DomCop Review 2023: How to Find Expired Domains (Like a Pro)

Wondering how you can use DomCop to find quality expired domains? Perfect, because that’s exactly what I’m going to show you today. Not only will I show you how to use this tool but also how to qualify the domains that you find. Enjoy:

SpamZilla is our preferred choice for finding expired domains now.

Hey, in this guide, I will show you how to use DomCop to find expired domains. So let me start by saying that DomCop is a software that allows you to find expired and archived domains. And the reason why DomCop is such an effective tool is that you have the capability to filter all of these domains and all of these opportunities that you see based on specific criteria. And so in this case, and in the way that I’m gonna be doing it and the way I’m gonna be showing you, it’s gonna be based on many link metrics. Because that’s really what our focus is when we’re trying to find quality expired domains.

And just to keep in mind, DomCop does cost money, but it’s definitely worth the investment if you’re serious about finding high-quality expired domains. Because it helps you be more efficient, and when you’re more efficient, you’ll save a lot of time, which means you’ll probably see an ROI from the cost of using this tool. Because you’re going to be saving a lot of time, and most importantly, you’re going to be able to find domains that will ultimately help you grow your organic search traffic and improve your SEO performance. Which ultimately leads to more customers for your business.

SpamZilla is our preferred choice for finding expired domains now.

So as you can see here in the dashboard, a lot is going on. And I’ll real quickly show you basically the way that my mind works when I’m inside their dashboard. I usually start with expiring domains. And the reason for that is because they are the highest quality opportunities. Then I’ll go into the expired domains, and then I’ll go into the archived domains. There are many ways to go about this, but I personally prefer to start with expiring domains.

So the first thing that you need to do is click on the show filter option. Then click on the simple option because this will allow us to create our own filter for vetting these expired domains. So I’m just gonna do a couple of settings here, so we have a broader base of domains. So the first set that I’m gonna do is set the Majestic Trust Flow minimum to 10. Then I’m gonna set the Majestic Backlinks to five. So the main reason we want to keep this total backlink lower depends on the strategy you’re going to use.

So, for example, if you’re gonna use the White Hat Alternative to PBNs, then the total amount of linking root domains going to the domain doesn’t matter as much because what you’re trying to do is just find quality links that you’re trying to extract from that domain and ultimately drive back to your website. In that case, you don’t need many linking root domains. But when it comes due to the merger technique or if you want to take on the risk and use PBNs, you want to find domains with a lot of linking root domains and high-quality linking root domains. But just for this example, I’m gonna set it low, so we can get a wider pool of domains to examine.

The last filter you’ll want to set is a minimum of 10 Domain Authority or DA. So the main reason why setting these filters and these minimums is that we want to get rid of low-quality domains that are just going to waste our time when we’re trying to go through these domains and try to qualify these domains. And so anything that has less than a DA 10 or less than a Trust Flow of 10 is probably not going to be a great opportunity. This isn’t always the case, but in many cases, any domains with metrics lower than those minimums probably are not the ones you want to pursue. You can constantly adjust the slider, but just for this example, we’re gonna keep these minimums.

So go ahead and keep all of these listing types on. And as far as the industries, I would just do all industries for now because this category selection is based on Majestic’s Topical Trust Flow Topics. If you’re trying to get a wider pool of domains, you probably just wanna keep it as all industries. But if you wanna get more specific and target domains that are very relevant to your business, if you’re doing the merger technique, this might be a good idea, then you would want to set the specific industry.

But for now, let’s just do all industries. And then also, I’m just going to set .com, .net, and .org for the TLDs. And then just hit search. And there are more advanced options that you can pick, but for this particular example, we’re just gonna keep it as simple as possible.

So what you’re gonna notice right away is that these expiring domains come with a very high price tag. And the reason for that is that these have a lot of value because they haven’t been spanned in the past a lot of the time, and they usually have really good link profiles. So you’re gonna have people competing in auctions to get these domains because they know their value. And so that drives the prices up. So your goal is ultimately to find domains that are not overvalued.

