What Makes a Good Domain? The Expert's List.

Joe D

Including Rick Latona in a blog post provided the perfect segue to an entry on domains. I think the last time I saw Rick was at the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. live domain auction. What a dynamic business, this domain name game. Every day domains are added, renewed, transferred, locked, forgotten, deleted, or put in limbo, while others are the subject of litigation or arbitration to determine who really owns them.

When evaluating domain names, remember appraisals are inconsistent and the valuations may be artificially inflated, as many appraisers can try to appeal to your vanity or greed and even outright scams exist. Look for free, objective, reliable advice on relevant forums, and if it is a significant purchase, use Moniker.com, still the only service recognized by the IRS for domain name appraisal. Consider the following when starting your due diligence:

What Makes a Good Domain?

  • A Natural Generic Brand [search volume = mindshare].

  • It's Easy to Remember [radio test].

  • It's Clear, Concise and Descriptive [what does it say to the user?].

  • It's Commercially Oriented [existing search bids?].

  • Which Industry Segment [is the segment hot/cold, new/old]?

  • Does it have Existing Type-In Traffic [marketing benefit]?

  • Does it have developed Back links, Page rank, Alexa Rank?

  • What is the age of the domain?

  • Mistypes [generics vs. trademark]?

  • Was it Previously registered, and for how long [not available through registration]?

  • Has it been Publicly sold [value previously established]?

  • Check for double meanings [eg. therapistfinder.com].

  • What is its History [wayback machine, blacklisted]?

Compliments of Monte Cahn, Founder and CEO of Moniker.com, the first and only provider of Domain Asset Management Services.

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Monte Cahn is host of the Internet radio show “Domain Masters” on www.WebmasterRadio.fm, which airs weekly on Wednesdays at 7 PM EST.


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