Just-Dropped Domains: How Do You Find Them?
Domain names go through a life cycle that begins during their registration and ends when they expire. The minimum domain registration period usually lasts one year. After that, owners or registrants must go through the renewal process unless they opt for automatic renewal that many registrars offer. That said, many domains could still end up on just-dropped domain lists for the following reasons:
- Their owners no longer need them.
- Their owners forgot to renew their registration.
Regardless of the reason, monitoring them can serve various purposes. This blog post tackles these use cases and the ways to find just-dropped domains.
What Are Just-Dropped Domains and Why Do You Need to Monitor Them?
Just-dropped domains, also called “recently expired domains,” are domain names whose registrations have expired within the past 28 days. Getting access to a data set that tracks all the domain expiration events can help businesses expand or protect their operations. Below are some real-life use cases.
- Business expansion: Businesses may find and use an expired domain that fits their digital transformation strategy.
- Brand protection: A company may find a few just-dropped domains that imitate their brands so they can start ensuring nobody else can control them.
- Research: Researchers, including those looking into cybersecurity patterns, may analyze lists of recently expired domains to detect significant trends, such as products or services that have dwindling sales and suspicious-looking domains that have been left to expire.
- Domain investing: Just-dropped domain data also benefits domain name investors who aim to expand their portfolios. They typically search for lucrative domains they can register and sell at a premium later on.
Can You Register Recently Expired Domains?
The domain life cycle includes a grace period that usually lasts 30–45 days after a domain expires. The registrant can renew its registration during this period, although at an additional cost. That means you have to wait for the grace period to lapse before registering the just-dropped domain.
By looking at its registration status, you can tell if a domain is still under the grace period. The screenshot below shows some status codes applied to just-dropped domains listed on a sample of the Newly Registered & Just Expired Domains Database.
Examples of domain status codes that mean you typically still can’t grab a domain include:
Tools You Can Use to Obtain Lists of Just-Dropped Domains
You can use several tools to gain access to just-dropped domains, ranging from comprehensive data feeds to specific monitoring tools. Below are some of WhoisXML API’s offerings.
Option #1: Newly Registered & Just Expired Domains Database
You can use Newly Registered & Just Expired Domains Database to obtain a daily list of just-dropped domains that cover a vast majority of top-level domains (TLDs). Most providers call this product “Newly Registered Domains (NRD) Database” though the files may also include just-dropped domains.
For instance, WhoisXML API offers a database that gives clients daily access to hundreds of thousands of recently expired domains on top of NRDs. It is available for all subscription packages, except Lite. The Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate packages also contain the domains’ WHOIS details, including the following:
- Status codes to let you know if you can already act on a just-dropped domain.
- Registrant contact details in case you want to get in touch with a domain’s previous owner.
- Registrar details so you can contact the domain registrar directly.
Note that our Ultimate: Simple package, which is part of the Ultimate package, contains the same WHOIS data minus the raw text columns (e.g., rawText, registryDataRawText, registrantContact.rawText, whoisRecordRawText, etc.), making it lighter to integrate and process.
In short, WhoisXML API’s NRD database provides an exhaustive list of just-dropped domains that can help inform domain investing decisions, market research, and cybersecurity trend monitoring.
The following domain monitoring tools are also helpful if you want a more granular way to find just-dropped domains.
Option #2: Brand Monitor
Brand Monitor lets you get a list of just-dropped domains containing a specific brand or company name. It allows you to keep track of cybersquatting domains that could end up in the wrong hands after their grace period lapses.
Option #3: Registrant Monitor
If you are interested in the domains an individual or organization owns, you can use Registrant Monitor to get alerted when any of their domains expire.
Option #4: Domain Monitor
Domain Monitor lets you track the life cycle of a specific domain. It detects if its WHOIS records get changed, possibly indicating that it will expire soon.
Domain intelligence derived from the Newly Registered & Just Expired Domains Database and other WhoisXML API tools help inform critical business decisions and protect organizations from getting targeted when the wrong people get their hands on their just-dropped domains. Download a sample of our database to see how it can serve your specific needs.