How to Rank 6 Times in Google’s Top 10 – with Christian Walter

Most small and medium businesses would be thrilled to be listed even once in the top 10 organic search results on Google for a keyword phrase that describes their business. But what if you could rank in six of the top 10 positions?

Christian Walter, the chief technology officer of NowYo.com, has helped a small landscape design firm in Cincinnati do just that. The firm ranks in positions 1, 2, 5, 7, 8 and 10 of the top 10 positions for “Cincinnati hardscaping structures,” as well as many other search phrases. In today’s show, Walter shares the secret to achieving these results.

Interview (42:16): Watch | Listen/Download Audio | Sponsors | Key Take-Aways | Read Transcript

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About Christian Walter

Christian Walter, NowYo.comChristian Walter is the chief technology officer at NowYo.com, a website dedicated to selling premium domain names at a fraction of the cost of most domain resellers.

In 2000, Christian sold JustSayWow.com, a online greeting card service with 20 million email subscribers. Prior to the sale to eUniverse, JustSayWow.com was ranked the 64th most popular website in the world, according to Alexa. The JustSayWow.com email subscriber base was used to build MySpace.com, which was later sold to News Corp. for $580 million.

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Sponsors of This Interview

DomainTools is the recognized leader in domain name intelligence, providing a powerful set of research and monitoring tools built on the industry’s freshest data. DomainTools offers the most comprehensive collection of domain name ownership records in the world. Over 1 million members rely on DomainTools to protect and grow the value of their web sites, their domain names and their intellectual property on a daily basis.

David E. Weslow, Attorney at Law provides legal representation for clients ranging from individuals to Fortune 500 companies in relation to domain name transactions and disputes, trademark and copyright claims, and web hosting and content liability issues. A former software and web developer, he regularly assists clients with cutting-edge issues involving law and technology.

Protrada – The Domain Exchange is the only platform that allows you to analyze,
bid, buy, develop, manage and sell domains. Access the largest domain auction houses. Get your domains working for you by developing content rich, good looking socially active websites. Manage your entire portfolio from one platform. Trade domains as easily as trading stocks.

Three Take-Aways From Christian Walter’s Interview

  1. There Is a Secret Sauce to Ranking High and Often
    Not surprisingly, the secret sauce is hard work with a pinch of ingenuity thrown in. For Bud Jones and Sons, a landscaping design firm in Cincinnati, to rank in six of the top 10 organic search results in Google (at the time of the interview), they had to purchase very targeted keyword-rich domain names: CincinnatiLandscapeDesigns.com, CincinnatiPatios.com, CincinnatiFountains.com, and so forth. Then they built out full websites with original, professionally written content, and placed their phone number squarely in the center of the websites to generate leads.
  2. Domain Names Do Still Matter
    Reports claiming that domain names no longer rank well are overstated. Many keyword domain names do not rank well simply because the user is not looking for those keywords. Or, with automated or poorly written content, an end user may visit a keyword domain, not find what they are looking for, and click the back button on their browser. The resulting high bounce rate, which Google considers in its ranking algorithm, leads to lower rankings. Google will show targeted domains, like CincinnatiPatios.com, at the top of search results because users are finding exactly what they are looking for there.
  3. Click-through Rates Affect Your Website’s Ranking
    In the help section of Google’s AdWords, it says: “Include your keywords in your ad text (especially the title) to show users that your ad relates to their search. If your ad shows when a user searches on a keyword in your ad group, the keyword will appear in bold in your ad text.” The same is true for domains. Users click domain names that match search queries, and domain names that contain words of the search query will be bold. Both lead to higher click-through rates, which helps raise a website in rankings.

Google’s Ranking Algorithm Continues to Change

How to Rank 6 Times in Google's Top 10Since the interview with Christian Walter, Google has continued to modify their search algorithm. At the time of the interview, Bud Jones and Sons ranked in 6 of Google’s Top 10.

On Monday, August 8th, Bud Jones and Sons ranked in 4 of Google’s Top 10 – our of 62,000 results in Google’s index, as displayed in the image to the right (click to expand).






Christian Walter Interview Raw Transcript

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Here’s your program.

Michael Cyger: Hey everyone, my name is Michael Cyger. I’m the publisher of DomainSherpa.com, the Domain Name Authority and the place where you can learn about the domain name industry directly from the expert themselves.

If you run a small or medium size business say a landscape design firm. You likely have a website that focuses on the basics: who you are, what you do, where you are located, how to contact you, maybe even your design process or your design sense so your customers get an idea about you. But when a potential customer does a search for something like landscape design in Google they are likely not going to find your landscape design firm that has a local office down the street unless you follow what today’s guest is going to share with us.

