How to Get Whois Data, Traffic & Rankings For Domains In One API Call

How to Get Whois Data, Traffic & Rankings For Domains In One API Call

Think about how awesome it would be if you could get not just a domain name, but a ready-made backlink profile, relevant audience, and incoming traffic. That’s exactly what you can get with a good expired (aka dropped) domain.

Simply put, an expired domain is like a rental house or flat. There was a tenant who lived in it for some time, and maybe even bought some nice furniture, but then moved out and stopped paying the rent. Point is, if a domain has already had a life, it has very likely gained some valuable qualities in the eyes of search engines.

Many people buy expired domains to put their business at the forefront of SERPs much easier compared to spending tons of time and effort to build up page authority and domain rating afresh. Others get expired domains as investments and resell them later. Either way, these people also need proper tools to find the right and the most valuable expired domains.

We’ll show you how to bring such a tool up hassle-free. In particular, this article will help you find answers to the following questions:

1What criteria make value for an expired domain?

2How to find new opportunities in the domain search tools market?

3How to get Whois data, traffic & rankings for domains at a low cost?

4Is there a TL;DR?

What criteria make value for an expired domain?

Of course, nobody would pay good money for a bad domain. As you already understand, the final goal of any expired domain purchase is getting your return on investment. That’s achieved either by driving in first potential customers easier or through reselling the domain.

For both first-hand buyers and resellers, the evaluation of an expired domain will have the same criteria. In the end, the one who buys a domain from a reseller will look at its existing and potential SEO benefits that translate to traffic. And here’s how to tell expired domains that have value from the ones that don’t.

Domain name. Before everything that comes with a domain, there comes the actual domain name. It should be a short one with no hyphens but containing a keyword or a company name. Judging by the presence of a particular keyword or business name, the relevance of the domain to a particular business or niche increases, and so does the interest in that domain.

Extensions. Oftentimes, the same domain name may be registered with several different extensions, such as example.com, example.net, example.co.uk. This tells us that the domain name “example” has some good demand, and if “example.co.uk” gets expired or dropped, the owner of “example.com” might want to acquire a matching domain name with a different extension.

Keywords and audience. Jumping a step back, a keyword within a domain name should be a frequently searched term. Usually, when a keyword is relevant and has a good volume of searches, it also drives a relevant audience to the website. As long as it ranks well for that keyword.

Rankings. This criterion actually goes hand in hand with the one above. The higher rankings a domain has for relevant search terms with good search volume, the more traffic it gets, and the more valuable it is or will be for its new owner. In contrast, no rankings at all can be a sign of the domain’s spammy past life which resulted in a Google Index ban.

Existing traffic. When it comes to expired domain deals, traffic is not really a requisite. On the other hand, it certainly adds value to the domain, making it a worthwhile asset.

Backlinks. One of the important SEO benefits that come with an expired domain is a decent backlink profile, as it contributes to higher rankings. Again, it’s not a requisite, but existing quality links save a new owner lots of link-building efforts and increase the value of a domain.

Domain age. The registration date of the domain should be considered on par with its other performance factors, such as rankings and backlinks. The main point to watch out for – newly registered domain names are often dropped by spammers.

Domain status. One more important data point worth a closer look at is EPP (extensive provisioning protocol) status codes associated with the domain. Some of them will tell if a domain is in a grace period and can still be renewed by the owner, meaning that it is blocked for transfer and cannot be purchased. Other status codes will tell if and when the domain will be available to the public for registration, namely:

  • pendingDelete
  • redemptionPeriod
  • renewPeriod

Expiration date. Swift purchases are a common thing in the dropped domains market. Generally, buyers monitor domains with upcoming expiration dates to stay alert when they become available for purchase. So, at best, all the necessary data should be at hand in a matter of seconds, because this is how quickly the domains are traded.

At this point, however, comes a problem with compiling many data from different sources. When the goal is getting a good domain, there’s simply no time to check everything manually.

With millions of expired and expiring domains out there, and thousands if not millions of people searching for the best domains and the best deals, the domain trading process has grown into its own software market.

How to find new opportunities in the domain search tools market?

In a nutshell, there are two software types in the market.

Platforms of the first type are built as domain auctions and drop-catching services, such as DropCatch and NameJet. They help domain investors “catch” the domain names once they become available for registration. Yet, they do not provide any data for evaluating the domains.

