What is my Domain Name Worth?

Saturday, July 21st, 2007

Categories: Domain Names

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No, I’m not talking about MY domain name, I’m talking about what yours can possibly be worth and where you can find information and where you can find a pretty good idea at what your Domain Name is worth. Please note that I’m speaking about Domain Names and not fully designed established money making sites.

A Brief Intro to Domain Names

A Domain Name is a relatively simple thing. It’s a pretty looking link. Typing in http://www.example.com is a heck of a lot easier then typing in http://49.149.24.99/~account/ for example.
A Domain Name simply points to a your Hosting Services’ Nameserver so that the URL typed into the browser bar sends you to the right spot on their server. That’s it. Sure you may get some special email services or other special features with your Domain Name registrar, but that’s not part of a Domain Name.

What’s Included in a Domain Name?

Apart from the Domain Name itself, PageRank is (to my knowledge) the only other component that is PASSIVELY transferred over with a Domain Name. I won’t go into details, but PageRank is a technology used by Google to determine a site’s rating. This ranking is associated with a Domain Name. Whether the Domain Name transfers hands or not should not affect PageRank. PageRank will be affected, however, if links to the domain are taken down. The higher the rating, higher the Search Engine placement.

A PageRank 1 (or N/A) website usually indicates that the domain name is newer and/or doesn’t have quality incoming links whereas a PageRank 10 website means it has millions of quality incoming links. Of course, the higher the website, the more it’s worth. If you’re looking for a really simple PageRank checker, prchecker.info does it quickly and easily. I won’t go into more depth, so if you’re looking for more details, Wikipedia has a great article up.

What Makes a Good Domain Name?

Please note that there are exceptions, numerous sites go against these guidelines are worth millions, but if you had a Domain Name like this, chances are you would have never come across this blog.

  • Extension - .COM’s are more favorable then .NET’s and .ORG’s, and exponentially favorable then some newer extensions such as .INFO, .WS and country extensions. They have a broader reach then country extensions and of course, they’re harder to get
  • PageRank – As mentionned above, the higher PageRank, the better. If someone’s buying your domain, they’re willing to pay more knowing they’ll have a jumpstart on Google
  • How easy it is to communicate and type – For example http://www.gas4u.com may be a 5-letter domain, but think about how it comes across in conversation. “Our website is gas four, as in the number 4, you, as in the letter U, dot com” is just tedious to communicate
  • Target demographic – Does your Domain Name indicate that you’re targeting business people? or home owners? Domain Names with a potential for a bigger reach are likely to be worth more then Domain Names targeting small demographics like the owners of Moroccan fighting parrots (just made that up, don’t bother to Wikipedia it)
  • Length – Shorter then better, also applies to word counts as well. The less words, the better. I likely don’t have to go much into this.

So Really, What is my Domain Name Worth?

Simple answer. A Domain Name is worth as much as someone is willing to pay for it. I compiled a list of resources where you can look through Domain Names on sale and get a general idea of what they’re going for. In the event of auction sites, it’s best to only pay attention to sites with bids on them.

  • SitePoint Forums Marketplace – A section in the SitePoint forums dedicated to selling Domain Names and Domain Names only. The people there know what they’re doing, and aren’t screwing around.
  • DnScoop.com – Gives an often inflated figure that takes in a lot of factors of your website. It’s best to use DNSCoop if you’re selling an established website, but it still gives a decent idea none-the-less.
  • GoDaddy’s Domain Name Aftermarket - A long list of domains on sale, the site gives a great idea on what prices to set for your Domain Name so it DOESN’T sell. But like I cautioned above, it does give you a good general idea if you look at the Domain Names with bids on them.
  • Search for “Domain Name” on Ebay – Also gives you a decent general idea of the ballpark value of your Domain Name by looking at similar listings.
  • SwiftAppraisal – A free online Domain Name appraisal service. If you’re REALLY honest when it quizzes you about your domain, it can give you a pretty good idea of its value. If you overestimate some of the question’s answers, you may end up with an “appraisal” that’s exponentially inflated.
  • Sedo – Yet another Domain Name auction site. Alot of listings, catergorized really well, a great resource. Also a good one to look at if you’re looking to sell your Domain Name.

Hope that helps.

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