Today we are joined by Christian Walter, Chief Technology Officer at NowYo.com. A website dedicated to selling premium domain names at a fraction of the cost of most domain resellers. Christian, welcome to the show.

Christian: Thanks, glad to be here.

Michael: Christian let’s start off with a little bit of background about you so the audience has an idea of where you came from. You sold a company in 2000 when you were just 21 years old. It is a fascinating story. What was the name of that company?

Christian: Actually it was just a website. It was justsaywow.com was the website and it was my first experience with any kind of an online business. And I started out of my home. We had basically – do you want me to go into the details on the value and the background?

Michael: Yes tell us a little about the process.

Christian: Basically what it was, was I found that people were sending around silly little greeting card type stuff. And it was very basic. Somebody would send somebody a smiley. It was pretty much the first time that person saw animation on the internet. So I started making these little pages and they started getting sent around. And I found a company that was paying .25 for every time somebody sent that something around.

Michael: Because you attached a kind of marketing message to it or something?

Christian: They advertised. So basically they were scraping email addresses from the sends. And they were marketing other products. So I basically built a business around the fact that I was going to make .25 on a send. So I was trying to come with names that people would send. The .25 added up and before you knew it you were getting – the traffic was pouring in. You were getting people signing up for the mailing list. And I was sending these out from my home internet connection.

Michael: Give us an idea of what did it grow to by – you started in 1998 or 1999?

Christian: Yes somewhere in there. I’m not 100% on the date.

Michael: Somewhere around there. You worked at home. You drew it from your home and at the peak before you sold the company how many email subscribers did you have?

Christian: It was over 20,000,000. I’m not 100% – this was a daily list that went out. And at the time I sold it the open rate was over 25%. Just the traffic was off the hook. There were hundreds of thousands of sends going on, on a daily basis. When you add that up by .25 a send it got substantial.

Michael: So when I started my last company I would grow my mailing list and at a certain point my hosting provider would just shut me down and they would say I was using too many resources, go find another hosting provider. We are not the right one for you. Did you experience that with your home internet connection?

Christian: Yes I did. They said I took down their mail server in three cities. And I no longer had a home internet connection. That was interesting. The thing back then was there was not software out there that you could pump 20,000,000 email addresses into and have a daily mailing list going out so I had to learn how to scale and design my own systems. I’m a guy that just learned at this point how to build a basic website. This was not flash, this was some basic stuff with a ton of traffic. So I learned on the fly.

Michael: Yes the school of hard knocks. You built it into 20,000,000 + email subscribers and people coming to the site sending hundreds of thousands of emails per day to their friends and you had the whole viral component attached to it. What ended up happening to the company? You ended up selling it to whom?

Christian: I sold it to eUniverse. And when I sold it, it was ranked 64th according to Alexa.

Michael: Number 64th top ranked website in the world. Wow. And eUniverse for people that don’t know about that company can you describe what eUniverse did with your acquisition? What they used it for?

Christian: They used the mailing list, they started building their own greeting card sites. They eventually basically leveraged that traffic and they ended up coming up with My Space and selling out to Fox.

Michael: So they build My Space on top of the subscribers that you had and then they ended up selling it to Fox News Corp. for $580,000,000 in I think 2005, somewhere around there.

Christian: Correct.

Michael: Unbelievable! And for those that underestimate the power of the greeting card business it’s enormous. Andrew Warner who runs mixergy.com does interviews with entrepreneurs as well sold his company (I don’t remember the year) but I think he publically disclosed that it was something like $35,000,000 that he sold his greeting card company for. So, phenomenal growth in that space. So many people getting online and sending greeting cards at the time.

Christian: Do you know what company that was? Because that name sounds like the guy that was paying me .25 per send.

Michael: He could have been because I think he was wholesaling as well. He ran a company called Bradford and Mead, Bradford and Miles, Bradford and something, which was the LOC name he gave to the company so when he called up other companies to advertise he would sound like a legal firm and he would get patched right through.

After the experience with justsaywow.com you got back into software. We talked before the show about how you built software for hockey sports facilities, you are big into hockey, which is where you met one of your current partners at NowYo.com. Is that correct?

Christian: Yes.

Michael: So your current role at NowYo.com is CTO, Chief Technology Officer. What are your main responsibilities?

Christian: Right now we are basically – the main thing that we are doing is being able to pinpoint which domains to buy that are getting search traffic. So making that easy for someone to search and find the correct domain is what I am doing right now. And we have guys that are actively buying in large quantities.

Michael: And for those that are wondering for the spelling of the website I will put a link in the interview of course but it is NowYo (N-O-W-Y-O.com). And tell us Christian how many domain names do you currently own at NowYo.com?

