The Value of Hyphenated Domain Names

Since the beginning of the Internet most webmasters have steered clear of registering domain names with hypens in the name. This centers around the fact that if you hope to capture business via word-of-mouth no one will remember to type in the hyphen when trying to visit your website. That, plus the hyphen key is not easily typed from memory and requires most typists to look down at the keyboard to ensure it is typed correctly.

But ask yourself the question, “How many people will ever likely visit my website from a word-of-mouth advertising experience?” Chances are, very few. Instead, most people will either visit your website after finding you from a search engine and a hyperlink in the search engine results page, or from a hyperlink placed on someone elses website or Internet directory. Given that, what is really wrong from having hyphens in a domain name? Well, since this blog is largely about domain name values, its fair to say that you’ll never be able to sell a domain name with a hyphen or dash in the name for the same value you could the same domain name without the hyphens. This is not always true, because obviously if someone was selling a domain name with one or more hyphens that was getting tons of traffic and business, it could be worth more than the same domain name without the hyphens. This would be particularly true for domains with only one hyphen it them, like my domain name Breasts-Implants.com. Breasts-Implants.com is a clear example of a domain name with a hyphen that is obviously worth quite a bit of money for the following reasons:

  1. It is highly unlikely that you could ever afford to purchase the domain name BreastsImplants.com without the hyphen.
  2. My domain name with the hyphen, Breasts-Implants.com, could become just as valuable as BreastsImplants.com if it was popluated with many pages about breast implants.
  3. It is a highly searched keyword phrase.
  4. It is a high-cost keyword phrase, meaning Adwords ads are very expensive for this phrase.

If you’ve ever come across sites built with the famous HTML page generator and site builder SiteSell, you’ll also know that most of the Internet entrepreneurs that use SiteSell have domain names with hyphens. Why is this? Because they build domain names based on keyword niches and most keyword niche domain names without hyphens were taken a long time ago and not available. But even more importantly, and don’t forget this, SEO experts will all tell you that when it comes to a domain name with a hyphen versus one without a hyphen, the search engine cannot distinguish one from another. “How can I prove this?” you might ask. Easy! Do a Google search for the keyword “lock” and then do a search for the keyword phrase “l-o-c-k” and you’ll see the search engine results are the same. Do the same using the keyword “burp” and the phrase “b-u-r-p.” You’ll see the top positions on the search engine results page don’t change at all, while the search results a little lower change a little — but still stick with the subjects “lock” and “burp” — even though you searched for “l-o-c-k” and “b-u-r-p.”

This all brings me to my accomplishments today buying domain names off a “dropped” or expired domain names list. For only $7.05 each, my personal cost per domain name at Godaddy, I was able to purchase recently expired domain names l-o-c-k.com, b-u-r-p.com and l-i-f-t.com.  All three will become great moneymakers for me once they are fully populated with contents and ads. One day, they each stand the chance of being at the top of the first search engine page on Google.

One-Word Dot Com Discovered on Expired Domain Names List

While visually screening an expired domain names list I found, to my surprise, a one-word dot com, that had expired on March 1, 2008. I checked and to my surprise and astonishment, the domain name had not been taken and was available for registration. So why was this domain name overlooked. Well, for one, it is not in the common vernacular of the general public. Secondly, its likely not in all dictionaries yet, but it will be in a matter of time. Why? Because its a relatively new Internet word, one of the new words of our decade.

So what’s the word and domain name. Quite simply, Wikifying.com — an Internet buzzword that is repeated on 25,800 web pages indexed by Google. The word itself may be less than 5 years old, but certainly less than 10 years old. Still, it is growing in popularity and will only be used more and more in the future. For example, a recent article at Popsci.com announced that Google was in the process of “wikifying” its Google Maps program. An August 2007 article at Columbuser.com about Ohio elections ran under the headline “Wikifying Ohio’s Elections.”

