There are more than 50 billion indexed web pages available on Google in 2023. If you are a newbie trying to jump-start your new website in this saturated market, a smart move like finding and buying a powerful expired domain can boost your business.
Expired domains hold popularity and authority, which is an excellent investment for anyone considering having their domain for a long time. However, finding the perfect expired domain without any downside is like trying to walk in a minefield that can blast anytime safely.
Expired domains can provide enormous growth to your business. Still, at the same time, beginners overlook the upcoming potential danger which can lead to a total waste of time and money. Remember, you will have to put in a lot of spadework to pick the right expired domains that can provide you with all the juicy benefits and a reasonable price in the hot market.
So if you are good at negotiation skills and have the enthusiasm to learn the exact steps to prevent yourself from falling into the pitfall of bad expired domains and buying the one which is right for you, then stick with me till the end of this guide.
We will walk you through every step you need to remember while finding and buying an expired domain in 2023.
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Table of Contents
What is A Domain And An Expired Domain?
If you have any prior experience building or running a website, then you must be aware of the term domain.
A domain is your specific address in the world of the internet. This is somewhat similar to your physical address. In the real world, your physical address is the place where you are located. Similarly, a domain is a place where your website is located on the web, and anyone can reach you using your domain name.
Well, then, what is an expired domain?
An expired domain is a domain name that was used by any other user in the past but due to some reason, either the domain has expired, or the user forgot to renew the domain. In both cases, these expired domains are abandoned domains that exist on the web but are no longer active.
This is similar to buying a new house in the real world which was previously owned by someone. You are not the one who built the house but there was someone who built the house, and they’re leaving it now, and you are the one taking over the address.
These expired domains hold a lot of potential, and sometimes you may find them like gems with high-quality backlinks. If the site was highly active in the past and has a good history, then you will get a premade address with high DA, backlinks, authority, and PA. So finding the gem in between the coals is the real challenge here.
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Reasons to Buy Expired Domains
We have already discussed a small portion of the benefits that you get from buying an expired domain, but there are four major reasons to buy an expired domain.
The industry is already aware of the power of good branding and its importance. Maybe some of the expired domains were well known in the past, which makes it highly beneficial and well known.
Here are some of the examples that might help you understand the situation better:
- An expired domain of government that has a history of more than 20 years provides you with great domain age.
- A local shop that was famous in the past but now moved to a new address or doesn’t exist still has branding recognition.
- Any professional website with a long history of traffic will provide you with more engagement and visitors.
All these points of positive branding are the deeper roots of SEO. By purchasing these expired domains, you are borrowing the credibility of the previous domain’s history.
✍️ Author’s Note:
These domains can even have a dark or negative history that you must take measures to avoid. A careful background check is mandatory when you are buying an expired domain.
Backlinks are a core element of SEO. These expired domains may carry high-quality backlinks from the past.
From our experience, we have seen many website owners gaining success from buying the expired domains of abandoned restaurant websites that were popular and actively used in the past.
Smart buyers always consider the history of the backlink profile before buying any expired domain. It also helps you to avoid falling for spammy backlinks.
Any existing traffic is a boost for new website owners. Just by purchasing an expired domain you already have traffic to visit your website. People often type the name of popular websites which existed in the past to know if it is still there or not.
If you can hold this traffic on your website by providing high-quality content to the users, then it’s a great opportunity to build your authority in Google. All this traffic will signal to the system that the users are satisfied with your content which is a green signal for SEO indicators.
Traffic from the past and strategies of the present combined is an amazing opportunity to grow your website and generate revenue in less time.
Old domains are always better only if they do not have a spammy background. Search engines always prefer domains with a long history of existence. Indexing is always easy on older websites and is considered one of the small fragments of EAT (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness). Some people also claim that this is one of the factors that Google considers for ranking your website higher in the search.
You can use a tool named Wayback Machine to check if the domain has a history of more than 15 or 20 years. SEO experts suggest purchasing domains with a history of more than 15 years of existence on the web.
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Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying Expired Domains
Here is a detailed list of 10 things that you should keep in mind before buying any expired domains.
Shouldn’t be used for spam
Before jumping on the domain authority, SEO, branding, and other benefits, you should look for any history of spam by the previous Webmaster. There is a higher chance that the domain was left abandoned because it was being used for spamming around the web. Such a domain is a total waste of money.
But you might be thinking how will you determine if the domain was used for spam in the past? That’s simple! You can use a tool named Wayback Machine.
As you open the way back machine, a search box will appear in front of you. In this search box, type or paste the name of the expired domain that you are thinking of buying. There is a higher chance that the way-back machine has a previous record if the site is spammy.
