A drop domain is a domain name whose registration has expired and is available for free sale again. This can happen for many reasons: business closing, owners losing interest in the project, banal forgetfulness.
Even when buying a "fresh" domain from a registrar, you can get an address that someone has already used. This phenomenon has both positive and negative consequences.
The benefit or harm of a drop domain depends on the reputation and history of the site that was hosted on it. A domain that has trust and a high position in the search engine ranking and a good link profile from authoritative domains can be considered good. A reverse situation is a domain that has been sanctioned or blocked by search engines and has poor quality links, or has had spam or prohibited content for a long time. When considering the need for a domain with a history that a webmaster needs, we are talking about a positive image of the address. You need to find it, check it and buy it, which we will talk about in the following sections.
One of the main advantages of a drop domain is that it is easier to raise it in the TOP of the issue. Google trusts old addresses more than newly created ones. If it is 2-3 years old, then right from the start the site will be in higher positions than the exact same web resource with a completely new domain.
Read also: " How the age of the site affects promotion in Google ."
In addition, if there are many links to it from quality resources, then the chances of being in the TOP are even higher. And the better the link profile, the faster the site will "fly" to the first page of search results, if it is developed correctly.
Let's imagine that the owners of Facebook forgot to renew the domain and it went up for sale (although this is unlikely). It has such a strong link profile that it ranks #1 on Ahrefs. In all its time, it has received more than 149 million backlinks from almost 4 million sites. For comparison, we analyzed one of the Ukrainian middle-class online stores — it has a little more than 11,000 backlinks from a little more than 700 donor sites. You see what a colossal gap in reference mass weight.
That is, if facebook.com went on free sale, webmasters would be ready to fight among themselves and pay millions of dollars for such a domain, because it is a giant capable of bringing enormous income. Of course, such a scenario is purely hypothetical and practically impossible for a number of reasons. At least the Facebook name is too well-known to put anything else on its address.
One of the important rules for choosing a drop domain is thematic matching of the previous site with the new one. That is, if tea was previously sold on the domain, then it is better to make the new site about tea. This will help maintain the relevance of external links and bring back the audience that used the old web resource.
And now let's figure out in which cases a domain with a positive history will be useful.
If you have a business of any kind - selling clothes or spare parts, providing cleaning services or translating texts, then having your website will significantly increase the number of potential customers. In order not to spend years on SEO promotion, you can buy a domain with a good history. Thus, you will immediately be several steps ahead of competitors who started at the same time as you.
Another type of earning on the Internet is domain resale. Players in this market buy beautiful addresses by the hundreds to sell them at a higher price to interested webmasters. Sometimes a domain that already has a history is bought, and sometimes a new one is registered and kept for a couple of years to gain age, and is also sold.
A Private Blog Network is a network of satellite sites owned by the owner of the main web resource. Links from them lead to this main site and help it build mass. This practice is considered a gray method of SEO, but in reality it all depends on the quality of the satellites. If they have good quality content and are interesting to readers, then Google does not punish such networks.
One of the ways to increase traffic is to search for domains that hosted sites of the desired topic and 301 redirect to the main web resource. This works well for the promotion of young projects and helps to quickly raise the authority in search engines.
Now let's step by step find the domain and check it in different services. To do this, you need to take several steps.
On the websites of some registrars, there are separate offers for registering expired domains. But you can also use separate services. For example, there is an interesting platform expireddomains.net , which allows you to see expired and deleted domains, the number of backlinks, donor sites and other metrics. It also has a list of resources engaged in auctions of drop domains.
The service has a section Expired Domains — these are expired domains that will soon go on sale. After choosing such a domain, you can select its pre-order function and purchase it immediately as soon as it becomes available.
Another section of Deleted Domains is already deleted from the register and completely free domains that can be bought right now.
When you click on a domain in the list, the system redirects you to the corresponding service, where you can book or immediately buy an address.
Another interesting tab is Domain Lists. It lists all companies that cooperate with the service and sell drop domains. After choosing one of the companies, you will see a list of offers only from that company.
After finding a domain, it is worth checking its indexing in Google. To do this, enter the following query in the search bar: site:domain (without a space). For example, this is how the request for the domain we have chosen will look like - site:366333n.com.
Here we see 1,120 results, so Google is still ranking it, and that's pretty good. The more results, the better.
But in this case, it is obvious that the site belongs to the Asian region, which means that it has a suitable audience and links from Asian sites. This is not the best option for site development, for example, in Ukraine. It's best to look for domains that have been used in your area and have a local audience.
If Google does not show results at all, then the domain has either not been used for a long time and has been removed from the database, or it has been sanctioned.
Another step is link analysis. If you used the Expired Domains service above, you could immediately familiarize yourself with the situation by looking at the main metrics in the table. But if the domain was found in another way or a more in-depth analysis is needed, we recommend that you familiarize yourself with the following services:
Magestic.com is a British platform created in 2004, mainly for backlink analysis.
Ahrefs.com is a powerful service with a large number of Seo tools. including link analysis. It has been operating since 2010 and has its head office in Singapore. By the way, it was founded by a Ukrainian .
Serpstat.com is a Ukrainian analogue, a more budget-friendly platform designed for our audience, so it has a Ukrainian version.
Our test Asian domain also shows good performance here — 52 points out of 100 in the rating and more than 27,000 still working links to it.
Now you need to find out whether the domain was sanctioned or blacklisted due to the placement of prohibited materials. The following services can be used to check expired domains:
check.spamhaus.org — check for spam;
Norton Safe Web — site reputation evaluation service;
Blacklistalert.org - shows whether the domain is blacklisted.
The services show that the selected domain is spam-free but has minor reputational issues. Ideally, if the mark is green, and the site is completely safe.
Read also: " XXX-files: what is allowed and what is prohibited to host? »
The Web Archive is a magical tool that allows you to find out what content was posted on a site at different periods of its existence. From it we managed to find out that the domain we were interested in hosted a Chinese news site that was active mostly in 2020 and 2021.
The web archive helps to understand the content of which topic was contained on the site, whether this topic is suitable for our web resource, whether there was no prohibited content on it.
Well, now we know everything about the chosen domain and decided to buy it. What is needed for this?
There are several ways to buy an expired or deleted domain. It can be purchased using Expired Domains or similar services that collect information about drop domains.
There are also auctions where you can buy expired domains, such as GoDaddy .
If the domain has already been deleted, then you can go the easiest way and buy it from a regular registrar that serves this domain zone.
In any case, even if you did not plan to buy a drop domain, always check the history of the chosen address at the registrar. After all, she can tell a lot of interesting things about herself if she asks the right questions.