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Make Sure Your Domains Make Sense


Today, I saw a domain name on a drop list that had two strong keywords, and I almost bought it.   I did a bit of research, and I immediately realized why it hadn’t been renewed by the owner – it didn’t make sense as a domain name.   Calcutta is one of the largest cities in India, and there are millions of people in the world who practice law.   However, in India, I don’t believe these people are called lawyers.   Therefore,, which has under 60 results in Google for “calcutta lawyer” would not make sense as a domain name.

On occasion, I will see a well priced domain name that has a couple of strong keywords, and I have to do a bit of research to see why it’s priced so cheaply. Usually it’s because it doesn’t make much sense as a domain name. Would you want to own   I think not!

When you come across a domain name that looks interesting, check out the number of results there are in Google for the quoted term.   You should also check the number of searches that are performed for that keyword.   While there are plenty of gem domain names that can still be found every day, there are plenty of worthless ones as well.   Knowing what’s worth something and what’s not will end up saving you a lot of money!

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 sold seven figures worth of domain names in the last five years. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest.

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Comments (24)

    Leonard Britt

    Good advice in general but we still see plenty of domains sell for $XXX to low $XXXX which don’t seem to merit those prices based on search frequency or number of Google pages. In the end, finding the ideal buyer is key.

    January 24th, 2009 at 12:12 pm


    Thanks for the insights! I guess I have a general question for you or the board, or both. What amount of keyword searches/month passes your ‘threshhold’ for being considered a worthy commercial domain name?

    January 24th, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    Will Castillo

    Oh, sad to read your post… I own LawyerJobs dot in 🙂

    January 24th, 2009 at 1:28 pm


    Hi Elliot,

    Please disregard the previous post. I found your ‘answer’ by reading some of the other posts you have made in the past on this blog. Thank you for providing this valuable resource to us newbies. Very appreciated.

    January 24th, 2009 at 1:54 pm


    I think you’ve hit on a couple of good points here, Elliot – firstly about checking that what originally sounds like a perfect keyword term is actually searched for! I’ve made this mistake a few times in the past when looking at expiring domains and I now check almost all of them in the Google Adwords Keyword tool (inceidentally, what would you consider a decent search volume – I often see people talking about 1,000 exact per month?)

    Secondly, you’ve touched on the different uses of English around the world and your example is a good one, both in terms of the word ‘lawyer’ – I think in India the official term is ‘advocate’, but also (and I’m no expert here!) the use of ‘Calcutta’ which is the anglicised and old name of what is now Kolkata. So, like you say, what originally sounds like a fantastic domain, unravels when you look at it further. Research, research, research…!!

    January 24th, 2009 at 2:42 pm

      Elliot Silver

      It really depends on the topic and the information I can add to the topic – and of course the price When you buy longer tail keywords, the PPC and my intentions with the domain will drive the purchase. If I am going to park it and it’s not searched more than a few hundred times a month, I doubt there will be traffic and the name will just sit there until someone tries to buy it or I develop it. If I plan to develop it, I may register a name for a term that gets a few hundred searches a month. It really depends on a multitude of factors.

      January 24th, 2009 at 3:20 pm


    I would like to echo Martin’s question…what do you consider the threshold search volume for a quality name? Thanks!

    January 24th, 2009 at 2:58 pm


    Good post.

    I understand there is SOME skiing in Hawaii at one of the taller mountains located on a remote island. For a few, it could be a money-maker.

    However, your point is well made.

    January 24th, 2009 at 3:15 pm

      Elliot Silver

      LOL… okay, 🙂

      January 24th, 2009 at 3:19 pm


    I love posts like this. I don’t know why more don’t share this kind of thought process. Domains are unique items, intrinsically protected by their own words.

    By the way, did you know the entire phrase with one quote on the left side of the expression yields the same result set as the entire phrase quoted? Kind of a useless bit of trivia, but I thought it cool.

    January 24th, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    Tim Davids

    I went Ice-fishing once…right before I got the ice in the boat it slipped off the hook…

    January 24th, 2009 at 7:41 pm


    Very good blog. I look forward to reading more from you. Your blog has great insight.

    January 24th, 2009 at 9:59 pm


    Except a company in the US planning business in India may very well search with those keywords as good someone just doing research about law or lawyers.

    January 25th, 2009 at 6:59 am

    Rob Sequin 🙂


    This is a website.

    There is skiing in Hawaii and is available for a hand reg.

    January 25th, 2009 at 9:56 am



    Lawyer in India is called: Lawyer, Attorney, and Advocate.

    Also Calcutta has been re-named to: Kolkata

    May be that’s the reason for drop…..

    January 25th, 2009 at 11:23 am

    David O.

    Mr. Silver,

    Re:When you come across a domain name that looks interesting, check out the number of results there are in Google for the quoted term. You should also check the number of searches that are performed for that keyword.

    I am new to domaining and I find this sort of article/blog really helpful.
    Concerning your above statement, what tool/products do you use to ascertain the required information?

    Thanks for the time

    January 25th, 2009 at 6:55 pm

    Conor Neu

    Hawaii Skiing is great. You can surf and ski in the same day. Only a few days a year that you can do so, but very cool, nonetheless. Not enough interest to support that domain, however.

    January 25th, 2009 at 9:47 pm


    Great info here guys..
    but hot us new guys, what tools do you use to find out the Amount of searches for a given word or phrase?

    January 25th, 2009 at 11:34 pm


    or perhaps ??

    January 26th, 2009 at 11:29 am


    David, Google’s keyword tool is here:

    Then balance the results against the SERPs to get a feel for the keyword.

    There’s a *lot* more to the process of evaluation but that’s a good starting point.

    January 26th, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    Charles Lee

    You have a great blog on domain name. I find it useful

    January 26th, 2009 at 9:01 pm


    what about domains like bing, google, yelp, tumblr? can you explain

    July 5th, 2013 at 4:44 am

      Elliot Silver

      If you either have a product that people are clamoring to buy or use hand over fist, or if you have tens of millions of dollars to spend on marketing, name your company whatever you want. If you’re like most businesses that are a retailer, another company in a competitive market, or some other form of SMB, it might be beneficial to have a descriptive .com domain name that makes you look like the authority and may have SEO advantages.

      July 5th, 2013 at 8:49 am

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