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What is domain search? Domain search is a process of finding a new or expired domain for a website. In this post we are exploring ways to do expired .co.za domain search for free.

I have put down this tutorial specifically for expired .co.za domain search. I have a reason to believe that this is one of the best chances a small business has to rank their website on the first page of Google search results.

When you are about to create a new website, you will need a domain name. A domain name forms the basis of your website address. In our URL https://solutionsweb.co.za, the ‘solutionsweb.co.za’ is our domain name.

The last part in the domain name is called ccSLD (Country Code Second Level Domain) and indicates that the domain name is related to the country South Africa (.co.za). Whereas the tutorial is related to expired .co.za domain search, it can also be followed to acquire other ccSLD domains like .co.uk or .co.ke (Kenya) with ease.


Related: Set up “Google My Business” For Your Business Website.


An expired domain search is a tedious process that needs lots of patience, domain search tools, and some specialized knowledge. This process is more important when you need to build your site on a powerful, aged domain name.

I explain this in full below

If you were going to dive right into expired domain search without proper experience and tools, you are likely going to give up after sometime. Or, you are likely to end up with a bunch of domain names that look good on the outside but are in fact rotten inside.

Such domains will do more harm than good to your online work. And, they are more common than you would believe. The internet is so full them!

Why Does Expired .Co.Za Domain Search Matter?

Let’s start by asking ourselves: Why does anyone need to have a website in the first place?

People create websites for different reasons. Some create websites for personal reasons like storing their work on the internet and keeping it private. I have seen an option on some social media channels that allow you to keep your posts private.

Others create websites in order to showcase their work or their services to the world. And, if you want to reach the world at large, or to show your work to a large number of people, the internet is the way to go.

Of course, you can always create your new website on a brand new domain name and never bother about searching for an expired domain.

But, there is a catch!

You will soon find out that it is going to take long and hard to drive visitors to your website. This strategy works well for businesses that have already built a brand following for themselves.

For a new website on a new domain name you will have to spend a lot of money on advertising and/or search engine optimization services.

Or, you will have to do domain search to find expired domains with high authority. Domains with a high authority can power up your website to reach first page of search engines in no time.

Other Reasons For Expired .Co.Za Domain Search

I have already mentioned the need to build your site on an expired domain name: to take advantage of the higher authority of aged domains. This makes it far more easier to propel your new website up the search engine rankings.

We all want to see our sites reaching the first page of Google search results. After all, that’s where people land when searching the internet. That’s where money is!

The next reason you should do expired domain search is that you can use the domain to boost the authority of your other, existing or newly-built websites.

You do this by redirecting or, as they say, pointing the expired domain to the existing site. This passes the authority of the aged domain to your website. The best way to derive all the benefits out of this method is to use a domain name that is in the same business category as your target website.

The second benefit is that if the domain still has people visiting, they will be redirected to your website, boosting your traffic and, hopefully, your bottom line.

The last reason for expired domain search is most popular in search engine optimization. Search engines are not happy with this but internet marketers do it.

They use the expired domains to build a network of blogs that they use to create links to their money (main) websites. The blogs are commonly called Private Blog Network (PBN). The aim is to increase authority of the main websites and gain better search rankings.

Who Should Do Expired .Co.Za Domain Search?

Anyone doing business in South Africa should do expired .co.za domain search at some point or the other.

Having said that, the people that I think should use expired domains more than anyone else are people in small to medium businesses in South Africa. Search engine optimisation is still at its infancy in our country. An expired .co.za domain search will make a huge difference to your site’s performance on the internet.

When starting a business, you get faced with a lot of start-up costs. You are in a situation where you need to make the most out of the limited capital resources you have. An aged domain with authority will always make a difference to your budget.

Expired Domain Search in South Africa

Small businesses in South Africa do not use the internet to the full to promote their businesses. I noticed this when doing a research for my video marketing campaign for law firms recently.