Contrastingly, there’s a second software type designed specifically for hunting down the best expired domains, like DomCop and ExpiredDomains.net. What’s more, alongside the data that allows evaluating the domains, domain search tools are often featuring platforms where these domains are available for purchase or bidding. Some tools, like Domain Hunter Gatherer, also help to find the best deals.

By and large, the second software type – expired domain search tools – is widely used by both domain investors and SEOs. Besides that, this niche offers more possibilities for business growth and leaves more room for innovation.

But before we get to explore new opportunities, let’s take a look at the existing market players, their offering, and, more importantly, their datasources.

What’s behind the price and interface of domain search tools?

To give you an idea of how to develop a better tool, we’d like to first introduce you to the functionality of the existing ones.

From the user’s standpoint, the most important features provided by domain search tools are:

  • Extensive filtering parameters for refining the search
  • Possibility to buy a domain or place a bid on it in a few clicks.

Sure enough, software owners understand that very well. Accordingly, they often lock more valuable features behind additional paywalls.

For example, DomainHunterGatherer starts for free, but if you want to search domains by keyword and not only review metrics, you’d have to pay $17 per month. For even more metrics, like links and social shares, as well as website crawling and spam-check functionality, the tool charges $97 per month.

Monthly plans for DomCom start from $64 per month and go up to $198-$594 per month. The cheapest plan only gives access to the expiring domains section, while the middle $106-plan allows reviewing expired domains as well. Higher plans come with access to personal expired domain crawlers.

As you can see, the pricing has quite a high benchmark. Naturally, you might wonder why this happens. The thing is, they spend a lot of resources on data aggregation from domain auctions, public ‘pending delete’ and drop lists.

But that’s only the tip of the iceberg. To give users what they expect to see, domain search tools need to integrate data for domain evaluation, and that data doesn’t come cheap either.

For example, Domain Hunter Gatherer incorporates Moz and Majestic APIs, without requiring an account with data providers. But Moz and Majestic metrics are only available to Pro customers ($97/mo), and the rates are limited to 50k API calls per month.

Translating this to expenses, they must be paying from $2000 to $10,000 per month for Mozscape API, and $399.99 for Majestic data.

DomCop aggregates metrics from Moz, Majestic, Ahrefs, SEMRush, SimilarWeb, Compete, Estibot, DomainScope, and social networks.

Doing the maths again:

Mozscape API – $2000 to $10,000 per month
Majestic – $399.99 per month
Ahrefs – from $500 to $10,000 per month
SEMRush – $449.95 per month

In addition to all this, domain search tools are collecting some of the data in-house, and offer access to their in-house crawlers to software users. Accordingly, they have pretty high development expenses.

In-house data scraping and parsing consist of many time- and resource-consuming parts: paying for and managing proxy pools, building a ban identification logic, ensuring system security, and no violations of law. On top of that, you’d have to pay a considerable amount of money for data storage.

But don’t stress out. This is not the only way to go.

How to build a competitive expired domain search tool on a budget?

If you are thinking about becoming a part of the domain search tools market or already are a part of it, you might be interested in new ways for getting the necessary data easier and cheaper.

But what if we tell you that it’s, in fact, possible to beat the functionality of existing tools without almost no resources for developing the backend?

To cut a few corners and the costs, you can simply integrate the essential data through API. Here at DataForSEO, we can supply you with API access to our database of registered, expiring, and expired domains. In addition to Whois data, you’ll get organic and paid rankings and traffic data on the domains.

The ranking data comes from real Google search results. You’ll get not only the number of SERPs where the domain is found, but also the distribution of the domain’s ranking positions from 1 to 100, both in organic and paid search results.

Estimated traffic metrics are counted using two different formulas: one is based on CTR and search volume, while the other one is based on CTR and impressions. Besides that, we provide an estimated cost of driving both organic and paid traffic to the domain.

Have you seen a tool that would display data based on the actual search engine results? We neither, but this is exactly what people really need to evaluate the domain quality. In this way, you will be able to deliver innovative and more accurate software, while keeping a lower pricing benchmark to attract more first users, and probably steal some from your competitors easier.

