Differentiating Good Domain Names from the Crappy Ones – With Adam Dicker

Everyone has bought crappy domain names in the past. Many of us still own them today.

Watch this interview and learn six criteria that will help you avoid buying sub-par domain names in the future.

You will also learn how to organize your current portfolio to separate the junk from the good, and then what to do with domain names that have no value.

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About Adam Dicker

Adam Dicker, DNForum.com & DCG.comAdam Dicker is the CEO of NicheWebsites.com, where his team builds and ranks websites, and DNForum.com, the largest online domain name discussion forum.

He is also the founder and CEO of Domain Consulting Group, where he manages his portfolio of domain names and develops online businesses.

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Adam Dicker Interview Raw (Non-Edited) Transcript

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Watch the full video at:
http://www.domainsherpa.com/domain-characterization/

If you are getting into domain names or you are new to the domain name industry and you want to know the difference between crappy and good domain names, this is the video you need to watch. Stay tuned.

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Here’s your program.

Michael Cyger: Hey everyone. My name is Michael Cyger, and I’m the Publisher of DomainSherpa.com – the website where you come to learn how to become a successful domain name investor directly from the experts.

I am excited to welcome back today’s guest for the fourth time. He is the first person to become a Sherpa four-peat guest, and I want to show off the show by thanking him for giving back to the community of investors and entrepreneurs.

Joining us today is Adam Dicker. Adam is the CEO of NicheWebsites.com. He also runs Domain Consulting Group at DCG.com. And he also owns DNForum.com – the largest online domain name discussion forum. He recently started a video blog at TheArtofTheName.com. So, if you have not been to that website and joined his mail list to get updates of when he is putting out a new show, you should.

Adam, welcome back to the show.

Adam Dicker: Thank you very much, Michael. It is a pleasure to be here.

Michael: Four times on DomainSherpa.com, Adam. I think this means that I now have to put your face on a little tile at the top of the DomainSherpa.com page, where you Frank Schilling and Ron Jackson. You have got them all beat.

Adam: Well, I think that is up to you. I mean I cannot pressure you, but I do know that I have had the number one video on your blog for a very long time. But that is up to you.

Michael: A long time.

Adam: No pressure.

Michael: No pressure at all. The last time we spoke was in May 2012. A phenomenally long time ago in Internet standards and it feels like it was just last month. But you talked about ReputationRepair.com. And if people have not had a chance to watch that video on how you built ReputationRepair.com, they should go and watch that. It is down on the right-hand ride of the page. You can scroll down and see that listed there. How is that business doing?

Adam: The business is still doing very well. I mean more and more people are going to get into trouble online, whether it be they have stories written about them or they have got pictures online that they put on Facebook when they were younger. I mean I always describe it as a pyramid, and it is the same thing as getting on the Internet. Whereas as my dad’s generation was about ten percent computer literate, our generation is about fifty percent computer literate, and my kid’s generation and your kid’s generation is going to be about one hundred percent computer literate. And that is the same thing with reputation repair. The more and more the Internet is out there, the more and more people do things, whether smart or silly, the more and more that they are going to need reputation repair. Whether it is even getting positive reviews for their business or dealing with how to deal with negative review on Yelp, we are there to help them. And it has been growing.

Michael: Great. And if I search for the phrase ‘Reputation Repair’ on Google, I see your exact match domain name – ReputationRepair.com – is in the top organic position. That is a nice SEO benefit you achieved, especially since the average cost per click of those advertising on the top and side page of Google is fourteen dollars per click. What do you attribute your high SEO rankings to?

Adam: Well, it is a couple things. Mostly it is all original content, and then it is also the fact that I also own every state with ReputationRepair.com. So, if you Google something like ‘Alabama’ or ‘Florida Reputation Repair’, you are going to find that I have the top thirty results in Google for all the states and all the content that I have indexed. And as long as it is all original content, it lists all the different cities and counties and things like that, I find that I rank well for it, and I am enjoying the traffic that I am receiving.

Michael: Yeah, and do you have all those sites pointing back to ReputationRepair.com to help out from an SEO standpoint, or are they completely separate?

Adam: I believe they are completely separate. I would have to take a look, but I am pretty sure they are completely separate sites.

Michael: Great. And so, the revenue in the business last time we talked, I think you said, was six figures. I may be incorrect, but I think you said it was one hundred and fifty thousand a month. Is it still on that order of magnitude or growing?

Adam: It may have dipped a little bit, but that is only because I have got my hands in so many other businesses and pieces of pie that I am running. I am now running eleven different lead gen sites and businesses, so some of those are taking a priority based on, obviously, the revenue they are bringing.

Michael: Yeah, and there is a lot more competition. Last time I interviewed you, I do not think there were as many advertisers on Google as there are today.

Adam: Yeah, that does not bother me. I tend not to look at competitors and I tend just to do a good job for my customers. And we get a lot of revenue from referrals. It is constant.

Michael: Yeah, and that is the sign of a great business providing services. When you get referrals from customers for other customers.

Adam: Well, I know that in any business that we run, whether it is DN Forum or whether it is Reputation Repair, or whether it is website design, Chuck deals with most of the customer service and his customer service is excellent. I mean he really is great and he is my assistant, and I am proud to have him aboard.

Michael: Yeah, and Chuck is a great guy. I met him, I think, at the last two conferences that we went to.

Adam: Yeah, and he will be at the next one in Vegas.

Michael: Excellent. In Vegas, all right, so we should give a plug for that. You will be at the TRAFFIC Vegas. TargetedTraffic.com – Vegas in May. I will be there as well. Any time I have a chance to go to Vegas, I always go. I love it.

Adam: I enjoy it too.

Michael: I love all of the action going on and I love to play Craps.

Adam: And a lot of people bring their families down because it is Vegas, so it is a different trip than Florida.

Michael: Are you bringing your family?

Adam: No. I would like to bring my two oldest boys, but they are still in school. Next year I will probably bring them because the oldest will be in University and he will be able to take some time off. But I will be bringing a few other people with me. I am looking forward to a big conference.

Michael: Excellent, and I will be too, and I am not bringing my family.

Adam: Yeah.

Michael: So, today, we are going to talk about the difference between crappy and good domain names, and I want to give a little preamble before we get into this and I start asking you questions, Adam. And I want to start off by saying every domain name investor starts out by buying crappy domain names. Everyone. You go read Morgan Linton’s blog; he actively said that. Go read Rick Schwartz’s blog. He calls all these domain names pigeon shit. And I believe there was a post where he said that he has it in his portfolio as well. Nobody would deny having bought bad domain names. I have done it. And we still have some of these domain names in our portfolio, myself included. There are just some of them that I know I will probably never be able to sell, and they are not that great, and they do not make any revenue, but I keep it because – I don’t know – I have got psychological issues that I just cannot get rid of it. I recently received an email from a reader that said – and I do not want to say his name, but he said – that he purchased a thousand category killer, generic, one/two-word .COMs. And I was in amazement and happy to have found my next Domain Sherpa interviewee. I emailed him and I said, “Give me a short list of ten of these thousand category killer, generic, one/two-word .COM domain names.” And what he sent me were not actually words, or they contained one word and some sort of aggregation of letters. Really, the only thing that I think that he got correct was that they were .COM domain names. So, what I would like to do today, Adam, is start off with some basics, and then work our way into more detail around good and crappy domain names. So, what I understand is that domain names generally fall into two categories – keyword domain names and brandable domain names. Would you agree that there are two categories?

Adam: Yeah, I mean there may be three or four, but I will go into a few different categories now. Like something like BridalConsultants.com is definitely a keyword and it is brandable. You know people are looking for it.

Michael: Right. So, keyword could be brandable, like Yahoo. Yahoo is in the dictionary. It is a keyword, but before Yahoo created a directory nobody really used it. Like: “Oh, you are a yahoo.”

Adam: Right. And then you have names like Google or Skype, which I mean are brandable, but they take a huge amount of marketing dollars because it has no generic meaning to anybody.

Michael: Right.

Adam: And then there are other names like Giraffes.com or Voiceover IP, where you know what people are looking for when they go there, so that makes them easier to develop out. So, developable is another section of types of domain names. Like I did a video recently, where I discussed DFW Tree Removal for lead generation. And somebody said, “Well, it ranks number one, but that is only out of nine hundred thousand listings.” He has gotten about ten leads and closed five to six sales, so he would have made zero on parking, but he has already great money. He has made between two and three thousand off the name. And if it was parked for three months, I know he would have made nothing, and the site only cost him 499 dollars to build. And in three months, he has gotten six times his money back by having me build it through Niche Websites. So, I mean how else could I describe that domain name? If I described that it was in Florida or just put up Tree Removal, he would get requests for tree removals in Florida or California. So, you do need those long tails to allow customers to stick to tree removals in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Michael: Definitely.

