Many of us in the search marketing, SEO, and social media fields, have control of more than one domain. Some will even have 15 or more domains that they are in charge of through work, or domains they personally own.
I’m one of those such people, and have domains expiring at many different times of throughout the year.
I recently noticed a domain was going to be coming up for expiration soon on GoDaddy, my domain registrar (for that specific domain), and thought I had an 8 day grace period in which to renew the domain. Well, it turns out, I really had about 6 hours after 12:00 am to do it.
Since I wasn’t fast enough, GoDaddy rerouted the pointer to their coming soon page (which is completely ok and part of their business model). The Google bots hit my domain, saw it was no longer there, and brought my Google listings from the #1 listing to about #41. Yep, a 40 position drop. I had held the #1-#2 spot for about 10 months or so, without the use of any black hat tactics (I frown upon black hat SEO tactics and people who incorporate them).
As you can see, it is extremely important that you keep you site from expiring, even for 1 minute. Stay on top of those things if you expect to stay on top of the search rankings. Learn from my mistakes.