Christian: Approximately 40,000.

Michael: Forty thousand wow! When did you start buying domain names? Let’s put it in perspective.

Christian: We started out about two years ago. We started out building sites for search engines. At first we were just picking domains based on what we thought were getting searched. And I started getting into figuring out how to buy domains involved that were getting search traffic so our writers could build the websites out. We built out 25,000 websites of which still get a significant amount of search traffic and are part of our revenue stream. Then we were finding more domains than we could – we were definitely able to find more domains than we were able to build out and keep them all from being on the same servers and falling in the pit falls of Ad Sense and different monetizing techniques. So we started getting into domain resale business and that was somewhat recently, but we already had the tools built to find the correct domain names.

Michael: So you started off building websites and then you sort of pivoted and now you are focused more on, because you have got a plan for purchasing domain names in quantity, and now you are reselling them.

Christian: Correct.

Michael: We recently ran a popular interview with Andrew Rosener which is how you and I connected. You had some comments after it. In that interview Andrew talked about the Rosener Equation where he shares his equation and process for valuing premium generic .com domain names. You have your own formula and process. You actually posted it as a comment onto his interview. I want to come back to that because it is a very unique formula and process. But I’m going to come back to that a little bit later in the show. First, as I mentioned in the introduction, it is difficult for Mom and Pop businesses around the world to rank well within Google and Bing and other search engines. One of the companies that you worked with when you first started NowYo.com, before you got into the reselling business, was a company called Bud Jones and Sons. It is a local Cincinnati company. Can you describe what they do and how you met them?

Christian: They are a landscaping company. They will do anything in that field. They had very low exposure online and they came to us to see – they heard that we were a big Cincinnati company that had SEO skills and had a lot of websites and they came to us.

Michael: So their URL is bud jones and sons (B-U-D-J-O-N-E-S-A-N-D-S-O-N-S.com). It is a URL. It’s a domain name that probably, I guess, 50% of the small businesses in the U.S. would just be the driving force of the economy and probably have a URL like that. It is a brandable domain name. He named his company, he bought the domain name to match. But if you do a search for any of their keyword phrases they would love to be ranked for they weren’t showing up in Google. Right?

Christian: Correct. The only way that you would find them is knowing their company and searching for their company name.

Michael: So word of mouth is what they were going for.

Christian: They didn’t know what they would rank for when they bought that domain. And most companies don’t know why they should buy a specific domain.

Michael: So they came to you and said, Christian we know you. You understand search engine optimization, what should we do? What did you end up doing for them?

Christian: We bought the correct domains. First we talked to them and figured out what terms they were looking to rank for. And then instead of trying to rank to build pages on their site to rank in the search engine, the quickest way to get to the top is to own the right domain. And you stay there if you build the right content. So we bought domains like Cincinnati Landscape Design and other domains like that, patio design type domains. We built around their services.

Michael: So you found out what they are doing, you determined the key words related to the services that they provide and then you went searching for the domain names, the geo domain names that clearly had the keywords that they were looking for within them. And then you wrote content. Did they write it or did you write it?

Christian: We had writers in an office writing that content, the same staff that built 25,000 websites.

Michael: And so just before this interview we talked about some different keywords and it is quite amazing. I’m going to actually bring up my browser right now and I’m going to show some of the users, I’m going to actually patch this in so they can see it, but some of the keyword phrases that Bud Jones and Sons now ranks for are: Cincinnati landscape design, Landscaping Design Cincinnati, Cincinnati Paper Patios, and get this one: Cincinnati Hardscaping Structures. If you go and you do a search on Google for Cincinnati hardscaping structures, no quotes around it, just like you are a user, I’m in Cincinnati. You type in Cincinnati hardscaping structures Bud Jones and Sons has websites that rank in the number one, number two, number five, number seven, number eight and number ten positions. Unbelievable! And so you will see websites, domains including: Cincinnatilandscapedesigns.com, cincinnatilandscapecompanies.com, cincinnatilandscapemaintenance.com, cincinnatilandscapeservices.com and cincinnatilandscapingservices.com. So what you’ve done is created real content with real contact phone number branded with Bud Jones and Sons but on a different URL.

Christian: Correct.

Michael: And how do you tie, do you tie that content at all into budjonesandsons.com or is there no linking between the two websites?

Christian: There is zero linking and there is zero SEO done on these domains. This is just the power of building the website that made them rank where they are at.

Michael: So when Matt Cutts who is the lead at the web span group at Google came on and did a video probably a couple of months ago about how they were thinking about reducing the benefit of keyword rich domain names in the Google algorithm everybody threw up their hands and said domain names have no more value, domain names are going away, domain names aren’t going to help in getting your business to the top. What do you say?