Most of the law firms listed on Yellow Pages South Africa do not have websites. Some do have domain names that they use for business email, but have no websites built on them.

It’s not only in the law niche. I looked up at 10 results for the search word ‘plumbing services benoni’ on Google. The first ten websites that appear on first page have domain metrics as follows:

image showing web solutions johannesburg domains DA and PA

These websites follow one another in this same order on the first page of Google search engine results (SERP). Note that all the domains with the word ‘plumber’ (or a variation thereof) have a low domain authority (DA).

The best among them; plumbersjohannesburg, has DA of 15. These websites were obviously built on new domain names derived from the names of their mother companies. These are brand domain names.

Now look at the first website in the image.

This site shows a domain name that is not related to plumbing at all. My take is that the site owners built the domain on an old, expired domain with authority. The result? Have your say!

You can easily get a domain like this with a proper expired .co.za domain search and some patience. I have found fairly good domains using the method I am about to teach you.

I give the proof down this article.

How To Do Expired .Co.Za Domain Search

You are going to need tools to carry out this task. Paid tools will always do the job faster and better. But, we have spoken of doing expired .co.za domain search for free. So we are going to stick to free tools.

Free Tools For Expired .Co.Za Domain Search

Expired Domains

My tool of choice for a free expired South African domain search is the website called ExpiredDomains.net. This website lists thousands to hundreds of thousands of expiring and expired domain names each month. You only need to sign up for free account to be able to use this site.

Wayback Machine

The second tool is a website called Wayback Machine. Wayback Machine takes snapshots of websites during their lifetime. You need this site to see how did a specific website look like at a certain point in time.

I will explain later why this is important.

SemRush

The next website resource you need is called Semrush. Semrush is a powerful expired domain research tool with many helpful features. This is a paid resource, but has a free account version with limited functionality. The free account features are just good enough for a basic domain search.

I have to point out something at this moment. The method I am about to teach you works well for searching ccSLD like .co.za and .co.uk domains. For mainstream domain extensions like .com you’ll be out of luck!

You will find them, alright. The problem lies in getting them registered. You will be competing with powerful companies in the domain flipping business. They catch the domains before they expire!

Majestic

Another website tool you need is Majestic. Majestic reveals the amount and the quality of links that point to a domain. This is a paid resource with very limited use for free accounts. I’ll show you a little tweak you can use to access this tool twice or thrice a day for free.

SeoKicks

You will also need the site Seokicks.de. It is also a paid resource but also has some free limited functionality. You won’t need an account for this.

Netim

The other tool will be any website that you can use to check the availability of a domain or domains you have just researched. There is a lot of such tools.

My favorite is Netim.com because they accommodate most ccSLD, including .co.za. And, you can check more than one domain name at a time.

I will throw in a few other tools as we move on.

How to Do Expired .Co.Za Domain Search

You will need to sign up for an account at Expireddomains.net. Bookmark the site for easier access because you will have to visit there almost every day. Verify your email address and log in.

The landing page will look like the image below.

image showing expireddomains.net dashboard

The home page may look too complicated for you, but everything here is simple and straight-forward.

Your main aim is searching for expired .co.za domains that are about to expire, identify them and make sure that they have decent authority and are clean. You then stalk them on daily basis until they expire. When they expire you register them as soon as possible and make them yours!

That’s all! Sounds easy? Of course, it’s easy.

Finding Expired .Co.Za Domains

On the home page of ExpiredDomains.net, click on the button ‘Pending Delete’. This reveals all the domain names that are about to expire because their owners did not renew their registration.

There will be millions of domains of all the extensions from all over the world wide web. Remember that you will be focusing on .co.za domains.

image showing expired domain search pending delete domains

You can also do domain search for any other expired ccSLD or any other domain extension. Just check beforehand whether you will be able to register the domain.

Some country code domains have restrictions based on nationalities of the registering party. Example: you may not be able to register a .jp domain if you are from outside Japan.

