How to Find Dropped Domains in Search Results with Netpeak CheckerUse Cases
Most of the SEOs scrape search results only to check positions, analyze visibility of their projects and that's all. I'm starting a small series of articles about non-obvious use of the new Netpeak Checker feature which will allow you to carry out a number of tasks for the entire team. So I begin with such topic as searching expired domains in SERP.
1. What Is Dropped Domain and What Is It Doing in Search Results?
A dropped domain is a domain with an expired registration period which is not owned by anyone at the moment. As a result, dropped domains are 'thrown off' by the former owners because they are useless or negligent.
Now, dropped domains are mainly used to create private blog networks (PBN). Such networks allow you to put links to your website from articles with appropriate topics. They are especially relevant in niches where it is difficult or very expensive to get links from thematic resources.
1.1. Why Use Dropped Domains If It Is Much Easier to Register a New One?
The answer is simple. Unlike the ‘virgin’ domains, the dropped ones have a history. Earlier an expired domain could be a normal website with several hundred referring domains that are completely normal. Such dropped domains are much more trustworthy and more effective than ordinary new domains.
There are many different strategies of searching for available domains with a history. Some people prefer to use the ExpiredDomains.net database (you can read about this technique in this blog post) or use paid counterparts like DomCop, some search for outgoing links from old authoritative resources like Forbes, CNN, etc.
I prefer to look for dropped domains in SERP. The methods listed above help me to get a lot of free domains with backlinks, Ahrefs Domain Rank, Serpstat Trust or Moz Domain Rank indicators. But you don't know how search engines treat these domains. It is possible that most of them are under the search engine filters, so using them is a waste of time.
Fortunately, SERP is full of dropped domains. The current capacity of search engines is not enough to instantly remove them from SERP. That's why expired domains are ranked by the number of low-frequency and middle-frequency queries in search results.
1.2. Why Drops from SERP Are Better?
They are already ranked. This confirms that such domains have at least some confidence from the search engines. Due to this, there is a higher chance that after their restoration, they will remain in SERP and new pages will also be ranked. Much better when your page is linked to a page that is ranking for the promoted key, than just the relevant page.
In some cases, such domains will even give some traffic immediately after a correct recovery. You can see the stat of such domain from the Google Search Console on the screenshot below.
But there is the other side of the coin, it is much more difficult to search for expired domains in SERP. You need to go through countless tops and check each domain. If you do it manually, it will take several years or a huge hangar filled with hard workers who do it for you. Fortunately, the new Netpeak Checker functionality makes it possible to speed up and simplify this process in a few clicks.
2. How to Find Dropped Domains in SERP Using Netpeak Checker
In order to search for free domains in the SERP, we need a lot of phrases. According to them we will collect tops. The more phrases, the better. Basically, I use two methods to get them:
- Generate them. In some niches, where there are many products or objects, you can take all the names and generate a large number of phrases by adding additional words. Good cards, athletes and even science fiction writers will do. The main thing is to be sure that there is some demand for these keys, otherwise, it will be possible to find drops that are ranked but don't lead traffic.
- Export them. The Serpstat, Semrush and Ahrefs services currently have the largest keyword databases. In order not to spend a lot of time, you can simply export phrases from these services.
For example, I took half a thousand phrases for the key 'wrist watches' from the US Google database at Serpstat. I selected phrases with frequency from 50 to 110. Typically, keywords with such frequency can generate some kind of traffic and are not highly competitive.
2.1. SERP Scraping
In Netpeak Checker go to the 'SE Scraper' tool. Paste the selected keywords into the request field and configure the search engine. You can learn more about SERP scraping in this video.
If you already have a Standard license, but crave for Pro plan, then you need to upgrade your subscription 😉
If you want to scrape Google, I highly recommend using 50 good proxies in conjunction with antigate.
Note. You cannot change the number of threads in the settings of the 'SE Scraper'. There is a little trick. In order to change the number of threads without closing the top scraping window, select any item of the scraper settings, and in the opened window select the 'General' tab.
