Expired Domains – How To Find And Buy Premium Expired Domain Names

Michael Gargiulo - CEO, VPN.com

By: Michael Gargiulo, CEO at VPN.com

Updated: 4:42 PM ET Mon, May 24th 2021

Domain Expired text on a sign.

The thriving aftermarket for domain names is great for sellers and investors, but it generally represents an obstacle for webmasters. After all, when you’re working directly with a registrar, the costs of domain ownership are minimal. One way to find valuable domains at an extremely low price is by targeting expired domains. Here, you’ll be able to purchase the rights to a recently-freed domain name that just reverted from someone’s ownership.

What Is An Expired Domain?

What you need to know about expired domains

While brokers, investors, and other parties in the domain industry often talk about buying and selling domains, this isn’t actually what’s happening. No one can ever truly own a domain name; they simply lease the rights to use it. ICAAN, an international body that governs domains, owns and maintains the registry of currently extant names. It relies on registrars such as GoDaddy and BlueHost to handle the operational side of their work, such as marketing and working with registrants. Registrants are people like you who lease the rights to use a given name.

Every registrant, regardless of their status as a webmaster, broker, etc., must pay a modest, routine fee to keep the domain. When someone misses this payment, they lose the rights to it and anyone can quickly take it for themselves. What’s more, they’re getting the domain for the low prices that registrars offer. While it’s unlikely that you’ll be in time to snatch a million-dollar domain, purchasing domains that have expired is still a worthwhile practice. Securing the lease to an expired domain is convenient, affordable, and can even improve your SEO.

Benefits Of Targeting Expired Domains

Why you should target expired domains

Buying an expired domain is beneficial for virtually anyone with an interest in domain names. For the investor, it allows you to increase the size of your portfolio at little cost. If the domain name is suitable for a website you want to build, then sniping an expired domain is perfect. Even if the domain has no relation to your industry, older domains with backlinks can drive traffic and help you make your websites more successful.

You can use resources such Open Site Explorer to verify important metrics such as domain authority and page authority. Then you can use one of the Google ban checker websites available on the internet to make sure it isn’t banned by Google. If you see a chance to collect an expired domain with 25+ domain authority that isn’t banned, you should buy it first and decide what to do with it later. The reason is that when a domain has such high authority, it’s sure to be either useful or easy to resell.

Low Prices & Straightforward Buying Process

Since you’re working directly with a registrar rather than the aftermarket, the buying process is remarkably different. While the aftermarket deals with domain names as financial assets, registrars primarily charge the costs of maintenance and upkeep. Not only will the price they charge be much lower, but the process of buying is much simpler. You won’t have to negotiate over the price, for instance.

Many domain registrars allow customers to buy expired domains the same way you would buy a normal domain. Others, such as GoDaddy, run auctions on domains that have expired. In this case, the price will be considerably higher than the default cost for an unused domain. Nonetheless, the potential for impressive savings is still there. Even then, the higher cost may well be warranted given that a domain name with a history of use can be extremely valuable. This is because it’s had time to accrue authority and backlinks, which are key factors to running a successful website.

Existing Domain Authority

When you start using a new domain to start your blog or website, you’re starting from nothing. Building out a website isn’t just a matter of hiring a good web designer and creating great content. Even when you have a wonderful website, it might only enjoy a trickle of traffic at first. Why is this, you might ask? Because of a lack of existing traffic and authority-building backlinks. This kind of social, off-site SEO plays a large role in how Google and other search engines rank websites.

More specifically, search engines use several metrics related to existing traffic. The volume of visitors is important, but Google also estimates the quality of their visit. If visitors spend more time on your website and view more pages before leaving, that’s better than seeing a single page for a moment and leaving. Backlinks increase traffic, but they also boost the authority which the search engine ascribes to your website. Higher authority results in better ranking and higher performance in search engine results pages.

This is important because Google doesn’t recognize when a domain changes ownership or hosts a different website. Authority, traffic, and other SEO benefits remain with the domain even as it changes hands. Instead of starting from the ground up, you can capitalize on work that someone else had already done. Hosting your website with a domain that already has a traffic flow and good backlinks can be a real game-changer. However, this isn’t the only way to capitalize on authoritative domains.

