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SEO Perspective on the NamesCon 2020 Auction

First, here is the latest data pull of the NamesCon auction with the bid reserve ranges. It is close to 900 names!

Workable Excel Spreadsheet of All Domains Currently at NamesCon Auction with reserve prices, bids & more.

Download Here: UPDATED Workable Excel Spreadsheet of All Domains in pre-bidding at NamesCon 2020 Auction!

Now, below is a guest post by Sean Markey, an SEO expert with a special focus on domains and branding. He took all the domains in the Namescon 2020 auction and broke them into two groups: domains with authority (lots of backlinks and SEO value) and domains that would make a great brand (in a way that someone focused on SEO/building out sites would care about).

He’s at Namescon if you want to say hi. You can check out his SEO/marketing/branding/domain name newsletter here.

Domains With Authority

Shirts.com
DR 56, 1.06 RD, Links from: Bloomberg, BuzzFeed, Instructables, GameSpot, CollegeHumor

Does it come with the site? There’s a live site on this one. If so, bonus!

This one has a ton of SEO authority and is currently ranking for about 18,000 keywords, including:

  • 19th for “shirts” (68,000 searches/mo)
  • 1st for t shirts (300 searches/mo)
  • 10th for “pink floyd album covers” (10,000 searches/mo)

Huge opportunity here to pick up a site that can rank (and more importantly, monetize!) any number of popular search phrases. Also this site represents a great big open door to work with all kinds of different brands, organizations, sports teams, etc.

Earthlings.com
DR 56 | 2.7k RD, Links from: NYTimes, Fandom.com, DenverPost, Reason.com, OpenCulture.com

Looks like it used to be a site for a documentary about humanity’s dependence on animals for food/clothing/pets, so most of the links are going to be mostly news and entertainment links about the movie or eco/sustainability links about the movie’s message.

But it doesn’t matter because what an amazing brand. It could be used for anything!

  • A store that sells literally anything at all
  • A news site about literally anything on the planet
  • Online home of the galaxy’s best restaurant for eating the people and animals of Earth

Strong, memorable brand with solid authority (especially in the sustainability space).

XU.com
DR 44, 717 RD, Links from: doesn’t matter, you’re not buying this for the links…

But if you’re also considering this for the links, be aware that MOST of the big links going to this domain are being redirected through Soya.com, which is a live site and obviously not included in the sale. A two letter dot-com doesn’t need MY help to sell, though.

GoFish.com
DR 41 | 2.01k RD, Links from: Wikipedia, NYTimes, Forbes, TechCrunch, SFGate, VentureBeat

Used to be some kind of Youtube competitor? User-uploaded videos. Has a lot of tech/news link relevancy.

Cool, recognizable brand, though.

If I owned this domain I’d build TheWirecutter but for fishing/sports fishing and have it ranking for every informational keyword related to fishing and for every “X product review” and “Best X” review keywords until Bass Pro Shops acquired the site for a stupid amount of money.

Easier said than done, sure, but what a killer fishing brand! It was wasted on the video niche tbh.

(Also, I just tried to find some info on the value of the fishing-as-a-sport-or-hobby industry and all I could find is that in 2018 people spent 48 BILLION DOLLARS!!!! on fishing for JUST BASS. WHAT!!?)

Please.com
DR 34 | 268 RD, Links from:

This domain has SEVEN THOUSAND links from BitcoinTalk.org. Why?

The old site’s description, from Crunchbase:

Customize and book end-to-end trips curated by locals… At no additional cost! #Travel #SharingEconomy #Blockchain.

Sounds like keyword salad…

Synergy. Logistics. End-to-end consumer. Smart Contracts.

Anyway, none of that matters because the domain is sooooo good. So good. But if you were on the fence and you also wanted to do….something? with the Blockchain, now you have even more reasons to bid on this one.

GI.com
DR 33 | 546 RD, Links from: CNN, Wired, Cisco, ArsTechnica, Fool.com, SignalVNoise.com

Used to be the domain for General Instruments, a company that specialized in semiconductors and cable television equipment (not a joke… it has the cadence of a joke, but that’s what they did!).

A ton of news/tech link relevancy, and general enough to build whatever kind of site you want.

Not sure what to build? Here’s a handy list!

  • Code for “Gibraltar”
  • Galvanized Iron
  • General Issue (military)
  • Gastrointestinal
  • Government Issue
  • 1/2 of GI Joe (General Infantry)
  • Glycemic Index
  • Gold Ingots
  • Google It
  • Good Idea

You’re welcome.

Icebergs.com
DR 33 | 218 RD, Link from: Entrepreneur, VentureBeat, LifeHacker, TheNextWeb, YCombinator, ProductHunt

Used to be: a visual bookmarking service!

Yet another domain with a bunch of news/tech links. Not a lot of obvious use-cases, but icebergs (plural) are fairly general and could be used for anything, but probably a better brand if it was one single iceberg.

Probably not as good a DTC brand as Onions.com… not quite as hardy. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

CookingSchools.com
DR 29 | 472 RD, Links from: Udemy, Chron, Monster, EverdayHealth, BodyBuilding, Local.com

Obvious (and probably best/only) use case here is as a directory of cooking schools. Which… is limiting, but not inherently bad. It is what is says and it does what it is!

ADD.com
DR 27 | 77 RD, Links from: meh

This domain clearly hasn’t been used to its fullest potential (SEO-wise), as it doesn’t have a rich history of health-related links.

Not quite a blank canvas, but close enough. Amazing name, you’re just not going to be able to justify buying it based on its backlink profile…

Domains to Build a Brand On

Burb.com

Solid four-letter brand makes you sound cooler than you are.

Med.org

Don’t buy this unless you’re either a doctor or prepared to hire one who can write well to build your site out. Great use of a .org, though.

FreshFood.com

As good a food/organic/nutrition brand as you can probably find. Certainly a better brand for what Blue Apron does than Blue Apron. Like Nuts.com, but for all the food groups!

PlayHockey.com

Amazing hockey affiliate site. Go out and buy a mediocre hockey affiliate site and redirect it all to this site rather than starting from scratch. Short and to the point. I like it!

Dancing.com

Here’s one of those famous gerunds we heard so much about in the last Domain Sherpa. I Googled it, so here you go Shane and Drew:

Take the word dancing. Dancing is the present participle of the verb to dance. When used with is or are, it becomes a verb in the present continuous tense:

Gordon is dancing up a storm.

In the sentence above, dancing is a present participle (form) and it’s acting as a verb (function). But there is another way you can use the word dancing.

Dancing is all Gordon can think about.

Dancing looks just like it did before. But in this sentence, the word dancing is not acting like a verb. It’s acting like a noun. In fact, Dancing is the subject of this sentence. It still looks like a present participle (form), but in this sentence, it is filling in for a noun (function).

When a present participle is used as a noun, it’s called a gerund.

Great domain for Dancing authority site: how to videos, directory of schools, …you get the idea. Amazing brand.

Sean Markey
Sean is a Senior SEO Strategist who has collaborated with an array of clients from small businesses and to enterprise-sized and venture-backed companies. Sean grows organic traffic by creating content and outreach strategies, addressing technical SEO issues, and earning high-quality, relevant links.

He stands out for his curiosity and research of the competition, which pays off in his reverse engineering. He has openly shared case studies and provided extensive consultation on SEO strategy and content marketing strategy via SeanMarkey.com.

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