In my case, when using 60 proxies, the top 100 for 700-1000 phrases are being scraped in 1.5 hours.
SERP scraping is a powerful feature that is available on the Pro plan.
2.2.Checking all Ranked Domains for Availability
When scraping is finished, we need to check all ranked domains for availability. To do this, click the 'Transfer hosts' button, which copies all the unique domains found in SERP to the main table in the classic functionality of Netpeak Checker.
In my case, a little more than 15 thousand domains were spotted among 99 666 documents found in SERP.
2.3. Checking Domains by IP
Now you need to check the domain's availability. You can do it in a classical way by scraping Whois. But for thousands of domains, this process can drag on for hours. Therefore, I prefer to first check for IP: I choose 'DNS' → 'IP' in Netpeak Checker parameters. This is a standard ping that sends only 4 data packets, which is much smaller and faster than any other check.
Why do I check by IP? The bottom line is that any domain after registration is tied to a hosting or receives a registry lock. In this case, it is associated with some server that has an IP address. It means that all domains that give an IP address are occupied. This test allows you to cut off occupied domains very quickly. When I said very quickly, I meant thousands of domains in a few minutes. It is much faster than any other check.
As a result of this check, only 208 had a NULL value in the IP address field of 15 thousand domains.
2.4. Searching for Free Domains
The absence of an IP address does not yet indicate that the domain is 100% free. To find really free domains, I check 'Expiration Date' and 'Availability'. Those domains that have 'Availability' TRUE and 'Expiration Date' NULL are likely to be available.
Note. Check for 'Availability' must be done in conjunction with the 'Expiration Date' or 'Creation Date'. Free domains have an empty WHOIS with no mark on the date of registration and expiration. Domains with this value are likely to be occupied.
As a result of the availability and expiration date check, only a few dozen domains are left. After cutting the subdomains off there are only 5 of them. Five really free domains out of 15 thousand found in the top.
2.5. Checking Domains by the Basic Parameters
Despite the availability of found domains, it is still early to register them. I recommend to make a quick domain check by the basic parameters. I use the following list of parameters in the analysis:
- SE traffic by Serpstat.
- Organic keywords by Serpstat.
- Domain Rating by Ahrefs.
- Backlinks by Ahrefs.
- Referring domains by Ahrefs.
- First crawled by the Webarchive.
Note. For the first five, you need paid accounts in Serpstat and Ahrefs.
In the end of the analysis, we can pick up only editreit.info domain.
2.6. Final Check
So the final step is for the final check of domains you've chosen. In my case, I'll check the editreit.info domain.
2.6.1. Check real availability via domains.google.
When I was writing this post, the domain was actually available.
2.6.2. Analyze keywords in Serpstat, SEMrush or Ahrefs.
The check shows that the dropped domain is found for 100+ phrases and it is ranked by mid-frequency queries in the top30 and entered the top 20. It is a good sign.
SEMrush confirms a large number of keywords domain was ranked by before it was dropped.
2.6.3. Check backlinks, SimilarWeb traffic, and content analysis.
You can analyze links using Ahrefs, Serpstat or Majestic. It is better to choose according to your own preferences.
I suggest you look at the traffic dynamic and sources in SimilarWeb.
In case of the editreit.info domain, it is clear that before the expiration it had a little traffic and it was organic.
You can analyze content using Webarchive or search engine cache.
I didn't register editreit.info domain, so you can make sure that it is really free and check its characteristics.
So 'SE Scraper' in Netpeak Checker allowed me to process thousands of search queries and find 5 free ranking domains in 1 hour and 42 minutes. And for 1 hour 40 minutes Netpeak Checker was working on the background without distracting me from other tasks.
If you are creating a PBN or prefer to create sites using high-quality dropped domains, I recommend trying the method above. SERP is full of free domains. There are few of them, but some are really worth it :)