Here are some of the spam indicators that you should watch out for:
- The domain is not created in the English language.
- The site has plagiarized or hacked content
- Use of black hat SEO and keyword stuffing.
- History of Unethical practices like a p*rn website, dark room, red room, etc.
- You can’t throw your money on such domains, and this first step will filter out major domains for you.
Shouldn’t have Spammy backlinks
Another strong signal of spam is the poor quality of backlinks. Check the backlink profile by using any SEO tool. We suggest you go with the Majestic SEO tool for this purpose.
Open Majestic SEO, and two options will appear in front of you — a fresh index that contains the list of all the fresh backlinks and a historic index where you can find the history of backlinks.
Enter the name of the expired backlink in the search box and select the historic index. Now analyze the backlinks either manually or using any SEO tool. This will give you enough idea of spammy backlinks that were previously used.
Here are the red signs that indicate the usage of spammy backlinks:
- Backlinks have zero authority.
- Links from irrelevant niches and websites.
- Anchor text backlinks.
- Backlinks from sites that are Russian or Chinese.
If you see any of these above indicators, then just Run!
Ahrefs is another SEO tool that will make this task easier. Also, remember that your expired domain must have a domain authority of more than 15, so it can be fruitful for you. And in case you’re looking for a DFY authority site for your business, you can take a look at our DFY authority package.
Check for any ban from Google AdSense
When domains don’t follow the rules of Google or do anything out of the rule list, Google AdSense bans these sites, so they are no longer eligible for AdSense revenue.
Even if you are thinking of purchasing the expired domain for affiliate marketing, it is still not convenient to buy a site with a banned AdSense, as you might not know the clear reason. Also, there is a possibility that your plans for the website might change in the future.
Determine trust flow and citation flow
Majestic metrics will tell you if the backlinks are of high or poor quality. However, you should always check the backlinks manually for better analysis. If you are looking to validate the manual analysis, then the trust flow indicator will do the job.
Look if the trust flow is 25% of the citation flow. That means the ratio between the trust flow and citation flow should be around 1:4. Low trust flow is an indicator of high spammy backlinks.
Check for any social media ban
Apart from Google, you must also consider social media spam and ban before purchasing any expired domain.
Maybe the previous webmaster was spamming, and hence the domain was banned. Social media platforms like Facebook have the option to run FB Ads. In such cases, be careful that the domain is not banned from any social media platform.
Even though you can appeal for a ban uplift, you still don’t know the severity level of the ban. It might be 20 minutes or 20 years.
History of penalty
The Google search console has an option named ‘Manual Action’to know if there are any manual actions or penalties against the domain.
The only downside is the lack of any tool or option to check if the domain has a pending penalty before purchase. In this case, you can use your skills to double-check it with the seller.
A safer option is to go with the half-pay option. You can pay half before purchasing and the other half after confirmation of no penalties. Run a Google search console verification, and you will see if any ban is there within 5 days.
If there is any penalty, submit a request to Google called ‘Newly acquired domain‘ and try to solve the issue.
Make sure that by purchasing the domain you are not infringing any trademarks. The domain name may be dropped in the future due to trademark infringement.
Go to the US Trademark Search Engineand type your domain name to see if someone has trademarked it before or not.
Here is an example – No one can run any website that includes names like Facebook, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Google, WordPress, Yahoo, etc., as they are already trademarked and patented by their original founders.
Verify Google index
Even if the site has good SEO and domain authority, it is still possible that the expired domain’s pages are not indexed. You can check whether the website is indexed or not by using Google Search Console.
This is possible when the domain expired a long time back. Google discards such domains, so consider buying the domain which has expired recently but was existing for a long time.
Consider the number of drops
Drops represent how many times the site was renewed before. The industry standards suggest you not choose any domain which was dropped 5 times or more before. This is a strong indication that the site had internal penalties and infringement issues.
You can use the domain tool to verify the number of drops.
Determine if there is any identical IP address
An IP address is your exact address on the web that anyone can use to reach you. It is similar to our physical address in the real world. All the websites existing on the web have a unique IP address, so you must check if the expired domain that you are about to purchase has an identical IP address or not.
If there is a similar IP address, then you will have to relocate the entire domain to a new IP address for smooth functioning.
Once you get a green signal after all these tests and checking these elements, you can be reassured to buy a worthy expired domain. They ensure that the site serves value and doesn’t have technical drawbacks.
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Best Sites to Buy Expired Domain
Now that you know about all the things you have to consider before buying any expired domain, let’s take a look at the best option available in the market from where you can find and purchase these expired domains.
