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Domain Speculation Pointers


Throughout the past several months, I’ve had many conversations with a fellow domain investor about different speculation strategies focusing on newly registered domain names. He and I frequently share stories of new registrations along with the motivation behind speculating on certain new names.  I want to share a few brief pointers for registering relevant domain names on a speculative basis.  

Travel and geographic-related domain names may be worth speculating on, as their value has climbed and always seem to be in high demand.  Sometimes you can create a relevant domain name by combining a travel destination with a travel-related keyword to form a new name with some value. The key is that the new domain name must make sense, and the keyword should have some click value (be it a large ticket item or an expensive service).


When I am planning a vacation, there are several things I search for prior to departure:

  1. Hotel
  2. Transportation
  3. Sites
  4. Restaurants
  5. Etc…

To make the most of #3, I frequently search for a tour guide online, in order to visit attractions that will be most interesting to me and my fiance. With that in mind, I believe the terms “tour guide” and/or “tour guides” could add value to a travel destination.  Turns out, is available to register.  Whether it has much value, I don’t know, but I like the name for under $10 because there are plenty of tour guides in Croatia, and there are many people looking to find them online.

Other types of speculative domain registrations I occasionally take a chance on are relevant health related domain names.  With most health or wellness related issues, there are cures or forms of proactive products.  Oftentimes this is in the form of creams, pills, shots, patches….etc.  Sometimes newly discovered and/or trendy plants and herbs are publicized, causing great demand for their related products.  


One way to speculate on this type of domain name is to stay on top of these marketplace trends and buy relevant domain names.  Using the herbs or the health issue, you could add keywords to the end of the domain for potential products that may be developed and marketed.  Recently, I’ve heard quite a bit about fish oil.  I know the pills have become popular, but maybe there will be another application.  Perhaps a cream could be in the works? As of today, is available to register.  Maybe this name (and product) stinks, but if it does become popular, it will cost under $10 to secure this name.

The final type of name I would like to discuss are state/local professions and activities. These are my favorite types of speculative purchases because they are less about speculation and more about hunting for unregistered gems.  You can search through the yellow pages or various online directories to see if a particular profession exists in a specific area, and if it does, there is probably at least a small amount of demand, and certainly the ability to add content.  This topic is something that Frank Schilling discussed a while ago, and it’s something I like.  Personally, I own,, and among others I bought in the aftermarket, and I am a big fan of this type of name.


One way to become inspired is to search through your local phone directory to see what professions exist where domain names don’t.  Let’s say you live down in Palm Beach, Florida.  When I was down there last, I noticed nearly every home had a swimming pool.  These seem to be high value commodities, so presumably there are people who would pay quite a bit for a lead. is available to register.”Relevant” is the most frequently used descriptive term in this post.  In order to make a wise speculative purchase, the domain name must be relevant.  You probably wouldn’t find much value in registering for example.  If you stick with relevant domain names, you may come across something of value.  

You should stay away from registering names that contain the trademark of another company. I would advise that you do a search of the USPTO database before registering a potential trademark infringing domain name.  

Again, please keep in mind this is purely SPECULATION!  Just like investing in the stock market, I would only advise a small amount of domain names in your portfolio be of the speculative nature – although some might argue that most domain names are speculative if they aren’t developed.  Owning too many speculative names may be cost prohibitive and wouldn’t be something I would advocate. 

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 (6)

    Ms Domainer

    Having spent time in Eastern Europe, I perked up when I saw in GoDaddy’s fire sale. Basically, “idete” (in several slavic languages) is the equivalent to “go,” so, of course, I snagged the domain. I then registered

    Yes, it’s pure speculation, but I have a Macedonian friend who can help me develop this site (I’ll be going there after Christmas). Also, Eastern Europe is starting to become a popular destination.

    After my husband retires, working on this site will give him something to do.



    That’s great! I also think its important to speculate on domain names with topics of interest. The more you have an interest in the field. the more likely it is that you will be able to develop and add value to the domain name. Most of the time, new registrations aren’t worth too much as is because the traffic is probably going to be nil. If you can add some content, you will increase its value and possibly the value of other similar registrations.

    November 26th, 2007 at 11:16 pm

    Ted Sudol

    I found the thoughts on domain speculation to be very interesting. I also read Frank Schilling’s thoughts on the topic of geographic business names and have a couple of questions.