So let’s look at this website here, and we’ll determine whether it is overvalued or undervalued. So it is currently at $2400 for this domain. So now our goal is to see if this domain is actually worth $2400 in value. So what I’m gonna do is I’m gonna take this domain, and I’m gonna through it into AA Trust, and we’re gonna analyze the link profile. So right away, I can see that this domain is probably using some blog network to fuel or grow its authority. So this is definitely a domain that is not worth that price.

And so this is one that you want to avoid at all costs. So the main point here is for you to see that this domain is highly overvalued and not worth that price. So really as you do this process more, you’re going to start to identify and be able to determine the value of a domain and whether the value matches the price. So that’s what you will begin to get a lot better at as you look at more domains and do more analysis.

So now, let’s sort this list by price range. So this domain right here has a Trust Flow of 15 and a DA of 45. So it looks like the starting price for this domain is $24, so let’s do a bit deeper analysis to see if it’s worth the price or even worth pursuing. So right away, I see this domain has a link to Wikipedia and a link from the Democratic National Convention. So these are both really good signs right off the bat. Also, it looks like a link from a Japanese version of Wikipedia. When they see any type of foreign language in the link profile, many people who are trying to vet expired domains or find high-quality expired domains immediately get turned off. And this can be a mistake because not every foreign-based link or anchor text is a low-quality link.

So in this example, it is a Japanese version of Wikipedia, meaning it’s not a low-quality link but a high-quality one. Although it is the case in many scenarios where you see foreign anchor texts, or you see foreign links, it’s probably an indication that it’s a low-quality opportunity. But you shouldn’t immediately discredit a domain when you see any type of foreign language because this is an example of why that might be a bad idea.

We scroll down. Further, it looks like we have The New York Times, and we also have Politico as one of their links as well. So now, I want to make sure that these links are still live. So I’m gonna search on each of these pages to see if these links are still alive because this looks like, just based on the quality of the link profile, this is an excellent opportunity for an expired domain. So after a quick search, this link looks like it’s still live on the Democratic National Convention. So that’s a very, very good sign.

So now, let’s go ahead and see if these other links are live as well. And it looks like they are. This is starting to look like a great opportunity to get a high-quality expired domain. So now that we know that this is an excellent opportunity, and we need to pursue it a little bit further, we want to take the domain name and throw it into archive.org, also known as The Way Back Machine. Because what you want to do is see if this domain has been used for any type of spam in the past, used as a private blog network, or used in a way that it wasn’t originally designed to be used. Because that is what we really want to avoid at all costs.

So right away, we can tell that this site has been used for some type of span. It was used to promote some type of casino website or blog or even used as a flow link to another casino website. This is an automatic red flag; this domain needs to be disqualified because of its history.

So one thing to consider in this process is your order of operations. So for me personally, when I find a domain, I just like to throw it right into Ahrefs and see what the link profile looks like. But you can indeed reverse this order of operations, and whenever you find a domain, you immediately throw it into archive.org and see if it’s been spammed. So you can do it either way you want. You’re going to end up with the same result, but sometimes it can be faster just to go directly to the archive to see if it’s been spammed before even getting deep into the link profile. So that’s just something to consider when going through this process.

So basically, at this point, we’re just gonna go through this process over and over until we find some quality expired domains that we can leverage. So the nice thing about DomCop is that right below here, you can actually see they show you the Trust Flow. So let’s say, for example, I wanted to find some expired domains that I can leverage for Gotch SEO. What I’d wanna do is I’d want to go back to the filter and go to the all industries tab and change it to be specific to the industry that Gotch SEO is in. So that would be the business industry or anything closely related to that. But for this example, I’ll choose the business industry.

So now I’m going to search again, and then I’m going to try to find any expired domains relevant to Gotch SEO. And then we’re going to go from there and see if we can get a little bit deeper in the analysis and ultimately try to find a domain that we can actually use or leverage. So I’m going to grab this domain right here and then throw it into The Way Back Machine. So just, based on what we see here in The Way Back Machine, this domain used to be a web design company.

And believe it or not, sometimes old web design companies that have gone out of business and now their domains are obviously expired are really great opportunities. Because a lot of web design companies will drop a link to their website in their clients’ website footer. And as a result, this really helps build the authority of these web design companies websites.