Adam: And let’s not forget the main point about long tail keywords. Google makes eighty-eight percent of their revenue off of AdWords from long tail keywords. So, if it is good enough for Google, it is certainly good enough for me and my clients.

Michael: Definitely, and it is good enough for me as well. So, if we look at keyword rich domain names and then brandable domain names – let’s separate those two out for a moment -, on the keyword side, you are saying there is a difference between just having a keyword domain name, like it is in the dictionary, like Yahoo, and having a keyword that has user intent. So, when somebody goes to search for DFW Tree Removal, when you go to the Google AdWords Keyword Tool, it is probably going to come back with zero search volume, because there just is not that much search volume for it. But that does not mean that people are not searching for it. You may still get five people per month searching for it. It is under Google’s radar. But those people have high user intent. They have a high propensity to buy because they are searching for something that they need help with immediately.

Adam: Right, and that is an exact match to what they are looking for. And then the other thing you can do is – and I will get into this a bit later – that when you are looking to build out a domain name – I mean this name, I believe, was available for registration at the time, so three months later it has made about three grand, and it is because it is developed. It is because it is page one. But it also has some resale value. So, you are also looking for names – and we will get into this a bit later – that have some resale value, because not everybody wants to build out a domain name and keep it, or generate leads, or do something with it. I mean not everybody is an electrician, or a sprinkler guy, or a gardener, or something like that, where they can actually sell the service themselves.

Michael: Right. Some people, like yourself, may just want to build businesses that are lead generation businesses. Rather than you sell advertising, you sell the leads, and that is a business onto itself, and you may want to then sell that business later.

Adam: Yes.

Michael: Okay. All right, so we understand the keywords. The user intent. I wrote down a couple of good examples of keyword domain names, like ReputationRepair.com, which you own, and then you can actually do a search for that on Google AdWords Keyword Tool and see there is a certain amount of volume that it is search for per month on Google. And then there is another keyword phrase – ReputationManagement.com. They are both keyword rich domain names. How do people determine if ReputationRepair.com or ReputationManagement is the category killer domain name would you say, Adam?

Adam: Well, I mean it is very hard. First of all, ReputationRepair is designed for people that have some sort of issue with their reputation, be it personal or business, where ReputationManagement would be something more of a company may look for if they are not looking for a business reputation repair or corporate reputation repair. ReputationManagement means you have some sort of reputation, and it could be social networking or something like that, that you want managed, and you want it managed positively, and you want somebody to continually look after your reputation online and answer any queries or strings if there are about you. So you may want to set up Google Alerts for your company, for example, DomainSherpa, so that every time DomainSherpa is mentioned anywhere on the Internet or social networking you are alerted to it, and then you can respond accordingly.

Michael: Right. Yeah, okay. And I do that by the way, just so I could see when you mentioned me. And what I take away from that is that, even within the reputation sphere, there are key differences between a domain name that is focused on reputation repair and reputation management. One of them is probably fixing something that was done in the past and one of them is managing something going forward.

Adam: Yeah.

Michael: And so, when domain investors look at an opportunity like this, they might type in reputation into Google, look at the keywords and phrases associated with it, and say: “I do not want to do reputation repair. I want to do reputation management because that has more search volume.” But what they do not realize is that reputation repair is people who are actually in need and they are probably willing to pay good money today if you can start solving their problems.

Adam: That is definitely true, and I have had some famous clients. And the average ticket for reputation repair is about two to five thousand dollars. And I have had some pretty famous clients. I will not get into it, but NBA basketball players, their wives, and Vice President of a baseball team. I mean I had some pretty good clients.

Michael: Yeah. All right, so I understand ReputationRepair.com and ReputationManagement.com. They could both be classified as the category defining domain names for that area. Now, what if somebody combines a keyword with a brandable? They come up with like ReputationNinja.net. Would you say that that is a keyword rich domain name or a brandable domain name? It includes the word reputation in there. How would you classify that?

Adam: I would classify it more as a brandable because it is going to require some marketing to get out there and to get in front of people. It is not going to get natural SEO volume unless you go ahead and you specifically target reputation management, reputation monitoring, or reputation repair as your main keyword going forward, because nobody is going to know what a reputation ninja is.

Michael: Right.

Adam: Because sometimes you are not sure if they are there to fix your reputation or destroy it. Believe it or not, I get a lot of calls from people who are asking me. They got screwed by an ex-girlfriend, ex-boyfriend, or an ex-spouse and they are interested in actually smearing their reputation. So I mean you get a lot of interesting calls as well. But reputation monitoring is also quite good and lucrative.

Michael: Yeah. All right, what about the domain names like Tide.com, Orange.com, and Amazon.com? Those are brandable domain names. Should domain name investors steer clear of investing in domain names that are brandables that are trademarked in a single or multiple industrial classes just because they have been used as a brandable for large companies?

Adam: Not necessarily. I mean if you take a brandable obviously you are going to need a huge budget to market it, and most domainers do not have a huge budget behind them. So, for that reason, I would say steer clear. But if you are going to go after a domain like Orange and it is generic, and you are not targeting what the trademark is actually registered for and you are actually selling oranges or something else, you are going to be fine. As long as you are not trying to profit off of somebody else’s trademark, you should be fine. Again, I am no attorney, so you can consult one if you are unsure to make sure that you are headed in the right direction. Obviously that would not be my primary focus. It would not be to grab somebody else’s trademark and use it for something else, but it is out there.

Michael: Yeah. Which has better resale value: a brandable or a keyword rich domain name?

Adam: Again, it really depends on who you are marketing to. Usually a brandable will have more traffic and probably have some business generated towards it. But if you can get a keyword rich domain as well and you can get it listed, and you can get it making sales and it has got some revenue coming in, then the value for that is also there.

Michael: Yeah. What if you are a domain name investor and you do not plan to develop because it is just not in your skill set, and you are buying domain names and you want to resell them at a later date?

Adam: Then you definitely need to go for the keyword rich domains because you are not planning on doing any marketing or any development, or anything, for the brandables.

Michael: Yeah. So, you may be a brandable and you may sit on it for a number of years until somebody comes looking for that brandable, but you are saying, with a keyword rich, there will be more people that are interested in it?

Adam: Yeah. But I mean also, with a keyword rich domain – and I have got some examples down lower. Like say SeattleSprinklers or SeattleElectricians. There are trade boards that you can go after that list every electrician in Seattle that is licensed, and it gives you a very good mailing list to go after people that could be interested and could benefit from having your domain name. And if you are going to sell a keyword rich domain, it takes about four to six hours to build up a good marketing list where people will not feel you are intruding on them and you are actually trying to help them increase their business, because you are selling the domain name you may have developed that may be on page one. It would definitely benefit their business because their domain does not rank anywhere close to that currently. And those domains typically sell for anywhere between three and six thousand dollars; and I have sold tons of those.

Michael: Yeah. So, your process is to take a keyword rich domain name, build a website around it, and you sell websites – small packages of website pages on NicheWebsites.com, and people can go look at that. And what you do is you build the site, you write original content, you search engine optimize it, and then you get to the top for that phrase, and then you email the entire list of association members and you say: “Only one person can own this. I am taking offers through Friday. Let me know if you are interested.”

Adam: Yeah, and I mean I do not usually have much trouble with that because they do not want the domain to end up in their competitor’s hands either.

Michael: Right.

Adam: So, it is not a hard sell. It is certainly not a hard sell tactic. The other thing you can do is say: “Look, I am brokering this domain,” because I do have a list right now of thirteen or fifteen hundred names I am brokering for a customer that are geo domains. And I say: “Look, I am brokering this for this customer. They have no need for it at this time and it is going to go to whoever replies first.” Usually, if you are mailing one hundred clients, you are going to get about ten leads write back right away. Make sure they do not go to your spam folder. And if you respond within thirty minutes, you are twenty-one times more likely to make a sale than if you take an hour or two hours, or a day or two.

Michael: Interesting. And is that twenty-one times more likely from your own data or something else that you have read online?

Adam: Well, from data that I have read online and, from my own experience, I have noticed that if you do respond quicker it is like anything. A lot of stuff online is an impulse buy, and you want to get them while they are still hot for it.