Create A Private Blog Network

Maybe you can’t use a new, high-authority domain name to host your website. The name could simply be too different to be compatible with your branding. Alternatively, switching from one domain to another could cause more harm to your established traffic flow than it’s worth. In this case, you can create a Private Blog Network (PBN) to leverage your high-authority expired domains.

In the eyes of a search engine, not all backlinks are equal. If an obscure website with no authority or regular traffic starts backlinking to your website, the gains will be marginal. This is how Google, Bing, and other services prevent people from creating shell websites that do nothing but backlink to their real pages. However, you can work around this limitation by buying reputable expired domains.

Once you have domains with some authority among search engines, you can use them to start new websites. With a modest investment in content creation and design, you’ll have a website that starts producing meaningful, SEO-boosting backlinks you can take advantage of. Additionally, you can repeat this process with any number of domains you buy. In doing so, you can effectively use brute force to rapidly ensure your primary website rapidly becomes a high-authority resource. While this is no substitute for quality content, it will allow a good website to go much further, faster.

Redirect Traffic

The easiest, most foolproof way to capitalize on existing backlinks is with a 301 redirect. In this case, you can make it so that traffic to your new domain automatically redirects itself. This is particularly beneficial if you’ve purchased a domain with high-performing backlinks, such as a link from the New York Times or Washington Post. It basically ensures a steady trickle of traffic to your website and requires very little effort on your part.

Of course, the drawback is that it doesn’t utilize the full potential of an older domain. While traffic redirection is the easiest way to use an expired domain, it also confers the most modest gains.

How To Buy Expired Domain Names

How to Buy Expired Domains

Expired domains are clearly a valuable asset for any SEO-minded webmaster, but that still leaves the question of how to purchase one. There are many ways to go about finding and buying expired domains.

Backordering In-Use Domains

Backordering is a bit like mining for gold in the sense that you might place countless backorders and get nothing for your time and effort. However, it’s just a matter of luck to eventually collect any number of high-value domains just as they expire.

Backordering is essentially the process of reserving a domain that’s in use. If the current owner renews their lease on the domain, then you’re out of luck for at least another year. However, when you backorder a domain that expires, you’re able to buy it immediately. It’s hardly possible to build a business around backordering since it’s a matter of luck unless you have good cause to believe a domain will expire. However, this is still fine for the simple reason that placing a backorder requires very little time and effort.

Expired Domain Auctions

Many registrars run auctions when their domains expire. In this case, you’ll be able to place bids and contest the domain for a certain period of time. For instance, GoDaddy runs auctions that last for seven days. This means that if you check their expired domain auctions once every six days, you’ll never miss out on the chance to collect a high-value domain name that’s relevant to your industry. The same principle also applies to any other website that runs domain auctions. So long as you check periodically, you’ll have the opportunity to capitalize on any new expirations.

Expired Domain Marketplaces

While some registrars use an auction approach to selling domains that expired, others use a marketplace approach. In this case, you can either search for a digital marketplace page or filter expired names from their normal page. From here, you might explore the list manually or input relevant keywords to see what’s available. Given the number of domains on the market, you have good odds of finding a reasonably valuable expired domain.

If you’re having trouble finding the right domain or need help capitalizing on expirations, you might consider hiring a premium domain broker. While their services include buying, selling, and evaluating, they typically have broad subject matter expertise. As a result, a domain broker can help you find and buy expired domains.

VPN.com Premium Domain Brokers

Should you purchase expired domains?

At VPN.com we’re experts on all things pertaining to domain names. If you want to find out more about buying expired domains, we can help. Our range of industry connections gives us access to thousands of valuable domains on the aftermarket. It’s a simple matter for us to find your perfect domain name on your behalf, so turn to VPN.com when you need a new domain name.

Worldwide Premium Domain Brokers

Helping you acquire premium domain names in any country you desire. Inquire today about our Global Brand Protection Program if you want to register your brand in EVERY country.

