Finding out which domain names are currently popular and worth a lot of money can give you a lot of insight into what kind of domain names command serious power on the Internet. Most registrars now publish what domains sell for the highest amount of cash and which are currently on the market for a serious price point.
There are a lot of commonalities in the most desirable domain names currently available. The tend to be short and to the point, insanely memorable, and rather simple in their function. Nearly every domain name that’s a single world has been scooped up already or retails for thousands of dollars. Being able to capitalize on what sells and draws interest is the best way to find your own domain name that’s worth some serious clout. I’ve always checked out what’s going on in the world of domain names as over time one naming convention becomes oversaturated and people quickly switch to another idea. For instance, the rise of the .io domain in recent years is just one of the few trends I’ve managed to pick up on.
A domain name is just one of the many important parts of an actual URL. The first part is known as the protocol, which is either http:// or https://. Any reputable website uses the https protocol because all communication between your browser and the website are encrypted, meaning nobody can snatch up valuable personal information if you happen to give it to the website. The next part is the domain name itself, for instance in the URL https://google.com the “google” part is the domain name. The .com, .net, or .org portion is what is referred to as the Top Level Domain or TLD. The last part of the URL is the path and is typically topical to what kind of page you’re visiting. For instance, if the website is https://examplewebsite.com/homepage the /homepage portion is the path of the domain. That should clear up any confusion if you manage to ever read people mentioning the term Top Level Domain, protocol, or domain name.
Here are some great resources that I’ve used personally for finding popular domain names:
GoDaddy is the biggest and most successful online domain registrar out there. A sizeable chunk of all online domains, not just the most interesting ones, are registered with GoDaddy. They publish a list of all of the most expensive domains they’ve ever sold as well as publishing what kind of words and extensions people choose to seek out. The information they have published is invaluable so I’d recommend you at least take a quick look, you might learn a thing or two you didn’t expect to. Their information is published under a blog they refer to as the garage, and I suppose that’s a very apt name because you’ll be able to tune up your website name before actually taking it for a drive should you take note of their information.
They cover a lot of topics relating to SEO and how your domain name can impact how you’re seen in the eyes of search engines. Unless you’re making a service that’ll get popular on its own, you’re more than likely going to want to bank on popular SEO best practices when it comes to picking a proper domain. Once Google starts to prioritize you over other options, you’ll start having more traffic than you know what to do with.
Another online behemoth of domain names is none other than Namecheap. On their site, they give you the ability to type in any domain you’d like and see how much it costs for that domain as well as domains similar to it. This way, you can type in domain names close to what you’d like and find the best ratio of price to relevancy. Using the prices they quote for domains, you’ll quickly be able to see what is desirable and what isn’t in a top level domain.
Namecheap is also like GoDaddy in that they maintain an expansive blog with a wealth of information for the would-be webmaster. They have articles to help you brainstorm new names and since they’re one of the biggest registrars next to GoDaddy, they tend to know a thing or two about domains.
Lean Domain Search
Lean Domain Search has made the science of finding the right domain their bread and butter. Using their website you’re able to find out which domain suffixes and prefixes are most commonly used. For instance, they’ve published that out of popular domains the most popular prefix is my-, as in mycoffee.com or mylawnmower.com. Use their publicly available data to understand popular internet trends and leverage those trends to your advantage. On top of all of that, they even offer a domain name generator free of charge that’ll show you some common ways to keep all of your desired terms but with another extra word or two tacked on to make it available. Just type in what you’d like your domain name to look like and it’ll show you what available domain names contain those words.
Alexa Domain Ranking
Alexa is an internet toolbar that collects and shares information based on the browsing habits of its users. Because of how widespread its toolbar has become, they are able to rank websites based on how many visitors they get on a daily basis. This data is invaluable as it shows you what sites people like visiting that are already up and running, as opposed to all of the other services that focus primarily on working out what domain would make a good site. The first 100 or 200 or so should be all websites that you recognize, but after that, you’ll be able to pick out some applicable trends in popular domains. One of the biggest points against using Alexa made by some detractors is that it only collects browsing habits from people who have the toolbar installed, and who do you know actually uses their toolbar? I’ll concede to them on that point, but Alexa ranking still holds some weight in the online community for reasons not completely known to me.
Another registrar that’s given us web denizens a plethora of information to comb over is none other than Reg-Names. They’re a fantastic resource for looking up if a domain you’d like is available and many popular domain names have been purchased from Reg-Names. What Reg-Names tells you that a lot of other registrars don’t is exactly how much each domain name extension will cost. For instance, you can price out domains ending in .io, .biz, or .org just if I didn’t make it clear enough as to exactly what they’re offering.
They aren’t too shabby as far as actually purchasing a domain from them either because they accept PayPal, all major credit cards, and even Bitcoin.
Bust A Name
It can be disheartening to repeatedly type in domains into any of these sites and noticing that they’re all taken. If this sounds like you and you need a little bit of automated help, try using Bust A Name to help you figure out what domain names are available that have the terms in them that you’d like. Simply type in the words you’d like to be included in your domain and then the system will search for combinations or permutations of those words that are still available. This way you’ll be able to find a relevant and available domain name no matter the limits of your creativity. They offer the ability to check multiple domain extensions as well, so it’s a pretty handy tool.
Another great resource I use when seeing if a domain name is already taken is the online web service Domain Typer. I find myself returning to it often because it gives me immediate results as to the availability and cost of registering a domain name the second I type in a domain. There’s no need to constantly press enter and then return a page, just amend your search as needed and you’ll get a quote for the domain from GoDaddy or Netim through the website.
Understanding how people use the internet is your first step in exploiting popular browsing habits to make your website an Internet goliath. The wrong domain name can cheapen all of your other efforts to make a clean and worthwhile site. I’ve seen some great domains that were beautifully designed and contained well researched and well thought out content, but their top-level domain was absolute garbage, like the kind of website you’d expect to walk away with a virus from after visiting it. People are much more discerning now that people know they can just refine their search results until something grabs their attention. It is your job as a webmaster to engineer your site to be as visitable as possible, and that starts with a good domain.
Hopefully, the resources above can help give you an idea of how to find the best domain name for your dollars. If you seem to be hitting a snag with getting the domain name of your dreams, try looking at things from another perspective to see if you’ve fallen prey to tunnel vision.