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.io …. who?

So iomy techie husband keeps on telling me there is a .io revolution going on, conference after conference he goes to, he his noticing the trend that more and more of smaller tech startups are using domains with a .io TLD. The geek in me can see the appeal the idea of a domain name that ends in IO – the input/output connotation seems like a perfect fit in a tech environment..And don’t even mention Jupiter moons…

Even after the launch of the all the new GTLDs last year, therefore creating a far wider choice both from a price and name selection in the domain market, the .io domain extension is continuing to rise in popularity and it isn’t just my husband who is noticing it, almost every day I read about a new startup with a .io domain name, and they are always doing something really interesting, these new .io sites are unique in nature – small, innovative and above all else functional. A true TLD for techies with a flair for originality but never compromising on their core product or service.

Do a search on Google and you will find some really cool projects and services using the .io domain extention. – 191 of them – which show the trend pretty clearly. (I skipped the personal blogs and random news sites). There’s lots of open source projects (Redis, Brackets, Launcher), a few mobile-app landing pages (Avocado, X-Ray), a ton of new web apps and services, several conference pages (Lightning, Renaissance, Resonate) and a few older companies or organizations who’ve changed their name to take advantage of a cleaner .io name.

Despite the varied purposes and organizations involved, the thing all these sites have in common is that they are really well done – the design, attention to detail or simply the technology involved in the project. They all seem to be clean and focused on a single great idea, some in beta or about to be, and many already in business, concentrating on some unique niche. Yes the .io top level domain has been around since 1997 and therefore of course has had more time to build up popularity and marketability than some of the other more recently released GTLDs, but after the .io registry switched its back end to allow faster domain registrations in line with the .com registries, popularity soared and has continued to climb and is now a solidly recognized TLD in Silicon Valley and the tech world in general. Definately a sound bet for any tech start ups out there, clearly a TLD that is here to stay.

Talking of techies, don’t forget to check out our uber cool expired domains database and tool. A labor of love from the best techie I know, this simply is the coolest website to go to now to find expired domains. With over 40 million domains in our database and an interface that is simple, intuitive and functional to use both on a mobile and desktop platform, you will find the best expired domains quicker and easier using our tool than anywhere else. Best of all it’s completely free! www.expired-domains.co


To hide or not to hide..?

hide and seekAs we are all aware privacy services have become increasingly popular among those who wish to protect their contact information when buying expired domains. For many the ICANN requirement to display contact information for domain name registrants goes against basic privacy rights and with more stories coming out regarding personal information being hacked, this requirement is more topical than ever. The original intent of gathering this information was to assist network administrators, the information was to be used to identify and repair problems, while preserving the stability and integrity of the Internet.

Despite the strong argument the requirement of this information is no longer relevant and therefore should not be required ICANN continues to require information to be entered when a domain is registered. As a result, many individuals and businesses search for ways to remove themselves from the WHOIS database as a form of privacy control.

Whilst this sounds like the perfect solution to those more shy individuals amongst us, there are other factors that need to be taken into consideration, whilst many registrars like Godaddy are willing for a small fee to remove personal contact information at the point of domain registration and replace the owner’s information with their own, it can be argued that by doing this may impact the value or indeed usefulness of the domain. If you have a legitimate business or website, using these services could potentially cause people to wonder about your Internet reputation. In fact, if you customarily send out newsletters or other email communications from your domain, hiding the WHOIS data could cause your communications to be flagged by spam control organizations. Additionally, customers are often more hesitant to shop online on websites that purposely hide their contact information. Unfortunately the downside does not stop there potentially lowering the reputation of your domain can result in your domain being blacklisted ‘faster’ e.g. when violating Google SEO guidelines.

Furthermore you cannot perform a domain transfer when the whois information is hidden. If you wish to switch domain registrar before the renewal period is up you will not be able to do it until your current Registrar has restored you as the original owner on the whois database, which though does not sound difficult can cause needless headaches and paperwork for paperworks sake.

Last but not least it is important to note there are different rules for different TLDs, not all of them allow a full ‘private’ registration.