North America Domains

Country

Bermuda

Canada
Greenland
Mexico
Saint Pierre
United States

Domain
.bm
.ca
.gl
.com.mx, .mx
.pm
.us, .com
Language
English
French, English
Greenlandic
Spanish
French
English
Capital
Hamilton
Ottawa
Nuuk
Mexico City
Saint-Pierre
Washington D.C.
Pop.
62,278
37,742,154
56,770
128,932,753
5,794
331,002,651

Africa Domains

Country

Algeria

Angola
Antarctica
Benin
Botswana
Burkina
Burundi
Cameroon
Cape Verde
Central African Republic
Chad
Cote D'Ivoire
Dem. Congo
Djibouti
Egypt
Equatorial Guinea
Gabon
Ghana
Guinea
Guinea-Bissau
Kenya
Lesotho
Liberia
Libya
Madagascar
Malawi
Mali
Mauritania
Mauritius
Mayotte
Morocco
Mozambique
Namibia
Niger
Nigeria
Congo
Reunion Island
Rwanda
Sao Tome
Senegal
Seychelles
Sierra Leone
Somalia
South Africa
St. Helena
Sudan
Tanzania
The Gambia
Togo
Tunisia
Uganda
Zambia
Zimbabwe
South Sudan
Domain Extension
.dz
.co.ao
.aq
.bj
.bw
.bf
.bi
.cm
.cv
.cf
.td
.ci
.cd
.dj
.com.eg, .eg
.gq
.ga
.com.gh
.com.gn
.gw
.ke
.co.ls, .ls
.com.lr
.ly
.mg
.mw
.ml
.mr
.mu
.yt
.co.ma, .ma
.co.mz
.na
.ne
.ng
.cg
.re
.rw
.st
.sn
.sc
.sl
.so
.co.za
.sh
.sd
.co.tz
.gm
.tg
.com.tn, .tn
.com.ug, .ug
.com.zm
.co.zw
.com.ss
Language
Arabic
Portuguese
Russian, English
French
English
French
French, English, Kirundi
French, English
Portuguese, Creole
Sango, French
French, Arabic
French
French
Arabic, French
Arabic
Spanish, French, Portuguese
French
English
French
Portuguese
Swahili, English
Southern Sotho, English
English
Arabic
Malagasy, French
English
French
Arabic
Mauritian Creole
French
Arabic
Portuguese
English
French
English
French
Reunion French Creole
Kinyarwanda, English, French
Portuguese
French
English, Seselwa, French
English
Somali
Zulu, Xhosa, Afrikaans, English
English
Arabic, English
Swahili, English
English
French
Arabic
Swahili, English
English
Shona, Ndebele, English
English
Capital
Algiers
Luanda
N/A
Porto-Novo
Gaborone
Ouagadougou
Gitega
Yaoundé
Praia
Bangui
N'Djamena
Yamoussoukro
Kinshasa
Djibouti
Cairo
Malabo
Libreville
Accra
Conakry
Bissau
Nairobi
Maseru
Monrovia
Tripoli
Antananarivo
Lilongwe
Bamako
Nouakchott
Port Louis
Mamoudzou
Rabat
Maputo
Windhoek
Niamey
Abuja
Brazzaville
Saint-Denis
Kigali
São Tomé
Dakar
Victoria
Freetown
Mogadishu
Cape Town
Jamestown
Khartoum
Dodoma
Banjul
Lomé
Tunis
Kampala
Lusaka
Harare
Juba
Pop.
43,851,044
32,866,272
4,490
12,123,200
2,351,627
20,903,273
11,890,784
26,545,863
561,198
4,829,767
16,425,864
26,378,274
89,561,403
988,000
102,334,404
1,402,985
2,225,734
31,072,940
13,132,795
1,968,001
53,771,296
2,142,249
5,057,681
6,871,292
27,691,018
19,129,952
20,250,833
4,649,658
1,271,768
272,815
36,910,560
31,255,435
2,540,905
24,206,644
206,139,589
5,518,087
895,312
12,952,218
219,159
16,743,927
98,347
7,976,983
15,893,222
59,308,690
6,077
43,849,260
59,734,218
2,416,668
8,278,724
11,818,619
45,741,007
18,383,955
14,862,924
11,193,725

