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Domain Names - Six Golden Rules for Generic Domain Names

Jul 26, 2008
Why does one name sell for six figures, while another languishes on an auction site with a $100 reserve for months, unable to get even a smidgen of interest? Sometimes the two domains are similar, with only a one or two character difference. Beds.com and Bedsx.com come to mind, the former being worth hundreds, even thousands of times more than the latter.

Keyword domain names become profitable investments if you follow these 6 golden rules and you must read them before buying your own domain name. It doesn't matter which route you take to buy the domain name, good investigative work will guarantee a winner when it comes to selling.

1. Keyword volume: This is an estimate of how many searches the word or phrase has, which is an indication of it?s popularity. For example, according to Google, the phrase "Hawaii Singles" has 2400 searches a month. If you were bidding on HawaiiSingles.com, you would also want to check Keyword Discovery and/or WordTracker for additional data. You'll never get more than an indication since each tool measures differently. However, it's a safe bet if people are searching for a phrase there will be some natural traffic and SEO potential, and if there's no volume, there will be little or none.

2. Commonality: A lot of people say domains are valued on their scarcity, but if you think about it, all domains, both good and bad, are one of a kind. What I like to look for is the commonality of the phrase the name represents within our society and existing lexicon. Usage, word order, and pluralization are huge factors in valuation. For example, "Discount" is not the same as "Discounted" which is not the same as "Discounts." SportCars.com is valued less than SportsCars.com, and ShoesRunning.com is practically worthless when pitted against RunningShoes.com. Search for the phrase in quotes on Google to see if people are even using it, much less searching for it.

3. True type-in traffic: Most people always rush into domain investing and are not able to get this type of information to guide them first. Type-in traffic is the key to success and we need long term traffic, so don't pay any attention to search engine or link traffic as this won't last.

4. Length: Domain length is important. Shorter names are easier to spell and remember, and are far more likely to get visitors. All of these qualities increase the potential for branding, and can drive up valuations far beyond the reasonable, which is great if you are the one selling;)

5. Prior use: If the domain has a past life, and was acquired through a drop service or from an expired list, you want to know about it. Forget perceived positives like search engine ranking and PR since those will likely disappear after the name is in your hands. Instead, delve into the name's dark side. Was it ever used for spamming? Is it banned from Google's index? Did it previously contain questionable content? Overcoming these negatives can be more work than you bargained for, even with an otherwise great name.

6. End user development potential: Domain names have a certain flexibility that will develop them into major money winning sites and after having read this guide, it is down to you to make the decision on whether the domain words will help you hit the jackpot. Read more to find out more domain investing tips that will put you just way ahead of the rest.
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Discover Domain Investing Committed to spreading the truth regarding domain investing, site flipping, reselling, monetizing Web sites and domain valuation as well as weekly Domain Valuation
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