    The first is in the area of foreign language traffic. You can usually find dropping domains with high foreign traffic and/or foreign links. I would assume that these domains were dropped after the domain extension list was expanded to include a domain for their country so they switched to something that made more sense for their target audience. Is there any way to convert that traffic or develop it? Is it a worthwhile speculation now that the new web site has a relevant country code and moved over to that and most of the time the domain name doesn’t make sense for an english speaking audience?

    It seems like its got a foot in both worlds – does it work well? In the example given above “idete” means go in several slavic languages so of course it means something to that group. But wouldn’t a slavic person (unless he spoke english just scratch his had at “travel” and probably have gone to a site with his country’s domain extension?

    On the other hand if you are targeting an english speaking audience wouldn’t they be scratching their head at “idete” and wondering what it meant.

    So if your goal was to sell the domain name who would you pitch it to? If your goal was to develop it who would your audiece be? If you goal was to park it what relevant ads would you want to see on the page?

    Thanks in advance for your help. Still learning.

    All the best,
    Ted Sudol

    November 27th, 2007 at 12:38 pm

    Todd Mintz

    Awesome post, Elliot. I’ve found that if I try to think of good names that I can register, I don’t have good results…however, if I go about my normal routines, I invariably see excellent opportunities at the $9 level that have a good shot at making me a profit down the road.

    BTW, I played with “pills/patches” too…I wrote about it here:

    November 27th, 2007 at 2:03 pm

    Steve Morales


    You are on point with this topic, as well as frank and sahar in prior posts about getting started for a rookie. The best course of action as explained by Rick back in the day is purchase names on the aftermarket that are already receiving typein traffic. But, as we all know most starters do not have the capital to do so starting off.

    I am starting to rebuild a small empire from scratch using just the advice from the recent articles published throughout the blogs one name at a time to prove seasoned domainers are right about it not being to late, figure I would be the test dummy. Smart Creativity, New Trends and Business Sense are the keys to finding profitable names that can be flipped to an end user/business via direct marketing with new domain registrations. This also takes alot of the speculative out of new registrations if done right.

    Great opportunity still exists in any business in the world. It’s exploiting a niche embraced by consumers needs/wants that one can build an empire and wealth in any business. Apple did it with the MP3 player, even though they were not the first in the business.

    Here are some examples for each category I described above of names recently registered.

    -Smart Creativity for a niche market
    registered on 17 Nov 2007 (receive very small typein traffic)

    -Trends (covered on E Hollywood TV Show 23 nov)
    registered on 23 Nov 2007 (not tested yet on traffic)

    -business sense (unmined niches IMO, that equals big $$ to a doctor, very small amounts of typein traffic, there are alot of sick kids who get this treatment all the time)
    registered on 24 Nov 2007

    There may not be any PowerComs listed with high volumns of traffic at this time, but most can be sold to an end user/domain investor for a profit to get you closer to the next step, the aftermarket to build a greater portfolio. Those who start out new in this business should develop a pyramid system starting on the bottom that will allow you to accomplish set goals to move to the next level of goals until you reach the top. There is still opportunity in the domain game to improve your quality of life, so listen up and take advantage of the knowledge the experts are sharing, I know I am.

    Sorry for the long post Elliot.



    Some of those names are pretty good for $8. Just keep in mind that the registration fees add up, so unless you are offsetting your purchases by making sales or earning PPC revenue, your portfolio will be more of a liability than an asset. Domain investing is fun, but like gambling, you have not make sure not to get in over your head. Compared with gambling though, there is far more upside with domain investments.

    November 28th, 2007 at 12:22 am


    Thanks Again Elliot!
    Excellent article. These How-Tos are super valuable. My question is, what do you DO with your gems (let’s say a great state/local profession/activity) once you find them? I see you list a few for sale on your blog, but are there other methods you’d recommend to a rookie? I might have a few hand registered gems myself, but I’m going to need to generate some cash flow with them if I want to move forward.
    Thanks too Steve (comment), for sharing that information and if there’s somewhere we can follow along with the development of your ‘from scratch’ portfolio please send us a link.

    November 29th, 2007 at 2:28 am

    Chad Westby


    I happen to live in Virginia and went to your site As expected, I saw a number of links, none of which where relevant for a VA mortgage search. They included links to French property mortgages, overseas mortgages, wisconsin mortgages.

    I do not know how anyone makes real money off of parked sites since many of the links are completely irrelevant to my search.

    Not a criticism per se, just an observation! Would love to hear your thoughts!!

    December 3rd, 2007 at 5:42 pm

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