The Domain Name Gold Rush

All the good ones are taken. The really good ones, that is. But
they don’t always stay taken.

Domain names often come back onto the market. Even before they
do, domain name prospectors are sifting through them to find the
gold domains among them.

Why domain names become available again

Thousands of domain names expire every day. Other domains are
offered for sale. The reasons are varied:

Carelessness

The webmaster forgets to renew the domain by the expiry date.

The email address that the domain is registered with becomes
invalid, and the domain name registrant doesn’t receive the
renewal notices.

- Lack of need or funds

- The company that had registered the domain goes out of
business.

- The website owner loses interest in or doesn’t have time for
the website.

- The website owner doesn’t have funding to continue the website
venture.

- The domain name registrant registered numerous domains on
speculation and couldn’t afford to continue renewing unused
domains.

Profit

- The domain name registrant may realize how much a domain is
worth and decide to sell it.

- The domain name registrant may have registered the domain
because of its potential worth, with the aim of selling it later.

What makes a previously registered domain name valuable?

In July 2005, the domain name website.com sold for $750,000, the
highest-valued domain name sale this year. Why would anyone pay
so much for a domain when they could register a new domain for
under $10?

- Instant traffic

If the domain name previously pointed to a website, search
engines have already indexed that domain name. Other websites
probably still have links to that domain. If the domain is
listed in directories, these links bring in even more traffic.
You register the domain, and the work getting incoming links has
already been done for you.

- Surf value

Sometimes web surfers search by typing generic words followed by
dot com (or other extensions) into their browsers, for example,
dogs.com. This particular domain name redirects to the website
for a company that sells pet products and services. A domain
name like this constantly brings visitors to the website without
the cost and effort of advertising and marketing.

- Easy to remember

Your company name may not be memorable, but domains such as
dogs.com and website.com are. People are more likely to return
to a site or pass on the name to their friends when they can
easily remember it.

How to find domains pending expiration

You decide to join the gold rush for valuable pre-registered
domains. Finding expiring domains is the first step, but you
also need to research domains that are about to come back on the
market.

Lists of domains pending expiration

At these websites, among others, you can search for domains
containing keywords you enter. At expireddomains.com, the
results contain domains that are currently available, soon to
expire, on hold, in the Redemption Grace Period (RGP), or for
sale by their registrants. Extensions searched: .com, .net, and
..org.

The domainsbot.com database searches .com, .net, .org, .info,
and .biz extensions for domains that are available, for sale, or
expiring.

Domain research

You can find some (but not all) incoming links to a domain by
entering “link:siteURL” (replace “siteURL” with the domain name)
into Google or Yahoo. When you find the links, follow them to
see what types of sites link to the domain. How would you feel
about having these particular sites linking to your site?

Also look into any possible problems associated with the domain.
Search engines may have banned the domain if the previous site
had controversial search engine optimization techniques
employed, such as the use of hidden text or links. Check the
history of the site at a domain name via the WayBack Machine. If
the domain previously pointed to a site with gambling or adult
content or a lot of affiliate links, or if it employed
questionable search engine optimization techniques, search
engines may have banned the domain. Aside from the possibility
of a domain being banned, you may not want incoming links from
sites associated with these types of content.

How to register domains pending deletion

You’ve decided on a domain that you want. How do you maximize
your chances on getting it?

At eNom.com’s Club Drop, you can bid on expiring .com and .net
domains the day before they’re available to the public. You can
also be notified when domains matching your search criteria
become available.

The NameWinner system places bids on .com, .net, .org, and .info
domains for you. It bids only as high as is necessary to
maintain your high bid position up to your maximum bid.

How to profit from your domains

- Selling domains

If you have a domain that may be valuable and that you aren’t
using, consider selling it at a domain auction. If you already
have a buyer for a domain, you can transfer it securely through
Escrow.com.

- Paid parking for domains

With paid domain parking programs, also called “domain
monetization” or “monetize domains,” you can earn pay-per-click
revenue via targeted advertisements. These sites offer domain
monetization services:

- DomainSponsor

- Park Quick

- Domain Spa

- Google Adsense for domains

With the right knowledge, timing, and a bit of luck, you have a
chance as a domain name prospector to hit pay dirt.

Lois S. is a Technical Executive Writer for http://www.websitesource.com and http://www.lowpricedomains.com with
experience in the website hosting industry.

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