Michael: Right. Definitely. Yeah, do not let them sleep on it.

Adam: No.

Michael: So, going back to the top of the interview, where I talked about category killer, generic, one or two-word .COM domain names. The generic part means that people are using just a dictionary word. Right?

Adam: Right.

Michael: Generic is not a brandable. It is a dictionary word.

Adam: Sometimes those category killers can be too generic, and then you really do not know what people are looking for. Like Licenses.com. What are they looking for? Are they looking for gun licenses, fishing licenses, or drivers licenses? It is like having Lessons.com. Are they looking for piano lessons, art lessons, or math lessons? It could be anything.

Michael: Great point.

Adam: Sometimes it could be too generic.

Michael: Yeah. So, sometimes you could just roll it up too high. Piano.com does not tell people what you are doing. Are you selling pianos or looking for lessons?

Adam: And that is why, even if you are just parking your domain names, like you said some people do, a lot of people in the industry do not follow their stats and they do not check the keywords that people are typing in to get there. And it is important that you do that. For example, I have had 96123.net for a very long time. And I mean if something (Unclear 21:46.6) and I did not have any notes, nobody would know what that domain was or why I was getting so much traffic and revenue. But it is actually a phone site and it sells phone cards in China. And I believe they use 96123.com, so that is why I get the traffic.

Michael: Got you. All right, so the category killer does not necessarily mean that it is so high that it gets a ton of search volume. You actually want that user intent. You want the buying or the shopping intent. Somebody looking to spend some money. So, PianoLessons might, in fact, be better than Piano.com or PianoSales, or ReputationRepair.com might be better than Reputation.com.

Adam: And I used to always make a joke and say do not get domains like DallasPiano or TorontoPiano because people are not looking to buy pianos over the net. But now with all these webinars and MeetMe and things like that, people are doing music lessons over the net, surprisingly enough. So, that is an industry that is growing too. It is so cost efficient to set up a MeetMe online. It is so cheap that they are doing a lot of things with lessons online and tutoring online.

Michael: Yeah, definitely. Yeah, it is amazing. I have started taking guitar lessons. I think I have started three times taking guitar lessons online. One of these days I am actually going to be able to play. Okay, so now that we have an understanding of the types of domains and definition around the phrases category killer, generic, and one-word and two-word .COM, let’s go a bit further. What is a crappy domain name? How would you describe a really bad domain name?

Adam: Okay. So, to me, there are two types of crappy domain names that affect all of us in the industry. And you mentioned one of them, and one of them is the crappy domain name that we all have in our portfolios. That is definitely one of them. The other type of crappy domain name is the ones that we intend or want to research before we buy them. So, we need to do our due diligence just as we would with anything else before we buy a domain name so that we know we are not buying a crappy domain name. I will give you a quick example of it. GoDaddy on TDNAM. I think it is expired domain names. The stats that they give you are not totally accurate because they only have about thirty days of stats and they extrapolate them out to a year. Well, we all know when a domain expires, if you do not put up a site that is (Unclear 24:11.0) similar to what was there, you are not only going to lose the link traffic, but you are going to lose other traffic as well. So you cannot always take the numbers that you see into consideration, and that is why you need to do your own research. And traffic numbers do not really affect me when I am looking to buy domain names. But I have also grown up enough; and you are never too old to learn in this industry, whether you have been in it for five years, one years, or just starting, or fifteen years. Veterans always learn something new every day. And I am consistently doing what you seem to be unable to do for whatever reason that is and I am dropping domain names on a regular basis now, which is something that I would not have done two to three years ago. So, let me define crappy domain names.

Michael: Yeah.

Adam: Crappy domain names are names that are not generic, they are not local domains, they are not developable, they make no money on pay-per-click, and they have never received an offer. Because you could have a crappy domain name, but if it gets offers, it is no longer crappy, because somebody else is interested in it. I mean there are some exceptions. For example, what I would suggest people do now is register your own name, if you haven’t already. Register your kid’s names, if you haven’t already. These will make no revenue, but they will have value down the road. Even if your kids use them just to post their resumes in the future, that is something that I would highly recommend.

Michael: Yeah. So, I want to ask you about that because I have thought a lot about that for my kids as well. But I want to summarize your definition of crappy domains. No traffic, either type-ins or links and traffic that are coming in from search engine rankings if it an expired domain name. Either of those make up no traffic.

Adam: It could have some traffic, but the traffic is not converting and you cannot figure out how to convert.

Michael: So it could have some traffic. Right, okay. So, let’s say you own it already. I was thinking before you even buy it. Like if it is an expired website, you can look and see how many links are coming in, and GoDaddy will give you some judge about the traffic it gets, and you might be able to look at Alexa and see how it was ranked. But let’s say that it does not have traffic. It is not an expired domain name and you do not think that it will have type-in traffic. Then it is probably a crappy domain name because it has no type-in, and then it does not have any expired traffic coming its way.

Adam: Yeah, and the expired traffic will not last, even if it does have expired traffic, or the links.

Michael: Okay. So, no traffic. No keywords, so it does not actually have real words in the domain name that people can find in the dictionary.

Adam: Yeah. And for me, to be honest with you, the most important thing out of all that stuff is that it is not resellable. So, even if it does not have any traffic, I mean it has got to be something that can be developed. For me, it is: Is it resellable? Can I take the domain name, put something on it, and resell it? The rest of it does not matter as long as I can do that.

Michael: Okay, so let me go over it. No traffic. No keywords. It is not a local geo domain name. No pay-per-click, so it is not earning any cash. You have not gotten any offers on the domain name and you do not think that is it sellable. Those are all reasons to drop the domain name.

Adam: Yeah.

Michael: So, are you saying that if any one of those criteria are met positively that is worth keeping? So if I have a crappy domain name that does not get any traffic, does not have keyword, it is not a local, it does not earn anything on pay-per-click, but I have gotten one offer in the past year, then it is worth keeping?

Adam: It really depends on the domain name and what the offer was. I mean like I have gotten – let me just think of one – something like KEVG.com. Now, I would not know what the hell it was except it was Kevin – was his first name – and his last name began with a G. So, it had meaning. So it does not make any money. I am going to keep it because it is a four-letter domain name. And his offer was reasonable, but then he backed out at the last second. Well, I know he is going to want it again. But generally it would take more than just one of those things for you to keep it.

Michael: Okay, and it would require enough of something in order to keep it. So if I had only a penny a month on pay-per-click revenue, maybe that is not enough to keep it. But if I got an offer for one hundred dollars and it was earning a dollar a month, do you think that that is enough to keep it?

Adam: Well, a dollar a month would be plenty because that is twelve dollars a year, which is more than you paid for it. But if it was earning fifty cents a month, which would be about six bucks, or even thirty cents, it may be enough to keep it. I mean it is a gut call to see if that guy is going to come back. But if it has only had one offer, no, I probably would not think it is enough to keep it.

Michael: Okay.

Adam: And it also depends if you have had one offer and you have owned it for five years, and it is still consistently making garbage. Then no, I would not say keep it.

Michael: Okay. I am going to throw out a name from my portfolio. I think it is one of my crappy ones, and I want to see if you think that I should drop it or not. It is PicTagger.com. And I originally saw it because everybody is taking pictures online, and I thought there was going to be some sort of technology where people could tag other people. Somebody would develop some new technology and it would be bought by Facebook or Instagram, or something like that. It does not have any traffic. It is not a keyword. It is a brandable. It is not a geo. Does not have any pay-per-click. I do not believe I have ever received an offer on it. Do I think it is resellable? I do not know. Your guess is as good as mine. What do you think? Drop it or keep it?

Adam: Personally, I would probably keep it only because pictures are becoming so prevalent and so important online, and the fact that it is PicTagger and it is brandable. A lot of people on a lot of sites these days add watermarks to their photos. So, if you were to build something on there that would automate the watermark procedure for them to just upload their photos and then they are automatically watermarked with whatever they choose, it does have some value and I could see a business being done around it.

Michael: Love that. So, you will actually think through a domain name and say: “Can I think of a business that might be built on this domain name within the next decade or so?” And based on where trends are going and based on your knowledge of business, if you can think of something, then you will keep it, even though it does not meet any of the other criteria.

