Domain names play a critical role in today’s online marketplace.
Choosing the right domain name is a crucial and time-consuming aspect of giving your business, blog, or other venture the tools it needs to thrive.
That’s where expired domains come in. Purchasing an expired domain allows you to use an older domain’s previous ranking power, links, and SEO value for your own benefit.
It’s no surprise that high-quality domains can be costly. Fortunately, you can purchase them at reasonable prices through an expired domain name auction.
Rather than pay face value for a high-quality domain, you can get good deals and save money through an auction.
What Are Expired Domains?
An expired domain is one whose owner failed to renew or stopped paying rent.
When you buy a domain name, you actually rent or reserve the name for a limited amount of time rather than own it permanently.
Domains are typically registered annually. However, you can pre-pay to reserve a domain name for up to 10 years or keep renewing it for life.
Sometimes people don’t know how to renew a domain once it has expired or let it expire for other reasons. Sometimes it happens by mistake.
When this happens, the domain expires and goes through various steps before becoming available to the public.
The exact process for registration of expired domains varies due to factors such as the registrar or top-level domain (TLD).
That said, expired domains can be valuable digital assets.
Why Buy Expired Domains?
Besides potentially getting a valuable web property to grow your business, some individuals might invest in expired domains for SEO benefits.
However, before buying a domain, it’s crucial to research and review the domain’s historical data. The Wayback Machine, for example, is a digital archive that allows you to view a website’s historical data even if the site is in the redemption period.
Here are some reasons why buying an expired domain can pay off big time for both a domain professional or a newbie.
Acquire Something Already Established
Unlike a depreciating asset, a domain can become more valuable over time. Older domains tend to have more backlinks, trust flow, page authority, and rank better in search engines than new domains, allowing you to rank your new site from the get-go.
If you’re building a new site or blog, and your business name doesn’t have to correlate with your domain, you can take over an older domain and make it your own.
Starting from scratch can take plenty of time and effort to climb search engine ranks and get decent traffic.
Help Your Primary Site
Redirecting traffic from an expired domain offers a fast and easy way to pass all the link benefits to a new blog or website. As long as the two websites share similar content, you may start seeing improvements in search rankings and site traffic.
Set Up a Private Blog Network
Some domain professionals build a network of blogs with backlinks to their main websites, i.e., Private Blog Networks (PBNs). This technique may work but is a controversial way to boost a site’s discoverability.
PBNs can be spam traps, so you’ll want to use SEO tools to check content archives and backlinks to ensure you’re purchasing a legitimate domain.
The Best Marketplaces for an Expired Domain Name Auction
When it comes to purchasing domain names, you have plenty of marketplaces from which to choose.
In this post, we’ll compare the top five registrars for domains and highlight a few tips on choosing the right market for your needs.
GoDaddy is one of the most popular web hosting services. If you’ve never purchased a domain through an auction, buying expired auction domains from GoDaddy is a great starting point.
It works well for both newbies and domain professionals. While registered users have access to live auctions, new customers have to pay a one-time fee and register an account to access all of their current auctions.
The marketplace allows sellers to list their domains in exchange for a percentage of the sale price once they sell their domains.
Pros: They have a user-friendly interface that allows you to sort domain names based on various criteria. You even have the option to create a watchlist so you can follow your selected domains without having to bid on them.
Cons: You need to learn about GoDaddy’s domain expiration grace period. Since the platform offers no information about the domains, you may require separate tools to get meaningful insights.
Plus, it’s not unusual to be outbid at the last moment after no activity in the final five minutes of an auction.
NameJet provides a broad selection of top-desired expiring domains. They have three prime categories, Hot Picks, Last Chance, and Open Auction, where you can pick and acquire domain names easily, including domains that just expired.
Investors appreciate this marketplace because you have to place a domain on backorder before bidding in the expired domain auction.
This requirement gives you a decent chance of being the only bidder, allowing you to purchase domains at affordable prices.
NameJet’s award-winning technology enables users to manage their account information, backorder requests, and participate in domain auctions.
Pros: The marketplace presents a fair environment for potential domain owners since bidders have to indicate interest in a domain through a backorder. You can’t just swoop in at the last minute and bid.
Cons: Although last-minute bids don’t happen at the auction level, they can still happen at the backorder stage, where other potential buyers can see when you place the order.
Sedo allows you to choose from over 2,000 new daily additions of expiring domains that have been put up for auction.
You can bid anytime during the 7-day auction period for the chance to make the winning bid and get that domain you’ve always wanted.
They allow you to set a proxy bid using an optional bid assistant that automatically outperforms other bidders until it reaches the maximum bid.
Sedo also leverages advanced technology to provide sellers with free price suggestions based on key characteristics of their domain names.
Pros: Instead of having to sort through a large number of expiring domain auctions, you can search specifically by short URLs.
Cons: Sedo auctions expired domain names in three categories, and sometimes, they reserve TLDs for specific timeframes, slowing down the acquisition process.
In addition to giving you the option to acquire domain names you’ve been eyeing, Spamzilla provides a complete data set that tells you all you need to know about the online property you’re planning to purchase.
The service offers plenty of options for filtering, sorting, and analysis, decreasing the time you spend analyzing and selecting expiring domains.
Spamzilla also allows you to complete registrations instantly without waiting or bothering with auctions or specific sale dates.
Pros: Spamzilla offers an ideal solution for both domain analysis and purchase.
Cons: Although you can still get plenty of data and navigate to the expired domain auctions page, some of the best features require you to upgrade to a paid plan.
Finding the Best Domains
Overall, an expired domain name auction provides the perfect place to start your journey to acquiring top-notch domains.
Although an expired domain has many benefits, it’s a good idea to find out why a domain was dropped or left to expire.
If search engines blacklisted the domain or there was a legal or tax issue, it might not be a great investment.
On the other hand, if there was an administrative error, such as the owner forgot to update their contact details and didn’t get a renewal notice, you can invest and benefit from such a domain.