Several years ago you could get almost any domain name that you wanted for a few dollars. Today things are different. The internet has grown to the point where there are millions of domains registered each year. To get a great domain name now, you have to get lucky or wait for it to expire.
Before you commit to spending hundreds to thousands of dollars on a just expired domain name, though, it’s important to know the true value of it. In this article we will give you 5 things to consider when checking the value of expired domain names.
1. Check the Backlinks
Backlinks are when one website links to another website. It’s one of the factors search engines like Google use to determine the quality of a website and where they will place it in their index.
When determining the value of just expired domain names, check to see how many backlinks point to it. You can use a service like SEMrush for this purpose.
If you find that the expired domain has backlinks pointing to it, check the quality of those links and answer the following questions: Are the links functioning or were they updated to lead to a different domain? Are the links relevant to the domain or irrelevant? Are the links from spammy websites?
Additionally, check for a variety of backlink sources. If the backlinks to a domain come from only one or two sources, you could be looking at one that used in a back linking scheme. Search engines frown upon such practices and will penalize you for it.
2. Check the Google Index
In order for visitors to find your domain organically, a search engine like Google needs to have it in its index. You can check to see if it’s indexed by doing a simple Google search using the site: modifier. Type “site: domainname.com” in the Google search bar without quotes and see if anything comes up.
If nothing comes up, you need to know why. If it’s deindexed by Google, it can be a lot harder to get it re-indexed, and that will negatively affect the value of the expired domain name.
3. Know Your Domain Name Extensions
Domain name extensions, also called TLDs, are the suffixes at the end of a name. The three most popular TLDs are .com, .net, and .org.
If the just expired domain name doesn’t have one of the top three suffixes its value will generally be diminished unless you’re able to buy a .gov or .edu name (which is unlikely).
Avoid expired domain names with extensions like .info and .biz. They’ve become highly abused and are now often seen as spam. They are not as valuable as a .com.
4. Check the Archives
As the saying goes, once something is on the internet it never goes away. This is true even for a just expired domain.
Check the Wayback Machine at Archive.org for old instances of the expired domain name to see what kind of content it used to have. If you’re buying a domain name related to international travel but it used to host cookie recipes, it’s going to be less valuable to you. That domain name may be associated with spam, which is a red flag.
5. Be Unique and Memorable
Is the expired domain name unique and memorable? If it’s a name that’s memorable and not based on a passing fad, it’s a sign you’re looking at a valuable name. For example, would you rather own Walmart.com or Slimemart.com? One is brandable and memorable, and the other is based on a fad.
Domain names with 15 or fewer characters tend to do better than names that are long jumbles of alphabet soup.
In a lot of ways, buying an expired domain is like buying a used car. To get the best bang for your buck, you need to do some research on the domain name’s history.
After using all 5 ways to check the value of expired domains, you will have a good idea of what the true value of it is to you.
Make sure it has valuable backlinks, and it’s indexed in Google, and it wasn’t used for spam. If it passes those metrics, you’re looking at a valuable expired domain name that you should buy.