Thoughts About Geographic Keyword Domain Names | DomainInvesting.com

Thoughts About Geographic Keyword Domain Names

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I’ve been a fan of geodomain names for several years. I’ve owned a number of city and town .com domain names over the years, and I’ve sold the majority of them. My company still operates Lowell.com, and although it doesn’t generate  all that much revenue, I enjoy operating the website. I like city/town/region/state/country exact match .com domain names, although I am only interested in buying them at exceptional prices these days.

A different but similar type of geodomain name is the geographic keyword domain names. For clarification purposes, I would classify domain names like BostonRealEstate.com, ChicagoDoctors.com, and NYCPlumbing.com as geographic keyword domain names. Some day, we may talk about names like Boston.Lawyers or Philadelphia.RealEstate, but for now, let’s stick with the others.

I am still a fan of city RealEstate.com domain names. Real estate agents tend to work exclusively in a specific area, and that may be several towns, one city, or perhaps a few cities. Because real estate agents’ work is based in specific geographic areas, I think these domain names are valuable. I’ve had some good sales and I’ve also had some challenging ones, but I’ve generally been able to sell these names profitably. I am still on the lookout for well-priced US geoRealEstate.com domain names.

I am not as keen about other geographic keyword domain names, like BostonDoctors.com or PhiladelphiaLawyers.com, for example. Many professionals work in specific geographic areas, but they aren’t exclusive to those areas as a real estate agent is. In addition, their expertise is likely a sector within their field rather than based on geography. Yes, a doctor may want to identify himself with a geographic area, but it’s probably less common than a real estate agent, and there is likely less SEO value today in a geo keyword domain name than there was a few years ago.

Geographic keyword domain names have value, but I don’t really own many aside from real estate related domain names. I’ve tried to sell domain names to doctors and lawyers, and I have not had much luck either. This doesn’t mean that my experiences would be the same as someone else’s experience, but when push comes to shove, I’d rather focus my efforts elsewhere.

I would still buy city, state, or interesting town / neighborhood .com domain names for the right price, but I tend to stay away from most geographic keyword domain names.

I’d be interested in hearing about your experience with these domain names.


About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. 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 DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest.


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Comments (43)

    Mike

    Short .com names are good, anything long or .whatever is junk.

    May 13th, 2014 at 12:41 pm

      Elliot Silver

      I closed one 3 and one 4 word .com sales last week, so I respectfully disagree.

      In reply to Mike | May 13th, 2014 at 12:44 pm

      Mike

      Depends if you focus on quantity or quality. You can do business with long stuff, but there is no big money. Unless big is something else for you and me.

      In reply to Elliot Silver | May 13th, 2014 at 1:03 pm

      Elliot Silver

      Certainly not *large* sales, but mid-$x,xxx and profitable.

      In reply to Mike | May 13th, 2014 at 1:09 pm

      Mike

      It is about profit size, not sale size.
      I am sure YOU still can handle some profit with long stuff.

      In reply to Elliot Silver | May 13th, 2014 at 1:17 pm

      Elliot Silver

      That is true, but I typically find the profit size to be commensurate with the sale size.

      In reply to Mike | May 13th, 2014 at 1:19 pm

      John

      I’ll disagree a little more strongly than Elliot and say this is definitely pure myth and an apparent prejudice among some that does need very serious rethinking and revision. The best of the short .com’s may be gems, but many of the best domains are also 3 worders, and some even 4 and more. Did you ever hear the story of rumcakes.com? Very nice name, nice story, but I’d take the much longer NewYorkRealEstate.com in terms of value over that one any hour of the day along with a host of other 4 worders, let alone high-length 3 worders like homeownersinsurance.com ($570,000).

      ForSaleByOwner.com – $835,000

      MayTheForceBeWithYou.com – the real bid was $6.7 million

      Just to name a few.

      One of the most aggressive and completely unsolicited domain “suitors” I’ve personally been dealing with during the past year has been after an *extremely* long 4 word .com operated by my company. This is a big time player with deep pockets, big time new funding reported in the news, a “bod,” as in board of directors I presume, and a big verifiable open presence online, etc. Some time during the discussions, they even expanded their interest to include another really long 3 word .com as well. Another really long 3 worder has been the subject of so much unsolicited interest and so many offers during the past few years that it could fill a blog thread of its own.

      In reply to Mike | May 13th, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    Andrew Allemann

    A good chunk of my portfolio consists of this type of geo domain name. I registered many of these domains about 5-10 years ago.