Adam: Yeah, I mean sometimes you have to use your own better judgment. And I mean if there was a typo and it was not spelled right. But i mean if you spell it like PicTagger with no errors and things like that, I think the possibilities are there. I mean I think you are going to have to do something with it because you have not had any offers on it. So, you are going to have to develop it out, and then I think, once you develop it out, it could be something like Thumbnail Plus. It does a lot with pictures. I mean you can develop software that could do it. And again, it is going to take some money, so you have to decide if you are willing to spend money to make it brandable and make it something that people are going to know. If you are, then great. But if you do not plan on doing it and you are busy with DomainSherpa and your other businesses and you are not going to have the time, and it is not making any revenue and it does not fit in other criteria, then there is no point.

Michael: Yeah, all right, great point. And then, in that case, I am just paying eight or nine dollars per year on registration fees and have not very high probability that I am going to be able to make money. So it is just an expense without any potential upside, and so I might as well just drop it.

Adam: Based on my knowledge of your time, you probably will not have time to do it.

Michael: Yeah. All right. So, what if it was PictureFinder.com? There is a nice generic one. I do not know if it has any search volume, but both the words are generic. Let’s say that it does not have any traffic. It is not a local geo domain. It does not get any pay-per-click. No offers. It is definitely not a brandable. It is more of a keyword generic domain name.

Adam: Well, I think that gives it more value, and I think it would be a great idea for a search engine that would search through Yahoo Images, Google Images, Flickr, iStockPhoto, and all these other companies to find photos that would match what they were looking for. And you could probably make some affiliate revenue if they got them through iStockPhoto or all the other sites that charge royalties for their photos.

Michael: Yeah, definitely.

Adam: Like Getty Images or anything like that.

Michael: All right, note to self: I need to go see if that is available right after I am done talking to you.

Adam: You will have a bit of time before you post the video.

Michael: Exactly. All right. So, what do you do with crappy domain names, Adam? What is your process? Does it happen ever week? Does it happen when you are doing renewals? How do you handle them?

Adam: Okay. So, what I like to tell people is that hopefully people have a spreadsheet of all their domain names and you have, in your spreadsheet, the following columns. You have got the domain name. You have got what you paid for the domain name. You have got what it makes per year, and you can take that based on parking or lead generation. And if you do not have full year stats – you only got six months -, you are going to have to double it and extrapolate out, if necessary. You also have a column that says if you have had any offers on it and who made the offers. So you have got a column with their email addresses. So, if you have had five offers on a domain name, you should have five email addresses listed in the offers column on that and how much were the offers. So, if you have got that and it is pretty up to date and it is pretty accurate, it should be very easy to tell whether you should keep a domain name or drop a domain name.

Michael: That seems pretty labor intensive to update. I think I may have tried doing that in the past. I used to keep the valuation in there as well. So, what did EstiBot tell me it was worth? There used to be another website that did valuations and I would have that value in there just to have all the data in one place. And inevitably I would stop updating. Not that I have that many domain names either. I have only got four hundred; most of which are related to my trademarks. But I can only think of the people that have a thousand or ten thousand domain names, or more like yourself. How do you possibly keep a spreadsheet up to date like that?

Adam: Well, I use a spreadsheet because I am a little bit old fashioned. And I call it Master List, and I copy all my domains from any registrar that I have there, and I do keep it up to date because I cannot really know what my profit is on a domain name unless I am keeping up to date on all of these things, and what it pays for, and what I was making on it. And if you know what you are making on it, you are not going to sell it too low. But if you also know it is a fifty-year multiple or a hundred-year multiple, then you know it is time to sell it. I have, obviously, over twenty to twenty-five or thirty thousand domain names. I keep them in Watch My Domains ISP. It is software by Softnik. It is a good software. It allows you to run your domains. It tells you when your domains are not pointing to the right parking company and when your DNS is not right. It tells you a whole bunch of stuff about your portfolio, like which registrar it is at, when it expires, and it also allows you to make special columns for notes, like revenue and offers and things like that. So, I do it in two places. And I know it takes a long time to do it, but once you do it and you get it organized, you are just basically adding and subtracting. Adding new names you buy and subtracting names that you sell. And I mean you cannot run a business without knowing your inventory. I mean that is why companies, at the end of every year – Toys “R” Us or whoever they are -, have to stop and spend two or three days doing all their inventory. Whereas us, as domainers, you keep track of it all the time. And I am at fault too. Sometimes I sell a domain name and I do not go back to Afternic or Sedo and delete it. And I should, and I am trying to get in a better habit now because it is important. But we have to do that. I mean it part of building a business.

Michael: Yeah, definitely.

Adam: You just have to.

Michael: So, when Frank Schilling opened up his InternetTraffic.com service up to non-industrial strength domain investors, I put a few domain names on his platform so that I could see what kind of revenue I can generate because I have never actually parking before. And when I go into his system, I can see the domain name. I can see how much it makes per year. It organizes all the offers and I can see the offers that came in and from whom, and they store all that stuff in the database. So I do not know if it allows me to put in how much I paid for it, but would you recommend using a third party in general? Frank’s or not, and I think that there are other sites out there. Who are some other competitors that do the exact same thing? I am sure Above.com.

Adam: ParkLogic does it as well.

Michael: ParkLogic does it. Michael Gilmore’s company.

Adam: Mike Gilmore allows you to put in what you paid for the domain name and it calculates your profit. I mean there are a couple things I have never let anybody manage, and one is my assets, which are my domains. So I like to keep that local. I would not want to put all that information out. I mean I love Frank, but I would not want to put it all on his system either because what happens if he had a crash or something like that? I mean I need to be responsible for my own data and my own numbers.

Michael: Yeah, okay, fair enough. So, you create this spreadsheet. It has all your information in there. Do you work with your registrars to make sure that all your domain names renew on the same day every year so you can just go in and do a review? Like Target, your two-day stocking once a year, and then you figure out what you are going to drop and what you are going to keep, and then you renew them all, or does it happen throughout the year and, once a year, you just do that process?

Adam: No, my process is probably like every other domainer’s. It is a lot more complicated than that. The only thing that I do that a lot of people do not do is on my premium – my top five hundred or top whatever it is – fifty or a thousand, or whatever it is. I make sure those are renewed for at least eight to nine years so that I do not risk losing any of them. And those are domains that I value over, say, fifty or twenty-five thousand or one hundred thousand dollars. But I basically have three accounts are the registrars that I use. One is premiums, and that is where those sit, or premiums also includes businesses that I am running. So, it could include ReputationRepair and all of the states involved because I would not want to drop one of those domains. Then I have keepers, which are just domains that are profitable or local domains that have good resale value. And then I have what I call my unsure or drop, which is, if I get an offer on them, I am going to sell them depending on what the offer is, or I am going to drop them at the end of the year because I really have no interest in continuing with them.

Michael: Yeah, and I heard you talk about this on a video at your website – TheArtofTheName.com. And I wondered why do you have three separate accounts. Why don’t you just have different folders within your GoDaddy account, let’s say, and one of the folders is Never Going to Drop, so you have got basically a label on the domains in that folder? What is the benefit?

Adam: Personally I do not like the folder system. I do not think it really works well and I find it hard because if you go into that folder, it is great, but when you are looking at all your domains, it is very hard to tell what is in what folder.

Michael: Yeah, that is right.

Adam: I mean I like to know that if something happens to me, like recently happened with a friend of mine, as we all know, (Unclear 40:05.6). I want to know that if something happens to me I can tell my wife only worry about the premium account. Renewal all of those and you are set, so do not worry about it. And I see now, over the last year, that nobody is going to manage my domain portfolio or my businesses like I will, so she needs to be prepared. And in the last year, I did up a will and I outlined separately all my logins and passwords, and made sure. And this is one thing the registrar should do; is allow you to assign your spouse or your significant other, or somebody else – one of your children – to the account so they do not have to go through all of the getting the death certificate and the power of attorney and all that stuff, because it really complicates the process.

Michael: Yeah.

Adam: I think they should open their eyes. I mean a lot of people obviously do not want their spouse on it because, well, let’s say sixty to sixty-five percent of marriages end in divorce. I am quite confident that my wife and I are going to be together forever. It has been nineteen years and I do not plan on going anywhere, and she does not plan on killing me as long as I am worth more alive than dead.

Michael: That is why you do not tell her.

Adam: Exactly.

Michael: She never knows.

Adam: As long as I am worth more alive than dead, then I know she is going to keep me around. But I mean seriously though, they should have access to the account if the person wants them to. You do not have to put them on the account, but it made life really hard for (Unclear 41:24.8)’s wife.