Flippa is currently the biggest and most popular platform among bloggers for buying and selling domains. The sellers have the option to include revenue, a description of the domain, cost for purchase, and so on.
Flippa has a built-in search engine exclusively for finding expired, broken, active domains. One thing about Flippa is that it has a list of some high-authority domains, so you can expect it to be a bit expensive. The domains on Flippa are verified, and you even have the option of editor’s choice where all the premium quality domains are listed.
However, you should be aware of the people using fake screenshots and P&L numbers. Always be aware before making any purchase and do your verification as we have described above.
When it comes to the best domain purchasing platform, which is pocket friendly at the same time, Namecheap is the one to go with.
You can start to buy expired domains for as low as $0.99. The easy-to-use interface will provide a clean look where you can search for things without any distractions. Additionally, you get the benefit of free domain privacy, free migration within 24 hours, free apps to use, updated TLDs, Guides, and videos to follow, and lastly, a great customer support system to assist you with any problem. Along with the domain, you can also purchase the hosting service, which will be more budget-friendly.
So, if you are someone running multiple sites and want something with all the features but at an affordable rate, consider the NameCheap domain website.
GoDaddy is a famous site that sells expired domains as well as hosting services. As the site is massive, finding budget deals with tons of options is easy. You can find a suitable domain at an affordable price on the Godaddy website.
Also, GoDaddy lists the number of bids that have already been placed on a domain with traffic, valuation, and the bidding box where you have to enter your offered amount. Once you choose a domain, then a list of domains related to it will open in front of you. GoDaddy even provides you the option to search for domains based on their niche.
For example, if you are thinking of launching a fitness website, then you can search for the keyword ‘fitness,’ and it will provide you with a list of potential fitness expired domains. Afterward, you can filter the results to find the ideal ones.
DomCop is one of the top names in my recommendation when it comes to buying an expired domain in the least amount of time. DomCop is currently carrying more than 20 million expired domains in its database. It also has 31 different types of extensions like .info, .com, .net, and much more.
DomCop also has an advanced search option that enables you to analyze and verify the target expired domain in detail. Here are some of the features that we love about DomCop:
- Addition of 10 million fresh domains each month.
- Ability to use an advanced filter with 40+ metrics to filter out fake domains. This saves a lot of time for us.
- Click on the ‘Show me expired domain button’ and get the list of all the expired domains available, along with their domain age, domain authority, ranking, etc. However, you have to make sure that you are verifying them manually before the final purchase.
Expired Domain is a search engine for expired domains where you can search for the domains by niche, and you will get the available options. They are holding more than 50 million names and data of the expired domains with a TDLs support of 516.
All the expired domains in the list have the details listed with them. It also holds the list of deleted domains and many more.
The last site to find expired domains in my list is NameJet. NameJet offers you the desired domains that have expired. If you are looking for investment or development, NameJet has got all these covered in an arranged manner. The technology is highly appreciable for handling domain data, backorder requests, and your account manager. It is a reliable place to invest your hard-earned money.
The filter has 3 options to choose from which are divided into — hot picks, last chance, and open auctions.
- Hot Picks – Hot picks has a list of premium domains that are picked by the editors. You can search for the keywords and get premium hand-picked expired domain names here.
- Last Chance – Last chance has the list of domains that are about to be transferred for auction.
- Open Auction – It shows the live actions in open public bidding.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Some of our readers have left their queries and doubts on various platforms. We have gathered the three most important questions asked by them, and we have provided the answers to those in this section.
Q. Is it legal to buy expired domains?
Yes, buying an expired domain is legal. It is illegal when someone buys it to get profit from it, which is illegal as per the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act of 1999.
This is a way to protect the names of celebrities and other companies from exploitation.
Q. What should I consider before purchasing an expired domain?
Majorly, you should focus on confirming that there is no ban from google or social media platforms, the backlinks are not spammy, and the trust flow is good enough.
Q. What is a domain redemption fee?
When you don’t renew your domain, and it is expired but even crosses the grace period, then you have to pay extra charges which are known as domain redemption fees.
A little bit of research, better negotiation skills, and verification is enough to provide you with a powerful domain that can boost your business success rate in no time. However, you can’t overlook the core value of quality content. These expired domains are the best options to climb up in the ranking race with a smart move.
In this article, we have covered all the aspects that you require to look for purchasing an expired domain. We always suggest our readers do proper verification before investing. The list of top 7 sites to buy an expired domain will help you to find the best possible domain ranging from as low as $0.99 to as high as $9000 or more expensive.
Your main focus is to avoid spam, ban, and unethical acts and instead focus on better domain authority, domain age, traffic, backlinks, and branding.
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