    The results have been mixed. Domains related to medical fields can be tough, and many doctors don’t think of the internet as a lead generation source.

    I’ve had better luck with terms related to roofing, siding, and other contractor-type services.

    May 13th, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    DonnyM

    Geo names like Real estate, homes, insurance, loans, or even dentists,roofing and basically any type of local service names are severely undervalued with .com

    Replacing your roof 15-25k, One State geo name such as California roofing, or any state is normally less than 10k to take ownership. No I don’t own any roofing names but have others different services.

    Nothing wrong with 3 worded state names if they make sense and the value of the service is high.

    May 13th, 2014 at 1:15 pm

      Elliot Silver

      Some of those web savvy people will tell you that they can buy leads at Home Advisor, Angie’s List, and Adwords for significantly less than domain investors might want for the website…. they also don’t have to worry about building and maintaining the website, which would be done in addition to their current websites.

      May 13th, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    Ian Ingram

    We own a couple hundred ‘City’RealEstate.com and ‘City’Homes.com domains covering around 2% of the US. Mostly small cities (under 50k population) but we have had good luck with them. We don’t do any outbound marketing and they generally sell for $500-$2500. Some get leads every now and then from type in traffic – “we need a 3 bed, 3 bath under 500k in this neighborhood, etc….” we used to forward many of those leads to agents in the area and never received even a simple thanks in reply.

    Just like any other type of domain, some of those who inquire will flip out over an asking price over $10 and some won’t hesitate to pay several thousand for the right domain.

    May 13th, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    DonnyM

    When you use a .com on adwords and compare the same ad copy to a .net, .org or whatever the .com will have a higher CTR.

    People will look at the extension on adwords. The .com will win virtually every time.

    If your CTR is 1% higher your costs go down dramatically and ROI goes up.

    The same principle will apply to all forms of advertising.

    But Real estate agents are lazy and just want to buy leads so building out the site and selling them exclusive leads is always an option. 50 leads at 30 bucks per lead should turn into a sale.

    May 13th, 2014 at 1:50 pm

      Ray Redican Jr. (CIS)

      Donny can you call me I am looking to speak to someone that has an insight into the average value of a real estate lead / referral please see (google Ray Redican lowell sun see 2010 story) i need help with this case please 718-290-5689.

      In reply to DonnyM | October 5th, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    Hugh

    Thank you so much for posting this article for the benefit of the geo domainers out there. From my perspective I believe that the value, development potential, desirability or vanity quotient for pure .com geographic domains on the example (city/town/region/state/country) can be visualized as a inverted bell curve of value. I would even say that to go even one step more in the focus/micro level, meaning a tourist area/destination within a city (that is the draw for the city) is of the highest arc on the bell curve on the left. While on the right, the pure country.com domains are the highest on that side of the curve. The value of the country.com comes from the lack of focus, generalization, branding ability and immense page creation possibility, whereas the super focused tourist draw area/destination within the city (or otherwise not within a city area) make up for this size disparity by their very own geotargeted nature with a more reasonable scale of development for a geo domainer to build. This can be realized and illustrated by the evidence (my assertion and experience) that even when parking a domain, the more focused it is, the greater the click through rate and corresponding click value. Additionally, a super focused micro level geo domain will have less competition in search engine ranking versus country.com level names (broad analysis – my opinion).

    With regard to lawyer and doctor domains: I have also had no real interest in city (lawyer.com and doctor.com type names), they have no traffic so they only have some vanity value. Therefore, the more focused the lawyer/doctor name is to a geo location, the less valuable it is on a pure selling basis (city/town (lower level) to the more valuable (state/country level). Lawyers and doctors only really want category defining non-geographic relating domains (from my experience).

    This is just my opinion, others may have had different experiences than I have had, the goal is to create a dialog that benefits everyone in the geo domaining community.

    May 13th, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    Leonard Britt

    I own quite a few Spanish city real estate .COM domains – US cities with a meaningful Spanish-speaking population as well as cities in Spanish-speaking countries (OK some Portuguese speaking countries as well). Recently I tried marketing one domain in a tourist city and have received several responses for price or more info. However, since I have never sold a domain like this before I’m not really sure how I should price it. I know that condos/apartments in the tourist areas of that city have prices comparable to large US cities (not LA/NY but still close to Miami prices). I responded with an $XXXX price and offered a lease option as well but still wonder if I am leaving money on the table. Then again, typically when people ask “How much?” they don’t respond once I give them a price.