On the positive side for those individuals who buy and sell domains to add to their portfolios using a privacy service can make a lot of sense, indeed many of the most expensive domain purchases over the past 12 months the buyer has ended up using a privacy service. Of course, it’s always possible that ICANN will change the rules of the game at some point in the future. However, until things change, domain owners who wish to protect their contact information must think creatively. Your reason for registering the domain, as well as your desire for privacy, must factor into the solution you choose.

For businesses that wish to avoid spammers and scammers, using a separate email address used only in relationship with the domain registration could be the solution. Registering a separate business name to use as the owner of the domains could also be effective. Some people even resort to having an unlisted phone number, used only for their domain registration.

At expired domains we have well over 40 million expired domains in our database, with the best user interface in the industry that is completely free. We are confident once you start using our tool you will wish you found us sooner!


How to find Expired Domains in 2015

Yes I know itdisney-pixar-finding-nemo-book_21335_1s June and we are halfway through the year but what the hell it is never too late to update this information, so here goes… With so many tools websites and how to guides knowing where to find the best expired domains before they are gone can get confusing. As the market place has opened up, the phrase the “early worm get the worm” really can apply when buying expired domains. As we all know finding a good expired domain name will most certainly get you ahead of the game in regards to ranking higher in search engines and overall appeal in marketability.

Google Pagerank not so much anymore…

For so long the go to crutch to measure the quality of a domain was Google Page Rank and yes many tools including www.expired-domains.co still show the actual Page Rank for domains. But since the Pagerank algorithm has not been updated in well over a year, and Google stopped updating the toolbar and focused on other things, like the continuous running of the Penguin and Panda algorithms, its relevancy in finding expired domains has decreased significantly.

Higher MOZ domain authority

The Moz authority is the best alternative to the Google page rank. Domain Authority is a score (on a 100-point scale) developed by Moz that predicts how well a website will rank on search engines. Use Domain Authority when comparing one site to another or tracking the “strength” of your website over time. This metric is calculated by combining all of our other link metrics—linking root domains, number of total links, MozRank,MozTrust, etc.—into a single score.

To determine Domain Authority, machine learning techniques are employed against Google’s algorithm to best model how search engine results are generated. Over 40 signals are included in this calculation. This means your website’s Domain Authority score will often fluctuate. For this reason, it’s best to use Domain Authority as a competitive metric against other sites as opposed to a historic measure of your internal SEO efforts. Domain Authority is scored on a 100-point, logarithmic scale. Thus, it’s easier to grow your score from 20 to 30 than it would be to grow from 70 to 80.

Whereas Domain Authority measures the predictive ranking strength of entire domains or subdomains, Page Authority measures the strength of individual page. The same is true for metrics such as MozRank and MozTrust.

The domain age

It’s not a secret that Google and Bing prefer established websites with old domain names. But, that’s not a rule that you should follow all the time. But, when you do, things will be better for you, and you will get better ranking than you expected. It’s better to choose a domain that has, at least, 3 years of age.

If you can find one from the 90’s, that will be great if it’s really good and trusted. But make sure to verify its history.

Backlinks from unique IP

The total number of links that points to any domain is not important if they are from one or a few IP addresses. That’s a signal of spam, so, make sure to compare the total number of links to the number of referring domains, and their unique IP addresses.

For example, if a domain has thousands of links, but, from one or two IP addresses, then, stay away from it. On the other side, when you find a domain with hundreds of links from hundreds of domains and IP addresses, that’s a signal of quality, and you can proceed to the next step.

Links from Edu and Gov sites

The educational and governmental backlinks add real value to any domain. That’s why people are doing their best to find these domains.

You can find a domain if you spend some time every day. There are thousands of domains that are expiring every hour, with good links from universities and official websites.

That gives a boost to your SERP ranking, and you shouldn’t forget that. At the same time, verify that theses links come from the right places and not just spam comments.

Verify the referred pages of those links and see if they’re coming from the content, or all of them are just comments. That can help to compare two domains with these links.

Alexa Rank losing credibility

Again as with Google Pagerank lots of people search for sites with good Alexa rank when looking to buy expired domains. In the past this worked as an excellent tool to compare website traffic and keywords, but with more and more inconsistencies popping up regarding referring keywords being incorrect, and traffic sources being wrong, the weight the Alexa Rank once carried with Expired domains has also decreased.

