Monthly Archives: November 2018

How To Value A Domain Name

Introduction

You’ve decided on a domain name for your new business, and the domain is already registered and for sale. How much should you be willing to pay? This is becoming a common question, as so many quality domain names have already been taken. While there is no scientific method to determine a precise value for any domain name, there are some considerations that go into determining a reasonable ballpark value for that domain name you want. Please read on, and learn about some of the techniques professional domain appraisal companies utilize to ply their trade.

Valuation Factors

There are quite a few technical factors that go into determining what a domain name is worth, and there are differences of opinion as to the relative importance of the various factors. Here we will examine a number of commonly considered parameters in domain valuation. This collection is not necessarily meant to be all-inclusive, but is instead intended to give you a flavor of many of the fine points to consider.

One of the most important considerations in valuing a domain name is the “TLD,” or Top Level Domain. This is the extension that appears at the end of the domain name, such as .com, .net, .org, etc. All other things being equal, a .com name will generally sell for about four times the otherwise equivalent domain in one of the other common global extensions, such as .net, .org, and .info. The .mobi extension, utilized for content to be delivered to mobile devices, is rapidly gaining popularity and value, especially for domain names suitable for such devices. Some country specific domains, such as .co.uk and .de (Germany) are very prestigious, and can also command high prices in certain cases. The .tv extension, later to hopefully be used in connection with internet enabled TV, results only occasionally in high value sales at current (until hardware, distribution, and media companies resolve their mutual “cut of the pie” concerns, there is likely to be little content to drive this market).

An extremely important consideration in the value of a domain name is the number of words it contains. Single “real word” domains (no misspellings or abbreviations), especially in easily monetizable internet industries, can be enormously valuable, particularly in the .com extension. Two word domains, again without misspellings or abbreviations, can also be quite valuable, as long as the domain name can easily be monetized, and the TLD is of high quality. Values really plunge when you get to three words or more.

Domains containing misspellings, abbreviations, hyphens, characters not on a standard keyboard, and other oddities often have very little value. Also, domains containing phrases that are trademarked may be worth nothing, as the trademark owner may be able to summarily confiscate the domain.

The extent to which a domain can be monetized has a major impact on its value. Domains in the sex, financial, and health industries often top the list in terms of high value sales. Domains related to industries that cannot easily generate revenue on the web will usually have little value.

Generic domains tend to be more valuable than non-generic ones. A generic domain is one that contains only real words (ones you can find in a dictionary), and has no contribution from proper names (first or last). Generic .com domain names in highly monetizable industries can be immensely valuable, and are for the most part very hard to obtain (without spending a lot of money!).

The number of letters in a domain name also affects its value. Three letter .com names can be quite valuable, even if they mean nothing. Four letter .com names usually need to be pronounceable to have value, but they need not necessarily be real words in the dictionary (cool sounding four letter .com names can be very brandable, even if they are made up). When you get to five letters or more, value is driven by quality of the word or words (generic vs. non-generic, monetizable vs. non- monetizable, etc.). Once you start getting over 8-9 letters, value tends to decrease a lot, unless the name is highly monetizable.

The extent to which a domain can be branded may be very important in determining value. Domain names that are easy to say and remember, easy to type in, highly reflective of predictable monetizable content, and/or generate a lot of “type-in” traffic (people typing your domain name directly into the address box in their browser rather than finding your domain via a search engine) are highly sought after, and may transact for significant sums.

The size and profitability of the market to which the domain name applies is also important. This directly impacts how easily the domain name can be monetized. Needless to say, products and services that do not lend themselves to e-commerce (directly, or indirectly through selling ad space) will most often have little value.

We could go on almost forever listing factors that impact the value of a domain, but the above gives you a sense of what to consider.

Where’s The Beef?

You’ll notice the discussion thus far has presented no magic formulas for computing the right price to pay for your new domain name. I would love to give you a cool formula with lots of neat math symbols, but sadly things aren’t that simple or elegant. In order to understand what you are going to have to pay, you need to learn a few things about the domain after market.

First, there is way more supply than demand. This at first may sound encouraging, but unfortunately it isn’t. Most domain resellers are very inexperienced, and tend to price their domains way too high, and as a result drive buyers away. Haggling often results in little movement in the price.

Second, the really great names, one or two real word .com domains in high traffic, high margin internet sectors are essentially all bought up. They do sometimes become available for sale, but always at extravagant prices.

