Domain Hunter Gatherer Review - What I Learnt About DHG In 30 Days
I tried out Domain Hunter Gatherer about a year ago and wrote about it in my post that reviews multiple expired domains crawlers.
Since then, I have gotten at least one email request ever month asking me to try DHG out again and to write a detailed review. I spend a lot of time at the BHW forums, and I have been intrigued with the crazy number of positive reviews that this tool has garnered.
So, in October I decided to give it another try and purchased the Professional Plan for $87/mo and spent the next 30 days playing with the tool. This article is the culmination of those 30 days and I hope you will find it useful.
Unlike last time, this time I went to the DHG website and looked at their FAQs to make sure I was using it properly. They recommend using a 2+ Core CPU with 4GB RAM and have an affiliate link to cheapseovps.net. So I purchased the VPS 4096 plan from them for $25/mo. I then looked at the private proxies they recommend (this is a must have) and chose the 25 proxy package for $48/mo. The total amount I paid to be able to run DHG was $87 + $25 + $48 = $160/mo.
Mini Rant - I wish DHG would simply include the VPS and Proxies cost in their package. What seemed like $87/mo is actually $160/mo, which is fine as long as I know it upfront.
Anyways, moving onto installing the software on my new shiny 4GB Windows VPS. Software installation was smooth without any issues. Once done, you need to sign into the software using your username and password, as shown below.
This took me a few times to do - and the software crashed once. However, after a few tries it worked and showed me the startup screen.
From my previous experience in 2016, I know that the "Domain Auction hunter" and the "Web 2.0 hunter" features are useless for me. What I was really interested was is the "Expired Domain hunter". For this you need to click the "Expired Domain Hunter" link at the top that opens up the main user interface.
By default, DHG lets you enter keywords. It then crawls Google for websites that rank for those keywords and then scrapes them. This is called "Hunt From Keywords".
I entered the keyword "lose weight" and then clicked the "Search" button.
It took a few minutes to complete the searches and then the crawling began. This crawl took a little under 4 hours to complete and found 355 domains. Not bad. Unfortunately, when I sorted the list by Majestic Trust Flow, the highest TF of the domain was 4. I don't look at domains that have TF < 15 - so I could not use a single domain here.
I then decided to try out the next feature - "Hunt From Websites". Here you can specify which website you want to crawl. I know that pretty much all SEO start by crawling top websites like forbes and huffingtonpost, and therefore crawling these would be a waste of time. I therefore decided to crawl a top website in the health niche - https://www.webmd.com with a crawl depth of 3 (A crawl depth of 1 means that DHG will crawl all links from the homepage of a website and stop. A crawl depth of 2 means that DHG will crawl all links from the homepage of a website and then every link that each of those webpages link to and so on...)
DHG asks if you want it to crawl outside the website you've entered. I only want domains that have backlinks from webmd.com, so I select No.
Unfortunately, DHG crashed a few times while I was trying to run this program.
When I finally got it setup, I left it running overnight, since it did not give me an estimate of the time left to complete the crawl. It was done, by the time I got around to checking it the next morning.
Unfortunately, DHG could not find any domains. I was unable to get this to work for any other website (I tried every website in my niche - mayoclinic.org, everydayhealth.coml, livestrong.com) - everytime I would enter a website and click "Crawl", a popup would show up stating that it is crawling and then automatically close after some time. The domain table would continue being empty. I've not been able to figure out if this was a bug, or something wrong with my setup. Oh well.
The third and final way to find expired domains is to "Reverse Hunt". For this feature, you need to enter a domain name and DHG will find all backlinks to that domain and crawl those pages. This should technically find you domains that have baclinks from sites that also backlink to your competitors. I entered mayoclinic.org as the domain and let it run for an entire day.
As you can see DHG found 78 domains from the Reverse Hunt. Unfortunately, none of the domains had a TF greater than 9.
I did try running different crawl jobs over the course of the rest of the month. Unfortunately, I did not find any good domains from the software.
Honestly, I got a little frustrated. I spent so much time watching the videos, purchasing the VPS and proxies, setting up the software. I don't know how every person who has written glowing reviews about DHG was able to get things to work, but for me, this was a major failure.
Final Verdict - I have had a Guru Plan III with DomCop, since they launched it and I got in at a great price. No other crawler software has come close to it in terms of the quality of domains found and the general ease of use and the biggest difference between DHG and DomCop is that you don't need to install any software, or setup any proxies or do anything for DomCop since it's a cloud based software. DomCop is a little costlier, but considering the amount of time it saves me, it's been worth every single penny.
If you would like me to review and add any other expired domains software, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.