Michael: Yeah, no, definitely. And it has been on my to-do list as well. I want to make sure that my wife knows all of the different parts of the operating business, so, God forbid, should I not be here, she knows what to do. And domain names are one of those things that most people in the world do not understand the value of, or they undervalue them. And so, if I have a domain name that does not have an operating website on it, I want her to know if it has a five-figure or four-figure valuation, or if it has a six-figure. I wish I had more of those to share with her.

Adam: The only way she is going to know that, Michael, is if you lay it out for her in detail. Like I left an added piece of paper or two pieces of paper – whatever it was – with my will and I said, “Don’t sell these names for under this much, and don’t sell this for under this much unless obviously you need the cash.” But I mean the bottom line is it is very hard for somebody to step into my shoes, your shoes, or even any domainer’s shoes and expect them to be able to take over with the knowledge that is in my head.

Michael: Definitely. And the one thing that I am probably going to do when I do that is list the three people in the industry that I know and trust, and know that if my wife went to them and asked them for help selling those high-value domain names, they would make sure that they were transacted properly.

Adam: And you should do that because there are other domainers out there that would like to take advantage of her, and would like to lowball to try to get some of the domain names, thinking that she does not know much and thinking that ten thousand dollars may be great for one of your premiums. I have seen it, so I know it happens. The best thing you can do is the buddy system. And I am sure you already have people that you know you could trust, but the best thing you can do is make sure you leave proper documentation for her. And one of the new things that I have taken on is I am sitting down and I start to sit down, because I have to teach my two boys who are seventeen and fifteen the domain business. It is time, and so what I am doing is I am doing a step-by-step from the beginning of what is a domain name, and I am going to document the whole thing in a book, and then I am going to video the whole thing. So, hopefully, it can help other people, because it is important for them to hear it from me and understand the industry from somebody who knows the industry inside out so that when it comes time and something happens to me, they are not left in the lurch, scrambling to find my domains or to find what is going on.

Michael: Yeah, definitely. All right, so let’s go back to the criteria because I want to dig into one of them. So we talked about traffic. It must have traffic. It must have a keyword or keywords. It must be local or geo. Have pay-per-click or some sort of revenue. It could be lead generated if it is built out. Must have offers and it must be resellable in some degree. And so, I have another example. I bought a domain name a couple years ago. My daughter, who was eight years old at the time, was saying that she wanted a website. Some place where she can go and post some stuff, and she could have a little chat room that was password protected for her and her friends. So we brainstormed different ideas and came up with the word Catastic.com. And she loved it and she loves her website. She was happy. I ended up buying it for a few hundred dollars off of somebody who was a game developer that was going to do something with it someday, but never got around to it, and he was happy to have a few hundred dollars for it. So, it really does not get any traffic. It is a brandable. It is not a keyword. It is not geo. It is not pay-per-click. There is no offers coming in on it until late last week. An offer came in. A woman who wanted to purchase it to start a business on that domain name. So, in this case, if my daughter was not using it, it came with an offer. It was a decent offer. She is not going to sell it. So you would keep that domain name as a brandable?

Adam: I would keep it for two reasons. One because your daughter enjoys the website and she is doing something with it, and it is getting her involved in the Internet and building websites, and probably blogging or whatever she is doing on it. And I would also keep it because you said it got a reasonable offer. So I would definitely keep it.

Michael: Yeah. So, how do you value brandables in your criteria of crappy domain names? Because the brandables are not getting any traffic. They are not keywords. They are not local. They do not have any pay-per-click most of the time because pay-per-click engines do not even know how to classify it because it is just a brandable. How do you classify the brandables?

Adam: Well, I mean brandables are all classified differently. In this case, like I said, because she is using it for a website and she is happy and she is enjoying it, I mean that obviously has value.

Michael: Let’s say that she was not using it at all. Let’s say that I just picked it up and I hand registered it or something. How would you evaluate that situation, Adam?

Adam: If you hand registered it and you got a good offer for it, and it was brandable, but you were not going to spend any marketing dollars on it, if it was a reasonable or good offer, I would probably be inclined to sell it.

Michael: Yeah, you would sell it. But what if you did not want to sell it because you had an idea for using it in the future or you were having a daughter and she just was not interested in the domain name yet, but you think she might? Now, that is not a good example, because I am trying to determine if people should drop it for being a crappy domain name.

Adam: Well, I mean I can give you some sort of an example. I am working on getting some chiropractor domain names because one of my sons may be a chiropractor. Now, they will be a little bit long tail, but maybe two or three words. I do not know. But if he decides he does not want to be a chiropractor, then those names are probably not as valuable to me as if he decided to be a chiropractor. So, if he changes his mind at that point, then I would probably drop those domains if they did not have any generic value.

Michael: Okay. Would you try and sell them before you dropped them or would you just cut your losses and drop them – it is not worth your time?

Adam: No, if I could build them out into a keyword rich or brandable domain name, I would definitely give it a shot.

Michael: Yeah, are you saying that they would be brandable domain names that you would try and develop out to rank well for certain keyword phrases?

Adam: They would probably be more keyword rich, but one or two would be brandable. I mean you would want to target a few different areas to bring in the traffic.

Michael: Yeah, okay, that makes sense.

Adam: On your Catastic, I mean it is hard. It is brandable. I mean it is interesting. Sometimes interesting sells, as you know because of the offer. So, it is not always what you think is great. It is what somebody else is thinking. Now you have got an offer, so that makes it a harder decision whether to keep it or drop it. It makes it more interesting.

Michael: Yeah, definitely. Okay, and so it comes back to your last criteria. Is it sellable? And I think it probably is sellable. It is a great, relatively short, brandable domain name. And because it is hard to value those domain names, what is your general criteria around what a brandable domain name is worth?

Adam: Again, it is hard to say. I mean if you have had it for a while and you built out a site and it is getting some traffic, then the brandable is worth more. But if it just a personal blog and there is not much going on – there is not many links to it and there is not much traffic -, then it is not worth a whole lot. I mean I say this a lot and I get a lot of heat for it, but a domain is really only worth what a buyer is willing to pay for it. Now, that does not mean, and this is one of the biggest problems that domainers have; is that they do not know how to negotiate or sell. And before you get into domain selling, you should read those books by Zig Ziglar or anybody else who teaches you sales techniques and who teaches you how to negotiate. And that is the reason why so many domainers leave so much money on the table, because 98 percent of domaining is actually selling. Any idiot can go out and register a whole bunch of domain names. As you mentioned earlier, the guy who sent you the list of ten to look at, or however many hundreds he had. But the art is actually selling them. And that is why I set up TheArtofTheName. Because TheArtofTheName is actually knowing how to negotiate and sell; and that is the part that domainers need to learn. And I was looking at DNW’s Sales Chart – Andrew’s Sales Chart – recently, and the domains are selling for twelve hundred, fifteen hundred, seventeen hundred, and five hundred to big company. I look at that and he is saying it is great these big companies are buying it, but I look at it and I see so much money being left on the table.

Michael: Yeah, and people might be looking for flow rather than going for the bigger sale. They might just be listing them on Afternic or on GoDaddy’s Premium, selling them for a fixed price, and getting the sale so that they go out and buy more and keep the flow going at a smaller profit than going for the larger sale and contacting the company directly.

Adam: And I am perfectly okay with understanding the flow of the sales and that people need to pay their monthly bills, and they need to pay their mortgages, and they need to pay their car payments or their kid’s school, or kid’s camp as well. But that still does not mean that you need to leave money on the table. I am not saying cancel the sale. I am not saying wait a week or two. I am saying go after it. I mean I am in the middle of two really good sales right now that I actually was aggressive on. And one was Paperback.com that I actually was able to reach out through the VP of Finance or something like that at Barnes & Noble. He gave me the contact to the CEO, and then I said, “Look, the VP of Finance,” and I gave him the name, “said I should speak to you about it.” So, we are in talks about Paperback, and I am also in talks with Skype and Vonage and a few others on VoiceoverIP.com. So you got to use your LinkedIn account. You got to get to the right people. You got to get to the decision makers and you got to do your research. But going back to your original question, the biggest thing is, like I said, learning sales because I mean I would not try to sell. I mean I could sell anything because I am a sales guy and I have had a lot of experience now in sales, but most people would not go and try to sell a car at a car dealership if they have never had any and they have only worked as a clerk at Loblaws or at a supermarket. So I mean you need to learn the trade, and 98 percent of the trade is learning how to sell and how to negotiate so you can get the better price. And I have had many sales start at two thousand and end at sixty or sixty-five thousand, or much higher than that. So, you cannot take that first offer all the time.

