Finding a good expired domain is one of the best investments in not only your affiliate business but also in many other businesses.
Buying expired domains on domain auction sites is a skill, and it’s a competitive one…
Simply put, if you buy expired domains you have a higher likelihood to rank quickly in search engines and probably start making sales quicker.
But it can also be stressful and time-consuming unless you have access to an expired domain finder tool that does almost all the work.
Why do I say this?
Well, I’ve tried it both ways, and this way… is far far better!
If you want to go the long way, you can check out this article here on expireddomains.net.
The expired domain name tool I use the most is called Spamzilla, and while it is a paid tool, it’s very inexpensive for most budgets, especially with the awesome value you can find by using it.
So let’s get started with this semi-Spamzilla Review slash tutorial.
What You'll Learn...
- 1 What is SPAMZILLA
- 2 Spamzilla Vs Free Tools
- 3 Understanding the Costs of Expired Domains
- 4 Spamzilla Terms and Their Meanings
- 5 Domain Drops
- 6 How to Filter Your Expired Domains
- 7 How to Search For Expired Domains
- 8 Domain Flipping
- 9 Vetting the Relevance of Expired Domains
- 10 Quick Expired Domain search
- 11 Risk of Buying Expired Domains
- 12 Final Thoughts
What is SPAMZILLA
Spamzilla helps you to find spam-free clean domains in the easiest way possible. This basically means domains that are free from a bad history of not-liked content.
It’s a tool that helps simplify your expired domain search and does most of the work to help you find your perfect expired domain. You obviously have to learn how to use it, and there isn’t really much of a learning curve, as you’ll see from the step-by-step Spam Zilla tutorial below.
It has what I like to call a domain availability checker, which basically shows us if domains are available for us to buy, basically, has someone let their domain drop, or expire, so we can swoop in and pick them up.
This checks all the domain registrars like Godaddy, Sido, and Namecheap plus a whole host of others, and produces expired domain lists that you can go through and find some real winning expired domains to add to your business.
Costing $37 per month (which is well worth it) for this piece of software, you get 1850 credits, which are almost like tokens to use to get extra features and advanced filters on domain searches that might not already be done.
This price of SpamZilla ($37PM) is Vs ($97PM) Domain Hunter Gatherer (which is an awesome tool also), is great, as Domain Hunter Gatherer is a bit too expensive for a lot of people.
There are so many features in this Spamzilla, and ff you want to search for expired domains with quality backlinks, then this is the tool (in my opinion) to find the highest quality domains online.
Spamzilla Vs Free Tools
Although free tools can be used, such as expireddomains.net, Spamzilla makes the whole process faster and easier by giving you all the right tools in one place.
From my experience with Expireddomain.net, while it is a good tool to get used to and use, it doesn’t give you the depth of knowledge and ease of use that Spamzilla does. Plus, me being a little bit precious, it isn’t as pretty or as user-friendly as Spamzilla.
SZ Spam Score
Also, Spamzilla has what it called the SZ score or spam score of the domains that are in its databases. This SZ Spam Score is made by analyzing the backlink data to each domain (not all domains get analyzed initially). For you and me, when we see this Spam Score it’s a quick indication if a domain is spam or not.
I never chose a domain with an SZ score of over 14. The scale is on a 1-100 scale, so thread well, and choose one 14 or lower.
It helps you save time from going through ‘dead-end domains’ or wasting time on domains with a bunch of spammy links. For fear of being penalized by Google for the words I use in my posts, I will say that these ‘spammy links’ come from sites related to pharma, the naughty business, and even sites with non-English language characters.
Important note: You don’t need to rush this domain-finding process.
The more you take your time, the better chance you have to find that perfect, powerful expired domain and domain name that can potentially rank quicker and better on search engines like Bing.com and Google.
SPAMZILLA (Free or Paid?)
Spamzilla, like every other software, offers a free version, just like a test drive to see if you like the software.
With the free version, you have 25 free searches.
The paid version is $37 billed monthly so no long contracts and unsubscribe as necessary, and you can make up to 1850 searches per month.
We recommend the paid version here because it’s so worth it.
Once you have used it for a few days, you will understand how easier and quicker it can be to search for expired domains.
A good thing to do would be to first use Expiredomains.net which is free, and then use Spamzilla to know how much better this software is.
Now that you know about the cost of Spamzilla, please do realize that this $37 is not the only cost. There are obviously other costs associated with buying the domains too, which we will outline below.
Understanding the Costs of Expired Domains
Initial Acquisition Costs
While Spamzilla is a valuable tool for domain research, it’s essential to make sure you understand the additional costs when considering buying expired domains. Apart from the Spamzilla subscription fee of $37 per month, you’ll also need to budget for the initial acquisition of the expired domains.
Premium or highly sought-after domains can command substantial prices, even going into the $1,000’s. I like to set a custom filter in my SZ Filters section that I put a top price to search for domains, as shown in the image here.
