If you're looking to find an expired domain with live backlinks, I've compiled a list of some of the best websites and tools you can use to locate them.
There are a bunch of marketplaces, software tools, and even some social-media strategies you can use to snag a powerful expired domain.
You can do a 301 redirect to harness the SEO value of the domain, do some domain name flipping, or even build your legitimate business on top of the forfeited website.
Just make sure you use a tool like SEMrush to analyze the backlinks of the domain you're considering- that way you can identify a domain that has too many spammy backlinks.
You can also plug the domain into the WayBackMachine to see what the site looked like years ago. This is a smart way to see how a site was used over time.
And, finally, you can use a WhoIs History Tool to analyze site ownership over time.
Before I dive into the expired domain resource list, it's important to define some terms:
What Is An Expired Domain Name?
An expired domain name is one that has previously pointed to an IP address, but doesn’t any more (Source).
What Is A Deleted Domain Name?
A deleted domain name, in the context of expired domain names, is one that has been dropped from the Registry—no record of it exists (Source).
What Is An Expiring Domain Name?
According to ICANN, "Once your domain has expired, it will be in Auto-Renew Grace Period (for 0-45 days), followed by a 30-day Redemption Grace Period. At the end of the Redemption Grace Period, you will not be able to renew your domain name. Your domain name will be released for registration by third parties."
What Is A Dropped Domain Name?
A dropped domain is a domain whose registration hasn’t been renewed (Source).
What Is A Domain Backorder?
A domain name backorder refers to a service that works to register a currently-registered domain name on your behalf as soon as it becomes available for hand registration (Source).
This is a robust, freemium expired domain marketplace that goes the extra mile compiling a ton of site statistics if you're looking to value and purchase an expired or expiring domain.
As you can see, DomCop compiles lots of useful expired website information:
- Ahrefs Domain Rating
- Moz Domain Authority
- Moz Page Authority
- Moz Rank
- Moz Trust
- Majestic Citation Flow
- Majestic Trust Flow
- Alexa Rank
- Ahrefs (# Of Referring Domains)
- Moz (# Of Referring Domains)
- Majestic (# Of Referring Domains)
- SimilarWeb Ranking
- SEMRUsh Traffic Estimate
- Expiring In (for domains that haven't expired yet)
Video Guide: DomCop Tutorial
However, to really get the full value of this recently expired & expiring domain marketplace, you'll have to spend some money.
As you can see, DomCop pricing begins at $56 a month for a Monthly plan and $40 if you pay in one lump Annual sum.
But, if you're serious about purchasing a high-powered or niche-relevant expired domain, their marketplace is really useful.
It's especially critical to aggregate these website statistics because it helps you pick the most powerful expired domain.
It also helps you understand which domains have shady backlink profiles- Ahrefs and Majestic are especially good at indicating which websites might have spammy backlinks, indicating a rank and bank project some SEO has let expire after Google eventually delivered an algorithmic penalty.
On their website, they explain that:
"You can easily find domains using the best metrics available from Ahrefs, Moz, Majestic, SEMRush, Similar Web, SEMrush, Domain Scope and Social Networks. We buy only the best, the latest, and, the most comprehensive industry wide metrics so you have the maximum amount of information to make a decision. No other tool gives you access to 90+ metrics."
2. GoDaddy Auctions
GoDaddy is a well-known domain register and their GoDaddy Auctions lets you bid on expiring and expired domains. Apparently, you can also bid on expiring domains using their web app or their investor mobile app.
As you can see, their domain auction doesn't feature the rich website data that DomCop provides.
The way I've sometimes used it, I'll copy all the URLs by pressing Ctrl-A, pasting them as Plain Text inside of Excel or Google Sheets, and then using Ahrefs Batch Analysis tool to get a high-level overview of their Domain Rating.
It's pretty messy- but that's why DomCop is relatively expensive. They are pulling in a lot of valuable data about these aged domains.
Godaddy says about its expired domain name auction service that it's "a marketplace for domain name buyers and sellers. In exchange for allowing sellers to list their domains, GoDaddy Auctions charges a percentage of the sale price once the domain is sold."
Video Guide: GoDaddy Auctions Tutorial
As an alternative to DomCop, ExpiredDomains.net produces some rich information about Expired & Deleted domains:
They also have a page that helpfully breaks down a variety of different registrar domain auctions:
For example, if you click on GoDaddy Clouseout Domains, you can get a list of Godaddy Domains These are domains "that you can buy immediately.
Video Guide: ExpiredDomains.net Tutorial
Nathan Gotch produced a great video tutorial if you want a deep-dive into their membership area:
- GoDaddy Closeout Domains
- GoDaddy Expired Domains
- GoDaddy Auctions With Bids
- GoDaddy Buy Now Domains
- GoDaddy Make Offer Domains
- GoDaddy Featured Domains
- GoDaddy Traffic Domains
- GoDaddy Most Active Domains
- GoDaddy TDNAM
- Expired Domains
- SnapNames Auction Domains
- SnapNames PreRelease Domains
- Sedo Auction Domains
- Sedo Fixed Price Domains
- NameJet PreRelease Domains
- NameJet Auction Domains
- Flippa Website Marketplace
- Name.com Expired Domains
- Dynadot Expired Domains
- Dynadot Marketplace Domains
- Namesilo Auction Domains
- Namepal Auction Domains
- Park.io Auction Domains
- Bido Auction Domains
- Bido Marketplace Domains
- Domainmarket Domains
- DropCatch Auctions Domains
That's a ton of useful information to sort through.
