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How I Evaluate GeoKeyword Domain Names

6

I own a fair amount of geographic keyword domain names. I don't know how many I have right now, but I would guess the number is around 30+/-. I have only sold a few of them in the last few years, but I want to share some thoughts I consider before purchasing them (typically in auction or hand registrations).

Most of the geographic keyword domain names I own have the following attributes:


  • .com

  • Medium to large US city

  • Keyword is relevant to city

  • The keyword industry is large enough that there are many prospective buyers

  • Solid keyword sales history


One of the more important aspects is the relevance to the city. Buying snow related domain names might be good for northeastern US cities, but they would not be good for Florida cities. This is probably common sense, but it is something that needs to be considered at the outset.

When evaluating domain names, (more…) → Read More


Domain Registrars Should Reset All EPP Codes

1

Andrew Allemann reported about changes that are coming to domain name transfers, and it is a bit concerning to me. You can read about the new, hopefully temporary transfer authorization process on Domain Name Wire, but this is the part that concerns me:

"In many cases, domain name registrars will not be able to get the registrant email address from Whois that is necessary to send a Form of Authorization when someone transfers a domain name to them. As a result, gaining registrars will be allowed to skip the Form of Authorization requirement." (emphasis added by me).

From what I understand, domain registrars are responsible for generating EPP authorization codes. Each registrar may have its own process for creating them and for updating them regularly or periodically. With the new transfer process coming into play, I think it is very important for domain registrars to reset all EPP authorization codes. If that would be a major inconvenience for customers who are in the middle of a domain transfer, perhaps the EPP codes could be → Read More


Domain Investing Ethics

4

About a year ago, I wrote an article about ethics in domain investing. That article primarily covered buying and/or registering names that could either be considered trademarks or infringing on a brand or personal brand. I want to expand on that today because I don't think it did a good enough job discussing ethics as it relates to my domain investing business.

As I mentioned before, I do my best to steer clear of obvious trademarks. I stick to buying generic / descriptive domain names that could be used by many different types of brands. I am sure there are some that one company or another would feel that they should have rights to own, but I can safely say that every domain name owned by my company is very defensible and defendable. In retrospect, domain investing ethics involve more than avoiding trademark or infringing domain names. In light of Sahar Sarid's arrest, I want to expand on the discussion of ethics in domain investing.

When I buy a domain name, I want to do my best to ensure its monetization will not go against → Read More


Using “inurl” Search to Find Prospects

7

I still occasionally do outbound marketing to sell some of my domain names. When I am having a slow month or made a big purchase and want to drive revenue, I might spend some time looking for buyers for domain names I own.

A Google search is probably the most effective way to find prospective buyers, and I want to share a more specialized search that can be helpful in finding buyers.

When you use Google and search "inurl:[keyword keyword]," the results that are returned all have the keyword(s) in their url. For example, if I wanted to sell DomainInvesting.com and decided good prospects would be those who have "domain investing" within their url, I could search Google with this search term "inurl:domain investing" and any website with "domain-investing" or "domaininvesting" would be returned.

The reason this may be helpful is that (more…) → Read More


LinkedIn Search Stats Can Help ID a Prospective Buyer

2

I was looking at LinkedIn this afternoon, and I realized their search stats tool can be invaluable in helping to identify a prospective buyer for a domain name. LinkedIn shows users the number of times their profile appeared in their search stats. It also shows "Where your searches work." This can help identify a prospective buyer.

Let's say you own Example.com. One day you look at LinkedIn and see that someone from a company called Example Capital found you in a LinkedIn search. Assuming your name is in the Whois record, it is very likely that the company was doing some due diligence to learn more about you in an attempt to buy the domain name.

I have found that larger companies tend to use brokers and/or brand protection companies to acquire domain names. This is done to stay stealthy. The point is to ensure the domain owner doesn't have any idea who is behind the inquiry. If the domain owner saw (more…) → Read More


Domain Appraisal Section Can be a Good Place to Find Domain Names

3

There are many people who own domain names that have no idea of what they could be worth. Some of these people may have bought a domain name on a whim while others bought a domain name for a project that didn't take off or didn't get started. The domain name appraisal section on forums like NamePros and previously DNForum are some of the most popular sections, and they could be a good place to find a domain name to buy.

When someone with a great domain name asks for an appraisal, it is because they either received an offer to buy their domain name or they are ready to sell it. By publicly posting their domain name in the appraisal section, they can get an idea of what domain investors believe the domain name is worth. I think some of these people also do it as a means of generating a bit of publicity for their domain name.

From my perspective, this can be a great buying opportunity. On occasion, I have seen a great domain name posted for sale in the appraisal forum, and I have reached out to try to strike a deal privately. If → Read More


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