I don’t remember exactly how it started, but over the last few years I’ve acquired a little over 400 domains. I bought a domain about 10 years ago and carefully built a nice site. It climbed in the ranks over the years, but considering that the domain name was cool only to me and I didn’t already have a lot SEO expertise it just never really had a chance. I diligently worked on the site for 8 years making no more than $1000 per year. I experimented with different revenue streams and models (affiliates, subscription, membership, even pay what you can!), but nothing turned it around because the traffic simply wasn’t there.
Finally I “gave up on it” and decided to move on to another project. It was in the same niche, but just not exactly the same. And it required maybe 1% as much work. It was just much smaller. I was able to buy some exact match domains to match the concept (mind you at this point I’ve got something like 10 domains) and I coded up the project. I’ll be damned if in the first month I didn’t make what I had made the entire previous year. So I started to see if it was repeatable and bought more domains. BAM by the end of the first year I made 5x what I had made in the previous 8 years combined! Nice. So now I had it all figured out – or so I thought. I basically reinvested most of the earnings and I ended up spending tons of money (tens of thousands of dollars) to buy domains that would fit what I was trying to do. The idea was right, the execution was horrible.
If I could do it all again I’d do it differently. I would not buy from third parties near as much, and I’d buy pre-releases of dropped domains more often. Something I didn’t know when I bought from third parties was that I was buying domains that they’d simply bought off the drop. That means I could have had just as much a chance paying a service to try buying them for $69 rather than several hundred or up to $2000 dollars. It probably cost me $10000 to learn that little lesson.
So I could wait until they dropped if I could spot them before hand, but there is a problem with buying dropped domains. A domain’s age resets to 0 when it deletes / drops. If you can manage to get these domains before they drop you can keep the age bonus that many search engines grant. Basically an older domain has a little more street cred as far as the search engines are concerned. If you want to rank quickly in the search engines then having an aged domain will only help.
If you can get aged domains with a lot of clout (page rank) to point to a site that you want to rank high then you can help that site rank well quickly. The problem is that it’s darn near impossible to find sites with a lot of legitimate link juice and to get them to point to your site. You can (and should) reach out to other sites and share your site with them to get them to see the value you provide, but you can also jumpstart the process yourself if you’re willing to do a little extra work. It’s actually a LOT of extra work unless you know the right tools. That’s where DomCop.com comes in.
DomCop is basically a search engine for expired domains. You can use it to find domains that match all kinds of metrics (Page rank, age, number of links, types of links [gov, edu, etc], alexa rank, and much more). Then, once you’ve found a domain you can try to buy those domains BEFORE they are deleted. Or you can stand ready to snatch them up when they actually are deleted. Their tool makes it so easy to find domains that will help you in your SEO efforts. They’ve even got a pretty great tour to show you how to use their site for maximum benefit.
[Click on the above screen shot for a large clear view]
As you can see from that screen shot it’s a very informative and useful tool. Whether you want to utilize the purchased domain for your main site or you want to build a set of quality links to your main site from high link powered domains DomCop can help you find the domains that will give you the most value for the least effort. I’ve bought a few domains that I found using their engine and I’ll even be using it to enable me to continue to trim my domain holdings. By identifying and buying a few strong domains and letting quite a few weaker ones go I’ll lower my renewal fees (less domains) and have stronger sites helping improve the ranking of those I do maintain.
If you decide to use DomCop let me know how it works for you in the comments section below. Maybe you’ll use it some way I’ve never thought of before and you can help me get even more value from it!