Sitespotter: Finding Expired Domains

The internet is full of relics. Old websites long since forgotten- once thriving metropolises. Now left abandoned. The days came, and the days went, when investors were throwing large sums of money in the general direction of any and every website imaginable. This craze became so widespread that it fueled the economy for quite some years. Until it all came crashing down upon us leaving our economy in a state of confusion.

One oddity of the dot com craze was in fact the buying and selling of dot com names. That is to say, the domains. These simple monikers are tiny pieces of virtual property. They can be bought for less than $10 and are occasionally sold for millions. Many famous sales revolve around fool hearty businessmen pouring money into their domain names, only to see their companies flop. As an aside, had they only read, “The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding” prior to making such purchases they may have been spared huge financial losses, and bruised pride. But regardless, the secret has long been out that buying domain names is a treasure hunt with the opportunity for windfall profits.

Site Spotter

As such, an entire industry has sprung up to fuel this search for the golden name. There are big players that list expiring domain names, such as NameJet. Then there are complimentary services that help process this information. The larger aggregators provide tens of thousands of domain names that are about to expire every day. The trouble is in sorting through them to identify the top potential candidates. Assisting with this is Sitespotter (found under the name snatcher.org). Sitespotter is a tool that parses through the lengthy lists of expiring domain names and returns only the highest quality ones. It helps you quickly see the names you may consider purchasing.

Using Sitespotter is easy. First you register for an account. It’s a paid service with a credit system, so you’ll have to pick up a few credits to check it out. From there you select the domain expiring date and list you’d like to parse. You then indicate whether you want .com extensions, or .net/.org, along with minimum and maximum lengths. From there you press the parse button and it will do its search. The parsing works by using advanced Wordnet lexical relationship algorithms. What that basically boils down to is they have many pattern matching techniques that identify words (which are good) and random sets of letters and numbers (which are bad). Once it sorts through them it only returns the good domains. As an aside, these results can be readily exported to a PDF for safe keeping.

Sitespotter doesn’t just report the domain names though. It also provides multiple rankings you can check as well. These include Google’s pagerank, age of the domain, DMOZ listing, Yahoo Listing, and Alexa ranking. Each of these are critical in measuring the worth of a domain. For instance a site that’s been around eight years and has a pagerank of 4 is of much greater value than a site that’s new and has a pagerank of zero. The domains can be sorted by multiple criteria so you can see how they measure up. Each of these metrics take time and money to build up. By buying a domain that already carries these attributes you can save yourself hundreds of hours, and thousands of dollars.

A word about the credit system. Credits are anywhere from 5 for $5, or 30 for $19. This comes down to 60 cents to one dollar per credit. To run the general parsing it costs two credits. To get the additional metrics (PR, Alexa, etc) is one credit, per metric. So its really a pay as you go system, utilizing only the services that you need. For less than $5 you can get a full list of quality domain names that are expiring the next day. Given the potential that some of them may be worth much more makes it well worth it.

Site Spotter results

Sitespotter is most likely to be used by those looking to purchase domains for resale. These are affectionately known as “Domainers.” It would also be useful for entrepreneurs looking for just the right name for their business. For roughly $20/month they can see a list of expiring domains, one of which may be just the right one for their start-up.

Sitespotter is a simple but powerful tool for those in the domain business. It has the ability to sift out the weak domains and return the top ones. The added features of being able to determine and sort based upon various metrics makes it easy to know which domains one might purchase. Amongst the internet excess of old, are relics that still retain value. Sitespotter will help you find them.