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2021 will be viewed as the year of trending terms within the domain name community. From various crypto-related opportunities, lately ETH in particular, to NFTs, and then meta / metaverse, many domain name investors have chased trending terms.

Sometimes these opportunities have resulted in rewards, as was the case covered in the interview in the NamePros Blog last week. where one investor turned a 25-day old new extension ETH domain name into a $50,000 sale. Many others hold numerous domain names in a trending term without yet seeing a sale.

But how is a name investor to spot what trends are on the horizon? In this article I look at a few tools and resources that may be helpful.

Google Trends

What people are searching for on the Internet is one way to spot trending terms. Google Trends is the main tool. This free tool gives a plot of the number of searches on a particular term for the region and time interval selected.

Google Trends scales results with the most searched in an interval ranked 100. Because of this scaling, it is most helpful to use the comparison feature, allowing several terms to be plotted together.

For example, I show below a Google Trends search for global web search during the past year for autonomous, a term trending in earlier years, along with NFT, metaverse and meta.

ImageGoogleTrends.png

Image courtesy of Google Trends. Plot gives the relative number of web searches for the terms over the past year.

Search for the term autonomous did not change much over the past year. However, including it established a baseline to aid interpretation of popularity of the newer terms.

NFT went from almost non-existent search to a widely-viewed term starting in February, 2021. After dropping somewhat in the summer, the term seems on a rise once more.

While the term metaverse has been in science fiction and futurist writing for some time, in Google search metaverse really only took off in early October of this year. The term never reached the level of NFT searches, and seems to be dropping now. That may well reverse, as a huge economic role for metaverse in the coming decade has been predicted.

It is interesting to compare searches for meta and metaverse. First of all, meta as a term with several meanings has been around for some time. It had a significant search base long before Facebook hinted at rebranding to become a metaverse company. Then in mid-October search in meta spiked, although seems to be in decline from the peak.

Tip – Use Country Trend
If you are considering registrations for a trending term in a national country code, such as .de, .cn, .uk or .ca, adjust Google Trends for search results in just that country, as there are often significant differences.​

There is an interactive map below the global Google Trends search on a term that indicates the regional breakdown. The day I searched, while NFT was more searched in most northern hemisphere countries, meta was searched more often in a number of countries including Argentina, Brazil, South Africa and India. Just hover on the map to see the numbers for only that country.

Tip – Web Search vs News Search
In some cases the popularity of terms in news search will be substantially different than for web search. Google Trends allows you to search either, as well as others like image search. Overall web search is more indicative of consumer interest, while news search may be a better indicator of expert interest. It is a good idea to try both when using Google trends.​

TechCrunch

There are many tech news sites and blogs that will help you learn about new developments. If I was to pick one that is particularly valuable for domain investors to read, it would be TechCrunch. The focus on tech-oriented startups means you are reading about developments with existing business interest. There is uneven coverage across global regions, however, that should be kept in mind.

Tip – Use Search on TechCrunch
While the home page is helpful to browse regularly, use the search box to find more posts for a particular sector or niche. At the bottom of each search TechCrunch indicates related search terms that may help you find other items.​

Estibot Domain Trends

One way to spot early stages of trending niches is to see what other domain investors are registering. Estibot provides a free service called Estibot Domain Trends that is updated daily and shows you the top 250 keywords in terms of new registrations. I show below part of a recent Estibot Domain Trends report.

EstibotTrendingTerms.png

Data courtesy of Estibot Domain Trends.
Number of new registrations across all extensions for Nov 15, 2021.

It is probably no surprise that meta was the most registered term on the day, with more than 2000 new registrations that day, well over double the second place word. Verse is also high on the list, in third place.

The second most-registered term, chats was a surprise to me. Note that to the right Estibot provides a graph of how frequently each term has been registered over the preceding 90 days, and chats is listed as newly trending. Another newly trending term in the top 20 is brands.

Other trending terms include crypto, coin, home and club.

Many of the highly-registered words are known to be popular domain words fro many years, such as shop, tech, online, group, life, world, news and design. All of these were selected some years ago as new extensions because they were known to be popular in legacy domain terms.

Tip – Trends by Extension
Estibot Domain Trends allows you to do the search by extension, as well as the overall one I show above. The day I checked the .com and .net lists were pretty similar, but the .org was rather different with foundation being the lead term. So search for the extension you are considering.​

You can also use Estibot Domain Trends to search for trends in domain names that have recently expired. This is helpful for seeing the possible end of trends.

NamePros Discussions

Most trends are discussed here on NamePros before the general public is aware of the topic. Therefore one way to see what is in early stages of a trend is to browse the General Domain Discussion section of NamePros.

@alienbaba recently started a discussion called What’s The Next Big Hype?

In that discussion, @jhm mentioned a couple of really interesting sites. The site TrendWatching.com posted 21 Trends for 2021. On that list, topics range from the 15-minute city to autonomous robo-roaming.

In exchange for your email, you can download the 2022 Trend Report from trendhunter.com.

I would add the top 10 breakthrough technologies published each year by MIT TechnologyReview. The 10 Breakthrough Technologies 2021 list included hyper-accurate positioning and green hydrogen, among other topics.

@CraigD started an active NamePros discussion for science and technology news.

Final Thoughts

In addition to the tools mentioned here, are the various SEO analytics tools. That is a topic for its own post, however.

Recently @equity78 did an analysis of the exact match sales in ETH, NFT and meta. He also each month produces a look at keyword trends.

When investing in an emerging trend, one should not overlook general principles that are applicable to any type of domain investing, such as:
  • Quality over quantity
  • Focus on names with legitimate use possibilities
  • Invest in what you know
  • Even in early stages, research what has been selling
An earlier NamePros Blog article, Catching Trains and Avoiding Train Wrecks, discussed the general topic of trend domain name investing.

I encourage readers to add tools and techniques they use to help spot trends early on, and how they take advantage of trends. Does someone know why domain registrations in chats and brands are newly trending?
 
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The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.

jag81

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Great tips Bob! Another thing I do is setup Google alerts on emerging technologies such as NFT, Metaverse etc. Then for each new alert that comes in, I read those articles to look for any new keywords that seem to be talked about. It is interesting to see that many new trends start after a new keyword is coined in one of these articles written by influencers
 
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