What search criteria do you use when looking for expired domain names?

I got into an interesting conversation with another domain investor over email – the topic, what search criteria we both use to find expired domain names. I had a few reflections after the conversation, first – I probably could be a bit more dynamic with my criteria as it’s been the same for a long time, second – there really is no right answer here.

As for my answer to the question, I typically search for .COM domains that are expiring, that are at least three years old, have no numbers in them, no dashes, and aren’t longer than 12 characters.

I use Go Daddy Auctions for the vast majority of my expired domain purchases, here’s what the search looks like loaded up in there:

One of the questions that came up during our email string is, “why do I care about domain age?” I’m not sure I have a great answer here but my general logic is, if something was registered within the last few years, I think it’s less likely to be a great name, there are exceptions and of course people can hand-register and flip names for a nice profit. That being said, I think if a domain is something that is truly meaningful to more than just one or two people, someone would have thought of it and bought it more than three years ago.

As for why I try not to go over 12 characters, well, the 12 is somewhat arbitrary, 13 would be okay, 11 would be too. In general I’m just tying to avoid really long domains since I’ve never had much luck with these and since I focus on two-word .COMs and mostly ignore three-word .COMs, this also seems to do a good job keeping it to mostly two-word domains.

The person I was emailing with had a bit broader criteria, she also looks at .NET and .ORG, and she isn’t as concerned with how old the domain is or how long it is. Instead, she just wants to see a big list that she can scan through.

Now I’ll pass the mic to you – what search criteria do you use when you’re looking for expired domain names? I want to hear from you, comment and let your voice be heard!

{ 5 comments… add one }

  • Snoopy May 23, 2019, 3:59 am

    Age is the first thing to look at, most important metric.

    What you said about “if something was registered within the last few years, I think it’s less likely to be a great name” is spot on.

    • Mark Thorpe May 23, 2019, 7:02 am

      @snoopy Right, domain age does matter.

  • Maria May 23, 2019, 7:14 am

    You can buy quality expired domain from https://seo.domains/

  • Alan Dodd May 23, 2019, 7:53 am

    I look at both words in a two word domain and check against sales history for the word in that position.

    It’s amazing how looking at the cold, hard, ruthless data puts your mind off so many domains!

  • Logan May 23, 2019, 3:13 pm

    I screen only on .com and keywords that fit my investment themes.
    I do not screen on age but the first thing I do is sort the list by age and scan for valuable names.
    Then, I sort the list by US and/or global search volume and scan for valuable names.
    Then, I sort by PPC value and scan for valuable names.
    Those three sorts help me find the best names in the data set along those different vectors.
    Then, I cut and paste the keywords into Google to look at the search results.
    Then, I do research on trademarks at USPTO.gov.
    Then, I bid on the names I find worth bidding on.
    Then, I try not to overpay at the auctions — you win some, you lose some.


Leave a Comment