Best of all, you will soon be able to integrate quality backlink data on a budget. Empowering your tool with domains’ backlinks alongside real rankings and traffic estimation, you’ll be able to create a unique and cutting-edge offering. We’re already working on Backlinks API, and will release it in a short while. Stay tuned.

Below, we’ll show you how to perform a bulk expired domain search and get all essential data in one API call without overpayments.

How to get Whois data, traffic & rankings for domains at a low cost?

Our mission at DataForSEO is to make SEO data accessible and affordable for everyone. Whether you’re looking for SERP rankings or expired domains with their SEO performance stats, or even both, we’re doing our best to meet your needs.

That’s why we have recently released the Domain Whois Overview endpoint that will give you API access to our database of over 60 million domains. What’s more, Whois data that you can retrieve by this endpoint is enriched with ranking and traffic info from organic and paid search results.

If you want to get more information on how APIs work and how to work with them, we recommend checking out these resources:

Basically, API allows A to speak to B and vice versa by establishing a connection, while also making sure that A and B will understand each other, no matter the language. In other words:

  • You define necessary parameters and make an API call to our database through an API client
  • The API reaches the database, pulls the data matching your parameters
  • And delivers it back to you.

We provide RESTful APIs which establish a connection through HTTP(S) and return data in an easy-to-read structured format. Also, the Domain Whois Overview endpoint works in the live mode, which means results will be delivered right away upon your API call.

You can define up to 8 filtering parameters in one request to find the most valuable and relevant domains in a matter of seconds. For example, you can filter the domains by the following parameters:

  1. Expiration date, e.g. [“expiration_datetime”, “>”, “2021-03-15 01:00:00 +00:00”]
  2. Domain age, e.g. [“created_datetime”, “<“, “2019-03-15 01:00:00 +00:00” ]
  3. Top-level domain, e.g. [“tld”, “=”, “com”]
  4. Keyword the domain names should contain, e.g. [“domain”, “like”, “%seo%”]
  5. Number of organic SERPs the domain ranks in, e.g. [“metrics.organic.count”, “>”, “200”]

However, the list of filtering rules is not limited to the parameters above. You can use virtually any metric from the returned dataset as a filtering parameter and get the most valuable domains fast and easily.

Besides that, you can define up to three sorting rules for each request. Perhaps, you need to get the domains with the closest expiration date first, and you also want these domains to have the biggest volumes of organic traffic and the highest rankings. Here’s how such a sorting rule will look like:

“order_by”: ["expiration_datetime,asc","metrics.organic.etv,desc","metric.organic.pos_1,desc"]

Now, let’s take a look at the configuration of a real API request. In the scroll box below, you can review the parameters for setting a task and a sample of the delivered results.