So now I’ll throw this domain into Ahrefs. And like I expected, they have links that say powered by or basically links that are in footers on their clients’ websites. And another vital point to keep in mind is that their footer links are not keyword-rich, so that’s really important. If you’re gonna get a domain that has footer links previously, you want to make sure that the anchor texts that they used are either branded, an empty anchor, or something really generic because footer links can be dangerous if they are keyword-rich.

So based on what we found in archive.org, the link profile, and the type of links that this domain is currently showing, this would be a domain that you’d want to do a more profound research for. So you could add it to your watch list and do more research on it later. So basically, what you’re trying to do in this first round is just identify a list of domains and at least meet the minimum criteria. Then you can go deeper into your analysis later on.

Now, of course, this opportunity isn’t the most high-quality one I’ve ever seen. But, in this scenario where you have a domain with decent links, you could always use it as a Tier 2 property that you could 301 redirect to other Tier 1 properties in your link profile. So, for example, if you have a high-quality website or micro website, you could drive this particular expired domain to your micro-website, which would ultimately link to your main website.

And so, that’s just one way to keep your main website safe, and you have that nice buffer in between. And the main reason is because of this particular opportunity, although it does have a lot of links and a lot of site-wide footer links, the problem is that these links aren’t super relevant. Because they’re just footer links placed on completely unique client sites, so they’re gonna be in totally different industries. And ultimately, they’re not gonna be totally relevant to your business. So, in this case, it’d be a good idea to probably not hit your site directly with this particular expired domain or its links.
So let’s go back to the list. And I’m going to scroll through here, and right away, I see many domains with weird numbers and names. I outright avoid these domains. I don’t even look at them because they just look spammy. And so if it looks spammy, smells spammy, it probably is spammy. So I just avoid it altogether. And I try to find domains with legit brand names or just names in general.

So let’s check out this domain, 123getcustomers.com. The one thing you can do if you really like a domain is you can just hit this little star button, and it will add it to your watch list, which you can go on and do further analysis on later on. So let’s go ahead and take a look at this website and see what it looks like. So it looks like it is another web design company. It also looks like, based on its history, it hasn’t been spammed in the past. So that’s a really good thing.

So now, let’s add this domain to Ahrefs and do our second qualifying method. So right away, it’s pretty easy to tell that this domain does not have many high-quality links if any. And the one red flag that really stands out is that this web design company used keyword-rich anchor texts in their footer links on their clients’ websites. And so this is a very dangerous thing to do. And definitely not something you’d want to be involved with if you were looking for quality expired domains. So this domain is definitely unqualified, and you want to move on to the next opportunity.

So like I said before, if you find a domain that has at least met the minimum criteria that you’re looking for regarding link quality and the history of use of the domain, you can just click this start button and add it to your favorites. And then you click on the favorites tab, and you can just keep track of all these domains and ultimately see if they’re on auctions. See the price that they’re at. And see if they’re undervalued so that you can jump on it and maybe secure that domain.

So the next thing I want to show you is the expired tab. So the filters are gonna be identical for expiring and expired domains. Because really, the criteria for qualifying a domain don’t change based on how this domain or its current state is. So right away, we see this domain buyhermesbagonline.com; this is gonna be spammy. You don’t even want to do a deeper analysis. In a lot of scenarios, you’re gonna just have to use your best judgment. And it’s pretty easy. You can tell when a domain is probably not a real business. Not a real website. And therefore, if it’s not either of those things, it’s probably also going to use a low-quality link acquisition strategy. Just stay away from it, don’t even waste your time. Focus on domains that at least look like they used to be businesses.

So let’s take a look at this domain, which is ishouldbedoinghomework.com. So just, based on what we see here, it looks like this domain was used as a private blog network at some point. And one way you can make this determination is by looking at the outbound links and how irrelevant they are throughout the website. And so it’s pretty easy to tell what a private blog network or even a public blog network looks like just because of these irrelevant outbound links. So this domain is definitely unqualified and not one we’d want to focus on after this point.

So although this is not a domain you would want to buy, you can still leverage this domain. Because one good thing that happens when you find an expired domain that’s already been used as a private blog network is that you can assume, or at least hypothesize, that the person who bought this expired domain already went through the qualification process before they bought it. Now this is not always going to be the case. But, in a lot of scenarios, they will have bought this domain because it had a quality link profile. It was a quality website. So they’ve already done all that preliminary work for you.

