See an expired domain name you like? Should you buy it? How do I buy an expired domain name?
Don't worry. An expired domain isn't the same as expired food.
Purchasing an expired domain name can be a great opportunity for businesses and individuals looking to establish their online presence or expand their existing portfolio. Let's explore the steps and strategies involved in buying expired domain names and how to secure the one you desire.
Expired domain names are web addresses once registered by someone, but the owner did not renew the registration for various reasons.
This could be due to financial constraints (don't want to pay the renewal fee), change of plans, or simple forgetfulness. Once a domain expires, it goes through a grace period, during which the owner still has a chance to renew it.
If the domain remains unclaimed after this period, it becomes available for others to purchase. This is where interested buyers can take advantage of the situation, as these domains may already have established online credibility, backlinks, and traffic.
There are several methods to acquire an expired domain name, such as bidding at auction houses, placing backorders, or simply registering the domain once it becomes available for public registration.
Why Buy an Expired Domain Name?
Benefits of Buying Expired Domains
Purchasing an expired domain name can offer several advantages for your online presence.
First, these domains often come with a pre-existing authority and a good reputation, which can benefit your website's search engine rankings. Additionally, they usually have valuable backlinks pointing to them, making it easier for search engines to discover and rank your content.
One of the primary reasons to buy an expired domain is the high-quality links it may still have from other websites.
These links can save you time and effort in building a strong backlink profile from scratch. When you acquire an expired domain with several established links, you're essentially leveraging the previous owner's hard work and capitalizing on their SEO efforts.
Audience and Traffic
Another significant advantage of buying an expired domain is the potential for instant audience and traffic.
Expired domains sometimes retain some of their past visitors, especially those with niche markets or dedicated followers. You can quickly establish a new user base by targeting these visitors with relevant content and potentially increase your organic search traffic.
How Do I Buy an Expired Domain Name? Identifying Expired Domains
Search Tools and Platforms
There are various tools and platforms available to help you search for expired domain names.
One such popular platform is GoDaddy Auctions, which provides an extensive list of expiring and recently expired domain names. Similarly, SpamZilla is a service that enables you to identify and buy expired and deleted domains with traffic from Google, Bing, and other search engines.
Here's a list of popular search tools and platforms for finding expired domains:
Understanding Domain Metrics
When selecting an expired domain, you need to understand the domain's metrics. Metrics such as MOZ's Domain Authority (DA) and Majestic‘s metrics can provide valuable insights into the domain's credibility and potential for ranking on search engines.
Some key domain metrics include:
- Domain Authority (DA): A score developed by Moz that predicts a site's ability to rank higher on search engines.
- Trust Flow (TF) and Citation Flow (CF): Developed by Majestic, these metrics determine the trustworthiness and influence of a domain's backlinks.
Age and Domain Authority
A domain's age is one factor influencing its Domain Authority.
Generally, older domains are likelier to have a high DA, as they may have built a strong backlink profile and search engine trust over time.
Considering age and DA together can help you identify valuable domain names with a solid reputation and ranking potential when looking for expired domains.
How Do I Buy an Expired Domain Name? Where to Buy
Domain auctions are a popular method to acquire expired domain names.
Backorders and Auction Houses
Another way to secure expired domains is through backorders.
A backorder is a service that allows you to reserve a domain name that is about to expire. Once the domain expires and becomes available, the backorder service will attempt to register the domain on your behalf.
Many auction houses, such as GoDaddy and NameJet, offer backorder services in addition to their auction platforms.
Pricing and Fees
Both domain auctions and backorders come with their associated costs.
Auctions usually require an initial bid, and the final price depends on the competition between bidders. Remember that popular domain names can attract higher bids, so set your budget accordingly.
Backorders typically have a fixed fee, which varies depending on the service provider.
Some auction houses might charge additional fees for their backorder services. Research and compare the pricing and fees of different platforms before choosing the one that best suits your needs.
How Do I Buy an Expired Domain Name?
Placing a Bid
Research the domain name's history and value before placing your bid on an expired domain name.
You can use tools like the WHOIS database to check if the domain is in redemption status. Once you find an expired domain name that interests you, visit a domain auction site such as GoDaddy Auctions to place your initial bid.
