Domain Empire

analysis Domain Name Marketplace Traffic Comparisons

Spaceship Spaceship
Most domain name marketplaces do not report sales, at least not fully, so it is difficult to assess their reach and effectiveness.

If you have a large and successful portfolio, and have been in domain investing for some years, you probably have a good idea of what works for the type of names that you invest in.

While visits to a marketplace do not guarantee sales, one measure to potentially consider is the traffic the marketplace receives. I used two well-known tools to try to get a handle on traffic for various marketplaces and large domain seller sites.

Keep in mind that traffic is not necessarily directly related to sales, the marketplaces have widely varying numbers of listings, traffic is not all from prospective buyers, and the source of the traffic may have an impact.

Traffic Tools

There are dozens of tools showing traffic statistics. SEMrush and SimilarWeb are among the best known. While the plans are somewhat expensive, they are very comprehensive. Each offer free trial periods, and limited data can be obtained even with just the free account at SEMRush.

I looked primarily at monthly visit data for January 2024. I presume due to methodology differences, the results were by no means identical for the two services. Keep in mind results are based on a single point in time, for one month only.

Afternic and Sedo

I surveyed the sites prior to the major search change at Afternic, for the month of January 2024. These are for one month only, and it is possible there is significant variation throughout the year.

Also, it is not possible to decouple how much of the traffic was by those seeking domain names, versus investors checking competition and prices, or simply updating their portfolios. Afternic suggests that much of the traffic to their site was by expert domain investors.

SimilarWeb showed that Afternic had about 2.9x as much traffic as Sedo. SEMrush displayed a significantly higher number of monthly visits for Afternic (about 13.7 million vs 6.7 million at SimilarWeb), and also a higher Afternic:Sedo visit ratio of almost 5x for SEMrush data.

No matter the details, Afternic had substantial traffic. I did recheck the most recent results just prior to publication, and despite the search change, or possibly because of the related controversy, Afternic traffic actually went up in February 2024.

What About Dan?

Both SimilarWeb and SEMrush showed, for that month at least, Dan was intermediate, with more traffic than Sedo and less than Afternic. In the SEMrush data Dan had about 55% the traffic of Afternic.


Both SimilarWeb and SEMrush results indicated that SquadHelp had almost as much, but slightly less, monthly traffic than Sedo.

Traffic Per Domain Listing

As a seller, the important metric might be traffic per domain name.

For example, if marketplace A had 10 million visits per month, and marketplace B just 2 million, you might think that A is clearly better for selling your domain names. But if B hosts only 200,000 names, and A hosts 10 million names, then at A there is on average only 1 visit within the time period, while in B there are 10.

This is particularly relevant as we look at the brandable marketplaces that have far fewer listings than general purpose marketplaces.

BrandBucket, BrandRoot and BrandPa

For the month surveyed, SEMrush data suggested that BrandBucket traffic was a factor of more than 6 times less than SquadHelp, but BrandBucket has fewer listings, even if one considers only SquadHelp Premium.

Also, the SquadHelp listing process requires more page visits and time than is the case at BrandBucket. Keep in mind that the data includes all visits, not just that by potential buyers.

BrandRoot had only slightly less traffic than BrandBucket, while BrandPa was about a factor of 10 times less than BrandBucket, although keep in mind that it also has fewer listings.

Huge Domains is Huge

I also looked at traffic stats for a number of the big sellers. HugeDomains had the most traffic. The data for HugeDomains was rather different between SimilarWeb and SEMrush, but using the latter HugeDomains had 2.4 times as much traffic as SquadHelp, and just over double Sedo. HugeDomains was even more dominant if one uses SimilarWeb data.

BuyDomains traffic was significantly less, in fact it is less than BrandBucket or BrandRoot, and less than 1/20th that of HugeDomains. But I believe it is also true that HugeDomains has a much larger portfolio – on their website HugeDomains say they have 5 million listings in one place, while in another place it is reported as 4 million. I am not sure how up-to-date either number is.