Michael: Yeah, definitely.

Adam: Especially if it is a reasonable offer.

Michael: When you close VoiceoverIP.com or Paperback.com, I want to have you back on the show and walk through that process and hear what you did, what you think worked, what you think did not work at the time, but then how you actually ended up closing it. I would love to do sort of a post-event review of that if you are up for it.

Adam: I would be happy to do it.

Michael: Awesome. All right, let’s talk about geo domains. That was one of the criteria that you mentioned. If it is not a local or geo domain, then you should drop it. Now, why would you even consider that to be one of the criteria? Why can’t you just think about does it have traffic, does it earn revenue, and does it have an offer? Why can’t you just leave your criteria set at that? Why do you have to include is it a local or geo domain?

Adam: Well, you could. Yeah, I mean if you are just thinking about parking and you are just thinking about whether to keep it or not, you could do that. But the most resellable domain names are either your one-word or two-word generics, which most people do not have in the domain community. I mean I am lucky to have some. But the other thing that is highly sellable is the local keyword domain, like the SeattleSprinklers and like the DFWTreeRemoval. And I could go and sell TorontoGardeners or TorontoRoofer without a problem to anybody in the roofing society in Toronto that is listed there based on the fact that it targets their business. And the main thing is that it is already ranked. And I make sure it is already ranked so there is some definite value. So, my preferred domains to sell are the geo domain names, but only once they are ranked and I can offer some immediate value to the customers.

Michael: Right. And so, you are looking at the traffic and you are saying it is targeted traffic and you are going to deliver potential customers to people, so that has the value. But let’s talk about just the domain name for a moment, Adam. How do you determine if a geo domain – a local domain name – like DFWTreeRemoval is crappy or if it is a good domain name?

Adam: Well, that domain – the customer came to me and said, “Here are the five choices. Which one do you think I should use?” So, I did not have a lot of flexibility in that one. But generally I stick to industries where people are Internet savvy and where I know they would be more likely to buy a domain name because they somewhat understand the value of the domain name. And you could tell that by the number of advertisers in Google for that particular term or things like that. I mean obviously limos are obviously popular. Things that people book through the Internet. I mean if I need a lawyer in – I don’t know – Florida, I could find one. If I needed a family lawyer or a divorce lawyer, I could find one. Things that people go to the Internet to find are good local domains – better local domains – than trying to sell SeattleBakery or something like that, where bakeries just are not going to be selling many products through the Internet.

Michael: Right. All right. So, SeattleLawyer.com is better than SeattleBakery.com because people are not necessarily searching for bakeries.

Adam: Specializing is even better, and that is where the long tail comes in, where SeattleDivorceLawyer is much better than SeattleLawyer, or SeattleCriminalLawyer.

Michael: Right, so that makes sense. Now, what if it was CriminalLawyerSeattle.com?

Adam: No, I like to pad the geo on the frontend of it unless I am trying to do something else. But generally I like to pad the city on the frontend.

Michael: Yeah, and do you think that makes a difference for search engines or you just think it is more recognizable to people to remember the domain name?

Adam: I think it is more recognizable for people to recognize a domain name. It is not bad to have both because people would type in. Like if I am looking to send flowers, like I once was, to Google years ago. It was flowers with a basket or fruit or something. I would type in like Fruit Baskets in Palo Alto or whatever. So, people tend to type it in both ways, but it is better to have it padded on the front end if you are actually setting up a business that you want to resell because it has got to make grammatical sense as well.

Michael: Yeah, definitely. Is there any a time that you can think of that you would want to have the noun or the verb before the geo location?

Adam: I cannot think of it now. I am trying to think that there was a time where it was, but I cannot think of it at the moment.

Michael: Okay. And then plural versus singular. If I am looking up SeattleCriminalAttorney.com, do I want SeattleCriminalAttorneys or do I want SeattleCriminalAttorney? What is the difference between those and how does it effect the valuation of that domain?

Adam: Well, I mean there are certain ones that it does affect. Attorneys not so much because a firm will have more than one attorney. So, it could be SeattleCriminalAttorney and you could be looking for one or SeattleCriminalAttorneys and you are looking for two. Generally the singular will have more search volume. But if you are looking for something like a florist, you are only looking for one florist. So, having a plural really would not help you unless they own a chain of florists.

Michael: Okay. And if you ran a dog walking listing like Elliot does over at ElliotBlogs, DogWalkers might be more appropriate in some cases than DogWalker – SeattleDogWalker?

Adam: Could be. I mean I do not see it really mattering all that much in that example. I see it mattering more in the fact that they are going there and then they have to pick which city that they are looking for and they find the dog walker. I mean because they are walking multiple dogs, but you obviously only care about your dog.

Michael: Right, exactly. All right, so that gives us some good guidance on buying geo domain names. Put the geo first and the noun or verb after that.

Adam: And both are resellable.

Michael: Yeah.

Adam: The singular or the plural.

Michael: The singular, right. Okay, so I am going to actually bring up a list of domain names here, Adam. Let’s see here. Let me fire up my browser. I am going to do a share screen with you here and bring up this list.

Adam: I just enlarged my window and your face is giant while I wait for your screen.

Michael: I am enormous. Where is my share screen?

Adam: You are on a 24-inch monitor.

Michael: That is terrible.

Adam: Looking good though.

Michael: Oh, thanks buddy. All right, here we go. Share screen. I am hoping that this is going to come through. If not, I will grab a picture of this and then put it up within the video. Now, here is the EstiBot appraisal. It is a bulk appraisal of forty domain names that somebody sent to me as a list of domains. And I put it into EstiBot, and so I have got all of the domain names over here. They are actually blurred out so you cannot read them to protect the guilty or the innocent, as the case may be. And you can look at the EstiBot appraisal. Now, today I just did a tutorial walkthrough of EstiBot. I have gone through the tool with Luc Lezon – the CEO and main Programmer behind EstiBot – and I understand that it is built for keyword rich domain names and it looks at the search volume, the cost-per-click, and many other factors. And so, in this case, the appraisal of almost all of these domain names is zero. There is one of them that is appraised at three hundred and fifty dollars, and it gives you some various other information – how many ads are being advertised for those keywords, what the Alexa ranking is, the searches, the cost-per-click, and things like that. Looking at this domain list, Adam, would you look at these and say none of them have value or this not enough information?

Adam: I mean that is a fair bit of information. I will tell you after we are done with this chart what I look for and what I go through when I am looking to purchase domain names, and things that are important to me that most people would not find important. And when I look at this, I look at the one that has got the 232K (Unclear 1:00:00.3) results, but I see it has no advertising. So, even if it is at 91 cents per click, there may not be anybody looking for it.

Michael: Or there are no advertisers currently. So it might be seasonal.

Adam: Yeah, I mean I cannot tell because I cannot see it. Generally though, based on the 350-dollar appraisal and based on the 232K, I may be apt to keep it and just see what it is. If I knew what the damn domain was, then I would, for sure, be able to tell you if I would keep it or not. But just based on numbers, just the fact that it has got search and results does not really do anything for me because unless I put up a similar site to what was there and what those people had on there, I am going to lose those search results. So, to me, I would tend to drop them all.

Michael: Yeah, all right. Okay, let me go back over to stop share screen. Now I am massive on the screen again.

Adam: No, I changed you over.

Michael: Okay. So, what you said when I was showing you this list that you look at different things to decide.

Adam: Okay. So, again, the process to decide if a domain is crappy or good. And first of all, we will deal with domains that we own because it is easier to tell, and we talked about the spreadsheet. Now, the spreadsheet is for domain names you own. If you do not own the domain names, then you need to go by a couple things. One is the Google Keyword Tool, and I look for stats that are available based on that. And I will get into what I look for in the Google Keyword Tool in a second, but do not think about appraisals or appraisal tools because generally they only feed your own ego or the owner’s ego, and most times they tell you that your crappy domain names, like the ones we just looked at, are worth month and may convince you to actually keep the domain name when you really should. And then, like I said before, people argue this point, but the buyer sets the price. So, whatever you get it appraised for, it is like getting your diamond ring appraised. Even if you get robbed, you are not going to get what it was appraised for, and it is just an appraisal. It just makes you feel better. So, do not put anything on what an appraisal says. It is what I think about the domain, what I can sell the domain for, or what the buyer is willing to pay for the domain name, or what I can negotiate them up to. So, domainers, and again, I have it embedded in my head. Domainers need to spend more time learning about sales and negotiate techniques if they expect higher prices.