Asia Domains

Country

Afghanistan

Armenia
Azerbaijan
Bangladesh
Bhutan
British Indian Ocean Territory
Brunei
Cambodia
China
Christmas Island
Georgia
Guam
Hong Kong
India
Indonesia
Japan
Kazakhstan
Kyrgyzstan
Laos
Macao
Malaysia
Maldives
Mongolia
Myanmar
Nepal
Niue
Pakistan
Palestine
Philippines
Singapore
South Korea
Sri Lanka
Taiwan
Tajikistan
Thailand
Timor Leste
Turkmenistan
Uzbekistan
Vietnam
Domain
.af
.am
.az
.com.bd
.bt
.io
.com.bn
.com.kh
.cn, .com.cn
.cx
.com.ge, .ge
.com.gu
.com.hk, .hk
.co.in, .in
.co.id, .id
.jp
.kz
.kg
.la
.mo
.com.my, .my
.mv
.mn
.com.mm
.com.np
.nu
.pk
.com.ps, .ps
.ph
.com.sg, .sg
.com.kr, .kr
.lk
.com.tw, .tw
.com.tj, .tj
.co.th
.tl
.tm
.uz
.com.vn
Language
Pashto, Dari
Armenian
Azerbaijani
Bengali
Dzongkha
English
Malay
Khmer
Mandarin
English
Georgian
Chamorro, English
Cantonese, Mandarin, English
Hindi, English
Indonesian
Japanese
Kazakh, Russian
Kyrgyz, Russian
Lao
Cantonese, Portuguese
Malay
Dhivehi
Mongolian
Burmese
Nepali
Niue, English
Urdu, English
Arabic
Filipino, English
Malay, Tamil, English, Mandarin
Korean
Sinhala, Tamil
Mandarin
Tajiki
Thai
Portuguese, Tetun
Turkmen
Uzbek
Vietnamese
Capital
Kabul
Yerevan
Baku
Dhaka
Thimphu
Camp Justice
Bandar Seri Begawan
Phnom Penh
Beijing
Flying Fish Cove
Tbilisi
Hagåtña
City of Victoria
New Delhi
Jakarta
Tokyo
Nur-Sultan
Bishkek
Vientiane
Macao
Kuala Lumpur
Malé
Ulaanbaatar
Naypyitaw
Kathmandu
Alofi
Islamabad
Ramallah, East Jerusalem
Manila
Pulau Ujong
Seoul
Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte
Taipei
Dushanbe
Bangkok
Dili
Ashgabat
Tashkent
Hanoi
Pop.
38,928,346
2,963,243
10,139,177
164,689,383
771,608
3,000
437,479
16,718,965
1,439,323,776
1,843
3,989,167
168,775
7,496,981
1,380,004,385
273,523,615
126,476,461
18,776,707
6,524,195
7,275,560
649,335
32,365,999
540,544
3,278,290
54,409,800
29,136,808
1,626
220,892,340
5,101,414
109,581,078
5,850,342
51,269,185
21,413,249
23,816,775
9,537,645
69,799,978
1,318,445
6,031,200
33,469,203
97,338,579

Caribbean Domains

Country

Anguilla

Antigua
Aruba
Bahamas
Barbados
British Virgin Islands
Cayman Islands
Curacao
Dominica
Dominican Republic
Grenada
Guadeloupe
Haiti
Jamaica
Martinique
Montserrat
Puerto Rico
Saint Lucia
Sint Maarten
St. Kitts and Nevis
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Trinidad and Tobago
Turks and Caicos
U.S. Virgin Islands
Domain Extension
.ai
.ag
.aw
.bs
.bb
.vg
.com.ky, .ky
.com.cw, .cw
.dm
.do
.gd
.gp
.ht
.com.jm
.mq
.ms
.com.pr, .pr
.lc
.sx
.kn
.com.vc, .vc
.tt
.tc
.com.vi, .vi
Language
English
English
Dutch, Papiamento
English
English
English
English
Dutch, English, Papiamento
English
Spanish
English
French
Haitian Creole, French
English
French
English
Spanish, English
English
Dutch, English
English
English
English
English
English
Capital
The Valley
Saint John's
Oranjestad
Nassau
Bridgetown
Road Town
George Town
Willemstad
Roseau
Santo Domingo
Saint George's
Basse-Terre
Port-au-Prince
Kingston
Fort-de-France
Plymouth, Brades
San Juan
Castries
Philipsburg
Basseterre, Charlestown
Kingstown
Port of Spain
Cockburn Town
Charlotte Amalie
Pop.
15,003
97,929
106,766
393,244
287,375
30,231
65,722
164,093
71,986
10,847,910
112,523
400,124
11,402,528
2,961,167
375,265
4,992
2,860,853
183,627
42,876
53,199
110,940
1,399,488
38,717
104,425

