Due to the faltering worldwide economy, market prices for domain names are currently very low. It is a good time to look for bargains.
We are finding some very good deals on domain names. We see two markets for domains. One is for expired domains. It looks like literally thousands of people who have been holding on to good domain names for several years are now either selling them for some very low prices, or are failing to renew them. This means that many of these domain names can be picked up for the cost of an annual registration fee, which is usually less than $10.
The second is for the sale of registered domains. “Domainers”, who are the people that collect, buy and sell domain names as a business, are also letting some nice domain names go at prices that are only a fraction of what would have been paid two years ago. These names are currently registered by the domainer and simply need to be transferred or “pushed” to a buyer’s account at the same registrar. When using a push, the ownership transfer frequently takes only a few minutes.
Unregistered, Dropped and Registered Domain Names
An expired domain name is also referred to as a “dropped name.” Once you find a good unregistered or dropped name, it can be registered at whatever registrar that you prefer. There is also the market for currently registered domains, which consists of small domain owners and large domainers.
For several years it has been very difficult to find a perfect domain name; however, with a little diligence and perseverance, it is possible to find some real gems. I have already written several articles about choosing good domain names.
As a general rule if you want a domain that drives traffic to your site, the domain should be keyword-rich, meaning that the domain is made up of the words that are an exact match for a popular search phrase. A domain name that is an exact match for a search phrase can result in an exact match bonus, which means that the site may almost instantly rank well as soon as the site is indexed by the search engines. We have have put up sites with exact match domain names that immediately ranked in the top five positions in Google before we had a chance to add any content to the site. That type of ranking power should always be a consideration.
When looking for a domain name, focus on the .com, .net and .org extensions, which are called TLDs or top level domains. Do not waste your money on ccTLDs (country code domain names) unless you are working with a local market within a given country. A ccTLD domain name and server location’s IP address help a search engine to localize a site within a country, so if you want to rank well in the UK, focus on purchasing a domain name with a co.uk ccTLD and locate the web server within the UK.
Other than country specific ccTLDs, it is usually not a good idea to register TLDs other than those I mentioned. There appears to be an inherent ranking advantage with .com, .net and .org domain names that we do not see with other TLDs, such as .info, .biz, etc.
Do Not Fall for Domain Name Selling Scams and Misrepresentations
When buying a domain name, many sellers focus on how many search results show up in good when you search for the keywords in the domain. “Hey, Look! Google shows 100 million results when I search for the keywords in the domain!” When 100 million web pages show up with a Google search, that is not a benefit. That is the number of web pages that you will be competing with. What is important is the number of searches performed for the keywords in the domain. If you are looking for a keyword rich domain, you need to weigh the number of searches against the number of competing pages on the web. Ideally, you want a domain name whose integral keywords are searched for often, but have relatively few competing pages.
It is usually best if you can find a good .com domain name. .net and .org are good alternatives. Be aware that there are quite a few country code domain names that are frequently misrepresented.
- .ws does not stand for web site. It is the country code top level domain for Western Samoa, which is now called Samoa.
- .me does not refer to you or “me”. It is the country code previously used by Serbia and Montenegro.
- .my does not mean “my web site”. It is the country code for Malaysia.
- .tv does not refer to television. It is the country domain code for Tuvalu
If you are not certain about a domain with a strange extension, you can look up country code top level domains at Wikipedia.
Where To Find Domain Name Bargains
For currently registered domain names that are up for sale or auction, eBay has a huge domain name section where 5,000 to 10,000 domain names that are up for sale can be found. About 95% of the domain names found here are useless garbage, but there are some good names to be found if you spend some time scanning through the offerings. We’ve picked up several very nice names at eBay for $2 to $20 each.
Sedo Auctions is a good place to look for premium names. However, Sedo may be a better place to sell names, rather than for buying them, because the prices frequently get bid up quite high. Many domain registrars, such as GoDaddy, also offer domain auctions for currently registered domains.
See part 2 of this article for information on how to find and target available domain names.