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DNForum Study on Name Selection Strategies

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DomeBase

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Dear DNForum folks:

If this research has not been done elsewhere, it would be interesting to do a survey/study of the different name selection strategies used by folks here at DNForum. For example, my sense is that some people go for names pretty much based on traffic alone, others specialize in particular content areas (e.g. vehicles), others try to anticipate new technologies or company names, some stick with .com while others venture on new extensions, some focus on generics, some focus on short names, etc.

This survey/study could be done in three steps --

1. In this thread, several of you post a one or two sentence summary of your strategy for domain name selection.

2. After collecting different strategies for a while, these strategies are consolidated into around 10, listed in a poll on the DNForum (if this is OK with moderators, etc.), and anonymous responses are collected. We might also ask for anonymous self-evaluation of strategy success (on a scale from 1 to 10) in terms of sales and domain-development value? perhaps also dollar or quantity range of registrations?

3. Results are summarized and reported here in a study report... giving credit to the DNForum. Perhaps the results might even be reported elsewhere, again giving credit to the DNForum as the source?

If you folks think that this would be interesting, then please start posting strategies below. If you have suggestions to improve the idea or concerns about it, those comments are welcome also.

Sincerely, DomeBase
 
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domainduck

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Don't tell anyone my secrets.




quack :D
 

David G

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Excellent idea Bob, such a study would be valuable. BTW, I see you mentioned some of us here concentrate on short names, etc. What about including some who concentrate on long domains, such as myself?

Most of my domains are long and I have concentrated on them since late 1999 when real long names were first allowed.

The reason for this is three-fold. First, all the good short ones are mostly long gone. Plus, with long domains you can easily target industry phrases and precise keyword terms involving multiple words. Lastly, by using long domains you can achieve even better well targeted traffic than is sometimes possible with short names.

A long domain which is also a real name is worth zillions of times more money than a made-up non-real short name.

You would be surprised to see the type-in and search traffic some of these long domains receive :)
 

DomeBase

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I guess this means this is a go. Thanks RealNames. Alas, dd -- I guess we'll never find out how to profit from fowl play, but that's your call to make! ;)

As for me, I use different strategies for .COM and for .INFO.

1. For .COMs, I try to use technology and industry trends to think of words that are not now in use, but may become so and become brandable. (Example, two years ago I was investigating applications at the interface of neurology and optics and came up with Neuroptix.com. Six months later I sold it to a company starting up with that name. As another example, over the past half-century, the words "motion picture" have become shortened to "movie." If virtual reality catches on, what do you think the abbreviated version of it will be (other than VR)? Or how about holographic-based memory for computer systems?)

2. For .INFOs, I focus more on generics, especially those for areas with which I am familiar and can create reasonable content. I got some 2nd-tier names in real-time registration (e.g. VoiceRecognition.info) and some 1st-tier names in LR2 (e.g. Physician.info).
 

jalapeno

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<disclaimer> I'm not a domain name pro :) </disclaimer>

As a general rule, I only register domains which I may have some interest in developing myself. If I think a domain could have value but hate the thought of creating content to put there, I generally skip it.

But the other side of that is that I won't register a name I think would be enjoyable to develop but worthless to anyone else, unless it's for a specific personal project. Just because I love glue (for example), I'm not going to register iloveglue.com and make a site there.

So to sum it up, for me personally interesting + possible worth to others = register. I also look for relatively generic, of course, with proper tense/plurarity, appropriate extension(s) and not too long.
 

Nic

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Yes i agree with jalapeno, "As a general rule, I only register domains which I may have some interest in developing myself."
 

DotComster

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Same here - I only get domains my friends or I can develop ourselves. And they speak a lot of languages.

It's a lot more fun helping develop a great site than selling a domain - more profitable to in the long run IMHO.

Dot Info? Might be worthwhile latter, but I'll stick to dot coms :)
 

Bob

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Registration strategy depends on several factors.

1) Are you trying to make money from existing traffic?
2) Are you registering for development?
3) Are you registering for resale?
4) Are you a combination of these?

Personally, I register for resale. I do not look at existing traffic as the only point of whether I should get a name. Some people do - and that is all right if that is your objective.

The criteria I use for registration are these: (please note that this is what **I** use. I am not going to debate whether or not something is good or bad on my criteria. If it does not work for you, then you are free to use your own strategy. I have sold about 140 domain names for a total of about $40k - so this works for me.):

1) I like one word and strong 2 word phrases
2) Nouns first, then verbs and adjectives
3) the shorter, obviously the better (but not always as in the case of a strong 2 word phrase)
4) .com, then .net, then .org - nothing else
5) .COM and .NET verbs and adjectives must not have any funky tense, prefixes, or suffixes (i.e. nothing like nonrepossessable). I will make case by case determinations for past tense verbs (I would not register called.com, but would not hesitate to get sold.com). .ORG verbs must not be in any tense other than present.
6) nouns - .coms can be singular or plural. Only strong .NETs can be plural. 99% of .ORGs must be singular...
7) **NO** hyphens
8) NO numerals in names (except as allowed in #9 & 10)
9) 2 character names - can be mixed in any extension. No problem!
10) 3 character names: no numeral / letter combos in net or .org unless if means something. .com can have letters and numerals is in this format: L # # or # # L - L # L and # L # are no good. In these cases, the numeral should not be zero. They are too hard to sell (been there done that - OOPS).


As I mentioned, I register for resale. I really do not care too much about traffic, although it is nice to make money from it.

-Bob
 

bidawinner

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Keyword domains..

if they arent looking for it..I'm not interested..

Names that reflect product/service -commercial domains-

extensions are not that big a deal..most domains dont get type-ins worthy of pissing around for the .com anyways.


Names I will/would develop

existing traffic not a big deal..take the time to learn se placement

Names in less competitive areas;but still plenty of market..the path of least resistance to fill my bank account. :)

names with lasting appeal...
 
T

Tee

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Keyword domains - also known as generics (often), are my favorite.

If a name strikes my fancy or if i'm hip to a technology, Ill get it.

Foreign language names too (generics or popular words/expressions).

Best, for me, is a generic that I'm interested in. Interested meaning interested in the subject that the generic represents and interested enough to make simple sites to make money from it. (development?) Some names I would never sell even for many 10's of thousands, and I'm not rich.

I remember being very addicted to buying domain names at one point.
 

DomeBase

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Thanks folks for sharing. Let's collect additional posts with strategies until, say, mid-August. Then, I'll do a summary of responses into a list of strategies, list them for review and comments here, revise based on comments, incorporate into anonymous poll for DNforum members here, collect results, and then report results. Should be interesting. Thanks again.
 

mole

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Originally posted by DomeBase

2. For .INFOs, I focus more on generics, especially those for areas with which I am familiar and can create reasonable content.

I follow that too, Bob. .info names are best when they represent generic keywords and existing brand names, and not made up new made up names IMO. It's much better to get a .com or .biz if you are going for a branding name.
 

DomeBase

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Let's wrap this up by the end of September. Please any additional strategies you'd like to include (or send me a PM if you would prefer to not post). I'll distill them into 10 or so, we'll run a multi-answer poll, and then report/analyze the results on DNF. Thanks!
 
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