Ultimate Guide to Dropped Domains
During the World Wide Web's infancy, nearly all domain names remained up for grabs, but as more and more people have built websites over the last few decades, prime online real estate has become far scarcer.
Many of the remaining domain names are too long or contain hyphens that could confuse web users.
That said, you don't have to limit yourself to unregistered domain names.
Fortunately, thousands of owners let their domain registrations expire every day, so you can swoop in and take one of those just-dropped domains for your business or personal site before someone else finds it.
This article will explain what a dropped domain is, the search process, and some of the things you need to look for when choosing a dropped domain name for your website.
And when you're ready to start searching for dropped domains, be sure to sign up for Spamzilla with your email address!
What Is a Dropped-Domain Name?
When someone buys a domain, they must renew the domain registration by a certain date in order to continue using it for their website.
If the owner doesn’t renew the registration by then, they usually have a 30-day redemption grace period (RGP) in which to do so.
Once the RGP ends, however, the domain name becomes expired. At this point, most registrars put the expired domain up for auction.
If no domain buyers place a bid on the expired domain name at auction, then the domain registrar will add it to a drop list, rendering it for sale to the masses.
How Do I Know If I've Found a Dropped Domain?
To determine the status of the domain you’ve found, enter the domain name into a WHOIS database.
You’ll find out the expiration date, current owner, the owner’s contact information, and—most importantly—the domain status.
You want to see either “pending redemption” or “pending delete” as the status.
The former means that the domain still falls within the 30-day grace period, and the latter means that the domain is in line to drop from the registrar.
Reasons to Buy Dropped Domain Names
A dropped domain name provides you or your business with a head start on SEO due to the inbound links it accumulated over time.
You can take advantage of this boost in a few different ways, as follows.
Quickly Build High-Authority Websites
A high-authority website ranks higher in search results, but developing that authority from scratch takes tons of time and money.
When you use a dropped domain, on the other hand, it already boasts a ranking in search engine results, which will help you hit the ground running on building traffic.
Redirect Traffic to Affiliate Sites
If you earn income from affiliate marketing, you can redirect the traffic from the dropped domain’s original website to affiliate sites and increase your earnings.
Keep in mind the exact 301 redirect process will depend on your web hosting provider.
Resell the Domain to Earn a Profit
Some people earn extra income by adding more SEO value to a dropped domain and then reselling it for a higher price than what they paid.
If you decide not to use the domain name for your own site, you can resell it to earn extra cash, usually around $50 to $100.
How to Find and Buy Dropped Domains
You can use several tools and methods to search for dropped domains.
For instance, you can use crawlers that run on servers dedicated to finding dropped domains linked to existing websites or search for dropped domains in another site’s backlinks.
Of course, you can also use our software to browse dropped domains from several registrars, including GoDaddy, SnapNames, NameJet, and various domain auctions.
Most domain hunters use a service like SpamZilla to search for expired domains by keyword and find ones relevant to their niche.
If the registrar has scheduled the domain for deletion, you won’t have to worry about participating in an auction; you can buy the dropped domain through backorder or a drop catching domains service.
Qualities of the Best Expired-Domain Names
When choosing a dropped-domain name for your website, you need to consider several factors.
The best ones meet the following requirements:
High Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA) Scores
As the main appeal of buying dropped domain names, authority should play a major role in your domain name selection.
At Spamzilla, we provide you with important Moz metrics, including DA and PA. DA analyzes the entire site, while PA only covers a single webpage.
Moz scores both DA and PA on a scale from zero to 100.
No domain in the world achieves a perfect 100, but all you really need is for your domain name to have a higher score than those of your competitors’ domain names.
As a general rule, look for a DA of 25+.
Whenever Google crawls a website, it indexes what it sees.
Usually, you can simply type the dropped-domain name into the Google search bar to see if pages with the domain show up, but if you don’t see anything, use the free Google Console tool.
If you still find nothing, look at other dropped domains instead since a lack of a presence on Google will make it harder for you to gain traffic.
Plus, trying to get Google to index the domain will take a long time, if it’s even possible.
If you plan to make money off your website, then you can’t use a dropped domain that Google AdSense, the web’s most popular advertising program, has banned.
You can use one of the many free tools online like AdSense Sandbox to make sure that AdSense will still support the domain name.
High Site Traffic
Sometimes, a registrar has web hosting capabilities in addition to domain registration services, enabling the registrar to post traffic data so you can see how well the dropped-domain name has performed in the past.
Spamzilla provides you with metrics from Alexa, which ranks sites’ traffic numbers.
When purchasing a dropped domain, you want to make sure that it’s affiliated with quality blog posts, not spammy content.
To view the most recent version of the site, simply enter the domain name URL into the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine.
Signs of spam to keep an eye out for include:
- Keyword stuffing
- Duplicate content
- Unsafe content
- Dubious links
Also, you should consider that spammers tend to email from domains undetected by anti-spam filters.
Eventually, the filters find and block the domains, leading the spammers to discard them.
As you can guess from our name, Spamzilla provides a handy spam check tool to scan for every kind of unsavory usage.
Miscellaneous Things to Consider
Of course, you want to buy a domain name that matches common search terms within your niche.
You should also know that older domain names tend to rank higher in search results.
In addition, availability in multiple top-level domains (TLDs) usually indicates high demand.
During that initial WHOIS lookup, make sure you also pay attention to the domain transfer history.
If the domain name has changed owners frequently, this could warn you that something is wrong with it.
Find Expired Domains on SpamZilla
If you need help finding recently dropped domains for your website, SpamZilla has all of the features necessary to aid you in your search.
Sign up with your email address today to start using our free services!
Plus, our paid service gives you even more tools, including unlimited GoDaddy dropped domains, spam detection, and SEO data.
We add more than 350,000 available dropped domain names daily.
For more information about dropped domains, please reach out to our SpamZilla support team.
We'll happily answer your every question. Also, make sure to check out our reviews!