Michael: Definitely.

Adam: Let’s go back to the Google Keyword Tool. So, for me, a good domain name would be at least a two-dollar CPC with an exact search count of a minimum of twenty-five hundred to three thousand. Now, it can be a dollar if the exact match count is over five or six thousand, but I would not go below a dollar unless it is like fifty thousand or something like that.

Michael: Yeah.

Adam: And that is basically one of the criteria that I look for. But the other thing that I look for and this is what you should look for in the drops – in order of important for me to buy a good domain name is, again, going back to it: Is it developable and does it have resale value? And will it mean something to somebody else, and can I get ranked to help somebody else’s business? And if I can do those things, then it has much more value and I do not care what the Google Keyword Tool says. I do not care if it comes up all zeros because I know that I am going to be able to help a business owner grow their business and get clients, because I am going to get the domain ranked. And they have a domain name now – they may not have a domain name now – and they are not anywhere in the top thousand or the top ten thousand, but I can give them value and I can explain to them why it would benefit their business to have that domain name. So, for me, that is very important. And again, I do not care about traffic because I can build traffic.

Michael: Yeah.

Adam: I can get a site on page one in two to four weeks and all the other search engines without issue, including Google. So, the other thing I like is I like aged domains. So, I tend to like them because – I think I have said this before – I sold the same domain back to a guy three times. So, again, a valuable tip that some people miss is backorder all the domains that you sell because you may get a second or third kick at the can. I have had plenty of kicks at the can on people that forgot to renew them and have been able to resell them. And then also remember that just because a domain shows existing links in the search engine results, it does not mean that you are going to keep them. Chances are they are going to die off unless you up a very similar site to what was there before, but be careful about trademarks. Just because somebody let their domain drop does not mean they let their trademark drop and does not mean that it is a free-for-all on their domain name. So you have to be careful about that, but existing traffic on the drop is going die off because the links are going to go away and you may just park it. If you park it, for sure, you are going to lose the links eventually over time.

Michael: Yeah. All right, so good input. If you are looking to buy a domain name and you are not sure if it is a crappy domain name, your two criteria are using the Google AdWords Keyword Tool with an exact match. So it is set to the United States if you are in the United States. Or if you are buying Japanese domains, you set it to Japan. You are looking for a two-dollar cost-per-click with advertisers and you are looking for search volume of at least twenty-five hundred or three thousand, and then you want something that is developable, or that you can rank well, or that you can rank to help somebody else’s website. Maybe you are going to rank it and then siphon off the leads and give it to somebody else. So it has got to have those criteria. I will give another example. So, I use those as well when I am evaluating domain names that I am buying. I am not a domain name investor, but I run a business that is focused on helping large corporations improve the way that they operate. And I own a trademark for that and I have a lot of domain names that are around that name, and I do the same thing. I use the Google AdWords Keyword Tool looking at domains that are dropping. I set my thresholds much lower at a dollar cost-per-click and a thousand exact match US searches per month because I want to look at everything that meets that criteria. And then I apply my filter, like you are saying: is it something that is worth my time to develop or, if I develop it, will it help out my business in some other way?

Adam: Yeah, and I mean the numbers do not really matter. They have to work. I mean I am not saying I would not pick anything with a thousand or fifteen hundred. Like I said, I would pick something that had all zeros if I thought it had development potential or resale value, which means I could build it out and sell it to a customer for between four and eight thousand dollars or higher. I mean some have been as high as fifteen thousand and it had nothing on Google Keyword Tool at all. But the customer did not care. He got value, he got the right domain for his business, and I was happy to help him increase his business and make some money for myself.

Michael: Definitely.

Adam: And he did increase his business.

Michael: Adam, that is all that is on my list of things that I wanted to talk about with respect to crappy and good domain names. I think we have provided enough input focused on what is a crappy domain name, what is a good domain name, and what should you do if you made that mistake like we all have and you bought some crappy domain names and you want to drop them or you want to get rid of them. Anything else that you wanted to talk about related to crappy and good domain names that I did not bring up?

Adam: Well, I will just reemphasize a point. I mean the hardest thing for a domainer to do – and it was my fault as well and I have committed the same mistake – is to keep domains over, and over, and over again, and just keep your renewal fees going on domains that you never had any offers on, that are not developable, that do not make any sense, and you picked them up maybe because they were a trend back then or maybe because you had an idea three or four years ago. But if you figure out now that if you really go through your portfolio – and most people are because of the economy. It is a good time to really thin out names. I am not a believer in one man’s garbage is another man’s gold. I do not try to resell crappy domain names. I just drop them because I figure if they have no value to me with the experience that I have they are probably not going to have much value to anybody else, and they are free to pick them up in the drops in case I am wrong. But the main thing is educate yourself more on sales and negotiating, and that will help you out pretty far and take you much farther. And then develop out ones that you think have sales potential because you will make a heck of a lot more money on developing and selling them than you will on parking. And I guess that would be about it. The final thing that I will say at the end of the video is what I always say. I am here for you. If you have any questions or you have any concerns, obviously leave your comments on the video and Michael or myself will be quick to respond. And feel free to reach out to me. My Skype ID is Adam.Dicker, my email is Adam@DCG.com, and my cell phone number is (416) 884 – 0535. I have had the pleasure of getting many calls and emails directly from users that have seen the videos that we have done on Domain Sherpa. I enjoy helping every one of them out and for those of you that want to email me, I will also give you a free DN Forum account so you can get used to domaining and do a lot of reading before you begin to invest money in this industry. It is a great industry of ours. I love it. I am going to be in it for a long time and I hope you enjoy the industry as well.

Michael: And that is a very generous offer of you, Adam. So, if people want to take you up on the free members at DNForum.com, they can email Adam@DCG.com. Very generous of you. And also, you are on Twitter, Adam, at @AdamDicker, if somebody wants to just send out a tweet and say thank you?

Adam: Yes.

Michael: All right. So I do encourage the audience. Please take just a moment. The easiest thing you can do is just send a tweet. If you want to send an email, great. Adam sent me a picture of a domain name investor and his girlfriend who were taking a road trip one time. He was driving and she was sitting in the passenger seat, and they had one of those in-dash videos. And I could watch him watching our video. I think it was How to Sell Domain Names, and the girlfriend had to snap a picture and make fun of her boyfriend for watching this video while he was driving. It was hilarious and I am very appreciative that he sent that to Adam to say thanks for taking an hour out of his day, plus the prep time, and giving back a lot of the hard learned lessons of domain name investing. Not a lot of people are willing to take the time and do this, and so I am appreciative. And if you got value out of this, please just say thank you via tweet, an email, or post a comment below. It is that easy.

Adam Dicker, thank you for coming on the show, being a four-peat guest, and thank you for being a Domain Sherpa.

Adam: My pleasure, Michael. As always, I enjoyed it. Thank you very much.

Michael: Thanks Adam. We’ll see you all next time.

Watch the full video at:
http://www.domainsherpa.com/domain-characterization/


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47 Responses to “Differentiating Good Domain Names from the Crappy Ones – With Adam Dicker”

  1. albert says:

    Sir Adam, I was emailed by one company and asking if my domain selfiesness dot dom can be acquired by $1000.. will I give it or not? Thanks Sir!

  2. Eric Jenkins says:

    Michael…..

    Another outstanding interview. This is another one that I have watched twice. Thank you Adam for your insights on a subject that is a “grey” area for a lot of us. This is a complex topic and we as domainers have to develop a “feel” for it to get it right. Thank you Adam for your help.

    Eric Jenkins

  3. Damien says:

    Great Information Micheal

  4. Adam’s interviews are great. @Michael, you picked a great candidate for the 4-peat!

    @Adam, I have a good domain name for your soon to be chiropractor son – endbackpain.ca
    I’d break the rule of selling to another domainer just for you ;)

  5. CORNELIU says:

    Michael, thank You for climbing the Everest with each champion, to the highestcamp.com.

    You are a Great Champion!

    Adam, You have the greatest Soul and heartonearth.com!

    God Bless.

  6. Brian Vu says:

    Thanks for the informative video.

    I have a question regarding my portfolio domain name (which is not up yet and won’t be for a while). The objective of my portfolio is to showcase all of my school work and projects from my Web Development & Design 1-Year Certification classes. It will also showcase random projects I do outside of school (I don’t have any yet).

    Which domain will be best suit for me?

    DisBVu.com or ThisBVu.com ? (I’ve already bought both and one will be a 301 redirect to the other).

