When you start with PBN domains or domaining in general, there is a high chance you are confused about the domain lifecycle. Expired domains, expiring domains, dropped domains, deleted domains, auction domains, closeout domains… There are a lot of phrases, and then there are also phrases that are used interchangeably, making it even more confusing.
In this article, we’ll make everything clear. We’ll use the lifecycle phase names directly from ICANN but also cover the common synonyms people use. Here’s the overview of all domain states in one image:
Active or Registered Domains
This is self-explanatory but we want to cover all bases. A domain can be registered for a term of 1-10 years. As long as it’s active, it’s in “the zone file,” meaning the DNS server can redirect the domain to the correct server (IP address). And that means your website and email are working.
Expired or Expiring domains
Expired and expiring are used interchangeably. If the domain name is not renewed, it expires. Some might say it’s expiring because your website might still be working (though usually it’s parked by the registrar), and the domain is still in your registrar’s account. The two phases after the expiration date are Auto-Renew Grace Period (up to 45 days) and Redemption Grace Period (up to 30 days).
Domains might go to auction when they expire, but you have the right to renewal in the Auto-Renew Grace Period. However, if domains get bids on an auction and you do not renew, you lose the domain when it gets into Redemption Grace Period.
It’s also common that there is an additional fee if the domain is renewed in the redemption period.
Most of the domains on registrar auctions will be in these two phases. If the domain is auctioned off successfully, it will be put into the buyer’s account after the Redemption period ends.
GoDaddy’s Closeout domains are reverse auctions where prices drop daily before the domain goes into the Pending Delete phase.
- GoDaddy Expiring Auctions and Closeouts
- Dynadot Auctions
- NameCheap Auctions
- NameSilo Auctions
- Sedo Expired Domains
Pending Delete Domains
If the domain is not renewed by the owner or successfully auctioned off by the registrar, it goes into Pending Delete phase. This is a point of no return as it cannot be renewed anymore. It’s also where domain dropcatching (or domain backorder) services come in with their auctions.
The domain is in a Pending Delete state for only up to 5 days.
Domain dropcatching services:
Deleted, Dropped, or Released Domains
These are all synonyms for “available” because if the domain gets to this point, it’s returned to the registry and free to be registered again.
If the domain was auctioned off on a dropcatching service, then it’ll be milliseconds before it’s registered.
If it’s not, you might find it with a scraper or listed on a domain finder service.
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