Determining a Domain Name’s Worth

All of us have heard the stories of people who’ve smartly purchased the rights to domain names they foresaw being in demand in the future, and then selling them for a tidy profit some time later. Then ther was the well-publicized story of a former Google employee who owned google.com for a whole minute and was handsomely rewarded by the Internet giant for giving it back to them in 2015. That same year Google became a subsidiary of Alphabet, and they wisely nipped any problem in the bud by acquiring abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz.com shortly thereafter.

Here at 4GoodHosting, we register many new domain names for clients every month as a Canadian web hosting provider who offers the service free with our web hosting packages. If you’ve identified the perfect domain for your website, you can request it right here – https://4goodhosting.com/domain-name – and provided it’s available we can secure it for you. For those of you that have ever wondered about the $ of your domain name, you might be surprised to learn that you can actually come to an approximate valuation of it with a few online tools.

Even if your domain name is the most obscure one imaginable and would almost certainly never be in demand, this is quite interesting to learn more about.

Domain Hoarding?

The first thing to understand here is that there are hundreds of thousands of domain names that have been registered but do not have a website attached to them. Nearly all of them have been acquired by individuals who see the possibility of selling it in the future. There’s some very promising examples of this, like when the Expedia group paid $11 million for Hotels.com, or the person who registered FB.com receiving millions for it.

If your domain is one that is not unique and describes the nature of your business, or uses a term or portion of it to describe some aspect of the business or venture that would apply to similar ones elsewhere then there may resale value to the domain name. In some instances, there will be individuals who are willing to pay to assume ownership of it. Most of the time they’ll reach out to the owner by their web hosting provider reaching out to yours, and in rarer instances the domain owner will be aware of growing interest in the domain and put it ‘up for sale.’

What Makes a Domain Name Valuable?

For the most part a domain name is only worth as much as someone is willing to pay for it. For some domains, however, there are certain attributes that might make it have greater value:

  • Length – Shorter domain names tend to be easy to remember and require less effort to type them into a browser. Generally speaking, shorter domains tend to be worth more than longer ones.
  • Number of words – One-word domain names are always the most valuable, but combining 2 words to make business names (LinkedIn, Facebook) is a trend and has led to 2-word domain names being worth more too. Combining 3 words is almost unheard of and not recommended, so this type of domain would be by and large useless.
  • Accurate spelling – It’s true that some big brands will buy up domain names that are similarly spelled to their primary domain name. A popular domain name that’s correctly spelled will have more resale value if it is ever made available.
  • Domain name age and activity – Domains that have been live and accessible for a long time will come with built-in SEO attributes. This of course gives them significant value, with whoever buying the name not having to work as hard to get favourable search engine results from it.
  • TLD – A top-level domain (TLD) is extremely important to the value of any domain name. This is the suffix to your domain name, and with .com domains being the most common and popular it is these ones that are the most valuable. Acquiring one will cost more than the .org or .net. version of the same domain name. Niche TLDs like .pizza will typically have little to no resale value..

Finding Out If a Domain Has Value

There are a handful of domain name appraisal services online, and most won’t cost you anything to use them. Do keep in mind that the values these services place on domains are only approximations, so don’t take any valuation provided by them to be a 100% reliable estimation of what a domain name is worth.

Free Valuator is the best among them in our opinion. You can get a value estimation for a domain name in a matter of seconds and they can also introduce you to a professional domain name value assessor if you are considering making your domain name available. Estibot is another one, and it gets a mention here because it uses a different approach to determining how much a website name is worth. It actually uses mathematical models to calculate the value of a domain name.

What’s Next?

After you’ve checked the value of your domain name, you have 2 options; if it’s valuable you can go ahead and make it available for sale. Putting it on a domain auction site, like the one at GoDaddy, is a popular choice. Alternately, you might want to contact a professional domain name broker. They’ll have the knowledge and connections to get you the biggest $ return for your domain name. This is the best course of action if you think a big brand might want your domain name.

Next, if you think the value is bound to be greater in the future then you could sit tight and wait to see if that happens. If this is what you choose to do then taking steps to improve the value of your domain name, like adding content to your site and other approaches to boost its SEO value, is a smart move.

Have a domain name that’s estimated to be much more valuable than you thought? We’d like to hear about it here.

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