Ongoing Renewal Costs
Remember that owning an expired domain isn’t a one-time expense. Domains typically require annual renewal fees to maintain ownership, which is why you are picking up the domain in the first place. The domain you are buying is not being renewed by the person who owned it before you, so it is expired.
Neglecting these renewals can lead to domain loss, which can be especially costly if the domain has gained value over time…
This is what we look out for inside of Spamzilla, these beauties that have slipped through other people’s fingers.
Spamzilla Terms and Their Meanings
Once you get inside Spamzilla this is how the dashboard looks. While it might look a bit confusing at first there aren’t really that many data points to look at. Don’t get confused with all the data points that there are, as when taken slowly, and gone through smartly, you will find this a super simple software to use.
As you can see, there are many terms you might not know about, and many custom filters you can take advantage of.
If you have gone through our previous posts on buying expired domains, you might be familiar with some of the terms here, like TF, CF, Google index, etc.
Now, let’s go through the most important terms in the filters below:
SZ Domain Filters:
Once you have chosen the domain registrar, and won the auction, you will pay the auction price and then choose your registration period.
Sz Score Element
When we click on the SZ score element, it opens up cool SEO metrics that give us more information about our domain.
As you can see in the image above, it shows us the domain archive on the left hand side, almost like domain snapshots over time which means how the domain used to look back to 2006.
There is also the Spam message area on the right hand side. This is the SZ score that I mentioned, as as you can see, there is a ‘Clean’ spam message, This means there are no spam messages or words, such as casinos, s3x etc, contained in this domain.
The domain has a Spam score of 2, which means low spam.
If we click on the internet archive which is connected to the Wayback Machine we can see how the website looks. As you can see from the image below, it is elementary, looking like it was built in the early days of the Internet.
Checking the SZ score tab is an excellent way to find out if there are any spammy links, messages, or even foreign languages used on the website you are looking at.
You can also look at the Majestic area, which shows loads of great SEO metrics about the domain like the TF, CF and Majestic’s referring domains to your domain.
Next, we have the backlinks section here, which shows all of the site’s backlinks that are pointing to the domain.
You can see the websites linking to it are from what are deemed ‘Authority Sites’, and that means they provide what are called ‘Authority links’, pointing back to the domain you are looking at. These backlinks are powerful. An authority site has a DR (domain rating) of over 50.
There is also a section that shows the OBL, which means outbound links. This shows how many existing backlinks pointing to other sites the page linking to you has.
In the second link in the image, you can see that the OBL = 34. This means that the page shown is linking out to 34 pages.
Once we have gotten a domain that checks off most of the elements of our expired domain buying checklist, we will check the domain history.
We can do this on Spamzilla through the section that shows ‘Domain Drops’.
For example, this domain above was only dropped once in 18 years. So it’s a great domain to buy. If you find a dropped domain with too many drops, it isn’t a good buy. I normally choose a domain that (or at least look out for) has no more than 2 drops within it’s history, especially if I am going to be using it to create a new website on.
You can still check the domain history using a free tool domain history checker.
How to Filter Your Expired Domains
Spamzilla makes your expired domain search easier by providing you with a bunch of custom filters that you can use to narrow down your list of domains.
As you can see in the image above, everything is broken down into different sections,
Some sections are more important than others. We’re going to be using essential filters.
Under Majestic, we will work with major filters like Trust flow and citation flow.
To narrow our list of millions of domains, we can set our Trust flow and Citation flow at a minimum of 10, which means only domains with a Trust flow of 10 and above will show up.
I also put in a price as shown before, basically how much I want to pay.
There are so many other filters to play with, so make sure you play around with them, it is very self explanitory.
You can even set up something called filter alerts,
Once set, Spamzilla can send you automatic daily emails containing expired domains, even with ones in your specific niche.
You will continue getting automatic alerts on new domains, and domain updates.
How to Search For Expired Domains
So now you know a good bit about the Spamzilla filters and how the dashboard works, now let’s work through the steps to perform your expired domain search. The first thing you have to do is to apply your filters.
Setting up SZ Filters
The first thing you have to do is uncheck all country TLDs and check only TLDs. Set your majestic Trust flow and Citation flow at a minimum of 10, apply your filter, and you’re good to go.
Search Your Niche Keyword
Spamzilla is keyword searchable, which means you can effortlessly search your niche keyword and find many expired domains that contain your keyword. It’s a good idea to also use synonyms and other variations of your niche keywords.
For example, if you’re in the gaming niche, you can search gaming, games, video games, esports, etc.
As you can see, different domains have appeared with different metrics.
Let’s have a look at these domains.
