Expiring Domains Research Pro Tips

By on October 10, 2009

I’ve filtered, sorted and mined my way through literally tens of millions of expiring domains in my years as a domainer / developer.

It takes a keen eye, some handy tools and a little domainer mojo to pick the best domain names to buy in the aftermarket or register. Here are some quick pro tips on researching expiring domains to buy.

1. Look at the actual words, not the domain name itself.

It’s much easier for your brain to process spaced words rather than viewing those words crammed together as a domain.  This allows you to browse through lists at a much faster pace and clearly identify keywords and phrases.

Term extraction is definitely my favorite feature of PremiumDrops domain research subscription.

2. Avoid domains with letter repetition.

This is fairly common knowledge that having repeating letters in a name is bad for branding and usability.

If you do find some high quality keywords then be sure to buy the typo. (Example: PurpleEarth.com should also register PurplEarth.com) to capture any lost visitors.

3. Watch out for word swaps.

You may come across some domains have strong keywords, but unfortunately the word order is flawed. (Example: VideosFootball.com is not nearly as valuable or useable as FootballVideos.com)

I scan through these types of names all the time, try not to let them fool you and move on to the next name.

4. So the words add up, but what about the numbers?

Finding those good keywords is the first step. Get some confidence in your picks by seeing what the stats look like.

  • Check what year the domain was originally created. Older domains can sometimes be gems.
  • Do a Google search with the keywords enclosed in quotations (Example: PurpleWidgets.com exact match search would be “Purple Widgets”) You can use Estibot domain tools to get this data in bulk.
  • Check the global or regional Monthly Search Volume by typing your keywords into the Google AdWords Keyword Tool.

5. Avoid hyphenated domains… Please?

I don’t care what any search marketing guru told you, hyphenated domains have many drawbacks that may not be readily apparent.  Aside from the fact that it looks un-professional, when mentioning a hyphenated domain in public it sounds awkward.

Hyphenated domains also risk losing a large portion of website traffic to the non-hyphenated namesake.

6. Set a steady scanning pace for yourself.

Get into a comfortable rhythm of browsing the domains your research has turned up. You should be reading the domains and saying them to yourself at a quick pace.

The idea is not to linger on any one domain too long so that you can browse more domains on the whole.

7. Take a break!

Staring at endless rows of text and numbers can get to be maddening after so many hours! Stretch those legs occasionally, you might even venture outside and soak up some good old vitamin D, I definitely need to!

If you find your eyes are strained and need to rest, glance away from your monitor and stare at the blank corner of a room for a minute or two. This allows your eyes to rest since they are not focusing on anything.

Have fun and may your research unviel all the best domains!

Find these tips helpful? Got some pro tips of your own to share?  Please share with us using the Comments tab above. Thanks for reading!

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About Mark Fulton

Mark is the Founder of DotSauce Magazine and a full time web developer, domain investor, SEO and online marketing professional residing in North Carolina, USA. Visit MarkFulton.com for information on freelance website development, SEO and consultation services.