For anyone familiar with the widespread popularity of Wikipedia.org and Wiki’s in general, you’ll know that my discovery and registration of Wikifying.com is worth many thousands of dollars. Given how I just stumbled across the domain doing one of my manual screens of a 90-day dropped domains list, the lucky find reminds me of those diamond discoveries we read about once every few years when a tourist visits the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, Arkansas and just happens to discovers a valuable diamond, in the same spot where thousands of other tourist have trampled beforehand.

Dropped List Domain Name Steals

Hardly a day goes by that I don’t search dropped (i.e., expired) domain name lists for great domain name bargains. Today was no exception. Every search always ends up uncovering domain names that attract my attention. If I’ve got one weakness when performing dropped domain name searches, its my tendency to always gravitate to searching the same keywords that hold my personal interests. For example, I’m always looking for domains that include the words cash, money, riches, wealth and moneymaking. The result of this weakness is that I own far too many domains that cover the moneymaking niche.

I often have to remind myself to search for domains that cover niches that have higher pay-per-click ad payouts, given that I place many of my domain names on cash parking. But that’s just one domain name investing rule to consider or follow. Other domain name investing rules I try to follow are listed below:

  • Concentrate on buying dot com domain names
  • Shorter is better than longer
  • 2-word domains are more valuable than 3-word domains
  • Don’t waste time looking for 1-word or 3-letter domains, they’re taken
  • Spend little time looking for 4-letter domains, they’re taken as well and even the bad ones are back-ordered
  • Although you won’t be able to find a one-word dot com or dot net domain, a one-word domain name is always a safe investment, regardless its extension, and can almost always be sold for a profit with a little promotion.

Although I don’t like to buy 3 or 4 word domain names, I have made exceptions – particularly when they represent search phrases or popular subjects with lots of Adwords advertisers. Today was one of those exceptions, as I picked up 2 excellent 3-word domain names and 1 excellent 4-word domain name from dropped lists. The domains I found and purchased were:

  • OnlinePrintingAndGraphics.com
  • GraphicsAndClipart.com
  • FastFoodCenter.com

I also picked up 3 very good 2-word dot com domain names today:

  • StationeryGraphics.com (can you believe this was available?)
  • FastingJuices.com (search phrase and popular way to lose weight)
  • FastFasting.com (another weight loss domain)

So, how did I go about finding these domains off an expired domain names database? As you have likely already guessed, I was searching the words “fast” and “graphics.” Of all the domains on the list, only one is bad for Adsense revenue possiblities – FastFoodCenter.com. However, I have no doubt that I could easily sell this domain for a nice profit. It would make a great business name for a fast food franchisee, the fast food court in mall, the fast food area of a town or city, etc.

Turning an Expired Domain Names List into a Personal Goldmine

Is there anything to the hype you read about making money scouring expired domain names lists in search of valuable domain names you can buy and resale? Yes indeed there is. Sure, it does have a catch, in fact several catches, but this is definitely a way to make money in the domain name sales business that works. I’ll give you a few examples of my own success stories.

By viewing expired domain names lists on a regular basis I have discovered, not tens, not hundreds, but thousands of domain names I think are valuable. By “valuable,” I mean I can sell the domains I purchase for $100 or more. Clear examples of domain names I’ve purchased after seeing them on expired domain names lists would include WhatsUpBaby.com that I wrote about earlier today (sold for $650 in 11 days), TexasBreastImplants.com (sold for $2,250), AllGals.com (sold for $1,200), Zoles.com (sold for $1,250), Ezappointments.com (sold for $300) and GoldenGateGiftBaskets.com (sold for $245).

There are many more I have sold. These are just a few. For example, I’ve registered over 150 four-letter domain names that I’ve founded on expired lists, over 200 single dictionary word .dot net domain names found on expired lists, and countless 2-word premium dot com’s.

The problem in selling domains, as I’ve stated before, is getting matched with the right buyer at the right time. Sedo.com, for example, has over 9 million domain names for sale on just their venue alone. That’s are too much competition when one considers that only 2,500 to 3,000 domain names are sold on Sedo.com each month. Nope, if you really want to sell domain names quickly and at a nice profit, you need to promote and market them. There are many ways to do this, if you’re interested in learning more about how to promote and market your domain name portfolio I welcome your comments and feedback.