The domains in green are available, but the price of the domain in red is $7,500… C.R.A.Z.Y!
|Most Expensive Domain Names Ever Sold|
|Cars.com – $872 million.|
|CarINsurance.com – $49.7 million.|
|Insurance.com – $35.6 million.|
|VacationRentals.com – $35 million.|
|PrivateJet.com – $30.18 million.|
|Voice.com – $30 million.|
|Internet.com – $18 million.|
|360.com – $17 million.|
That’s to show you how valuable domain names can be, and how you want to hold onto your good ones for dear life. People who get really into domaining as a business look to start domain flipping.
Domain flipping is a legitimate business strategy wherein individuals acquire expired domains with the intent of selling them at a profit. Success in domain flipping requires a deep understanding of market trends, domain valuation, and effective sales tactics, oh, and a bag full of cash… but when you find a winner, boy it pays!
Vetting the Relevance of Expired Domains
Now, let’s talk about the relevant metrics you should focus on to choose your expired domains.
When you look at the first domain at the top, you will see that it’s a very relevant domain to our gaming and niche site.
Next, we check the types of links pointing to our domain. We can do this directly on Spamzilla or use a free Backlinks checker by Ahrefs.
As you can see, this domain doesn’t look so good. It has a Russian link, which are frowned upon quite a bit. Important note: when a domain contains links from languages you don’t understand, you should stay away from those domains.
We would also check the anchor text of those links, and what we’re looking for is non-exact match anchor text.
As you can see in the image above, no anchor text contains any spam message, but it still doesn’t feel right.
According to the links in red, it seems like the website is associated with an illegal movie download site. This is why looking at the backlinks and anchor text is very relevant before choosing a domain.
The next relevant metric we must check is the domain history to ensure that previous owners didn’t use it for spam.
As we said before, we go into the SZ score.
If we click on the archive section, it will show us what the domain looked like before, and from what we can see, this domain has used a ‘bad word’ in it, meaning the domain was most likely used for spammy activities.
There is a search feature on Spamzilla called the Spam Checker that helps you check if a domain is spam or not; all you need to do is copy the domain, paste it into the spam checker, and click yes.
Checking a domain will cost you one credit out of your 1850 credits.
But first, look for signals that might prove a domain as spam, so you don’t waste your credit.
While vetting the relevance, if you have gone through the above section correctly, you won’t waste your credits here.
The next thing to do is decide if the domain ticks all of the boxes when it comes to purchasing your expired domain.
If it does, you are good to go.
Quick Expired Domain search
Let’s say we have added our filters and Click apply. As you know, the only filters we would need for Spamzilla are just our Top-level domains (TLDs), Trust flow, and Citation flow.
If we click on the Sz score of any domains, it will show us additional metrics, as we discussed, showing us the domain archive, which is what the previous domain looked like.
As you can see, there’s no spam associated with this domain. But there’s no record after 2015 on archive.org.
In the image above, at the right, you will see the domain is looking good.
Next, we will check out the backlinks to find domains pointing to this domain. We can use the free backlinks checker by Ahrefs or the one in Spmazilla, the choice is up to you, personally, I use both.
Both the backlinks and anchor text for the entire site are good. It’s completely spam-clean.
To check how often this domain has been dropped, we can either check it directly on Spamzilla or use a free tool.
We noticed that the domain was dropped three times, and two drops were close together ( 2019 and 2020).
Now, if you come across this situation and the domain has checked off all the elements in the buying checklist, you can consider choosing the domain.
You can simply download all the domain archives and reupload them on your website. This is a pretty cool process, nothing to something awesome in a matter of minutes.
Another important thing you can check is, that you search the domain on Google to see if the domain still ranks on the Google index.
If it does, This means you have the chance to set up this domain, continue ranking on Google, and start driving traffic fast.
Risk of Buying Expired Domains
Penalties and Negative SEO
When considering buying expired domains, it’s crucial to be aware of the potential risks involved. One of the most significant concerns is the possibility of inheriting penalties or negative SEO factors from the domain’s past. Some domains may have a history of spammy or black-hat SEO practices, which can harm your website’s search engine rankings. This is why it’s essential to check all the elements of the domains.
Due Diligence Checklist
To limit the risks associated with expired domains, a meticulous (and I mean this wholeheartedly) due diligence process is essential. Check out the following checklist when evaluating an expired domain: BUYING CHECKLIST
Recovery and Cleanup
In the unfortunate event that you acquire an expired domain with a negative history, all hope is not lost. Recovery and cleanup strategies can work, but they take time. These include disavowing harmful backlinks, removing spammy content, and seeking reconsideration from search engines like Google to regain a clean slate… tiring and a waste of time in my opinion. But if it happens to you, the part is your choice.
Now you know how to use Spamzilla to search for expired domains for your affiliate/business/local sites. Do you see how much easier it is to use Spamzilla vs something like Expireddomains.net?
It is the best tool we recommend to find great expired auction domains without wasting much of your time, or is a cheaper alternative to Domain Hunter Gatherer, your money.
Once you get your Spamzilla subscription, I recommend searching for domains for all your niches using your niche keyword.
Let me know how you get on,
Get Free, Stay Free,