So what you can do is you can leverage this opportunity in a different way. And the best way to do that is to take this domain, throw it into Ahrefs and see if it has quality links that you can extract away from this domain using the White Hat Alternative to PBNs. So based on our quick analysis here in Ahrefs, we know this domain does not have high-quality links. So this is not a good situation where you’d want to extract the backlinks from this expired domain. Because they just simply are not high-quality enough and ultimately would not be worth the effort of doing outreach and ultimately having to build relationships with these link prospects.

But let’s just say hypothetically that this domain did have some high-quality link opportunities. What we could do is we would just extract those backlinks, would find contact information for those link opportunities, and then we would do outreach to let those people know that they are linking out to a dead resource. Or even worse, linking out to a private blog network or something that has a negative connotation. Because if you do that, they’ll look at you favorably, increasing your chances that they’ll want to replace that dead link with a link to your business or your website.

Of course, you should have a relevant opportunity to give them or a relevant opportunity to link to them. Otherwise, your conversion rates are very low. That’s a very important point to remember. But the White Hat Alternative to PBNs is incredibly effective because you don’t have to buy an expired domain. You can actually just extract all the high-quality links away from these expired domains.

So now we’ll go back to the list of expired domains. And we’re just gonna keep going through here until we find some quality opportunities, which may take a very long time. But the good news is that with expired domains, they are very, very cheap. And when you compare that to expiring domains, there is a vast difference. Because expiring domains can get very expensive because people are bidding at an auction to secure them. And there’s a reason for that because they’re usually higher-quality domains as opposed to expired ones. Because many expired domains are people who used and abused these domains, they’re just letting them drop off.

So I have always personally preferred expiring domains, which are domains in auction. Because first of all, they’re usually a lot higher quality. Number two is that many expired domains have not been spammed in the past. Because, in many cases, they were a real business, they were a genuine website, and they just expired recently. Therefore, anyone who has the intention to spam with that particular domain hasn’t captured the domain yet. That is not the case with expired domains because of those… They could have already been used many, many times before they expired. And thirdly, I like expiring domains in auctions because a lot of the domains are indexed in Google, which is very important for me ’cause I believe that’s an important signal. ‘Cause, you do not want to work with an expiring domain that’s been de-indexed by Google.

So if we take this domain here and click on this little button, it says, “DomCop claims that this website is not indexed in Google.” So just to verify, we’ll do a manual search as well. So when you throw in the naked URL, the hope is that the domain shows up right away. And if it doesn’t, then you should definitely be worried and probably avoid the domain altogether. So, in this case, the domain did not show up on Google. Therefore it is not a qualified opportunity.

So go ahead and take this domain that looks like it is indexed in Google. So what we’ll do is we’ll actually go ahead and take it one step further to qualify it and see if it has been used for spam in the past. And so, just based on what we’re looking at right now, it was used for some type of replica sunglasses spam. So we know that this domain is not qualified.

So based on everything that you’ve seen in this video, it’s very easy to tell that it’s hard to find high-quality expired or expiring domains. Because there simply are way more low-quality opportunities than there are good opportunities. And so it’s the classic 80-20 rule. In fact, it’s probably even more skewed than that. Probably 1% of available domains are worth purchasing or trying to extract links from. You gotta to continually search and continually refine your list and build your watch list. And over time, you will find quality opportunities, but you really have to be willing to put in the time to find those opportunities because it can be very, very hard to find good ones.

The last point is don’t feel bad about being picky about what domains you pick. Because it’s very, very important the types of links that are hitting your site. You only want the best of the best links hitting your site. And if they’re not the best of the best, if they’re just mid-level quality, then at the very minimum, they should be hitting at least a two on property. Or just don’t use them at all.

Those are your choices. But when it comes down to it, be very picky when using any expired domain strategy. And that’s all I really have for you. So I hope this showed you how to use DomCop to find expired domains. And thank you so much for watching. And I’ll see you in the following video.

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Nathan Gotch

Nathan Gotch is an SEO professional with over 10 years of experience. He's the founder of the #1 SEO business training program in the world, Gotch SEO Academy. And the author of The SEO Entrepreneur. Nathan's SEO expertise is featured on Semrush, Ahrefs, and Search Engine Journal.