A great post on Sahar’s Blog this morning comparing the opportunity in Fort Lauderdale real estate to the opportunity in domain names.
“One of the interesting facts I picked up on is the land on Millionaire’s row (which now is being refered to as “Billionaire’s row” due to cheaper money) was given away for free back in the 20’s. The first thought of course is how people overlooked this great opportunity back then? Then the second thought took me back to 1994, when Network Solutions was still giving away any domain you wanted for free, if you just asked for it. Can you imagine? You could have picked up million dollar names only 13 years ago, as many as you wanted (could have structured within different companies at ease) as long as you asked for it.”— Source: The Conceptualist
Internet entrepreneur Sai Pola’s DuckEggs.com offers the perfect reason why people should buy generic domain names. People who navigate to a specific site like DuckEggs.com have one thing in mind when they arrive – to purchase duck eggs. Using partnerships with farmers whose ducks produce some of the finest quality eggs, Sai’s website allows users to get exactly what they want.According to the article,
“The right domain name conveys credibility, is memorable and can deliver potential customers directly to an ecommerce website without the site owner spending a penny for advertising. The best domain names are comprised of the generic name of the product or service being offered.” –Source: Press Release via Forbes
DuckEggs.com is a perfect example of a specific generic domain name giving direct navigators the product they want, building loyalty and revenue.
I just found a couple decent names that were unregistered. I was able to register HMOCompanies.com and HMOCompany.com. Although there aren’t a ton of Google listings for these two names, there are advertisers on the top and side of Google. With some decent SEO, these names can possibly produce some valuable clicks.
Moral of the story: There are still good GENERIC domain names to be found out there without having to turn to the aftermarket. Keep on searching. Landing a decent new registration feels almost as good as reeling in a great one-worder in the aftermarket – with less financial risk.
Owners of generic domain names know the value of direct navigation traffic, but a quick review of some popular websites leads me to believe they aren’t considering subdirectory direct navigation on their websites. Briefly, a subdirectory is the word or phrase that follows a backslash after the extension on a domain name. In the following example, Boston.com/RedSox, “RedSox” would be the subdirectory.
I frequently navigate to a subdirectory hoping to avoid the front page. In my Red Sox example, I often directly navigate to the Boston Globe’s Red Sox page to save time. If I do this on the Globe’s website, I am sure there are other people who do the same thing on other websites. Oftentimes, a 404 Error page is displayed when directly navigating to subdirectories, proving that many website owners aren’t considering this type-in traffic. Below are a few examples of websites that take subdirectory traffic into consideration:
However, there are plenty of ecommerce websites that don’t take this into consideration, possibly to their detriment. BestBuy.com/Speakers (404 Error) CircuitCity.com/Speakers (The page requested was not found)
Ebay.com/Speakers (Page Not Found)
Just as some people directly navigate to specific domain names, I believe there are some people who directly navigate to the subdirectories. Although these browsers may not leave the website if they encounter a 404 error page, I think it would be an easy fix to give browsers what they are looking for if they do directly navigate to a subdirectory. It seems that many news websites anticipate this direct navigation, so I think ecommerce websites should consider this traffic as well.
As Frank Schilling pointed out yesterday afternoon, the Swim.com auction netted $214,500. By clicking on the bidder ID of the winner, everyone could see that the email address was none other than the owner of ClubSwim.com, Avi Benaroya. Some quick research shows that Avi also is the owner of other swimming related domain names such as SwimOutlet.com, Swimmer.com, SwimLessons.com, SwimmingInstructor(s).com, and many more. With his purchase of Swim.com, it shows that Avi and his company get it! They know the most valuable domain name in their category is Swim.com. They fought off other bidders, and they won the crown jewel domain name. Very impressive.
There is much more that goes into determining the value of a domain name than a simple revenue multiple or traffic report. The value of a domain name lies in the name itself. The reason we have domain names is because the IP address system would be too complicated for consumers to remember. It’s much easier to remember ElliotsBlog.com than a string of ten random numbers. Because we use domain names as memory recall devices, the most descriptive, and easiest to remember domain names are best.
When I look to buy a domain name, the most important thing I evaluate is whether I believe a business can be built on that particular name. It doesn;t matter if it is a service or product based company, when a person hears a domain name, they should know what they will find when they navigate there. Nearly all of the domain names I purchase have this attribute, and I think it is important for domain investors to consider this when they are buying their next domain name.
Traffic and currrent/expected revenue are important, but the actual name is the most important valuation factor for me.