Third, you have to be very careful when buying non-generic domain names (domains containing words that are not in the dictionary, or domains containing words that are in the dictionary but combine to form an unusual phrase that the courts will not consider “public domain”). These domains may be protected by a trademark. In such cases, the trademark owner can sue for ownership in court, and quite possibly be able to confiscate your domain without remuneration.

The Bottom Line

At this point you’re probably wondering how much to pay for that domain on the aftermarket. As stated above, I can’t give you a precise formula. I can, however, give you some advice based on the above principles, via reference to contemporary sales history. The basic idea is that I can provide you with anticipated price ranges (rather broad ones) that seem to be well in sync with recent domain auction closings.

At the very top of the spectrum, you have one word, and very high quality two word, generic domains in easily monetizable internet sectors. These may sell for $100,000 USD or more, and will usually have .com extensions, although occasionally some will be in other high value TLD’s (such as .net, ,org, .info, .mobi, .co.uk, and .de). The very best of these domains may approach $10,000,000.

Global (non-country specific) TLD’s other than .com’s rarely sell for more than $100,000. The best of these, again one word and very high quality two word generic domains in easily monetizable internet sectors, usually sell for between $10,000 and $100,000, but sometimes may go as high as about $250,000. The best country specific extensions, mainly .co.uk and .de, lend themselves to the same kind of pricing as the non-.com global TLD’s ($10,000 – $100,000). Some excellent domains in the .eu (Europe), .se (Sweden), .tv (Tuvalu), and .ch (Switzerland) extensions are starting to command these prices too.

Every week, there are several dozen sales of .com domains in the $10,000 to $100,000 range. These tend to be one to two word generics, but not as easily monetizable as the ones that sell for over $100,000.

There is an active aftermarket in two to three word .com names that are long (10 letters or more) and sell for $2,000 to $10,000. These tend to be generic, although some non-generics may be found here as well. These domains will in general be harder to monetize than the more premium names, either due to industry (not a high profit internet sector) or scope (serve only a subset of a larger sector).

There is also a market in global TLD’s other than .com’s in the $2,500 to $10,000 range. .net’s and .mobi’s tend to dominate this space, although you will also find .org’s and .info’s here. These are generally one to two word generics that are less monetizable than their otherwise equivalent brethren that sell for more.

Certain country specific domains tend to sell in the $1,000 to $10,000 range. These tend to be one word or short two word generics in the most attractive country extensions (especially .co.uk, .de, .eu, and .tv). Needless to say, these are not as monetizable as their more premium brethren.

If the domain you want does not fall into one of the above categories, you should think long and hard before spending more than $2,000 or so. Admittedly, there will be times when purchasing a particular non-generic name may be unavoidable (e.g., you already have an offline business name which is not trademarked, and need the corresponding domain for your online presence). The key point here is that absent proof of pre-existing heavy traffic, and/or profits from an already deployed web site at the domain, these names are just not that valuable.

In Closing

My hope is that this article has helped you to become a more educated domain buyer. The main takeaway should be that unless you have a truly urgent need to obtain a specific domain, you should use common sense principles and not overpay. Remember, in spite of the fact that so many good names are taken, most domains just sit and wait at aftermarkets like Sedo and Afternic because of the vast supply overhang. If the owner of the domain you want will not sell for a reasonable price, try to be creative and find alternatives, like using a different TLD, pluralizing, reordering the phrase words, etc.

The internet domain market will never lend itself to discounted cash flow pricing like financial securities, and the value of a domain is really nothing more than what the market will bear. Ultimately, values are determined by sale prices of similar domains. This article has hopefully armed you with that knowledge so you can negotiate with confidence.

Domain Name Questions You Thought Were Too Stupid To Ask

So if your site is mysite.com, you can be sure there’s no other site on the planet with the exact same title.

Computers talk to each other via numbers; in this case it’s called an IP number. You have probably seen or heard of it when setting up your e-mail program. It looks something like this: 209.15.63.7.

So when a user wants to access your site, what they basically do, is give their computer a signal to locate your computer’s fingerprint IP. You don’t see this happening; the computers do this whole process while you see the pages load on your screen. So every online machine anywhere in the world is programmed to recognize ‘mysite.com’ with its IP number and will take you to that site.

There are two (or more) parts to your domain:

· Top level domain

· Unique or second level domain

So in the example mysite.com, .com is the top level domain and ‘mysite’ is the second level domain. GOOGLE ADSENSE

The Top Level Domains

The previous example of .com as a top level domain is one of many. Consider:

.com = commercial . net = network . edu = educational .org = organization

Another thing you can do is state sub domains (commonly known as hostnames) of the domain mysite.com. An example would be mypage.mysite.com. This will direct to another section of your site.