Remember that each auction site may have different bidding requirements, so familiarize yourself with their rules and fees.
Monitoring the Auction
After placing your initial bid, monitoring the auction closely is crucial.
Expired domain auctions can be competitive, so stay vigilant and be prepared to increase your bid as necessary. You may also want to set up alerts or notifications to track any bidding process changes.
Remember that the length and rules of an auction may vary depending on the auction site or registrar you are using.
Winning the Auction
Once you've won the auction, you'll need to follow the procedures outlined by the auction site or registrar to secure the expired domain name officially.
This usually includes:
- Paying the winning bid amount: The winning price must be paid promptly, typically within a few days of the auction's conclusion.
- Registration and renewal: Depending on the auction site or registrar, you may need to pay for the registration/renewal fees for the expired domain name.
- Domain transfer: If the expired domain is registered with a different registrar, you may need to initiate a domain transfer process to move it to your preferred registrar.
After completing these steps, you will be the new owner of the expired domain name. Remember to actively manage your domain, including setting up your website, email, or any other services you wish to use on your newly acquired domain.
This section will discuss the steps you need to take after winning an expired domain auction.
Domain Registration and Renewal
Once you've won the auction, the first step to take is to pay for the domain.
Typically, delivery of 7-day auction listings takes up to 10 days after the payment is completed. For expired and closeout auctions, the timeline may vary slightly. Remember that during this process, being in contact with the registrars is essential.
After acquiring the domain, you must focus on domain registration and renewal. The domain authority of your new website relies on a proper registration process.
- Renewal Grace Period: If the previous owner has not renewed the domain, it enters a Renewal Grace Period. You can still renew the domain name without incurring additional fees during this period, which generally lasts 30 days.
- Redemption Fee: If you fail to renew the domain name during the Renewal Grace Period, the domain might enter a Redemption Period. In this phase, renewing the domain is still possible, but you may need to pay a redemption fee in addition to the standard renewal fee.
Interacting with ICANN and Registrars
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) manages the Internet's domain name system.
When registering a domain, you will need to use an ICANN-accredited registrar. The registrar will handle the domain registration process, ensuring your domain is registered correctly with the appropriate registry.
Here are a few key aspects to consider when interacting with ICANN and registrars:
- Understand ICANN's role: As the governing body for domain names, ICANN sets the policies and regulations for registrants and registrars. Familiarize yourself with their guidelines to avoid potential issues.
- Choose a reputable registrar: Select an ICANN-accredited registrar to ensure a smooth registration process and maintain the domain's registration. Research and compare different registrars based on their fees, customer support, and additional services.
- Keep your domain registration up-to-date: Regularly renew your domain registration to avoid entering Redemption Periods and potentially paying additional fees.
Potential Issues and Concerns
Trademarks and Legal Issues
One of the primary concerns when buying an expired domain is trademark and legal issues.
Ensuring that the domain name does not infringe on any trademarks is crucial to avoid potential legal troubles. Before purchasing a domain, you should conduct a trademark search to verify that another business or person is not using the name. This will help you avoid possible litigation and ensure the domain is safe.
Domain Metrics and Evaluation
When buying an expired domain, evaluate its metrics to determine its potential value and viability. Several key metrics should be considered:
- Trust Flow: This metric measures the trustworthiness of the domain based on the quality of backlinks pointing to it. Higher trust flow indicates that the domain has links from reputable websites.
- Citation Flow: Citation flow measures the influence of a domain based on the number of sites linking to it. A domain with a high citation flow has many backlinks, but they may not all be of high quality.
- Estimated Value: A domain's estimated value can be an indicator of its overall worth and potential reselling value. This estimation can be found using tools like SEMrush, but remember that these valuations may not be entirely accurate.
When evaluating an expired domain, consider additional factors such as the domain's age, relevance to your niche, and history regarding search engine penalties.
How Do I Buy an Expired Domain Name? Final Thoughts
Buying an expired domain requires jumping through some extra hoops, but it can be worth it.
Take the time to research the domain name's history, backlink profile, and traffic using Moz and Majestic. It takes more effort but can be worth it.