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How, at first glance, to recognize a quality domain name?

Labeled as question in Domain Beginners started by Emil K., Apr 13, 2018.

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  1. Emil K.

    Emil K. Established Member

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    The eternal question, from the top title, I think deserves one more discussion.

    We, still inexperienced in this business, are often in a dilemma: do I buy this domain or not?

    Nice-looking domains that we encounter in our searches, in most cases, are worth nothing, or negligible, as it usually appears in the end of story. For example, for domains: LoftedBarnCabins.com, JewelrySroreChicago.com, PlumberReno.com, PizzaMesa.com, KentuckyBrewery.com, etc., none of the potential buyers, to whom I sent emails, was interested.

    Most experienced users claim that we can not rely on site-estimators (like Estibot), because they are machines with arbitrary criteria.

    When we ask about the quality of certain domains that we have purchased, they say that they are "crappy" domains, with no additional explanation.

    To be specific, I wonder: on the basis of which criteria to evaluate whether one of the domains, for example, from GD Closeouts, which is grammatically and spelling correctly, is eligible for purchase, and then for a lucrative resale?

    I am aware that it is impossible to answer this question in general, but I would like to hear the criteria that the more experienced members suggest tu purchase something or not.

    To be completely concrete, if I’m a plumber in Reno, I would have bought the PlumberReno.com domain without thinking, especially if I currently use something like that: BigBearPlumbingCompanyRenoNV.com. But potential buyers obviously do not think on that way.

    What is the formula for success?

    P.S. Please spare me from sarcastic and "witty" comments because it will not help me.
     
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  2. Nattydomain

    Nattydomain Reuse Domains VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Just by going from your example PlumbingReno does not sound correct. RenoPlumbing is better. When doing Geo domains a good rule of thumb is State/City first THEN Occupation. The reverse does not make sense unless it was like PlumbingInReno or PlumbersInReno but I would pass on Plumbingreno as well as it just does not make sense when spoken.
     
  3. karmaco

    karmaco Active Member VIP

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    Stick to one or two words if possible and do not buy reversed or awkward words as mentioned by @Nattydomain. It takes a long time and some trial and error.

    Mesa Pizza is a better choice than Pizza Mesa. This is a common error.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2018
  4. Joe Nichols

    Joe Nichols My name is Joe and I am Canadian! VIP

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    I think in a lot of cases we also need to look beyond the quality of the name itself and think about the industry and the specific needs of businesses in that industry.

    Most plumbers I know get business by referral, via word-of-mouth, and through existing industry contacts they already have from previous jobs/work. If I had to guess, I'd say that most plumbers put websites and domain names very very low on the priority list. Of course there will be exceptions to the rule, but even those people would be unlikely to spend more than low $XXX on a name.

    When evaluating a name, it's important to get out of the "domainer's bubble". Put yourself in the shoes of your potential buyers and really be honest with yourself in asking whether or not this particular domain name is valuable to you.
     
  5. karmaco

    karmaco Active Member VIP

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    One more thing you have to be dogged in this business and a fast learner. Slow down buying names and watch what sells. If your not sure don’t buy it.

    I believe anyone starting out will evolve greatly in the first year if they put the effort in as they learn what works, what does not and where they shine.

    If you are still at this a year from now you will cringe at some of your earliest acquisitions. I guarantee it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2018
  6. Dominium

    Dominium Active Member VIP

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    It was only until I started developing websites myself that I got a better understanding of the value of a domain. It put me in the shoes of buyers and changed my perspective to what they think is valuable about a domain.

    Metrics aside, what seems most important is the extent to which a buyer can imagine a business based on the domain name. Some buyers lack imagination and I see it as my job to persuade them to buy by showing them the possibilities of the business, not necessarily the name. This makes buyers think past the sale and consider the domain name in the wider context of a successful business which yields more sales.
     
  7. Kate

    Kate Domainosaurus Rex VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Gut feeling is very important. Domaining is more art than science.
    My basic rule is: would I put the domain on a business card and possibly advertise it nationwide ? It should be easy to spell and remember, not necessarily short as long as it's not prone to typos.
    I prefer names made up of two keywords, not three or four.

