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Dropped Domains & Using Them to Bolster Your Web Presence

Last Updated On Sunday, Apr 9, 2023 | Written By - Mudit Jain


Dropped Domains & Using Them to Bolster Your Web Presence

Dropped domains expire every day in the thousands.

Gone are the days when domain names ran like an unending stream and building a website was a simple matter of selecting a name practically on a whim.

What's the Situation With Dropped Domains?

Today, with almost everyone aware of how to claim domain names and the importance attached to getting it right, domains are prime real estate.

Many consumers actually buy domain names they think will become valuable, hold onto them, and resell to a buyer that needs them.

Others who can't get the name they want try to adapt, creating long domain names or using hyphens. These practices are risky because they confuse users and search engines. Doing this puts your website ranking at risk.

You want distinctive names that aren't complex or easily mixed up with another site.

Just dropped domains become public (forgive the pun) domain. That means anyone can snatch them up. Recently dropped domains often get bought up by domain drop catching companies who resell them at a premium.

The ones they think are the least valuable became available for regular registration again.

The following material is a thorough look at dropped domains and a few things to consider when searching for one and choosing one for your website.

What Is a Dropped Domain?

A domain needs renewal by a date determined by the seller. An owner who doesn't renew could face some unpleasant scenarios, including having to pay a large reinstatement fee, or another person buying it out from under them.

In that case, this party can actually charge you to get the name back!

But don't panic. You typically have a grace period of 30 days to renew. However, if you let it expire, registrars are likely to put the domain up for auction.

If there's no buyer, the domain registrar puts the name on a list of dropped domains. That takes it out of the auction and opens it to the masses.

When a domain is on the verge of expiration, the owner can sell or renew. They may no longer want to maintain their website or hang onto a domain they couldn't sell, so let it drop.

Purchasing dropped domains won't be as easy as registering a new one. Dropped items require aggregating domains up for auction, ones on the verge of expiration, or names that have expired.

How Do I Distinguish a Dropped Domain?

You can discover the status of a domain using a WHOIS database. Enter the domain and get back info like the current owner, expiration date, owner contract information, and status.

What you really want to know is "pending delete" and "pending redemption" status. The former indicates the domain's still under the 30-day grace period. The latter means the domain is ready for dropping off the register.

Why Would You Buy Dropped Domains?

A dropped domain offers an SEO opportunity that can jumpstart your website with inbound links accumulated over the life of the domain. Here's how it works.

You Build Fast High-Authority Sites

A dropped domain may already boast a solid ranking in search engines. As we all know, getting there takes a tremendous amount of money and time. Building a reputable, successful site is a long road of campaigning, SEO, and content.

Using recently dropped domains may lead to a name that's already ranking high. If you adopt the name, you're on the road to building traffic from the get-go. (You'll still be responsible for maintaining and building on that lead, mind you.)

Redirecting to Affiliate Sites

You can shift traffic from a domain's original site to affiliate sites and increase that stream of income. (Doing this will depend on your web host and their guidelines.)

Resell the Domain at a Profit

Hey, everyone's doing it. Why shouldn't you?

Some internet users manage a nice side gig when they buy dropped domains and flip them at a higher cost.

You'll likely find a domain name worth a heck of a lot more than you paid for it. Some users have made $50 to $100 profit with the practice.

How Do I Go About Finding and Buying Dropped Domains?

There are several ways, using different methods and tools.

Some buyers use crawlers. These solutions run on servers solely dedicated to locating dropped domains. They collate a drop domains list by scanning existing websites for links and backlinks.

You can use software designed specifically to browse registrars for dropped domains. You can create a list of GoDaddy dropped domains or search through NameJet or SnapNames, to name a few.

Some services search for expired domains based on keywords relevant to your niche. SEMrush and SpamZilla track registries for expired dropped domains.

You may find domains on the calendar for deletion. These are domains that won't go to auction. You can purchase these items through a drop-catching domains service or on backorder.

What Are the Criteria for Good Expired Domain Names?

The best requirements for dropped domain names consideration include the following.

PA (Page Authority) and High Domain Authority (DA) Scoring

Domain-dropped name selection metrics have a main attraction: authority. Domain and page authority are important. PA looks at single pages while DA reviews entire sites. The results, on a scale of zero to 100, are Moz scores.

You're not in the market for perfection. A perfect score is unachievable. In fact, as a general guideline, you only want a DA score of 25 or more. Specifically, all you need is a domain name with a higher score than your current one or the score of competitors.

Google AdSense

Google AdSense can ban and block information. You'll never make income with a website if you use a domain associated with a Google ban.

There are a variety of free online tools (one is AdSense Sandbox) to use for checking AdSense support of domain names.

Google Indexing

Google searches include a website crawl and that search indexes all that it sees. You type names from your list of dropped domains and wait for pages with that domain to show up.

If you can't find anything, take advantage of the free Google Console tool.

If nothing turns up, move on and research other dropped domains. Remember, should a domain show a lack of presence in Google, it's a sure sign that entity is likely associated with low traffic. That makes it a domain you probably don't want to use.

Look Into the Registrar

A registrar may have web hosting characteristics besides domain registration. They may have a function that allows the tracking and posting of traffic data. If so, you have a front-row seat to reviewing how a dropped domain performed in the past.


Part of the research is ensuring no entries on your list contain spammy content. Engines like Google look at the quality of content, and that impacts site rankings. The algorithm finds:

  • Unsafe and inappropriate content
  • Duplicate content
  • Questionable links
  • Keyword stuffing

When conducting research, remember spammers try sending emails from domains that don't get detected by anti-spam filters. The filters find and eventually block those domains. That leads to spammers discarding said (useless) domains.

Is There Anything Else to Consider About Dropped Domains?

Here are some suggestions to keep in mind when digging through a drop domains list.

  • Find a discarded domain name that matches commonly used search terms that fit your niche.
  • When using WHOIS, closely watch the domain transfer history.
  • Multiple top-tier domains typically indicate high demand.
  • Older domain names can rank high in search results.
  • If a domain name's seen frequent owner changes, you may have a warning something's wrong.

Where Are the Best Places to Search?

Here are the top 10 resources for finding dropped domains.

  • GoDaddy (Godaddy Auctions)
  • DomCop
  • Dropping
  • Expireddomains
  • Name
  • NameJet
  • FreshDrop
  • Moonsy
  • Valuedrops

While you can find trustworthy names and get quick, quality backlinking, it can be hard to gauge the potential of dropped domains with total confidence. Proceed thoughtfully and carefully with all the due diligence you can get your hands on.

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