When new to domaining, there can often be a tendency to emotionally bid and buy expired domain names.

If familiar with expired domain auctions, specifically the GoDaddy aftermarket platform, then it’s likely you’ve been tempted to purchase closeout or buy-it-now domains for cheap.

You peruse the list and spot a desirable expired domain name that looks too good to be true.

You question yourself. How did this domain manage to slip through the cracks and off the radar of daily domain bidders in expired auction without a single bid?

The stars must have aligned for this expired domain and I to be united sings the voices in your head.

You buy the expired domain name thinking of the massive returns you’ll soon realize by developing or flipping.

Truth be told, we all have likely been down the path only to drop and not renew those domain gems we thought to have made us a fortune.

Don’t lose hope though. Today, I’m sharing with you a bit of insight to help you spot trending expiring domains that are undervalued.

I won’t cover in great detail all of the inside tips and tricks to consider when buying expired domains, but I will share one of the tricks I wish to have known in my early days of domain investing.

In fact, I know this one tip alone would have saved me at least $7K in my maiden voyage into expired domain auctions.

Without further ado, the tip and trick I bring to your attention and domaining toolbox is using Google Trends.

You may be thinking, what does Google Trends have to do with finding and buying undervalued expired domains?

But before we get to Google Trends, there a few things to consider when attempting to identify the value of a domain.

Is the domain search eligible?

Before you get to excited about your newly found expired domain gem, it’s best to always best to know whether or not the domain is banned from search engines and ad.

I often pass on buying expired domains with questionable history due to the previous owners and their dubious actions to likely have used expired domains as “burn and churn” or “turn and burn” websites.

These types of websites are often referred to as “made for adsense websites” or PBNs (private blog networks), and most likely had low-quality content developed in hopes of getting ranked and receiving troves of sales converting traffic.

It’s not the norm, but I’ve seen my fair share of jewels in auction that I’ve purchased only to find out they are banned from search engines.

The tools above should help you determine whether or not your expired domain gem is truly a gem before you spend a dime.

Also, don’t forget to perform an expired domain search via the Wayback Machine. It too will help you to determine the history and whereabouts of an expired domain’s existence.

If all is well, then you’ll move onto the next set of tests. If not, then you’ll need to determine whether or not you have the patience to rehab a banned domain.

Does the domain have Google ads showing?

The next thing to note about a domain is whether or not it has ads showing in the search results.

For instance, let’s say that I spotted the following geo service domain in expired auction with no bids: AustinSeries.com.

Instead of excitedly bidding and jumping the gun to purchase a dud, Google the phrase “Austin Series” to see if it has search ads showing.

Austin Series with No Google Ads Showing

As you can see above, you quickly spot that there are no ads showing for the phrase “Austin Series”. That’s not good, yet it’s not the end of the world either.

It’d be different if the domain were AustinAutoLeasing.com. Can you see the difference?

Austin Auto Leasing with Google Ads Showing

If AustinAutoLeasing.com were the domain in question, then that’s one check for the home team in the right direction, hopefully leading towards a purchase.

I STRONGLY caution you to not use Google ads as the deciding the factor. Often times, I’ve seen domains have ads to no end, but show low to no signs of actual search traffic in Google Keyword Planner (hint, hint).

And if they do show signs, then the cost-per-click for the given keywords contained in the expired domain are pennies on the dollar and not worth my time or money to flip or develop.

Is the domain popular and trending?

The last and final check I make if the auction hasn’t already expired is whether or not a domain is trending.

As I mentioned at the start of this post, I often Google Trends as the first stop in expired domain consideration before executing the previous two steps.

I do this because I watch hundreds of expired domain auctions daily. It becomes a bit of a hassle to complete the first two steps when you only have 10-15 minutes to decide (if I didn’t spot the domain earlier).

So, Google Trends helps me to evaluate and somewhat valuate whether or not a domain is trending and undervalued.

A key attribute of Google Trends I pay close attention to is the “Interest over time”. As defined by Google, it is the following:

Interest over time numbers represent search interest relative to the highest point on the chart for the given region and time. A value of 100 is the peak popularity for the term. A value of 50 means that the term is half as popular. Likewise a score of 0 means the term was less than 1% as popular as the peak.

I often value expired domains that are trending 50 or more, using 55 as my baseline trend over time, as domains eligible for bid or purchase.

Anytime a domain is trending more than 60, I’ll likely bid. Anytime a domain trends more than 75, then I’m in for purchasing that domain.

Using our first example, Austin Series, you’ll see that it trends below the 50 threshold I’ve set:

Austin Series with Google Trends

As for AustinAutoLeasing.com, which was showing Google Ads, you’ll see that has no trend at all.

And to think we were excited and giddy because it had ads, yet data reveals that this domain doesn’t have much search traffic, if any at all.

Austin Auto Leasing with Google Trends

And to show a few more simple examples for comparison’s sake, here’s what a seasonal trending keyword looks like (see below).  This is the trend for “Austin Air Conditioning”:

Austin Air Conditioning with Google Trends

And below is what a steady, popular, and trending keyword for “Austin Homes” looks like:

Austin Homes with Google Trends

Lastly, there are a quite few things to watch for and aspectswhen using Google Trends:

  • Pay close attention to domains that are seasonal trends with trending timeline.
  • Pay close attention to the timeline, region, categories and type of search entering and comparing keywords.
  • AND BE CAREFUL ABOUT NEWS CYCLE DOMAINS. They will often trend well, but die off quicker than you can bid, win and receive the domain in your account.

Those are a few tips, but watch my tutorial video below as I introduce and share logic used to evaluate and consider domains, both expired and hand registration domains.

Again, this is not the definitive decision maker for purchase, but one of 5-6 tools I use to quickly determine whether I should invest time and money, or simply pass on the domain opportunity.

Enjoy and do let me know if you have any questions.

Written by Alvin Brown
He's an experienced and passionate serial entrepreneur, founder and publisher of Kickstart Commerce. Alvin possesses a great love for startups dominating their market using profitable digital strategies for greater commerce.