    I am certainly overlooking interesting domains, because they are not my niche and I do not readily perceive the value.
    For example I do not buy plumbing domains because:
    • I am not familiar with the profession, so what I think is a good name may be off the mark
    • I am not sure they are even willing to pay for a good domains (they are normally self-employed people or small biz). If I were in the profession my primary concern would probably be Adwords and make sure I feature prominently in the yellow pages
    So if I were a plumber and you contact me to sell me a domain name, the value proposition must be made clear to me, otherwise it's nice to have maybe, but it doesn't help my business. Plenty of end users have domain names that suck but they don't care because they rely on search engines to be found. They don't expect people to type in the domain names.
    Sure, if they were going to advertise their URLs then they would have to pay more attention to the domain name. But until then...

    Now if there is a name that has caught your eye, check if it's taken in other extensions, and how many variations are registered. If you have RenoPlumbing.com and there are 30 longer variations of the name registered in .com and other extensions this is an encouraging sign. It shows end user demand for the expression. Then check how many of those names are developed and not just inactive/parked for sale. It's possible 29 out of 30 names are registered by domainers :xf.grin: Conclusion: little end user demand.

    Also, if you do outbound and assuming you pass the antispam, people who have a possible interest in your domain are going to google you. What will they find (or not find) when they google your name ? Even if your model is outbound you should get unsolicited inquiries and offers from time to time.

    To sum up, I think we all need to find our own comfort zone.
    I am not saying you're wasting your time with plumbing domains (to take an example) but I think the reward is limited here. These people are probably going to pay $$$ at best.
    My target would be at least 4 figures and above. Then I would target different types of businesses, by this I mean larger corporations. Bottom line: demand for domain names varies from one industry to another.
     
  8. briguy

    briguy Guru In Remission! VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    "Srore".. Hope that was a typo...
    Another simple way is too think of searches..
    Reno plumber About 553,000 results
    https://www.google.ca/search?rlz=1C....0...1c.1.64.psy-ab..0.1.192....0.M8XeWci69nM


    Plumber Reno About 8,770,000 results
    https://www.google.ca/search?q=Plum.....69i57j0l5.5797j0j8&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

    Now a end user might be impressed with "8,770,000 results"
    but with less competition Reno plumber with "553,000 results" would be easier to rank for

    Personally,since I never know if I might develop a domain if not sold, I would go for the lesser search results..

    Just my thoughts
     
  9. DomainRecap

    DomainRecap Established Member

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    I was in the game back in the day when it was impossible not to make money, then got out, and over the past few years have been dipping my feet back in the water to feel out the current market.

    My strategy was simply to pick domains that I would enjoy owning whether they sold or not, like a collector, while sticking firm to a strict TLD range (singular word .COM, short .ORG and some premium ccTLDs), and while I haven't contemplated retirement yet, I have made money + renewals (with no outbound - no time yet), and I have a job, so all is well in the world.

    Through my life I have always done well by simply buying what I like, tempered with a lot of research and experience.
     
  10. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes formerly MetBob NameTalent VIP

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    A lot of wisdom in the replies on this thread!

    I would echo what has been said about getting outside the domainer's bubble. The important thing is whether someone who is not into domaining would value the name. When you have some possible names, poll a range of associates to see their reactions. I use Namebio so much, but I wonder if tools like that and being too much into finding drops is making us look backward rather than forward.

    Aesthetics are important, and some names are more elegant, but it is hard to express that in universal rules.

    I really like what was said about would you take pride in owning the name. For me that means it is sort of unique, positive, and feels either modern or distinctive.

    Just for fun I took a look at the top 20 sales for 2018 on Namebio so far and these are the some that pass the test for me;
    home.loans (describes exactly what they are about)
    dax.com (of the 3 letters near the top this is my favourite)
    inspection.com (nice use of a single word)
    star.org (simple short common word with org)
    edit.com (simple short common word, could apply to various businesses)
    music.ai (a word like music works even when in another extension)
    cryptoworld.com (know exactly well more or less what it is about)
    the.club (speaks of distinction)
     
  11. toughdomains

    toughdomains Upgraded Member Gold Account VIP

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    "What is the formula for success?"

    I personally have 2 strategies hand reg when I see the opportunity and expiring names....Im about 50/50 on sales and to answer the question there seems to be no rhyme or reason behind a sale.

