Track your domains even after you decide not to renew them

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You never know when a domain’s chances of selling will increase.

I renew many of my domains six months or more in advance. If I know I’m going to renew them, I like to knock them out in bulk so I don’t have to worry about them and deal with reminder notices.

When I’m on the fence about a domain I usually wait until the last couple months to decide if I want to renew it. I run analytics on them to determine the likelihood of them selling, see if people have registered the domains in other extensions, and check how much pay-per-click revenue they make. I often make a delete decision a couple of months before expiration and turn off autorenew.

But I learned an important lesson recently with one of my domains. I originally registered the domain back in 2004. That was before Google had figured out that it should take search juice away from expired domains. Back then I’d create crappy sites on domains and, at one point, was earning over $1,000 a day in Adsense revenue across lots of these expired domains.

Alas, that revenue has slowed to a trickle. Earlier this year I examined this particular domain name and it was making less than the cost of renewal and hosting. I saw little value in the domain beyond its previous SEO value, and none of the other extensions were registered. So I turned off autorenew.

As I was searching for GoDaddy drops in FreshDrop the other day I saw this name pop up. I was confused because one of my FreshDrop filters is that the domain must be registered in at least one other extension.

It turns out that someone just recently registered the domain in multiple extensions and variations. These extensions were registered after I turned off autorenew on the domain. I had to pay a small redemption fee to renew the domain this late in the game, but I think it’s worth it.

Going forward, I’ll probably make a final delete decision closer to expiration to make sure this doesn’t happen again.



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