How to Find Expired Domains with DomCop

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:

Transcript

Hey, what’s up? This is Nathan from Gotch SEO and in this video I’m going to 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 expiring domains, expired domains, and archived domains. And the reason why DomCop is such an effective tool is because you have the capability to filter all of these domains and all of these opportunities that you see based on certain 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 a lot of 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 to use, 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’re going to save a lot of time and that means you’re probably will see an ROY 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 are ultimately going to help you grow your organic search traffic and improve your SEO performance. Which ultimately leads to more customers for your business.

So as you can see here in the dashboard there is a lot 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 is gonna allow us to create our own filter for vetting these expired domains. So I’m just gonna do a couple settings here so we have a wider base of domains. So the first setting 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 why we wanna keep this total backlinks lower is depending on the strategy that you’re gonna 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 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 a lot of 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’re gonna wanna find domains that have a lot of linking root domains and obviously a lot of high-quality linking root domains. But just for this example, I’m gonna set it low so we can kind of 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 setting these minimums is because we wanna just basically get rid of any low-quality domains that are basically just gonna 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 anything 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 that have metrics lower than those minimums probably are not ones you want to be pursuing. You can always 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, which 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 because 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 the value that they have. And so that drives the prices up. So your goal is ultimately to find domains that are not overvalued.

So let’s take a 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 type of 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 extremely 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 also determine 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 little bit deeper analysis to see if it’s worth the price or even worth pursuing at all. So right away I see that this domain has a link for Wikipedia and it has a link from the Democratic National Convention. So these are both really good signs right off the bat. Also it looks like there is a link from a Japanese version of Wikipedia. A lot of people who are trying to vet expired domains or find high-quality expired domains, when they see any type of foreign language in the link profile, they 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 Wikipedia, which means it’s not a low-quality link and is actually a high-quality link. 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 what I want to do is 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 a good 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 really great opportunity for getting a high-quality expired domain. So now that we know that this is a good opportunity, that we need to pursue it a little bit further, what we want to do is take the domain name and throw it into archive.org or also know 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 or 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 casino blog or even used as a way, just a flow link actually to another casino website. This is an automatic red flag and 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 just see what the link profile’s looking like. But you can certainly 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 either way you want. You’re gonna end up with the same result ultimately, but sometimes it can be faster just to go to directly to archive to see if it’s been spammed before even getting deep into the link profile. So that’s just something to consider when you’re 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 that are 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 gonna go ahead and 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, it appears that 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 important point to keep in mind is that their footer links are not keyword-rich, and 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 is either branded, an empty anchor, or something really generic. Because footer links can be dangerous if they are keyword-rich.

So just based on what we found in archive.org and based on the link profile and based on the type of links that this domain is currently showing, this would be a domain that you’d want to do deeper research for. So you could add to your watch list and you could 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, and 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 that has 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, let’s say you have a really high-quality website or micro website, you could actually 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 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 for 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 gonna scroll through here and right away I see many, many domains with weird numbers and weird 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 that have legit brand names or just names in general.

So let’s check out this domain, 123getcustomers. 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, that 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 at all. 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’ website. 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’re gonna wanna 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 as far as link quality and also the history or use of the domain, you just can click this star button, add to your favorites. And then you click on the favorites tab and you can actually 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 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 doesn’t change based on how this domain or its current state is. So right away we see this domain buyhermesbagonline, 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 know, 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 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 the one way that you can make this determination is just by looking at the outbound links and looking at 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 at all really after this point.

So although this is not a domain that you would want to buy, you can still leverage this domain. Because one good thing that happens when you find a 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 that 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, we 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 negative connotation. Because if you do that, they’ll look at you favorably and that increases 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 relevant opportunity to link to. Otherwise, your conversion rates’ll be very low. That’s a very important point to remember. But the White Hat Alternative to PBNs is so incredibly effective because you don’t even 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 huge 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 domains that are expired. Because a lot of expired domains are people who used and abused these domains and now 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 of these expired domains have not been spammed in the past. Because in a lot of cases, they were a real business, they were a real website, and they just expired recently. Therefore, anyone who have the intention to spam with that particular domain hasn’t captured the domain yet. That is not the case with expired domains, because those have … Could have already been used many, many times before they expired. And thirdly, the reason why I like expiring domains in auction is because a lot of the domains are indexed in Google, which is very, 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 be definitely be worried and probably avoid the domain altogether. So in this case, the domain did not show up in 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. I’d say probably 1% of available domains are actually worth purchasing or trying to extract links from. You gotta do 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 of 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 type of 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 next video.