Analyzing Your Domain Portfolio |
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Analyzing Your Domain Portfolio


Early last week, a reader of mine asked me to go through a portion of his portfolio (about 250 domain names) to review which names I would renew and which names I would drop. He offered to pay me for my time, and I agreed to do this in exchange for a donation to the ICA. While reviewing his list of domain names, I thought about the types of names I think he should keep and the names I think he should drop.

Most of the names in his list have strong keywords, but many were backwards and out of place. This isn’t one of his names, but it would be like or something like that. While the keywords could be a search chain someone might use in Google, many didn’t really make sense as domain names. I am fairly confident they wouldn’t receive traffic, and I don’t think anyone would buy them for development or speculation. The best hope for these types of names would be to develop them, but that is expensive and probably not worth the effort.

The names I ended up liking in his list were somewhat more brandable, although they weren’t made up terms. He has a few names that were similar to Although nobody would ever type this in to their browser, it seems a better bet to keep than the backwards keyword names. When he was registering this type of domain name, he was thinking like a marketer and consumer rather than a domain investor.

The point of this post is that sometimes when registering new domain names, it is also important to think like a consumer and a marketer rather than just a domain investor. Whereas domain investors try to uncover unregistered keyword strings (which is very difficult to find value), marketers and consumers can create a unique domain name that doesn’t simply rely on a company inventing a new word for their fangrastical new business.

About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has sold seven figures worth of domain names in the last five years. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest.

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Comments (4)


    Couldn’t agree more. When i look at my portfolio, i can see when i was thinking as domainer and when i was thinking as consumer/marketer. Needless to say, as i gain more experience in this field, and i look at my domains now, i see some domain that are a waste and some that i got just right. Good thing i am marketer/ consumer more then domainer, so i got a good share of potentially good names and a few good ones from the get go.

    March 3rd, 2008 at 12:14 pm


    When it comes to the domain name portfolio it is good to have a variety of domain names.

    Variety is the Spice in Life

    March 3rd, 2008 at 2:22 pm


    Great post (you are always a week ahead of me on these…)

    #1 Rule for domains if you aren’t going for type in traffic:

    Can someone build a site on that name? Is someone who is going to be spending real money and real time on a site every going to use one of your clunky sounding names? Sit back and think about if the name would look good in an advertisement, or if you told your friends the name would they say “huh?”.

    75% (if not more) of the names for sale on the forums wouldn’t pass the “can someone build a site on it” test. I’ve dumped a lot of my names this way.

    March 3rd, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    Kyle Eslick

    Great post Elliot!

    I think it is great that you took the time to do this for an upstart domainer. I was thinking about running my portfolio by someone who has been doing this for longer at some point to get a feel for what I’m doing right and what I’m not doing right. I think it is a great way to grow and learn, as well as cut my losses on a few bad domain choices.

    March 3rd, 2008 at 10:04 pm

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