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Saturday
May172008

Domain Names - How To Pick One


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L-o-n-g domain name

Domain Names

I'm building a new site at the moment. I have what I think is a killer idea but a lot of its success is going to hinge on the domain name. I've been looking for a name that will precisely convey what the site is all about - without sounding dead boring. Now that may sound easy but its not. Its taken me a day of using Yahoo's Domain Name Finder before I stopped and thought maybe I've already got a URL I can use?.

See I'm a bit of a Domain Name Junkie - I think of website names all the time and then I register the bloody things before even knowing what I'm going to do with them. I won't bore you with the list of URLs I currently own but the last one I registered - actually the second last one (and again I couldn't help myself I just had to have it) was...wait for it...bongsR.us and I've no idea what I'm going to do with it. I just find it funny. Perhaps there's a program I can join? A re-hab for obsessive Domain Name acquirers?
Anyway. Whilst trying to find a name for my new killer website I came up with quite a few, that whilst quirky and describing the new site quite well, were too bloody long. Like this one - www.soisthatyourthemesongdude.com - 25 letters in the body alone. And another I was quite keen on - www.hitmewithyourthemesongbaby.com 26 letters.
But today, whilst trawling the web for something or other, I came across this mother-of-all-domain-names - HowManyFiveYearOldsCouldYouTakeOutInAFight.com - 42 words just in the body. Holy moley! That's a big one Pilgrim! Not that interesting of a site but what a wacky name.

What do the experts reckon about picking a domain name? The general consenus seems to be to keep it as short as possible. Well yeah. Its easier to type the thing out in forms for one thing. If I had my chance again I would never have picked WelcometoWallyworld - drives me nuts typing that out all the time. But what if your short and snappy URL doesn't really convey what your site's all about? Means you've got a lot of Branding to do. Which is the trouble I've always had with this site.

Picking a Good Domain Name

So here's a tip - Try and put your keywords in your domain name - it's going to make getting picked up by the search engine spiders that much easier. IdlerArms.com may not sound that sexy but if a guy is looking to replace this steering link in his car what do you think he might enter in the Search Engine?

For what it's worth, here's a Free Keyword Selector Tool you can use to see the degree of difficulty listing certain keywords will be. Don't take it as gospel but if its reading 90% Difficulty means you've got your work cut out to get on the first page of Google.

Domain Names to Avoid - doh!

Look this is pretty obvious but we all need a good laugh so here goes. Have a good look at what you're actually writing - spelling and connotation. Early in this game I registered a name in a hurry and then realised I'd misspelled it. So instead of getting www.CheapParisHostel.com I ended up with www.CheapParisHotel.com which wasn't what I wanted at all.
But that's nothing on the guy who registered www.Penisland.com for his Pen Island resort.

And I would have hyperlinked that URL but it's a prick of a site definitely NSFW.

But having said keep the domain name short I've gone against my own advice and registered a rather longish domain name. Its perfect for my new secret Area 51 site.
Funny thing is...after spending all day trying to think of a good domain name...I went back to the names I already have...and one of them is YouAreWhatYouBleat.com - a pun on my surname Lambe - and I thought...Hmmm...maybe I can use that but it still wasn't quite right for this new music/blogging site. So I 'ad a fink didn't I. And there it was staring me in the face - the perfect domain name for my new venture. I was sure it would have been taken. I entered the words into the Yahoo's Domain Name Finder
...and bugger me!...there it is!...mine...all mine. Ladies and gentlemen...I present YouAreWhatYouBeat.com

BTW...if you're looking for cheap, reliable hosting check out Yahoo! Web Hosting
- I use them a lot. Very good. Very easy Control Panel and your URL goes live pretty quick - in minutes I find. I wouldn't bother with those $2 hosting programs.

Want To Get Indexed Quickly?

This is something worth looking at - getting expired domain names that have already been ranked and listed in the Yahoo Directory (normally $300 a year).

Every day thousands of domain names expire due to non-payment. These domain names are then up for grabs. Some of them were listed in major directories and search engines with hundreds if not thousands of links from other sites. Well worth looking for these gems.

Here's a really cool site where you can search expired Domains by Keywords, PageRank and backlinks. Also lets you check the history of the site through the Wayback Machine - always a good idea in case you buy a domain name that's been used as a porno site or has been banned by Google.

And there's a very good article here on Snatching Expired Domain Names - don't miss the comments and the update.

And an even better article here under How to build a $300 Million Domain Name Empire - bloody hell! There's some money in domain name trading if you know what you're doing.

When Ham wants a domain, he leans over and quietly instructs an associate to bid on his behalf. He likes wedding names, so his guy lifts the white paddle and snags Weddingcatering.com for $10,000. Greeting.com is not nearly as good as the plural Greetings.com, but Ham grabs it anyway, for $350,000.

Picky Domains says "If you are good at coming up with cool domain names, go ahead and register with us. If your domain name suggestion is registered, you’ll get 50% of the fee ($25) paid to you via PayPal."

BTW domain name sales increased 60 percent last year. More than 100 sales exceeded the $100,000 mark in 2007. One naughty domain name brought $9.5 million. Not nearly as much as the $14 Million sex.com sold for in January 2006. There are 145 million domain names out there. But in just two years there's going to be something like 240 million. Many of the new names will come from the emerging economies of India, China, Latin America and even some African countries. And watch out for some big sales this year in the video-targeted .tv domains from the tiny Pacific atoll of Tuvalu.


malkie.jpgMalcolm Lambe is an Australian brain surgeon living in Paris with his French wife and two small children. He dreams of making enough money from the web to buy his own chateau. The secret could lie in Picking a Killer Domain Name.

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