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How to increase website traffic with expired domain names

30,000 to 40,000 domain names expire each day, many of which were full-blown websites before their registrations lapsed. The former owners of these websites invested time, money, and know-how to build an audience and create incoming traffic. Even though these domain names are expiring, that doesn't mean previous owner's work is gone. The domain name's inlinks still exist, and its goodwill still exists. This means it still has incoming traffic.

To illustrate this point further, think back to the last time you clicked a link or typed in a website address that didn't work. When you visited this "dead" website, you contributed to the traffic of an expired domain name. Some expired domain names have only a small trickle of traffic, while some have thousands of unique visitors each day.

How to use this expired domain name traffic

Even though expiring domain names have inherent traffic, this traffic isn't much use to you if it isn't targeted. Why would you care about an expired domain name for a hotel when you're trying to sell widgets? But let's say you find an expiring domain name for a website that sold the same thing you do. That traffic would suddenly become valuable to you because it's targeted, meaning its visitors are interested in buying or learning about what you're selling. If you then redirected the expired domain name to your website, you'd be gaining a steady stream of targeted traffic. It would be like buying their website, minus its content.

To clarify how this would work, imagine a scenario where abcwidgets.com and thewidgetfactory.com are two separate companies selling widgets through their websites. One day, abcwidgets.com goes out of business and their domain name is not renewed. The owner of thewidgetfactory.com then captures abcwidgets.com and redirects it to thewidgetfactory.com. As a result, thewidgetfactory.com gains all the traffic that abcwidgets.com would have been receiving. In other words, they bought a steady stream of visitors who are interested in buying widgets.

This is a win-win situation. You gain because you capture the domain name and gain its targeted traffic, and the web visitor wins because instead of finding a dead website, they find a website providing the information they're looking for.

This is not as far-fetched as you might think. From the 30,000 to 40,000 domain names that expire each day, there's a good chance you'll find a handful of domain names whose traffic is similar to your target audience.

How to find targeted domain names with traffic

With 40,000 domain names expiring each day, it may seem a daunting task to go through them all one by one and find the few hidden gems you're interested in. Thankfully there are tools available that automate this process. These tools are referred to as "droplist websites" or "expired domain name research" websites (Dropscout.com is one of these websites, providing free expired domain name research). By sorting the domain names based on commonly used evaluation criteria, such as Google PageRank, Inlinks, and Alexa Traffic Rank, these websites provide reports which can be used to quickly locate ideal expired domain names. See our article on how to find a valuable expiring domain name for more detailed info.

How to buy targeted expired domain name traffic

Registering an expiring domain name is a bit different than registering a regular domain name (see our article on the domain name expiration process for more detailed info). If the domain name has any value, there's a chance that others will be interested in registering it as well, so it will be a race of who can register it first. Fortunately, there is a service available that automatically attempts to register the domain name the millisecond it becomes available. This service is called "backordering." See our article on how to buy an expiring domain name for more detailed info.

Dropscout.com provides free expired domain name research. Read more expired domain name articles, or send us your comments and questions.

Last Updated: April 4, 2007
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