I love buying expired domains!
Many SEOs think of this as a black-hat tactic. But large companies have been buying over tony websites for years and have never faced any penalties. I've been buying expired domains for years now, much before PBNs became all the rage they are now.
I don't buy expired domains for PBNs. I prefer buying them for creating real websites that get real traffic and engagement.
Over the crouse of the last few months, I had been reading a lot about this new tool for expired domains called "Domain Hunter Gatherer". It had some excellent reviews on various online forums and at $87/mo, it was a little under half the price I was paying for my Guru Plan II at DomCop.
Even though I hate desktop applications, I have to admit all the review made me a tad curious about it. When a top online marketer raved about it on his blog, I finally gave in and purchased the Professional plan.
I've used it now for the last 30 days and so can present my unbiased review on it. Hope you find it useful.
The links in this review are non-affiliated links and I do not write reviews on products I have any affiliations with. Also, please do not email me asking for Domain hunter gatherer coupons. Since I am not an affiliate, I have no access to them.
What does the Domain Hunter Gatherer Pro have?
The pro plan contains three pieces of functionality -
(i) the Domain Auction hunter that shows domains in auctions,
(ii) the Web 2.0 hunter which finds expired web 2.0 properties and
(iii) the Expired Domains hunter.
The Domain auction hunter only showed me around 2000 domains, but that's ok because I don't buy over-priced domains from auctions. I also do not care for expired web 2.0 - I think they are a waste of time - so the only functionality which was important to me was the Expired domains hunter - and this review will only have information about this part of the software.
Setting up the DHG software
DHG is a desktop application and therefore needs to be installed. The installation is fairly easy. You download a setup file and run it. The program installs quickly and as soon as I installed it, it updated itself and showed me the update notes. The developer seems to be making constant updates - so that is a good sign.
Expired domain hunting with DHG
You can click on the "Expired Domains Hunter" and then "Hunt from Keywords" to start hunting based on keywords that you enter.
The software searches Google for the keywords you enter and starts crawling the websites that are found by Google. It was just a few clicks to start running a crawl.
The "Hunt from Websites" feature lets you specify a bunch of websites that you want to crawl.
The "Reverse Hunt" domains basically finds all the back links to the domain that you enter and then crawls those links. I could not find out what service DHG uses to find the back links for the domains.
What's good about DHG
- While the app has loads of settings, getting started was pretty easy. In just a few clicks, the app was installed and I was running my first "hunt".
- You get a bunch of other apps like Dom Recovery bundled in with the Professional Plan.
- DHG seems to have a lot more settings than what DomCop offers. For e.g. you can specify blocked words, based on which a website should not be crawled.
What's bad about DHG
- No Ahrefs metrics - Anyone serious about buying expired domains in 2018 needs to check the Ahrefs metrics. Unfortunately, DHG does not support Ahrefs.
- While DHG did find quite a few domains, I did not find any domains with good backlinks.
- The Moz and Majestic metrics were not very accurate. I had to check every domain directly through Moz and Majestic and this took up a lot of my time. Did I mention no Ahrefs metrics - so I had to check every domain with Ahrefs?
- The program is quite a resource hog, so I installed it on my wife's desktop machine and left it running there. You would definitely need to run a separate windows VPS for this. I
- I did not realize this when I purchased the software, but if you do not want to get blocked by websites, you need to use a bunch of proxies. I purchased a 100 proxy shared package from Squid Proxies for $100. That makes the total cost of DHG to be a whopping $187/mo (not including cost of a windows VPS).
Conlusion: Is Domain Hunter Gatherer worth it?
I've seen a lot of good reviews online about DHG, so am quite perplexed about not seeing any good results in the last 30 days. Maybe it was the keywords I used and the sites that I crawled. Or maybe its something else. Until I find another expired domain tool which works for me, I will go back to my DomCop Guru Plan II.