Christian: It is not the case. I mean you can clearly see that the domain name does matter. A lot of the reports that you hear from individuals saying keyword domains don’t rank anymore it’s because their keyword domains don’t rank anymore. And the reason for that is that they built a site that is not what the user was looking for. They have figured out a way to make a Word Press site that has all different comments in it and its automated. And it doesn’t answer what the person that has Google Ads on it. But somebody gets there the bounce rate is high.

The algorithm that Google is using now and this is proven by the fact that you can look at the domains that we have and see what is happening, is Google sees how many times that they show this on page one. So say you have Cincinnati Landscape Designs and that is you website. Google will show it on page one because you have the domain there and you are going to get your chance to rank for that keyword. Then after they show it they say how many people click through to it and then after they see how many people click through to it they say how many people bounce from it? It is an easy algorithm. It’s completely user based and very hard to trick. They are not going to go out and tell you this is what they are doing because if they do then people are going to figure out how to create that user experience. But this is what they have moved to. And this makes sites that we have, when we have 25,000 sites and we have giant Google Ads on top of them with a high click through rate those sites are going to move out of the index because they are not on target with what the person is looking for. You are going to get a high bounce rate for those. But it works for client sites. The client is offering a product and that product should rank there. You are basically just telling Google – you are basically using the domain name to tell Google that you are the authority on that. And they are going to give you a chance to rank there.

Michael: And of course it is predicate on the fact that you are building out real content with real benefits and more than just a landing page. You are building out a website for them.

Christian: Exactly and you don’t use this technique to build duplicate content. You don’t use this technique to target the same keyword over and over on 100 websites. Your target is not to rank. Some do rank well multiple times in the first page. But you want unique content on each one of these sites.

Michael: So I want to point out this is not a get rich quick scheme. This is not one of those eBooks that you buy that is going to rank you at the top for $19.95 and then just leaves you high and dry as soon as you download it. This takes a lot of work. This is something that you actually have to design a different website. You have to write the unique content. It has to be a full website not just a landing page or a small little mini site with three pages. It’s an endeavor. But for those that are willing to do this and buy the keyword domain names look at the results.

Christian: We figured it out because at 25,000 websites and we said okay where do our websites rank now? The ones that we were able to build a good site on the topic stayed in the top. The ones that we didn’t have the best information and we didn’t know what we were writing on and we were just trying to write filler content they left the index. But they all got a chance to rank and rank first for their keyword. And the better sites always went to the first position every time.

Michael: So in addition to the benefit of just, let’s say that somebody did one site that was keyword rich domain name and they kept their current site up and running. There was no reason to take down Budjonesandsons.com but let’s say that somebody bought some additional domain names that were keyword rich, what are some of the benefits in addition to trying to get to the number one position that somebody or a business may find by practicing this technique?

Christian: Well for one your click through rate is going to be higher if your domain name matches what the person is searching for because if somebody is searching for Cincinnati landscape design they are going to potentially click on that link whether it is the first one or the fifth or sixth one. They are going to potentially click on that one first because of it – If you get a much higher click through rate. Which is part of the reason Google moves it up because Google is doing a heat map on that first page and saying where are people clicking? And they are putting you against the ones next to you and they are moving you up or down based on what a user is doing.

Michael: What are some other benefits Christian?

Christian: You do get some type in traffic. I don’t know what the percentage exactly is but you definitely get the type in traffic. You see it every day.

Michael: And my last example is when you do a search on Google on Cincinnati Hardscaping Structures clearly if you are building out multiple domain names and they are all ranking on the first page (in this case five of the top ten were Bud Jones and Sons) you are pushing your competitors out of the space.

Christian: Yes you are.

Michael: Which you could put a price on that as well. Especially when you know landscaping leads are going to cost you $10-$20-$30 let’s say. That has a value. So one of the keys to this is search engine optimization clearly. You are using the domain name to rank higher in the organic results that are being displayed at Google and Bing. Is there a better benefit by buying domains with dashes? For example is it better to buy cincinnati-landscaping-designs.com as opposed to concinnatilandscapingdesign.com?

Christian: There is two reasons why, the reason why the domain is valuable is because of the traffic. And if you have dashes in your domain it is harder to rank. It is more like trying to rank a page on another’s domain. You are not getting that for dash domains. Google is only giving it to you if it doesn’t have a dash, you are getting some but it is not nearly as much.

Michael: And you have seen that from some of the data from the 25,000 websites that you have developed.

Christian: Right.