Central America Domains

Country

Belize

Costa Rica
El Salvador
Guatemala
Honduras
Nicaragua
Panama
Domain
.bz
.cr
.com.sv, .sv
.com.gt, .gt
.hn
.com.ni, .ni
.pa
Language
English
Spanish
Spanish
Spanish
Spanish
Spanish
Spanish
Capital
Belmopan
San José
San Salvador
Guatemala City
Tegucigalpa
Managua
Panama City
Pop.
397,628
5,094,118
6,486,205
17,915,568
9,904,607
6,624,554
4,314,767

Europe Domains

Country

Aland Islands

Albania
Ascension Island
Austria
Belarus
Belgium
Bosnia
Bulgaria
Croatia
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Denmark
Estonia
Faroe Island
Finland
France
Germany
Gibraltar
Greece
Guernsey
Hungary
Iceland
Ireland
Isle of Man
Italy
Jersey
Latvia
Liechtenstein
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Macedonia
Malta
Moldova
Monaco
Montenegro
Netherlands
Norway
Poland
Portugal
Romania
Russia
San Marino
Serbia
Slovakia
Slovenia
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
Ukraine
United Kingdom
Domain Extension
.ax
.al
.ac
.at
.by
.be
.ba
.bg
.hr
.cy
.co.cz, .cz
.dk
.ee
.fo
.fi
.fr
.de
.gi
.com.gr, .gr
.gg
.hu
.is
.ie
.im
.it
.je
.lv
.li
.lt
.lu
.mk
.com.mt, .mt
.md
.mc
.me
.nl
.no
.com.pl, .pl
.pt
.ro
.com.ru, .ru
.sm
.co.rs, .rs
.sk
.si
.com.es, .es
.se
.ch
.com.ua, .ua
.co.uk, .uk
Language
Swedish
Albanian
English
German
Belarusian, Russian
Dutch, German, French
Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian
Bulgarian
Croatian
Greek, Turkish
Czech
Danish
Estonian
Faroese, Danish
Finnish, Swedish
French
German
English
Greek
English
Hungarian
Icelandic
Irish, English
Manx, English
Italian
French, English
Latvian
German
Lithuanian
Luxembourgish, German, French
Macedonian, Albanian
Maltese, English
Romanian
French
Montenegrin
Dutch
Norwegian
Polish
Portuguese
Romanian
Russian
Italian
Serbian
Slovak
Slovenian
Spanish
Swedish
German, Romansh, French, Italian
Ukrainian
English
Capital
Mariehamn
Tirana
Georgetown
Vienna
Minsk
Brussels
Sarajevo
Sofia
Zagreb
Nicosia
Prague
Copenhagen
Tallinn
Tórshavn
Helsinki
Paris
Berlin
Gibraltar
Athens
Saint Peter Port
Budapest
Reykjavík
Dublin
Douglas
Rome
Saint Hellier
Riga
Vaduz
Vilnius
Luxembourg
Skopje
Valletta
Chișinău
Monaco
Podgorica
Amsterdam
Oslo
Warsaw
Lisbon
Bucharest
Moscow
San Marino
Belgrade
Bratislava
Ljubljana
Madrid
Stockholm
Bern
Kyiv
London
Pop.
29,900
2,877,797
7,915
9,006,398
9,449,323
11,589,623
3,280,819
6,948,445
4,105,267
1,207,359
10,708,981
5,792,202
1,326,535
52,934
5,540,720
65,273,511
83,783,942
33,691
10,423,054
63,000
9,660,351
341,243
4,937,786
85,033
60,461,826
173,863
1,886,198
38,128
2,722,289
625,978
2,083,374
441,543
4,033,963
39,242
628,066
17,134,872
5,421,241
37,846,611
10,196,709
19,237,691
145,934,462
33,931
8,737,371
5,459,642
2,078,938
46,754,778
10,099,265
8,654,622
43,733,762
67,886,011