The Google index

This is a confusing thing to understand. If there are no indexed pages for any domain, that doesn’t mean it’s penalized, but, that’s only valid if the domain is offline for days, or weeks, at least. If you find a domain without indexed pages, verify that it’s online for weeks or months.

Google removes the indexed page if it found that site dead. But also, if the domain is offline since a few hours or from the last day, and you find nothing as indexed pages, then, stay away and be sure that it’s penalized by Google.

To find the number of indexed pages in Google, use this example and type it in the search box.


Domain trust

There are a couple of sites, where you can find the domain trust, Majestic is a good tool to use. There is no exact number to use, but it’s recommended that the domain trust should be 15 at least, with the same value for the citation flow.

The tool gives a clear idea about the number of links, and how they’re distributed across the web.

The Open Site Explorer and Ahrefs are other good tools to use. Just enter the domain name and find their backlinks and what anchor text they have. That gives a clear idea about the domain.

Please make sure to verify that the anchor texts are related, and not spam like ”pharmacy” words and so on.

Last but NOT least where to find expired domains

www.expired-domains.co of course, with over 40 million expired domains in our database, a search engine which is not only completely free to use but based on uptodate ecommerece technology giving the end user a seamless and intuitive experience making it easy to find the domains of your choice.


Expired Domains – Burst bubble, maturing market, eradication of the middle man?

bubble-burstTimes are changing, we all know that, today, tomorrow and the foreseeable future can officially be classified the information age. Data of every form imaginable is literally at our fingertips from the moment we wake up in the morning to the time we go to bed. Hundreds of thousands of websites are out there purely to deliver statistics, analysis, commentary and news for any given subject we choose to access. Further more the mechanisms on how we access this data has evolved exponentially, from the desktop computer, to the super light laptop, the tablet, the ever changing phone to the watch.

So with more and more commentary out there suggesting the days of flipping domain names for a quick profit are now blips in the radar, as opposed to the heady days where seven digit domain sales made instantaneous overnight millionaires, how has this era in information impacted this trend?

There appears to be a general consensus in the domain industry that as the market has been flooded with information, sites such as www.expired-domains have popped up it has made it much easier for the end user to research their chosen domain name and buy them directly from auction houses like Namejet, as opposed to using a broker which was so often the case in the past. With hundreds of how to blogs out there regarding the expired domains life cycle, it does not seem too far fetched to imagine the owner of a startup tasking an employee to track down that perfect domain.

As with most markets as they mature, it is commonplace to see the shrinking of the middle man, industries typically evolve and strengthen and sell b2b, and keep the profits in house, but with many 5 figure sales recorded on a weekly basis it is safe to say the domain broker is here to stay for a while, they just have more competition from the end buyers, who have become savvy and wised up.

The changing shape of the bubble.

In the mid 90’s to mid 2000’s purchasing domain names had a low entry cost and could potentially yield rewarding results. Seemingly simple but irrelevant domains (often ones that were made up names could be picked up for $100 or less, years later the relevance of these domains evolved and many were sold for $1 million +. Once the profit potential of these domains were realized they were snapped up left and right by investors, businesses and amateur enthusiasts. After the dust settled very few good domain names remained. Those that were left were undesirable for various reasons including: random or nonsensical, in violation of a trademark, hard to spell, bad company names, or too long. To find recognizable, marketable and profitable domain names at reasonable prices is now virtually impossible even after the mass release of the new GTLDs. Many of these names are either being held by large companies such as Apple and Amazon, who registered the GTLDS such as .app and .kindle, as you can imagine the possibilities for such domain combinations are endless regardless of what industry you are in. Now being owned though by such large entities – room for profit has shrunk considerably..

The Google Impact…

In the past back to the good old days of domain investing search engines were relatively simplistic in the manner in which they gathered results and the order in which they were presented. These older search algorithms put a high value on EMDs or ‘Exact Match Domains’.  If a user searched for ‘coffee mugs’ the highest ranked site would likely be www.coffeemugs.com even if other sites had more content, links and a higher relevance. Domains that were simple, marketable and commonly searched were valued above and beyond all other considerations. Many of these domains were ‘parked’ and filled with nothing but click through ads and dead end links. Whilst they often generated a steady stream of revenue for their owners, they were of little value to the end user as they offered virtually no content. Search engines operators recognized the problem with their algorithms and began the development of new methods for ranking search results. This development would see the relevance of domain names as a highly marketable commodity; become a thing of the past.

