Evaluating Domain Worth
Your domain is worth a bag of Doritos, until proven otherwise. This is a guide on how to evaluate whether a domain should be purchased.
There has been a rash of domain brokers and individuals, buying crap-tastic domains with keyword phrases in them and trying to profit from unwitting lawyers.I recently received an unsolicited email from a company wanting me to buy washingtondcattorney.net. They wanted $10,000 for the domain. That was just ridiculous, so I offered $200 and a bag of Doritos.
But keyword phrases are good for SEO!!
The theory is that the keyword phrases in the domain help with your rankings. This is true, to some extent. You want keyword phrases in your domain for SEO purposes, as you tend to rank high on those direct matches. But your domain must be backed up with content, incoming links and an overall real, live site. If that is not in place, then you are just buying an empty shell of a site and then you have to invest in its development.
What should I spend my money on?
To spend $10,000 on a domain, or even a few thousand dollars does not make sense. With that money you could produce a whole new site, with lots of content pages, and pick up washingtondcattorney.info for 89 cents as the domain!” It will have the same overall value. It just makes more fiscal sense to put your money into content development and the design, versus the domain.
How to Evaluate a domain?
If someone is trying to sell you a thousand dollar plus domain, be wary. Before you offer ANYTHING, check to see if:
- It has any inbound links – www.opensiteexplorer.org
This is a critical check. If the domain has zero links, then it’s just easier to get your own domain and build your own links. If it has lots of inbound links, from great sources, then Muy Bueno!
- A site is actually live.
Google only indexes live sites. Visit the site and see what is there. You want a site that is live that you can take over instantly and rebrand. The longer the site has been up, the better.
- If it is a real site vs. a link ad page.
Link sites that just have ads on them are a dime-a-dozen. You want a site that has real traffic and real content. Don’t fall for a single placeholder link page, it’s not worth that much.
- If it has any history – www.archive.org.
I love seeing a site that has been online for 5+ years, or at least a few years. Also check out the overall domain age via www.whois.net. Shorter registrations and sites without history are worth less.
- It has any brand value
Some domains are just good picks and worth their money. Lawyers.com, Attorneys.com, and others are just worth money by their name alone. Names with cities and attorneys or lawyers are valuable, too. Typically you know a good domain name when you see it. They are short, .com, and descriptive of what you do. If the domain has a ton of phrases in it, is a .net, .org or other domains, discount that.
- If it has any actual rankings and traffic
Does the site actually have any real traffic or rankings?” This increases the price because they have already developed the site. If it has neither, then just pick up your own domain and spend the money on development of the property yourself.
Think of a domain name just like a piece of land. If that land is developed or has a good location it is worth something. In the domain realm, if it has neither, or if the domain is easily replicated with a different extension (i.e. .org, .net, .info), then it’s really not worth anything.