Domain Names are big business. Very big business. Just to put this into context, according to an article published on DN Journal; The Domain Industry News Magazine, between Monday 9th and Sunday 15th March 2020, sales of two domain names fetched over US$1million. Yes, you read right. In fact, to be more precise, US$1,029,940. This was for domains OA.com and 151.com which sold for US$614,940 and US$415,000 on Sedo and DomainBooth respectively. So what exactly makes these domains fetch so high a price? In this article, we shall share tips on what you should look out for when it comes to finding gold at domain name auctions.
Good domain names become more valuable with age. This is one aspect you should always look out for and, it is also a helpful indicator of why a domain name might be priced so highly. An older domain is more likely to have already been indexed by search engines such as Google, Yahoo or Bing, these being the major ones. Indexing is a helpful attribute for further development or resale; you won’t have to work so hard for the search engines to pick up new articles or posts on your purchase. Anyone who intends to buy it from you will look out for the age and make an offer based on how recently your domain was registered and so it is important that you pay attention to the same.
One way to quickly find out the age of a domain name is by using the ICANN; Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, Domain Name Registration Data Lookup page. This is a free resource and it should provide you with valuable information like the domain names; date of creation and registry expiry as well as the current Registrar (Owner).
Backlinks are an important indicator of how wanted or attractive or relevant the information the domain name on sale currently offers. In other words, they are the mark of a high quality content. The higher the number of backlinks, the better for you as a buyer. This is because search engines will rank websites with more backlinks higher, and as such, your new acquisition will always be on top of the search results if it has more backlinks than its competitors.
The next step would then be how to check for the number of backlinks a domain name has. Fortunately, at the time of writing this article, there was a free resource ExpiredDomains.net. I would advise that you sign up for a free account so as to access more options with the search filter. Once you log in to the Member area using your free account, you can then enter the domain name without the extension and look out of the BL column. By clicking on this column, you can sort your search results by the number of backlinks.
This is another important aspect that ought not to be ignored. Domain names with a high number of visitors are good for business. This is equivalent having a brick and mortar shop with a high number of walk-ins; the more the merrier. Websites with a high number of visitors are also likely to sell more products and if they are parked or being used as a landing page, very likely to generate you a good amount of Pay-per-click (PPC) revenue.
For example, using results from Google AdSense, the Insurance niche was determined to be the most profitable in the US, UK, Australia and Canada for 2020. According to an article published on SEMrush in November 2019 about Top Paying AdSense Keywords and Best Adsense Niches for 2020, Insurance topped all other niches with an average Cost-per-click (CPC) of $17.55, $6.86, $8.39 and $3.57 for the US, UK, Australia and Canada respectively.
So it is important that you choose look out for a domain name that has a high amount of traffic as you scan the auctions. One free resource that you can use to check traffic is ExpiredDomains.net. You can then click on the Alexa column to sort the results by traffic; the higher the figure, the better. Other tools you may use to check out potential traffic by niche is Wealthy Affiliate’s Jaaxy Keyword Tool or SEMrush’s Keyword Magic Tool. Both options will require you to sign up.
Number of Characters
Domain names ought to be short and memorable in order to stand out. Therefore, the fewer the characters in the domain name for sale, the better. That’s the general rule of the game although, this doesn’t imply that domain names with more characters haven’t in the past fetched a good price. According to NameBio.com, HealthInsurance.com, a fifteen-character domain name sold for a record high $8,133,000. The all-time sales record however belongs to Voice.com that sold for a record $30,000,000 on 30th May 2019. So I guess you can spot the trend.
What happens when you can’t compete?
Auctions can be competitive and depending on how popular the domain name being auctioned is, the price could quickly climb way above your budget. The next best thing is to look out for alternative top-level domains (TLDs) that can meet the four-letter priority. These could be Country Code (CC) TLDs or any other.
For example, at the time of publishing this article, Sedo’s auction of four-letter domain names had less than 24 hours to close. The top five slots belonged to avvv.com, umgo.com, rniy.com, mgct.com and zyyt.com going for 750 EUR ($820), 510 EUR ($558), 309 EUR ($338), 301 EUR ($329) and 280 EUR ($306) respectively.
However, using Wealthy Affiliate’s Site Domains Platform, you can purchase .global extensions of all the above domain names for $62.99. You can also purchase .io extensions of all above mentioned domain names apart from umgo (which is already taken) for $44.99 on the same Platform.
It all comes down to innovation
I hope that with the few and by no means exhaustive tips shared above, you will be able to find that domain of choice on your preferred auction platform. And in the event that your preferred domain name is above budget, try using a different TLD or even CCTLD. However, it is important to do your research with each variation. Always try to estimate how much your purchase would fetch by going to NameBio.com or any other free resources and entering the same characters or keyword in the search bar. For example entering “wedding” as a keyword brings domain names as expensive as $50,000, the cheapest being $100. That should give you an idea of the value of domain name you are purchasing at the auction.
In the event that your desired domain name is already taken, a popular alternative is to combine the keyword of your unavailable or overly priced domain with a location. Using NameBio.com as our case study once again, we see that whereas phoenixweddings.com is already taken and selling for $1,125 greshamweddings.com was available for $13.99 on
Wealthy Affiliate’s Site Domains Platform at the time of writing this article. Gresham is a city with a population of about 110,000 in Oregon.
I hope that with the above pointers you are better positioned to secure great deals at domain name auctions. Please feel free to drop me a comment in the section below. I look forward to receiving your feedback. Keep innovating and keep shining.