Dropped Domain Names: A Guide to Buying Valuable Web Assets

Dropped Domain Names: How to Successfully Buy Web Assets

Final: Dropped Domain Names

Dropped domain names are website addresses people used to own but didn’t renew. When the owner doesn’t pay to keep the domain, it becomes available for others to buy and use.

Sometimes, these domains are valuable because they have a good name or people are still visiting them. Picking up dropped domain names can be a smart way for new owners to benefit from their existing value.

Some web hosting providers offer domain hosting as part of their web hosting plans, but there are also providers who offer domain hosting separately from web hosting plans.

Key Highlights

  • Dropped domain names are website addresses that become available when their owners don’t renew them
  • Dropped domain names let you buy useful domains cheaply, but may lead to legal issues or loss of the original content
  • To buy a dropped domain name, research the domain’s quality, place a bid on it, and complete the purchase
  • Learning more about dropped domain names is important because it offers chances to gain from existing web traffic and valuable domain names

What Are Dropped Domain Names?

Dropped domain names are website addresses not renewed by their previous owners before the deadline and returned to the registry. This means that anyone can buy and use them once they become available. This usually happens when people forget or choose not to renew their domain registration before the deadline.

Domain names work similarly to renting an apartment – if you don’t renew the registration, someone else can take it over. When the previous owner doesn’t renew, the domain becomes available for anyone to buy and use. New owners of dropped domain names can benefit from their existing value, such as a good name or existing web traffic.

The Life Cycle of a Domain Name

To understand what they are, it’s essential to know the stages of a domain name’s life cycle. These stages determine when a domain name becomes available for purchase as a dropped domain:

  • Registration Period: This stage begins when a domain name is first registered and lasts for a period of 1-10 years, depending on the registrar and the registration option selected.
  • Grace Period: If a domain name is not renewed before the registration period ends, it enters the grace period. During this 30-45 day period, the domain cannot be used to host a website or send emails.
  • Redemption Period: The domain goes into a redemption period lasting 34-65 days after the grace period. During this time, the domain cannot be transferred or unlocked. To renew the domain name, the owner must pay a redemption fee.
  • Pending Delete Period: If the domain owner does not renew the domain during the redemption period, it enters a five-day pending delete period. After this period, the domain will be deleted and become available for anyone to register. As of May 2023, there are 235,633 pending delete domains available for purchase.

What Are the Types of Dropped Domain Names?

Final: Dropped Domain Names

Dropped domain names have different types based on their status and how you can get them. Understanding them is important when choosing the right dropped domain for you. Here are the main types of dropped domains:

  1. Deleted Domains

Deleted domains are website addresses removed from the registry and can be bought and used by anyone. They might have existing traffic or a good name, but be careful of any legal issues or negative history tied to them.

  1. Pending Delete Domains

Pending delete domains are website addresses that have passed the grace period and are waiting to be removed from the domain registry. After being removed, usually in five days, anyone can register these domains.

  1. Expired Domains

Expired domains are website addresses that aren’t renewed but still have a chance to be renewed by the original owner. If they don’t renew within a grace period, usually 30 days, the domain becomes available for others to buy.

  1. Auctioned Domains

Auctioned domains are website addresses being sold in auctions because many people want them. Buyers place bids on these domains, and the highest bidder gets to own and use it. These domains can be valuable, making bidding competitive and sometimes costly.

What Are the Pros of Buying Dropped Domain Names?

Buying dropped domain names can be a smart way to acquire valuable web assets. Here are some of its benefits:

  1. Affordable Acquisition

Buying dropped domains is a cost-effective way to acquire valuable web assets. This can be especially useful if you’re on a tight budget or looking to save on costs. Additionally, if the domain name has existing traffic or good SEO rankings, purchasing it can be more beneficial than registering a new one.

  1. Established Website Traffic

When you buy a dropped domain, it may come with established traffic from previous website visitors. This can give you a head start with an audience and website analytics, allowing you to redirect the traffic to your new website or use it to create new revenue streams.

  1. Improved SEO Potential

Dropped domains can have an existing backlink profile and SEO ranking. Also, the more backlinks a webpage has, the more organic traffic it tends to receive. This makes it easier to improve SEO rankings with the right content and optimization. However, it’s important to research the quality of the backlinks and ensure they are not spammy.

