERPs, Page Authority is concerned with the performance of the home page in SERPs.
While this will give you valuable information, it is not an exhaustive source of data about quality of expired domains
You can visit OpenSiteExplorer for additional information about a domain.
Google can ban a domain name if it violates its rules regardless of the performance of such domain names in search rankings.
When that happens, a domain owner may just abandon it until it expires.
It is important to verify that the domain has not been barred by Google for any offence. This can be done by using the Google banned checking tool.
However, if you find a domain that you really want to buy has been banned, you can apply to un-ban the domain. This is done through a Google reconsideration request.
If you desire to monetise a domain with Google AdSense, it is important to confirm that the site has not been banned from Google AdSense. While earlier we talked about Google banning a domain – in this instance the penalty is limited to just the program – AdSense.
This portal offers useful data for evaluating domains that have expired. It has metrics aimed at predicting the page rank or value of a domain through links evaluation.
This tool can be used to analyse and gain insight on traffic to a website. Through data generated, you can determine if the domain ranks well for a specific keyword. You can use Similar Web to compare an expired domain with other similar sites and assess the potential of the domain you want to buy.
This site curates data on websites across the world. The object is to determine their popularity in terms of traffic and also analyse other metrics. Nevertheless, a site must have Alexa toolbar installed for its data to be accurately read.
There you have it. Remember buying an expired domain can be profitable, but you must do your research and be sure where your money is going. Have you decided on the domain name you wish to buy, or are there other aspects of online business where you need more information?