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Domain Name Value; they do have a value but it’s hard to define

By Charles L Harmon

Many people probably don’t know the importance of a domain name or domain name value if they have one. If one has a website the domain name can sometimes make the difference of a website being successful, or a failure in the most extreme case. It is always helpful and sometimes very important to have a domain name that closely corresponds to what your website is about. Google and the other search engines like this. But there’s a bit of caution you should think about. That’s making your domain name an exact phrase people might type into a search engines search box. Google seemingly has recently either penalized such names or relegated them further back in search results. You have to do your own research on this as some gurus still preach about the merits of an exact match domain. – a site with a short search phrase domain name or sometimes called an EMD or exact match domain.

There seems to be little consensus on this, so be careful and don’t get carried away with a long domain name that’s an exact search phrase. A real example of a website with a short search engine phrase is my Wish Good Luck site which got penalized in one of the latest Google algorithm updates in 2012.

In almost all cases when you consider a domain name you should only consider .com domain names. If you live in countries outside the United States, then the near equivalent type might be domains with the country prefix such as as an example, which would be fine. Otherwise stick with .com names even though you might find names relevant to your niche in other extensions such as .net, .org, .us, etc. Dot com names have more intrinsic value and most people are used to typing .com when they type a domain name, so you will have an automatic disadvantage if you don’t have a dot com name.

4-letter Domains

As a non-typical website owner I got interested in 4-letter domains quite some time ago when I saw some that sold for a lot of money, like 5-figure and 6-figure amounts or more. Although I never really followed up on it, I did manage to get a couple of them myself. In retrospect, most 4-letter domains aren’t worth much, or only worth what it cost to register, but the exceptions could be worth a lot of money.

My advice in this is don’t pay a lot for a four letter domain unless you have a specific use for it and the name is representative of your business, has a nice sound, possibly is a word, or some other special characteristic in the domain name. Even then, just because a domain only has four letters in it doesn’t necessarily make it valuable. Four character domains with numbers or a hyphen in them are much less valuable in most circumstances. Same goes for any short domain name such as five, six, seven, characters etc.

Other Short Domain Names

If one has a choice between a long domain name and a short one then in many cases the shorter domain name might be the better choice. However, a relevant two word domain name or sometimes even a three word domain name might be just as good or better, if that name is relevant to your business or website. With short names you have to be more careful with how the name sounds, and whether there can be different ways to spell it if it is a word. If not a word, is the name a potential candidate for using as a brand for your website? An example of a site with a short domain name is my recipe site with an aged domain name that is excellent for use as a brand. – a website with a short, aged, relevant domain name.

Because most of the real short domain names that are common words are already taken, and even longer domain names that are words in common use are taken, most people will find themselves using two or three word domain names because that’s all they will be able to find without a lot of searching or trial and error. Making up a reasonably short domain name that is not taken can be an exercise in frustration. In spite of this it is possible to find some worthwhile short domain names for sale at reasonable prices if one looks hard enough.

Premium Domains

A premium domain name is valuable to anyone that has a website. In most cases it is best to have a domain name relevant to whatever topic your website is about. For example if your website is one selling gold products a domain name like might be a perfect name for such a website. In a case like this where profits would be high if selling gold products, one could easily justify paying thousands of dollars for such a name if it was possible to find it available for sale. domain ad

Brandable Domains

Equally valuable is a domain name that can be branded and represent your website, product, or company. Brandable domain names are usually more costly, but are more likely to end up giving your site or business a reputation. However, you have to create that reputation. Nevertheless, examples are plenty when it comes to branded domain names. A short list of some familiar and not so familiar branded domain names can be found here. As you can see, you know some of those companies or websites just by their branded domain name. Branded domain names can be worth a fortune in some cases. They can also cost a fortune if you wanted to buy one. However, it is still possible to find some good brandable domain names for reasonable prices.

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Aged Domains

If one has a choice between a good brand new domain name that is relevant and one that is aged a few years or more, also relevant, or to be used as a brand for your site or business, then in most cases the aged domain name is more valuable, all other things being equal. That’s because Google, the 800 pound gorilla in search engines, gives more favorable credit to aged domain names. Also, assuming the aged domain had a website on it in the past, or currently has a site on it, it might also have some existing links going to it which would be good, assuming they were not from undesirable sites. So aged domains can be a better choice over a new domain if it is relevant to your website topic. Same goes for aged brandable domains – they are a good choice over brand new domain names.

As you can see there are many variables when considering domain name values. You can capitalize on a domain name by choosing one that fits your needs. Domain names have no intrinsic value, but depending on your use of them they can be an asset or a distraction. They can add value to your site or turn people away. So the value, you might say is in the combination of the domain name and the site it is on. You could pay a lot for a domain name and have a lousy site or on the other hand just register a name for ten or fifteen bucks or so and have a great site that out performs a site where the person paid an arm and a leg for their domain name.

If you are in the market for a personal or business domain name the above points are something to think about. Should you need a domain name for your business or personal website then a good place to start your search for a good domain name is Also a few excellent websites and domains with great domain name value at Domain Sam.

About Charles Harmon

Charles, a retired Programmer/Analyst, senior citizen, website nerd w/20+ websites. Owner of Charles is a domain name owner/seller at Go to for more info.
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