Technical Information

All domain names registered are profiled in a database which details everything about the domain name and personal details like address, contact, billing details and your domain name server (DNS).

Here are the steps how accessing a website works:

1. User requests site via browser (a particular IP address) using a domain name

2. The local host queries the local name server

3. If the local name server does not find the IP address on its local database, then it will query other available name servers, which in turn will perform the same steps.

4. Finally, the user is given the IP address (website) or error message.

What can a Domain Name contain?

· Letters

· Numbers

· Dashes (-)

They can’t contain any spaces or symbols anywhere in the domain and they can’t start or end in a dash. Including the top level domain (like .com), you have 67 characters to work with which gives you lots of opportunity to register a keyword rich and audience specific domain. But try to keep your domain as condensed as possible as some browsers return error messages if the domain name exceeds 58 characters.

Example

Acceptable Domains:

þ mymarketingcenter.com

þ 1resource-marketingcenter.com

þ 1-stop-marketing-center.com

Unacceptable Domains:

X -mymarketingcenter.com

X 1resource-marketingcenter.com- –

X 1 stop-marketing centre.com-

Why Should I get a Domain Name?

If you want your site found on the Web, you need one. But apart from merely identifying your site, your domain name represents your business and is the first stimulus search engines use to draw visitors in.

Many people are misled thinking they will get their domain/s when they have a need for it or when the right time comes. The problem is when they finally get around to it, their domain has been taken long ago, and they start again from square one. Many have recognized this trap so they register their domains immediately to reserve them until they are ready to use them. So for a few dollars, they protect their next business idea.

If you are a company, its even more reason to reserve your domains immediately. If your company relies on a number of brands for its majority of sales, then it would be wasteful if not tragic to discover your best brands are being held hostage to a guy working out of his living room in hope you will pay him big bucks to get your domain back. Even if you win the legal battle, why have it in the first place?

On last count, there were over 30 million registered domain names with thousands more joining daily. You just know there are thousands of people glued to their computer screens searching the availability of every imaginable domain that could make them rich tomorrow. You can guarantee that as soon as somebody finds that undiscovered, potentially lucrative domain, they will instantly register it. So delaying even for a few hours already puts you behind the 8 ball.

Test this for yourself. Open your browser and think of your favorite hobby. Now type in the name of your favorite hobby followed by .com. So if your hobby was tennis, you would type tennis.com (it’s taken). You will struggle to find a domain name that hasn’t been taken.

Now considering the CIA (yes, the intelligence guys) projects online users to increase to 1.46 billion by 2007 (it’s now estimated at 945 million) your chances for getting the domain name you really want rapidly decreases by the day!

Your Personal Website

Domain name selection for your personal site is a whole lot easier. You can just name the site after your name like maggiebruce.com or after your profession like dryourname.com. You probably have a higher chance of getting your exact name as a domain if it is less common than Smith or Jones.

With software programs such as FrontPage you can build your own website with zero HTML skills, zero programming skills and not really have much of an idea about websites at all! These programs do the coding and programming for you. All you do is put in the text and graphics which you can easily cut and paste from other applications and it will automatically generate your site for you.

You can get lots of help from free online sources and support from specialists who often give free tips and advice in exchange for their names being promoted to the network’s members.

Your Company

Trademarks

There are now tough regulations from ICANN and InterNIC that forbid you from buying other people’s trademarks and registering them as a domain name. For example, Wal-Mart is a trademarked name so anyone who owned the name previously would be forced to hand it back without any payout to Wal-Mart. The same goes for just about any trademarked name.

We strongly urge you to keep clear of trademarked names and costly legal battles.

Stick with relevant domain names for your business. You can buy as many as you like and they reinforce your company’s image as an industry leader. Your business is far better off buying its domains now rather than later which can cost several thousand dollars. Remember, the online community is exploding at staggering rates and won’t wait for you to make up your mind. Active-Domain has domains available from as little as $9.95 per year – a minute investment that could pay handsome rewards.

Your Products and Services

This is one of the most powerful ways you can unleash your brand name on the Web. Many companies reserve a domain name based on future projects not even completed yet. They rely on market research and forecasts to anticipate demand for their particular product or service.

So they name their domain name after their product or service. When it officially hits the market, it creates a buzz and people swarm from all over to buy it. Viagra is a great example. Search engines shoot it up to the top of their lists and keep it there as long as the traffic and search term requests are consistent.