  1. Brand Recognition

Dropped domains may have a desirable name or brand recognizable to your target audience. This can help you establish credibility and visibility with your audience. You can leverage brand recognition to expand your online presence and attract more customers.

What Are the Cons of Buying Dropped Domain Names?

Final: Dropped Domain Names

Before buying a dropped domain, it’s important to be aware of the potential drawbacks and risks involved. Here are some of the downsides to consider:

  1. Legal Issues

Dropped domains may have legal issues from their past, such as ownership disputes or trademark infringement. If you buy a domain with a complicated legal history, you may face legal action from the previous owner. Researching the domain’s legal history can help you avoid potential legal conflicts.

  1. Negative SEO History

Dropped domains can have a bad SEO history with spammy backlinks that can harm your website’s reputation and rankings. Backlinks are considered the third most important factor for ranking a site, so research the domain’s SEO history and backlink profile before buying it to avoid penalties or blacklisting by search engines.

  1. Rebuilding Website Content

Dropped domains may have outdated or irrelevant website content. You may need to invest time and resources to create new content relevant to your target audience and reflect your brand. Assess the content quality and relevance of the dropped domain before making a purchase.

  1. Hidden Costs

Dropped domains may come with hidden costs, such as renewal fees or backorder fees. You may also need to pay for professional services, such as legal or SEO experts, to avoid legal issues or improve your website’s rankings. Evaluate the total cost of acquiring and maintaining the dropped domain before buying one.

How to Determine the Quality of a Dropped Domain

If you’re thinking of buying a dropped domain, it’s crucial to assess its quality to make sure it’s the right fit for your business needs and target audience. Here are some factors to consider to determine the quality of a dropped domain:

Domain Metrics

  • Use domain research tools to check the domain metrics
  • Look for domains with strong metrics, as they typically indicate a quality domain

Domain History

  • Check the domain’s history to see if it has been penalized or banned by search engines
  • Look for any past negative SEO practices, such as spammy backlinks, that could harm your website’s reputation

Domain’s Backlink Profile

  • Evaluate the quality of the domain’s backlink profile to see if it has high-quality backlinks from reputable sources
  • Look for a diverse range of backlinks and avoid domains with low-quality or spammy backlinks

Legal Issues

  • Research the domain’s history to see if it has any legal issues, such as trademark disputes or copyright infringement
  • Avoid domains with legal issues, as they can cause problems and harm your business

What to Check Before Buying Dropped Domain Names

Final: Dropped Domain Names

Before buying a dropped domain name, you should check some key metrics to evaluate its quality and potential value. Here are the most important metrics to consider:

  1. Domain Authority

Domain Authority (DA) is a metric that measures the overall quality of a domain’s backlink profile. It’s based on a machine learning algorithm’s predictions of how often Google uses that domain in its search results, so you shouldn’t solely rely on it when choosing a dropped domain.

As a general rule, look for domains with a DA of 40 or higher, as they tend to have stronger backlink profiles. They’re also more likely to rank higher in search engine results, which can help attract more traffic to your website.

  1. Page Authority

Page Authority (PA) measures how well a specific page on a website is likely to rank in search engine results. Pages with a relatively high PA score usually have stronger backlink profiles. A higher PA score means the page has a better reputation and more authority in the search engine results, which can help it rank higher and attract more traffic.

  1. Trust Flow

Trust Flow (TF) measures the quality of a domain’s backlink profile. A higher TF score means the domain has more authoritative and trustworthy backlinks, which can positively impact your search engine rankings.

  1. Citation Flow

Citation Flow (CF) measures the quantity of backlinks to a domain or page. Domains with a CF higher than or similar to their TF have a diverse and natural backlink profile. A higher CF score means the domain has more backlinks pointing to it, which can help improve its search engine rankings.

  1. Referring Domains

A domain with a high number of Referring Domains (RD) means it has gained authority over time and has more high-quality backlinks. This is important because 93.8% of link builders say link quality is more important than quantity. When evaluating a dropped domain, consider the number of RDs and the quality of the backlinks to improve your search engine rankings.

