Dead domains - how to give them a decent burial

Jun 29


Margaret MacGillivray

Margaret MacGillivray

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If you've registered a domain name, built a web site and have had visitors but no sales, you might feel like abandoning the site and the domain. Find out why there is value in your domain names and what to do about it.


How many times have you bookmarked a web site and,Dead domains - how to give them a decent burial Articles months later, gone back to find that the original content has disappeared and the new web site appears to be a directory of links?  How frustrating is that! Have you stopped and considered why this is happening?  If you were the owner of the domain name, how annoyed were you to find that your domain is live and well and earning someone else some money when you couldn’t make an honest dollar from your old web site? There are several things which you ought to know about your domain name registration.  While you pay for the annual renewal of the registration, and especially if you have “locked” your domain name, it is yours.  However, when you don’t renew the name with your registrar, it goes through a protection scheme of up to 75 days when you can renew the registration and add the domain name back into your portfolio.  After that, it’s open hunting season for expired domain names, particularly those with web traffic.

There are many Domain Name Hunters who scour the internet each and every day looking for valuable domains which show signs of death.  The obvious signs are that the domain hasn’t been renewed and is in the redemption period.  There are several well known companies whose sole role in life is to snap up the expired domains THE SECOND that they become available again (they have developed software to allow them to do this) – and then they either sell them to the highest bidder – or put a directory site on them which has a whole lot of affiliate links of one kind or another. Then they sit back and let your work in building traffic bring in a small income each month.  As they probably own thousands of domains, this business can be extremely profitable for them. All this is perfectly legal and above board.  These are genuine businesses who are breaking no rules and they are expanding all the time.

What can you do about those unwanted, unprofitable domain names which you have marketed so assiduously?

You have several options.

· You could put a “This domain is for sale” notice on your web site and see if someone will make you an offer.· Consider selling your complete web site – it may be that your competitors are interested in your site.· Allow the domain name to lapse and someone else may benefit from your work; - but the best solution may be to· Keep your domain registration up to date and sell it at online auction at

There’s more! …. Have you also spotted that some domain name registrars are putting up a “this domain may be for sale” page if you allow your registration to lapse for more than three or four days and they are redirecting your web site to their name servers and their own directory site.  This is happening only a few days after your domain should have been renewed.  Arguably domain registrars have a right to do this, as it is in their terms and conditions of contract.  However, for you the consequences might be loss of search engine ranking, if you still wish to maintain your web site.  It certainly also means loss of control of the domain if you do wish to sell it.

In these circumstances, we recommend renewing the domain registration, even if you do not pay for hosting; then YOU can choose how to sell the domain and if  you’d like to test the waters by auctioning your web site at  That’s how you can give your unwanted domains a good send off!

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