People keep registering bad domains

Donuts domains

Donuts offered some insights about their premium domain names. The only insight I got, and that comes as no surprise, is that people have been and are (always) registering bad domains.

Donuts is generally characterizing anything greater than $33 wholesale per year as a premium domain name.

Donuts offered some examples from the hundreds of premium domain names are registered every week using Donuts TLDs.

Starting with price, since price is always of interest to investors: there are typically dozens of names sold in the >$1,000/yr range, and this week was no exception.

The 3 notable names that Donuts shared were: run.live, dental.claims and news.software.

These seem to me as bad or maybe average domain names to register. But if you factor in the yearly renewal fee then they are pretty bad:

run.live $2,950
dental.claims $3,540
news.software $1,180

Donuts disagrees with me: “What we like about these names: they’re all compelling names for investors and businesses.”

Sorry but I just don’t see it. BTW, all 3 domains in .com are parked and are probably for sale.

Donuts continued to share some more premium registrations:

Note that .LIVE continues to be one of Donuts’ top-performing TLDs for premium domains.

There are hundreds of names in the $100 – $999 range; the most popular TLDs in this price range currently are: .NEWS, .REVIEWS, .VENTURES, .LIVE, .SERVICES and .BUSINESS. Some examples include:

  • king.news, mail.services, rc.ventures, phoenix.business, audit.business, insurance.live

Donuts characterizes these names as business-related generics (others include: .SOLUTIONS, .COMPANY, .CAREERS, etc.) and we’re encouraged to see their growing popularity.

As always, one- and two-character domains are quite popular; some examples:

  • z.pizza, jz.live, 7.diamonds, a.vacations, b.international, m.codes, a.camera, bx.finance, ca.tours, i.cheap

But increasingly, people are registering domain names containing full words that are meaningful and often highly specific. These include:

  • chicago.house, printing.graphics, spice.kitchen, liberty.network, littlerock.university, motorcycle.tours, speaking.coach, videostream.live, approved.credit, autoinsurance.live, boutique.wine, dermatology.surgery

This trend is noteworthy for a couple of reasons: first, many of these appear to be the actual business name (e.g., littlerock.university) or a particular category (e.g., boutique.wine, printing.graphics). In the former case, we like the fact that increasingly people are including their brand or business into their domain name; it’s a powerful way to leverage digital identity. In the latter case, category names are especially valuable to registrants for organic search purposes. We’ve written in previous blog posts about the ‘evergreen’ SEO nature of these names. Having a name that’s a popular search term (such as motorcycle.tours or dermatology.surgery) means that this name is well positioned to appear on the first page of organic search results. That’s a powerful benefit for businesses looking to acquire customers without having to pay SEO/SEM consultants to maintain their search presence.

Sold.Domains

About Konstantinos Zournas

Konstantinos studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London and lives in Athens, Greece. He loves domains and building websites. He is online since 1995, learned about html in 1996 and got into domains in 2002. He started the OnlineDomain.com blog in 2012.

21 comments

  1. I agree that those yearly renewal prices are absurd, especially from an investors point of view. However, if people get used to it, it opens up the opportunity of renting out domains as a domain owner of domains that only have a small yearly cost.

    Couldn’t be too difficult to find a good domain name that you register for X dollars/year and rent it out for (1+a)X (a>0) dollars/year… and then you have a profitable business…

    In fact Undeveloped announced to have this renting feature live this year. Would be nice to see articles on this subject too. I believe this can be of great value to all domainers and all end users.

    • .gent doesn’t really exist, does it? Seriously? I won’t even bother checking. Hate to say it, but not only do I hate it (speaking as primarily and end user investor now), but I think whoever created that one, if it exists, would have to be a bit crazy or something.

      • Please do your research before you make comments like this.

        Gent is one of the three big cities in Belgium, so it is an interesting one for local businesses.

        So, in my opinion, it makes much more sense than .xyz for example.

      • Used for a local business it makes a lot of sense. Used outside of those parameters it makes about as much sense as someone using a .co for a us business.

        PS. I had a test .co running and people were forever adding an “m” to the end of the email address causing the loss of emails.

    • This is the type of customer Donuts is looking for.

      • Hotel.Gent is actually having real people booking hotels in the city of Gent, Belgium. It does well in the search engine (as pointed out in the article) and it is a short brandable domain name.

        Renewal is about 20 dollars/year, so i don’t see what the issue of your comment actually is. Please explain.

      • Okay, well that’s fair enough, Gent, but it’s certainly not a city I’ve ever heard of. And it looks like people can’t make up their mind about how to spell it either:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghent

  2. We have http://RF.fyi
    RF means Russian Federation
    Renews at $14

      • I’m with Konstantinos. Sorry, but to me “.fyi” is just another example of a new TLD where there might be a few rare cases where a whole sld + tld domain is okay or better, but overall I simply hate the extension and wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot pole. Nor would I like it being used unless the (rare) example were truly great, which for that one I find hard to even think of.

      • P.S. And I’m a guy who not only likes to use the phrase “fyi” but uses it a fair amount, including within the last 24 hours. Think about it…

      • someone from china has been regd BZ.fyi BZ means Belize
        bz.fyi was available for reg-fee i found several good LL.fyi for reg-fee. most of them are gone
        i think .fyi is great for geo domains

      • .fyi is good for nothing. Sorry.

      • Agreed Rf.fyi seems like a $0 evaluation.

      • Yes, Konstantinos is right again. And nice of him to say he’s “sorry” to you. And the last time I used “Fyi” in an email was considerably less than 24 hours prior to these comments too. Like “fyi,” hate .fyi. As I said before, I start as an end user too, as in the actual market for domains – think about it.

      • “Platinums,” (really?), try to understand that we are doing you a service and a favor here too. You are only racing toward financial ruin with things like “platinums” and “.fyi,” while making others rich…

    • Absolutely worthless !
      Total waste of reg fee !
      BTW, the name Platinums.co makes no sense at all !

  3. First rule of thumb, aside from what should be obvious about using a real sensible phrase in proper word order:

    Do I personally like it, consider it valuable, and would I be happy to use it or do I already want to use it as an end user?

    I never bought many of the new TLDs, though I did pay some early access premiums in the $xxx to $xxxx range. Most of my regs I’ve already let go, in some cases soon, others more recently, including a few I originally paid $xxxx for. In one case it’s still a good domain, but if it has a high premium renewal fee vs. normal reg fee then no way am I going to continue paying $xxxx per year barring any successful use of it to more than cover that, which did not materialize. That’s just highway robbery. And someone else apparently dropped it too, and it just sits around waiting for the next attempt.

    So even if some are good enough to pay a premium up front, premium non-normal renewal fees are the biggest turn off ever. No thanks for 99.999% of any that do not have normal renewal cost.

    • P.S. A lot of wishful thinking and self-delusion can creep in when thinking or saying specific examples are so great, especially and obviously depending on one’s interest in the matter. No amount of “positive confession” or “positive thinking” can help, and usually that only harms. I say this with all honesty: I personally hate the examples above. Sure, I could see an end user having practical use for the second two, and no doubt someone exists in the world who might like and make use of the first, but if it were me as someone who thinks as an end user first before any (occasional) sales, I would simply find a good .com long before I would ever consider paying any premium for those three, or at the very most I might pay some initial premium but definitely not a premium renewal if I was completely bent on having one of them for some reason (which seems unlikely).

  4. A few of the mentioned names are not bad. But the renewals? Business may struggle to survive sometimes. $10/year is something you’ll find anyway so you can preserve your (hard-earned) online identity. With these “premium” prices, default on payment and its the last nail in your coffin. No thanks.

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