In the present day, search algorithms are more sophisticated and complex than ever. As with all things technological the rate of advancement is practically exponential. Computing power doubles approximately every two years (see Moore’s Law) as a result so does our ability to develop increasingly advanced software and search algorithms. The company at the forefront of this development is of course Google. With approximately 70% of all searches on the internet going through Googles’ search engines, this comes as little surprise. Since its inception, Google has continuously improved and refined the mechanisms and algorithms utilized to provide search results. One such refinement in 2012 saw the value and relevance of domain names plummet.  ()

The ‘EMD update’ as it is called, whilst substantially improving the relevance and quality of end user search results; also caused a dramatic reduction in the viability of domain flipping. Google recalibrated the value assigned to domain names dramatically reducing their importance in how search results were ranked. Suddenly exact match domain names were not only an insignificant factor in determining a websites ranking, but in some instances actually further reduced their ranking. By reducing the overall significance of domain names in determining website rankings, Google dramatically reduced the value which could be ascribed to them. Any website which had previously relied on EMD to achieve high rankings saw their visit numbers decline and rankings plummet.

The need though is greater..

With all that said yes, the landscape for buying and selling domains has changed and possibly sites like ours have contributed to this. In this era where information is everything and is never static, it would seem logical that the domain industry would have to change and adapt to survive. With more and more high street retailer moving their main business online, acquiring that key domain realestate is actually more important and valuable than ever. Yes the competition is higher, but simultaneously so are the stakes, no one could imagine back in the 90’s 60 -70% of the top big box retailers sales would be generated through the internet and the company Amazon was a virtual unknown…

Before leaving don’t forget to take a look at our database of over 40 million expired domains. We present the data in a clean easy to use manner that is also mobile friendly and is completely free to access! expired domains

The changing landscape of the marketability of a Domain..

branding-buildingBuying a good domain with your company’s brand in the title, is just the beginning of the long journey for long term online success.

All domains need to be used effectively for branding purposes and this means a lot more than just getting the brand name in the domain. In an age where good domains are more accessible than ever, but SEO strategy has transcended simple marketing tips such as buying domain names with a short URL, easy to say/easy to remember, or a domain that includes targeted keywords, to a time now where the structuring of the brand, domain and product need to be seamlessly integrated.

For such a long time we were directed in the online world to subfolders for specific brands from their parent company domain, this type of online marketing was the legacy left behind from the leap from traditional bricks and mortar to online selling. Big company’s brands were not set up to align to this form of marketing, the use of the word branding has now taken on a whole different meaning.

We as the consumer in this day in age find it frustrating if we had to go to two different domains to buy toothbrushes and toothpaste both owned by the same company, this type of domain marketing undermines the strength of the brand and online marketability and domain authority.

In recent years we are much more likely to see the brand dominate both the domain and individual product/products, therefore integrating the online strategy into a clean simple but very successful approach. With the likes of Apple who has a strong online and retail store customer base and Google with their pure online and mobile presence.

All of Apple’s devices are strongly branded as Apple products. Search “Apple Watch” and the first search rwww.apple.com/watch. No new domain is necessary for each line of product.

With all that said product only branding does have a place in the domain world and typically works best where there is a strong local connection, there are no related products, and there is limited interaction with “corporate.” The downside is that you’re going to be starting from scratch with your customers ever

Of course there was a time when it seemed  to make sense to choose a lot of exact-match and keyword-focused domains. Google was  letting almost anything rank if the domain matched the query exactly. Product-specific domains sold and actually still do for millions of dollars. In recent Panda and Penguin algorithm though “EMD’s” have tended to drop in the SERP’s, illustrating Google’s desire to reward strong brands, products and services with long term marketing strategies versus quick wins and short term gains. Of course as the owner of an Exact Match Domain I am going against my own thought process in some ways!

So the advice of the day is go check out our amazing database of nearly 40 million domains, it is completely free, easy and intuitive to use and by my reckoning the best around! Pick up a great domain today and still building that brand!