There are hundreds of thousands of Expired Domains out there. Many more will join the list by the time you finish reading this article. SEOs’ are finally realizing the worth of Expired Domains and the boost it gives to business. It is fairly easy to find expired domains now than it was a few years ago. This article will try to cover everything regarding expired domains and I will try to be as straight-forward as possible.
Finding/ Scraping Expired Domains
There are two ways in which you can get List of expired domains. I have tried and tested these two methods to get great domains.
- Find them on sites like freshdrop
- Scrape them using Scrapebox
1. Find them on sites like freshdrop –
There are many sites out there where you can find a list of expired(dropped) domains. The list gets updated on daily basis and you can find many quality domains, of all niches, of all TLDs easily. There will be at least 1M domains to choose from, anytime. Example of such sites is fresh drop, expired domains, domcop and many more.
Note – They do not freely provide the expired domains publicly. There is a subscription charge.
Drawbacks of these sites –
These are the problems/ drawbacks I faced when I used these sites as my source of Expired Domains.
- Too many people out there have eyes on the list with you. If you take some time to decide if you want to go with the domain or not, chances are someone else would have already booked the domain. Losing time has always been my biggest regret and this fuels the fire.
- You are always sceptical about the quality of the domain even if you actually find a good one. I might be overly anxious but if I end up with a good domain, I always ask myself, “Why has someone not booked this already?”. I hate questioning myself again and again.
- There are too many domains to choose from. As good as it sounds, it is actually mind-boggling to study and evaluate all the domains in a rush. There is also a constant fear of losing a great domain after you actually find one.
2. Scrape them using Scrapebox –
A professional expired domain hunter will have no issues in scraping newly expired domains. I was paying the subscription fees on the above-mentioned lists and thought to myself, why not scrape them myself. Scrapebox is an amazing tool if you know how to use it. I consider paying for Scrapebox as my best investment. So, I bought the Expired Domain Finder premium add-on and started scraping the domains myself.
Why do I still use Scrapebox to scrape expired domains –
- You can target the sites whose backlinks matters the most. Example ñ Wikipedia, TechCrunch, and many more. You can target specific niches by adding a list of top 10 blogs in that specific niche. Give it 24 hours and you will have niche relevant expired domains, with links from top blogs in that niche.
- The plugin crawls and scrapes expired domains which are still live on these sites. I don’t know if you know this but Live links are a major factor.
- Very few people are scraping domains using scrapebox and chances are, almost negligible are scraping domains from your niche sites. You are in no rush. I love this peace. You can check metrics at your own pace.
Note – Expired Domain Finder add-on is not free. Neither is Scrapebox. I am not promoting Scrapebox. Neither I have added any links above. I also want you to know that Scrapebox only asks for a one-time fee and that is the best thing ever.
Quality Checks for Expired Domains
Now that we have a list of Expired Domains to choose from, probably 1000+. It is time to sort them and select the best ones.
1. MOZ DA PA
The first thing to do is, finding DA PA of all the extracted domains. You can either use bulk DA PA checker from prepostseo, or use Scrapebox Page Authority Checker Plugin. This should hardly take 15-20 minutes.
- Download/ Export the report.
- Sort domains with highest DA.
- Keep the ones above 15 DA (or whatever your sweet spot is).
You will now have 200-250 domains ready for next test.
2. Moz Anchors, Linking Domains, and Spam Score (Manual Test)
This is where the tedious work begins. This is surely very boring, but very important to do. Each domain needs to be manually tested from now onwards.
Clean Anchor Texts –
- Make sure the domainís anchor texts are in English or in the language you want the domain to be in.
- If you find domains with anchors such as randomnumber.example.com, abort right away. I refer to it as “the domain has been conquered and disposed of off by the Chinese” while explaining it to my team. Even if you can move mountains, you won’t be able to get them indexed.
- If you find random characters in anchors, question marks, black boxes, and etc which occurs due to the invalid font, abort and delete the domain from the list.
- Unless you are targeting gambling/ pharma/ adult niche, move to the next domain right away if the anchors contain texts referring to these.
Linking Domains and Spam Score –
Linking Domains/ Referring Domains affects the DA and PA of the domain.
- Look out for domains with links relevant to your niche. If you used scrapebox, they will already have those.
- I prefer to keep domains with atleast 5 links from 90 and above domain authority. All niche relevant.
- If you find links from domains ending with “.jp” tld, i would suggest you to drop the domain. The japs are no better.
- Jump to the spam score section and quickly remove domains with 10% and above spam scores. Just do it to be safe.
That’s it. We are done with Moz. These two checks will end you up with 50 domains out of 250.
The entire expired domain hunter community will go haywire if the wayback archives cease to exist. This is the final step in the entire test, and also the most unforgiving. Even if a domain has great MOZ metrics, a bad history will make the domain useless.
- Check Number of drops in history of domain. Drops means, how many times the domain expired and a new owner rebuilt the site according to his needs. If the domain is dropped more than 2 times, its suggested to not use it. 3 is still an acceptable number.
- Check content of the domain in all the past years. Yes, all!
- If the content is same throughout, great catch.
- If it’s dropped and the niche is unchanged – great catch.
- If it’s dropped and the niche is changed – bad catch.
- If it’s dropped and you find chinese language – worst catch.
- If it’s dropped and the niche is same but it looks like a pbn – abort.
That’s it. Now you have list of great domains, ready to be booked. Book them ASAP. Many experts might disagree with me for not wanting to check Majestic stats. I have an answer to that. I use the above quality checks and they have worked out exactly how I wanted them to. I do not prefer wasting any more time on Majestic.
And for people who think an Ahrefs test is must, please do not get me started on how bad Ahrefs is to track stats of expired domains or sites with less but growing traffic. The data is hardly updated and not accurate.