Internet Money—Lesson 2, Part 1a: Find The Right Domain Name

by Paul Wilson

 

From one of my first posts on this blog I received the below comment:

“…Before I buy a choose domain name and host it, how do I determine a good name for the website? Does that play a big role in how much traffic I can bring my way? Is it beneficial to stick with the product name, or would it be better to have it similar to the keywords and content? Or does that not matter either?”

These are really good questions, particularly when getting started. Yet, each question needs to have a detailed answer in order to be any help to you. So, I have broken these questions into three post:
Question 1: How do I determine a good name for the website?
Question 2: Does my website name play a big role in how much traffic I can?
Question 3: Is it beneficial to stick with the product name, or would it be better to have it similar to the keywords and content? Or does that not matter either?

How do I determine a good name for the website?
When determining the name for your website you first need to determine what your objectives are. If you are trying to build a large community and have interaction, then you need to make sure you have a brandable name. If you are interested in quickly making money then what you call your site isn’t as important.

Since these tutorials are called Internet Money, and not Internet Branding, it is safe to assume that you are more interested in making money than building a corporate empire. In order to earn money relatively quickly in the search engines you need to have a few things going for your. First, I would not recommend going and buying a brand new domain. You will see that age of a domain plays an important role with rankings.

Currently, I have two domains that are both competing in the insurance niche. One domain was bought in 1999, the other domain was acquired 2003. I started ranking these domains on the exact same day. Within two weeks my 1999 domain was ranking in the top 20 for all its keywords. The 2003 domain, unfortunately, was only ranking in the top 500. Granted they both were trying to rank on different keywords, but I have done this time and time again with the same results. The older your domain the more strength you get to help push yourself to the top of Google.

There are a lot of places to acquire old domains. My favorite free place to go are the forums on Digital Point. For your home work I will be requiring you to become very familiar with Digital Point. The reason is that Digital Point will be an important buying spot for a lot of things. So, go and setup an account and start getting involved in the forums. It’s best to start now because if you want to create your own thread on Digital Point you will need to have 25 comments and have been a member on the forums for two weeks.

Another key factor on how fast you move is if you are found in Google. Now, don’t be deceived by Domainers who are trying to sell you an old domain. Often times, these domainers have picked up their domains at an auction that sells expired domains. If you do a search and you see that your domain is found in a lot of whois databases than you can guarantee your domain expired and was snatched up.


Click on image to enlarge

Google has become rather smart these past few years and can sniff out dropped domains. Usually, Google doesn’t find the domain right away. No, they have to wait for you to start ranking before they find you. If they do find that you own a dropped domain they will strip out all the links currently pointing to your website. They will do this even if those links were gained after the purchase of the domain. It’s a nasty process, and I have had a few friends fall from the rankings this way.

So, avoid domains that expired and were picked up, but I digressed. The second important factor of buying a domain is whether the search engines have already indexed your domain. The best way to see if you domain is indexed is to go to this SEO tool and enter the domain name in both the valid url and keyword field. If the domain doesn’t appear in Google for its own domain than you can guarantee that it is not indexed.

Every day I receive an email from a domain seller who picks up deleted domains and resells them. This morning he sent me the domain: brawlvideo.com. It’s a deleted domain so Google has stripped this domain from the index.

As you can see by the above image the domain doesn’t rank for even its own name. This is the biggest red flag you can find for a domain that supposedly “aged.” If Google sees the domain as deleted the domain is worthless for what we are doing.

There are still aged domains that never see the light of day on the web but if you buy these domains expect to move slow (at least in the beginning). The search engines still need time to find these domains. Once you are found then the domain becomes valuable. However, by buying an indexed domain you save yourself work and time, which is always important.

The final factor to consider when buying a domain name is page rank. Page rank is Google’s way of deciding how important your domain is. If the domain has 1 through 10 page rank then it is worth looking at. However, I don’t always follow this rule because it is easy to spoof page rank. The best way to see if the page rank is real or not is to check its backlinks. If you go to this backlink tool and enter the url of the domain you are considering to buy you can see exactly how many links it has to it. If it has just a few sites linking to the potential domain I wouldn’t buy it. However, if there are hundreds or thousands of links it may be a good buy.

I say “it may be a good buy” because the seller could easily rent a bunch of links to enhance the sell, and then drop the links once you buy it. So, that is why I say I don’t always consider page rank into the equation. It’s just too easy to game the system. Most of the time I only buy a link with page rank if it is a good buy, which, as you can imagine, is hard to find.

So, that’s my advice on finding a good domain to use for SEO and affiliate marketing purposes. There are still two more posts to come on this subject, but I have given you homework to do until the other posts come out. As always, feel free to ask me any questions on these topics. ~Paul W.

SUMMARY
1. Buy an old domain
2. Make sure the domain is indexed
3. If possible, find a domain with page rank on it.

QUICK REFERENCE
Digital Point Forums
Godaddy (good whois)
Whois.net (another good whois)
SEOAnalytic.com (able to see if your domain is indexed)
BackLinkWatch.com (checks domain’s backlinks)

HOMEWORK
1. Setup a Digital Point Profile
2. Leave comments on Digital Point
3. Don’t buy a domain (wait for the next lessons)

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