Now you need to filter through the domains in order to do away with all those that you do not need. To filter, just above the list of domains you will see the phrase ‘Show Filter’ written in red. Click on it to reveal the filter area.

image showing expired domain search domain filter

Now you are in the filter window. Note that the filter has four sections; Common, Additional, Adwords & SEO, and Majestic. You are going to use some of this sections to fine-tune and target your domain search. By default, the Common section will be opened.

Take a good look at the filtering subsections. You can tweak any section or subsection as you please to get a domain you need.

Example: I need a domain name for the travel niche. In the ‘Common’ section, under ‘Domain Name Whitelist’, I will add the word ‘travel’ in the ‘contains’ line. This will give me all domains that have the word ‘travel’ in the domain name.

We Still Doing Free, Expired .co.za Domain Search

To adjust the domain search filtering so that it shows us only .co.za domains we need to click on the red ‘Additional’ tab.

Inside the tab, scroll down to the box labelled ‘Country Code Second Level Domains’. Inside the box, scroll down to the very end and place a tick (click) on the small box next the word ‘.co.za’.

You are now basically done with the filter settings.

You can play around with other filtering tabs to fine-tune your search. When done with filter settings click the big blue button that says ‘Apply Filter’ (just above the domain list).

image showing domain search filter

Most of the initial domains are now discarded. We are only left with domain names with .co.za extension. It’s now time for real work.

Fine-tuning Our Expired .Co.Za Domain Search

We are going to concentrate on the metrics of each and every domain as provided by this site and other sites. Our focus should be on the following expired .co.za domain search metrics.

Domain Search Metrics

⦁ number of links to the domain,
⦁ the number of domains (or IPs) linking to the domain
⦁ the domain’s Majestic Trust Flow
⦁ the domain’s Semrush Authority Score
⦁ the link profile of the domain
⦁ the domain and page authority
⦁ the age of the domain
⦁ the history of the domain website as provided by Wayback Machine
⦁ listing or ranking of the domain in domain research sites
⦁ the number of Wikipedia links the domain has
⦁ the end date (expiry date) of the domain

Domain Search Table

You will notice that the domains are arranged on a table with rows and columns that give more info about each domain. The main (upper) black row has keys and the rows beneath have information for each domain.

External Backlinks (BL)

The first thing to look at is the external backlinks (represented by ‘BL’ in the first column). The higher the number of BL the better. The next column is Domain Pop. This is in effect the number of links originating from different domains or websites.

The Domain Pop (DP)

The number of backlinks a domain has must always be taken in with the number of domains those links come from.

Example: where domain X has 10 000 backlinks coming from only 15 domains you must be worried. That would mean that, on average, each of those websites (domain) is linking to our domain more than 600 times.

My general rule of thumb is: for every 10 external backlinks (BL) there must at least be 1 domain in Domain Pop (DP), which is a ratio of 10:1.

The Domain Age and the Number of Crawls

WBY and the ABY try to tell us the age of the domain according to when each of them first found the domain. They will most of the time give differing values. I would go with the earlier version.

The next column in the row is the number of times the domain was crawled by Wayback Machine (Archive.org). The higher the number the better, or at least one crawl per year.

The next 3 columns in the first row tell us about the domain listing in Alexa, Majestic Million, and Dmoz. All these are not really important for us.

Wikipedia Links

Next column to consider is the third column form the last. This column tells us about the number of links from Wikipedia pointing to our domain.

Links from Wikipedia are no follow, but they are very powerful. Even a single link from Wikipedia is a bonus!

Domain End Date

The second last column is the ‘End Date’, the date the domain is expected to be available for re-registration. Note that the dates are written in red. This is because all ccSLD expiry dates cannot be predicted with any certainity.

The date is only an estimation. They may expire much earlier or much later than the date stated. It is your responsibility to check the domain availability each and every day.

