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Are expensive domains really all that worth it?

Are expensive domains really all that worth it?

There is a huge industry for buying and selling domains – for some people, it’s even an addiction. People get excited to buy an incredible domain name at a reasonable price in the hope to re-sell it later on for a profit. Granted, debating the merits of buying and selling high-value domain names isn’t the point of this article. The point of this article is to talk more in-depth about expensive domain names and whether they are really all that worth it. There are, after all, big risks in buying one.

Why do people buy high-value domains?

This might seem like a fairly simple question, but first let’s consider why people want to buy expensive domains. In most cases it is because of a website or business plan which a particular domain name is perfect for. Most high-value names are domains which are easy to remember, are short or are a common word or phrase, and this fact alone makes a domain worth a lot. If a domain name has been treated well by a previous owner, then like a house, it will be worth even more.

Having such a domain name might give your business an advantage over the competition. If you purchase a domain name which is a common English word or phrase, some customers might be more inclined to check your business website first over others in search results because of its familiarity. But like buying a house, it’s important to check out the domain’s history first and whether even considering it is even worth the extra investment needed.

High-value domains: Considering the factors

Unsurprisingly, a lot of high-value domain names are parked. This is clearly because the owner of the domain name hopes one day that someone will be interested in purchasing it. But there are so many things you need to consider before committing yourself. Here are just a few:

Has the domain got a bad history? Search engines obviously tie rankings to domains; and even if a domain is later on parked or has been dropped, domains which have been penalised by search engines will mean even more work for you if search engines haven’t lifted any penalties against the domain. This is an important factor to take into account if you are buying any domain name that has been previously used. You can check on sites such as The Wayback Machine to get a general idea about a domain you are considering buying (but by no means is that the only thing you should use to check the state of a domain).

Is it worth the investment than a bit of creativity? Many of the most popular websites on the Internet are words which aren’t even recognised in the Oxford English Dictionary, or at least at the time they were invented. It might even be easier to market a brand from a creative domain name that, while isn’t in the dictionary, is pronounceable.

Creativity pays off

ICANN’s domain name expansion programme will help elevate the huge problem with the domain name industry – with millions of domains registered worldwide, finding the right domain name is an extremely difficult task. You often have to make unnecessary compromises. The end result of this is many need to resort to purchasing domains off others – too many hold on to domains for this very reason; it’s a sad situation, but it is what it is.

Many of the most popular websites on the Internet are words that are extremely pronounceable, but yet, are not real English. And perhaps websites like these are easier to market and brand because of its uniqueness. If you think of something original and unique, there’s quite a chance that domain name is available right now.

Of course finding just the right brand name for your business website is probably one of the most important decisions you’ll make for quite a while, and it is an important decision to get right from the very start. But buying expensive domains are not always as clear-cut as you might think.

Ben Stones

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