- 1 What is Domain?
- 2 Domain Name Insanity – Does Your Name Really Matter?
What is Domain?
The term domain name may seem like a highfaluting term that has meaning only for computer wizards and for those who spend days and nights on their computers.
The truth is that the term domain name is a simple geek term referring to the address of a website like http://logicalnerds.com
To make it simpler, domain names are essential to websites in the same manner that names are important to people.
Can you imagine people being addressed or being called using a series of pin numbers instead of their names?
Remembering names is already a problem for most people so you can just imagine how chaotic it would be if people do not have names but just numbers.
This works the same way with websites which are addressed using domain names instead of a series of numbers commonly referred to as IP address.
Like most numbers, IP addresses can be hard to remember and they are permanent meaning a new IP address for a new web hosting company.
While an IP address is just a series of hard to remember numbers, a domain name is something that can be given character and can be easily remembered.
Try to browse the internet and if you want to know the domain name of the site being viewed, look at the browser bar.
Domain Name Types
The last word or series of letters after the domain name is the domain extension for which the website address is registered. Examples of domain extensions are .com which refers to a commercial domain, .org which refers to a non-profit domain and even .no or .fr which stands for France or Norway and which refers to the country domain. The extension domains are usually preceded by a period which is read as
The extension domains are usually preceded by a period which is read as a dot.
Both the name of the website, which I called the subdomain and the domain extension make up the complete domain name of a site.
People who are about to register their domain names should think carefully about the name because domain names are unique and it is what gives the website a unique characteristic.
Domain names are unique because they are controlled in a centralized database.
Having your own domain name does not come free because with registration comes payment.
By registering your domain name, you get the exclusive right to use that domain name but only for a certain number of years depending on the policy of the company where you bought your domain name.
When that period expires and you want to continue using the domain name then you can renew your contract.
How to Choose?
When choosing your domain name, you can use a maximum of 67 characters made up of letters from A to Z or number from zero to nine or a mixture of both numbers and letters as well the hyphen. The maximum of 67 characters already includes both the sub domain name and the domain name extension.
So if you want to have an easy-recall website then you better start thinking about a witty domain name, The key is to make your domain name catchy, easy to remember and more or less gives the user an idea of what the website is all about.
However, you can already register a domain name even if you do not have a website. On the other hand, registration of a domain name does not carry with it a website.
While some domain registering companies offer web hosting, you can register your domain name with them and choose from the various web hosting companies.
Never attempt to register a domain name which contains a trademark or name already belonging to another, unless you want to be prosecuted as a cybersquatter.
Domain Name Insanity – Does Your Name Really Matter?
Your domain name is the .com, .net, .org or some other dot something that people use to get to your website.
A group of investors headed by Jake Weinbaum (the guy behind Disney’s go.com) paid $7.5 million for the name Business.com back in 1999, aiming to make it a showcase B2B site. According to their own press, they have succeeded.
Yes, it’s a terrific name — short, sort of descriptive and easy to remember.
There’s some cachet there, but is it $7.5 million worth?
That cash could have bought a lot of promotion or branding for whatever name they could have had for ten bucks or a hundred, or two hundred grand.
Each year for 15 years The first $500K in profit goes toward amortizing the cost of that domain name. That could also pay for a terrific affiliate program, a truckload of banner and PPC advertising, and a nice BMW lease for Mr. Weinbaum (who probably doesn’t need a BMW).
But the Business.com thing has set off a wave of domain name speculation that staggers the mind. People are snapping up domain names and ransoming them off to wide-eyed entrepreneurs with business plans and dreams of riches.
Being a hardcore capitalist I am torn about domain name speculation — I am tempted to applaud the person making a buck by getting there first and grabbing up the good names, but I am annoyed at the restraint of commerce that takes place while someone negotiates with one of these guys to get the right name.
So if I look at the top 50 websites on Alexa, most of them should be easy to remember names, right? Wrong. I would argue that only one, match.com, is an easy-to-remember name that describes what the site is about.
