When the World Wide Web first came into being, the number of .com domains seemed infinite. Today, however, few good ones remain untouched.

In order to meet the demand, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers created new top-level domains (TLDs) like .biz and .info, but .com and .net domains still remain hot picks, often selling for thousands of dollars or more.

Fortunately, you still have the opportunity to acquire prime online real estate for yourself or your business—you just have to start looking at expired domains lists.

Just imagine all the web domains people have used over the years and then abandoned. Clearly, not every person or business still uses the domain that they bought years ago.

Whenever someone relinquishes a domain, it “expires”—and then someone else on the web can acquire it.

As a bonus, expired domains can also come with SEO advantages for your business, depending on the kind of site the domain previously harbored.

Allow the pros at Spamzilla to explain the things you need to know about buying expired domains for your website.

What Is an Expired Domain Name?

When a person or company buys a domain, that entity becomes the registrant, which means they own the domain's rights for a specified period of time.

If the domain owner fails to renew the contract before the expiry date arrives, then the domain name expires, and another buyer can re-register it.

Why don't domain owners renew their domain names? Quite simply, people often forget things. Some might lack the money to renew it.

Either way, the registrar will always give the owner a 30-day extension before any sales can go through.

Reasons to Purchase Expired Domain Names

People use expired domain names in a variety of ways, including the following.

Build Authority Sites

High-authority websites rank high in search results, but you might not want to spend the time and money to develop that authority on your own.

However, when you build your website on an expired domain, you may get a head start on authority due to its backlink profile.

Redirect Desirable Traffic to Your Site

If the domain’s previous website covered a topic relevant to your business, you might try to direct its users to convert to your site for future needs by using 301 redirect.

The redirect process's specifics will depend on your web hosting provider, but generally, a redirect functions as a status code that guides web users to a link’s most relevant webpage—yours—rather than the old one.

As a result, you may grow your traffic much faster than you would using brand-new domains.

Build a Private Blog Network (PBN)

You can also use expired domain names as tools to help your current website rank higher on search engines.

A PBN consists of multiple niche-related blogs that link to your main, monetized site.

For this tactic to work, remember to keep posting relevant content on each blog and keep an eye on how well your interlinking blogs perform.

Resell the Domain for Money

It might surprise you how many people make money off the domain-flipping business.

Much like flipping houses, flipping domains involves adding value—in this case, SEO value—and then reselling them for a higher price.

Flipping appealing domains with pronounceable names and extensions like .com, .net, and .org can earn you a pretty penny.

Rules to Acquire Expired Domain Name

Before learning how to buy an expired domain name, you first need to understand the rules that apply to domains during different phases:

  1. If the expiration date passed fewer than 30 days ago, the domain falls within the grace period.

    For a fee, the most recent registrant can recover the domain until this period ends. During this time, you can place a backorder on the domain.
  2. After those 30 days, the owner forfeits their rights to the domain. The registrar will notify anyone who placed a backorder on the domain when it becomes available for sale.
  3. If no one has placed a backorder on the domain, then it will go to auction.
  4. If no one buys the domain during the auction, then it returns to the registry. At this point, a reseller can hold the domain name and sell it to a business or person who wants to buy it.
  5. If no one buys the domain from a reseller, then the registrar may delete it from the registry, which means that no record of it exists anymore.

How to Buy Each Kind of Expiring Domain Name

Now, let’s get into the specifics of how to purchase the types of domains we've referred to in the rules above: redemption period, pre-release, on hold, dropping, and deleted.

Redemption Period

While buyers can’t access the domain yet, you can contact the registration company for information on when it will become available for purchase.

Pre-Release

Sometimes, a registrar sells a domain in an auction before releasing it to the registry, making it suddenly available to the public. This act is called a backorder.

On Hold

The registrar may place a hold on the domain when the owner fails to make a payment. Some domains on hold have actually expired, but others might be part of a legal dispute.

To buy one of these domains, you have to ask the owner to renew the registration and then buy it directly from them.

Dropping

The registrar schedules unclaimed expired domains for deletion, known as dropping domains. You can purchase a dropping domain via backorder, reseller, or a registrar’s drop catch services.

