PBN Lab vs Domain Reanimator v/s DomCop v/s Domain Hunter Gatherer
Updated: 2nd June 2017 - Much to my surprise, this article has been continously getting traffic for a bunch of keywords like PBN Lab coupon, Domain Reanimator coupon, DomCop coupon and Domain hunter gatherer coupon. This article is a non-biased review of the top expired domain crawlers out there and giving out coupons would undermine the honesty for the review. Hence, if you are here for the coupon, I am sorry my friend. You will have to look elsewhere. However, if you are here to find the best expired domains crawler for your business, you have come to the right place.
Before we dive right in to the product comparisons, let me state the purpose of an expired domain crawler so that you know whether this review is worth spending ten minutes to read through. An expired domain crawler is software that is used to crawl the internet for broken back links so as to find available expired domains that have these great backlinks. Typically the user would give a list of top websites that he wants to get links from (say entrepreneur.com) and the software will crawl those sites and find all domains that have links from those sites. The user would then purchase these domains for the price of registration from any registrar like (GoDaddy or NameCheap)
If you only want to purchase one or two domains, you are better off buying them from a domain broker. Setting up and expired domain crawler software takes time and you have to scrape through thousands of websites to find a handful of good domains. You will therefore find value in such software only if you need to purchase a large number of domains.
By now you should know whether this article is for you or not, and so without further ado, let's dive right in
I signed up with PBN Lab in mid 2015 for their largest plan at $249/mo. Sadly I did not take many screenshots while I was actively using it and I canceled their subscription towards the end of 2015. I also did not store any statistics of the total number of domains that were found over the few months that I used it. So take my review without any hard data to back it up. I shall also refrain from throwing any numbers out there.
PBN Lab Pros:
- Their user interface is really slick
- The bots seemed to work pretty darn fast.
PBN Lab Cons:
- Each job can only have a single website, which gets crawled in one or two hours. I would therefore need to setup 20-30 jobs every single day which would take me a good couple of hours to setup. I finally had to outsource this to my virtual assistant.
- The Majestic metrics (on which I rely rather heavily) were only found for a handful of domains and were wildly inaccurate. So I had to use my Majestic API units to get metrics for all domains that the software found. (which turned out to be quite costly as it found thousands of domains without any backlinks).
- No way to make out how many pages were crawled in a day, nor any details on how many pages were crawled for a specific website.
I signed up for the Domain Reanimator Professional plan while I still had an active PBN Lab subscription. I did not find too many domains here, so I canceled after one month was over. I did not find the software as easy to use as PBN Lab. A unique selling point for this software was the "Reanimator" feature - where you can reanimate websites from the wayback archives. However, almost all the reanimations done, were incomplete (broken images or missing pages from what I saw in the wayback crawler) I don't use the wayback content as I find it too risky, so the feature was not that useful to me anyways.
Domain Reanimator Pros:
- The crawl depth seemed much deeper than at PBN Lab (I crawled the same websites and found that Domain Reanimator found more domains and took much longer to crawl the same website)
- Large number of helpful videos have been created, so you do need to lookup any article or search for how to do things - the videos were always present on the pages where I required the information
Domain Reanimator Cons:
- Could not find enough good domains to justify the price
- Software not very intuitive and easy to use
DomCop released a new Guru Plan last month and I purchased it immediately. The Guru Plan gives you access to their personal crawler and they have 3 different plans within the Guru Plan at ($98/$198/$298). Each plan gives you a different number of crawlers. I chose their largest plan for 60 crawlers at $298/mo.
In one month usage I found 53,084 available expired domains, having crawled 68 million webpages.
- For each crawl job, you can specify 20 keywords, or 500 websites. This meant that I could setup a crawl job that could run for a few weeks without me having to worry that my crawlers were not being used and setting up that single job took minimal effort.
- DomCop provides a wide variety of domain metrics - Majestic, Moz, SEmrush, SimilarWeb, Estibot, Alexa, Wayback and Page Rank (although who really cares about PR anymore - who in their right mind would provide this anymore?)
- They provide a lot of detail. You can see the exact websites that were crawled, as well as metrics on how many pages were crawled, links were followed, domains were found and so on.
- Since I had already used DomCop before (I had a Power Plan subscription before I purchased the Guru Plan), it was really easy to use their advanced search screen and filter out the best domains from the fifty thousand domains that it found
- You can create 4 different types of crawl jobs using DomCop - the complete website crawl, the keyword search crawl, the reverse website crawl and the niche crawl.
- There are very few videos and help articles. While their software is easy to use, I would prefer they had spent some time creating longer youtube videos.
- The crawler is bundled with the Expiring, Expired and Archive sections. This is great for people like me who already had purchased a Power Plan with them. However, it might have been better to spin this off as a different project.
- There is no trial for the Guru Plan. Each of the other software in this list provide a paid trial for a week.
Domain Hunter Gatherer (DHG)
I generally don't buy desktop tools. Most of them slow down your computer and some of them install spyware and malware. Let's just say I have had some really bad experiences with some quite popular desktop tools. Additionally, with the fall in the cost of hosting, there is no excuse for having a tool not in the cloud.
The only reason I chose to install Domain Hunter Gatherer was because of the rave reviews it has at blackhatworld. I ran DHG for a month using 50 proxies and found 16,276 domains.
- Detailed youtube videos - I am very impressed with how long and detailed the videos are.
- Expired Web 2.0 - none of the other software do this. Although I do not use or recommend web 2.0s anymore, since they do not work as well as real PBNs, it is a pretty cool feature.
- They give you a week trial of $17, for trying out the software which is $77/mo.
- You need to buy proxies to use this software. I needed to purchase the 50 proxies package from Squid proxies, that increases the monthly price by $87 to $164/mo ($77 + $87).
- Complicated setup - It took me about 2 hours to setup the software before I could run a crawl. Running it at 10-20 threads really slowed my PC down to make it unusable. I therefore ended up using it only when I was not working. I could have run it on a VPS - but that would just increase complexity and costs for me.
WHICH Domain crawler SHOULD YOU CHOOSE?
Short answer: DomCop
Long Answer: I found the total number of domains found in one month similar between PBN Lab and DomCop. However, I am big fan of metrics and the large number of different metrics that DomCop provides makes it the one that I have chosen to continue with.
I don't need to pay a VA to use DomCop for me since I only setup a job once every two weeks, and additionally, when you purchase the DomCop Guru Plan, you get the features from the other plans as well (expired drop lists, archive etc) - so that makes it a complete no-brainer for me.