Some people chase expired domains for one purpose, traffic. Believe it or not, there are a number of free tools you can use (plus a few other metrics you can look at) to try and determine if an expired domain you’re interested in actually has some coming in.
It’s not really possible to tell just how much traffic is coming into an expired domain. But, you can get an idea about whether it’s getting enough to make it worth registering or not. Read some of my favorite tools and methods for checking if an expired domain has existing traffic coming into it or not below. Then, go out and try using them for yourself. See if you can find some domains to backorder!
1) Alexa – Alexa is probably the most commonly used tool when it comes to looking up domains. They offer a global and country rank system where the numbers and rankings are made up by people who have their toolbar installed. Alexa can be a good starting point for checking traffic coming into an expired domain. But, I certainly wouldn’t use it as the only one! Alexa has proven to be off many times before and seeing a high number doesn’t mean the domain won’t have any traffic. Use this tool as a starting point and if it has a low number take that as a good start, but keep going even if it doesn’t!
2) Ahrefs – If you plan on looking up dozens of domains with Ahrefs then you will need to upgrade to a paid account. But trust me, it’s worth it! Ahrefs will give you a great overview on the domain SEO characteristics. The quality of backlinks, social shares, keyword rankings, and stuff of that nature. This is the perfect tool for determining if a site has good legitimate traffic coming in, or if it was setup and used in a spammy way which you would definitely want to avoid.
3) Auction Listings – This method applies to searching through expired domain auctions on sites like GoDaddy Auctions and DynaDot Auctions. Since these domains and auctions are controlled by the registrar you can see the traffic (or visitors) they have received since the name expired and hits started getting both redirected and counted by the registrar.
4) SimilarWeb – SimilarWeb is another site which is very similar to Alexa. You can check domains for their competition, global rank, country rank, and much more. Believe me, you can get lots of additional insights from SimilarWeb compared to Alexa.
5) Quantcast – Much like both SimilarWeb and Alexa, Quantcast is another insights website that will give you more information about the audience of a domain. Their database isn’t as large as the other two so don’t be surprised if you do not find most of the domains you lookup. Quantcast is probably the least needed tool out of the bunch, unless you’re looking up a domain which could potentially have lots of traffic coming in.
My recommendation would be to use multiple tools against each domain. The more metrics you look at with good results, the more confident you can be in going after it. For example, if a name shows good results after running it across every method I listed above then it’s probably a great one to go after!