So if you have a product or service you know is destined for success, buy its domain now and keep it hidden from the public eye until you are ready to launch. That way, you can focus on your project and not have to worry about if your perfect domain will be taken by somebody else.

Investors

It’s hard not getting excited and have $ signs glaze over your eyes when you see domains like business.com sell for $7,500,000.

We are not saying all domains will fetch huge sums of money but you may strike it lucky and get a good buyer if the domain has a high value.

Despite the potential for loss, masses of people still actively search to buy and sell domain names. One can only speculate that the relatively cheap cost of buying domains today combined with the moneymaking potential far outweighs the risk of not making anything at all. So people will still take their chances.

You will always miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

7 Strategies to Choosing an Effective Domain Name

A friend of mine calls me the “Domain Queen”, since at one time I owned around 50 domains. I’ve let many of them go (I own only 22 now) as my business has changed and developed, or I’ve just simply lost interest in the project. I’m often asked how I go about picking effective domain names, so as the “Domain Queen”, I’ll share my thought process with you.

1.What’s the purpose of the domain name? Are you planning on using this name as the main website for your company, as a one page sales letter site, or squeeze page site? If the domain name will be your primary company website, try and find the closest version to your company name that you can. If you’re just starting out, choose your business name and domain name with care. When I started my virtual assistant practice, I chose the name SOHO Business Solutions, as I thought everyone knew that SOHO stood for Small Office, Home Office. I think I’ve run into 2 people in my 7 years in business who knew what that acronym stood for. If I had it to do over again for this business, I would choose a business name and domain name with virtual assistant in the title, like InternetMarketingVirtualAssistant.com, a name I just recently purchased.

If the purpose of a domain is for a one-page sales letter site or a squeeze page, think ahead as to how you might promote this site. Because content is king in today’s internet marketing world, there’s little chance that either of these types of sites would be picked up by the search engines on key words. Therefore, your best promotion strategy is PPC, or “pay per click”, where you’re buying keywords for placement in search engines. If you’re buying keywords from Google, for example, the paid listings appear at the top of a search in a blue box, or down the right-hand side of your screen. You want to be sure that the info displayed there is compelling enough to get someone to click and visit your site. So, for example, I’ve created a squeeze page, GetMoreClientsOnline.com, which has a compelling solution to a common problem that my clients have, as a side door gateway to my OnlineBizCoachingCompany.com coaching website.

2. Brainstorm a list of ideas of the problem you’re trying to solve or the solution that you have. A domain name that clearly indicates what you do, or a problem that you solve, or a solution that you have to a problem will give a visitor a fairly clear picture of what s/he’ll find on your website. What I typically do is go to my domain registrar, http://www.UltraNetDomains.com, and just start plugging in the names I’m brainstorming until I come up with 3 or 4 that are available. If the domain name that you type in isn’t available, the service will come up with 10 or so alternates for you to consider. I found this alternate listing quite helpful recently in picking the name of an article directory site that I want to create.

3. For SEO (Search Engine Optimization) purposes, it helps to have your keywords in your domain name. Marla Regan, who’s a professional organizer, has put two keywords in her domain name, OrganizedTime.com. Retirement Coach Lin Schreiber has her keyword niche in her domain, RevolutionizeRetirement.com. Consultant John Reddish has the desired outcome keywords in his domain, GetResults.com. I own a domain that I haven’t yet developed for house sitters, BecomeAHouseSitter.com. Before buying your domain, make a list of keywords that someone might use to find you online. This list could include your industry, your target market or niche, a problem your target market has, or a solution that you can offer.

4. Shorter is better, if it’s to be your primary domain. I haven’t always followed my own rules here, as I tend to have business names that are quite lengthy. If the domain name is going to be your primary domain where your primary email address will be housed, you want your domain name to be as short, catchy, and memorable as possible. After a few times of spelling out your lengthy email address, you’ll come to appreciate the beauty of a short domain name. Your domain name can contain up to 67 letters and numbers, although I would encourage you not to have one of this length, and can contain no special characters other than hyphens.

5. Purchase your your given name as a domain name. I typically tell my clients not to try and brand their given name as their business name, as that takes many years, much money, and lots of hard work to have the name recognition of Oprah, for example. However, it still pays to purchase your given name as a domain name, as well as any common misspellings of your name. Many people think my name is Donna Gunther, with an “h” in the last name, but I’ve been unable to register that common misspelling of my name, as a photographer in Venice, CA, has owned in since 2000. Once you’ve purchased your name as a domain, you can redirect it to your primary website. This means that when someone types in a domain, they land at the website to which you pointed that domain. So, currently DonnaGunter.com redirects to OnlineBizCoachingCompany.com because I don’t want to use my name as a website, although that might change in the future.