Request Sample

POST: https://api.dataforseo.com/v3/dataforseo_labs/domain_whois_overview/live

[
    {
        "limit": 3,
        "filters": [
            [
                "expiration_datetime",
                ">",
                "2021-02-15 01:00:00 +00:00"
            ],
            "and",
            [
                "domain",
                "like",
                "walmart%"
            ],
            "and",
            [
                "metrics.organic.count",
                ">",
                "200"
            ]
        ],
        "order_by": [
            "expiration_datetime,asc",
            "metrics.organic.count,desc"
        ]
    }
]
Response Sample 
{
    "version": "0.1.20210129",
    "status_code": 20000,
    "status_message": "Ok.",
    "time": "0.5002 sec.",
    "cost": 0.103,
    "tasks_count": 1,
    "tasks_error": 0,
    "tasks": [
        {
            "id": "03031801-1535-0281-0000-7b5ad1849214",
            "status_code": 20000,
            "status_message": "Ok.",
            "time": "0.3957 sec.",
            "cost": 0.103,
            "result_count": 1,
            "path": [
                "v3",
                "dataforseo_labs",
                "domain_whois_overview",
                "live"
            ],
            "data": {
                "api": "dataforseo_labs",
                "function": "domain_whois_overview",
                "limit": 3,
                "filters": [
                    [
                        "expiration_datetime",
                        ">",
                        "2021-02-15 01:00:00 +00:00"
                    ],
                    "and",
                    [
                        "domain",
                        "like",
                        "walmart%"
                    ],
                    "and",
                    [
                        "metrics.organic.count",
                        ">",
                        "200"
                    ]
                ],
                "order_by": [
                    "expiration_datetime,asc",
                    "metrics.organic.count,desc"
                ]
            },
            "result": [
                {
                    "total_count": 26,
                    "items_count": 3,
                    "items": [
                        {
                            "domain": "walmartoilchangecoupon.com",
                            "created_datetime": "2017-02-16 14:39:04 +00:00",
                            "changed_datetime": "2020-02-16 09:17:53 +00:00",
                            "expiration_datetime": "2021-02-16 14:39:04 +00:00",
                            "updated_datetime": "2021-01-26 14:48:17 +00:00",
                            "epp_status_codes": [
                                "client_transfer_prohibited"
                            ],
                            "tld": "com",
                            "registered": true,
                            "metrics": {
                                "organic": {
                                    "pos_1": 4,
                                    "pos_2_3": 9,
                                    "pos_4_10": 59,
                                    "pos_11_20": 103,
                                    "pos_21_30": 79,
                                    "pos_31_40": 88,
                                    "pos_41_50": 96,
                                    "pos_51_60": 104,
                                    "pos_61_70": 85,
                                    "pos_71_80": 77,
                                    "pos_81_90": 60,
                                    "pos_91_100": 59,
                                    "etv": 4456.353639999999,
                                    "impressions_etv": 374.03170079999995,
                                    "count": 823,
                                    "estimated_paid_traffic_cost": 11238.755078434922
                                },
                                "paid": {
                                    "pos_1": 0,
                                    "pos_2_3": 0,
                                    "pos_4_10": 0,
                                    "pos_11_20": 0,
                                    "pos_21_30": 0,
                                    "pos_31_40": 0,
                                    "pos_41_50": 0,
                                    "pos_51_60": 0,
                                    "pos_61_70": 0,
                                    "pos_71_80": 0,
                                    "pos_81_90": 0,
                                    "pos_91_100": 0,
                                    "etv": 0,
                                    "impressions_etv": 0,
                                    "count": 0,
                                    "estimated_paid_traffic_cost": 0
                                }
                            }
                        },
                        {
                            "domain": "walmart.pt",
                            "created_datetime": "2003-10-03 00:00:00 +00:00",
                            "changed_datetime": null,
                            "expiration_datetime": "2021-02-28 00:00:00 +00:00",
                            "updated_datetime": "2021-01-26 15:08:45 +00:00",
                            "epp_status_codes": [
                                "unknown"
                            ],
                            "tld": "pt",
                            "registered": true,
                            "metrics": {
                                "organic": {
                                    "pos_1": 0,
                                    "pos_2_3": 1,
                                    "pos_4_10": 20,
                                    "pos_11_20": 55,
                                    "pos_21_30": 506,
                                    "pos_31_40": 357,
                                    "pos_41_50": 314,
                                    "pos_51_60": 244,
                                    "pos_61_70": 179,
                                    "pos_71_80": 93,
                                    "pos_81_90": 56,
                                    "pos_91_100": 32,
                                    "etv": 126.27498000000003,
                                    "impressions_etv": 5.719088399999999,
                                    "count": 1857,
                                    "estimated_paid_traffic_cost": 34.02954225666
                                },
                                "paid": {
                                    "pos_1": 0,
                                    "pos_2_3": 0,
                                    "pos_4_10": 0,
                                    "pos_11_20": 0,
                                    "pos_21_30": 0,
                                    "pos_31_40": 0,
                                    "pos_41_50": 0,
                                    "pos_51_60": 0,
                                    "pos_61_70": 0,
                                    "pos_71_80": 0,
                                    "pos_81_90": 0,
                                    "pos_91_100": 0,
                                    "etv": 0,
                                    "impressions_etv": 0,
                                    "count": 0,
                                    "estimated_paid_traffic_cost": 0
                                }
                            }
                        },
                        {
                            "domain": "walmartcentroamerica.com",
                            "created_datetime": "2006-03-09 19:23:03 +00:00",
                            "changed_datetime": "2020-02-17 19:51:30 +00:00",
                            "expiration_datetime": "2021-03-09 18:23:03 +00:00",
                            "updated_datetime": "2021-01-27 15:34:48 +00:00",
                            "epp_status_codes": [
                                "client_transfer_prohibited"
                            ],
                            "tld": "com",
                            "registered": true,
                            "metrics": {
                                "organic": {
                                    "pos_1": 139,
                                    "pos_2_3": 187,
                                    "pos_4_10": 797,
                                    "pos_11_20": 1014,
                                    "pos_21_30": 944,
                                    "pos_31_40": 962,
                                    "pos_41_50": 892,
                                    "pos_51_60": 720,
                                    "pos_61_70": 635,
                                    "pos_71_80": 515,
                                    "pos_81_90": 413,
                                    "pos_91_100": 338,
                                    "etv": 40986.57781600001,
                                    "impressions_etv": 3363.68199396,
                                    "count": 7556,
                                    "estimated_paid_traffic_cost": 9423.720600636976
                                },
                                "paid": {
                                    "pos_1": 0,
                                    "pos_2_3": 0,
                                    "pos_4_10": 0,
                                    "pos_11_20": 0,
                                    "pos_21_30": 0,
                                    "pos_31_40": 0,
                                    "pos_41_50": 0,
                                    "pos_51_60": 0,
                                    "pos_61_70": 0,
                                    "pos_71_80": 0,
                                    "pos_81_90": 0,
                                    "pos_91_100": 0,
                                    "etv": 0,
                                    "impressions_etv": 0,
                                    "count": 0,
                                    "estimated_paid_traffic_cost": 0
                                }
                            }
                        }
                    ]
                }
            ]
        }
    ]
}