    May 13th, 2014 at 2:20 pm

      Leonard Britt

      Question – what do you think of city+condominiums.com (in English)? I have some of these as well.

      In reply to Leonard Britt | May 13th, 2014 at 2:30 pm

      Elliot Silver

      The only other RE names I might buy are large city Homes.com or Apartments.com names.

      In reply to Leonard Britt | May 13th, 2014 at 3:13 pm

      Leonard Britt

      Domaining has evolved over the last fifteen years but we are still in the early innings. While experienced domain investors can spot an undervalued domain, domain markets are not efficient and are still quite often just valued based on how much a buyer is willing to pay.

      In reply to Elliot Silver | May 13th, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    Raider

    Although I have invested in some GEO’s, I’ve never been a big enough fan to increase my inventory, my reasoning is your marketing to a far smaller audience, City/Town VS US/World.. For store owners in local communities, I would agree having a GEO to draw in customers would be the way to go, but these store owners don’t have a ton of money to spend on a domain name, this reason coupled with marketing to a fraction of the population is why we don’t see many high priced GEO sales, unless of course it’s a major city.

    Undervalued? NOT at all, GEO’s sell for just what there worth.

    May 13th, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    Dan

    I have several VisitGEO.com style domains, which for many people are known as the defacto “tourist info” sites and I’ve had quite mixed experiences. I successfully sold one VisitCITY.com domain last year for $3500, which was a fairly good price for the buyer in my opinion given it was a significant Asian capital city.

    I’ve had others though in big tourist locations really struggle and I’ve recently sold some of them at reduced prices.

    I have VisitKrakow.com as my flagship geo, a significant tourist destination (11m+ per annum) and if the city are successful in their bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics it should become a solid investment.

    I have found that avenues for selling them are challenging – the tourist information offices of the relevant GEO are amongst the likeliest candidates, but they increasingly seem happy to stick with their cctld’s or inferior domains and just rely on SEO. Hotels and Travel Companies too are not so interested….

    Many nice domains simply don’t have a very big market of potential buyers…

    May 13th, 2014 at 3:21 pm

      Elliot Silver

      I’ve had several Visitgeo.com names, and I don’t think I extracted what I felt would be max value on any of them.

      In reply to Dan | May 13th, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    j

    The best medial domains are conditions, surgeries, tests and treatments. There is a big market for these domains on the web because patients are constantly holding discussions about their symptoms. These domains are solid revenue generators. As for selling, good end-users are hospitals who pay for Adwords.

    I would say BayAreaChiropractors.com would have good GEO demand. Patients search more for the cost of treatment and surgery rather than locate GEO and medical professionals.

    Treatment domains and surgery are the best. If you’re lucky to acquire an exact match condition domain, you can definitely make some revenue while waiting to score that premiere domain sale.

    May 13th, 2014 at 6:16 pm

      Ray Redican Jr. (CIS)

      Best medical sites… ok i have entered the Medical Marijuana industry through WeedAndCigarettes.com (CIS) & CigarettesAndWeed.com (CIS) as I belive(d) when getting them that more and more searches will start happening having to do with where can i buy cigarettes and weed this would take care of it plus many people in geo domain’s smoke pot cigarettes etc so we registered them to take advantage of the medical marijuana market and i was making a lot of money from the MM market at that time. Through stocks like HEMP and a few others.

      With all the domains practically gone Phrases ending in dot com will start becoming more popular. .com is the best and thats it if you have a choice with any word dot anything you would be wise to chose KEYWORD.COM thats it. For direct organic navigational trafic thats all you need. Do not think you found a great .anything else.

      In reply to j | October 5th, 2015 at 6:23 pm

    craig

    Domain Names like ontarioautomobileinsurance.com (13 billion yearly premium $$) were the first ones to make any sense to me. So I bought quite a few, sold a few for good profit, and currently seeing some interest in the rest.
    Think about this scenario: I have houses in Muskoka ( The Hamptons of Toronto), and Fort Myers Florida.
    The ONLY pest control businesses that I know how to contact immediately, are: fortmyerspestcontrol.com (number one in the area, and the domain name on their trucks is hard to miss) and muskokapestcontrol.com (they may be new) How so? simple ..I CLEARLY REMEMBER AND CAN SPELL THEIR DOMAIN NAMES! How could you miss them?
    Curiously, in Florida I use “Garys” pest control and have for years………and yet….I have NO IDEA HOW TO REACH THEM!
    For sure, the next big roach (Floridians call them Palmetto bugs, but they are cockroaches to me) that walks out and scares my wife, will drive me straight to fortmyerspestcontrol.com
    WHY?….I don’t have to look anything up….I can reach them 24/7. AND if they are smart enough to grab that name, they are likely capable at what they do…..and, I know EXACTLY what they do….just look at the URL! THEY KILL BUGS!
    Clearly these names when attached to decent website, will rank better, and importantly, have far superior click through rates.