    I am aware that both does not hold and resale value because it contains no keyword and is probably not good for SEO.

    Any suggestions is much appreciated.

    Thank you in advanced for your time.

    Best regards,

    Brian Vu

    • Hi Brian,

      They’re both brandable domain names. As you’ve stated, they’re not real words or keyword rich, so — just in terms of the content of this video — they’re considered “crappy.”

      BUT, for a brandable domain name they’re fine. I have no idea, off hand, why you would choose either of those so I cannot provide useful guidance to you aside from this: pick the one that best passes the radio test.

      http://www.domainsherpa.com/domain-name-dictionary/radio-test/

      Best of luck in your website design business.

      Regards,
      Michael

      • Brian Vu says:

        Hello Michael,

        I just thought DisBVu.com would look and sound interesting. It could be pronounced as “This Be Vu” or “This Brian Vu”.

        Although it failed the radio test link you’ve provided, I think for the sake of “coolness” and style points for a portfolio site, I’ll go with DisBVu.com.

        I will definitely go a more traditional route in the future when choosing a domain name for a Web site though.

        Thanks,

        Brian Vu

        • Great point, and I didn’t understand that from your original post. Buying both and redirecting the “traditionally” spelled domain to the “attitude” domain is a great idea.

          Good luck! I look forward to seeing the website up and running.

  7. sunlitweb says:

    I appreciate your videos. I accept that most of it is selling the domain name to a target audience. The only thing I am a bit weak on is creating a website for the domain name. I am a webmaster. But I don’t know what content to put on a site or how to raise the google rank aside from meta data tags. I am hoping to go through the sellers course at dnfcollege. Thanks!

  8. Isaiah Coe says:

    Adam Dicker + Michael Cyger = The Bomb Diggity!

    Keep up with the great interviews :)

  9. olu says:

    wow,thank you so much guys this is so useful .I am just starting out and this video has given me more confidence in moving forward in this business. Adam you are great!Micheal you are fantastic.

  10. Ed says:

    This is a good article and excellent video, thank you for sharing with us. Cheers

  11. Johannes says:

    Thank you so much for the great interview! Thanks Adam for sharing such useful information.
    You said you run 11 lead gen businesses. I would be very interested in learning about the industries you are in. Could you paste a couple of links to your lead gen sites?

    • Adam is speaking at the TRAFFIC Conference in Vegas at the end of this month. If you can make it out there, you should. You can listen to his talk and ask him questions in person. I’m sure it would be invaluable to you.

      targetedtraffic.com

  12. birde1978 says:

    Finally got round to listening to the whole show nice one Adam for sharing your knowledge on crappy domains now just realized i could manure my local farmers field with my lot. lol,

    Am i right in saying the big money is only in .com domains? as i live in the UK and my collection mostly .co.uk domains

    Keep up the good work.
    Birde

    • I think it’s fair to say that. If you look at Ron Jackson’s weekly and yearly reports at DNJournal.com, you’ll see the same thing.

      Having said that, there’s nothing wrong with niches. Just because your niche is .co.uk domains doesn’t mean you can’t be successful.

  13. Boluji says:

    You are both great assets in domain industry, you have made me to know how to evaluate domains and get wothy domains. Please keep it up.

    Please what do you think about my new domain picked from sedo top domains, I think the domain is geo keyword or what, the domain is old one but dropped and I picked it up usaprosports.com

    Sorry ! to post this here but I just want an impute from You and Adam.

    • Hi Boluji,

      How do you think it fits the criteria mentioned in the video?

      Go through, line item by line item, on the criteria, and let us know what you think. Post your comments here. Then we’ll review it and let you know how you did.

      Best,
      Michael

  14. DM. says:

    Thank you both, very informative.

  15. Eric says:

    Adam, are these domains any good? What potential do they have? Thanks

    CloudComputing.co
    NatGas.co
    CleanEnergy.co
    Clean-Energy.co
    FuelCells.co
    AllNatural.co

    Are these any good?

    • Hi Eric,

      I’m confused why you would ask that question. Did you spend the time to educate yourself by watching the video? Adam has been very gracious in volunteering his time to educate people, including me, and I’d expect the first thing you would do is watch it. Perhaps you did that already?

      Why do you feel like the six criteria he said didn’t apply to your domain names? Can you be more specific in your question, and what research you did?

      Perhaps in this way we can all learn from what you did and what Adam suggests, if the video didn’t provide enough information for you to make an assessment yourself.

      I look forward to hearing your additional input.

      Thanks,
      Michael

      • Eric says:

        Michael, when i asked if they were any good i was really in a rush to make the post as i was busy at work and my boss was looking at me on my cell phone. I really wanted to ask the question in a different way like: What are your thoughts on these and what do you think their potential values might be say 5 to 10 years out? When i posted my short question that was kinda what i wanted to know (are they any good as what potential do they have?). I appologize for being in a rush and not asking my question as i really wanted to. Also, being that i was at work on my cell phone with my boss watching me i was not able to watch the video until after i got out of work. It was a great video and very informative. Anyway, what do you think of these domains especially CloudComputing.co and NatGas.co?? I know that Amazon, a major cloud player, owns the domain Cloud.co and had purchased it for an undisclosed amount. Dell owns CloudComputing.com and Citrix Systems owns Cloud.com so I’m hoping that my domain CloudComputing.co might have some good potential. The question remains though, how much does it have being that it is a Dot CO? As far as NatGas.co goes, whoever owns the Dot Com is asking $400,000. Yes, of course i know that Dot Com is King but given the fact that the United States has huge natural gas resources that may be tapped sooner rather than later and companies such as Exxon Mobile and Royal Dutch shell just to name 2 are investing heavily into NatGas what potential could NatGas.co have? Would the future buyer of the Dot Com even want the Dot co? What could i realistically sell these 2 domains for to an end user? Thanks for any insights you can provide and thanks for all the articles you write, i really enjoy reading them!

        Eric

  16. JamesinJapan says:

    Jam-packed with actionable recommendations and useful insight. Great stuff, Michael and Adam.

    James in Japan

  17. raymond says:

    Thank you so much to Michael and Adam. It’s such a valuable information and knowledge that l have learned from the masters. You give me courage and confidence to be a better domainer.

  18. Alan says:

    This video rocks. I can’t believe how awesome you and Adam are for putting these together!

    Thanks a ton.

    Eternally grateful,
    Alan

  19. Andrea says:

    Great as usual. Adam, I’ve always been curious about what makes you so comfortable to give out every aspect of your contact information. Obviously it must be working for you. A lot of time I find that no one is open to this. Even though I’m sure (because of previous videos) you have to filter through spam, or the occasional crazy lady. Do you feel this has assisted you in more conversions to domain name sales as opposed to not having that info out in public?

  20. Once he said that he is making a book/video about the domain business I immediately looked at the monitor. =)

    Continue to love your interviews, always watch them at work while reading morning emails, God bless dual monitors.

  21. Sam says:

    Hi Michael and Adam,

    Really good interview again some really good advise i need to dust the domains of from parking now :)

    Regars

    Sam @ wizarddomains

    • Thanks, Sam. Definitely worth taking a look at your domains per Adam’s criteria so you’re not throwing good money after bad in the future.

      Let me know how it goes!

  22. Wally Day says:

    Great video. I hope you don’t mind, but I copied and pasted the transcript into a file on my laptop. I promise it will only be done for good :))

    By the way, do you hire someone to do the transcript, or is there some tool available (like Dragon) that can do that for you?

    Thanks,
    Wally

    • No worries about copying the transcript for personal use. Glad you found benefit from it.

      I use a real person for transcription. While it’s not perfect in all cases because there are a lot of industry-specific acronyms, hard-to-spell names, etc., it’s much better than Dragon or Youtube machine transcription services, from what I’ve found.

      Thanks for commenting.

  23. Omar says:

    Hi Michael and Adam

    Michael thanks for getting Adam back, Top Interview, Adam, Learnt a lot from the interview and tons from theartofthename.com thus far, thanks and take care…

  24. Alan Dodd says:

    Very thought provoking, solid information – thanks to everyone. I would say though that if you have sold say 100 domains for over say $350 you should keep absolutely everything unless the Math go crazy this way.

  25. Kees Kroos says:

    Michael and Adam,

    Thanks againe for sharing your time and knowledge…

    Greetings from the Netherlands !

    Kees Kroos

  26. Scott Smith says:

    Heyo,

    Another home run. Good, practical advice on how to trim the herd without leaving too much on the table.

    Cheers,

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