    Like in art sales people buy what they like...like this sale of vaaben.com for 3k
    https://namebio.com/vaaben.com
    names I thought would would do well never got offers and names that I purchased on impulse sold.

    I would say here are some of the rules I follow
    1. correct order (bankloans.com not loanbanks.com)
    2. correct pluralization (bankloans.com not banksloan.com)
    3. correct spelling (bankloans.com vs bankloanz.com) however could work for brandables (lyft vs lift)
    4. short - no more than 2 words or no more than 12 characters
    5. double letters - like opennet.com not in all cases but in most it doesnt look good or make sense
    6. stay with king - ,orgs or eaiser to sell imo than .net but king is always best
    7. general vs too niche (general mass market names seem to sell faster eg dazedbeauty.com vs seattleconsulting.com too a narrow means it will apply to less and less sellers)
    8. instinct - cant explain this but when im shopping I have a list of all the names I want and maybe that list is 20 or 50 names and after you walk away and come back to the list the ones that just jump off the list are the ones you pull the trigger on...in a list of 20 maybe 4 jump off the page..
    9 trending - great thing about domains and why it will never die is there is always a flavor of the year. last two years 4 letters were the craze this year crypto names , fake news and anything trump is hot
    10 domain data - if i have the time Ill consider some associated data of the name including domain age, visits to domain, backlinks, alexa rank (some tools and market places provide some of this data but not all in one place)
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2018
  12. HotKey

    HotKey Made in Canada VIP

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    To recognize a quality name, a lot of it just comes down to whether you have an eye/talent for it right off the bat, or whether it will be an acquired skill through trial and error. If it's not something that comes naturally to you, be prepared for a lot of hard work.

    For me, I recognize a quality name because it shines. So, what makes it shine?

    • When the name consists of just one word, it passes the radio test. The radio test says that when the name is spoken, it can be easily passed to print form without the spelling coming into question. Avoid typos and doubling up on letters, as well as hyphens. If it's a made-up word, again, use the radio test.

    • More than one word? Make it grammatically correct. Use it in a sentence. Otherwise, you've got a cheap name that was simply hastily formed just for the sake of including whatever keywords you could muster together. This screams of desperation, and when you contact end-users with these types of names, you are merely adding to the spamming aggravation, and make it harder for other investors.

    • With any name, try sticking it in the url bar. See how it will look after you've removed the capitilizations. Everything looks great with each word beginning a capital letter on paper, but they don't resolve that way and gives you a good idea of the end result.

    • Email. Try typing your name with an email address, and see how it looks. When you type it out in full, does it look professional? Will it be taken seriously if that's the email clients will use for communications?

    • With multiple words in the name, avoid full stops. The name should just roll off the tongue, without being awkward to say or causing pause after each word.

    That being said, the examples you've shown for names I cannot see being used as a main site for the businesses. Perhaps a forwarding supplementary. They just don't reach out and "grab" you, which is what you need to grab a company's attention.

    But there is hope for the kinds of names that you have. Here's an example of one being used as a forwarder to the real site:

    Budget/Blinds/Victoria.com --> Budget/Blinds.com

    So you just never know..if you are looking for a formula it is likely you will develop your own. Keep it fluid when you are starting out, there might be more than one avenue for success.
     
  13. biggie

    biggie Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    if buying for outspam, first mistake is assuming the person you're going solicit, needs another domain name.

    if they already have one, and have customers who are familiar with it and use it in listings and brochures, then why would they change it?

    on other hand,
    if you're waiting for offers, then those who inquire have already decided to look for a domain name. so basically they only have to consider is pricing

    choosing the best names for either situation, takes a trained eye and some patience.

    a name that hasn't sold in a year or two, could very well be the right name for some one, eight years from now.

    imo....
     
  14. Emil K.

    Emil K. Established Member

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    Yes, it was a typo.
     
  15. Emil K.

    Emil K. Established Member

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    That's a logical question. But the fact is that many of them still buy additional domains from outbound sellers.

    This is the reason justifying this type of sale.

    The question is, to what extent are these additional domains really needed, and if so, how do they use them?
     