As you can see, using the Domain Whois Overview endpoint, you will be able to perform a bulk expired domain search and get all essential data at once.

Still, it’s impossible to deny the value of the domain’s backlink profile. Unfortunately, backlink data doesn’t come cheap. Yet, DataForSEO will soon come to rescue with an affordable way to get it. We’re already working on Backlinks API, and will release it in a short while.

Meanwhile, you might be wondering about the cost of the Domain Whois Overview endpoint. The pricing is affordable and pretty straightforward.

You will be charged $0.1 for setting a task, and $0.001 for each domain that you receive in the API response. Note that the maximum number of domains you can obtain in response to one task is 1000.

So, taking this to more realistic numbers, if you want to get 10,000 domains, your account will be charged for:

Setting 10 tasks: 10 x $0.1 = $1
Domain count: 10,000 x $0.001 = $10
Total: $11

Check our pricing >>

In case you plan to work with big volumes of data and would like to have a proprietary solution, we also offer a Whois Database. It contains 60+ million domains, 31+ million of which are .com domains and 55+ million have positive traffic and rankings. What’s more, we can deliver the database straight to your storage in JSON or CSV. Check it out.

Quick recap

Building an authority site hands down is a very tempting opportunity. So tempting that millions of people grab expired domains in a flash.

Yet, they wouldn’t be able to do so without the domain search tools. This software provides all essential data and extensive filters, allowing to evaluate expired domains in bulk and quickly jump to purchase. The most important evaluation points are:

  • Domain name
  • Top-level domain
  • Domain age
  • Rankings
  • Traffic
  • Backlinks

However, subscriptions for domain search tools are mostly high enough, and essential metrics are often locked behind additional paywalls. Unfortunately, it leaves many people without an opportunity to evaluate a domain properly.

Primarily, high pricing results from the complexity of data collection and high pricing benchmarks of third-party data providers.

Despite that, there is an alternative way to obtain quality data on domains in bulk. Here at DataForSEO, we’re making Whois data, traffic & rankings for domains accessible and affordable for everyone.

What’s more, DataForSEO will soon come to rescue with an affordable way to estimate a domain value based on backlink data. We’re already working on Backlinks API, and will release it in a short while. Stay tuned.

Whether you don’t want to overpay for existing software, or you are thinking about developing a better domain search solution, we can supply you with API access to our database containing 60+ million domains. You can define the preferred criteria, and get the most valuable domains in a matter of seconds.

As for the cost, you can get, for example, 10,000 domains with real organic and paid rankings from Google, as well as estimated traffic data, for only $11. Don’t hesitate to give it a try, you can get your first 900 domains with all the data for free.

TRY NOW

Irene T.

The three passions of my life are writing, learning languages, and traveling. I followed the calling throughout the four years of BA in English and French, and carried my dreams in a backpack across 13 countries. Being a Content Writer at DataForSEO, I see every article as a journey to new destinations of the tech and SEO world. Embark on.

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