Here is an example. As I am writing this article, the end (expiry) date for the domain prasa.co.za appears as 10 January 2020 on ExpiredDomains website. But the domain has been available for re-registration since yesterday (about 3 weeks earlier).

Check the two images below. Pay attention to the dates on the images as well.

image showing praza domain unavailable

image showing praza domain available

The last column in the table displays an icon that when clicked reveals links to a number of other resources you can use in your expired .co.za domain search.

The most important among them (well, according to me) is the link to Wayback Machine. A click on the link takes you to Wayback Machine website.

Here you will see all the snapshots of your domain over the years. Note, some domains may not have had Wayback Machine crawls in their lifetime and thus may not have any snapshots archived there.

Let’s Do a Demo Expired .Co.Za Domain Search

I have laid the ground work. Now we are going to fly. Hold tight for this is the most important part of the expired .co.za domain search.

Let’s go back to ExpiredDomains site. I have picked page 1 of the results because my target demo domain is on this page.

image showing the searched domain autopage

Our demo domain name is AutoPage.co.za. This domain shows 3 000 external backlinks (BL). 511 of those backlinks come from different domains.

The backlink/domain ratio is 5:9, which means that on average every 9 backlinks come from at least 5 different domains. This is well balanced.

We move along the table. The earliest AutoPage domain age according to Whois creation date is 1996, which makes the domain over 20 years old. All good.

Before getting too excited, let’s check the authority and the spam metrics of the domain. There is a number of web resources you can use for this. Most are free and may only require you to sign up for an account.

For this demo I am going to use the site Prepostseo.com. I chose the site because it will reveal not only the authority metrics but also the spam score. Take a look at the results image below.

image showing autopage domain search metrics

The Domain Search Metrics: What Do They Mean?

Off-page Metrics

The domain’s authority (DA29) and page authority (PA34) are fairly good. They are even better than the authority of the websites on the search results of the keyword ‘plumbing services benoni’ (first image) above.

If this domain name was in the plumbing niche, you could easily use it to rank above all the websites there.

Domain authority estimates the strength of a domain or website as whole based on the number and the quality of backlinks that point to the domain.

The page authority measures only a particular page on a website or domain. Both these metrics range from 1 to 100 where 100 is the desired end.

Furthermore, according to Prepostseo, the domain has a 0% spam score. Spam score metrics highlight unnatural and bad backlinks that point to your domain.

On-page Metrics

Now click on the ‘BL’ number on the AutoPage.co.za row. This reveals a box with 4 options: Majestic, SEOkicks, SEMrush, and Searchmetrics. The bottom option, Searchmetrics, is not important.

A click on Majestic gives us the domain trust flow and citation flow. Citation flow represents the volume (not the number) of backlinks the domain has. The Trust flow talks of the quality of those backlinks. Ideally, the trust flow should be higher than the citation flow.

AutoPage Trust and Citation Flow

Our domain has a trust flow (TF) of 25 and a citation flow (CF) of 19. This is a good, balanced combination. Where the citation flow is higher than the trust flow it means the domain has poor quality links.

You can, however, allow the citation flow to be higher than the trust flow by no more than 5. This applies to trust/citation flow metrics of less than 20. Where both metrics are over 20, the citation flow may not be higher that the trust flow.

AutoPage Link Profile

Now, click on SEOkicks to go over to their website and see part of the domain’s link profile. Note some of the domains that link to our searched domain and their individual domain rank.

AutoPage SemRush Metrics

A click on the third option, SEMrush, opens a new window to Semrush.com website. Semrush reveals a lot of important information about our domain name.

First, it tells us the authority score of the domain. Like the domain authority, page authority, the trust flow and the citation flow, the authority score talks about the worthiness of our domain based on its backlinks.

AutoPage Authority Score

Autopage authority score is 33, which is above average for a .co.za domain.

The next Semrush metric I like is the domain ‘top anchors’. Top anchors reveal the phrases that referring domains use to link to our domain.