Michael: Why is this not gray hat search engine optimization? You know they talk about white hat, they talk about black hat where a lot of websites they used to actually serve one piece of content to Google and when a user comes on they serve another content to them. That is completely black hat and Google bans companies that are like that. This is sort of maybe in the center and maybe not. Maybe it is white hat. What is your take on this?

Christian: It is okay to make multiple websites as long as they are not 100% on the same topic. I mean you probably don’t even want to go 75% overlap. And in times, say you have Cincinnati Landscape designs and you have Cincinnati Design. You might want to build a page for one of them on the other domain. And you can get the power of the domain that way, by 301ing the domain to the page, or vice versa.

Michael: So walk me through how that works with an example. So you have site A and you have site B. SiteA.com, siteB.com. Under siteA.com you are going to have a link to site B or you are going to have a page on siteA.com…

Christian: That 301s to the domain which is a duplicate content for the page. So you are still getting the power of it but Google knows that those two are linked together and they are not going to rank you for both domains because the content is similar.

Michael: Why would you want to do that again?

Christian: As a way to basically create one website with – it’s a way to give a page on a website more power by harnessing the power of the network.

Michael: Okay so you may have cincinnatilandscapedesign.com and cincinnatihardscapingstructures.com and you may want to link those two websites together.

Christian: You would 301…Say you made a page that was hardscaping structures, you could 301 that page to the domain that was hardscapingstructures.com.

Michael: Got it. So the user experience then would be seamless and then Google also understands that the two sites are linked. Does that give some benefit, does that share some sort of organic search benefit?

Christian: The page is going to rank as the domain.

Michael: So you link to the home page of the other site. I got it.

Christian: Right, it’s a way to basically use multiple domains in one site.

Michael: And clearly you can’t go to Google and ask them a question like this. There are a lot of search engine optimization experts out there that will tell you this or that. You are the school of hard knocks. You’ve tried this on 25,000 websites. So what you are saying is you have done this and you have seen a benefit by doing this.

Christian: Right and the main thing when you are trying to do search engine optimization the main thing is keeping that user happy when they get to the page. You don’t want to rank for something different. You are not going to rank long term.

Michael: Right so don’t try to trick the user. Give them exactly what they think they are going after.

Christian: Right, you have two variables. One is what percentage of people click on your link when ten links are shown. What percentage is clicking on you? And then what is the bounce rate compared to the peers that are ranking next to you. Those two things are the main things. But owning the domain name is going to make you rank for that keyword. Then you get a chance.

Michael: Right before we started this interview you gave me another example, Christian. So right now we looked at a small Mom and Pop. I think that everybody can understand the example that we have just gone through. They can go to the downtown of their local city or town, they can look at any company down the street and they can say look what Bud Jones and Sons have done I can do this for you. And they have got some examples here. But this doesn’t just work for small and medium sized businesses. This could work for large multinational businesses as well. And right before we started the interview you said hey Mike go take a look at BestBuy.com, the consumer electronics mega warehouse. And you said go to Google and do a search on best DVDs to buy. And I did that. And guess what came up as number one: BestBuy.com, movies, music and instruments. Why is that Christian?

Christian: It’s because they have a partial keyword match in their domain. It gives them a major bump over a branded company. Circuit City will rank for things like computer circuits. And things like that. They are going to out rank Best Buy for those but they are not going to rank as well as best buy for any search that has best or buy in to and the combination of the two will put Best Buy in first position for just about every product they own if not every one. And you can combine those searches together that is a lot of revenue for Best Buy.

Michael: Oh I would think it is enormous. I’m sure that I’ve gone to the search engines tens of, if not hundreds of times, and said best blender to buy, best laptop to buy, you name it and Best Buy is probably going to show up at the top if they have some sort of page or mention some keywords because they are probably luck or their happenstance into the name BestBuy.com. They probably didn’t even realize the search engine optimization benefits that they were going to get as a result of that.

Christian: And it is that way in every industry. If you look at hardware and you do a search for hardware store Ace Hardware will come up first. You do a search for home tools Home Depot will come up above all the other hardware stores. I mean Lowes is kind of out of luck.

Michael: So what would you say Lowes should do in this case? Now that you have done this build out. You have looked at all the data. You understand how the inner workings of Google work. What would you say to Lowes if they came to you?

Christian: They should buy a domain for each section of their business, for each product section and build out smaller sites that have those products on them and get the extra push from the domain name. If they had a domain name that had tools in it they would rank better for their products.

Michael: Fantastic example. I’m so glad that you mentioned it to me because as I go forward and I think about different domain names I don’t think that domain names are ever going to go away, especially with the launch of these new TLDs coming out. It is only going to make them more powerful because people are going to understand the benefits of domain names and how to use them. So it is going to continue to be a driving force I believe.