Deleted

Because the registrar wiped the expired domain’s record, it now appears as an unregistered domain, and you can buy it the same way as you would a brand-new domain.

How to Buy an Expired Domain: Step by Step

After you use Spamzilla to find your domain, first check the domain expiry date then you’ll typically have to follow these four steps to purchase it:

1. Find the Domain Name Registrar

When you find a domain on Spamzilla, you’ll learn the domain registrar's name, among other information. As you might imagine, the registrar facilitates the domain registration process, so you need to go there to begin.

2. Find the Auction Partner

Most major domain name registrars have a dedicated auction partner. For instance, GoDaddy uses GoDaddy Auctions. Other major domain auction houses include NameJet, SnapNames, and Sedo.

Even if you find a domain through a registrar reseller, it will still go to auction.

3. Decide if You Want to Bid or Wait

If you don’t think that other people have your preferred domain on their radar, then you can take a chance and see if it will drop. Then you can buy the domain without having to make high counteroffers as the price rises.

More often than not, however, someone else will want to buy the domain, too. If you think you’ll have some competition, proceed to step four.

4. Bid on the Domain Name at Auction

Domain auctions resemble most other auctions: Each bidder places counteroffers on the expired domain over a specified period of time, usually one week. The highest bidder at the end of the period wins the domain.

Factors to Consider Before Buying Expired Domains

To make sure that an expired domain is a good investment, you need to examine a handful of things. Our services at Spamzilla allow you to audit most of these aspects.

A quality domain will have hundreds of valid links from other websites within your niche, both small blogs and large authority platforms. Often called “incoming links” or inbound links,” backlinks function like citations.

Majestic actually named the metric predicting a domain’s influence “citation flow,” based on the number of backlinks.

However, backlink quality matters more than quantity. In fact, a site packed with sketchy backlinks reeks of spam. The number of high-quality backlinks a domain has will determine its trust flow, the Majestic metric for trustworthiness.

Basically, you want your expired domain to have a natural-looking backlink profile that will grant it visibility in search engine results.

At Spamzilla, our Backlinks Miner tool will enable you to analyze a domain’s top 100+ backlinks quickly.

Domain Authority and Page Authority

We also give you access to important Moz metrics at Spamzilla, including domain authority (DA) and page authority (PA).

DA covers the whole website while PA only refers to a single webpage, but both measure a domain’s influence on the site’s ranking in search results on a scale from zero to 100.

You’ll never find a domain with a perfect score, but you just need a domain with higher scores than those of your rivals. As a general rule, set your bare minimum DA at 25.

Google Index

Whenever Google crawls a website, it indexes that version of the site. You can see the latest indexed version of the expired domain by using the free Google Console tool.

If you find nothing, you should look for a different domain because absence from Google is a red flag.

Google Adsense

Unfortunately, Google Adsense has banned several expired domains, which means that you can’t make money off a site using them.

Content

Content related to your niche could help you, but a website full of irrelevant blog posts will hurt you by attracting web users who will bounce.

You can view old versions of expired domains as far back as 1996 by going to the Wayback Machine on the Internet Archive and entering the expired domain's URL.

If you want to save the most recent version for further analysis, the Spamzilla Wayback Exporter tool lets you easily download it in HTML format.

Site Traffic

Some registrars run auctions as well as web-hosting, which gives them the ability to post traffic numbers so that you can see how well the domain performed. At Spamzilla, we show you metrics from Alexa, which ranks websites based on traffic.

Spam History

Spammers often email from domains that go undetected by anti-spam filters. Eventually, the filters find and block the domains, and the spammers discard them. As a result, you can hardly use these expired domains for anything.

As our name implies, Spamzilla specializes in this area. Our spam-check analyzes multiple data points over a domain’s life to ensure 100% cleanliness.

Find Your Expired Domain Name on Spamzilla

Now that you know how to buy an expiring domain name, start searching expired domain names for sale today on Spamzilla.

Our advanced features enable you to create custom domain lists from millions of domain names expired, acquire key information about a domain, scan it for quality using SEO tools, and more. We add more than 350,000 expired domains to our list daily.

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