If you find anchors that are not related to the domain or its niche that should be a good reason for you to be suspicious. It’s best to avoid such domains.

Autopage is a domain in the cellular industry. The anchors displayed here are related to the cellular industry.

image showing searched domain autopage anchors

Refering domains categories and the domain anchor metrics are useful when trying to find a domain for a specific niche. You can also look at other useful metrics like the backlink types and the backlink TLD distribution.

If your domain name appears in the Alexa, Majestic Million, or Dmoz it is a bonus. Our domain does not have any of those listings and does not have Wikipedia links either.

Domain Name History: Is It Important?

I promised to explain why domain history is important. You need to know this in order to be aware if and when the domain changed hands. Most of the spoiled, toxic domains on the internet are those that have changed hands.

Your domain content and niche should be consistent throughout its lifetime. Otherwise you may be picking on a hot domain that someone was forced to drop because it became toxic!

A search for the latest domain snapshot shows that Wayback Machine last crawled the domain in 2016. 2017 up to 2019 shows a blank space.

It is not like Wayback crawlers tried to but were prevented from accessing the domain. They would state it as such (I have seen it before).

My take is the domain was not crawled from 2017 to present. For a domain that had in the past been crawled multiple times a year, that is strange. I am, in a way, trying to demonstrate how to work your way through the expired .co.za domain search exercise.

Will I still take the Autopage domain? Yes, I will. The spam score reassures me!

I would recommend a tool that can reveal if the domain was used in any sinister way, like as a part of a PBN. Domains with PBN history are no good.

Is My Domain Indexed?

One way to figure out if the domain is clean is to do a domain index test. Open Chrome browser and type the word ‘site’ followed by the domain name; that is “site:mywebsite.co.za”.

The browser will reveal all the old pages of your domain that had been indexed by Google.

If the result comes out like in the image below it might be that the domain was deindexed in the past. A deindexed domain is bad news to any internet marketing. It means the domain violated Google’s rules at some point.

image showing searched domain praza

Domain Expiry: When Can I Get My Domain?

My experience has taught me that domain end dates on ExpiredDomains.net cannot be trusted. You will have to check and recheck your target domain availability daily to stand a chance at getting it.

The domain for our expired .co.za domain search shows January 17 2020 as the day it expires. I have said a mouthful about domain end dates on ExpiredDomains site.

Let me also state that after doing all this hard work you may still not get the domain of your dreams. Someone may register the domain before you when it expires. I personally like to identify and target a number of domains.

My Expired .Co.Za Domain Search Watchlist

When I am eventually satisfied with Autopage, I will need to add it to my domain Watchlist. I do it this way: on the ExpiredDomain dashboard, first column after the domain name column there is a star icon.

Click on it so that it turns black. This action adds the domain to your Watchlist. To access it just click ‘Watchlist’ above the domain list.

When you have added all your desired domains into your Watchlist, you will need to have them typed and stored on any word or text document. You may also need to type and save all the metrics of your Watchlist domains for reference.

It’s time to stalk your domains on daily basis. As I have explained above, I use the website Netim.com. Copy the domain name list and paste onto the Netim domain search field and click ‘search’.

Netim will reveal any domain that is available for re-registration. Note that from here on it’s a matter of who grabs the domain first.

image showing netim domain search platform

That’s all about expired .co.za domain search today. Good luck!

P.S. Here are images of the metrics of one of the domains I found and registered for myself using this expired .co.za domain search method. I am in the process of building a travel website on this domain. Note that this is a good domain in the travel niche.

image showing autopage domain semrush metrics

image showing domain spam checker

I would like to hear your feedback on the usability of this expired domain search method from you. Did I explain it well enough? Does it make sense? Is it easy to follow? If you follow this domain search method and get one or two domains please share your experience as well. Thanks.

Paramount Web Solutions Johannesburg