Finding quality expired domains was a chore before I discovered SpamZilla. I am an affiliate for this software, but it’s only because I think it’s absolutely awesome.
Here’s everything you need to know about this tool:
What is SpamZilla?
SpamZilla is a tool that helps you find and qualify expired and dropped domains.
You can use these domains for SEO purposes or for building niche websites.
There are a few ways to leverage expired domains for SEO.
First, you can acquire the expired domain and 301 redirect to your website.
There are a few different ways to execute this. You can do a straight 301 redirect to the homepage. I only recommend this method if the domain is hyper relevant.
The second method is to create a page on your website dedicated to the topic of the expired domain. You would then 301 redirect the domain to the new page.
The goal of doing either method is to grow your site’s authority at a rapid pace. How so? Because you’re acquiring all the backlinks that the expired domain built.
I call this method The Merger Technique.
You can also use expired domains to build a network of websites that link to yours. This is called a private blog network and it comes with substantial risk. I won’t cover PBNs here, but it’s worth mentioning if you’re willing to take on more risk.
How to Use Spamzilla to Find Expired Domains
Using a tool like SpamZilla is the first phase of the expired domain acquisition process. The reason to even use such a tool is to streamline our efforts.
For example, you could use a free tool like ExpiredDomains.net, but they don’t have an efficient way to filter through thousands of domains. SpamZilla does.
Here’s how to begin your research:
Step #1: Integrate Ahrefs
If you have an Ahrefs account I highly recommend you integrate it.
Step #2: Set your filters
Leveraging the filters will save you hours of time. Click the filter button.
I uncheck all Country TLDs because it can be difficult to register domains when you aren’t located in the host country.
You’ll need to adjust based on your location. For example, if you’re in Australia, you may want to keep the .com.au domain opportunities checked.
Majestic and Ahrefs’ Filters
I recommend setting “TF” from 10, “Ahrefs DR” from 10, and ”Domains” from 10.
These are just baseline filters, but you may need to adjust downward or upward.
Step #3: Start researching
The first type of domain I analyze are dropped domains. Under the “Expires” column, you’ll see “Available”.
This means that you can go to any registrar like GoDaddy or Namecheap and register the domain. That means you won’t need to get into a bidding war through auctions.
Now keep in mind: these domains are often available for a reason. That said, it’s a good place to start because there are some diamonds in the rough that you can pick up.
But before I go any further, how do you qualify or disqualify domains?
How to Qualify Expired Domains
I’ve covered this process extensively in my expired domains guide. However, I’ll cover some important points here.
Go this process (in this order) for every domain:
Look for relevance
Finding relevant domains with link profiles that are relevant to your target site is critical. Fortunately, you can use Majestic’s Topical Trust Flow metrics that are integrated within SpamZilla.
Scan the “Maj Topics” column to identify relevant opportunities. You can also set a filter so you only see relevant opportunities.
Examine the link profile
Once you’ve found a relevant opportunity, you need to examine its link profile. You can do this natively within SpamZilla by clicking “See More Data” under the “SZ Score” column.
Then click the “Backlinks” tab and you’ll see the link profile according to Majestic.
I recommend running the domain through Ahrefs as well to crosscheck.
So what are you looking for when you examine the link profile?
In short, you want the domain to have a natural link profile with the majority of the links being editorial in nature.
That means if the link profile is full of directory links, it’s not a good opportunity.
However, if the link profile has links from the New York Times, you should get excited. One way to identify “quality” links in the profile is to filter and sort the links in Ahrefs. Choose “DoFollow” from the dropdown and then sort the links by DR.
This will show what high-authority links the domain has.
One other factor to consider is the anchor text. The anchor text should be unoptimized. Meaning that it shouldn’t be full of exact match anchor text or foreign language anchors.
Audit the history
Once the domain has passed the relevance and link profile audit, it’s time to examine the domain’s history. In short, you want to make sure that it hasn’t been used for spam or SEO purposes in the past.
While you’re in SpamZilla, click on “Archive”.
This will show you how the domain has been used throughout its history. If you see anything that doesn’t align with the domain’s original purpose, you should be skeptical.
Look for inconsistencies and if everything looks good, then move onto the next step.
See if it’s indexed
It’s ideal that the domain is indexed in Google, but it’s not always a necessity. Sometimes domains get removed from Google’s index if they were previously redirected, have been out of commission, or have blocked Google crawlers.
Those are all acceptable reasons. However, an unacceptable reason is that the domain was removed because it’s been used for spam.
Fortunately, the previous steps should have helped you identify any signals of spam. So to see if the domain is indexed, click on “Index” inside SpamZilla.
If it’s indexed, you’re good to go. If it isn’t you may want to continue your investigation further.
I recommend reading my expired domains guide for further qualification guidance.
Here’s the deal:
You need to take qualification incredibly seriously. Treat these expired domains as if you were acquiring them as a real business.
In this case, you should use extreme due diligence to make sure it’s a good opportunity. Don’t speed through the process. The goal is to be 100% sure before investing in any expired domain.
Start Using SpamZilla Today
I’ve tested every expired domain tool on the market such as DomCop, ExpiredDomains.net, and even FreshDrop.
None of these tools are as comprehensive and deep as SpamZilla.
It’s clear that SpamZilla was developed by someone with a strong SEO background because of the nuances I’ve seen in the tool. It’s truly impressive and I’ll continue to use it now and into the future.