There are lots of tools out there that allow you to search for expired domains, some of which are really outdated while others give you completely inaccurate information. Domain Hunter Gatherer isn’t one of them, this tool has a great search feature that integrates with lots of industry standard tools so that you get the right metrics you need for each domain. There are multiple entry levels for this tool each of which include different features. There is a domain marketplace first and foremost with the option to upgrade for web 2.0s searches and high-quality aged domains.
Since I’ve already talked a little bit about the different features there is I’ll start with the pricing for each of those. There are 3 options for you to choose from:
Free – This gives you access to the domain auction marketplace. It gathers a bunch of domains from lot’s of different auction sites and it gives you a good amount of metrics on each domain.
Premium – This one will cost you $17 a month and comes with the ability to search for web 2.0s and cost price domain names. It can be done via keywords or by crawling sites of your choice, you can also search using multiple threads for faster and larger search results.
Professional – The top package coming in at $87 per month has all features bundled into one. With this one, you get access to a list of high-quality aged domains under the $10 mark. You can crawl high authority domains and have access to dom recovery which is a great tool for taking website files from the Wayback machine to recover sites from expired domains. I have a guide on how to use that tool here
If you give the tool a try and find that it isn’t for you, each of the paid options has a 30-day money back guarantee.
Once you’ve installed Domain Hunter Gatherer, the first place you should go is to the settings section.
This is where you can add your proxies and integrate Domain Hunter Gatherer with other tools. Let’s take a look at the proxies.
You can split your proxies into separate groups, primary and secondary. Adding proxies is very easy, all you need to do is copy and paste them into the box like it’s shown in the screenshot above. The format for the proxies is:
If your proxies don’t come with a username and password then you can just add the ip address and port number. Another option is to add the proxies by uploading a simple text file. You have the option to refresh your file as well which is useful for proxies that change on a regular basis.
Once your proxies are added click on the test button to make sure they are working correctly. Next, is choosing what your proxies will be used for. There are 4 options here:
- Auction Searching
- Quality checking
- Expired domain and Web 2.0s Checking
This is where the separate proxy options play a role. You can have one group of proxies do one of these tasks while the others are dedicated to another. I personally keep all of the proxies as the primary to mix all of them up, however if you’d prefer to designate certain proxies to certain tasks it’s something you can do.
To make the most of Domain Hunter Gatherer you can integrate with a few different tools to give you loads more metrics on each domain. All of these tools will have what is called an API key, if you have an account with them you can get this API key and place it into DHC.
Dom Detailer API – If you have a pro account then you are given 50000 credits for free. If not then you can buy this and add an API key. Dom detailer can pull metrics from Moz and majestic for each domain. This tool is essentially an alternative to using your Moz and Majestic API key. If you already pay for these tools then you don’t have to bother with Dom Detailer.
SharedCount API – This account has a good free plan so is definitely worth signing up for. This will give you better results in the domain auction.
ahrefs API – You will only really benefit from this if you have a paid account. The free account does offer an API key but the features are very limited.
Moz API – Moz has both a free and paid account. Once you’ve signed up for one of those you’ll have access to an API key.
Majestic API – This is similar to the ahrefs API. If you have a paid account the results are going to be so much better than the free version.
Each of these tools has a test button to make sure that your API key is working correctly. Once you’ve tested all of the tools you should be good to start using it.
The next section you should go to is the “advanced settings”
Here you can choose how the tool is going to run. Increasing the number of threads DHC will use will make the tool carry out more tasks at once, which in turn makes it run faster. Now the default settings are good to use as they are but if you have an extremely fast machine or a fast dedicated VPS then you could increase the number of threads without any issues. If you are using an average laptop or pc then I wouldn’t recommend changing the number of threads.
The next step is choosing words that you don’t want the bad words which you can see it is the next thing you have available for you to choose.
Bad Words List
The bad words list is where you can stick any kind of words you don’t want to find on the websites that DHC pulls up. There is a default list there that I suggest you use as it contains quite a lot of words that are spammy and most people wouldn’t want to be associated with.
Domain Auction Hunter
With all of the settings out of the way, it’s time for you to start looking for domains. We’ll start with Domain Auction Hunter.
Starting a search is really easy, all you do is enter your keywords in the search bar, separated with a comma.
Once your search is finished you’ll see a list of domains. The first step you should take before looking at any of them is clicking on “analyse domains”. This will bring up a window like the one above, here you can choose the different metrics that you want DHC to find on each domain.
Once you’ve analysed each of the domains you can now start to look at the metrics. First off you will see there is a good amount of spam in some of these domains. If you right-click on any of the tabs, you can select what metrics show and which don’t for a more organised view. A few I would consider the most important are:
- Google indexed
- Majestic TF/CF
- MOZ DA
In the domain marketplace, there is a price attached to each domain. There are a few different ways you can buy the domains, there is a ‘buy now’, bidding and an auction price.
Getting domains with this method is by far the most expensive way of doing it, but if you have the budget there and are smart enough about it, then you can definitely pick up some high-quality domains at reasonable prices.
Now, this method is how you find domain names that have expired, costing you only the initial registration fee. Domains expire all the time. Businesses go under, people forget to renew and a lot of people out there don’t understand the power that some domain names hold.
This is where this tool comes in. You can sweep in and grab some really great domains that have been left at cost price.
The search feature is the exact same as the “domain auction hunter”, enter your keywords and DHC will do the rest.
Once the list of domains show, you will want to analyse them again to get all of the metrics that you need. Each of these domains are all cost price and clicking on it will take you to the registrar for you to go ahead and buy. This is why when you find a good domain, you need to act fast. If you wait a couple of days before buying it then there’s a good chance someone else will grab it.
Looking for good quality expired domains requires a little more research and work than the auction, but that is what you pay for with the marketplace. If you put the right amount of work in, you can find really great domains at a fraction of the cost compared to the auction marketplace.
Web 2.0 Hunter
The next feature on DHC is the web 2.0 Hunter. Now if you don’t know what a web 2.0 is let me explain. These are domains that act essentially as a subdomain to a bigger site. So for example, everyone knows the websites Twitter, Blogspot, Tumblr. Well, every account on these sites has their own unique URL, which can carry a good amount of power. If someone has been posting great content to Blogspot for a couple of years and eventually give it up. That domain will still hold the authority that blogger once had, so why not use it for yourself.
Looking for Web 2.0s is again the same process, type in your keywords and DHC will start searching.
Once that’s done, analyse the domains and you can start looking at the URLs. If you find one that you like the look of, click on it and what you should see is a 404 error.
This means that the account is no longer in use, so you can go and grab it. Head to the main homepage of the platform that the account is on whether that is twitter.com or tumblr.com for example. The process isn’t the same for each platform to see if a username is available, some will require you to create an account first and others will let you check availability straight away.
So in this example, you can see the process is very easy. One thing to note however is DHC isn’t always 100% accurate, there have been a few times that I have checked a username that DHC have said is available but is in fact already been registered. This isn’t to say though that there aren’t some great ones available, you just need to take the time required.
Domain Hunter Gatherer is up there as one of the best for finding expired domains. Its integration with the best research tools paired with it’s easy to use search functionality makes it accessible to beginners as well as experienced SEOs. You can find plenty of websites out there that will search for expired domains, domain marketplaces or web 2.0s but this comes as an all in one package and using your own proxies along with selecting your research tools allows for DHC to be far more tailored to your needs.