Analysis: What Are Illness / Outbreak Domain Names Worth?

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Whenever there is some sort of global health scare or illness outbreak that is reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), it seems that a lot of corresponding domain names are registered. Some are probably registered by entities offering information about the illness, while others are registered by speculators who believe these domain names may become worth something in the short term or possibly long term.

Instead of just saying “LOL, you’re wasting your money” to people who register domain names with the name of the latest virus or illness in them, I thought I would use NameBio to see what the public sales data looks like for illness related domain names. Past performance doesn’t always indicate future value, but I think seeing the number of public sales – and their prices – might be worth looking at if people are considering registering domain names like these.

Because a name like SARS is a fairly commonly used set of letters, I did not include domain name sales like cesars.com, which is obviously unrelated. I did a search for “Virus” and while there are many domain name sales with Virus in them (such as the $142,000 sale of Virus.com), most of those domain names appear to be related to Internet virus topics.

Here’s what I found:

SARS:

  • SARSWatch.org – $155

Ebola:

  • Ebola.com – reportedly over $200k but likely amounted to far less since much of the value was in stock. This sale is not listed in NameBio.
  • Ebola.org – $16,000
  • Ebola.net – $160
  • EbolaNews.com – $107
  • EbolaProtection.com – $102

Bird Flu:

  • BirdFlu.com – $19,875
  • BirdFluToday.com – $190
  • BirdFluFacts.com – $160
  • BirdFlu.info – $100

Avian Flu:

  • AvianFlu.com – $4,995
  • AvianFlu.biz – $1,250

H1N1:

  • H1N1.co.uk – $4,225
  • H1N1Symptoms.com – $2,500
  • H1N1.co.uk – $2,500

Swine Flu:

  • SwineFluVaccine.com – $144

ZIKA:

  • Zika.org – $3,000

Measles

  • StopMeaslesRubella.org – $106

Influenza

  • DogInfluenza.com- $6,000
  • StopInfluenza.com – $3,588
  • InfluenzaTreatment.com – $341
  • FacesOfInfluenza.org – $275
  • PandemicInfluenza.com – $160
  • UN-Influenza.org – $108

Yellow Fever

  • YellowFever.net – $2,177
  • YellowFever.com – $1,173

Plague

  • Plagues.com – $800
  • PenumbraBlackPlague.com – $611
  • BlackPlague.com – $515
  • PneumonicPlague.com – $126

There are quite a few WHO health emergencies involving diseases like Dengue, Lassa Fever, H7N9, Cholera, and other diseases, but I did not include those because I don’t really think they reached the level of worldwide news coverage and awareness as the others. My gut says the domain name sales results would be even lower. I checked a couple of those and there were no publicly reported domain name sales.

I don’t really care what other people spend their money buying, but based on public sales data I found on NameBio, it doesn’t really seem like most virus outbreak domain names sell for very much money.

7 COMMENTS

  1. I became interested in disease names in 2005 after I saw BirdFlu.com on auction at Afternic and read about the potential of the disease to cause a worldwide pandemic along the lines of the 1918 pandemic or worse. I then took BirdFlu.com at the BIN of $19,875, even though the bidding was only at about $10,000. I subsequently turned down a $40,000 offer a year or two later and it’s interesting that AvianFlu.com reportedly sold for $4,995 in 2012 because I offered $50,000 in 2007 and was turned down.

    Ebola.com sold for $50,000 in cash and $150,000 in stock. By the time we could sell the stock, after six months, it was only worth one-sixth or one-seventh of the $150,000, but the stock jumped back up a year or two later to where it had been, only to fall again to where it is now, which is about one-third of what we sold for.

    The 2009 pandemic received a lot of press but it was fortunately a very mild virus so we didn’t have a 1918-like situation, as is a distinct possibility with the current virus. When there is a serious pandemic – which at least most experts say is not a matter of if but of when – the relevant domain name(s) will receive a huge amount of type-in traffic (assuming the Internet is still up) and thus be worth a very large amount.

    • Please do not post domain names for sale here. This is not a marketplace, and I don’t really care what domain names anyone owns.

      I also don’t think anyone wants me to start telling them what I think their domain names are worth 😉

  2. interesting that the internet may have more viruses than humans based on use.

    Thanks, an interesting look at results of
    media niche headline speculation.

    Cheers

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