How to Evaluate and Find Dropped Domain Names

Final: Dropped Domain Names

Finding and evaluating dropped domain names can be overwhelming. Here are some tips to help you find and assess dropped domains:

  • Identify Your Goals

Determine what you want to achieve with the dropped domain, such as improving SEO rankings, expanding your brand, or acquiring new traffic. This will help you identify the most relevant and valuable dropped domains for your goals.

  • Research and Evaluate Domain Metrics

Use tools to evaluate the domain’s authority and trustworthiness. Check if the domain has a healthy backlink profile and good traffic metrics using tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs.

  • Check Domain History and Relevance

Research the domain’s history and check if it has any negative SEO practices or legal issues. Also, assess the relevance of the domain name to your business and target audience. Check if the domain name is memorable, easy to spell, and reflects your brand values.

  • Monitor Domain Availability

Use a domain monitoring or backorder service to keep track of dropped domain names and be notified when they become available. This will give you an advantage in acquiring valuable domains before others take them.

How to Buy Dropped Domain Names

Buying dropped domain names can be a cost-effective way to acquire valuable web assets for your business. Here are some steps to follow:

Research Dropped Domains

  • Identify dropped domain names that align with your business goals and target audience
  • Use domain research tools to see how well the domain has performed in the past
  • Check the domain’s track record and look into any legal issues or negative SEO practices
  • See the domain’s availability and assess whether it is a worthwhile investment

Place a Bid on a Dropped Domain

  • Place your bid through a domain auction or a backorder service after identifying a dropped domain name
  • Consider the potential value of the domain and bid aggressively if needed
  • Keep in mind that some domain names may have a reserve price, which is the minimum price the seller is willing to accept for the domain

Complete the Purchase of a Dropped Domain

  • Complete the purchase by paying the agreed-upon price once you have won the bid,
  • Transfer the domain name to your registrar and renew it to maintain ownership after completing the purchase

How to Revive and Rebrand Dropped Domain Names

Final: Dropped Domain Names

If you’ve purchased a dropped domain name, it’s possible to revive and rebrand it into a successful website. Here’s how to do it:

Evaluate the Domain’s History and Backlinks

  • Check for spammy or low-quality backlinks
  • Analyze the domain’s history and traffic using online tools
  • Look for existing content and assess its quality and relevance

Develop a Content Strategy

  • Research your target audience and create buyer personas
  • Brainstorm topics and keywords relevant to your audience
  • Create a content calendar to plan and organize your content and blog topics

Optimize for SEO

  • Conduct keyword research to identify high-value keywords
  • Optimize your website’s on-page elements, including titles, meta descriptions, and headings
  • Build high-quality backlinks from authoritative sources

Leverage Social Media and Email Marketing

  • Create social media profiles for your website on popular platforms
  • Share your content and engage with your followers to build a loyal following
  • Build an email list and create newsletters, promotions, and other email campaigns to promote your website

Monitor and Analyze Your Results

  • Track your website’s traffic, rankings, and backlinks using online tools
  • Analyze your website’s performance to identify areas for improvement
  • Continuously adjust and refine your content and marketing strategies based on your results


Dropped domain names can boost your business with their established traffic and high-quality backlinks. This guide has covered everything you need to know, including what dropped domain names are, their life cycle, types, pros and cons, and how to evaluate, find, purchase, revive, and rebrand them.

To make the most of your investment, it’s important to research their quality and relevance to your business before purchasing. By following the steps outlined in this guide and learning more about dropped domain names, you can acquire valuable web assets that can help you achieve your business goals.

Next Steps: What Now?

Further Reading (Useful Resources)

Frequently Asked Questions

How much should I bid for a dropped domain?

To determine the value of a dropped domain, consider factors such as its domain authority, backlink profile, and relevance to your business. Research thoroughly and bid accordingly, but keep in mind that some domains may have a reserve price set by the seller.

What should I do after I buy a dropped domain?

After you buy a dropped domain, transfer it to your domain registrar and renew it to maintain ownership. You should also assess its backlink profile and make sure it doesn’t have any negative SEO history.

Can I use a dropped domain’s previous content?

Using a dropped domain’s previous content can be risky, as it may have copyright or trademark issues. It’s best to create your own content for the domain to avoid any legal issues.

Can I resell a dropped domain for a profit?

Yes, you can resell a dropped domain for a profit. Make sure to improve its SEO and traffic metrics before selling it, and assess its market value to set a fair price.

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