For example, if you click on the Related Links dropdown, you can see that it offers a free deep-dive into the domain's metrics:
Metrics and links include:
- GoDaddy (link to the auction/where tobuy)
- Domain Details (ExpiredDomain.net's proprietary info)
- GoDaddy Appraisal
- Google Name
- Google Info
- Google Site
- Wayback Machine
- Visit Domain
- Whois Domain
Another handy resource, you can sort by Top Level Domain, which is handy if you're looking for something outside the traditional .com TLD, like ".jobs".
Advanced Services for Uncovering Expired Domain Names in Real Time.
There are even links to buy it now, auction, backorder, bargain options.
In addition to that, they have some helpful filtering options that I haven't seen anywhere else- the ability to filter by Category, for example.
This will help if you're looking for a niche-specific expired domain, whether to build a new authority site on, to do a 301 redirect, or even build out a Private Blog Network.
Name.com has an Aftermarket and Expiring domain name search:
Name.com Premium Domains and Expiring Domains
They have some basic search-filtering options- definitely not as advanced as DomCop.
But, you never know, you might find that they have some powerful inventory that the other players missed out on.
There are some software tools you can use to begin hunting out expired domains.
6. Domain Hunter Gatherer
Domain Hunter Gatherer is a freemium tool that came to my attention via a Matthew Woodward review.
Video Guide: Domain Hunter Gatherer
Matthew Woodward put together a great video guide explaining how to use Domain Hunter Gatherer:
They say that their tool helps you to find "unlimited powerful and brandable domains from all of the major domain auction websites and compare to find the best domains at the prices you are willing to pay."
Their free plan enables you to
- Compare domains from all Auction sites
- Get Age, DA, CF / TF, Backlinks and more
- 35+ Quality Metrics
but their Premium price plan boosts your capabilities, enabling you to
- Find Web2.0s with Links and Social Shares
- Register Unlimited Accounts for free
- Enter Keywords and hit search
- Multi-Threaded for speed
and their most expensive plan adds even more features, enabling you to:
- Quality aged domains from $10 or less
- Crawl authority websites
- Search for niche related expired domains
- Reverse Crawl Websites
- One of a Kind Domain Spam Check
- Crawl millions of pages daily
ScrapeBox is an age-old SEO Swiss army knife- notorious for its auto-commenting functionality. But it has a ton of different plugins you can use.
For our purposes, you can use this ScrapeBox Expired Domain plugin to find expired domain names.
Video Guide: ScrapeBox Expired Domain Name Plugin
On the plugin description page, they say that you would like to get domains that have backlinks from high authority websites like "Wikipedia, CNN.com, NYTimes.com, BBC.co.uk, Huffingtonpost.com and many more...the Expired Domain Finder plugin you can get domains like this for registration fees."
You can gather a variety of different metrics, including: Alexa, Moz Domain Authority, Moz Rank, Moz Links, Facebook likes & Shared, Google +1 count, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Majestic TrustFlow, CitationFlow, Majestic Backlinks and Referring Domains and the number of Wayback archive listings.
You will have to pay for ScrapeBox itself and then purchase the plugin as a separate one-off. The good news is that there isn't any reurring costs here- except the potential cost of Proxies.
However, you can even use ScrapeBox to find free proxies.
Another strategy for sourcing powerful expired domain names is using Facebook.
You can join Groups like these and negotiate the purchase of an expired domain.
You can join a variety of internet-marketing Groups and search out domain name purchase opportunities.
There's a ton of different options on the market- check out this list helpfully provided by DomainSherpa.
There are a bunch of domain name search engines that focus on 'brandable' domain names.
I definitely recommend choosing a brandable domain name- I've written about why before.
Instead of purchasing a spammy-looking expired domain for link juice like "bestautomatictoasterspro.com", sites like BrandBucket.com call themselves, "A Marketplace of Creative Business Names".
They write, "Has the search for a great, available business name got you down? We can help. With over 50,000 names to choose from, you can browse, get inspired, and find the unexpected yet perfect name for your company."
So if you're looking for a brandable domain name, rather than a plain old domain name with a decent Domain Rating or Domain Authority score, check out
Catchy.com is another cleverly named domain name finder designed to help you find 'catchy' domain names.
It's fun to sort through some of these sites- there are some pretty premium, brandable domain names available.
Read More Of My Niche Reports
As you can see, there's a lot of resources to use. Some are free, some freemium and some paid.
You don't necessarily have to pay for anything- but it could make sense to join up with DomCop for a month, for example, if it means you get a jumpstart on a new site, or find a powerful website you can 301 redirect to your affiliate, eCommerce, or business blog.
Just make sure that you do your due diligence- oftentimes a domain might look like a great purchase, but if you analyze the backlinks and its history online, you'll find that it has a shady history.