March 12, 2018
An explanation of what it means when an Australian domain name "drops" from the .au registry, where you can view domains queued up to be dropped and the process leading up to it.
The official .au drop list details domain names that have expired or been cancelled (deleted), which are about to be purged from the .au registry - meaning they can be registered again.
Domains in the list have a status of either ‘Expired Pending Purge’, ‘Pending Policy Delete’ or ‘Pending Delete’. A WHOIS query will indicate a status of "serverHold (Expired)" or "pendingDelete".
Each name on the list is accompanied by a date, which indicates the earliest time it will be purged from the registry database. If the time is prior to 1.00PM AEST or 2.00PM AEDT, it will be purged on that day. If the eligible purge time is on the hour or later, even if it's just a second, the name will be purged during the next day's cycle.
If you're wanting to register an Australian domain on the drop list once it is purged, you may need to be very quick as there are services that specialise in "catching" these dropped domains - and the one you want may already have been targeted by another party. Even if you decide to use one of these services, that's no guarantee you'll acquire it and could turn into an expensive exercise as names are often auctioned, with the winner being the highest bidder.
As always, before registering a dropped domain, ensure you're entitled to do so. Unlike some of the generic Top Level Domains such as .com, to register .com.au addresses you need to ensure you meet the .com.au eligibility criteria. In fact, all Australian extensions have quite strict eligibility rules.
While you could potentially pick up a great name through the drop list, ensure you also know a bit about the history of the address - it could work for you in the case of a domain associated with a site that had a good reputation, traffic levels and a solid search presence; or against you if the domain was used in a less than ideal way.
Often it's just easier to choose your own domain name rather than rely on the drop list.
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How to register a name: Enter your choice in the search tool and click 'GO'. If after the check the domain names search results show your choice is available, you will then have the option to proceed to purchase registration; which is a very quick and easy process - start a search and find your ideal website address now.