Starting a blog from scratch can be a tedious task. When your domain authority starts at a measly1, it can be nearly impossible to rank well for the keywords you’ve so painstakingly researched. How do you get in Google’s top 10 when you domain authority is so low? The simple answer is – unfortunately – you probably won’t. So how on earth do you get a head start? It takes years to build up domain authority, but there is one way to skip the queue and get a high domain authority when you begin your website. This is where expired domains come into play.
Expired Domain Names: Check Expired Domain Authority, Expired Domain Search Tool, and Much More
Expired domains are domain names that were previously in use but the owner has let the payment lapse. Perhaps they are done with the site. Maybe they just forgot to make the payment. No matter what the reason, you can cash in on expired domains. But it isn’t as simple as it sounds. You can’t just find an awesome domain, go forth, and rank amazingly in Google. No, it requires much more than that.
Where to Look for Expired Domain Names
My favorite place to look for expired domains is GoDaddy Auctions. While you can browse their auction site without a membership, you can’t bid on domains without an account. Worry not, however. An account costs around $8 a year. Yeah, it’s that cheap, and they have thousands of domains for auction.
You can browse all of the domain names, but that’s pretty tedious. The domain lists are thousands of URLs long. You probably have an idea in mind of what you want to make your website about. Think of a keyword you want in your URL. Type it into the GoDaddy expired domains search bar, and off you go. Now you have a list of likely thousands of expired domain names. What on earth do you do with this list now?
How to Find a Good Expired Domain Name
GoDaddy has a function where you can export the first 4,000 results to an Excel file. The first step is getting this spreadsheet. Next, you’ll want to use a bulk domain authority checker, as checking them one by one will take you forever. These usually let you check fifty domain names at a time. It’s still tedious, but far less so than one by one. This will tell you both the domain authority and page authority of a given domain on a scale of 0 to 100.
However, using the Moz domain authority checker tool will tell you a lot more, such as the backlink profile and spam score. You can only check a few domains per day using Moz’s tool, but you can make sure you’ll find high authority domains this way. It’s also important to use a tool to check the trust flow of the domain, which is similar to its spam score. This will ensure you find a quality domain.
Start inputting your domain names into the bulk domain authority checker. Go through the results one by one, until you find domains with a good domain authority. It probably isn’t worth it to spend $100 to skip ahead to a DA of 10. But it might be worth $12.
With a little work, however, you can find something far higher. Recently, for example, I found a friend a domain name with a DA of 36 for only $12 plus the domain registration for the year. Pretty damn good for a starter blog.
So how did I do it?
Put in the Effort to Find your Expired Domain Names
I searched. And then I searched some more. And when I was done that? I searched some more. I went through the entire list of 4,000 domain names until I spotted something good. The first thing I did when I found a high domain authority website was return to GoDaddy, and check the price on it. Was it $12 – their starting bid? Or was it $10,000? If it was $10,000, back to the drawing board I went.
If, however, it was in my budget range, I would move on to my next step. At this point I know two things: 1. The domain authority is desirable, and 2. The price range is affordable.
Next I head on over to Moz. I put in the domain name, and then look out for two things. Does it have a high spam score? If so, the domain name is tossed out. I wouldn’t buy a domain name with a spam score of over three. Preferably, it should have a spam score of 0.
The next thing I look at is backlinks. For one, does it have any? Secondly, are the backlinks coming from just a few select domains, or are they coming from a ton of different domains? Moz gives you this information.
If the domain name has a high domain authority, a cost within my budget range, a low spam score, and links from many different sources, then I’m in.
Bidding on Expired Domains
Next you’ve got to bid on your domain name. But not so fast! Bidding right away may drive up the price, and may attract others to bid. It’s a good rule of thumb when bidding for anything to wait until near the end.
One feature of GoDaddy that I love is that you can put in your top bid. So say the domain was going for $12, and I put in $100. GoDaddy would automatically bid for me above anyone else until they reach my maximum bid of $100. However, if no one else bids, I would only pay $12 for the domain. Winning.
So you want to wait until near the end, and insert your top bid amount if you’re going to get the domain name you’re dreaming of.
Things to Watch Out For with Expired Domains
I’m not going to lie to you. Oftentimes when you get an expired domain name the domain authority will drop a bit. This is because it is losing some links from other sites, as the actual page they’re linking to no longer exists. You can fix this by setting up a 404 redirect to homepage. Instead of the links displaying as broken, they’ll go to your brand new homepage. This makes it less likely that the links will be deleted, and your domain authority will stay high.
You should do proper research on your backlinks before you get your expired domain, as there may be a few links that are undesirable. They may have low trust scores and high spam scores, and are generally sites you don’t want links from. Make sure to do a backlink check with a tool like SEMrush, and disavow with Google any untrustworthy links. Having less links may seem like a bad thing, but in reality it’s better for you in the long run to get rid of the nasty links. You don’t want a bunch of sites with high spam scores linking to you, as that will diminish your domain authority.
Build Up New Links
It’s very important after you’ve cleaned up old links that you immediately start building new high quality links to your new domain name. They should be reputable links, and from a diverse array of sources. This will help add link juice back where you may lose it. Keep those new links coming, and you should see your domain authority stabilize. Link building is crucial to any website, but if you want to keep your domain authority on your expired domain high, you absolutely must start this right away.
Don’t forget to also set up either a 301 redirect or 404 redirect for any pages that existed on the old domain and no longer do. Without these, you risk losing a lot of links that were pointing towards the expired domain.
Do I Really Need an Expired Domain Name?
No, you don’t need one per se. Not at all. It just takes a long time to get from DA 1 to DA 30, for example. This could take 1-3 years, depending on how dedicated you are. Expired domain names will help you jump up, enabling you to perform better in Google search.
But why do you even need to jump up in the first place? All the hard work you do looking for the right keywords and implementing them properly is in vain if you have no domain authority. You just won’t rank without the domain authority to back you. Work hard at finding excellent expired domain names, and you can start way higher up there than others. Plus, some can be ridiculously cheap for a great domain authority. Why not see what’s out there before buying a new domain at a DA of 1?
Good expired domains are hard to come by, but not impossible. Follow all of these steps, and take your time. Yes, go through the entire list of 4,000. And if you don’t find one by the time you’re done, try a different keyword for your new domain name. Export the list again, and repeat every step. It can take some serious time to find a good expired domain name, but in the end it will save you years of work. This can all be a very tedious task, but when you find the right domain, very rewarding. Besides, the amount of time you spend researching good expired domain names saves you a ton of time in the future. So why not get started at the very beginning? Follow these steps, take your time, repeat as many times as you need, and I guarantee you’ll find a great expired domain name.
Check out this video by GoDaddy for a brief explanation of their domain auctions.