Commercial Usage of a Domain Name |
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Commercial Usage of a Domain Name


People often ask me what I look for when buying a domain name. While there are many factors that I consider, I think the single most important thing about a domain name is its potential commercial usage. When evaluating domain names to acquire, I ask myself, “how can this domain name be used, and would it make sense to build a website around this domain name?” If you are able to know exactly what will be on the website before even navigating to it because it’s a category killer name, you probably have a good name.

I hardly ever buy a domain name based on traffic or revenue numbers. There are too many non-controllable factors when buying based on these statistics, so my buying decision is not determined by these stats. Yes, I do ask about a domain name’s traffic, but that is to make sure the name “has a pulse” to get a feel for whether it is worth sinking money into a development project. The single most important thing to me is commercial usage.

Whether I am planning to build a website on the domain name or whether I plan to sell the domain name to someone who will build a website, I want to know whether the domain name makes sense to have a website. Sure, there are plenty of great “brandable” domain names out there, but why do I want to spend my time trying to convince someone about how great it sounds or why that particular domain name would be great for a particular site? I would rather be able to contact someone in the industry or someone in the domain industry and say, I have the category killer name for this particular niche, and the domain name is actually the name of a particular category or niche.

A person should never have to say, “this domain name would make a great xyz website.” A great, commercially viable, generic domain name shouldn’t need any explanation. For example, my newest acquisition is I believe this domain name needs no explanation, and that’s why I like it.

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)

    Justin Allen

    Elliot, you and I see exactly the same way here. Everything I look for value wise, is based on Commercial Usability. Well written and said.


    April 17th, 2008 at 1:58 pm


    Most importantly, domain names should be generic, and the shorter, the better (like Also, .com has a major advantage of course.

    April 17th, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    Eugene Krassnoff

    I completely agree with Elliot, a good name is the name that doesn’t need no expanation.

    April 17th, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    Emil @KING.NET

    I totally agree with you Elliot. I bought the domain name with minimal traffic now it’s a blast and still 3 days only.

    I normally buy names as I plan to develop them.


    April 18th, 2008 at 9:42 am

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