So you are in the market to find a domain name so you can make your first million (or two) on the internet.
Before you rush out and register that new domain I am going to suggest that you consider purchasing an existing aged domain.
An aged/expired domain is a domain that has previously been registered by someone else, and that person or company has, for whatever reason decided not to renew it.
Sometimes the reason is simply that they forget. There was a famous story a few years ago when a very valuable domain passport.
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com owned by Bill Gate’s Microsoft was forgotten about when it came time to renew the registration, meaning it became available for absolutely anyone to grab.
This guy did just that with this domain, but luckily for Microsoft this guy did the right thing and gave it back to them (I think Microsoft paid him a small sum to cover the registration).
Other reasons for not renewing a domain might be that the individual that owned the domain left the internet game, or they maybe transferred the business that used to operate on that domain to another person. In fact there are a multitude of reasons why domain names do not get renewed.
So what are the advantages for you re-registering an expired domain?
Links – Most domains, particularly those domains that have been actively used in the past and not just left idle have other sites linking to them over time, and these links form a vital part in determining how well the site will rank in Google and other search engines for particular keyword phrases.
Page Rank – As a consequence of these links, many of these expired domains will have existing page rank.
Age – As a general rule the search engines give more ranking power to domains that have been continuously registered for a a longer period than other domains.
Web site Visitors – Many domains will have established traffic, with visitors arriving to that domain on a regular basis, often as a result of previous campaigns completed by the previous web site owner.
No Sandbox – New domains are once in a while placed in a “sandbox” where they will not rank as well as older domains until they have proven themselves to the search engines.
These are really the most attractive factors to consider when re-registering an expired domain versus registering a shiny new domain.
There is an important distinction I recommend you become familiar with between an expired or aged domain and a deleted domain.
An aged or expired domain name has the age preserved. For example if I registered a domain three years ago and then did not renew the registration and you come along and re-register it, then effectively the domain is still 3 years old and gets all the advantages of that age in the search engines.