Domaining Pet Peeves

I have two domaining pet peeves. Actually, I probably have a bunch more, but there are two that I see more often than others.

I get annoyed when I see people trying to sell domain names for exorbitant prices simply because they are similar to a domain name that sold for big bucks. Just because Rick sold for $3 million doesn’t mean that the domain name is worth anything. It’s especially silly to see on a domain forum because it either means the seller doesn’t know much about domain names or thinks at least one other person is dumb enough to buy it at that price. 🙂

There are great names that are “similar” to, such as,, or even, but those are great because they are well searched keywords. Just because a name may be similar in appearance doesn’t mean its worth anything close to the original domain that sold – or worth anything at all for that matter. The key to domain value is that it means something and can/should be used commercially.

My other pet peeve is when I see someone referencing Google results without quotes – or part of a Google search when the quoted term makes no sense. In the first case, Google returns every page that has those words on them, but not necessarily in that order. For example, wicked cool bank returns 106,000 results, but the quoted term yields just 2 results.

In the second case, it references part of a term but not the entire term. For example, quoting “York Stock Exchange” and its 6,190,000 results is stupid because people would generally search for “New York Stock Exchange” or “Stock Exchange” rather than “York Stock Exchange.” In my opinion, a name like, despite its 6m+ results in Google for the keyword, is worth nothing.

What are your pet peeves – (other than domain blogs where the writer complains about pet peeves!)?

BTW – I am away right now, so comments will be moderated when I get an opportunity.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. My biggest pet peeve is when competitors in the local marketplace quote “hits” as “unique visitors”…and the potential advertiser believes it. Imagine my surprise one day to learn that a small local monthly magazine in Scottsdale received “10 million visitors last month”…

  2. Hey Elliot,

    You just confirmed why I don’t spend a great deal of time in domain forums. 95% of people in them are fools.

    Most of them are no better than the “Snake Oil Salespeople” of old. Trying to flog their crap domains to all the other suckers in the forums.

    Common sense seems to be in very short supply.

    The few points that you made are ones that I come across ALL of the time and amazes me that it still goes on!

    By the way I have a domain name that I am trying to sell.

    It is a Premium

    BIN Price US$15,000 Any Takers???



  3. My pet peeve is the canned responses that Sedo enable bidders to choose from as a reply to counter-offers.

    When someone comes in with a lowball offer for a reasonably good name and you counter offer back at a higher price, they always choose the canned response that says:

    “Please justify your asking price”

    This makes me wild every time because they should be justifying why they offered me peanuts for a perfectly good and valuable keyword name.

  4. Major Pet Peeve:

    Forum and blog posters, domain industry startups or companies, that express opinions and discuss their competitors, but don’t identify themselves at any point of their comments, nor on their websites.

    The domain industry is evolving forward to mainstream business because it HAS to. We aren’t “blackhat” secretive people sitting in our underwear fighting for name drops anymore. Those days are over. We are professionals utilizing our knowledge and investments to educate endusers on the value of a generic descriptive domain name. We aren’t gamers using “handles” for our anonymity because we’re frightened of coming out of our dark caves and revealing who we are. If you use a company name, then make sure your company features your name in the “ABOUT” section of your website. If not, then why should we listen to you?

    If you post, just use your real name, so anyone can assess your experience and know who they are reading about.

    Our industry needs to jump forward, and do it fast. We don’t have time anymore for old timers too nervous to lose the hermit cap. If you are offering services to newcomers, then let those customers know who is behind your website. Who are you?

    That’s one of my main pet peeves and I hope it changes fast. We’ll know quickly who is legit by how fast the “anonymous” posters start identifying who they are, and why we should listen to them.

    Geez El-Silver, this is a great angle for discussion… domaining pet peeves. Good article, and I hope a lot of domainers participate in providing their answers.

    cheers broey

  5. my peeve is when people don’t optimize their site and then express disapproval regarding search results and affiliate revenue.

    And the “just like this site” design agenda. Copying someone else’s website raerly makes millions. but people keep doing it.

  6. I’d probably agree with most of the above as being pretty big peeves, but let’s be original – my pet peeve is the “brick wall across the motorway/highway” syndrome that seems to invade all too many forum discussions as soon as the conversation swings even gently towards the possibility of DEVELOPING a domain name.

    And no – and I guess this is the real pet peeve buried in the superficial one – mini-sites are NOT development, they’re a sleight-of-hand trick to fool Google and the other search engines some of the time.

    Real development takes real effort, real work, real money – I mean producing a “destination” site filled with original content that’s relevant, informative, non-spammy, or an ecommerce store packed with interesting products (not just an Amazon feed) or a new-and-different online tool, or one of a hundred other ways to move away from the blah of slapping up a 5-page template bandaid against parking revenue losses.

  7. I’d agree wit most of your points covered in this post. Hell why woul dit make worth even a reg fee?? just cuz sold for 3 mil?? you’re effin insane for thinking that lol

  8. Elliott,

    It’s too simple to say that googling a domain name of 2 words, or maybe more, then quoting the google hits is so misleading, especially if the words are related keywords. And, depending on their nature, maybe even when the words are not naturally related.

    Assume for a moment that either or YorkStockExchange is worth anything. The former is a better name. Why? Because York is a town in Yorkshire, England, where there is no stock exchange, and–at least off the top of my head–I cannot see how content could be written to make such a website ring true.

    Whereas is still generic, hence honest website content could be written to make the site come up in a search for the single keyword Banks, and the site could be used any number of ways, including being pointed to a single branded bank.

    And, as it turns out, googling the single word Banks yields at this moment about 203,000,000 results, whereas googling without quotes Wicked Cool Banks yields only 1,250,000 results. So the phrase actually restricts results on its own to nearly half, even without quotes.

    To complicate matters even more:

    There is a domain that not so long ago sold for $4.5M; it is It came with a primitive games website headlined, “Burn your boredom.”

    That domain didn’t sell only on searches for the keyword Bored, but also on searches for the keyword Games, because the website came up on SE searches for Games, too, even mostly.

    And the buyer–who approached the original domain owner–saw the potential in that concept and how easily the market could be swelled with just a wee bit of advertising.

    How would you have evaluated the domain name, based on google keyword hits? Honestly, you couldn’t have ignored the keyword Games in valuing this domain, even though in the thesaurus the two words are unconnected.

    I guess this gets into Edwin Hayward’s point above about the potential value of discussion on ways to develop domain names.

    A final note: how many folks quote their SE search terms? Not yours truly, at least certainly not at first. I rarely want to restrict my search so narrowly right off the bat.


    PS Don’t you wish you’d thought of the concept, Burn your boredom! I do. Hats off to you, Eric Borgos, for that one. To read the story of Eric’s sale of go to, entry April 15, 2009.

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