  16. Emil K.

    Emil K. Established Member

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    I am increasingly convinced that it is not worthwhile to buy a domain whose content is associated with a small businesses (pizzerias, bakeries, restaurants, craft shops ...). Such sites are more a matter of prestige of their owners (mostly self-employed people, as you wrote) than a way to improve the sale of goods (services).

    Unfortunately, I do not have too many choices on GD Closeouts garbage, and sometimes I buy what I do not consider too good.

    For more expensive domains I do not have enough money, for now. :xf.cool:

    I hope that this will soon change, thanks to, first of all, to you, experienced members of the NP, who wholeheartedly help us with your good advice. :!:

    Thanks Kate (y)
     
  17. DavidH

    DavidH Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    I have found that, by trying to stick to the niches I know, I am hopefully better at recognising value / potential demand in those sort of names because I have some understanding of the industry involved.

    My background is in maritime, so boat and ship related names have worked out well for me so far :)
     
  18. biggie

    biggie Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    I see your issue

    for one, using GD and searching thru closeouts.
    buying what, you, yourself....don't even consider as good domains
    and, you can't afford the more expensive domains, at the moment

    personally, I have never bought a gd closeout.

    but, maybe you have the "gotta buy" syndrome
    where you feel like if you don't buy, then you're gonna miss out of "something".
    you may also be getting caught up in bidding frenzies... where because there is "activity" on a name, one can "assume" it's value is more than current bid.

    when buying just to be buying, you may be spending dollars that could be used to purchase some names with more appeal.

    sometimes, you have to exercise restraint and just sit back and wait.

    :)

    imo......
     
  19. briguy

    briguy Guru In Remission! VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    i believe Warren Buffett calls it FOMO (fear of missing out)
    (controversial niche but here is his statement)
    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/heed-warren-buffetts-warning-bitcoin-is-pure-fomo-2017-12-26
     
  20. toughdomains

    toughdomains Upgraded Member Gold Account VIP

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    1 bitcoin is worth more than
    1 USD
    1 oz of gold or platnum
    1 share of amazon or google
    even if bitcoin dropped to 2000 usd it would still be worth more than the examples above.

    crypto just went though a total crash in April and hit rock bottom and bitcoin is still hovering around 7k usd...there is over 300 billion in marketcap for crypto...

    here is another billionaire who says bitcoin will be 250k
    https://cointelegraph.com/news/im-t...2-tim-draper-reveals-new-bitcoin-price-target

    for every negative article there is a positive one for crypto...2 billionaire opinions
     
  21. briguy

    briguy Guru In Remission! VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Exactly why I said it was a controversial article..some people are pro-crypto and others are not!

    I think your link is very bias...my link does talk about bitcoin...
    https://www.marketwatch.com/search?q=bitcoin&Link=MW_SearchAC

    Especially hard to take seriously when "Tim Draper" was quoted "Speaking at a Blockchain event"
     
  22. nomen

    nomen Active Member VIP

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    Not exactly sure what @Kate is trying to say with her slogan "Thinking inside the Box" but I think it's a great advice, rule of thumb, for domain acquisitions. K.I.S.S. would be too.

    Say you want to name a product/service. After checking the exact match domain I bet that 99% of the people try to first prefix it with easy, smart, pro, best, GEO etc. Then they try to suffix it with services, solutions, pro etc. That is, obvious, frequent words. Only after that they move to something else.

    And if they realize that just about everything is taken and decide to pay for a premium they AGAIN start checking the most obvious ones first.

    Try to buy those obvious names. Because everybody wants them. Think inside the box. Because end users will.

    Exception to this 'rule' would be highly competed niches, e.g. finance, health, education etc. Because absolutely everything is taken, and probably priced high, a lesser domain could be of demand, too.

    So. Look for easy-to-spell, easy-to-remember, balanced, obvious. Look for simplicity. Easier said than done, I know. Especially if you're not into paying a fortune.
     
  23. briguy

    briguy Guru In Remission! VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    or even GEO, Adjective/adverd, Niche... example NewYorkBestElectrical

    Also great point/strategy...appeal to the end user's ego ...
     
  24. newbie101

    newbie101 New Member

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    Those were some very good tips.

    Thank you everyone.
     
  25. ro5hit

    ro5hit NameZeal.com VIP

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    Thanks, everyone for their valuable insights
     

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