Middle East Domains

Country

Arab Emirates

Bahrain
Iraq
Israel
Jordan
Kuwait
Lebanon
Oman
Qatar
Saudi Arabia
Yemen
Turkey
Domain
.ae
.bh
.iq
.co.il
.jo
.com.kw
.com.lb
.com.com, .om
.qa
.com.sa, .sa
.com.ye
.com.tr
Language
Arabic
Arabic
Kurdish, Arabic
Hebrew
Arabic
Arabic
Arabic
Arabic
Arabic
Arabic
Arabic
Turkish
Capital
Abu Dhabi
Manama
Baghdad
Jerusalem
Amman
Kuwait City
Beirut
Muscat
Doha
Riyadh
Sana'a
Ankara
Pop.
9,890,402
1,701,575
40,222,493
8,655,535
10,203,134
4,270,571
6,825,445
5,106,626
2,881,053
34,813,871
29,825,964
84,339,067

Oceania Domains

Country

American Samoa

Australia
Cocos Islands
Cook Islands
Fiji
French Polynesia
Heard and McDonald Islands
Kiribati
Mariana
Micronesia
Nauru
New Caledonia
New Zealand
Norfolk
Palau
Pitcairn
Samoa
Solomon Islands
Tokelau
Tonga
Tuvalu
Vanuatu
Wallis and Futuna
Domain Extension
.as
.com.au
.cc
.co.ck
.com.fj
.com.pf, pf
.hm
.com.ki
.mp
.fm
.nr
.nc
.co.nz, .nz
.nf
.pw
.pn
.ws
.sb
.tk
.to
.tv
.vu
.wf
Language
Samoan, English
English
English
Rarotongan, English
Fijian, English, Fiji Hindi
French
English
Kiribati, English
Chamorro, Carolinian, English
English
Nauruan, English
French
Maori, English
English, Norfuk
Palauan, English
English
Samoan, English
English
Tokelauan, English
Tongan, English
Tuvaluan, English
French, English, Bislama
French
Capital
Pago Pago
Canberra
West Island
Avarua District
Suva
Pape'ete
N/A
Tarawa
Saipan
Palikir
Nauru
Nouméa
Wellington
Kingston
Ngerulmud
Adamstown
Apia
Honiara
Nukunonu
Nuku'alofa
Funafuti
Port Vila
Matā'utu
Pop.
55,191
25,499,884
544
17,564
896,445
280,908
0
119,449
57,559
548,914
10,824
285,498
4,822,233
1,748
18,094
50
198,414
686,884
1,357
105,695
11,792
307,145
11,239

South America Domains

Country

Argentina

Bolivia
Brazil
Chile
Colombia
Ecuador
Falkland Islands
French Guiana
Guyana
Paraguay
Peru
S.Georgia and S.Sandwich Islands
Suriname
Uruguay
Venezuela
Domain Extension
.ar, .com.ar
.bo
.com.br
.cl
.com.br
.ec
.co.fk
.gf
.gy
.com.py
.pe
.gs
.sr
.com.uy, .uy
.com.ve
Language
Spanish
Spanish
Portuguese
Spanish
Spanish
Spanish
English
French
English
Paraguayan Guarani, Spanish
Spanish, Aymara
English
Dutch
Spanish
Spanish
Capital
Buenos Aires
La Paz, Sucre
Brasilia
Santiago
Bogotá
Quito
Stanley
Cayenne
Georgetown
Asunción
Lima
King Edward Point
Paramaribo
Montevideo
Caracas
Pop.
45,195,774
11,673,021
212,559,417
19,116,201
50,882,891
17,643,054
3,480
298,682
786,552
7,132,538
32,971,854
0
586,632
3,473,730
28,435,940
en_USEnglish
DMCA.com Protection Status