5 Factors I Consider When Acquiring a Domain Name

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There are many considerations that I make before acquiring a domain name. Most of my domain purchases these days are either via auction or private acquisitions. For this article, I want to focus on my private acquisitions.

I think it’s probably easiest to cover some of the main things I consider in bullet points with an explanation about why I believe these factors are important, and I’ll allow you to ask questions if you’d like. You are also welcome to share some of the factors you consider when  acquiring  domain names.

Factors I consider when acquiring a domain name in private:

  • How the domain name was previously used. A domain name’s history is important for a few reasons. I wouldn’t want to build on a domain name that had a website that was flagged by others for fraud or a scam. When people search for the domain name in Google, a fraud or scam report would be harmful to the new brand, even if the website was completely different.
  • The type of landing page was used. If I am looking to buy a domain name for re-sale purposes, I am most interested in buying a name that wasn’t previously listed for sale. In addition, I would prefer to buy a domain name that didn’t have a “for sale” notice or any type of information alluding to it being for sale. If nobody else knew it was for sale, it will be easier to sell a name that hasn’t been pitched before.
  • Other extensions that are registered and/or developed. The more extensions in this keyword that are registered, the better. This means there are more potential buyers as others found these keywords valuable, and the .com trumps all others. In addition, other developed extensions mean that there will inevitably be traffic to the .com and probably a company that wants to upgrade to the .com.
  • Domain age.   Although this might not be all that important for search engine rankings for a developed website, a domain name that has been registered for many years indicates that the keyword has been valuable for a long period of time. I also look to see how long other TLDs have been registered, as older names in alternative TLDs is a good indicator of value in the .com.
  • Number of developed .com names with the keyword or keyword string. If there are a number of end users that operate websites using the exact keyword or keyword string, it’s likely there will be interested buyers who want to upgrade. As an example, if NationwideHVAC.com services the entire country, they might want to upgrade to HVAC.com. It would be super expensive of course, but an exact match domain name like this could benefit a company immensely.

What are some of the factors you consider when making your acquisitions?

12 COMMENTS

  1. These are what I consider:

    1. Plural and singular term
    2. Searches on Google (exact searches)
    3. Who would be interested in purchasing this domain name.
    4. How many advertisers for the term.

    • Joe,

      Ive always felt that each domain name is unique and cant really be compared. I think comparisons would work for generic descriptive names like doggroomer or dogtrainer but not for a brandable name like iReport or uShip. I could be wrong so I would love to hear your thoughts on the matter

    • If a keyword is valuable, you will always have a list of related sale. Typically, the more valuable a keyword/niche is, the more past sales you have.

  2. Your 5 Factors are so clear, and Iam sure those domain names pass 5 steps that you mention here are must be good domain names.

    For me at the first I research about the keywords of domains and then see the history of it on the internet at GOOGLE dot Com…

    Answer the questions : is this domain good for domain parking ? Can I start a blog or website with this domain?…

  3. Potential future value as in new technologies, emerging markets, et. Can I develop a site on it? If I do is there a good monetization method available? Who would I be competing with for market share if so?

    • Not always easy to do when buying names at auction. Many sellers are also reluctant to provide that info (or don’t have it if the domain name is on a Godaddy lander or Network Solutions under construction page).

    • IMO nowadays direct navigation as a factor has lost significance as, for the most part, only pertains to (super)premium .com’s. I agree with Elliot, sellers are often reluctant to provide that info and that’s because most domains for sale are not premium (despite what many owners might say) and they have little or no direct traffic.

  4. Elliot…I do a fair bit of reading and following in the space. Can’t help these days but think, even with your excellent points and those from other readers…that it’s more”cool” to be buying names as opposed to being practical.

    I saw one not too insignificant domainer propose a domaining business model with a blend of parking and name sales some months ago.

    Have been trying to relocate the site and post without luck but something tells me the model is just wishful thinking at this point.

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