I keep hearing that the reason these so-called generic or descriptive domain names are so valuable is that some people just type domain names into the address bar of their browser rather than using a search engine.
This fact seems to be intuitively false.
I find it hard to believe that someone looking for information on a particular business would type in www.business.com
Furthermore, if I look at the top 50 websites on Alexa, only one domain that is match.com, is an easy-to-remember name that describes what the site is about.
I wondered how many people actually type in their address bar (address bar?) instead of using a search engine anyway. I didn’t find the answer, but some website dealing with search engine metric tells me that 74% of people looking for something use a search engine.
That means that 36% of people use something other than a search engine. What makes me believe that people typing stuff into their address bar doesn’t happen much is this simple fact of the people using search engines last November, 60% searched for common websites like Amazon, eBay, Esty.
In other words, instead of typing in http://www.esty.com, people Googled Esty and clicked on one of the results. That is absolutely hysterical. And totally believable.
What do all these facts mean?
They mean that as far as getting the person there the first time, everyone starts off on the same square. If your domain name can get the minority of people who just type into their address bar to your website without a search engine, it’s worth more than someone who can’t.
Here are some of the legendary domain name sales in the past several years, according to Zetetic:
$14,000,000 – 2006 – sex.com
$7,500,000 – 1999 – business.com
$5,500,000 – 2003 – casino.com
$5,000,000 – 2002 – asseenontv.com
$5,000,000 – 1999 – korea.com
$3,500,000 – 1996 – worldwideweb.com
$3,350,000 – 1999 – altavista.com
$3,300,000 – 1999 – wine.com
$3,000,000 – 1999 – eshow.com
$3,000,000 – 1999 – loans.com
$2,750,000 – 2004 – creditcards.com
All of these with the exception of eshow.com (computer networking) should get address bar traffic, because people who type will type in the descriptive names — if I’m looking for sex-related stuff, I’ll type in sex.com. Where my mind gets boggled is in ROI. If you’re selling something on asseenontv.com that nets you $25, you’ll need to sell 200,000 of those George Foreman grills just to pay for your domain name.
It also dawned on me that if you pay $12,000,000 for sex.com, the free publicity generated is probably also worth millions.
So now everyone gets dollar signs in their eyes and thinks they can make a million with their domain name.
What does this mean for you?
Well, there’s some good news and some bad news. Remember back a few paragraphs when I said that everyone starts on the same square?
That’s really the good news. You can choose a pretty good domain name, put together some terrific content, employ some simple Search Engine Optimization and buy some keywords or exchange some links and you have a pretty good chance of getting people to your site the first time.
Since most of them are coming via a search engine they’re not going to notice your domain name until they get there anyway, so your domain name means the same thing (nothing) to the majority of people using the search engine.
One last thing:
If you’re hoping to be close to the top in the search results (the so-called organic SEO), having your keywords in the name of your website gives you a huge boost.
For example, if you’re looking for Geeky Gadgets India, we will be in the top five search results. In this case, Google ignores TLD unless you tell it otherwise. GeekyGadgets.in will come up before us because their PageRank is higher (that’s a discussion for another day).
So if you think getting near the top of the organic search results is more important than having someone type your name directly into the address bar (and you very well could be right), then grab yourkeyword.cc or yourkeyword.to. I’ve done it, and I’ve suggested it to others.
Once the user comes to your site the name just needs to be memorable enough so they type it in to get there the next time. Or they may forget and Google you again. I do it every day. No matter how great your name is, if the content is lousy they won’t come back anyway.
So should you buy a domain name?
I don’t know — I bought this one. And I made honorable mention in the Domain Name News for the price I paid ($2500). I bought the name because I liked it, I liked the number of incoming links to it, and I felt comfortable paying for it.
I’ve never paid more than a couple hundred dollars for a domain otherwise, and I have more than 200 of them. My favorite by far is GeekyGadgets.in, which I just bought for $25. I have pretty terrific gadgets and Gizmodo’s idea in mind for GeekyGadgets too.