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Are Resold Domain Names Worth Less?


By Sarah Green, September 28, 2016

Ah, domain prospecting! The exciting game of bidding, buying, and bargaining!

If you are familiar with the cult game show The Price is Right, you will certainly recognize this famous catchphrase. For decades, and many, many seasons, the legendary Bob Barker would ask his contestants to give their estimation on the price of certain products which he would proudly display. Week after week, the contestants would give their estimates, and when they get the price right(-ish), they would receive that same product as a prize.

How to Know if the Price is Right?

While this format was considered to be rather unique in the 1950s, the concept was pretty much simple. You give an estimate, you state your bid, you buy the prize and hope that you can actually get a good bargain out of the deal.

 Negotiate the right price for your domain name.

However, ambiguous games of this sort are not recommended when you are prospecting for domains.

When you are starting a business, a brand, or even a personal website – your domain name is a factor which can make or break your future status.

Will your website become popular? Is your domain name sending the right message? Should you register a new address and invest in marketing in order to get the results that you are hoping to get? And what should you do if your domain is already registered by a third party?

Have you ever heard that old phrase before – Overthinking kills your happiness? Well, scratch that! Because in order to determine whether you should purchase an already existing domain, or invest in a brand new one, we will have to put our thinking hats on to get the price right.

For Your Consideration

There are quite a few factors that you should consider when registering a domain name. However, if you find your desired address to be already registered by someone else – there are a few things that you should take into consideration before you determine whether you should go all out and acquire that domain name at any cost.

Rebranding Vs. Acquisition: The Domain War

Let’s say that you have an amazing idea that you need funded. For example, you have just developed a brand new patent for a yet unseen rocket launcher, and you are on your way to conquer Mars (step aside Elon Musk). Now you need to start looking for those angel investors to sponsor your project.

The first thing that you have to think about is presentation.

Seth Godin

Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell. Seth Godin

Your brand has to tell a story to your investors, and, in this case, the domain name that would perfectly depict this idea of yours would probably be: SpaceWoosh.Me

Unfortunately, when you go ahead and try to register this domain, you might find out that it’s already registered (this one is not, by the way!), and now you have a decision in front of you!

One option is to rebrand your product and find a new name for it, the other is to contact the owner of this domain and throw money at them until they hand it over.

In most cases, it's possible to rebrand your domain.

Rebranding your domain, and/or your initial idea is certainly a cheaper solution in most cases. Especially if you haven’t invested anything in it yet. However, if you have already contacted potential investors; developed a PR campaign; or if there is a lot of search volume on Google for this term; or even if this name simply fits your business plan and promotion strategy perfectly – you kind of want that SpaceWoosh.Me name to be yours.

So make a list of pros and cons for rebranding, and do the same for the potential acquisition. Once you determine the costs of each of these options, and the potential ROI, the question becomes a no-brainer.

That’s the best way to determine if the price is right. However, this should also be the only case when you should be investing in someone else’s domain.

There is a myth which claims that the age of domain is extremely important for rankings. However, you shouldn’t believe this hype. Here’s why.

Do Search Engines Really Respect Their Elders?

More than 5 years ago, old domains were considered to be goldmines. Numerous companies used to invest considerable amounts into obtaining these assets.

Why did they insist on acquisition of old domains? Because Google used to index older websites faster, (they simply knew where they can find them), giving them an unfair advantage over new domains that were yet to prove themselves on the market.

So when this information became evident, what happened? Naturally, people started exploiting this glitch and investing in already registered addresses, just so they could resell them afterwards, or so that they could obtain an advantage on the market.

This trend became so popular that Google had to diminish this ranking factor almost completely. Matt Cutts (Google’s ex head of the web spam department) stated multiple times that this occurrence is merely a myth based on very few facts, and that older domains rank better today simply because they tend to have more content and more backlinks.

So the reason why older domains are still ranking better is simple – people invested much more time getting backlinks and publishing content.

The fact that people are still buying old domains simply for the purpose of ranking higher is just a product of a myth that is circling around the web.

Know that even if you acquire a domain that is old, mighty and strong, the moment that you start changing the content of the website – guess what will happen to it? It will drop in search. Even if it has a tone of backlinks, the main purpose of backlinks is to show relevancy. Although you can disavow some of the referring domains, disavowing a lot of them will also affect your rankings negatively.

So, do you actually want to go through all of that trouble? The fact is – the resources that you are saving by investing in an already established domain, will be later spent on revamping that website for your particular purposes.

This tactic made sense 5 years ago, today – if you are investing in an old domain, you better be investing in the entire business as well. Other than that – it’s cheaper, safer and more reliable after all just to invest in a new domain (believe it or not, you can get one right here :)).

Before you start thinking about mooching your way to high rankings, you should probably invest your time better and start thinking about how to step up your SEM game. Because no matter how high that old domain is ranking now, if you don’t devote to backlink analysis and if you don’t plan on obtaining the whole brand by itself – the price is wrong.

Who Is the Owner?

So, you are positively sure that you want to purchase an already used domain? Naturally you need to hunt down its original owner. There are a few things that you should know about possible owners as well.

If you are looking to buy a .ME domain, you can check the information about the owner simply by visiting our WHOIS page. Here, you can type in the name that you are interested in, and all the information about its owner, the date of registration, expiry date, ID, etc. – everything will be displayed transparently for your convenience.

The same information can be found on Google, simply by typing in the prefix WHOIS in front of the domain name. There are numerous sources that will deliver this information.

Still, before you even address the person who is the current owner of your desired domain, don’t forget to perform that backlink analysis. Here is how you can perform an initial analysis by yourself.

SiteRank.Me

By visiting SiteRank.Me, you can perform an analysis of your desired address by yourself. The Site Rank Me is a moderately new tool, but you will be pleasantly surprised with the amount of insight that this application delivers.

All that you need to do is enter the address in the search bar, click on the search icon, and all the data required for a domain assessment will be displayed within seconds. The analysis includes Alexa rank status, Google indexation status, a general overview of your competition status and much more! The Site Rank Me will even provide you with individual bounce rates, numbers of daily visits and page views. Not to mention that you can even analyze keywords alone if you are looking to improve your current SEO.

Did I fail to mention that this application delivers all of this information for free (no rhyme intended)? Well, the more you know.


Author:

Sarah Green

Sarah Green explores the latest web trends and covers stories related to technology, startups and digital life in general. Writing professionally since 2012, she has developed a sixth sense for trending topics in these fields.

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