Now that you have started to look at some of the details behind the domain names you are planning on deleting, you should hopefully have been able to make some decisions on which ones to keep and which to continue to look at in some detail. That doesn’t mean to say that you should simply remove any from the steps just yet as we will see from the next three checks that you should make,
Who owns other domains that use the same keywords?
It is quite possible that the domain name you are considering deleting may have significant value because of the actions of others. Someone else may be using the same keywords actively already and thus there could be value in you either hanging onto your domain name or even seeing if they may want to acquire it from you. Naturally, you may need to check to see if there are any trademarks using those keywords as that may impact what you can do, especially if you don’t own the corresponding mark yourself.
One good tool to use to determine whether there are any other domains registered using the keyword(s) is IP Twins Identitool which allows you to specify the category of TLD (Geographic, New gTLD, Linguuistic, etc) you want to search for. It will then present the results in a table that allows you to quickly see if a domain is taken and link through to the WHOIS.
If you find there are domains that are utilising the same keyword you may find that rather than be an opportunity for you in terms of selling the name but a threat in that they may be infringing on your intellectual property. In either case, contact a specialist who can either advise on the best approach to selling the domain or will be able to give advice on the action you can take to have the infringing content, and potentially the domain name itself, removed.
What incoming or outgoing links are there to any websites that the domain name resolves to?
It is very important to understand whether the domain name is being linked in any way. Naturally, if the domain name that you are checking doesn’t resolve, and hasn’t done for some time, the issue of backlinks is irrelevant. However, it is useful to understand if there are any websites that still have links to your website.
This is one area where the free tools that are available are limited – one tool that can give you an overview of the links is this backlink checker. Naturally, it is hard to understand fully where your domain name is being linked to, and where you are linking to. Using Google Analytics will be able to give you some idea of any inbound links that are producing traffic.
There’s a word of warning here that if you do delete domain names that have inbound links then there are tools that can identify domain names that are about to, or available to register that has inbound traffic. This Google article may be useful to understand how you can handle backlinks that may be an issue.
Does the domain name have any monetary value?
One short cut that many people take in the steps to determine whether a domain name can be deleted is to do a quick appraisal and then if the value is less than the renewal cost, simply delete it. Whilst this is a quick and dirty step, it does give some idea of further investigation. A number of registrars offer valuation services but we would recommend using Estibot.com which enables anyone to get an almost immediate value on a domain name for free, as well as some useful analytics such as if other popular TLDs are available, some Google AdWord data and search insights. If you are looking at deleting a bunch of names then it may be worth setting up an account with them as bulk actions such as valuations can be run very easily. They also offer a bunch of other tools and API access.
Great news that you have reached this far! Now we move onto the final set of checks you need to make in our next post as well as some of the tools available to make sure your portfolio stays in tip-top shape.