I also looked at DomainMarket, that had slightly more traffic than BuyDomains, but significantly less than HugeDomains.

Most Don’t Visit Many Pages

I was surprised how few pages, on average, are visited by each user. For almost all the marketplaces, the average was less than 2 pages per visit.

However, the brandable marketplaces have much higher numbers of pages visited per user, for example about 10.4 at BrandBucket and 12.2 at BrandPa versus only 1.8 at Sedo, 1.2 at Afternic and 1.4 at Dan.

That makes logical sense, as a typical brandable marketplace searcher is probably more open to a variety of distinctive name possibilities, while the general purpose marketplaces are often searched by those seeking a specific domain name.

Not On Site Long

The duration of each user visit was rather short, although here the data at SEMrush was quite different from SimilarWeb. BrandPa had by far the longest time per visit, with SquadHelp, BrandRoot and BrandBucket also relatively high. But without separation of buyer visits from seller visits, it is somewhat hard to interpret the data.

BuyDomains had among the shortest visits, less than a minute and a half, and also few pages visited, less than two, suggesting most visitors were searching for a single domain name.

Converting Visitors to Sales

It is likely that some sites are much more effective in converting visitors into buyers, and that is more important than visit statistics alone. Considering this, and the traffic being a mix of seller and buyer traffic, one should not place much weight on the results reported here.

Most Traffic from the USA

The services also provide data on the geographical origin of the search traffic. In essentially all cases, there was more traffic from USA than any other country.

The single month snapshot of Afternic traffic showed about 32% from the US according to SimilarWeb, and 28% according to SEMrush.

BrandBucket, BrandRoot and HugeDomains all had somewhat higher concentrations from the US, and for DomainMarket it was more than 60% US traffic.

India was usually the second or third highest country of traffic origin at the various venues.

Somewhat surprising for me, Singapore was surprisingly high in traffic sources as well, often third and in one case second.

Sedo had slightly more traffic from the USA than from Germany, with those two countries substantially higher than any other single country.

BrandPa is based in the UK, so I expected more traffic from there, but UK traffic was only about 3%.

Your Own Data

The most important data is your own data. Most marketplaces give you some measure of how often each of your names are being visited:
  • At Dan, for any domain name click the Statistics tab, and then select days, weeks or months for plotting. Just above the graph will give you the average monthly views, and the views last month.
  • SquadHelp, for both Premium and Standard listings you can see both number of views and shortlists. Note that if you have a white label marketplace, but are not promoting the entire SquadHelp catalog, the shortlist option will not be visible for those browsing your standard names.
  • Afternic visitor counts were added in the portfolio interface in 2023. @James Iles outlined how to use this feature.
  • Sedo provide traffic statistics as well.
For most names, the traffic will be predominantly where the nameservers point. You can also activate Google analytics for more detailed data at some marketplaces, and of course if you are using your own landers.

I have no expertise in SEM, but for those in that area, services such as SEMrush and SimilarWeb provide a wealth of other information, such as the portion of traffic from generic, direct, promotional and other sources. They also indicate how the site compares with competitors, terms that resulted in traffic, and how much traffic comes from the main social media sites.
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They also have a pretty attractive way of displaying payment options.
Agree. And customer reviews prominently displayed. It all adds up to a good experience.
I had a look on Brandbucket, I guess, and they charge expensive amounts for a Logo.
Do they know that there are tools like Canva?
This is unfortunately not 2024; I truly believe in good Logo Designers, and they can (as of now) better determine what is more suitable to what you want to sell. But XXX $?
For what...

Nevertheless. I 'm still looking for an alternative to Squadhelp, even though I liked them. And use their Evaluation Tool.
I had a look on Brandbucket, I guess, and they charge expensive amounts for a Logo.
They do not charge unless there is some very recent change. It is included with your low submission fee. But anyway, this is probably getting a bit off-topic as the article is on traffic statistics for various markets and marketplaces.
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