Christian: And in my opinion the .coms are going to continue to be the best and there is two reasons. One is you are always going to get the type in traffic. The other one is you are going to get – the search engines are valuing the .com and it really helps the search engine out that there is a limited amount of them because these things are getting in the right hands. All these domain resellers that are going out there, these are ending up in end users hands. And the more that happens the more value the .coms get. But .com is branded so if you have the .net of a domain the .com of that domain is going to get type in traffic. So a lot of these extensions are going to end up going away. As far as people seeing the value in them and reselling as the market gets more informed.

I was going to say you wouldn’t want to go out and brand – go into a business and come up with hardware and get hardwarestore.us and put your money and marketing in it when people are still going to type in hardwarestore.com when they go to it, or hardwarestore.us.com. You are not going to get that. You are not going to get that branding. And there still is a lot of people who type in www. for every domain they ever go to. And that is another thing that has been branded and .com is going to be like that.

Michael: I agree and we just launched on the day of this interview we launched an interview with Michael Costello who owns PalmSprings.com. We used that as the example throughout the interview and he had that exact same point. A couple of months ago I interviewed the CEO of Coupons.com (valued at $1,000,000,000 right now). He said the exact same thing. I fully agree with you that the business leaders are saying that.

Okay I want to take a step back again. At the beginning of the interview we talked about equations of valuing domain names. Clearly you built your portfolio of 40,000 domain names by determining the value of them. And then being able to resell them. So in the Rosener Equation in the interview it had four factors. It had the local exact match local search volume on Google as sort of a basis for how many searches were being done. It had the average cost per click through Ad Sense that advertisers were paying. It had a payback period of 12 months that originally was 24 months with Andrew but then he decided it was 12 months would be a better fit for valuing premium generic .com domain names. And the fourth factor was the click through rate. So if you were to buy a premium generic .com domain name like PalmSprings.com, get it to the top position, most likely you are going to get a click through rate of about 35%. So there was a .35 factor that was most likely. You multiplied the four factors together and come up with a valuation. If you do a search on Google for Rosener Equation you can look at my write up of Andrew’s knowledge put down on paper in summary form. But you contacted me and you said that while I agree I can see the evaluation I’ve got a slightly different take on evaluating your .com domain names. What is that slight switch up, Christian?

Christian: Well for one thing I think it is hard to even using that data to put a value on it. Right now using his equation we have 300,000,000 keywords that are available to buy and we have that value on them all. And I can do a search on that and pull up domains that are valued at $300,000 that I would never buy. So you can’t really use that across the board even on a keyword domain because there is that market value and you have to have an end user that potentially would want that search to begin with. That is one thing.

The other thing is being able to look at that data. Google has directed people towards specific keywords because they are trying to drive the bid price up. So if you do a search on Google Keyword Tool it shows all stuff that had all high cpc. A lot of domains that have a .10 cpc. The .10 cpc you can’t value with a method like that. So what we did was we took all the however many times the keyword shows up. So say insurance shows up a couple 100,000 different phrases. We took the average of that cpc and we factored that in as 1/3. We basically took multiple variables of the cpc to average that .10 out. So I could tell you if you look up specific domains that have asbestos in it which is a hot keyword, there is some people that are bidding, some keywords are $150 and some of them are .10. Our system will average that out to about $30.

Michael: You do that by splitting up the keyword phrases and then attaching the average cost per search?

Christian: I could search our system for asbestos and we have done this for every keyword. I could search it for asbestos and tell you how many times it shows up and what the average for asbestos is. Now you are going to get some stuff that shouldn’t be there but your averaging it out in a lot of data. So it averages that .10 out. We also do use that .10 but it is 1/3 of the cpc. So say you have a phrase that is best insurance, we would use three things. One is we would use the average for insurance, because it is the highest keyword. So that is one of our cpcs. Then we would use the cpc for that exact phrase. So we have the average, the high and then the regular cpc for that phrase and we average them together and come up with a new cpc and that is what we use for our formula.

We have other things that go into our formula like a point bumper for short domains and then at the end we divide it by how many characters are in the domain. We believe the shorter domain is more valuable. This only works for keyword domains. In our formula too we also value global a little bit depending on how close it is to the local. So if local is zero and global is 10,000 we don’t get as much value for global but if local is 5,000 and global is 10,000 we give global a lot more value.

Michael: It is a fascinating formula and one I hope to dig into a little more with you in the future to share. If somebody wants to…I know that you have emailed me in the past and you said that you have a web page on your site NowYo.com that allows people to use your formula so they can actually paste in some domains and value them. Is that still available?

Christian: Yes.