    As for price, (geo.coms) for roofing, fencing, used cars, etc. for any metro over 100M pop/ $3,000 minimum and lots have sold for more.
    So now each of you comment readers know how to get bugs killed in Fort Myers….and if I ask you in 6 months, YOU WILL STILL KNOW!
    Think about it.

    May 13th, 2014 at 7:52 pm

      Ray Redican Jr. (CIS)

      Best medical sites… ok i have entered the Medical Marijuana industry through WeedAndCigarettes.com (CIS) & CigarettesAndWeed.com (CIS) as I belive(d) when getting them that more and more searches will start happening having to do with where can i buy cigarettes and weed this would take care of it plus many people in geo domain’s smoke pot cigarettes etc so we registered them to take advantage of the medical marijuana market and i was making a lot of money from the MM market at that time. Through stocks like HEMP and a few others.

      With all the domains practically gone Phrases ending in dot com will start becoming more popular. .com is the best and thats it if you have a choice with any word dot anything you would be wise to chose KEYWORD.COM thats it. For direct organic navigational trafic thats all you need. Do not think you found a great .anything else.

      In reply to craig | October 5th, 2015 at 6:24 pm

      Ray Redican Jr. (CIS)

      what about a population of 24,000 6 letter pure geo .com name how much?

      In reply to craig | October 5th, 2015 at 6:27 pm

    John

    Hmm, nice timing here – press release on city.com for sale today.

    May 13th, 2014 at 9:05 pm

    Eddie

    I’m a TV producer who dabbles in investing in domains. I have found that (cityname)pizza.com domains have been profitable income generators with Ad Revenue but not great in reselling because most of the local pizza guys don’t have a great deal of money.

    May 14th, 2014 at 12:33 am

      Ray Redican Jr. (CIS)

      Cool eddie call me if you produce still 718-290-5689 if you get my story it would be your lucky day google Ray Redican thats me if you call state your the producer

      In reply to Eddie | October 5th, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    Jay

    I still have around 100+ geo/keyword domains. All $8 pick ups plus few years of renewal fees. Have sold a good handful in the low x,xxx range to local businesses. I haven’t really pushed them too hard though just an occasional sale pops through from inquiry form.

    May 14th, 2014 at 12:50 am

      Ray Redican Jr. (CIS)

      Jay call me 718-290-5689 i’d like to discuss your sales see my above comments

      In reply to Jay | October 5th, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    Joe

    I recently read about a guy who had 10,000 plus geo/legal .com’s all for lead gen…doing very very well. I know on the legal side, injury, pharma side effects, personal injury lawsuit, etc. are very good on the lead gen side, I would say in some instances geo lead gen sites can do very well.

    May 14th, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    John

    LOL – can you believe the timing on this again? (See first dialog stream above on short vs. long):

    “Long Isn’t Always Wrong: Three-Word .Com Tops This Week’s Domain Sales Chart”

    http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/domainsales/2014/20140521.htm

    (Reported Domain Sales – Mon. May 5, 2014 – Sun. May 11, 2014)

    May 14th, 2014 at 8:41 pm

    Robert

    What are the better DNs ?

    GeoKyeword or KyewordGeo DNs ?
    or it depends on the selected area ?

    thanks for insight

    Robert

    May 15th, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    John Colascione

    I have hundreds of these that I have been hanging onto for several years. So far, it seems to have been a bad investment, especially with what has been going on with Google and exact match domains as of late. It’s closing in one the time to cut my losses and stop the bleeding for the majority of them.

    May 15th, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    John Colascione

    Comes with the territory. The way I look at it, your chances are much better to hit the big win when you have 500 – 1000 tickets. If one hits, you made it.

    May 15th, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    John

    I think the best potential have city.email
    I would rather buy Boston.email than Boston.com because you can develop it just like .com and provide people with easy to remember email name.
    Easy to remember email name with leading email providers are impossible to register these days

    May 17th, 2014 at 6:33 pm

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