Natural Search Blog

New Domain Names for Brands – Very Limited

I saw this blog by Dennis Forbes which could be interesting for any of you who are planning to create a new brand name with associated domain name: The Search For A Domain Name.

If you’ve done any whois queries in hopes of setting up a new domain name, you’ll already know the frustration of being denied the names you’d like to have most. It leads one to wonder how many common names are already snapped up. Dennis has done a bit of interesting research presented in his article on some common name permutations, and what percentages are already registered or parked until someone pays fees to the companies which have speculated by snapping them up.

I’m betting that if he took a database of common dictionary names and ran similar analysis, he’d also find 100% of those already taken by the same speculators. Interesting reading, though.

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4 comments for New Domain Names for Brands – Very Limited »

  1. MyAvatars 0.2

    What about natural search terms as domains? For example Do these phrases get #1 ranking in the related search area? Thus potentially generating ad revenue for a relevant site?

    Comment by Jeffrey — 7/28/2006 @ 9:47 pm

  2. MyAvatars 0.2

    Jeffrey, keywords found within a domain name have long been considered to be one valuable factor for SEO purposes. Using your prime keywords within a domain name seems to work better on MSN and Yahoo than on Google.

    There are likely a few reasons for this. Google has worked hard to be able to effectively identify owners of domain names in order to identify people using linking schemes to spam directories. They even paid licensing fees necessary to become a domain registrar so that they could access the domain registration files in order to ID domain owners, and to see when domains were first registered (older domains are more trustworthy). Google appears to be weighting other factors more heavily than domain name for keyword relevancy.

    MSN has particularly been cited in recent months as weighting the domain name more heavily in search.

    It seems likely that domain name effectiveness may become of lesser weighting in Yahoo and MSN as those two strive to upgrade methods for fighting SERP spam in competition with Google. Both of those engines are worth less than Google in traffic potential, too.

    I should also mention that your example, “”, is really using too many keywords to be effective. If you check via Google Trends, you’ll see that “cheap insurance”, “health insurance”, and “insurance rates” have far more user searches associated with them.

    I think that users conduct more two-word searches than three-word or four-word combinations. Researching the keywords you wish to use would also be highly important if you want to go that route.

    Comment by Chris Smith — 7/29/2006 @ 3:05 pm

  3. MyAvatars 0.2

    Thank you very much for your answer. It was very well thought out and well written. That being said, your response prompts a few more questions…. 1st, I believe that the world of publishing online is becoming more and more broad, does this bode well for two or three word keyword searches? I dont think so (at least not in the near future) The sheer # of blogs out there requires very specific keywords or at the very least more than two are required to find what you are looking for, further I recently purchased about 500 or so names focusing on “best”, “top rated” etc… for example. Even if someone has, doesnt best rated cellphones accomplish the same thing? I am not paying for them as a keywords, but rather using the keywords in a domain to get top rankings simply through organic search? Does this technique work? If I apply google trends to look at what I get:

    I tried this on a number of what I thought were natural search terms and got similar results. The may have been a poor example as most people are using google for search and would not “naturally” type in the word “find”, but I think you can see what I am getting at. So I guess according to google trends you can make up domain names that make no sense for example and get high relevance simply because of the keywords in the domain??
    Would that be the way to go? Buying mismashed keyworddriven domain names?
    Thank you for your reply.

    Comment by Jeffrey — 7/29/2006 @ 5:52 pm

  4. MyAvatars 0.2

    There’s been some research done by a few firms which indicate that multi-word queries are steadily becoming more common as web users become savvier about focussing searches more specifically to what they’re seeking.

    I just mentioned that the example four-term phrase you used as an example should be replaced by a different phrase/term, based on keyword research.

    Rapidly deploying hundreds of domain names is a dangerous tack to take, unless you have significantly individualized content on each of them. The search engines look with suspicion if you’re launching hundreds or thousands of domains with weak content. You inevitably must link throughout the domains to get them crawled, and this will look like a suspicious linking scheme.

    You haven’t mentioned why you want to deploy on these hundreds of domains you’ve bought. I’m guessing that perhaps you just want to display Adsense ads on them or something like that. You may get these crawled and getting traffic initially, but you might find them all dropped from Google indices after just a brief “honeymoon” period. It might work well in MSN, but MSN is worth less in traffic than Google. If you build good-quality, usable sites to begin with, it may pay off better over the longterm than trying to take shortcuts.

    I don’t consider widespread “domaining” to be sustainable over the longterm. This is unlikely to work for very long in Google, and it’s eventually not going to work in the other search engines, too.

    Matt Cutts just mentioned this practice today in his first video blogs – he basically asks the rhetorical question of [paraphrased] “do you have enough unique content to rationalize having thousands of domains”?

    Comment by Chris Smith — 7/31/2006 @ 10:32 pm

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