# of Registered Extensions Can be Deceiving

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When I am buying a domain name, one of the attributes I look at is the number of domain names registered with the same keyword in different extensions. This can be helpful to determine the amount of usage a particular keyword or keyphrase has. My thinking is that if a keyword or phrase is used by many different businesses and organizations:

  • The value of the matching .com is higher because the demand may be higher.
  • There is a greater chance the domain name would be considered generic or descriptive because of the wide usage (not a legal opinion).

This thinking may be a bit deceptive though, and I try to drill down further when I am buying a domain name, especially at auction.

This morning, I was doing some research before bidding on a domain name in auction at GoDaddy. I noticed that the two word .com domain name had been registered for quite some time. It was not a bang-on exact match term for a well-used phrase, but it was close enough that it was worth looking at as a flyer.

A Whois search revealed a bit of good intel – four other extensions were registered. I drilled down a bit further, and I noticed the .net, .org, and .info domain names were all registered to the same registrant. This is fine, but it meant that there weren’t three other entities using the same term in their domain names, which would have been more appealing. It appears that the .com was registered by a different entity prior to expiry. The domain name was generic enough, but the usage wasn’t as widespread as it would have seemed from a cursory look.

At the point of sale, many domain registrars encourage registrants to register a variety of extensions to “protect” their brand. Some offer sale prices to register a wider swath of them. When evaluating the number of registered domain names in the same keyword or keyphrase, the number of registered domain names may be deceptive. It is important for me to drill down to make sure it isn’t one entity that has registered the whole swath of domain names. If they did, it may end up proving the opposite in that the domain name is not generic since one entity owns all of the other extensions when I may have assumed the opposite was true by simply looking at the # of registered extensions rather than drilling down.

2 COMMENTS

  1. “It is important for me to drill down to make sure it isn’t one entity that has registered the whole swath of domain names. …..”

    “…not a bang-on exact match term for a well-used phrase,…”

    Exactly…especially if the name/phrase is “weird” or not well known or spelled funny.

    Great advice in your article on many levels.

  2. Then there are domain investors that are trying to sell a .com domain in auction, that recently registered the same domain in legacy domain extensions .net .org .info, trying to trick someone into buying their .com domain.

    Happens more than you think.

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