Michael: So they go to NowYo.com and what do they look for on the navigation?

Christian: There is a evaluation tab. The other thing with our system is it is basically a good way to come up with a point value that values one domain next to another domain. So then we snap it to a price rule. So basically you can use this formula to say this domain in insurance is better than this other domain that is also an insurance domain. It’s not necessarily going to be able to price at 100% when you have got a topic that is hot versus a topic that is not hot. You can’t say that because this domain is a 10,000 point it is worth more than this one that is a 5,000 point because you have to give a bump to specific industries.

Michael: So then you look at the range of points and then you assign a value to the domain based on a certain range like 5,000 to 10,000?

Christian: Exactly that is how we have our site pricing. We do basically a range. And we are not going to accurately price Google.com. You are not going to accurately price any brandable domain.

Michael: Right and I’m sure there are outliers and clearly there is a difference to a domain name and a website that is developed. So Google being a website that has traffic, that has revenue, is going to be a different valuation. But if you just have a domain name that hasn’t been developed out and it is not an outlier, like sex.com, let’s say that it wasn’t developed out that might be an outlier that doesn’t work in any formula.

Christian: It will tell you the value of the domain itself but not the value of anything that is built on the site. So it just values the one aspect of what is this domain worth for traffic in Google and what is this domain worth for type in traffic. It combines those two factors. It does not combine anything else into that.

Michael: This has been a phenomenally fascinating from me as a builder of communities and websites to think about how to get smaller websites ranked very high in search engines and actually look for different ways to bump out the competition. You said that you were acquiring domains on a regular basis. What is your current purchase rate right now? Do you have a run rate for purchases at NowYo.com?

Christian: I am currently roughly 2,000 domains a day that we are purchasing.

Michael: Two thousand domains a day and you are getting all of these domain ideas from this data base of what did you say 300,000,000 search phrases?

Christian: Right and that is narrowed down to about 4,000,000 domains that in my opinion have good data. And we are also tracking the other people that are buying these things fast. And this is…good domains will be gone within six months. You will have to go to a reseller.

Michael: It is a fascinating story Christian. I wish you luck and I hope in six months, in a year when you have purchased them all up you come back on the show and we are able to talk about some of the successes you have had to date and how you are modifying your business at that point.

Christian: Okay, sounds good.

Michael: If you have a follow up question for Christian please post it in the comments below this interview. We will ask Christian to come back and answer them when he has a chance. Christian, if people want to follow you on one of the social networks do you current (or NowYo currently) now have a profile that you can follow you for maybe updates and see what you are up to?

Christian: I will get one up on NowYo.com right away.

Michael: Okay and we will post a link to that within the interview. Christian, thank you so much for taking the time and coming on the show and sharing your experiences with ranking small and medium size businesses high in the search engines. I think it is tremendously valuable and I appreciate your time.

Christian: Thanks for having me.

Michael: Thank you all for watching. Bye.

Watch the full video at:
http://www.domainsherpa.com/christian-walter-nowyo-interview

Uniregistry.com

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24 Responses to “How to Rank 6 Times in Google’s Top 10 – with Christian Walter”

  1. james says:

    Since it has been about 1 year I wondered if Christian could provide an update on his business and what has changed in his world.

  2. Jeff says:

    Michael – I stumbled across the site, great videos! I have a new bookmark.

    If Christian is still checking… I also was confused with the redirects., but I was looking at the sites you talked about. Is there a reason http://cincinnatipaverpatios.com/ doesn’t have a link to the main site or why the telephone number is in an image? Is this to avoid duplicate content? Otherwise it seems like you’d want a link and the telephone number in text/html.

  3. M says:

    Hey Christian,

    Thanks for the interview. Can you clarify the little bit on “304” redirects ?

    So if you have a fully-developed site A (car niche), you can use UNdeveloped domain name B (also car niche) to point to it with a 304 redirect … what exactly does this do ? Is the SEO bump noticeable ? What if you have 100’s of domains 304’d to a single developed site … is it worth doing or are there disadvantages ?

    Thanks!

  4. earl adkins says:

    Thanks Michael, another great interview. It started me thinking of new keywords domains to purchase.

    A big thank you to Christian

  5. Christian says:

    Hi Tom, they are watching your bounce rate. I started to figure this out when I looked at the small companies they were trying to buy. They were companies that put javascript on sites. (Tell a friend buttons etc)

    They also developed and pushed their own browser, have analytics and adsense.

    If all these methods fail they have how long it took you to get back to their search engine.

    Secondly they started ranking sites in different positions and for different keywords. They are sampling the results to decide if you should rank for that keyword.