6. Buy the .COM version of the name if it is available. When people hear a domain name, they “hear” .COM whether it’s .NET or .BIZ or .ORG or whatever. So, it pays to find a domain name that you like that is part of the .COM family. If you just can’t get the name you want, try a hyphenated version of the .COM name. For example, when I was seeking a domain name for my Self-Employment Coaching Gym, I really wanted SelfEmploymentSuccess.com, but it wasn’t available. However, Self-Employment-Success.com was available, so I grabbed that. Many SEO specialists state that search engines like hyphenated names, and many online business owners use hyphenated keywords in their domain names to be more attractive to search engines. I don’t have a clear answer as to the validity of this theory, so I just advocate going this route before having to resort to the .NET or .BIZ of the name you desire. Some domain name holders may be willing to sell you the domain name that you want. You can find out who owns a domain name by checking the WhoIs Registry at Internic, http://www.internic.net/whois.html. For info about country codes (two-letter) top-level domains (.UK or .CA, for example) visit http://www.uwhois.com/cgi/domains.cgi?User=NoAds

7. Consider owning other versions of your primary domain name. If you are registering the .COM version of a domain for your business, you may also want to secure variations of the name, alternate spellings, common misspellings, and the .NET and .ORG versions of your domain and repoint them to your main site to keep them out of the hands of your competitors. You can also go broke very quickly by purchasing all of these variations, so exercise some restraint in your purchases and don’t go crazy with purchasing every single variation of your domain name. For my coaching company site, I own both the OnlineBizCoachingCompany.com and OnlineBusinessCoachingCompany.com and decided that was good enough.

Your domain name is the beginning of the establishment of your presence online, Take some time and put some thought into the process so that the domain name serves you well in the years to come, and is an effective tool for helping you get more clients online.

Various Aspects to Domain Management

Domain registration is generally very easy. In fact you can simply contact your local domain registrar and give your details like name, address, contact info and of course the name of the domain you want registered and your domain gets registered. Alternatively you can simply go online to your domain registrar’s website and if the facility is provided just fill out a simply online registration form with your name and other details and submit to register your domain. It’s as simple as that.

The problem arrives generally for most of us after the domain has been registered. We keep hearing all these words like name servers, domain pointing and forwarding, domain locking and other things which make it all a nightmare. But it is not as bad as you think. Domain management, once you understand the various aspects to it, is actually a very simply task. We look at some of the aspects in domain registration and management which you might have to go through while setting up your website.

Name Servers

Name servers are probably the most common words used after you have registered a domain. Your hosting company will tell you to change your domain name servers to their address in order for your web hosting service to function properly. So what are name servers?

To put it in simple language, name servers are the name of your server. It basically tells a domain where your website files are located so every time someone types your domain name in their browsers, the domain exactly knows where to go to show your website files – your homepage etc.

Name Servers generally look like this:

Assuming you are hosting with xyz hosting company then your name servers should generally be:

NS1.XYZ.COM

NS2.XYZ.COM

Note the NS could be followed by 3 or 4 depending on your hosting company. Your hosting company will generally provide their name servers to you when you register with them.

Domain Forwarding / Domain Redirect

Domain forwarding or also know as Domain redirect means if you have multiple domains registered and you want one of your domains to quite simply point to another domain that you have as an active website.

This technique allows you to have a single website be available under multiple domains. For example you can register your domain in both .com and .net format and then make the .net domain address forward to your .com website. That way you don’t have to spend on having two different websites hosted for each of your domain extensions.

Domain Locking

This is quite new to the world of domains but is a very important one and you should always be aware of your domain’s status – i.e. whether it is locked or unlocked.

Now, how does domain locking make a difference to you? Firstly if your domain is not locked, then malicious software or hackers have the ability to shift the domain in to their name or shift the domain’s name servers on to their web site which could cause lot of embarrassment to you. Not just that in some cases, hackers can pull the domain from your domain registrar to theirs, giving them full control of your domain.

In general you should always make sure your domain is in locked status. Of course when you need to change the domain’s name servers etc for your own use then you can unlock a domain. But always make sure moment your work is done and the name servers or any other information you are trying to change has been completed, immediately lock your domain. If you can’t lock or unlock your domain, please contact your domain registrar regarding this.