    Almost every domain we buy is on the first page for the keyword in the domain. From there it is all about what the user does that determines if it stays ranked. You don’t have to have a perfect bounce rate, you just have to be better than the sites ranking around you.

    Google is very protective about their algorithm and when they come out and talk about it they are doing it for their benefit. They try to keep their system from being manipulated.

    -Christian

  6. Tom says:

    How do you suspect Google knows if a user bounces from your site? Adsense & Analytics data? Or, put another way, if you didn’t use google’s own on-site tracking tools, would they know if a user bounced? Maybe they assume that the user comes right back to google and clicks another link?

  7. RockyMtn says:

    I’ve known these guys (Christian and his partners) since back around 2000, and have bought several domains from them in the past year or two. They are always on the cutting edge.

  8. Toni says:

    This is the best page layout for a video with info that I’ve seen!

  9. Steve says:

    Enjoyed the interview, good information. I checked out the websites and they are bunk. I could write some good content for a local site like that in two hours. When it is that easy, it is totally unacceptable to have keyword spamming copy that looks like it was outsourced.

    I really enjoyed the interview but I don’t know how anyone could develop 25,000 sites in two years that were of much quality.

    Your domain valuation model is very interesting. Is the data taken from sites like cincinnatilandscapedesigns.com ?

    • Glad you liked the interview, Steve.

      Another reader also posted that some of the content was less than ideal. I’ll defer to Christian to address that issue.

      What I find fascinating is the whole getting a specific business ranked multiples times in the top 10 of Google. That not only provides a better opportunity of getting called for business, but it also forces your competitors out of the top 10. It’s a paradigm shift.

      • Steve says:

        @Micheal – Agreed, it is a great strategy to register the domain names of your services or products. I don’t have near as many domains as Christian, but I have a similar strategy of buying variables of the geo professional domains that I do own. If I sell, or lease a domain, I will have multiple variations of that domain or sub sets to dominate the search market for that city.

        Thanks again, looking forward to more interviews or transcripts :)

        Steve

  10. Very insightful…
    Thanks goes to Christian and Michael

  11. TJ says:

    Great interview, Michael and Christian.

    Thoroughly enjoyed the examples of high ranking sites, so I could see how the domain names play into them and what kind of content is there. Great idea to put the phone number so big on the website.

    There really is no reason not to have more than one website, except for the inertia to get more than one done. One is too much work in most cases!

  12. Larry says:

    Hello:

    Enjoyed the interview! I work with and have a portfolio of local/geo sites that I manage.I went to check out one of the sites mentioned (cincinnatipatios.com) to see what was done to attain the rankings mentioned.

    Here is what I found in one article:

    If you’d like to see a new beautiful girl’s photos online, let us know and we’ll find some great new images for you.When it comes to the hottest of the hottest in the world of Hollywood, these actresses pictures are the best. Most actresses that make waves in popular culture do so through television shows, movies, and, of course, the red carpet. Every one of the actresses found on this site have made a name for herself by being in the biggest blockbusters, being the most photographed at the big premiere, or even helping redefine sexuality for our modern age.

    There is probably another 2000+ words of gibberish like this. Not sure this qualifies as ” professionally written content “!

    Maybe the site was hacked or there’s some black hat stuff going on. But hey, the site is on page 1?????

    Thanks

    • @Larry: Thanks for your comment about the interview. I’m glad you liked it.

      I’m not sure about the content you found. I’ll ask Christian to take a look and come back here to comment.

      • There appears to have been a hack in our system that removed site content from our server for up to 50 sites, the above mentioned included. We are working on the issue and expect to have it addressed as soon as possible. Please note that our goal is to develop the best quality content for our sites, and take every measure possible to maintain this.

        Hope you guys enjoyed the interview on our approach and found it insightful.

        • Larry says:

          Christian:

          Figured something fishy must have happened; that’s a real pain, I know! Hope you get it figured out and your clients don’t mutiny…lol. But good interview and info…Thanks

          Michael:

          Forgot to say that I do find great value from your interviews. I’m not too involved in the pure domain space area but I have learned a great deal from you and the other domainers I follow.

          Keep up the good work!

        • Steve says:

          @Christian – Sorry to hear your sites were hacked, I may have been a little harsh. Glad to hear that is not your copy.

          I appreciate your willingness to discuss your business model.

          Best wishes,

          Steve

  13. Steve says:

    Great Interview. I really appreciate the transcripts, makes it much quicker!

    Christian, just had a look at your site and registered.

    Smac

    • Thanks, Steve.

      It’s surprising how many people read the transcripts only, or read the transcripts and later watch/listen to the show. I’m glad to see they’re being made use of…although it makes me want to edit them, rather than leave them raw. :)

      Thanks for your comment.

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